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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 | 4943 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   4501. jmurph Posted: January 08, 2019 at 04:27 PM (#5803528)
Your performance art of wedging Okafor into as many posts as possible is not unnoticed, nor is it unappreciated.

No Noel, though. Disappointing.

This is why yesterday I said that guy who wrote the Ringer/Ben Simmons piece reminded me of stiggles:
Ben Detrick @bdetrick

Can you name this NBA player?

If he qualified for league leaders: 1st in blocks rate, 1st in deflections rate, 1st in being Nerlens Noel, 3rd in steals rate, 1st in DBPM, 5th in DRPM.

The answer may surprise you!
   4502. Ken Griffey's Grotesquely Swollen Jaw Posted: January 08, 2019 at 06:09 PM (#5803542)
The Bucks offense isn't complicated, it's just a guy who requires a double team surrounded by guys who can shoot 3s, so trying to guard Giannis straight up isn't some great innovation. It's just that there are very few guys who can do it, center or not.

What teams have had more success with is aggressively doubling Giannis and hoping he gets frustrated and the other guys are cold from 3. That is essentially how most teams that have beaten the Bucks this year have played it. There's also a lot of hacking Giannis and hoping that the refs aren't willing to call a foul every time down, but I feel like too much of a homer when I complain about officiating so I won't get into it.
   4503. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: January 08, 2019 at 08:26 PM (#5803560)
There's nothing like watching a Heat game to remind me how little I know about the NBA. Who are these guys?!?!? I know Wade, Whiteside and Olynyk (and the last only cuz we man-buns stick together). Everyone else--no freakin clue.
   4504. Booey Posted: January 08, 2019 at 08:40 PM (#5803563)
There's nothing like watching a Heat game to remind me how little I know about the NBA. Who are these guys?!?!? I know Wade, Whiteside and Olynyk (and the last only cuz we man-buns stick together). Everyone else--no freakin clue.


Nah, that's just the Heat. Doesn't show how little you know about the NBA; they really do have a pretty non-descript roster for a borderline playoff team.

What it DOES show is that:

A) Spoelstra is a good coach

and

B) the East is only 5 teams deep and everyone else suuuucks
   4505. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: January 08, 2019 at 08:45 PM (#5803564)
PHI is up 28 with 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.

comcast's sports app thingy seems to think their win probability is 86%.
   4506. It's TFTIO's Monster, Actually Posted: January 08, 2019 at 08:48 PM (#5803565)
Wolves looking relieved.
   4507. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: January 08, 2019 at 09:40 PM (#5803571)
Nerlens Noel just got elbowed in the face (unintentional by Wiggins going for a dunk) and then hit his head hard on the floor falling. I think he was completely unconscious. That was one of the worst things I've seen in a basketball game.
   4508. It's TFTIO's Monster, Actually Posted: January 08, 2019 at 09:41 PM (#5803572)
Good lord.
   4509. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: January 08, 2019 at 09:44 PM (#5803573)
In lieu of my getting him a Christmas present, my brother asked instead for us to make a charitable donation.

The donation he asked for was one through Jamal Murray’s charity, that treated kids with cancer to a Denver Nuggets game.

Here’s a video of those kids meeting Nikola Jokic after the game, in case you needed another reason to love the Joker.
   4510. It's TFTIO's Monster, Actually Posted: January 08, 2019 at 09:52 PM (#5803576)
Good game for all that, though.
   4511. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: January 08, 2019 at 11:59 PM (#5803583)
trade machine: who says no?

PHI: kristaps porzingis, kevin knox, courtney lee, lonzo ball
LAL: jj redick, emmanuel mudiay, amir johnson
NYK: ben simmons, mike muscala, kentavious caldwell-pope
   4512. . . . . . . Posted: January 09, 2019 at 12:09 AM (#5803584)
[this is a bot]
Everyone but Philly
[/bot]
   4513. JC in DC Posted: January 09, 2019 at 09:36 AM (#5803602)
[4507] Agree. The elbow to the head catches him square on the nose, more or less like a knock-out punch, and then his head really mashes the floor. Really scary stuff. I think, by the way, as much as the NBA has become enthralled with monster slams, it's going to need better to enforce the off-arm offensive foul. Noel was actually called for a foul on this play, but you can see that Wiggins illegally uses his arm to hold Noel off.
   4514. It's TFTIO's Monster, Actually Posted: January 09, 2019 at 09:43 AM (#5803607)
Yeah, that was ugly. I thought it not impossible that Wiggins actually killed him. Here’s hoping Noel is back up and contributing for the Thunder soonest.
   4515. JC in DC Posted: January 09, 2019 at 09:50 AM (#5803611)
Yeah, there was a moment or two when I thought he might be verging on a seizure. It was scary.
   4516. NJ in NY (Now with Toddler!) Posted: January 09, 2019 at 09:52 AM (#5803612)
Echo everyone's thoughts on the Noel play. Brutal.

We haven't discussed him in a while, but Zion Williamson isn't slowing down at all.
   4517. JC in DC Posted: January 09, 2019 at 10:10 AM (#5803619)
We haven't discussed him in a while, but Zion Williamson isn't slowing down at all.

Yeah, I think the kid has a future. I hope the NBA fixes the lottery for NY.
   4518. spivey Posted: January 09, 2019 at 10:51 AM (#5803639)
I was going to comment on Zion Williamson too. I don't have the best sense what all of the other lottery hopefuls look like, but Zion feels like a pretty safe #1 to me. The shooting concern is real, but he's acceptable (though not great) from the free throw line, and should be at least Giannis level at jump shooting. His rebounding and stocks look really good, and his handle is good. He'll need to work on his passing game, but that's fine, he's young, and IIRC 2.4 assists/26 minutes in college isn't that bad for a freshman.

