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Friday, October 05, 2018

OT - NBA Thread (2018-19 season kickoff edition)

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, none of whom knew the old thread would get closed, thus detracting from what this site is really about: the baseball playoffs, maybe?

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 05, 2018 at 03:43 PM | 6856 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   1101. tshipman Posted: October 25, 2018 at 10:46 PM (#5775508)
I'll once again make my pitch that if you're looking for a team with a different and better approach to 3p defense, you're looking at the wrong team in the Atlantic Division.

The Heat have led the league the last two years in the fewest wide open 3s and were second in 2016.
   1102. NJ in NY (Now with Big Girl!) Posted: October 25, 2018 at 10:46 PM (#5775509)
I hate watching Russell Westbrook play basketball. I only want to consume him in highlight form.
   1103. jmurph Posted: October 25, 2018 at 11:00 PM (#5775512)
I hate watching Russell Westbrook play basketball.

He makes the worst decisions of any great player in any sport I've ever spent any time watching. His approach to the final 3-4 minutes was just abysmal.

(But also that spinning left handed bullet to Adams under the rim was amazing.)
   1104. spivey Posted: October 25, 2018 at 11:03 PM (#5775513)
When looking at the Bucks, the improvement largely hasn't come at the offensive end. It's come on defense. The Bucks went from 29th in Defensive Rebounding to 2nd. That's pretty much the entire difference in the team. Der-K mentioned BroLo, but he's mostly replacing Henson (who was already a good rebounder). The big difference has come with replacing Tony Snell in the starting lineup with Brogdon. Brogdon has been a huge positive influence on rebounding (by on/off).

Well, a few things:

- Although they've not improved much in where they "rank" in O-Rating among teams (9th last year, 8th this year), they're up 4 points (109 to 113). There is also a ton of noise in a stat like that this early in the season, so I think looking at underlying stats is worthwhile. They were 25th last year in 3PAr. This year they're 3rd. Their pace is way higher. Those aren't things that in and of themselves make you a great offensive team, or that you can't be good without them (last year their offense was good mainly based off of good 2pt% due to the big 3 and free throw rate). But they do suggest a big offensive culture shift and one that I think is more apt to handle a variety of defenses and prepare them for a league that's even more pace and space focused.
- Yes, agreed on defense. I think that's something I acknowledged in 1067. Their strategy of trying to take away everything led to not really taking away anything. They weren't really great at anything - they didn't have an identity. Most teams try to plan more around giving you something, which often tends to be mid-range 2s or other things they've deemed to be low efficiency. They tried to play very aggressive on ball defense, which could occasionally work well. But that led to high fouls and free throws allowed.
- Regarding the Lopez to Henson transition. I mean, that's technically true, but I don't think really captures what's happening. Yeah, Lopez took Henson's minutes. But then Henson took Maker's minutes. Maker rebounds like a shooting guard that played center. Completely wiping out those 17 minutes/game from a center is a big part of solving their rebounding issue. Snell/Lopez is part of it too.
- Similarly, no one part of this is a huge number of minutes, but on aggregate they gave a lot of minutes to Jabari Parker, Jason Terry (yes, he was in the league playing real minutes last year), Dellevadova, and Liggins (and Maker). Those guys can't play defense and they can't rebound for their position. It's early, so we'll see how injures and the like affect things, but Milwaukee has cleaned up a bunch of the garbage minutes they were giving out.
   1105. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: October 25, 2018 at 11:12 PM (#5775515)
He makes the worst decisions of any great player in any sport I've ever spent any time watching. His approach to the final 3-4 minutes was just abysmal.


Who else is on this list? I want to say Vlad Guerrero, but maybe swinging at those pitches that bounce was actually a good decision for him.
   1106. Tin Angel Posted: October 25, 2018 at 11:13 PM (#5775517)
That LeBron commercial is pretty cool.
   1107. jmurph Posted: October 25, 2018 at 11:14 PM (#5775518)
If Minnesota keeps Butler and Anthony Davis stays healthy, OKC could easily miss the playoffs.
   1108. jmurph Posted: October 25, 2018 at 11:18 PM (#5775519)
Who else is on this list? I want to say Vlad Guerrero, but maybe swinging at those pitches that bounce was actually a good decision for him.

Hmmm, Brett Favre maybe? I'm going to exempt swings at bad pitches because while I like to think I'd be wise enough to avoid jacking so many contested 3s as a 31% career 3pt shooter, I know damn well I could never conceive of laying off a breaking pitch.
   1109. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: October 25, 2018 at 11:29 PM (#5775525)
If Minnesota keeps Butler and Anthony Davis stays healthy, OKC could easily miss the playoffs.


I am still mystified by why everyone seemed to be picking them 3rd or 4th in our preseason predictions. I saw/see no reason to believe they are better than last year, and I see various reasons to believe that other teams are better.
   1110. it's hittin' 53450n. Posted: October 26, 2018 at 12:40 AM (#5775541)
I am still mystified by why everyone seemed to be picking them 3rd or 4th in our preseason predictions. I saw/see no reason to believe they are better than last year, and I see various reasons to believe that other teams are better.

their defense should/could be great. westbrook and schroder are fierce at the point of attack; george, roberson and grent are great wing defenders; adams is stout; noel is a monster.

their biggest problem is that only one of those players can shoot.
   1111. PJ Martinez Posted: October 26, 2018 at 12:46 AM (#5775543)
Lance + JaVale (this doesn't even look real)
   1112. NJ in NY (Now with Big Girl!) Posted: October 26, 2018 at 12:54 AM (#5775545)
Lonzo Ball is having himself a hell of a game. Impressive stuff.
   1113. puck Posted: October 26, 2018 at 01:02 AM (#5775546)
This seems like the Nuggets of old. Just helpless in crunch time.
   1114. tshipman Posted: October 26, 2018 at 01:04 AM (#5775547)
Lonzo Ball is having himself a hell of a game. Impressive stuff.


