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Monday, December 03, 2012

OT: NBA Thread - December 2012

Since Jack Haley and Steve Scheffler were mentioned, it must be time for another thread.

The District Attorney Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:17 PM | 513 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   201. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 12, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4323120)
What's the o/u? Has anyone ever bet on the uberunder?

181.5, FWIW.
   202. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 12, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4323121)
They've got two potential All-Star caliber players (Lowry, Valunciunus) and a few role players.

Whether or not Lowry deserves to be an All-Star, I would bet it's highly unlikely he ever will be one. PG play, as has been noted before, is at such a high right now that a guy like him always seems to fall under the radar. But he's still going to slot behind (in no particular order) Rondo, Irving, and Rose, will likely always trail at least in reputation by Williams, and is probably behind (at least on potential) Holliday. Hell, we hear more about Jennings than him nationally too. And that's just guys in the East. If Wall ever gets it together, add him to the list.
   203. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 12, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4323124)
181.5, FWIW.

Ha. Somehow combined they average 186.7/game and give up 185.9/game, but I just assume those numbers are lies.
   204. rr Posted: December 12, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4323125)
I agree, but only to a certain degree. I wasn't a fan of the hire — RR can attest to that


You are right and I am wrong so far. I backed the hire for two reasons. First, I thought MDA was the best guy to get the most out of the Nash/Howard synergy that everyone was dreaming about while still having Kobe cred from Italy and Team USA. Second, I didn't think Phil would maximize Nash, Jamison, and Meeks; and I thought Phil Part III would be pushing it. If they had hired Phil, Derek Fisher would probably be on the team again right now.

At the same time, I did say something like "I think D'Antoni will adapt", and so far, while I think he is sort of trying, he really can't make himself do it. I was watching video of him a few days after the hire, and in talking about Pau he said, "He is a great player and will always be a great player. (pause). "But we need to space the floor."


As to Howard leaving, I don't think anyone really wants to get into trying to read his mind again, but I still hold to my guns: I think Howard wants to play with Paul (the veto continues to reverberate) and I don't think that it is a coincidence that Paul and Howard's contracts are both up at the end of the year. If the Lakers don't have a big-time turnaround, and Paul and Howard can land somewhere together, I think Howard will want that to happen. Paul might simply just stay with the Clippers, of course. We'll see.
   205. smileyy Posted: December 12, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4323145)
But Howard really does seem like the guy who just might do that, and immediately regret it.


Nothing would give me more pleasure.
   206. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 12, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4323148)
(This is an honest question - not snark or anything)

Isn't it a little early to be bagging on MDA? Taking over a team with perenial sky high expectations with what 40% new starters partway through the season (no camp) and plenty of injuries - is it really a surprise they are doing poorly right now? Sure it would be nice (well not really since I don't like the Lakers, but you know what I mean) if they went great from the start, but it seems early to begin the hot seat talk (which I know no one here is doing).
   207. Paul D(uda) Posted: December 12, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4323151)
Agree with Moses. They've got two potential All-Star caliber players (Lowry, Valunciunus) and a few role players. Unfortunately, some of the guys have completely mailed it in, and some are just meh good. They'll make some trades, but I just don't know what they're going to get.


Okay. I think Davis isn't bad, and DeRozan is also okay.

I mean, I'm not saying that this team is great, but that seems like enough talent to be better than 4-18, no?
   208. andrewberg Posted: December 12, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4323174)
Isn't it a little early to be bagging on MDA? Taking over a team with perenial sky high expectations with what 40% new starters partway through the season (no camp) and plenty of injuries - is it really a surprise they are doing poorly right now? Sure it would be nice (well not really since I don't like the Lakers, but you know what I mean) if they went great from the start, but it seems early to begin the hot seat talk (which I know no one here is doing).


I agree. I have mostly stayed out of the tactical conversations about the Lakers because I think it is really early to be drawing conclusions. It is fair to comment on how specific guys are playing, but we should understand that it could all change very drastically.

I mean, I'm not saying that this team is great, but that seems like enough talent to be better than 4-18, no?


Well, yeah, but their true record is probably more like 7-15, which is also useless.
   209. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 12, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4323225)
Everyone. Stop what you're doing. Derrick Rose was seen running in practice. That must mean he's going to play tonight, right?
   210. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: December 12, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4323236)
he's still going to slot behind (in no particular order) Rondo, Irving, and Rose, will likely always trail at least in reputation by Williams, and is probably behind (at least on potential) Holliday. Hell, we hear more about Jennings than him nationally too. And that's just guys in the East. If Wall ever gets traded, add him to the list.


