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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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   301. andrewberg Posted: December 16, 2012 at 07:56 PM (#4326200)
flip
   302. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: December 16, 2012 at 08:08 PM (#4326215)
Agreed on Sessions being a good backup in LA. Heck, he's a great backup for almost anybody - just not ideal as a starter.

Jenkins' comments were very not OK.
   303. steagles Posted: December 16, 2012 at 09:54 PM (#4326249)
the sixers are not a good team.
   304. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:15 PM (#4326263)
How could they be? They got handled by the Lakers.
   305. PJ Martinez Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:08 AM (#4326460)
Kobe's response to Bynum's comments (about Kobe how 'stunted his growth' as a player) is perfect. I think we've talked about this in previous threads, but Kobe really has become one of the league's best interviewees.
   306. rr Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:26 AM (#4326471)
the sixers are not a good team


Lakers caught a break with Holiday's being out and Morris had a random hot night. It happens. IMO, the only real takeaway from the Lakers POV is that the game demonstrated how much easier things would be in the MDA system with productive PG play, which is why I continue to harp on the Nash situation. Also, MDA is using Artest at the 4, which I said might work in some matchups.

As to Bynum's comments, if you look at a lot of the youngish guys who have been with the Lakers and then left in the post-Shaq era:

Kwame Brown
Smush Parker
Vladimir Radmanovich
Brian Cook
Trevor Ariza
Jordan Farmar
Sasha Vujicic
Shannon Brown

You don't really see a pattern of guys' careers suddenly taking off after getting away from Bryant. Shannon Brown, moving from the Lakers and Bryant to the Suns and Nash, posted almost identical numbers in 2012 as in 2011.

This is not meant as a criticism of Nash; there is a lot of evidence that he raises some guys' games. Also, I don't doubt that there are guys who don't *enjoy* playing with Bryant (some do; S Brown and Ariza have both said nice things about learning from him), due to the gunning, glowering, cussing and (recently) the lazy D. But I have never seen much evidence that playing with Bryant actually slows guys' careers down. Bynum, more talented than the guys above, may prove to be an exception, but I am skeptical.

As I posted last year, Bynum and Gasol's efficiency numbers went way down in the games Bryant missed last year, when their USGs went up in his absence. The Lakers did however go 5-2 without Bryant (schedule was pretty easy and the D improved without him).

The funny part of course is that the thing that has actually always held Bynum back is what is holding him back now: he can't stay on the floor because of his knees.
   307. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 17, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4326519)
At this point, Nash is basically Bilbo Baggins to the Lakers' troop of angry dwarves--the whole mission depends on him.


This is one of the best comments ever and I am jealous of it.
   308. andrewberg Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4326670)
Those Bynum comments are not much of a story. He spent more time talking about how Kobe helped him grow by drawing double teams and giving him room to operate. Then he said "I could see how it could definitely stunt growth," rather than actually saying that it did. Of course he wants the ball more; he's a young NBA center playing with a ball-dominant wing. The media is so used to writing stories about Kobe being a ballhog that it becomes a natural reaction done out of muscle memory. There are more interesting stories to write about his incredible offensive efficiency, his defense, and his role in the offense next to Nash. Why do we need more ballhog stories?
   309. rr Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4326707)
his role in the offense next to Nash.


Bryant talked about this himself a couple of weeks ago, saying "When Gatsby comes back (no idea why he calls Nash "Gatsby") I'll get more catch-and-gos, more catch-and-shoots" and he went on to say that it would make everything "easier for me."

In colloquial terms, Bryant likes scoring and shooting, and he thinks he will get to do just as much of that with Nash around, but with less work beforehand.

As to the story, you obviously know this, so don't take it as patronizing, but the motivation is likely more page hits than muscle memory. I brought it up because the anti-Kobe faction of the "blog intelligentsia" as Maxwn called them, has long asserted that Kobe drags teams and young players down. Bynum complained about touches last year, and Abbott devoted an entire post to it, openly asserting that the Lakers would win more if Bynum shot more and Kobe shot less.

Finally, in talking about Howard, Bynum said that one reason the Lakers are struggling is that they are not getting the ball inside enough--so some of it was pretty pointed in some ways.

Bynum also said that the Lakers traded "#1" (him) for "#2" (Howard). Probably just a joke, but I thought it was funny coming from a guy who hasn't played a game yet.
   310. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4326869)
First PER Diem A.H. (After Hollinger):
But look what happens to Lin's numbers in the 106 minutes he has played when Harden hits the bench: 19.7 points, 7.5 assists, 5.1 rebounds with an above-average 55.4 TS% and a 17.7 PER.

That's pretty darn good. If those numbers look familiar, there's a reason for it. Check out Lin's per-36 minute stat line in New York last season: 19.6 points, 8.3 assists and 4.1 rebounds. 55.2 TS% and a 19.9 PER
   311. andrewberg Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4326887)
Finally, in talking about Howard, Bynum said that one reason the Lakers are struggling is that they are not getting the ball inside enough--so some of it was pretty pointed in some ways.