You know, it's crazy because I thought the exact same thing, and checked the box score and realized that he had only taken 10 shots. Every shot felt big. His defense has been very good. He's kinda like a mini-Draymond.
   1115. Tin Angel Posted: October 26, 2018 at 02:15 AM (#5775551)
Lance + JaVale (this doesn't even look real)


This is incredible, even more so because I was expecting a highlight.
   1116. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 26, 2018 at 02:29 AM (#5775552)
Lonzo Ball is having himself a hell of a game. Impressive stuff.
Very happy with not just the Lakers winning, but with Ball, Hart, and Kuzma all playing well, and the whole team showing good energy on defense. They're just too small inside to stop any decent big man, but they did a really nice job swarming on the perimeter.
Lance + JaVale (this doesn't even look real)
Clowns and bastards, man, clowns and bastards. On the other hand, those two idiots scored 16 points in the 4th quarter.
   1117. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: October 26, 2018 at 02:33 AM (#5775553)
Wow, I kept expecting that Lance and JaVale clip to stop and it just kept going. Unbelievable.
   1118. spivey Posted: October 26, 2018 at 08:58 AM (#5775590)
I am still mystified by why everyone seemed to be picking them 3rd or 4th in our preseason predictions. I saw/see no reason to believe they are better than last year, and I see various reasons to believe that other teams are better.


If Roberson is healthy their defense could be extremely good. I still believe Westbrook and George can carry an offense to at least adequacy over the course of a season. Also, I picked them 3rd, but I think many had them lower.

There's a big gulf after Golden State. Even Houston looks very mortal these days. Really, I think everything said about OKC could be said about pretty much all of the other teams. Some bad luck, untimely injuries, stars regressing, etc. could see a bunch of teams on the outside looking in. The margin between 2-10 could be pretty small - I wouldn't be surprised if it's just about 10 games.
   1119. it's hittin' 53450n. Posted: October 26, 2018 at 09:24 AM (#5775604)
apparently woj was on something called "get up" and he mentioned the sixers as a potential dark horse for jimmy butler.


thank ####### god.
   1120. it's hittin' 53450n. Posted: October 26, 2018 at 09:47 AM (#5775620)
things i've said:
given the FA landscape this summer (a lot of decent role players, noone has any money to spend), if the sixers don't get lebron, they might be able to get some guys like will barton/tyreke evans/nerlens noel/lucas nogueira/avery bradley/davis bertans/rodney hood/kentavious caldwell-pope/julius randle/derrick favors to sign long term, below market deals.

it's not sexy, but doing that could lock in a rotation that's 10-12 deep for the next 5 years... and it would allow the sixers to reload their depth after trading for kawhi.

this is one of the reasons i keep talking about the sixers signing a handful of random role players this summer. nearly every contract that gets signed this year will be a massive bargain within a year or two.

the sixers could sign nerlens noel, will barton and tyreke evans, they could resign ersan ilyasova and bring over jonah bolden.

if they trade saric, smith and the 2021 MIA #1 pick (plus salary ballast) for kawhi, they'd look something like this:
PG: simmons // fultz, mcconnell, shamet
SG: tyreke // luwawu, milton
SF: kawhi // barton, anderson, korkmaz
PF: covington // ilyasova, bolden
C: embiid // noel, holmes

then projecting forward one more step, if they trade fultz, shamet and will barton to MIN for jimmy butler at the trade deadline, they'd have:
PG: simmons // mcconnell
SG: butler // tyreke, luwawu, milton
SF: kawhi // anderson, korkmaz
PF: covington // ilyasova, bolden
C: embiid // noel, holmes
i am shocked by almost everything going on...except rose to MIN.
the sixers have the assets to do almost anything that is possible. this is a kid in the candy store situation and we're handing the keys to bobby newport.
in 3 calendar years as GM, hinkie stockpiled 13 first round picks between 2013 and 2019. at least 8 of them will be in the lottery. set aside everything else he did; that aspect of the process should commended. and emulated.
the next 18 months are huge for the wolves. towns is up for a 30MM (no-brainer) extension this summer, wiggins already makes 25+MM, and next summer, butler will be a 30 year old free agent with a ton of miles on his body. plus, you're paying teague and dieng a combined 35MM in 19/20 when you might also have towns, wiggins and butler on max contracts.

something has to give there, and if MIN gets it wrong, they might not recover for a half-decade or more.
since i brought it up, if i were MIN, i'd trade butler at the draft, dump gibson at the first opportunity and hold onto wiggins, teague and dieng until i got a decent offer.

it may not be easy to find a fit for butler, but i would not want to pay 30MM for his age 30-33 seasons.

...if you can trade wiggins for someone a bit older (maybe gary harris or evan fournier, plus some pick/contract swaps), butler for someone younger (maybe a package like kemba/zeller/lamb), that should give you a pretty competent core to take you through towns's early prime.
there's a pulitzer ####### prize available to anyone who can figure out what the hell happened in the sixers front office between december 2015 and may 2016.

okafor beats up a couple massholes in early december
jerry collangelo hired 3 weeks later
mike dantoni hired
sixers trade for ish smith
1-30 record on christmas
sixers sign elton brand out of retirement
they pissed away the trade deadline*
bryan collangelo hired -- by noone, apparently
sam hinkie resigned
sixers win the draft lottery

   1121. spivey Posted: October 26, 2018 at 09:56 AM (#5775622)
Having watched a couple of Philly games, I'm worried about them. A Butler deal would make a lot of sense if you can get him with their non-critical assets.
   1122. JC in DC Posted: October 26, 2018 at 10:07 AM (#5775631)
Last night was the first time in a long time I watched Noel play. I think STIGGLES and perhaps a few others really like him, but I don't get it. He had a productive game in some respects, but I don't see a lot there. He's got great athleticism and length, but it doesn't add up, imho, on defense, and his offense is pretty much nonexistent. He was out of position a lot, and his instincts don't really seem good. I guess I'm down on the likelihood he ever becomes much better than he is right now.
   1123. The Good Face Posted: October 26, 2018 at 10:21 AM (#5775644)
Lance + JaVale (this doesn't even look real)

Clowns and bastards, man, clowns and bastards. On the other hand, those two idiots scored 16 points in the 4th quarter.


