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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

OT - NBA thread (Playoffs through off-season)

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, and this one only cares about the NBA thread and the Cubs so I have no idea what the rest of the website cares about.

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 16, 2019 at 02:18 PM | 6210 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   201. Booey Posted: April 21, 2019 at 08:58 PM (#5834020)
Flip
   202. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: April 21, 2019 at 09:37 PM (#5834023)
It sucks, and it shows that they definitely can't just stand pat this offseason again, but I don't think they need to overreact and start thinking of a coaching change yet, either.


If anything, the fact that Snyder got their offense up to league average in the regular season makes me more impressed with him.
   203. PJ Martinez Posted: April 21, 2019 at 11:29 PM (#5834037)
RUSS: *shoots jumper*

RIM: 'Next question.'
   204. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: April 21, 2019 at 11:40 PM (#5834039)
Now that all the higher seeds have regained the advantage in their series, we are officially in the first round doldrums. Which means... it's time to announce the results of the second annual BTF Wacky Predictions contest!

To remind you, here were the questions along with the outcomes:

1. How many games will Joel Embiid play? 64 -- aberg nailed this one exactly.
2. What will Markelle Fultz's FG% be? .419 -- DCA, Fridas Boss, and Winter's Night all guessed .420.
3. Who will be the first coach fired? Tyronn Lue -- Nobody guessed this, but 8 people guessed Thibodeau and 2 guessed Hoiberg for partial credit on a coach who did get fired. (Joerger and Walton were fired after the season, so no points for those guesses.)
4. Which rookie will have the most total points? (NOT points per game) Trae Young -- the plurality choice, with 8 of 20 votes.
5. Will any of the top 25 contracts in the NBA be traded (see here), with the explicit exceptions of Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh? Yes -- Otto Porter (16 of 20 correct)
6. How many triple-doubles will LeBron James have? 8 -- nobody guessed this, aberg with 7 and Booey with 9 were closest.
7. Which Clown or Bastard will score the most points this year: Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee, or Michael Beasley? Javale McGee took it (4 of 20 right); the most popular choice was Michael Beasley who came in last.
8. Who will lead the league in missed field goals: Russell Westbrook, or the field? The field took it -- Westbrook had won two straight and four of six, but came in only 8th this year, with James Harden taking the crown. 11 of 20 BTFers got this one right.
9. Pick two players who will make the All-Star game for the first time. Simmons, Jokic, Russell, Middleton, and Vucevic were right answers. 5 BTFers got two correct answers, all people who guessed Simmons and Jokic.
10. How many 3-pointers will Ben Simmons make this year: 0, 1-4, 5-19, 20-81, or 82+? 0 three-pointers, which only tshipman guessed.

Add it all up and your grand winner... <drumroll>... and bragging rights on this thread for the next year is... Booey, who finished with 72 points out of a possible 100! The rest of the top five: winter's night with 67, berg and Moses with 62, and JJ1986 with 58.

Booey got there by getting the missed FG, Top 25 Traded, and First-Time All-Star questions right, guessing Tom Thibodeau would be fired and 1-4 Simmons 3-pointers, guessing second-place finisher Luka Doncic for rookie points, and coming close on stats for Embiid, Fultz, and LBJ. This was enough to overcome a Rajon Rondo pick for highest-scoring Clown or Bastard and give him the trophy, which perhaps will provide some consolation in the wake of the apparent disappointing postseason fate of his beloved Utah Jazz.
   205. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 21, 2019 at 11:54 PM (#5834040)
It's hard to watch Westbrook shoot his team out of contention.
   206. Booey Posted: April 21, 2019 at 11:56 PM (#5834041)
#204 - I'll trade my win for a game 4 win tomorrow, even if they just get curb stomped again in Houston on Wednesday...
   207. Tin Angel Posted: April 22, 2019 at 12:04 AM (#5834042)
Congrats Booey. You are the Shawn Kemp of the BBTF NBA threads (Sonics version, not Cavs).
   208. Booey Posted: April 22, 2019 at 12:22 AM (#5834046)
#207 - Is that a reference to all my illegitimate children? Who have you been talking to?!
   209. Tin Angel Posted: April 22, 2019 at 12:50 AM (#5834049)
Let's just say it's an appreciation of your productivity and efficiency.
   210. Oriole Tragic don't want me here no more Posted: April 22, 2019 at 01:00 AM (#5834050)
Didn't Booey win this once before?
   211. Oriole Tragic don't want me here no more Posted: April 22, 2019 at 01:05 AM (#5834051)
BooeyCervo, I'd also like to know what you guys think about Rubio. Depending on which Ringer/Lowe pod I'm listening to on a given day, Rubio is either awesome for the Jazz or everything that's wrong with the Spazz.