Corrected that for you.
   211. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 12, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4323281)
To #204, I do think MDA can and will make adjustments, but he is waiting for his on-court persona to get healthy first. The old Phoenix system wasn't just guys running to spots; they PnR'd people to death in the halfcourt, and Nash is the master of the PnR. (I would really like to see Gasol run it from the high post, too.) Right now, the Lakers don't have a traffic cop out there, and you see guys all over the place around the arc, looking confused. More efficient offense means more set defensive sets, better for D12 and the wings.

A lot of sins would go away if the MDA/Nash combo gels like before. I believe that's what D'Antoni is waiting for before he starts really tinkering.
   212. rr Posted: December 12, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4323301)
Isn't it a little early to be bagging on MDA


Sure, if your expectation was, "Nothing that happens on either side of the ball matters until Nash is there to run the system." MDA probably thought that Nash would be back after 1 or 2 games, but OTOH, every Laker fan with an IQ over 80 (all twelve of them--Hombre is in that group, but I'm not) knew that there would be fit issues with SSOL and the Lakers' personnel. MDA does not seem to me to have much of a plan to deal with that.

As I said in one of the other posts, the main issue is talent, so I would tend to blame the FO more than D'Antoni if I wanted to throw blame around. But I have not been impressed with MDA so far, with the caveat that he has handled Meeks and Jamison much better than Brown did.

On a cultural note, there is now an interesting dynamic in play, in that Nash, whom many Lakers fans never liked and whom a hardcore few still resent for the 2006 MVP, now more or less holds the organization in his hands. By not upgrading the backup 1 (maybe they tried but failed due to lack of assets, but I tend to think that they didn't) and hiring D'Antoni, Kupchak and Buss have in a sense put this whole grand plan on Nash.
   213. Jimmy P Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4323324)
Whether or not Lowry deserves to be an All-Star, I would bet it's highly unlikely he ever will be one.

I don't think he'll ever be close either. Especially since he's now on a terrible team, and the selectors make it almost mandatory that All-Stars come from winning teams.

But, there's a chance with his talent that he puts up a season that he'd deserve it. May have even been last year.

Okay. I think Davis isn't bad, and DeRozan is also okay.


No, they aren't bad. They also aren't elevating the team to the next contender level either. They're decent rotation players. Even if DeRozan is paid to be more than that.
   214. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4323373)
One more note on Nash: The Lakers' turnover pct. is 15.1, second highest in the league to OKC, and a big reason why their defense stinks. Their FT% is the lowest in the league. Nash address both those issues, especially the turnover rate.
Kupchak and Buss have in a sense put this whole grand plan on Nash.
Yep.
   215. Into the Void Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4323380)
If they had hired Phil, Derek Fisher would probably be on the team again right now.


I was thinking about this last night- would Fisher really be any worse than Chris Duhon right now? I mean, Chris Duhon is starting on an NBA team! He was totally washed up three years ago, if not more. It's odd but I don't hear many people mentioning this when talking about the Lakers problems. It always boils down to Kobe, Dwight, or MDA, with vague rumblings about the bench.

Everyone. Stop what you're doing. Derrick Rose was seen running in practice. That must mean he's going to play tonight, right?


Thibs is going to ease him in with 35-40 minutes tonight.
   216. rr Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4323385)
not more. It's odd but I don't hear many people mentioning this when talking about the Lakers problems.


You may mean, "in general", but Hombre and I both talked about it on the previous page. Hombre mentioned Duhon by name.


Nash address both those issues, especially the turnover rate.


Nash will help quite a bit, if he can play. And if nothing else, he will make the team more fun to watch.
   217. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4323395)
Nash address both those issues, especially the turnover rate.

About to leave the office, but IIRC from last season's Linsanity discussions, Nash is a high TO PG isn't he?
   218. andrewberg Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:57 PM (#4323398)
The seasons that Nash and Grant Hill are having are a whole new reason to drool over the Phoenix training staff. Seriously, how?
   219. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 12, 2012 at 06:14 PM (#4323416)
Nash address both those issues, especially the turnover rate.

About to leave the office, but IIRC from last season's Linsanity discussions, Nash is a high TO PG isn't he?

Yes.

Chris Duhon TOV% 2012-13: 22.3 (highest on the Lakers for min 25 MP this year)
Steve Nash, last three full seasons: 21.4, 22.4, 27.1

So, while he'll certainly help offensively, probably not so much with the turnover issue.
   220. andrewberg Posted: December 12, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4323443)
About to leave the office, but IIRC from last season's Linsanity discussions, Nash is a high TO PG isn't he?