JaVale has been astonishingly good so far and I have no clue what to make of it. Small sample size? Benefit from playing with LeBron? Some new level of ability unlocked at age 30?
   1124. it's hittin' 53450n. Posted: October 26, 2018 at 10:29 AM (#5775651)
Having watched a couple of Philly games, I'm worried about them. A Butler deal would make a lot of sense if you can get him with their non-critical assets.

that's reasonable, but i think it's worth pointing out two things:
1: winning does not appear to be the sixers' main priority. teams that are trying to win do not roster 5 "rookies" (fultz, smith, shamet, bolden, korkmaz) and a worthless veteran (bayless), plus 5 other players on expiring contracts (mcconnell, chandler, amir, redick, muscala). the way i see it, their main priority is the development of fultz (and others).
2: that's a huge miscalculation.
Last night was the first time in a long time I watched Noel play. I think STIGGLES and perhaps a few others really like him, but I don't get it. He had a productive game in some respects, but I don't see a lot there. He's got great athleticism and length, but it doesn't add up, imho, on defense, and his offense is pretty much nonexistent. He was out of position a lot, and his instincts don't really seem good. I guess I'm down on the likelihood he ever becomes much better than he is right now.

nerlens' last three seasons were basically lost down a black hole due to 1: injuries, 2: forcing his way out of PHI, 3: pouting about the lack of a long term extension in DAL.

he just needs to get his feet under him.
   1125. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: October 26, 2018 at 10:34 AM (#5775659)
JaVale has been astonishingly good so far and I have no clue what to make of it. Small sample size? Benefit from playing with LeBron? Some new level of ability unlocked at age 30?


I think he has always shown flashes and even whole games (especially against the Wolves), so I would go with small sample size - since I don't think his BBIQ suddenly jumped up.

But I say that having watched exactly zero minutes of his play this year.
   1126. jmurph Posted: October 26, 2018 at 10:43 AM (#5775666)
Last night was the first time in a long time I watched Noel play. I think STIGGLES and perhaps a few others really like him, but I don't get it. He had a productive game in some respects, but I don't see a lot there. He's got great athleticism and length, but it doesn't add up, imho, on defense, and his offense is pretty much nonexistent. He was out of position a lot, and his instincts don't really seem good. I guess I'm down on the likelihood he ever becomes much better than he is right now.

Lowe touched on this in his piece today. He's constantly chasing blocks that blow up his team's defense.
   1127. jmurph Posted: October 26, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5775670)
that's reasonable, but i think it's worth pointing out two things:
1: winning does not appear to be the sixers' main priority. teams that are trying to win do not roster 5 "rookies" (fultz, smith, shamet, bolden, korkmaz) and a worthless veteran (bayless), plus 5 other players on expiring contracts (mcconnell, chandler, amir, redick, muscala). the way i see it, their main priority is the development of fultz (and others).
2: that's a huge miscalculation.

I think they just bizarrely thought they could get through an NBA offseason without a GM, but I don't think that means they aren't interested in winning.

Prioritizing Fultz is obviously very weird, but I have to think Brown will abandon that at some point.

   1128. jmurph Posted: October 26, 2018 at 10:52 AM (#5775676)
Question for you nerds who pay attention to the combine and college scouting and such: does Jaylen Brown have tiny hands? He loses the ball so much on the dribble and around the rim and I'm wondering if this is less about skill and more about some kind of innate disadvantage.
   1129. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 26, 2018 at 11:27 AM (#5775704)
Lowe touched on this in his piece today. He's constantly chasing blocks that blow up his team's defense.

Yeah, I was gonna say the same thing.

But I also wanted to link to his piece because he also talks about how good LaVine has been and looks so far. The Bulls beat the Horcats the other day thanks to a great defensive play by Zach (he read the inbounds pass perfectly and deflected it off Kemba) and then him driving and drawing a foul for the winning FTs*. He still forces a shot here and there, and can be sloppy with the ball, but for the most part his offense is coming in the rhythm and flow of the team and he's making the right choices of when the shoot, drive, or pass. With so many other guys hurt**, he's the unquestioned focal point of the offense, but thanks to his just jaw dropping ability, he's still getting his relatively easily. Just for posterity, he's scoring 32.3/g on 57.1% shooting and 40% on 6 3pa/g.

Also, more details on what Lowe touched on:
LaVine has driven the ball 11.8 times per game, tied with Kawhi Leonard for 24th in the league. But the real stat here is what he’s doing on those drives. LaVine is shooting 66.7 percent on drives, fourth best in the league; he’s also drawing personal fouls on 21.3 percent of those drives, the highest mark of those 56 players by a significant margin – No. 2 is Jimmy Butler, at 16.7 percent. LaVine is drawing 2.5 fouls per game on drives, the most of any player, despite having the 24th most drives per game. Oh, and he’s converting 97.9 percent of his scoring chances when he drives, also the best mark of the 56 players.


*And Cam Payne!!! hit 7!!!!!! 3's.
**Dunn only played 1 game before his injury; Portis will now also be out 4-6 weeks with his; Markanned and Valentine (ha) have also yet to play.
   1130. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: October 26, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5775715)
What do we think? I'd do it, but then, I'm not Thibs.
   1131. jmurph Posted: October 26, 2018 at 11:44 AM (#5775726)
What do we think? I'd do it, but then, I'm not Thibs.

It would definitely present an interesting opportunity to build around Towns. The extra picks would enable them to move on from Dieng if they wanted, Teague if they wanted, perhaps even Wiggins, without gutting their own pick stash or having to accept terrible deals in return.