I was high on him a few years ago, but it does seem like he can't really shoot and maybe his (once overrated?) defense is gone?

Again, to be clear, Rubio is a guy I was hoping would land on the Lakers a couple-few years ago (maybe more; time keeps on slippin') but now IDK. Tell me what to think!
   212. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: April 22, 2019 at 01:17 AM (#5834054)
jmurph and stevegamer tied on the first one last year -- Booey did not participate.
   213. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: April 22, 2019 at 09:35 AM (#5834068)
Far as I can tell, I believe I came in dead last for the second straight year. The evidence is clear that I should not be making predictions, but then, I'd hate for someone else to have to suffer the ignominy. :)

Just want y'all to know that, for related reasons (I have nothing of value to contribute to a serious basketball discussion) I've mostly stopped posting but I still read the thread and learn a lot from it.
   214. jmurph Posted: April 22, 2019 at 09:41 AM (#5834071)
jmurph and stevegamer tied on the first one last year -- Booey did not participate.

This feels like you're putting an asterisk on my (shared) outstanding achievement, like I'm the Rockets when Jordan was retired or something. DISRESPECT.
   215. Booey Posted: April 22, 2019 at 11:31 AM (#5834107)
BooeyCervo, I'd also like to know what you guys think about Rubio. Depending on which Ringer/Lowe pod I'm listening to on a given day, Rubio is either awesome for the Jazz or everything that's wrong with the Spazz.

I was high on him a few years ago, but it does seem like he can't really shoot and maybe his (once overrated?) defense is gone?


I actually feel bad for Rubio. He seems like such a nice guy; by all accounts he loves it here, he's got a great relationship with all his teammates, he's active in various charities around the community, etc. I even dig the beard and samurai hair. And to top it off, he's my 7 year old son's favorite player, so part of me would hate to see him go. I'll actually be a little sad watching tonight's game knowing it could be Rubio's last for the Jazz (mostly Favors, but also Ricky).

That said, he's not the teams long term answer at PG, and I think the majority of the fanbase is ready to admit that. There's actually a not insignificant chunk of them that put TOO much blame for the teams struggles on his shoulders, IMO. But he legitimately IS part of the problem. On a team with 2 traditional bigs (i.e. non shooters) in the starting lineup, you can't have a PG who can't shoot, either. That's just too many players the defense can largely ignore. Mitchell gets a lot of criticism for his shot selection and hero ball tendencies - and some of that has merit - but honestly, who else is going to take those shots? Crowder can't shoot; it's not a coincidence that he's wide open on almost all of his 3's. Ingles and Korver can shoot, but they can't create their own shot, so having a PG who can would be huge. And that's never going to be Rubio, unfortunately. So sad as it may be - and I'll always root for him - I think the team does need to move on.
   216. JC in DC Posted: April 22, 2019 at 11:48 AM (#5834115)
Speaking of PGs: what to make of Westbrook? He always gets his gaudy numbers, at least in rebounds and assists, but shoots so poorly (a 5/20 game, and last night's 5/21 game) and takes so many shots that it really seems to cost his team. As bad as my Knicks are, I would take a hard pass on Westbrook if offered him. Does anyone want him on their team? Not some idealized version, but the guy who actually exists? I find him maddening.
   217. shout-out to 57i66135; that shit's working now Posted: April 22, 2019 at 12:20 PM (#5834119)
Does anyone want him on their team?
i'd take him.
   218. rr: target market for blowhard nonsense Posted: April 22, 2019 at 12:49 PM (#5834131)
Rubio: Booey's take is accurate and nuanced. My personal opinion of Rubio, as I have said many times, is that his likability, coolness factor, and passing skills make him fun to watch and have on the team, but these elements have also have made him a little overrated throughout his career. But...multiple playoff series losses expose that kind of thing IMO, and losing is never cool.
Westbrook: I have defended him a lot, as I generally defend productive players who are seen as gunners, selfish, etc. Kobe Bryant Lakers Fan Syndrome. While I don't want to get into Bill Simmons F-U edge territory, I will say this: with what OKC is paying for that team, and with OKC landing in the bracket that does not include Golden State and Houston, Westbrook and George needed to deliver, and to this point, they obviously have not--especially Westbrook.
   219. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: April 22, 2019 at 12:49 PM (#5834132)
[216] One question, which I don't know the answer to, is how good the shots he creates are. It's a huge part of the puzzle: is Russ's high usage allowing others to be more efficient due to lower usage, and are his assists coming in efficient fashion? He has led the league in AST% three years in a row, for what that's worth (maybe mostly that he has the ball in his hands a ton).