Relative to his usage and time he spends with the ball in his hands, not especially. Even if he does turn it over, if he is making plays instead of Kobe or the other Laker PGs, it will be a net positive in TOs.
   221. andrewberg Posted: December 12, 2012 at 11:55 PM (#4323572)
Espn is featuring a "they've still got it" night with KG's celts against Dallas then Duncan against Utah. Kobe deserves a ton of credit for staying at this high level, but those two have been pretty incredible themselves as they run their defenses at advanced ages.
   222. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 13, 2012 at 12:01 AM (#4323573)
The Mavs-Cs game is a real barnburner.
   223. PJ Martinez Posted: December 13, 2012 at 12:08 AM (#4323575)
Dallas closing in on 30 turnovers.
   224. PJ Martinez Posted: December 13, 2012 at 12:12 AM (#4323578)
And Rondo has played 53 minutes. Looks like he's going to finish just short of the triple double.
   225. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: December 13, 2012 at 01:30 AM (#4323608)
lowry also "suffers" from being average or better at everything*, while lacking a standout skill.

* does not include health
   226. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 13, 2012 at 01:36 AM (#4323610)
The seasons that Nash and Grant Hill are having are a whole new reason to drool over the Phoenix training staff. Seriously, how?
Before the season began, I gave the over/under at combined games played by Nash and Hill at 105.
   227. Booey Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:19 AM (#4323624)
MO WILLIAMS!!!!!!!!!!!!

A few weeks ago I decided I wanted to buy tickets to a game this week, and it was a tough decision between the Spurs tonight or the Grizz on Saturday. I went with the Grizz cuz they're more entertaining to watch IMO and I've never seen them in person before (plus SA generally owns the Jazz). I'm still very much looking forward to that game, but it damn well better be epic to top this one.
   228. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:22 AM (#4323626)
I love so much that on John Stockton day the Jazz win on a 3-pointer at the buzzer by their PG against a Texas team.
   229. Booey Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:01 AM (#4323632)
I love so much that on John Stockton day the Jazz win on a 3-pointer at the buzzer by their PG against a Texas team.


Agreed. That was perfect.
   230. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4323746)
@KCJHoop
Noah admitted he was egging the crowd on because he felt they disrespected him when they cheered his injury during last season's playoffs.

@KCJHoop
Noah on egging on 76ers crowd, which cheered his injury last year: "I’m going to do it for the rest of my career every time I come here."


At least he's our heel, I guess. In 44(!) min, he had a 21pt (7/10fg 7/7ft), 7reb, 5ast, 3blk, 1stl, 2to night. He got to hit a jumper to pretty much end it, and then got the some more FTs to ice it. Only takeaway I have from the game though is that Marquis Teague is starting to look like an NBA backup capable player. Hinrich was a late scratch (during warmups*), so there was no way NateRob was gonna play all 48. Teague played 20 mins and didn't look lost, so that's good. He actually got to close out the game too.

*I wasn't happy about the Hinrich signing, especially since it was mostly to please the average fan. But even I don't think it was going to go this poorly. 6.7PPG on 36% shooting (but 38% from 3). He looks cooked. Plus all the nagging injuries.
   231. steagles Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4323753)
so, this is definitely a cheap time for me to bring this up, and i am absolutely not gloating over this at the moment, but i at least seem to have been right about iguodala:

maybe it's not quite 50/50 whether wright plays better than iguoadla this year, but if we judge them by various categories:

PER, TS%, O-rating, D-rating, TRB%, AST%, BLK%, STL%, MPG, and PPG.

i'd say TS%, TRB%, and BLK% are in the bag for wright.
i'd say that AST% and MPG are in the bag for iguodala.
but the rest, PER, O-rating, D-rating, STL%, and PPG could go either way.


wright: 6 (PER, TRB%, STL%, BLK%, O-rating, D-rating)
iguodala: 4 (TS%, AST%, MPG, PPG)
   232. Jimmy P Posted: December 13, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4323787)
I wasn't happy about the Hinrich signing, especially since it was mostly to please the average fan.

My father-in-law and I talked about this over Thanksgiving (he's about the most reactionist fan ever). He loved the Hinrich pick up. Loves his D and shooting. The following discussion about his shooting was about how you'd expect.
   233. andrewberg Posted: December 13, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4323791)
I love so much that on John Stockton day the Jazz win on a 3-pointer at the buzzer by their PG against a Texas team.


That ending was tremendous. I find the Spurs to be very fun to watch because they do so many interesting things offensively with their spacing and their creativity. To add to that a very fun game where the crowd was outstanding and the home team struggled back to pull out a really tough win makes it about as fun of a regular season game as you can have.
   234. smileyy Posted: December 13, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4323822)
The following discussion about his shooting was about how you'd expect.