You'll mostly want 3-4 shooters around him, of course, but I like what I've seen. He also strikes me as a player who is going to put in a lot of work to avoid the "just a dunker" label.
   4519. NJ in NY (Now with Toddler!) Posted: January 09, 2019 at 10:57 AM (#5803643)
He'll need to work on his passing game, but that's fine, he's young, and IIRC 2.4 assists/26 minutes in college isn't that bad for a freshman.

I'm much higher on his passing than the numbers indicate. I think if he had more opportunity to initiate the offense, the average would be higher because I really love his vision and willingness to find the open man.
   4520. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: January 09, 2019 at 10:58 AM (#5803646)
[this is a bot]
Everyone but Philly
[/bot]

you sure about that?

the knicks would get the best player in the deal, plus they clear 26MM in cap space this summer (lee = 13MM, porzingis = 17MM RFA cap hold, knox = 4MM; simmons = 8MM). obviously knox and porzingis aren't just cap dumps, but that trade (plus a tim hardaway waive/stretch) would get them within spitting distance of the cap space for 2 max contracts.

the lakers....eh. redick seems like the kind of guy that lebron (and co.) would over-value, and ball seems like the kind of guy that lebron would look at after a loss, and think "i don't ever want to see you again."
   4521. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 09, 2019 at 11:23 AM (#5803659)
I was going to comment on Zion Williamson too. I don't have the best sense what all of the other lottery hopefuls look like, but Zion feels like a pretty safe #1 to me. The shooting concern is real, but he's acceptable (though not great) from the free throw line, and should be at least Giannis level at jump shooting. His rebounding and stocks look really good, and his handle is good. He'll need to work on his passing game, but that's fine, he's young, and IIRC 2.4 assists/26 minutes in college isn't that bad for a freshman.

You'll mostly want 3-4 shooters around him, of course, but I like what I've seen. He also strikes me as a player who is going to put in a lot of work to avoid the "just a dunker" label.


Sounds Blake Griffinish? Like, Blake Griffin if he were consistently healthy. And slightly shorter and built even more like a tank.
   4522. spivey Posted: January 09, 2019 at 11:50 AM (#5803676)
Zion has significantly better steals and blocks than Griffin did. Also a better FT%, though Blake's development of his shot while in the NBA has been very good. I think Zion generally profiles as a bit more of an all around player than Griffin.
   4523. It's TFTIO's Monster, Actually Posted: January 09, 2019 at 12:14 PM (#5803691)
Good news:
Those evaluations are expected to continue, but the early diagnosis on Noel is good news, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links). League sources tell Charania that Noel – who was “alert in the aftermath of his fall” last night – sustained a concussion, but avoided any fractures.
   4524. GregD Posted: January 09, 2019 at 01:41 PM (#5803762)
Sounds Blake Griffinish? Like, Blake Griffin if he were consistently healthy. And slightly shorter and built even more like a tank.
Foggy memory at play here, but Zion seems to me to have a significantly better handle than Griffin did in college. (Blake was a wonderful college player, no slam, and possibly he just didn't feature his handle back then.) Zion's a guy who can lead a break and dribble off a screen
   4525. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 09, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5803776)
I'll pile on.
Zion's steal/block numbers (which are surprisingly indicative of pro success) are, as far as I can recall, unprecedented for a top prospect. Granted we're still in preseason territory but: in 368 min (so let's pretend he's playing more minutes and just slide the decimal place over one spot):

293 points, 133 rebounds, 33 assists, 31 steals, 26 blocks. 33 turnovers and 26 fouls. 107-143 from two (75%), 7-25 from three (28%), 58-82 from the line (71%).

Holy F'n Smokes.

---

Blake was, obviously, a fantastic college player but didn't have Zion's handle or ability to generate turnovers/deflections.
Sidenote: it feels like Blake Griffin week online but I'll echo a message I've seen elsewhere - he's made surprising improvements over the course of his career, with his outside jump shot and ability to create for others. Kudos to him!
   4526. JC in DC Posted: January 09, 2019 at 03:37 PM (#5803817)
the knicks would get the best player in the deal


Um, no.
   4527. jmurph Posted: January 09, 2019 at 04:00 PM (#5803831)
Um, no.

Hmmmm, I'm pretty down on Simmons (he's very good, I just mean relative to the All NBA kind of talk), but you still have to take him over Porzingis, right?
   4528. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: January 09, 2019 at 04:31 PM (#5803845)
As a Jazz/Donovan fan I am contractually obligated to hate and underrate Simmons, but I'd still take him over Porzingis pretty easily. If Porzingis puts it all together he could be better I guess, but he's a 7'4" dude coming off an ACL tear.
   4529. JC in DC Posted: January 09, 2019 at 04:35 PM (#5803848)
Bracket the injury, I'm taking Porzingis over Simmons all day, every day. He can actually shoot, from all over the floor. He defends the rim. Imagine what Popovic could do with him.
   4530. aberg Posted: January 09, 2019 at 04:43 PM (#5803852)
Blake was, obviously, a fantastic college player but didn't have Zion's handle or ability to generate turnovers/deflections.
Sidenote: it feels like Blake Griffin week online but I'll echo a message I've seen elsewhere - he's made surprising improvements over the course of his career, with his outside jump shot and ability to create for others. Kudos to him!


Blake is interesting because he spans two eras of basketball. The discussion about how he didn't shoot threes and then shot a bunch of them only scratches the surface. He was a post and a dunker in college. He shot sub 60% on FTs and that carried over into the NBA. Shooting wasn't an issue for him because he was supposed to be an interior player. The league changed and he evolved with it. Cool for him. If anyone still wants more Blake, there's a good piece on The Athletic ($) about his trade to Detroit.
   4531. aberg Posted: January 09, 2019 at 04:43 PM (#5803853)
As a Jazz/Donovan fan I am contractually obligated to hate and underrate Simmons


I love these types of emotional pettiness. Just like me with Steph. Let's not close the book on him vs. Flynn just yet!
   4532. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: January 09, 2019 at 04:47 PM (#5803856)
All I'm going to say is at this moment neither Deron Williams nor Chris Paul can play in an NBA game, so lets hold off declaring Paul the superior player.
   4533. aberg Posted: January 09, 2019 at 04:49 PM (#5803857)
I know nobody really pays attention to Game Scores in basketball, but Wiggins posted a 32.5 last night, which is not only his highest of the year, but the next best was 21.7. Best last year was 25.8. You have to go back to November of 2016 to find a better game score, and then he did it twice in a week!