I certainly get why Thibs wouldn't be interested, and I also don't think he'd be right the guy to run that process anyway. So I can't imagine a deal like that happens without Taylor stepping in and forcing it through.
   1132. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: October 26, 2018 at 11:46 AM (#5775729)
I certainly get why Thibs wouldn't be interested, and I also don't think he'd be right the guy to run that process anyway. So I can't imagine a deal like that happens without Taylor stepping in and forcing it through.

Yes, this is my feeling. A GM who was interested in the future of the franchise, and not preserving his other job, is a prerequisite for making a move like this.
   1133. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: October 26, 2018 at 11:46 AM (#5775730)
I don't think it's great for the Wolves. It would take the Rockets a couple of firsts just to dump Knight into someone's space, much less get back Jimmy Butler. Morey has some balls, though.
   1134. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: October 26, 2018 at 11:48 AM (#5775734)
I am having a hard time disentangling my feelings for Thibs from the need to trade Butler, to be fair.
   1135. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: October 26, 2018 at 11:49 AM (#5775735)
Those Rockets picks aren't great picks. You're talking late 20's for the first two and the last two, if they aren't protected (and I bet they are) might be good but I doubt it if Morey is still running things. You're betting on a Rockets collapse and I don't think that's a safe enough play. Better to hold out and see if the Heat or 76ers or Clippers blink.
   1136. aberg Posted: October 26, 2018 at 11:53 AM (#5775741)
I have very mixed feelings about that 4-first offer. I have less than no interest in Knight and regular amounts of no interest in Criss (Husky or no). My casual NBA fan dad pointed out that one of those picks would like be someone who is about 11 years old right now. That doesn't make the assets less valuable, but it speaks to the uncertainty around team building.

The other issue is that the Rockets are well-run. They haven't had a losing season since '06 and have had exactly two since I took on human form. Even if these are unprotected picks, we're not talking about the Nets, Kings, or Clippers brazenly tossing away lotto balls, in all likelihood. If we trade Butler for four picks in the 20s, I would that's a bad trade.

How you make the calculation of how to value those picks given what we know about the direction of the league and that franchise is above my intellect and pay grade, which is why I'm torn.

Since that Houston rumor came up, there have also been whispers about Philly and Miami engaging with the Wolves. If the plan was to kick the can down the road until teams actually started bidding against each other, it might have worked.

One other semi-pointless side-note: Dieng would actually help Philly and they have the financial flexibility to absorb his contract for a couple of years without it being especially damaging. That might matter.
   1137. jmurph Posted: October 26, 2018 at 11:53 AM (#5775742)
Those Rockets picks aren't great picks. You're talking late 20's for the first two and the last two, if they aren't protected (and I bet they are)

So this is a pretty compelling case that they can't really be protected in order to comply with both the Stepien Rule (can't trade consecutive future 1sts) and the 7 year rule (can only trade picks 7 years out). The key paragraph:
The Rockets, on the other hand, don’t have the luxury of having stockpiled extra draft picks. They only hold their own. So, in order to adhere to both the Stepien rule and the seven-year-rule, Houston only has one path to putting four first-rounders on the table — they’d have to offer their 2019, 2021, 2023, and 2025 picks.
   1138. aberg Posted: October 26, 2018 at 11:56 AM (#5775745)
if they aren't protected (and I bet they are) might be good


I read yesterday that trades involving multiple picks from the same team in alternating years have limits on what protection you can use as a corollary to the Stepien Rule. You can't have a 1st that is lotto protected one year and becomes unprotected the next year because that could create a situation where a team illegally trades away consecutive firsts. The only protection you can put on a pick is to protect it such that it doesn't convey at all (or turns into a second) if the protection kicks in. I imagine those would be non-starters in this type of negotiation.
   1139. aberg Posted: October 26, 2018 at 11:57 AM (#5775750)
Cokes to everyone who is posting my thoughts before me in clearer, more concise form.
   1140. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: October 26, 2018 at 11:58 AM (#5775754)
I mean, the Rockets are very good now, but they have a not inconsiderable potential to go completely to ####, even moreso if like $95MM/yr is tied up in Harden, Butler's Thibs knees, and most especially, a 35yr old Chris Paul. But patience is a virtue, I guess.
   1141. spivey Posted: October 26, 2018 at 12:01 PM (#5775758)
So this is a pretty compelling case that they can't really be protected in order to comply with both the Stepien Rule (can't trade consecutive future 1sts) and the 7 year rule (can only trade picks 7 years out). The key paragraph:

It mentions down in the article that they could have protections to where the first round pick doesn't convey and is converted into second round picks.

I think I'd do it, if you get Towns' buy in (and depending on conditions of the picks). Towns has kinda sucked this year so far, and I have to imagine he doesn't like the current situation. Houston's pretty old already. I can imagine the team falling apart pretty quickly
   1142. jmurph Posted: October 26, 2018 at 12:02 PM (#5775762)
It mentions down in the article that they could have protections to where the first round pick doesn't convey and is converted into second round picks.

Yeah but that seems like it would be a non-starter for Minnesota (perhaps two 2nds instead of this year's pick would be okay, but not the future ones).
   1143. aberg Posted: October 26, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5775765)
Towns has kinda sucked this year


I don't want to go down a whole rabbit hole here, but I disagree. He's a career 70% shooter at the rim shooting 40% at the rim through 5 games. The rest of his numbers are normal, and he has been a plus defender for the first time ever (which, I concede is equally possible to revert after 5 games).
   1144. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: October 26, 2018 at 12:12 PM (#5775768)
As another caveat, if you're trading for future picks, I think it's 2022 you want, no? Isn't that they year highschoolers will be in the draft? That promises to be a real influx of talent and it would be pretty smooth of the Rockets to make sure they have their pick that year.
   1145. jmurph Posted: October 26, 2018 at 12:20 PM (#5775773)
Seems like Miami is still the best play, Richardson and a pick and something else. I get Minnesota not wanting Waiters back, though, that's a terrible contract.

The Sixers only make sense if they're giving up Saric, though, right? Who else are they actually going to be willing to trade?
   1146. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: October 26, 2018 at 12:23 PM (#5775777)
The Sixers only make sense if they're giving up Saric, though, right? Who else are they actually going to be willing to trade?

I don't know, but I'd want Fultz.
   1147. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: October 26, 2018 at 12:24 PM (#5775779)
I have to say, if Thibs actually manages to get Miami to improve their offer, I will have to reëvaluate my opinion of his savvy as GM.
   1148. tshipman Posted: October 26, 2018 at 12:30 PM (#5775781)
I think the 4 picks offer is the best one, even if it's picks in the 20s.
   1149. Rally Posted: October 26, 2018 at 12:55 PM (#5775815)
I think the 4 picks offer is the best one, even if it's picks in the 20s.


They should get a lot better in time. By the time the 2025 pick comes around Harden and CP3 will be mid to late 30s.

Depends on what kind of pick protection is attached. If I were the owner I might step in and order the GM to get it done. Good for the organization, but not necessarily great for the current GM since few current GMs will be in their spots 10 years into the future, enough time for a top 2025 pick to be drafted and acclimate to the NBA game.

The alternative is to keep Butler until he jumps the team as a free agent and maybe lose in the first round of the playoffs, maybe miss them. Take the best offer you can and trade Butler.
   1150. rr: target market for blowhard nonsense Posted: October 26, 2018 at 12:56 PM (#5775819)
McGee: TS and WS48 are two pretty good basic metrics. Here is McGee in GS and through five games with the Lakers:

TS: .642, .641, .647
WS48: .225. .212. .254

As was noted in preseason, he has never been a bad player, and I think it is clear that he benefits a lot from James/Curry "Gravity." The Lakers are an ideal situation for him--he is the only real big, playing with another epic defense-drawing superstar, playing with two other guys who pass very well, and playing for a FO that didn't want a "Stretch 5." His BLK is 8.8 (7.0 career)and I expect that this is the main reason that Magic thinks that McGee is better than Lopez.

But McGee has always been treated as a joke (for good reasons in some ways) and the fact that the goofy sequence with Stephenson is what brought him into the discussion this time and the fact that we have our own new meme related to him show that. But take the Clowns and Bastards stuff away, and he is a pretty athletic veteran big with some useful skills (that are overstated by PER) who has been in two consecutive excellent situations for his skillset. So it is not surprising that he is putting up good numbers with the Lakers.
   1151. spivey Posted: October 26, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5775827)
I agree with tship, though the protections are key. You kind of need them to not be heavily protected in the later years both in terms of potential value but also because Houston could be pretty bad down the line. Even 5 years out - here's the top teams in the East and West from 5 years ago (2013-14):

East:
1. Indiana
2. Miami
3. Toronto
3. Chicago
5. Brooklyn
5. Washington

West:
1. San Antonio
2. OKC
3. Clippers
4. Portland
4. Houston
6. Golden State
7. Memphis
8. Dallas

5 years is a lifetime in the NBA, especially for a team like Houston that's kind of old. Paul will be probably reduce to a Manu-like impact at that point. Harden and Butler will be 33-35 and may have their primes well behind them. They don't have much in the way of young talent on their roster that's ready to step up and take a bigger role.
   1152. JC in DC Posted: October 26, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5775829)
I don't like the 4 picks offer for some of the reasons people here mention. In a way, from the perspective of the team giving up 4 picks, that seems like a greater sacrifice than the getting of the 4 picks. Their reception is way too speculative (giving team performance, who's in the draft, what do you do with the picks) to be "real" assets.

And, TFTIO, I get wanting Fultz back in a deal with Philly, but I really worry about his likelihood of developing in Minny; I'm already betting he won't in Philly, but I think it's more likely there than were he to be dealt and subjected to the instability up north.
   1153. rr: target market for blowhard nonsense Posted: October 26, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5775830)
LaVine: I have always kind of liked him, so I am not surprised that he is doing better. We will see if it holds. I am partial to UCLA guys though.

Butler/Rockets: I made a mention of this a few days ago--don't count out Morey on stuff like this. Harden is out for a couple of game or more with a hamstring strain--those recur. Houston needs another big gun, their window is already partly closed, and as noted, Morey has no compunction about going all-in. Like many people, I respected the fact that he decided to try to beat Golden State last year.
   1154. tshipman Posted: October 26, 2018 at 01:06 PM (#5775831)
As was noted in preseason, he has never been a bad player, and I think it is clear that he benefits a lot from James/Curry "Gravity." The Lakers are an ideal situation for him--he is the only real big, playing with another epic defense-drawing superstar, playing with two other guys who pass very well, and playing for a FO that didn't want a "Stretch 5." His BLK is 8.8 (7.0 career)and I expect that this is the main reason that Magic thinks that McGee is better than Lopez.


I think that's a bit off, Robin.

McGee is kind of like a roll man specialist. Like, someone needs to come up with something catchy for guys like Capela, DeAndre and McGee--along the lines of 3 and D. Dive and Dunk? Blocks and slams? Whatever.

Lopez is a different kind of player than McGee. I was kind of skeptical, because LeBron has never played with an elite roll guy before, but he's absolutely loving it. JaVale is at 30/37 in the restricted area! None of them are looks that he's creating, but he's an elite finisher. BroLo, whose game is a lot more diverse on offense, is not as good a finisher.
   1155. JC in DC Posted: October 26, 2018 at 01:08 PM (#5775833)
I've always likeD McGee. The player he most reminds me of, though he's a "poor man's version", was the underrated Marcus Camby. A poor man's Marcus Camby can contribute to a team's success.
   1156. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 26, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5775836)
Everyone keeps talking about those Rockets picks as being potentially good in a few years, it's important to remember berg's point here:

The other issue is that the Rockets are well-run. They haven't had a losing season since '06 and have had exactly two since I took on human form. Even if these are unprotected picks, we're not talking about the Nets, Kings, or Clippers brazenly tossing away lotto balls, in all likelihood. If we trade Butler for four picks in the 20s, I would that's a bad trade.