Am I being too unfavorable in thinking that a significant portion of the argument is "He's white! He's from Kansas! He plays the right way!"? 50%? 75%? 120%?
   235. cmd600 Posted: December 13, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4323826)
wright: 6 (PER, TRB%, STL%, BLK%, O-rating, D-rating)
iguodala: 4 (TS%, AST%, MPG, PPG)


12.9 PER, 0.7 WS to 12.4 PER, 0.5 WS. Sounds like there are no winners here.
   236. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: December 13, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4323829)
Simple rating: Iguodala: 0.0, Wright -6.2
   237. andrewberg Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4323861)
Wright has a son named Devin Queintin Dwyane Wade Wright.
   238. rr Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4323905)
   239. smileyy Posted: December 13, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4324074)
From TFA in [238]:

Bryant has been monstrously efficient on offense, but his defense has slipped horribly.


I like to think of this as a conscious amazing job of perception management by Kobe. "Man, Kobe's better than ever in this only easily visible area...the rest of these guys must really really stink."
   240. andrewberg Posted: December 13, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4324149)
I like to think of this as a conscious amazing job of perception management by Kobe. "Man, Kobe's better than ever in this only easily visible area...the rest of these guys must really really stink."


I thought about that last night while I was watching Garnett dominate the game defensively without notable offensive numbers. I looked into the numbers a bit more, and the fact is that it simply isn't true; Kobe is playing as well offensively as he ever has. His ORTG is the highest of his career, as are his TS% and eFG%. His DRTG moved slowly in the wrong direction for many years, but it is steady from the last couple this year. I don't think anyone expects him to keep this up for 82 games, but through the first 22 he is just going insane offensively.
   241. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 13, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4324265)
I want more articles talking about the ridiculous minutes Noah and Deng are playing. This is a start.
   242. Fourth True Outcome Posted: December 13, 2012 at 07:33 PM (#4324315)
@ESPNNBA:
It's true: John Hollinger is leaving ESPN for the Memphis Grizzlies. http://es.pn/UWwGZk
   243. Jimmy P Posted: December 13, 2012 at 07:43 PM (#4324325)
It's true: John Hollinger is leaving ESPN for the Memphis Grizzlies. http://es.pn/UWwGZk


ESPN's NBA stock of writers is really down. Stein only writes once or twice a week and seems more interested in soccer, and Hollinger and Bucher left. I guess they still have Broussard, and maybe Simmons and Lowe are considered ESPN. And there's Abbott. Hollinger was about the only writer they had that I read consistently, though.

With this and them pretty much cancelling the NBA Today podcast, I don't even think I'll bother going to them for NBA anymore.
   244. rr Posted: December 13, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4324340)
Glad I ditched Insider.

Hollinger deserves a lot of credit for getting the ball rolling with mainstreaming stat analysis, and he writes well. But I think that Pelton, Lowe and/or some other guys I have not heard of can replace what he does at ESPN.
   245. Maxwn Posted: December 13, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4324343)
Well, that is interesting.
   246. rr Posted: December 13, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4324365)
He is going to be "Vice President of Basketball Operations", which could mean anything, but AFAIK his background is journalism, not management of a business/people etc, (he was an editor at SI) so obvously we would assume it is an analytical gig.
   247. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: December 13, 2012 at 09:44 PM (#4324386)
I remember regularly working late back in '98 or '99 so that I could surreptitiously read or print stuff from Hollinger's alleyoop site - I didn't know people were still doing work like that.
In any case, this is a huge loss for ESPN (one of the few meaningful perks of Insider, imo) and for the stat-oriented hoops community at large.
   248. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 13, 2012 at 09:47 PM (#4324389)
The Knicks pour it on in the first quarter, 41 points against the Lakers. Melo had 22 by himself. The Lakers shot well early, and then just got ran into the ground. The defense was horrific. It's one thing to say Melo was hot -- he was white hot -- but the defense was beyond embarrassing. No effort at all.

The Lakers seem intent on hitting every single branch on their way to the bottom.
   249. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: December 13, 2012 at 09:57 PM (#4324397)
The Knicks seemingly have not missed a shot tonight.
   250. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:16 PM (#4324401)
Okay, so the Lakers, after tonight will be 9-14. Last year, the 8th playoff spot in the West was 36-30, which projects out to 44-38. To win 44 games, the Lakers would have to go 35-24 the rest of the way, a 59% winning percentage. They have to play at a 54% clip, 32-27 the rest of the way, just to reach .500 for the season.