Yeah, that part of the story was more interesting to me. It is a little odd to think that Howard should be getting more back-to-the-basket touches with as much crap as he's taken about that part of his game over the years. I guess he has improved somewhat, but with the way he has been shooting FTs this year (even with the mini bounce over the last few games), it is hard to blame the Lakers for keeping the ball out of his hands unless it is already on the way to the rim. Still, you have to think that Nash will at least hit him on PNRs more frequently than their current PGs- that is one of the big bonuses of getting him back, actually-, which isn't the same thing as throwing it to him on the block, but it is still going to require him to make decisions about passing out of double teams, etc. What have been Laker fans' observations of his passing skills so far? Does he have a feel for the spacing? Is he passing willingly? Those questions are probably more important at this point than whether he will ever develop a great ability to find the open man. To my eye, it seems like he has not had a lot of opportunities to demonstrate whether he will be able to effectively pass out when he draws the double team in his first experience outside of the SVG spread offense.
   312. Into the Void Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4326899)
"When Gatsby comes back (no idea why he calls Nash "Gatsby")


I believe it's because of this look that he has been sporting...though it does make me wonder if Kobe Bryant has actually sat down and read The Great Gatsby at some point.
   313. Maxwn Posted: December 17, 2012 at 11:26 PM (#4327381)
I can't decide if this Memphis-Chicago game I just watched set offensive basketball back 20 years or was a scintillating display of defensive prowess.
   314. thok Posted: December 17, 2012 at 11:40 PM (#4327391)
Bryant talked about this himself a couple of weeks ago, saying "When Gatsby comes back (no idea why he calls Nash "Gatsby") I'll get more catch-and-gos, more catch-and-shoots" and he went on to say that it would make everything "easier for me."

Of course, Bryant is already fairly efficient on offense. The Lakers already have a good offense as it stands (they're third in points per possession), and really need help on defense. (Granted, a healthy Howard would help that a lot, but they could use help elsewhere on defense.)

I mentioned after the Nash trade that the way I thought Nash would help the Lakers (if he did) is by letting Bryant exert more energy on defense. I still think that is true.
   315. rr Posted: December 18, 2012 at 01:31 AM (#4327438)
I mentioned after the Nash trade that the way I thought Nash would help the Lakers (if he did) is by letting Bryant exert more energy on defense.


That's part of what you said; I recall the opinions you expressed at the time.

As to this particular point, you may be right. Nash will help in a lot of ways, if he can actually play, and the Lakers need to be Top 3 in ORTG (they are 6th as of now as per Bask Ref) to have a chance to do anything. He will not help with tightening up the perimeter on-ball D, however, as many people have pointed out.
   316. Maxwn Posted: December 18, 2012 at 04:36 AM (#4327482)
Man, I wonder what it would take for the Grizzlies to get JJ Redick away from the Magic. Bucher mentioned them on twitter as one of the teams that has expressed interest. He seems like exactly the sort of player that they could get at the deadline that would make them better and fill in some holes. The only question is what it would cost.

I will say, after looking at the Magic roster, I am sort of amazed that a team whose best players so far have probably been Big Baby and JJ Redick is anywhere near .500.
   317. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 18, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4327626)
I know they ended up losing the game, but while watching the 1st Q of MIN-ORL last night the thing that came to mind for me was, "This team, MIN, is a contender." Not saying they will win a title, but they are going to make some noise before they got knocked out. Extremely excited to see what a healthy, rust-free Rubio-Shved-AK-Love-Pek lineup can do. The West playoffs looks to be amazing.
   318. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 18, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4327659)
I can't decide if this Memphis-Chicago game I just watched set offensive basketball back 20 years or was a scintillating display of defensive prowess.

The defense was good, but it was a lot of bad offense, IMO. For those that didn't watch, the Grizz scored 11 in the first quarter, but won the game with 80 points. The Bulls scored 71 total, 51 in Q2-4. From the Bulls' side, all of the "offensive" options had bad games at the same time.

Belinelli* and Robinson have both been great surprises (and great deals on veteran minimum deals**), but there's a reason both were available for the minimum.

*Gotta look at this splits to see his value. He was awful at the start of the year, but since Rip has been hurt and Marco has been starting, Marco has been a different player.

**Robinson was signed to replace JL3 and has easily outproduced him. But with Rose out, he's really replacing Watson's minutes and has outperformed him too (at least offensively). Korver is essentially the same player he's always been, but Marco's outperformed him (even though the 3pt shooting isn't as good and that's a problem for the Bulls this year). OTOH, Nazr Mohammed can't get off the bench (because he's old and because he sucks), and the Bulls are seriously missing Asik (they're also missing the Gibson from last year). So the great financial bench purge of 2012 has had mixed results so far.
   319. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 18, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4327720)
Extremely excited to see what a healthy, rust-free Rubio-Shved-AK-Love-Pek lineup can do.


Agreed, but let's not get crazy. Orlando is not that good, any team can look great for a quarter or two, and the Wolves lost the game. I see them (this year) as a mid tier team that should feel the year is a big success with advancing to round two.

Next year, if players progress a fair amount, them they might be contender material. Though I admit I do like your thoughts more than mine on the subject.
   320. andrewberg Posted: December 18, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4327767)
I know they ended up losing the game, but while watching the 1st Q of MIN-ORL last night the thing that came to mind for me was, "This team, MIN, is a contender." Not saying they will win a title, but they are going to make some noise before they got knocked out. Extremely excited to see what a healthy, rust-free Rubio-Shved-AK-Love-Pek lineup can do. The West playoffs looks to be amazing.