Wiggins has always had a reputation for being under-motivated. He shows up for games against Toronto (home country) and Cleveland (they traded him), but he's otherwise spotty. Game 1 under a new coach was obviously enough to motivate him. It's annoying that he needs extrinisic factors to get him fired up like that, especially since the results are actually good when he shows up. Part of me wants to believe that he hated Thibs so much that he stopped trying and now he'll play like this all the time. That's obviously not going to happen, but I need to delude myself to the tune of $150m, so lay off.
   4534. aberg Posted: January 09, 2019 at 04:53 PM (#5803861)
All I'm going to say is at this moment neither Deron Williams nor Chris Paul can play in an NBA game, so lets hold off declaring Paul the superior player.


Williams had a 57 point game. Paul has never topped 43. Draw your own conclusions.
   4535. jmurph Posted: January 09, 2019 at 04:54 PM (#5803862)
It would be very fun if it turns out Thibs was just holding Wiggins back, and he now proceeded to become the good defender and all around player he was supposed to be.
   4536. It's TFTIO's Monster, Actually Posted: January 09, 2019 at 04:56 PM (#5803864)
It would be very fun if it turns out Thibs was just holding Wiggins back, and he now proceeded to become the good defender and all around player he was supposed to be.

I'd be OK with it!
   4537. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: January 09, 2019 at 04:59 PM (#5803869)
Williams had a 57 point game. Paul has never topped 43. Draw your own conclusions.


And Williams' career high in assists is 21, which he's reached twice. That is also Paul's career high but he only did it once.
   4538. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: January 09, 2019 at 05:11 PM (#5803872)
@TheSteinLine

Patrick McCaw officially cleared waivers at 5 PM, league sources say. @ESPN reports that McCaw, now an unrestricted free agent, will sign with Toronto


@TheSteinLine
2m2 minutes ago
More
The league's investigation into Cleveland's signing and near-immediate release of McCaw, as reported yesterday @NYTSports, is just beginning and carries serious penalties if the Cavaliers are found guilty of salary-cap circumvention


Cavs losing draft picks for ineffectively trolling the Warriors would just be perfect
   4539. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: January 09, 2019 at 05:13 PM (#5803874)
Bracket the injury, I'm taking Porzingis over Simmons all day, every day. He can actually shoot, from all over the floor. He defends the rim. Imagine what Popovic could do with him.
"i don't have an injury update for you. stop asking."

also, you can't "bracket the injury." the knicks are going to have to decide whether or not to match a 30MM per year offer sheet this summer, when porzingis will not have played a basketball game in more than a year. that is a huge risk for them.

hell, just going into the offseason with porzingis unsigned is a huge risk for them. if he signs an early offer sheet (for spite or other reasons), that could #### up the knicks entire offseason.


also, if you want to talk about shooting, how does porzingis's true shooting percentage compare to simmons's?

porzingis's PER is lower.
his TS% is lower.
his FT rate is lower.
his ORB% is lower.
his TRB% is lower.
his AST% is lower.
his STL% is lower.
his WS/48 is lower.
his BPM is lower.
his OBPM is lower.
his DBPM is lower.

porzingis shoots better, he blocks shots better and he turns the ball over less. those things are important, but they're not as important as literally everything else that happens on the court.
   4540. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 09, 2019 at 05:29 PM (#5803879)
Foggy memory at play here, but Zion seems to me to have a significantly better handle than Griffin did in college. (Blake was a wonderful college player, no slam, and possibly he just didn't feature his handle back then.)

Griffin was very much the best ballhandler on his teams at OU, at least (speaking as someone who was a student while he was there and watched the team a lot). They didn't feature him in that capacity on a regular basis, but every once in a while he would do things like this. (See also 2:11. There's also some very good passing... and yes, a lot of dunks.)
   4541. aberg Posted: January 09, 2019 at 06:06 PM (#5803889)
And Williams' career high in assists is 21, which he's reached twice. That is also Paul's career high but he only did it once.


That's twice as many assists!

Cavs losing draft picks for ineffectively trolling the Warriors would just be perfect


I believe the established penalty for cap circumvention is 4 lost 1st rounders and one Ndudi Ebi.
   4542. Booey Posted: January 09, 2019 at 06:48 PM (#5803898)
Williams had a 57 point game. Paul has never topped 43. Draw your own conclusions.


And Williams' career high in assists is 21, which he's reached twice. That is also Paul's career high but he only did it once.


Plus only ONE of these guys has ever played in the Finals. And it ain't CP3...

Hell, Paul took 13 seasons just to lead his team to the CONFERENCE Finals! DWill did that in his 2nd year!
   4543. aberg Posted: January 09, 2019 at 07:10 PM (#5803905)
If the Knicks are really able to swap Kanter for ZBo, that's a classic Kings gonna Kings move. But at least Kanter fits a need at a position where the Kings only have Cauley-Stein, Bagley, Labissiere, Giles, Koufos, and Bjelica.
   4544. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: January 09, 2019 at 07:13 PM (#5803908)
Bjelica is a bit of a stretch, not that it undermines your point much.
   4545. aberg Posted: January 09, 2019 at 07:31 PM (#5803909)
His best position is as a four, so at best you shouldn't ever play more than 2 of those 7 guys at the same time. Seven post players! That would be nutty in 1993.
   4546. JC in DC Posted: January 09, 2019 at 09:23 PM (#5803920)
McCaw seems like a great signing by Toronto.
   4547. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: January 09, 2019 at 09:24 PM (#5803921)
Tonight is where it all has to begin for the Jazz.