At this point, it's reasonable to assume the Lakers may not make the playoffs at all.
   251. Srul Itza Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:27 PM (#4324407)
How come I didn't see any articles in the off-season about how crappy the Lakers were going to be?
   252. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:17 PM (#4324435)
Nobody saw this coming. Nobody saw this coming. In my life I've never seen a team's reality fall so short of its expectations. For Laker fans, this season has been a nightmare beyond all imaginings.
   253. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 14, 2012 at 12:04 AM (#4324467)
Nobody saw this coming. Nobody saw this coming. In my life I've never seen a team's reality fall so far beyond its expectations. For Knicks fans, this season has been a dream beyond all imaginings.
   254. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 14, 2012 at 12:08 AM (#4324469)
At this point, it's reasonable to assume the Lakers may not make the playoffs at all.
And then the Suns get their lottery pick!
   255. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 14, 2012 at 12:10 AM (#4324470)
Anyone see the news (from ESPN LA's Shelburne, I think) that if Nash suffers another setback, he's shutting down for the season?
   256. Into the Void Posted: December 14, 2012 at 12:18 AM (#4324474)
Nobody saw this coming. Nobody saw this coming. In my life I've never seen a team's reality fall so far beyond its expectations.


They are a little over twenty games in and have gone through a coaching change and basically played the entire season without the guy that was supposed to make the team gel (granted, Nash won't solve the defensive issues)...I wouldn't write them off yet. I wouldn't at all be surprised to see them turn it around and still get the fifth seed.
   257. andrewberg Posted: December 14, 2012 at 12:19 AM (#4324475)
Sad to see Hollinger leave- his work ethic for ESPN was tremendous and he produced lots of good stuff. He was also fun to follow on Twitter for his in-game play by play. I'm obviously happy that he gets this opportunity, though.

Anyone see the news (from ESPN LA's Shelburne, I think) that if Nash suffers another setback, he's shutting down for the season?


Also saw the video of him looking pretty spry in his pregame workouts. It seems like he is far along in his recovery. Does anyone know what is holding him back?

How come I didn't see any articles in the off-season about how crappy the Lakers were going to be?


There were lots of people who hedged (not to this degree, but hedged nonetheless) with the caveat that they would really struggle defensively and may not be a top team if Dwight was not fully healthy. Well, he's far from fully healthy, really struggling defensively, and they are without two other star players that no one anticipated missing extended time.

Even as an unambiguous non Laker fan, I do not share Hombre's fatalism.

By the way, what are you doing grousing about the Lakers tonight. Shouldn't you be having a celebratory Fresca or something?
   258. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 14, 2012 at 12:21 AM (#4324477)
By the way, what are you doing grousing about the Lakers tonight. Shouldn't you be having a celebratory Fresca or something?
If I didn't start the day so happy, I would have ran into traffic before that first quarter was over.
   259. andrewberg Posted: December 14, 2012 at 12:23 AM (#4324478)
Wow, Pop just fully, thoughtfully answered the in-game Sager questions. Is he taking this Stern crackdown seriously?
   260. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 14, 2012 at 12:45 AM (#4324486)
Does anyone know what is holding him back?
Nerve irritation, supposedly.
   261. rr Posted: December 14, 2012 at 12:56 AM (#4324491)
McMenamin and Shelburne have apparently been talking to different people:

@mcten: Steve Nash says he plans to return to practice next week. He has started running in the last couple days. No return game circled though


As berg noted, there was some hedging. As a fan, I was very excited. As an observer, I said in preseason that health, age, depth, defense and coaching issues certainly made it fairly simple to visualize a scenario such that this team didn't work. Serious problems exist in all those areas, and the Lakers are at present a lottery-caliber team.
   262. steagles Posted: December 14, 2012 at 01:03 AM (#4324492)
does kenny smith have cancer, or did he just give a shitty christmas present to his makeup artist?
   263. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 14, 2012 at 01:08 AM (#4324494)
Did they not hire D'Antoni to get the best out of Nash? Should they just fire D'Antoni if Nash is not available?
   264. Maxwn Posted: December 14, 2012 at 01:46 AM (#4324508)
Did they not hire D'Antoni to get the best out of Nash? Should they just fire D'Antoni if Nash is not available?

That strikes me as being a rather foolish overreaction. I might just try to find an actual NBA caliber PG somewhere first and see if that helps. Delonte West was mentioned earlier and there are probably other options out there somewhere.

   265. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 14, 2012 at 07:44 AM (#4324545)
Actually enjoyed this Dwight Howard bit.
   266. JC in DC Posted: December 14, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4324596)
One thing I just noticed and have been taking for granted is that this is the first year in memory I'm not thinking of how the Knicks are positioning themselves for the future. Instead, I'm just enjoying the games and am hopeful they can be a playoff team of significance. It's quite fun.