The second half of that game was brutal. Big Baby and Ayon just couldn't miss shots no matter where they took them. On top of that, defending SGs is a real adventure right now with JJ playing backup 2 while Budinger, Lee, Howard, and Roy all recover from injuries. Shved is better, but Redick and Afflalo were abusing both of them and easily creating offense for everyone out of the mismatches.
   321. rr Posted: December 18, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4327813)
Trendy fool that I am, I switched out the Bucks for the Wolves on my League Pass package this year, so I have seen BTF's Team play five times. W/o Rubio, the backcourt D is very weak, so I think his return will help on D as much as on O.

As to the quality of the team, my position hasn't changed--they are pretty good, and I think they will make the playoffs. They are certainly better than the Lakers as of 12/18/12. But I don't think they are a serious contender right now; they are fun and interesting, but that is not the same thing.

I do think, however, that it is about time to start thinking of the Clippers as a contender.
   322. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 18, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4327938)
I do think, however, that it is about time to start thinking of the Clippers as a contender.
After 10 in a row, you'd have to. They're the most athletic team in the league, and their 4 and 5 are beating other teams' guards down the floor on fast breaks. They're also the deepest team in the league, especially with Odom starting to show up for games.

Big game for LAL tonight against Charlotte. It's a "big game" because they absolutely, positively cannot afford to lose games to teams like the Bobcats. Also, Pau gets back tonight, so it'll be interesting to see how he gets eased back into the flow. If Nash returns by the Christmas game, then they'll have January to figure things out. After that, I think we can start making better judgements on their playoff chances.
   323. rr Posted: December 18, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4328024)
If Nash returns by the Christmas game, then they'll have January to figure things out.

Shelburne is now saying he is planning to try for Saturday against Golden State; OTOH, many others are saying Christmas (against New York).
   324. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 18, 2012 at 10:48 PM (#4328180)
Of course the Bulls would score 79 against the Celtics in the first 3 quarters on the 2nd half of a back to back after 71 total the night before.
   325. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: December 18, 2012 at 11:05 PM (#4328189)
Jazz beat the Nets in Brooklyn by 2, despite throwing the ball away on two in-bound passes within the last 32 seconds. It was exciting I guess, but really neither team deserved to win that one.
   326. Booey Posted: December 18, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4328220)
Jazz beat the Nets in Brooklyn by 2, despite throwing the ball away on two in-bound passes within the last 32 seconds. It was exciting I guess, but really neither team deserved to win that one.


Agreed, but I'll take road wins any way we can get them right now.

DWill now 0-3 against the Jazz.
   327. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 19, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4328480)
Bulls ending up routing the Celtics, although the final score was a little closer than that because of an extended garbage time. Doc Rivers pulled his starters with 6 mins left and the Bulls up 20. One minute later, Thibs put Noah back into the game (he already had his triple double) and left him and Deng in until a hair over 2 mins left. Noah finished with 37 MP, which ended his streak of games with 40+ minutes at 7 (in 13 days). Deng finished with only 38 minutes, setting a season long streak of 2 games in a row with under 40 minutes played (he played 39 in Memphis the day before yesterday). For the season, Deng still leads the NBA at 41MPG and Noah is the only other player above 40, at 40.2. Big picture, those extra 3 minutes for both guys yesterday after Doc conceded probably meant absolutely nothing. However, I'm sure it adds up and is likely to hurt the Bulls at the worst possible moment.

Rubio came back from his ACL tear 9 months after the injury. Rose is at 7 months right now. In my mind, I've always figured the All Star break would be a possible return time. So, the question now is, who plays first this season - Rose, Bynum or Eric Gordon?

EDIT: Taj Gibson rolled his ankle last night. Luckily the Bulls are off until Saturday otherwise Noah and Deng would probably have to play 54 minutes each in their next game.
   328. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: December 19, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4328509)
Joakim has also said that he's going to retire his "six shooter" celebration, as a result of Newtown.
   329. OCF Posted: December 19, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4328519)
Big game for LAL tonight against Charlotte. It's a "big game" because they absolutely, positively cannot afford to lose games to teams like the Bobcats.

The Bobcats, down by one point, got off three shots in the last 10 seconds and missed them all. I couldn't find the post but not too long ago on this thread, one of you guys made a post that went something like. "Lakers won. Felt like a loss." I figure you can just repeat that.
   330. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 19, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4328642)
Lakers won. Felt like a loss.
   331. Jimmy P Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4328748)
Isiah Thomas has been hired as a studio analyst for NBA TV. He starts on Friday
   332. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4328772)
K.C Johnson ?@KCJHoop
Asked Boozer if Bulls are overlooked: "Of course we are. But that’s OK. We don’t care about that, bro. Fully healthy, we can kick butt."


I feel like this isn't the first time Boozer has randomly dropped a bro on us.
   333. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 19, 2012 at 09:52 PM (#4329061)
The Nets are terribly unimpressive.
   334. steagles Posted: December 19, 2012 at 11:30 PM (#4329097)
the sixers are not a good team.
i am going to amend my previous statement.

the sixers are a very, very bad team.
   335. Srul Itza Posted: December 19, 2012 at 11:40 PM (#4329101)
The Nets are terribly unimpressive.