Is there a publicly available source for shooting percentage on a player's passes? tship, I feel like you know the most. I know this is tracked through Second Spectrum but I don't know if it's publicly available anywhere.

ISTR that a big part of LeBron's value once upon a time was that his teammates shot some amazing number -- I want to say 50% from three one year -- on his passes, presumably because he's such a gifted passer and also attracts lots of double teams.
   220. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 22, 2019 at 12:49 PM (#5834133)
Tony East @TEastNBA 57m57 minutes ago

The Pacers have gone 3-12 in the last 3 postseasons and have been outscored by a total of only 6 points in that span.


---

That's a fair point, JC. But if we're talking about the version of the Knicks that actually exists and they were to pass on anyone with that talent level...
   221. jmurph Posted: April 22, 2019 at 12:53 PM (#5834135)
Speaking of PGs: what to make of Westbrook? He always gets his gaudy numbers, at least in rebounds and assists, but shoots so poorly (a 5/20 game, and last night's 5/21 game) and takes so many shots that it really seems to cost his team. As bad as my Knicks are, I would take a hard pass on Westbrook if offered him. Does anyone want him on their team? Not some idealized version, but the guy who actually exists? I find him maddening.

This is tied up in the overall question of what they do to raise their ceiling. They have so much money committed to just 5 guys, even Minnesota scoffs at their cap situation. Eyeballing it, it's about $123 million next year to Westbrook/George/Adams/Roberson(!), and Schroder. Only Roberson is gone for 20-21, too- $119ish to the other 4 in 20-21.
   222. JJ1986 Posted: April 22, 2019 at 01:00 PM (#5834138)
I'm mostly on the anti-Westbrook side, but it's hard to judge him without a better supporting cast around him. The team has one real wing player. Terrance Ferguson is not very good and is really slight and is their best option after PG. The other perimeter players who played off the bench are Dennis Schroder and Raymond Felton. Westbrook with George on the court with him was really good this year. Westbrook without PG was bad, but that was mostly Russ and Schroder and someone who was too small to play the 3.
   223. rr: target market for blowhard nonsense Posted: April 22, 2019 at 01:05 PM (#5834140)
Is there a publicly available source for shooting percentage on a player's passes? tship, I feel like you know the most. I know this is tracked through Second Spectrum but I don't know if it's publicly available anywhere.

ISTR that a big part of LeBron's value once upon a time was that his teammates shot some amazing number -- I want to say 50% from three one year -- on his passes, presumably because he's such a gifted passer and also attracts lots of double teams.


FWIW (not much) back when Kobe was a thing, I posted several times noting that on the rare pre-injury occasions when he was out, Gasol's and Bynum's USGs ofc went up, but their efficiency dropped way off. Bynum and Gasol in those days would occasionally complain to media people about Kobe shooting too much.

Might be similar with Westbrook, and ISTM that OKC has never emphasized trying to pair cheap sharpshooters with him to the degree they could have, but maybe I am missing it. OKC was 22nd in 3p% this year, and eybeballing Bask Ref, their numbers in the POR series (unsurprisingly) look very bad. George and Westbrook are 19/62, and no one else is tearing it up.
   224. Booey Posted: April 22, 2019 at 01:16 PM (#5834149)
My personal opinion of Rubio, as I have said many times, is that his likability, coolness factor, and passing skills make him fun to watch and have on the team, but these elements have also have made him a little overrated throughout his career. But...multiple playoff series losses expose that kind of thing IMO, and losing is never cool.


I agree with this, but TBF, this will actually be the first playoff series loss of Rubio's career. He never made the postseason with the Wolves, and he got injured last year and missed the entire 2nd round loss to the Rockets. He came up big in the 1st round win vs OKC, FWIW.

re: Westbrook - Russ seems like a good "floor" guy to me, meaning that the team that has him in his prime will never be awful. But he seems like a hard player to build a true contender around, IMO. Basically, you'd need him to be the clear #2 guy and the #1 guy needs to be an all timer like Durant. Even pairing him with a "regular" superstar like PG-13 hasn't been enough to get OKC to 50 wins or the 2nd round (most likely). The comparisons others have made to Iverson are fairly accurate, I think. Westbrook is a little better than AI, but despite making history with all the triple doubles and such, I think he's "only" on pace to end up as a regular HOFer rather than an all timer. