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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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   501. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 31, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4335261)
Flip
   502. steagles Posted: December 31, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4335657)
eurogoon just put up 20 and 29 against miami. now, granted, it took him 46 minutes to do...and miami is not exactly loaded in the frontcourt...but still, i'd say that's pretty impressive.
   503. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 01, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4335934)
Bobcats - and not a healthy Bobcats team (MKG and Mullens were out) - ended their 18 game losing streak in Chicago yesterday. In the last 4 games, the Bulls have been pasted by the Hawks and Rockets, barely beat the Wizards, and now this. It is officially the worst they've played since the early VDN days.
   504. rr Posted: January 01, 2013 at 04:16 PM (#4336072)
I have been arguing with a Laker fan buddy of mine on email about the team's issues. He is way, way, down on Pringles; I have not been that impressed by MDA, but I think the team's issues are much more roster/personnel based.

I thought of this reading Moses' post. There is no question that coaching and fit matter a lot in the NBA, but I am still in many respects a "it mostly comes back to the talent" guy, and the fact that Del Negro is coaching a team that has won 17 in a row while a Thibodeau team struggles (Doc Rivers' team is struggling, too) reminds me of why I feel that way. So did the fact that Mike Brown lost in the same round of the playoffs in 2012 that Phil lost in in 2011. It is obviously more complex than that; the coach and the talent have to fit as well and the coach makes meaningful decisions about the talent. It might be, for example, that Charlotte would be even worse than they are with VDN and VDN just works on a team a with Paul, Griffin et al. And maybe VDN has grown as a coach. But the Clippers have Paul, Griffin, and a great bench. That is pretty much what it is, I think. Guys coaching in the NBA may do certain things that we really, realy think are dumb, but they are mostly not "idiots" who ruin everything as angry fans (not thinking of people here) sometimes say they are.

   505. PJ Martinez Posted: January 02, 2013 at 01:52 AM (#4336643)
These missed free throws by Philly are brutal.
   506. RollingWave Posted: January 02, 2013 at 02:41 AM (#4336656)
I never understand how professional players can't hit at least 60% of their free throw.

   507. baudib Posted: January 02, 2013 at 02:41 AM (#4336657)
We're becoming a more sophisticated society, in terms of objective analysis. There are still many factors ("old boys network," for instance) but it is inevitable that, when it comes to highly paid jobs that are intrinsically tied to an organization's success, such as NBA coach, the demands of the market will shift better and better candidates into those jobs, and you'll see less patience for tried and true losers, or even tried and true winners who are problematic.

Anyway, that's a long-winded way of me saying that it seems natural that the coaching ranks will become more competitive over time.

I think, robin, you might be overstating things slightly. Phil Jackson, to name one guy, may have had Jordan, Pippen, Kobe, Shaq, Pau Gasol, etc., at exactly the right times in their career. There were other coaches who had those guys who didn't win any championships. Dennis Rodman comes to mind as a guy who won a couple titles for a great coach, kicked around the league a while and played on some talented teams but didn't win and was a huge problem child, then went to play for another great coach and helped them become one of the greatest teams of all time. That's not coincidence.

There are also several examples of legitimately great players who were on terrible teams. The Kareem Lakers, pre Magic, were pretty mediocre. Wilt played on some bad teams. The Dwyane Wade-Pat Riley combo famously won a title together and also finished in the lottery together.
   508. baudib Posted: January 02, 2013 at 02:48 AM (#4336661)
BTW i submitted a new thread but it hasn't shown up yet.

Kobe -- I used to be a pretty big hater.

The future can actually change the past: I used to argue that Pau Gasol was as valuable/more valuable than Kobe in those title years, and that Pau should have been the MVP over Kobe when they beat the Celtics. I think the evidence did (and obviously still does) point to that, but it seems so bizarre and wrong to make that argument anymore. Similarly, I used to argue that Kobe is not even among the top 2 Lakers guards. His durability and longevity are such that it becomes impossible to argue West over Kobe anymore, IMO. It's more than just a peak/career thing, too -- the magnitude of what Kobe is doing just makes it seem like he must be an innately greater player.

Utterly remarkable win for the Sixers, and some befuddling late-game moments. This thread started with Steagles making an off-the-cuff remark about Holiday being MVP. He's not, obviously, and no one took it seriously, but he could be the most underrated player in the league right now.

   509. rr Posted: January 02, 2013 at 03:26 AM (#4336667)
I think, robin, you might be overstating things slightly


Perhaps. But OTOH, Phil lost in the 2nd round w.o Jordan and was 34-31 w.o Jordan and Grant the next year. He did great work with those teams, but w.o Jordan they could only go so far. He had decent teams, but nothing more than that, in 2006 and 2007, when the Lakers team was basically Kobe and Odom. The pre-Magic Lakers rosters around Kareem were pretty weak.

I said in the post that coaching and fit are obviously important. But talent 1-9 ultimately matters more, IMO, in terms of contending for a title. Put it this way: I would certainly rather have an elite roster and an OK coach than the reverse. I don't think many people believe that Scott Brooks and Erik Spoelstra are geniuses.

As to the 2013 Lakers, they are 15-16 and the next five games are:

"at" LAC
DEN
at SA
at HOU
OKC

Tonight's loss was huge; if they go, say 1-4, over the next five, which is certainly quite possible, it is hard to say what will happen after that.

   510. rr Posted: January 02, 2013 at 04:45 AM (#4336670)
"'Cause we're old as s---," said the 34-year-old Bryant when asked why a lack of energy has been a problem for L.A. all season. "What do you want? We just got to figure out how to play when we don't have that energy. We got to change things up a little bit defensively. We got to figure out what we want to do offensively, figure out what we want to do on nights when we don't have those legs or have that energy."

The Sixers beat the Lakers on Tuesday primarily with the contributions of 22-year-old Jrue Holiday (26 points, 10 rebounds) and 24-year-old Evan Turner (22 points, 13 rebounds).

"You just saw an old damn team," Bryant continued. "I don't know how else to put it to you. We're just slow."
   511. PJ Martinez Posted: January 02, 2013 at 09:22 AM (#4336706)
That is a serious 5-game run for LA. Will be interesting to see what happens.

If you told me that the C's and Lakers would have nearly identical records about 30 games in, I would have assumed the Celtics had gotten off to a better than expected start. Records aside, though, the Celtics have been handily outscored on the season (unlike the Lakers) and may not have the talent to get out of the first round of the playoffs (perhaps unlike the Lakers, though being in the West makes that a taller order for them).

Curious what Ainge will do if the Celtics have a losing record on January 15, which seems fairly likely.
   512. JC in DC Posted: January 02, 2013 at 09:59 AM (#4336730)
I agree with Robin on the talent issue. I recall John Thompson saying, over and over, that everybody thought he was a great coach when he had Patrick and Mourning and Mutombo, and everybody thought he couldn't coach when he didn't have them. He was the same coach throughout: a coach, like all coaches, at the mercy of his talent.
   513. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: January 02, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4336817)
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