Okay. But can somebody explain to me how the Knicks are 19-6 and leading the Eastern Conference. Is it some strange quirk in the schedule?
   336. steagles Posted: December 19, 2012 at 11:53 PM (#4329104)
Okay. But can somebody explain to me how the Knicks are 19-6 and leading the Eastern Conference. Is it some strange quirk in the schedule?
top 5 teams in made 3Ps:
NYK: 286
LAL: 239
SAS: 233
HOU: 231
CLE: 208

top 5 teams in turnovers:
KYK: 260
MIA: 305
PHI: 312
MIL: 322
ATL: 325


   337. Maxwn Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:29 AM (#4329154)
There's also the fact that Melo has played much closer to his rep than normal so far this season.
   338. Manny Coon Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:04 AM (#4329166)
Okay. But can somebody explain to me how the Knicks are 19-6 and leading the Eastern Conference. Is it some strange quirk in the schedule?


Melo is having by far his most efficient scoring season of his career so far. He's also been playing most of his minutes at PF, which may having something to do with that and while he's a subpar defender and rebounder at that position Tyson Chandler is having a great year to help make up for it. Jason Kidd is also off to a really hot start, he's having the best shooting season of his career by a very wide margin.

Their strength of schedule is kind of weak, but not in any remarkable way, its about the same as the Thunder, Hawks or Celtics. They've beat the Heat twice and have a win in San Antonio. They aren't as good as the Thunder, Spurs, Heat or Clippers but they are a good team.
   339. tfbg9 Posted: December 20, 2012 at 06:47 AM (#4329193)
The Knicks are 37-12 since Woody got the helm. That's .755 ball for over half a seasons's worth of games.
   340. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4329261)
Melo is not (I think) going to continue shooting 45% from 3 all year, however, I was wondering what people think he will regress to? While his career mark is now 33%, since becoming a Knick he's shot the 3 at a 39% success rate and I'm curious about what you all think a reasonable expectation would/should be.
   341. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4329270)
Melo is not (I think) going to continue shooting 45% from 3 all year, however, I was wondering what people think he will regress to? While his career mark is now 33%, since becoming a Knick he's shot the 3 at a 39% success rate and I'm curious about what you all think a reasonable expectation would/should be.


35-37%, maybe? I suppose it's possible he's really improved and/or it's something the Knicks are doing; I have only seen them a couple of times this year. Still, history tells us to go with regression on these things, and you'll be right more often than not.

Yeah, STEAGLES has it right. The Knicks take a ton of threes, have been shooting them at >40%, and don't turn the ball over. I don't think those things are sustainable to the degree they've been doing them, but it's also clear they are better than the 45 win team many of us pegged them as.
   342. Conor Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4329330)
35-37%, maybe? I suppose it's possible he's really improved and/or it's something the Knicks are doing; I have only seen them a couple of times this year. Still, history tells us to go with regression on these things, and you'll be right more often than not.


Yeah. I'm a Knicks fan so I want to be a little more optimistic, so maybe I'll end up closer to the 37% range. It certainly seems like he's getting better looks (more spot up 3's as opposed to iso 3's, etc) but that is also probably something you say when he is making more of them.

Yeah, STEAGLES has it right. The Knicks take a ton of threes, have been shooting them at >40%, and don't turn the ball over. I don't think those things are sustainable to the degree they've been doing them, but it's also clear they are better than the 45 win team many of us pegged them as.


I think this is right. The Knicks TO rate is absurdly low; it's 10.4% right now. Last year only one team was lower than 12.7%. The year before no one was below 12%, etc. I think the Knicks can be expected to be one of the lower TO teams in the league, but this low is probably unlikely. They have only one guy with an individual TO rate higher than 12.5%; Prigioni. They have a lot of low TO guys, though Felton's TO number seems to scream out fluke.

I think right now you';d have to give the Knicks the best shot of anyone in the east of beating Miami in a 7 game series. Though if you're a Boston fan I could see thinking that they could get it going in the playoffs. But the Knicks are the only team that has a chance to have home court in that series.
   343. andrewberg Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4329440)
The Knicks are playing right now a lot like the Mavs played when they won the title. The big picture guys are Melo in the Dirk role (maybe not as efficient, but the stretch four with decent iso offense comp is there) and Tyson Chandler reprising his role as Tyson Chandler.

The rest of the lineup has some overlap. JR ~ Terry as a relentless gunner and spark off the bench. Brewer ~ Stevenson as a defense oriented wing who can shoot enough to keep defenses honest. Felton, Kidd, and Prigioni are in the Kidd, Carter, Barea mold as floor spacing guards who take care of the ball. They walk the same tightrope of using more offensively talented guards who play just enough defense that Chandler can cover for them and they are not awful. If he was healthy, Shumpert would be most like Marion.

In the experiment, as in real life, the question is how Amare changes the offensive spacing/roles and whether he upsets that defensive equilibrium.
   344. smileyy Posted: December 20, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4329478)
Does Amare even bring anything to the table at this point?
   345. Quaker Posted: December 20, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4329491)
carter was not on the mavs team that won a title.
   346. Conor Posted: December 20, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4329493)
There are times the Knicks put a lot of low usage guys on the court which results in JR taking a lot of long two pointers. Prigioni and Amare might be able to develop some nice pick and roll stuff, and Felton and Amare were doing some good things before the trade in 2011.