As has been chronicled here they have had a brutal schedule. They are 20-21 but that's 16 home games against 25 road games. It evens out over the next 15:

12 home games, 3 road
Games against ATL, CLE, PHX, and CHI
Only 2 games against teams in the current top four of their conference (home vs DEN and at LAC)
Road game scheduling is relatively easy (at LAC; a MIN/POR trip with two days in between; no b2b involving a road game)

It starts tonight against the Magic. Good luck!



   4548. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: January 09, 2019 at 09:29 PM (#5803923)
The Jazz are down 25-7 with 4 minutes left in the first, so uhhh...
   4549. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: January 09, 2019 at 10:12 PM (#5803937)
ersan ilyasova's mask looks like something you'd wear during a bank and/or jewelry store robbery.
   4550. JC in DC Posted: January 09, 2019 at 10:25 PM (#5803938)
Harden is so damned good.
   4551. Tin Angel Posted: January 09, 2019 at 10:35 PM (#5803942)
Giannis with the tip-in as all five of the Rockets stand and watch.
   4552. Ken Griffey's Grotesquely Swollen Jaw Posted: January 09, 2019 at 10:39 PM (#5803944)
Somebody jumped for the board, couldn't tell who, but he was about a foot and a half below Giannis.
   4553. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: January 09, 2019 at 10:53 PM (#5803946)
Didn't watch the game but... Capela went 4 for 16? That seems unusual.
   4554. Ken Griffey's Grotesquely Swollen Jaw Posted: January 09, 2019 at 11:02 PM (#5803949)
I only saw the final 15 minutes or so of game time but it seems like Brook just shut him down. Bud just raved about him in his post-game presser.
   4555. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: January 09, 2019 at 11:18 PM (#5803950)
The Jazz are down 25-7 with 4 minutes left in the first, so uhhh...


The Jazz woke up. Were down 21 at one point and won by 13, with a huge game from Donovan (and the type of game that still makes me think his upside is as a scoring PG).
   4556. Booey Posted: January 09, 2019 at 11:48 PM (#5803955)
The Jazz woke up. Were down 21 at one point and won by 13, with a huge game from Donovan (and the type of game that still makes me think his upside is as a scoring PG).


Held Orlando to just 30 pts in the 2nd half. And Mitchell's been playing better overall lately (and it's much needed, with Rubio and Exum out for a while). Averaging 28.3 ppg in the last 3 games, and shooting .474 in the last 4 (and that's counting the bad shooting night in Milwaukee). Also finally finding his shot from deep: 14/26 (.538) in those last 4.

Also, the Jazz are finally allowed to play some home games!!! This is where they need to make a big run to get into the playoff picture (like AS said). Next 3 are homies against the LeBron-less Lakers, the Bulls, and the Pistons. You can never count your wins before they're played, of course, but that's the easiest stretch they've had all year so far.
   4557. tshipman Posted: January 10, 2019 at 02:05 AM (#5803964)
This is quite honestly probably a bad play, but it looks so incredible.

It's a turnover way too often, but man, what a pass.
   4558. PJ Martinez Posted: January 10, 2019 at 06:48 AM (#5803969)
4557: That was great.
   4559. It's TFTIO's Monster, Actually Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:55 AM (#5803982)
It's a turnover way too often, but man, what a pass.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I love #### like that.
   4560. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 10, 2019 at 10:05 AM (#5804008)
4557: pretty great.
so, any thoughts on why lonzo doesn't shoot even 50% from the line?
--
also, i just noticed that harden is on a pace to equal his record for turnovers per game for an nba season (5.7).
   4561. spivey Posted: January 10, 2019 at 11:29 AM (#5804084)
I guess it doesn't really warrant much interest from anyone, but Malcolm Brogdon is shooting 77-78 from the free throw line this year. In fact, his triple slash is 52/43/99. Big win for Milwaukee last night. They continue to perform very well against top opposition.
   4562. Master of the Horse Posted: January 10, 2019 at 11:50 AM (#5804094)
4561--yeah, last night was great. That Giannis pass off Harden's face was scary though.
   4563. It's TFTIO's Monster, Actually Posted: January 10, 2019 at 11:51 AM (#5804095)
I am so so so hoping for a MIL/TOR ECF. Please, basketball fates, let this be our destiny.
   4564. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 10, 2019 at 11:52 AM (#5804096)
saw a tweet from a comedian that we're going to have to reckon with the possibility that bucks will win the championship, that they're of a calibre where it might be weird if they don't. i won't go quite as far as the latter statement yet but - yeah - they're really f'n good.
brogdon is pretty nifty. think defensive rpm underrates him too because he's a positional defender, versus a guy who can pressure the ball.
   4565. NJ in NY (Now with Toddler!) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 12:10 PM (#5804106)
I am so so so hoping for a MIL/TOR ECF. Please, basketball fates, let this be our destiny.

I'm torn on whether I'd rather MIL or TOR win the East.

Argument for Toronto: (1) Their fans are great (2) They have suffered so much playoff agony they've "earned" the success (3) Making it to the Finals might increase the odds of Kawhi staying, which is good for the conference (unless of course Kawhi would be interested in coming to NY, in which case I hope they get knocked out in the first round) (4) I love Lowry

Argument for Milwaukee: (1) I love Giannis (2) Their fans are great (3) Their window may be shorter than it appears due to expiring contracts and players as great as Giannis deserve the biggest stage

I'd also enjoy PHI winning the East.
   4566. It's TFTIO's Monster, Actually Posted: January 10, 2019 at 12:12 PM (#5804109)
I'm torn on whether I'd rather MIL or TOR win the East.