If the Wolves trade Jimmy, there's virtually no way they make the playoffs this year and probably not next considering their cap situation. The fact that Jimmy is back and playing now has to mean there's a chance - even a small one - they could keep him beyond this season. It's not an easy decision, and the downside of trading him now and those picks turning out to be low firsts shouldn't be understated; even if trading him means you're committing to building around KAT it's hard to see how any of those picks line up with that timeline.
   1157. rr: target market for blowhard nonsense Posted: October 26, 2018 at 01:13 PM (#5775839)
Not sure what you think is "off." IMO Magic wanted McGee and Rondo because they fit his traditionalist views of PGs and Cs. In a presser, Magic called Lopez "slow" and I think the stuff Lopez does, like boxing out and spacing the floor, would not be stuff that Magic would notice as much as Blocks and Slams.

And sure, James playing with a great finisher is a natural match--James out there with Kuzma and Hart to space the floor and McGee to play some PnR makes very obvious sense as a modern NBA offense.
   1158. spivey Posted: October 26, 2018 at 01:17 PM (#5775843)
The other issue is that the Rockets are well-run. They haven't had a losing season since '06 and have had exactly two since I took on human form. Even if these are unprotected picks, we're not talking about the Nets, Kings, or Clippers brazenly tossing away lotto balls, in all likelihood. If we trade Butler for four picks in the 20s, I would that's a bad trade.


They are well run but I do have questions how much that matters here. If they resign Butler to the max, they're pretty much locked in for at least the next 5 years. Unless they then turn around and trade one of their max guys like Paul while he still has near-max value (does he?) for another max guy that's younger, their hands are going to be pretty much tied. They'll be able to make some moves on the edges of the roster with the MLE and such, though a lot of people thought they handled that poorly this last offseason.

I could see the argument more of, Morey was churning the roster with average-ish guys for years trying to get to this spot, and now that it's here, he's incentivized to take it. I can also see the logic in really trying to contend during the end of Harden's prime, and I think this move helps that. But yeah, I expect it is likely to be ugly in years 5 and 7.
   1159. aberg Posted: October 26, 2018 at 01:22 PM (#5775848)
I could see the argument more of, Morey was churning the roster with average-ish guys for years trying to get to this spot, and now that it's here, he's incentivized to take it. I can also see the logic in really trying to contend during the end of Harden's prime, and I think this move helps that. But yeah, I expect it is likely to be ugly in years 5 and 7.


Morey built a team around two stars (McGrady and Yao) who aged/injured themselves out of productivity. Those teams never quite panned out, but they had the makings of a contender. He transitioned from that peak to this peak with no personnel overlap and without a losing season.
   1160. tshipman Posted: October 26, 2018 at 01:23 PM (#5775849)
Not sure what you think is "off." IMO Magic wanted McGee and Rondo because they fit his traditionalist views of PGs and Cs. In a presser, Magic called Lopez "slow" and I think the stuff Lopez does, like boxing out and spacing the floor, would not be stuff that Magic would notice as much as Blocks and Slams.


Sorry, I should be more clear: I think that Magic evaluated McGee primarily for who he is on offense. He's a significantly different player than BroLo there, and his skills actually end up being a great mesh with LeBron.

I doubt that Magic, who's been around the game forever, has any illusions about McGee being a defensive anchor (Although the Lakers are way, way better with him out there on D, that's mostly because they totally lack any size on defense).

Fun with small samples: When JaVale is out there, the Lakers are turbocharged: pace of 154.6 compared to 100.7 when he's on the bench.
   1161. The Good Face Posted: October 26, 2018 at 01:23 PM (#5775850)
And sure, James playing with a great finisher is a natural match--James out there with Kuzma and Hart to space the floor and McGee to play some PnR makes very obvious sense as a modern NBA offense.


The James/Kuzma/McGee/Hart/Lonzo lineup has been effective for the Lakers; some good synergies, lots of offensive firepower. Not even terrible on defense; Kuzma still looks pretty bad, but McGee and Lonzo are plus defenders, Hart tries hard, and LeBron presumably could still defend if he felt like it.
   1162. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: October 26, 2018 at 01:23 PM (#5775851)
It's not an easy decision, and the downside of trading him now and those picks turning out to be low firsts shouldn't be understated; even if trading him means you're committing to building around KAT it's hard to see how any of those picks line up with that timeline.


I don't know that this matters that much. Say KAT develops into the best player in the league in his prime in 2021, you can just use those picks as assets to get help. Picks are pretty liquid currency, after all.

I think Javale McGee is, and has always been, a good basketball player, hilarity notwithstanding.
   1163. tshipman Posted: October 26, 2018 at 01:24 PM (#5775854)
Morey built a team around two stars (McGrady and Yao) who aged/injured themselves out of productivity. Those teams never quite panned out, but they had the makings of a contender. He transitioned from that peak to this peak with no personnel overlap and without a losing season.


I agree strongly with Spivey on this.

No one is immune to gravity, and building a team that has all your cap tied up in 3 guys headed to the wrong side of 30, while also trading away your draft picks is just always going to result in bad, injury vulnerable teams.
   1164. jmurph Posted: October 26, 2018 at 01:24 PM (#5775855)
The other point that bears repeating about getting 4 picks is you don't do it so you can draft 4 extra rookies in the 20s, you do it to put together future trades, combine picks to trade up, dump bad contracts, etc. I wouldn't expect the Wolves, or any team for that matter, to actually draft 9 rookies over the 5 year window in the proposed trade (19-23).

coke to athletic
   1165. tshipman Posted: October 26, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5775860)
The other point that bears repeating about getting 4 picks is you don't do it so you can draft 4 extra rookies in the 20s, you do it to put together future trades, combine picks to trade up, dump bad contracts, etc. I wouldn't expect the Wolves, or any team for that matter, to actually draft 9 rookies over the 5 year window in the proposed trade (19-23).