It depends on what kind of Amare comes back; he was bad to start the season but had a nice run in March-April until he got hurt again. As a guy off the bench I think he can help.
   347. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 20, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4329526)

I think right now you'd have to give the Knicks the best shot of anyone in the east of beating Miami in a 7 game series. Though if you're a Boston fan I could see thinking that they could get it going in the playoffs. But the Knicks are the only team that has a chance to have home court in that series.


As of today, maybe, sure. That said, it's really too early to make a call on that sort of thing with any kind of certainty for when that series will actually take place - it's not even Christmas yet. There's a lot of time left for teams to put it together in one way or another, or have things start to go bad (examples: how do the Knicks respond when (inevitably) they lose 5 out of 6 or something? How healthy are Pierce and Garnett in April? What does Rose look like when he comes back? etc...) - to say nothing of trades/injuries/etc. It's just too soon to make any definitive statements. The team with the best chance to beat the Heat could be Boston, NY, Chicago, or Atlanta at this point. Heck, I wouldn't even totally count out Indiana if Granger somehow manages to come back healthy. All we can say for now is the Knicks are in the mix.

And while they may have a better chance than the other putative EC contenders (outside of the Heat), I don't think we've seen nearly enough basketball yet to say that the Knicks are realistic contenders for the #1 seed. If they have a 2-4 game lead in February, well, wake me up then.

It depends on what kind of Amare comes back; he was bad to start the season but had a nice run in March-April until he got hurt again. As a guy off the bench I think he can help.


Yeah, I agree with Conor. If you minimize the amount of time he and Carmelo spend on the floor, he could be a highly useful "instant offense" and different look in the pick and roll off the bench. The days of Amare as all-star producer are almost certainly gone, though, right? If it were up to me Amare would only play maybe 20-25 minutes per game - in reality, I'm not sure that's realistic.

   348. steagles Posted: December 20, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4329563)
in case noone noticed (and really, who could blame you), dorell wright was the sixers' PG for most of the 2nd half last night. jrue holiday has missed the last few games because of a sprained foot, and evan turner had to leave the floor last night because of a tweaked ankle in the 2nd quarter, and that meant that the sixers did not really have a single ball-handler left to put on the floor, and that left dorell wright as the last, best option.


funnily enough, he wasn't terrible. in fact, over the 4 games where he's gotten steady minutes due to jrue holiday's injury, he's put up 9 points and 9 rebounds (L-pacers), 6 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists and 0 turnovers (L-lakers), 25 points, 5 rebounds (L-dallas), and now 20 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and 0 turnovers last night (L-houston). the sixers have lost those 4 games by a combined 52 points, but hey, you gotta look at the bright side.
   349. smileyy Posted: December 20, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4329576)
If STEAGLES were a Wizards fan, would he be extolling the virtues of Jordan Crawford, misunderstood superstar?
   350. Conor Posted: December 20, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4329580)
Well Joe, you want to rain on my parade? Come on man! Let us Knicks fans have this!

I don't expect the Knicks to finish as the one seed, but they are already 3 games ahead of Atlanta. The Hollinger playoff odds (are we still allowed to call them that?) give New York or Miami an 85% chance of winning the #1 seed. Now it gives NY 54% chance and Miami 29%; I don't buy that and I'd reverse it, if not more, but if Miami doesn't get the top seed then I think the Knicks are pretty clearly the team with the best chance at it.

Definitely thought about the Celtics or the Bulls. Obviously there is folly in trying to project something that's going to happen only after 5 months and 57 more games have been played. But from where I'm sitting, the Knicks have played really good ball so far and they are the only team that really has much of a chance of finishing ahead of Miami and getting home court (I am not predicting this to happen; I would bet on Miami to finish as the top seed, but just saying). But of course a lot can happen; and I'm sure I just set them up to lose 5 out of 6.

It's pretty amazing that they are 37-12 since Woodson took over, with a +7.5 scoring margin.

Yeah, I agree with Conor. If you minimize the amount of time he and Carmelo spend on the floor, he could be a highly useful "instant offense" and different look in the pick and roll off the bench. The days of Amare as all-star producer are almost certainly gone, though, right? If it were up to me Amare would only play maybe 20-25 minutes per game - in reality, I'm not sure that's realistic.


It'll depend on the game flow and stuff, I'm sure, but it has to be painfully obvious the best Knick lineups don't have Melo, Chandler, and Amare all playing together. The Knicks do seem to have, when they get Shump and Amare back, a ton of guys who can be a part of an NBA rotation. But yes, I would hope they cap him around 20-25 minutes in general. Lineups with he and Wallace might work because Sheed can hang out around the 3 point line and keep the floor spaced and allow Amare some room to pick and roll.

But this start has been the best thing possible; it was obvious coming into the season Melo thrived at the 4, but Amare still has that superstar sheen to him, so the Knicks really did need to start as well as they did to ensure he wasn't going to be thrust into the lineup upon return.
   351. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: December 20, 2012 at 05:33 PM (#4329589)
I noticed, steagles...
   352. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 20, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4329591)
How crazy is it that the Nuggets have only had 8 home games and 18 road games already (they have the fewest and most of each, respectively)? I noticed this when looking at the Knicks H/A splits (11-1 / 8-5).