Same. Although I am nominally a TOR fan, as I live in Toronto, I can see a strong argument for watching Giannis vs GSW; it would also give the broadcast networks hives, which is always something to root for.
   4567. spivey Posted: January 10, 2019 at 12:32 PM (#5804126)
I feel like Toronto fans are way more into it than Milwaukee fans. I get the sense Griffey may live in the Milwaukee area, so he can let me know if he disagrees.

Based on the handful of games I've gone to, the fans haven't been as into the team this year as I was expecting. The Raptors game was pretty great. But generally the sense I've felt is Milwaukee is more of a Packers and Brewers town.

That said, Milwaukee was pretty tough to watch prior to this year, even with Giannis. And it's a way smaller and less affluent city than most NBA markets. So perhaps things will be on the rise.
   4568. aberg Posted: January 10, 2019 at 12:42 PM (#5804137)
I think a major argument against Toronto is that Lowry has had lots of trouble in the playoffs in the past and he has been so banged up all year (likely age related, probably not going away).
   4569. aberg Posted: January 10, 2019 at 12:43 PM (#5804138)
I've felt is Milwaukee is more of a Packers and Brewers town.


Packers > Badgers > Brewers > Bucks as far as I recall, with lots of Chicago fans seeping in.
   4570. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: January 10, 2019 at 12:45 PM (#5804140)
I guess it doesn't really warrant much interest from anyone, but Malcolm Brogdon is shooting 77-78 from the free throw line this year. In fact, his triple slash is 52/43/99. Big win for Milwaukee last night. They continue to perform very well against top opposition.


On pace for the all-time FT% season record!

I too will be happy with the Bucks or Raptors winning it all. I want Giannis to be happy and stay in Milwaukee long-term and Kawhi to re-sign in Toronto.
   4571. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: January 10, 2019 at 12:57 PM (#5804147)
I 100% co-sign 4565 except for the last sentence (even though I'll always love Jimmy). Oh, and the NYK part.
   4572. Rally Posted: January 10, 2019 at 01:20 PM (#5804163)
Packers > Badgers > Brewers > Bucks as far as I recall, with lots of Chicago fans seeping in.


No idea how the locals feel about it, but Bears are closer to Milwaukee than Packers are.
   4573. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 10, 2019 at 02:03 PM (#5804199)
It's quite possible that this year's Bucks team is the best team Giannis will ever play for in Milwaukee. Starting this coming offseason, in which they will probably lose Bledsoe and still pretty near hit the ceiling of how much they can spend, the front office is going to have to make a string of good decisions to put together a better one.
   4574. Booey Posted: January 10, 2019 at 03:23 PM (#5804254)
I'll root for whatever is most likely to keep Giannis in Milwaukee and Kawhi in Toronto. Fans of teams like the Bucks and Raptors deserve nice things too. The belief that their stars will bolt as soon as they can is probably what causes lethargy like this from some fan bases:

Based on the handful of games I've gone to, the fans haven't been as into the team this year as I was expecting.


   4575. Ken Griffey's Grotesquely Swollen Jaw Posted: January 10, 2019 at 05:53 PM (#5804319)
I feel like Toronto fans are way more into it than Milwaukee fans. I get the sense Griffey may live in the Milwaukee area, so he can let me know if he disagrees.

I don't live in Milwaukee, I'm in Chicago, but I grew up in Milwaukee and am back every few months.

The Packers reign supreme in Wisconsin but, as we've seen plenty of times with the Brewers, Wisconsin fans will really get behind a fun, good team. Five years ago you'd walk around downtown before a Bucks game and see very few visible fans, but that's changed drastically with the improvement of the team and rise of Giannis. The jersey change was big for this too.

The team has really made inroads with the non-NBA sports fans like my stepdad, who lives and dies with the Brewers and Packers but never got down with the Bucks until this year. There's a frustrating racial dynamic there but Giannis is so irresistible that he's overwhelmed it.
   4576. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: January 10, 2019 at 05:59 PM (#5804322)
I'll root for whatever is most likely to keep Giannis in Milwaukee and Kawhi in Toronto.
I, too, am rooting for good management in as many teams as possible.

That, more than anything, seems to be the common thread in stars leaving small markets: a team that is not good enough support and capped out. There are exceptions, of course, and one of them left the Jazz quite recently (but, even though the Jazz are an excellent franchise and were a winning, rising team, it still fits certain formulations of the "winning requires cap flexibility and assets" narrative, since the Celtics were absolutely loaded with them, and still are to some degree).

I really like what the Bucks have been up to, especially since last season ended, but I do think they may have squandered too much opportunity over the first 5 years of Giannis' contract. Building a contender takes a lot of luck, and their capsheet may not have enough upside risk left. Anthony Davis seems like a goner for the same reason. I'm more bullish about Kawhi in Toronto.
   4577. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: January 10, 2019 at 06:18 PM (#5804335)
One obvious counterpoint is "small market teams need more luck/have a smaller margin of error than equivalent large market teams"; I think that's true, too.
   4578. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 10, 2019 at 07:06 PM (#5804351)
I think a big problem for smaller market teams is that they pretty much have to build via the draft and shrewd trades, because the only way they can ever attract a desirable free agent to live in their city is to dramatically overpay him. Sometimes this is true even of re-signing their own players. That means they can never sign anyone to a max contract who deserves one, and it also means they get capped out quickly if they do try their hand at overpaying for free agents. (The story of the last decade of Trail Blazers basketball, despite actually having a star who has wanted to be there.)

In Milwaukee's case, a huge factor in their rise to the top this year has been Brook Lopez signing with them dirt cheap (under $4M!) and suddenly becoming a star. But next year, either he'll be gone or he'll be getting paid something like $16M. Add Middleton's inevitable max extension and--whoops!--they're capped out. And ownership probably isn't going to prove willing to venture very far into the tax.

I don't mean to be Dr. Doom and suggest the Bucks are screwed. It's just that in order to be a contender beyond this year their front office is going to need both to hit some home runs and probably also get a little bit of luck.
   4579. Booey Posted: January 10, 2019 at 07:08 PM (#5804352)
One obvious counterpoint is "small market teams need more luck/have a smaller margin of error than equivalent large market teams"; I think that's true, too.


Very much so. It's easy to say, "Well, it's the Pelicans own fault if AD leaves. They didn't surround him with enough talent to win anything." That's true, but it's not necessarily their fault. They brought in the best players they were able to get: guys like Holiday, Randle, and Mirotic were nice pick ups. But they're not the top end talent that's going to get you to the promised land, either. It's much harder to convince stars to jump ship to New Orleans than it would be in some other cities. We can't pretend these things aren't related.

I'm just some guy on the internet though, so here's what the GOAT said recently in an interview about his efforts to recruit players to come to Cleveland vs Miami and his goals to bring players to LAL:

The Lakers star has admitted his shortcomings in recruiting stars in the past -- James tried to get Joe Johnson, Michael Redd and Chris Bosh to join him in Cleveland during his first stint with the Cavaliers, to no avail.

"A lot of people didn't want to come to Cleveland, let me just throw that out there," James told Nichols. "I tried to recruit so many guys to come to Cleveland, and we actually had -- I had -- a couple guys and it just didn't work out."

"It wasn't hard getting guys in Miami, I'll tell you that," James said, reflecting on his success with guys like Ray Allen, Mike Miller and Shane Battier when he played for the Heat. "So now that I think being in L.A., I don't think it would be that hard to get guys here.




   4580. Booey Posted: January 10, 2019 at 07:21 PM (#5804353)
I think a big problem for smaller market teams is that they pretty much have to build via the draft and shrewd trades


Yep. If they whiff on their draft picks, they suck. Period. The plan B that more desirable teams use (clear cap space and sign a max caliber free agent or two) just isn't available. There IS plan C - trade all your assets for a disgruntled star against his will and hope you can convince him to resign - but that's a big gamble that many teams understandably aren't willing to do for a player who could just be a one year rental. It's much less of a gamble for cities that are on pretty much everyone's preferred destination list.

So basically, desirable markets have 3 full paths to acquire stars (draft, free agents, trades) and undesirable markets have 1.5 (draft, trades but with much more risk attached). And that's not even getting into the likelihood of re-signing your own free agents.
   4581. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: January 10, 2019 at 07:30 PM (#5804357)
It's easy to say, "Well, it's the Pelicans own fault if AD leaves. They didn't surround him with enough talent to win anything." That's true, but it's not necessarily their fault.
I think the Pelicans are a pretty clear case of insufficiently good team-building. Had they gotten spectacularly lucky, they still might have stumbled into a dominant team, but that front office's bad decisions were never going to shoot the small-market gap otherwise—I think they likely wouldn't have worked in a bigger market either, but that's obviously unverifiable.
   4582. Fourth True Outcome Posted: January 10, 2019 at 07:34 PM (#5804359)
The other thing about the Pelicans is that they apparently have a medical staff peopled with football people, which almost certainly has contributed to the injury woes that have compounded their roster's non-spectacularness. I guess that could be a market size thing, in that the headroom provided by big market bucks makes it easier to field two medical staffs for a football and basketball team owned by the same person, but I'm more inclined to chalk that up to incompetent ownership, rather than market size. Still the smaller the market, the less margin for error. The Knicks are a joke that has a chance at KD; Sacramento is a joke that will never have a shot with the KDs of the world.
   4583. aberg Posted: January 10, 2019 at 07:57 PM (#5804366)
Not to go all RR on the thread, but he has astutely pointed out that the number of times that "Big Market Team Attracts Big FAs" has been a viable franchise-building strategy can basically be counted on one hand.

Lebron going to LA is a big one that definitely fits the narrative.

Durant went to GS because it was a great team. That same franchise had largely been considered a mid to small-market team for most of my life even though the Bay Area is highly populated.

The Heatles joined up in Miami. That one probably counts, but it's more weather/lifestyle based than the size of the market. Either way, it fits the cap-clearing model.

Shaq was traded twice, both to desireable markets. Neither one was a cap-clearing situation.

Wilt and Kareem going to LA probably both count.

That's probably the whole list. The Knicks have "lured" free agents and typically regreted the contracts they gave them (Amare, Houston). Orlando has had about as much FA success as anyone (Hill, McGrady) and that's a very small market (though desireable to some). Who are the great FAs who have signed with or forced their way to Dallas, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, or Brooklyn?

   4584. aberg Posted: January 10, 2019 at 07:59 PM (#5804368)
Also, if New Orleans isn't considered a destination, that's their own fault.
   4585. Booey Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:06 PM (#5804371)
Still the smaller the market, the less margin for error. The Knicks are a joke that has a chance at KD; Sacramento is a joke that will never have a shot with the KDs of the world.


Exactly. It's not that New Orleans and other less desirable cities haven't made mistakes; they did. It's that those mistakes wouldn't be nearly as crippling if they played somewhere else. The Lakers were basically the Kings for 5 years, averaging 27 wins from 2014-2018. They had three straight #2 picks - and a #7 pick before that - and ended up with zero stars. THAT would qualify as a crippling mistake for most teams. But they got LeBron anyway.

(note: people often refer to "market size", but I've always preferred "market desirability" because it's not just about the size, and I've never claimed that it was. Last I checked, Minneapolis and Miami had about the same market size, but I think there's a huge gap between them in market desirability).
   4586. Booey Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:10 PM (#5804373)
Also, if New Orleans isn't considered a destination, that's their own fault.


I've wondered about that too. It doesn't seem like somewhere that players would be reluctant to go to, but they don't have a good track record with picking up stars or keeping their own.