The defense is beginning to worry me, however. I don't want them reverting to a team who tries to outscore other teams (you know what I mean). The past few games the D has not been good (one of you smart guys check the metrics).

Finally, if you haven't read Kobe's comments on Melo (how he spoke with him last year), you should. I really like Kobe. He's one focused S.O.B.
   267. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 14, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4324705)
Dirk Nowitzki @swish41
No more Hollinger articles or sarcastic tweets? Say it ain't so. @johnhollinger


Nice.
   268. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 14, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4325004)
Did they not hire D'Antoni to get the best out of Nash? Should they just fire D'Antoni if Nash is not available?

That strikes me as being a rather foolish overreaction.
Same here. At some point, you have to make a commitment to something. Having Delonte West around instead of Chris Duhon (man, oh, man) would make a difference. Having Nash for 35 minutes a game would be a massive difference. The Lakers are terrible right now, but it's not as if they're devoid of talent. They're immensely talented, it's just that the talent is extremely top-heavy, and half of it is hurt.

At this point, it's about health and adjustments. There's nothing else to do. You can't be hiring a third coach and be paying the coaching position $20 million for something to implement a third system in three months. Panic flailing won't help you swim.

Finally, if you haven't read Kobe's comments on Melo (how he spoke with him last year), you should. I really like Kobe. He's one focused S.O.B.
Kobe's personality is like his offensive game. He's utterly relentless in everything he does. That probably makes him an intolerable human being to hang out with, but it certainly makes him one heck of a ballplayer.
   269. rr Posted: December 14, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4325027)
The only real positive from the Lakers' POV last night was that MDA finally had the sense to get Duhon off the floor. One can argue they never should have had him on it to begin with, but that is partly a Kupchak thing. Running this system with Duhon and Morris at the 1 is enough by itself to negate 1.5 stars. I mentioned on another blog that the Lakers might consider some smallball looks in some matchups with MWP at the 4, and they tried that as well.

OTOH, I think MDA should have sat Kobe down, taken the thumping, and maybe had him in better shape for tonight. Assuming that it will take 46 wins to get the 8th seed (and the average the last three full seasons in the West is actually 48), the Lakers need to go 37-21 the rest of the way. They actually kind of need to beat the Wizards tonight--and I would not bet on it happening.

As to the Knicks, I remain skeptical, but they are certainly better than I thought. I mentioned on another blog that I expected the Lakers to really get their asses kicked last night, with Anthony looking to really stick it to D'Antoni.

And yes, firing D'Antoni would be dumb. See if Nash and Gasol can actually come back, try to get another PG, and then see how things look with Howard. Cross the blow-it-up-this-is-a-disaster-for-sure-now bridge if you actually get to it. Not quite there yet. The 2003 team, thin, old in places on the bench and missing Shaq early, started 11-19 but won 50 and made it to the conference semis before getting waxed by Duncan and Co.
   270. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 14, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4325041)
I think MDA should have sat Kobe down, taken the thumping, and maybe had him in better shape for tonight. Assuming that it will take 46 wins to get the 8th seed (and the average the last three full seasons in the West is actually 48), the Lakers need to go 37-21 the rest of the way. They actually kind of need to beat the Wizards tonight--and I would not bet on it happening.
That's what I would have done as well. Nothing was accomplished by playing Bryant and Howard big minutes last night. Against the Wizards, is anyone willing to give the Lakers anything better than a 50/50 chance of winning? Not me.
   271. rr Posted: December 14, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4325044)
Against the Wizards, is anyone willing to give the Lakers anything better than a 50/50 chance of winning? Not me.

Me neither. The Wiz have been doing a little better lately; surprised Miami, won in NO. I don't see the Lakers as favorites to win the game. Toss-up IMO.
   272. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: December 14, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4325058)
The Lakers are terrible right now, but it's not as if they're devoid of talent. They're immensely talented, it's just that the talent is extremely top-heavy, and half of it is hurt.


A few years ago, I figured D12 and 11 guys from the YMCA would be a .500 team. I know he's coming back from the disc issue, but has that injury notably affected his defense?
   273. rr Posted: December 14, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4325063)
I know he's coming back from the disc issue, but has that injury notably affected his defense?


Yeah--and his explosiveness around the rim. Zach Lowe broke it down in the piece I linked yesterday. Howard is still a hell of a player, but for the Lakers as constructed to work, he needs to be DWIGHT HOWARD, not Dwight Howard. In preseason, I said that the winning formula for the team was to be Top 3 in O and Howard's greatness on D to get them about 10th on that end. They are, obviously, not close in either area at the moment.