I said it before, but personally I'm still not ready to readjust my expectations of the Knicks yet. Too much screams unsustainable to me (Melo's efficiency, Kidd and Felton, even Sheed). If we get to the All Star break, and their scoring differential is still this high and they're leading the conference, I'll have to face reality.

But from where I'm sitting, the Knicks have played really good ball so far and they are the only team that really has much of a chance of finishing ahead of Miami and getting home court

I'm a broken record on this (going back 2 seasons now), but Bulls are only back 4.5. Thibs just cares about the regular season way more than anyone else. They're going to make a charge up the standings, count on it.
   353. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4329601)
I think calling the Knicks a 45 win team coming into the season was right around the consensus. That's a .549 W%. If they played at a .549 clip for the remainder of the year that puts them at 50-32 for the year. Pre-season, I think the consensus was that the 2 seed in the East would be about 50 wins so I think it's safe to say the Knicks have assured themselves of that much...probably.

How crazy is it that the Nuggets have only had 8 home games and 18 road games already (they have the fewest and most of each, respectively)? I noticed this when looking at the Knicks H/A splits (11-1 / 8-5).

I think they can overtake MEM. The MEM-DEN 1st round matchup is going to be great. Really enjoyed both games they played so far this year.

Thibs just cares about the regular season way more than anyone else.

Best part of the '99 Knicks photo that they showed on the broadcast last night was seeing JVG and Thibs standing next to each other. Two of my favorite coaches back when they had more hair.
   354. Conor Posted: December 20, 2012 at 05:58 PM (#4329614)
I'm a broken record on this (going back 2 seasons now), but Bulls are only back 4.5. Thibs just cares about the regular season way more than anyone else. They're going to make a charge up the standings, count on it.


I gotta say, I was looking at the standings as I was doing that post; I was very surprised to see the Bulls just 4.5 games out. I would've guessed they were a few games worse than they were. And they play the Knicks tomorrow night so it could be down to 3.5 games.

I'm probably just being a fanboy, but I think the Knicks expectations should be re calibrated upwards, at least a little. I think before the year I said about 48 wins, and pretty much anywhere from second to seventh or eighth. The team from last year had a pretty different roster from the team from this year, but they're 37-12 since they changed coaches. That's 62 win pace. I'm in no way projecting 62 wins, but I'd take the over on 50 for sure. And maybe 55 as well. They'd have to play at a 52 win pace from here on out to get to 55 wins.

How crazy is it that the Nuggets have only had 8 home games and 18 road games already (they have the fewest and most of each, respectively)? I noticed this when looking at the Knicks H/A splits (11-1 / 8-5).


That's been a topic on one of the Knick boards that I lurk on and NJ posts on. There are some people who are anti Nugget (though I think it's more they are pro Melo and also anti the advanced stats that loved the Nuggets so much before the season) and then some people on the other side, who are kinda slaves to the WP stuff that says Faried is one of the best players in the league or whatever. So the anti Nugget people were kinda reveling in their slow start, but they're 14-12 and have played 10 more road games than home games. If they had played 13 home games and 13 road games and maintained the same winning percentage, they'd be 16-10. Not first in the West (which I thought was kinda crazy) but pretty good.

Edit: Felton has been shooting the ball terribly lately, and for the entire season he has a 47% TSP. He's massively cut his TO rate so that has offset it a little, but I wouldn't say his overall level of play is all that unsustainable right now.
   355. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 20, 2012 at 07:01 PM (#4329645)
Joe Lacob interview pt 3


Interesting interview with regarding the Giants possibly causing problems with the Warriors building a new arena.
   356. steagles Posted: December 20, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4329655)
If STEAGLES were a Wizards fan, would he be extolling the virtues of Jordan Crawford, misunderstood superstar?
i don't think even i could be optimistic about that ###########.

   357. Jimmy P Posted: December 20, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4329661)
Josh Howard tore his ACL. He's done for the year and getting released.
   358. smileyy Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:49 PM (#4329701)
Hey, that's Xavier Legend ###########ing Jordan Crawford you're talking about there! But c'mon, if he were traded to the Sixers, you'd be talking up his 16 PER. And I'd be just as amused.
   359. steagles Posted: December 20, 2012 at 09:21 PM (#4329720)
Hey, that's Xavier Legend ###########ing Jordan Crawford you're talking about there! But c'mon, if he were traded to the Sixers, you'd be talking up his 16 PER. And I'd be just as amused.
oh, for the record, the curse in post 356 was ###########, not ############. i was referring to the wizards as a team, not singling out crawford in particular. so, there's that.
   360. andrewberg Posted: December 20, 2012 at 09:45 PM (#4329738)
In addition to the josh Howard injury, Malcolm Lee out for the year. Wolves writer floated Redd or CDR.
   361. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 20, 2012 at 09:50 PM (#4329743)
Is Michael Redd ready to go? That knee going to hold up? He seemed to be okay for Phoenix last year. Can't play D at all, though.
   362. andrewberg Posted: December 20, 2012 at 09:55 PM (#4329748)
Rubio-Shved-AK-Love-Pek is the first really good five man unit the Wolves have had since KG left.
   363. andrewberg Posted: December 20, 2012 at 09:56 PM (#4329749)
That knee going to hold up?