But NOP was just one off the top of my head example, anyway, not the main point of my post. ;-)
   4587. JC in DC Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:28 PM (#5804376)
[4583] Thank you! I was reading this and about to post more or less the same thing. All teams need luck. All teams have "small margins for error." The Knicks had Patrick Ewing for about 15 years and the best guy he played with was who? Charles Smith? An aging Rolando Blackmon? John Starks? Building teams is hard and takes luck. I don't see a huge "big market" v. "small market" thing in the NBA. Cleveland, Utah, and Miami have been a helluva lot more successful than NY.
   4588. Booey Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:31 PM (#5804377)
Not to go all RR on the thread, but he has astutely pointed out that the number of times that "Big Market Team Attracts Big FAs" has been a viable franchise-building strategy can basically be counted on one hand.


The same handful of teams are listed as being the frontrunners for just about every major free agent. I think a better project would be to come up with a list of stars who chose to go to teams like the Raptors, Wolves, Jazz, Pacers, Blazers, Kings, etc. Or the number of stars that left teams like these in their prime.

Durant went to GS because it was a great team.


...who happened to play in an acceptable market.

That same franchise had largely been considered a mid to small-market team for most of my life even though the Bay Area is highly populated.


Has it? I never thought of them that way. I consider the Oakland A's small market, but that's because San Francisco has their own team to claim the majority of the fanbase. The Dubs have the entire Bay Area to themselves, and that's a lot of people.

The Heatles joined up in Miami. That one probably counts, but it's more weather/lifestyle based than the size of the market.


See my 4585. Market desirability, not market size.

The Knicks have "lured" free agents and typically regreted the contracts they gave them (Amare, Houston).


Regretting the contracts later doesn't change the fact that they were able to pick up players who were considered pretty big stars at the time (Sprewell, Houston, LJ, Marbury, Melo, Amare).

Orlando has had about as much FA success as anyone (Hill, McGrady) and that's a very small market (though desireable to some).


Yeah, Orlando landed a couple of big names 20 years ago, but they've also lost some prominent players to LAL (Shaq, Dwight). And again, it's still a warm weather city in a state with no state income taxes (see also San Antonio). I doubt it's ever been near the bottom of the desirability list.

Who are the great FAs who have signed with or forced their way to Dallas, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, or Brooklyn?


Well, since I've been following the NBA, I'd say that Houston is neck and neck with the Lakers for acquiring the MOST stars they didn't draft of any team in the league (Drexler, Barkley, Pippen, McGrady, Harden, Dwight, Paul). It's not that anyone specifically FORCES their way there, but no one seems to be OPPOSED to being traded there, either.

Philly wasn't desirable during The Process, but now that they're good they've been listed as potential suitors for some major free agents (LBJ and Kawhi, to name two). Yeah, being in the running for stars doesn't mean you're going to land them, but it's definitely better than NOT being in the running for any of them ever, even when you're just one player away from being really, really good (Jazz, Pacers, Blazers, etc). If market doesn't matter much, why aren't competitive teams like these ever in the running for anyone significant?
   4589. aberg Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:46 PM (#5804379)
(note: people often refer to "market size", but I've always preferred "market desirability" because it's not just about the size, and I've never claimed that it was. Last I checked, Minneapolis and Miami had about the same market size, but I think there's a huge gap between them in market desirability).


Sure, but that's pretty reductive. The markets that attract good players are the markets that players find attractive. If someone could have told us 25 years ago that Orlando was more "desireable" than New Orleans, or that Oakland is more "desireable" than Phoenix, that would mean more to me.
   4590. maccoach57 Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:47 PM (#5804380)
Not to go all RR on the thread


Heh.

The common denominators with James and O'Neal were the desire to be involved in the entertainment business and the Lakers having a legend in place in the FO to do recruitment--a legend that, in each case, the team drafted out of college. Also, as I point out every time this comes up, the Lakers had a nice supporting cast in place in 1996--thanks to Jerry West's trading and drafting.

As to the current roster, yes, they failed to land a star in drafts, but no one here, or in the fanbase, or anyone, really, was screaming that the choices of Randle, Russell, Ingram and Ball were catastrophic drafting errors at the time. All four of them were pretty safe, consensus picks. You can say they fukked up by not taking Porzingis and Tatum, but very few people were hammering on that at the time. Plenty of teams have strings of lottery picks without landing a big star. The draft is hard. Additionally, since Jim Buss got fired, Magic and Pelinka have been very intentional about freeing up cap space to have room for two max guys: trading Russell, letting Randle walk, buying out Deng.

The key factors are not some generalized concept of "market desirability" but rather:

Timing
Management/Assets
And most importantly: What the guy wants and who he is

Hayward went to Boston because they planned ahead to have the cap space, Ainge has done a nice job of building the roster and assets, and because Hayward has a deep connection to Stevens. James came here because they made a couple of moves to clear the cap space, he seems pretty down with Magic Johnson, he and his family wanted to live here in part to be more involved with entertainment people. Nobody wants Dwight Howard now, but they did in 2013, and he bailed on the Lakers to get away from Kobe and D'Antoni and an organization trending down, to play with Harden and to get a better tax set-up. Paul George, a LA native, stayed in the smallest market in the NBA after many people, including a few here, figured he would be joining the Lakers.

We are at a moment at which the league seemingly has more parity than it has had in many years. There are strong teams in Milwaukee, Indiana, Oklahoma City, and Toronto. Memphis has kept their stars, and Minnesota had two stars but lost one mostly because of personalities. The Clippers have moved all their stars and are now sort of gritty. Miami is also a starless team, and the Knicks remain terrible, Chicago has become terrible. Brooklyn has poked their heads above water for the first time in a long time. The Lakers had been lousy for several years until James decided to forego an immediate shot at beating Golden State to get other stuff he wanted.

So, sure, warm-weather/bling cities probably have some edges with attracting some FAs. But it is not a huge advantage and never will be in a digital media age in a hard-capped, revenue-sharing, draft league with multiple incentives in place for guys to spend their primes with the teams that drafted them.