Right, the benefit of extra picks, as opposed to other assets, is that NBA teams evaluate picks as being exceptionally liquid assets.

A first rounder is always worth *something*.
   1166. aberg Posted: October 26, 2018 at 01:42 PM (#5775867)
Agreed about the liquidity of picks. I would imagine that at least 2 of those would be traded again.
   1167. Manny Coon Posted: October 26, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5775874)
McGee has always had physical tools to spare, but perhaps age and adversity have helped him mauture. I remember several years back when they first became free agents one year apart McGee and DeAndre Jordan were looked at pretty similarly and they received very similar contracts as first time free agents. Since then Jordan built his reputation by working hard and being an iron man, while McGee hurts his by being knucklehead and some injuries, but the ability has been there. Maybe he ends up having a Zach Randolph like renaissance in his 30s.
   1168. smileyy Posted: October 26, 2018 at 02:59 PM (#5775922)
McGee and DeAndre Jordan were looked at pretty similarly


I used to have trouble distinguishing them such that for a while, I thought DAJ was a knucklehead too.
   1169. it's hittin' 53450n. Posted: October 26, 2018 at 03:08 PM (#5775929)
One other semi-pointless side-note: Dieng would actually help Philly and they have the financial flexibility to absorb his contract for a couple of years without it being especially damaging. That might matter.
no.
And, TFTIO, I get wanting Fultz back in a deal with Philly, but I really worry about his likelihood of developing in Minny; I'm already betting he won't in Philly, but I think it's more likely there than were he to be dealt and subjected to the instability up north.
thibs is the backup PG whisperer, so it might actually be a very good fit for fultz.
The Sixers only make sense if they're giving up Saric, though, right? Who else are they actually going to be willing to trade?

robert covington, fultz, 2021 unprotected MIA #1, zaire smith, landry shamet, mcconnell, random euros. wilson chandler.

if this situation stretches out until december, the sixers can dangle redick.
   1170. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: October 26, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5775940)
I actually think if the Wolves managed to move Butler for Covington/Fultz/futures and then found a sucker to take Wiggins' contract, the 2018-19 team ends up no worse, and possibly better.

We had this conversation about Covington a few pages back; he's not that great, but he's a very good defender who can shoot the three capably and doesn't need the ball. A near-perfect sidekick for KAT, much much much more so than Wiggins.

Am I the only guy who suspects Richardson probably isn't nearly as good as Miami makes him look? Allowing that you can as easily argue that Covington will be Jae Crowder 2.0 as soon as he's out of Philly.
   1171. it's hittin' 53450n. Posted: October 26, 2018 at 03:28 PM (#5775945)
trade machine: who says no?

PHI: jimmy butler, marvin williams
MIN: dario saric, nic batum, wilson chandler, mike muscala
CHO: gorgui dieng, justin patton, furkan korkmaz, jerryd bayless


btw, i still love saric, but i'd rather trade him than covington (better defender, more positional versatility) or fultz (who has less trade value)
   1172. jmurph Posted: October 26, 2018 at 03:31 PM (#5775948)
Allowing that you can as easily argue that Covington will be Jae Crowder 2.0 as soon as he's out of Philly.

The Sixers have basically no floor spacing. That he's able to catch and shoot pretty well there speaks highly of his ability to do it elsewhere.
   1173. tshipman Posted: October 26, 2018 at 03:31 PM (#5775949)
robert covington, fultz, 2021 unprotected MIA #1, zaire smith, landry shamet, mcconnell, random euros. wilson chandler.

if this situation stretches out until december, the sixers can dangle redick.


None of these guys get a deal done.
   1174. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 26, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5775950)
I actually think if the Wolves managed to move Butler for Covington/Fultz/futures and then found a sucker to take Wiggins' contract, the 2018-19 team ends up no worse, and possibly better.

You just really underrate Butler and overrate Wiggins' badness. Because no, this isn't even close to true.
   1175. tshipman Posted: October 26, 2018 at 03:33 PM (#5775952)
PHI: jimmy butler, marvin williams
MIN: dario saric, nic batum, wilson chandler, mike muscala
CHO: gorgui dieng, justin patton, furkan korkmaz, jerryd bayless


Minnesota and Charlotte, pretty freaking obviously.

Minnesota is taking on Batum's contract ... to get Dario freaking Saric? Charlotte is taking Jerryd Bayless ... because they really need Furkan Korkmaz?
   1176. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: October 26, 2018 at 03:36 PM (#5775954)
You just really underrate Butler and overrate Wiggins' badness. Because no, this isn't even close to true.


I *could* be underrating Butler, but I don't think so. I just think it's pretty obvious that he's going to cause as many problems as he solves, as long as he stays in Minnesota. We're just talking about this year's Wolves here.

Wiggins makes his team worse. I don't know what else to say about that.

e: nope, jmurph, I'm making the apparently crazy case that trading Butler for a good 3 and then ditching Wiggins makes the team better (or at least not worse) right now, in large part because Butler's likely to undermine them all year if he stays (i.e. KAT isn't going to play anywhere near up to his talent as long as Butler's around). I don't think there's any question it would make them better in the future.
   1177. jmurph Posted: October 26, 2018 at 03:38 PM (#5775957)
I think the case that trading Butler now improves the Wolves is a near/long term one, not a this year one. And that case is that they can't conceivably build a team when Dieng/Towns/Wiggins/Butler/Teague are making $120ish million combined next year.