I got this one- No.
   364. andrewberg Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:30 PM (#4329781)
The Wolves *might* have just snapped Okc's 12 game winning streak with Barea drawing an offensive foul on a Durant iso. Flop fine forthcoming, but worth it.
   365. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 21, 2012 at 01:30 AM (#4329875)
So, Andrew, now that this game's happened, how do you feel about the Wolves' future? Pek's scary strong, Love's Love, and Rubio and Schved really seem to have something going on together.
   366. andrewberg Posted: December 21, 2012 at 02:15 AM (#4329886)
About the same. Still think they're going to need some luck to win a playoff series. Really fun win, though. The wolves have played OKC tough for awhile.
   367. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4330148)
LeBron hasn't been called for a foul in over 200 straight minutes? How?
   368. Fourth True Outcome Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4330188)
LeBron hasn't been called for a foul in over 200 straight minutes? How?


LeBron has always had a really low foul rate (and not just because of star non-calls). He's really good at not getting caught out where he has to or making mistakes. It's pretty fluky that he hasn't been flopped on or made a mistake in quite that long, but if you were to tell me an NBA player hadn't fouled in that long, LeBron would be one of my first guesses.
   369. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 21, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4330207)
Well Joe, you want to rain on my parade? Come on man! Let us Knicks fans have this!


Heh, sorry. Not picking on the Knicks, per se. I just tend to be very conservative with recalibrating when it comes to teams performing way above or below their expectations. Probably the statistician in me.

In 2010-11, six teams started with a .700 WPct or better before Xmas. Those teams declined by an average of .104 in their final WPct. If the Knicks go 2-1 through X-Mas (reasonable), they'll be at .750 - apply that level of regression (for what it's worth) and they're at .646, or 53 wins. If you do a quick and dirty Bayesian-style thing, you get about 54 wins*. Low 50s seems about right as a guess given their start and their previous expectation, and 53-54 is better than even odds to get the second seed, IMO.

Hollinger's odds are useless this time of year.

*Assuming your initial ("prior") expectation was 46 wins
   370. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 21, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4330236)
If the Knicks, or any EC team, wins 53 games they are a lock for the 2 seed at worst.
   371. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 21, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4330256)
If the Knicks, or any EC team, wins 53 games they are a lock for the 2 seed at worst.


Miami will win 55 plus. I'm not ready to count a Thibs team out, the way he has them play, though I wouldn't get on it. Atlanta is playing well. But, I agree, it is likely good for the 2 seed.

But - that's just math. Unexpected things can and do happen (like the Knicks starting 19-6). 25 good games does not a contender make. If I was a Knicks fan, i'd just enjoy the ride and not worry about any of that other stuff until March.
   372. andrewberg Posted: December 21, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4330277)
Through 25 games last year, the Sixers were 18-7, finished 35-31. I do not think the Knicks are in for that kind of skid, but a lot can change.
   373. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 21, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4330328)
Denver went 0 for 22 on 3's last night? Sheesh.

Through 25 games last year, the Sixers were 18-7, finished 35-31. I do not think the Knicks are in for that kind of skid, but a lot can change.

I didn't want to say anything, but STEAGLES' post 336 did make me think of the Sixers from last year...
   374. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: December 21, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4330339)
through three quarters, they hadn't made a shot outside of 7 feet!
   375. puck Posted: December 21, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4330345)
Denver went 0 for 22 on 3's last night? Sheesh.

through three quarters, they hadn't made a shot outside of 7 feet!

Supposedly 1-32 outside the lane.

Looks like a Ty Lawson 20-footer was the one. Edit: holy cow, and that 20 footer was with 0:38 left in the game.
   376. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 21, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4330352)
Yeah, that was brutal to watch/experience.
   377. Maxwn Posted: December 21, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4330390)
I don't know, in some ways it is kind of impressive to get outscored by 42 at the 3-pt line and still only lose by 8.

Of course, you could turn that around and say that it is more impressive to get outscored by 46 in the paint and still win by 8 as Portland did.
   378. Jimmy P Posted: December 21, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4330406)
Of course, you could turn that around and say that it is more impressive to get outscored by 46 in the paint and still win by 8 as Portland did.


No Aldridge. When JJ Hickson is your primary inside threat, this is going to happen
   379. Jimmy P Posted: December 21, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4330440)
Amir Johnson got the Raptors logo shaved into his hair
   380. andrewberg Posted: December 21, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4330508)
Has anyone kept tabs on Mickeal Gelabale (Jellybelly?) since he left the NBA for Europe? He is still only 29 and supposedly interested in signing with the Wolves. We could use an athletic swingman, but I just don't know what his game looks like now.

Ok, I'll be honest, this is a question directed at Der K alone.
   381. Conor Posted: December 21, 2012 at 10:13 PM (#4330683)
Knicks making me look very bad tonight.