Also, he needs a PG and floorspacers to make it easier to get his offense maximized; he is not a multi-move-back-to-the-hoop artist like some other great centers. Jameer Nelson has not been anything special the last 2-3 years, but he is far, far better than Duhon. And the Lakers 3PT shooting, while better than it has been for many reasons, is still not that good and goes up and down. Howard of course played with Duhon in ORL, but Ryan Anderson and some other guys who could 3 were there as well.
   274. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 14, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4325072)
I think it's still an overreaction to assume the Wiz should be favored tonight over the Lakers, but I don't have to watch the Lakers every day.
   275. Manny Coon Posted: December 14, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4325079)

A few years ago, I figured D12 and 11 guys from the YMCA would be a .500 team. I know he's coming back from the disc issue, but has that injury notably affected his defense?


Yes, it's talked about in the Lowe article linked in post 238. He's less mobile than he used to be.

It doesn't help that Jamison and Hill are both really poor defenders as well. Even with his slump on offense, the Lakers miss Gasol badly because he's a much better defender than those guys.

With Duhon the problem is that he's better than Morris and they don't really have anyone else right now with Nash and Blake out (and Blake isn't any good either). Duhon is doing as much as Duhon can(over 60% TS and an above average WP48). Duhon would probably be fine about 10 minutes a game, but he's been playing over 30 lately.
   276. rr Posted: December 14, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4325082)
I think it's still an overreaction to assume the Wiz should be favored tonight over the Lakers


I said toss-up, but the Lakers have won 2 road games, and while I am 99% sure that Kobe will play, since that's how he is, he was having back spasms last night. Basically, any team capable of beating Miami even if it is a 1-out-of-20 thing, is not really an underdog in a meaningful way on their own floor against the Lakers as they are today.
   277. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 14, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4325083)
As to the Knicks, I remain skeptical, but they are certainly better than I thought.


I feel the same was about the Knicks. Better than I thought, but not nearly as good as their WPct. When Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd, and Ray Felton are collectively shooting 45% from the 3 point line (combined 33% last year, 34% career), well, I'll remain somewhat skeptical for the time being. That said, I think they may be forcing their way into the "Who gets to lose to Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals?" conversation, thereby replacing Indiana alongside Boston, Chicago (pending Rose's return), and maybe Atlanta. (Sorry, Brooklyn, I don't see it, given Williams being less than elite and their defense being same)

What odds (seriously) would you give me in a bet of Knicks wins this season vs. Lakers wins this season. I still think I like the Lakers in that bet - maybe not quite even odds, but close.

   278. rr Posted: December 14, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4325088)
I still think I like the Lakers in that bet - maybe not quite even odds, but close.


Not seeing it. The Lakers need to go 41-18 to win 50. The Knicks need to go 33-27.

But I pretty much agree with you about Miami, the East etc. I am not convinced that any regular-season issues that Miami has this season will be particuarly meaningful when the playoffs come around.

   279. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 14, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4325090)
What odds (seriously) would you give me in a bet of Knicks wins this season vs. Lakers wins this season. I still think I like the Lakers in that bet - maybe not quite even odds, but close.

If the Knicks go .500 for the rest of the year the Lakers would need to go 39-20 (.661) to have a better record.
   280. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 14, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4325092)
The Lakers need to go 41-18 to win 50. The Knicks need to go 33-27.


I may be WAAAAAY off base, but something like this is roughly what I expect going forward. Maybe Lakers 39-20 vs. Knicks 34-26 or something like that. Only a few games to swing from there for the lakers to end up ahead. Maybe 3-to-2 or 2-to-1?

I meant to mention that "bet" is assuming Nash comes back in the next month or so.
   281. andrewberg Posted: December 14, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4325098)
Vegas had LA favored by 5.5 when I looked it up earlier today.
   282. Jimmy P Posted: December 14, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4325147)
Tyrus Thomas' wife and Ben Gordon's fiancee were arrested at a bar for fighting.
   283. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 14, 2012 at 06:33 PM (#4325151)
[282] Each other? Or like a team-up situation?
   284. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 14, 2012 at 07:21 PM (#4325191)
Go Warriors! That is all.
   285. steagles Posted: December 14, 2012 at 07:59 PM (#4325217)
tonight may be kind of ugly.

well, every sixers game these days is kind of ugly, but with jrue holiday out of the lineup and the team in indiana, this game could be ugly even by sixers standards.


   286. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 14, 2012 at 10:32 PM (#4325263)
Lakers win. It felt like a loss.
   287. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:48 AM (#4325362)
Javale McGee has been absolutely incredible tonight. Free John Wall.
   288. smileyy Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:49 AM (#4325363)
[288] Holy crap, I just came here to post both of those exact ideas (well, freeing all of the young Wizards, but yeah...)

A Mt. Dew with a shot of Midori in it for you... (that's what I'm drinking)
   289. JC in DC Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4325414)
I'm really happy to see Toney Douglas returning to NBA usefulness. I didn't watch the game last night, but it seems like McHale is basically going with the hot hand at point. Good for Tone.
   290. andrewberg Posted: December 15, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4325716)
Happy Rubio day everybody!
   291. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4325750)
[289] I'm also really happy for Douglas. Never understood Knicks fans who could full out hate the guy. He was awful last year but always seemed to be someone who, for all his faults, was legitimately giving it his all.

I think the Rockets G situation is a little bizarre. Yes, Harden is a better player than Lin, but I'm not sure they're handling the having two ball dominant G situation correctly. I'm fairly certain that Harden is a superior spot-up/any kind of shooter to Lin. I'm also fairly certain that Lin is a better passer than Harden. Why not have Lin have the ball in his hands and have Harden be the one working off the ball? Or, even if you don't want to do that, the entire world knows Lin is better with the ball in his hands so why not make an effort to stagger their minutes?
   292. JC in DC Posted: December 16, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4326014)
NJ: I don't know, either, about Houston's use of those guys. I've really grown to like the team, in part b/c of Parsons. They've got some talent, but it doesn't currently add up. I'm not sold on McHale as a coach (though he's another guy I like a lot). But I disagree with you about Lin's passing. I think Harden is a much better passer than Lin. That said, I might still agree that Harden should be working off the ball, but looking for Harden to pop off screens is going to be a real challenge to Lin's game, isn't it? I'm not really sure what I'd do were I them.
   293. thok Posted: December 16, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4326049)
I sort of wonder how the Lakers would be if they re-signed Sessions instead of trading for Nash. (Granted it's unclear they can trade for Howard if they don't get Nash first.)
   294. Into the Void Posted: December 16, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4326055)
Sessions looked pretty bad last year, didn't he? He's currently a backup on Charlotte shooting 38%...
   295. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: December 16, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4326078)
He's also 2nd on the team in scoring (behind the starting point), has a PER of 18.3 and simple rating of +4.1. The low FG% is a problem, but mitigated by the high foul drawing rate.
Besides, Sessions wasn't a problem for LAL for most of the regular season (when he was on the team) - it was late / in the playoffs when he wasn't effective.

That said... not sure that he'd be a great fit for them, with the lack of outside shooting and defense.
   296. rr Posted: December 16, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4326085)
That said... not sure that he'd be a great fit for them, with the lack of outside shooting and defense.


In spite of those things, he would have been a decent backup for Nash, since he can run PnR--but they couldn't really afford him. I would certainly rather have him right now than Duhon.

One problem the Lakers have has is being out of sync with personnel/coaching, between the veto and the decision to can Brown. The other problems are that the new bench guys (Jamison, Meeks, Hill) are very limited and were brought in based on how they fit around the core. Finally, Kupchak didn't do anything about the 1 and the 3; all of that has been exposed by the issues with the core.

At this point, Nash is basically Bilbo Baggins to the Lakers' troop of angry dwarves--the whole mission depends on him.
   297. The District Attorney Posted: December 16, 2012 at 07:01 PM (#4326166)
Nash is basically Bilbo Baggins to the Lakers' troop of angry dwarves--the whole mission depends on him.
I like it.

Bruce Jenkins, for the San Francisco Chronicle:
One of the most distasteful aspects of commissioner David Stern's legacy - ruining Christmas for far too many people - comes into play again this year with five televised games scheduled. "It used to be two teams," retired coach Phil Jackson said. "But I don't think anybody should play on Christmas Day. Your little kids are putting batteries in their new toys, all kinds of family stuff going on, and now you're supposed to get focused on a game in the middle of the afternoon?"

Jackson is among many observers who point out the obvious: that Stern, who celebrates Hanukkah, has no real feel for Christmas in the first place.
   298. JJ1986 Posted: December 16, 2012 at 07:07 PM (#4326170)
Stern, who celebrates Hanukkah, has no real feel for Christmas in the first place.


This is exactly the same thing as saying "Stern, who is Jewish, has no real feel for Christmas." I don't know if that's okay.
   299. nick swisher hygiene Posted: December 16, 2012 at 07:34 PM (#4326187)
298: Yup, not OK. Also nonsensical, given the expansion of work in America over the past who knows how many years.

A similar but OK sentence: "Walmart, who are ungrateful, soulless m0therfuckers, have no real feel for Thanksgiving in the first place."
   300. nick swisher hygiene Posted: December 16, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4326189)
....but, following Robin's scenario, would it be OK to call Stern Gollum?
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