But this year, I can't imagine there's a trade out there that isn't a step back.
   1178. it's hittin' 53450n. Posted: October 26, 2018 at 03:41 PM (#5775961)
Minnesota is taking on Batum's contract ... to get Dario freaking Saric? Charlotte is taking Jerryd Bayless ... because they really need Furkan Korkmaz?

charlotte turns 40MM in committed salary next year into <20.
minnesota gets to pretend like they're still capable of making the playoffs.

batum's a decent player. his contract is awful, but MIN offsets it by getting rid of dieng.
   1179. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: October 26, 2018 at 03:46 PM (#5775965)
And, TFTIO, I get wanting Fultz back in a deal with Philly, but I really worry about his likelihood of developing in Minny; I'm already betting he won't in Philly, but I think it's more likely there than were he to be dealt and subjected to the instability up north.

I mean, the Wolves have one truly great asset, and a very lot of negative ones. Trading for Fultz + picks/scraps only makes sense if accompanied by a clean sweep of Thibs and, realistically, Taylor. It'd be a bet on KAT, and a reset of the team's timeline; I feel that's necessary, but I'm resigned to Taylor's blundering meaning another couple of years of KAT wasted chasing a four game sweep as the #8 team in the West.
   1180. sardonic Posted: October 26, 2018 at 05:33 PM (#5776056)
Let's not get carried away with JaVale... He's just a guy. The Warriors replaced him with Damian Jones, a late first rounder in his 3rd year with 175 NBA minutes across his first two seasons, and he's now averaging 16 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks per 36 on a .813 TS%.

He's solid as a guy in the regular season to eat up minutes and finish plays at the rim, but he really struggles guarding the PnR as the big man and doesn't actually create.
   1181. sardonic Posted: October 26, 2018 at 05:36 PM (#5776060)
Also, I missed you guys!
   1182. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: October 26, 2018 at 05:40 PM (#5776064)
Morey built a team around two stars (McGrady and Yao) who aged/injured themselves out of productivity. Those teams never quite panned out, but they had the makings of a contender. He transitioned from that peak to this peak with no personnel overlap and without a losing season.
But while controlling all of the team's picks between McGrady and Yao and the Harden trade. I also trust the Houston front office's decision-making ability, but without decision-making opportunities (of which draft picks are the prime example), that doesn't really matter.

And yes, it's possible they manage to flip some aging stars for a picks-based package and roll it forward; but you can't count on those deals being available. I see it as an awfully big downside risk.
   1183. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: October 26, 2018 at 08:03 PM (#5776171)
Boogie has managed to get thrown out of the game in New York.
   1184. JC in DC Posted: October 26, 2018 at 08:08 PM (#5776181)
be clear about this, Shooty: in a game he's not dressed for.
   1185. tshipman Posted: October 26, 2018 at 08:29 PM (#5776216)
Boogie has managed to get thrown out of the game in New York.

be clear about this, Shooty: in a game he's not dressed for.


Cousins is just trying to stay in game shape.
   1186. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: October 26, 2018 at 08:31 PM (#5776222)
be clear about this, Shooty: in a game he's not dressed for.

I'd bet a hundred bucks he had reservations somewhere.
   1187. JC in DC Posted: October 26, 2018 at 09:02 PM (#5776261)
I hope Knicks fans are watching this game. So much hope. We've never had a team with this length. And I love what Fizdale is doing. And, finally, this is the Frank we need to see. His defense is legitimately fantastic, and he's actually looking to score.
   1188. JC in DC Posted: October 26, 2018 at 09:04 PM (#5776265)
Giannis has 5 points, so of course Milwaukee is beating Minnesota 63-38.
   1189. JC in DC Posted: October 26, 2018 at 09:30 PM (#5776303)
Minny trying to claw their way back into it, pull within 35.
   1190. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 26, 2018 at 09:37 PM (#5776318)
Durant is just not stoppable.
   1191. JC in DC Posted: October 26, 2018 at 09:41 PM (#5776325)
Yeah, he's pretty good. Having him and Curry on the same team is just so killer. He goes on streaks where he misses nothing, guarded or not. Then, when he's cold, you give Curry a go. But, boy, Thompson has been awful.
   1192. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: October 26, 2018 at 09:41 PM (#5776326)
KD putting on a ####### show.
   1193. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: October 26, 2018 at 09:43 PM (#5776329)
Don't know what's up with Klay. Maybe he just wants to keep things fair. Good to see Dray's shot start to come around and, you know, McKinnie might be a real rotation player. He's a fun story. Started his career in Luxembourg. Luxembourg!
   1194. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: October 26, 2018 at 09:45 PM (#5776333)
Obviously, this is the classic case of the score doesn't tell the story of how close the game was. Knicks were solid tonight and made things hard until the KD supernova.
   1195. JC in DC Posted: October 26, 2018 at 09:46 PM (#5776337)
I think Fizdale sat his starters (tonight's starters) too long. He had Frank out most of the 4th. My guess is he wants to keep Trey plugged in mentally and he was stroking a bit (but his defense is so weak compared to Frank's). Eventually he'll settle on a rotation I imagine, if the players allow him.
   1196. tshipman Posted: October 26, 2018 at 09:47 PM (#5776339)
Golden State outscored the Knicks by 31 (!) in the 4th quarter.
   1197. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: October 26, 2018 at 09:48 PM (#5776340)
Time for Nets-Pelicans. A tight one!
   1198. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: October 26, 2018 at 09:50 PM (#5776342)
KD had 41 points on 24 shots, Steph had 29 on 18. Even Draymond was 18 points on 8 shots! But Klay, man, where are you Klay Thompson?
   1199. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: October 26, 2018 at 09:51 PM (#5776343)
Shabazz Napier had KD disease!
   1200. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: October 26, 2018 at 10:01 PM (#5776350)
Caris LeVert!

I just learned yesterday that LeVert is Gerald LeVert's cousin.
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