Bulls are giving them fits tonight.
   382. steagles Posted: December 21, 2012 at 10:26 PM (#4330684)
the sixers beat the hawks by 19 tonight, snapping a 5 game losing streak, and they still walked off the court to a chorus of boos. why?

because everyone with a ticket gets a free big mac if the sixers score 100 points, and with 20 seconds left in the game, doug collins had evan turner dribble out the clock whilst having only 99.
   383. Spivey Posted: December 21, 2012 at 10:34 PM (#4330687)
The Knicks are good but people by and large can't change the quality of shooter they are, and the Knicks are shooting at an unsustainable rate.
   384. Spivey Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:36 PM (#4330715)
Larry Sanders was a beast tonight. I love him.
   385. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:54 PM (#4330724)
the sixers beat the hawks by 19 tonight, snapping a 5 game losing streak, and they still walked off the court to a chorus of boos. why?
Because those miserable bastards will boo anything.
   386. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 22, 2012 at 12:11 AM (#4330729)
All the talk about Larry Sanders is the exact duplicate of the talk about Anthony Randolph three years ago, complete with generic name. What happened to him? Does he not have the ability to jump anymore?

Upon further inspection Larry Sanders is actually older than Anthony Randolph. Some team needs to put these guys together.
   387. baudib Posted: December 22, 2012 at 12:29 AM (#4330740)
Knicks can play some defense sans MDA.

As for their shooting, no, they can't sustain the 3-point numbers but Melo has 2 legit point guards on the floor with him, and the perfect complementary center in Chandler. Chandler is probably criminally underrated by everyone. They're a legit 50-55 win team, I think.

   388. smileyy Posted: December 22, 2012 at 02:45 AM (#4330797)
So, Xavier does a decent job of getting guys to the NBA. But it seems like over the past two years, they've had someone who has an arugment for being best player on the worst team in the NBA: Derrick Brown on the Bobcats last year, and Jordan Crawford on the Wizards this year.

I realize they're not the best players, but they've been "high" PER and high USG guys on those teams.
   389. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 22, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4330873)
Knicks making me look very bad tonight.

And making me look good... It was an entertaining game, all the way through. The officiating got into everyones heads it seemed, but it seemed to bug the Knicks players more. Some really random calls. It felt like old times last night, all the way down to the Bulls winning. It would be a helluva playoff series.

because everyone with a ticket gets a free big mac if the sixers score 100 points, and with 20 seconds left in the game, doug collins had evan turner dribble out the clock whilst having only 99.

This happens at least once a season at the United Center. It's embarrassing.

Jordan Crawford

“I can pass easily, but I'm such a dominant scorer that people think I can’t pass,” he said. “They got to start watching the game.”
   390. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 22, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4330876)
Bulls/Hawks tonight. First time they've played. Bulls might be down 2 more players though - Deng and Gibson. Deng hurt his shoulder during last night's game, but came back in because Thibs enjoys watching people suffer* (he actually looked ok, but didn't sound as good once the game ended). Gibson's ankle was still gimpy and he only played a couple of minutes (and could clearly not run or jump at all).

*Deng 42min, Noah 41min (would have been higher save the ejection). The Bulls were up by 25 at one point in the 3rd, and Smith fouled out just a minute or so before Melo got ejected (early in 4th). It turns out the Bulls may have needed them to keep the game as a win or it's possible they're so ####### drained it's their fault the game got closer. Boozer played like 20 seconds in the 4th quarter.
   391. Into the Void Posted: December 22, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4331003)
Not quite two months into the season and DeMarcus Cousins has been suspended for the third time.
   392. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 22, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4331046)
Knicks can play some defense sans MDA.

They were a top ten D with MDA last year and are now middle of the pack.
   393. Spivey Posted: December 22, 2012 at 07:55 PM (#4331086)
Larry Sanders is getting you 11.5 points, 12 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 4.4 blocks per 36. He's also scoring at a 56 TS%. Randolph really only had one year that looks maybe like this - interestingly enough, his rookie age 19 year. But he never had anything approaching 4 blocks per 36. Sanders is a true big. Randolph is a finesse player that happens to be tall, and frankly doesn't really have a position.
   394. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 22, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4331131)
Javale McGee is among the top 10 in PER, yet Karl is giving him less than 20 minutes a game.
   395. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 22, 2012 at 10:15 PM (#4331182)
Nash plays tonight! Dum, dum DUUUUUUUM!!
   396. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 22, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4331196)
Harden's going off again.

Haven't seen this mentioned, but he leads the league in free throws made per game (8.6 to Durant's 8.3 and Kobe's 7.6).
   397. steagles Posted: December 22, 2012 at 11:29 PM (#4331214)
Haven't seen this mentioned, but he leads the league in free throws made per game (8.6 to Durant's 8.3 and Kobe's 7.6).
interestingly enough, those three have gone a combined 40/44 from the FT line against the sixers. combined, they average 35 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists against the sixers and kevin durant also ripped 4 steals and 3 blocks in his game.


in related news, i may have slightly overshot reality on my assertion that the sixers defense was not appreciably worse this year, without iguodala, than it was last year, with him.
   398. steagles Posted: December 23, 2012 at 12:18 AM (#4331249)
derek fisher is going to be a very successful politician, isn't he? he talked his way into getting released by the jazz so he could sign with the lakers. then he talked his way into getting released by the rockets so he could sign with the thunder.

so now that he's been released by the mavericks, i have to think he's either headed to the united states senate, or to the miami heat.
   399. Into the Void Posted: December 23, 2012 at 12:28 AM (#4331254)
Jarrett Jack absolutely owning Steve Nash right now.
   400. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 23, 2012 at 12:40 AM (#4331260)
Yeah. The moment D12 left the game because of foul trouble, the roof caved in on the Laker defense.
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