   4591. Booey Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:49 PM (#5804381)
Cleveland, Utah, and Miami have been a helluva lot more successful than NY.


That doesn't mean they've all had the same opportunities to be successful. Cleveland won for one, non duplicable reason - the GOAT happened to be born nearby and wanted to come back home. They were never appealing before (see LeBron's own words in 4579) and probably never will be again.

The Jazz have been mostly competitive almost entirely on the backs of their own draft picks - Stockton, Malone, Kirilenko, DWill, Millsap, Gordita Hellboy, Gobert, Mitchell. That's something that any team could do with a little luck and a little smarts. Picking up free agents isn't.

The Ewing era Knicks seem fairly recent to me too, but in reality, they're actually not - their heyday was 20-30 years ago, same as the Stockton to Malone Jazz, in a VERY different NBA landscape. If we'd had this discussion back in the 90's, I would have had no complaints about market inequalities. Whether it was the longer contracts and other differences in the CBA, or just tradition, stars just didn't switch teams much back then. Almost all the major stars drafted in the 80's and 90's played for their original teams for at least a decade (Barkley and Shaq were two of the exceptions). So yeah, if a team like the Jazz drafted players like Stockton and Malone, they had a pretty good chance of keeping them for a long time. And if a team like the Knicks COULDN'T draft another star to pair Ewing with, then they were going to have a hard time luring one away from another team to join him. But those days are long gone. We're in an unprecedented age of superstar movement, and that's a big advantage for teams who can pick up unhappy stars vs ones who can't. Especially in the superteam era where it generally takes 3 stars to win a title. Having to draft and develop 3 stars - and to do it all in a narrow window before your first star leaves - is damn near impossible (Yes, the 2015 Warriors did it). It's much easier if you only have to draft maybe 1 star and then can speed up your rebuild by nabbing the other 2 via free agency or trade.
   4592. JC in DC Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:50 PM (#5804382)
[4590] Applause.
   4593. aberg Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:51 PM (#5804383)
The same handful of teams are listed as being the frontrunners for just about every major free agent


Frontrunner is different than getting the player. To that point, the Warriors never got anyone and were never considered "frontrunners" for anyone good until they built a juggernaut. The market itself didn't change much.

A bunch of the examples you listed are also situations where players got traded into other markets for the best deal the market offered or the players were too old to be considered true stars any longer. My post was in response to this statement:

I think a big problem for smaller market teams is that they pretty much have to build via the draft and shrewd trades


My point is that, with the occassional exception of the Lakers, that statement applies to every team almost all the time.
   4594. aberg Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:53 PM (#5804386)
I would argue that the perception that NY is a FA destination has done more harm to the franchise than good. They are constantly on a treadmill of trying to lure FAs instead of drafting and developing players, and the result is that they haven't developed a star since the 80s.
   4595. Booey Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:59 PM (#5804387)
Also, as I point out every time this comes up, the Lakers had a nice supporting cast in place in 1996--thanks to Jerry West's trading and drafting.


Yes, but for many teams, that nice supporting cast is all they'd have to go to battle with in the playoffs year after year. Landing the super-duper star to go along with them is the difference between winning titles (or at least serious title contention) vs losing in the first or 2nd round every year. It's not a small thing.
   4596. Booey Posted: January 10, 2019 at 09:14 PM (#5804391)
Frontrunner is different than getting the player. To that point, the Warriors never got anyone and were never considered "frontrunners" for anyone good until they built a juggernaut. The market itself didn't change much.


Yes, almost every team is unappealing when they're terrible and have train wreck management. But those things are potentially fixable. That's not comparable to markets that are unappealing even when they're good and have competent management. There's nothing those teams can do to fix their issues.

As to the current roster, yes, they failed to land a star in drafts, but no one here, or in the fanbase, or anyone, really, was screaming that the choices of Randle, Russell, Ingram and Ball were catastrophic drafting errors at the time. All four of them were pretty safe, consensus picks. You can say they fukked up by not taking Porzingis and Tatum, but very few people were hammering on that at the time. Plenty of teams have strings of lottery picks without landing a big star. The draft is hard.


Exactly. The draft IS hard. And that's why teams that have no other path for acquiring stars are at such a disadvantage. I actually DON'T think the Lakers made poor choices with their draft picks, but I DO think that other teams making those same choices would have been screwed. They'd have continued sucking until they finally did hit on a star or two. Maybe in 5 more years, maybe in 10. LeBron wasn't going to come walking through that door to bail them out of their rebuild. And if LBJ didn't, someone else would have. It was pretty much inevitable that the Lakers were going to land a big star sooner or later. That's certainly not the case everywhere.

Re: clearing cap space - There's a reason many teams don't bother doing it. Having money only matters if someone worthwhile is willing to take it. Otherwise you just end up overpaying to land mediocre players.
   4597. Booey Posted: January 10, 2019 at 09:21 PM (#5804393)
Paul George, a LA native, stayed in the smallest market in the NBA after many people, including a few here, figured he would be joining the Lakers.


Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised to see that (and admit it, you were too). But it was a huge gamble on OKC's part (see my 4580). Ditto with Kawhi and Toronto. It wouldn't have been nearly as much of a gamble for the Lakers to trade for either, seeing as both players specifically said they wanted to play there.

It's not that EVERYONE specifically wants to play in LA or Miami or wherever, but there's enough players who do that they should always be able to pick up SOMEONE significant if they have the money and make competent managerial decisions. That's not equally true in some other places.
   4598. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: January 10, 2019 at 11:24 PM (#5804408)
   4599. nick swisher hygiene Posted: January 10, 2019 at 11:29 PM (#5804410)
After 3 quarters at home vs OKC, the Spurs are.....14/15 from 3.

Do we credit Pop for this?
   4600. maccoach57 Posted: January 10, 2019 at 11:45 PM (#5804413)
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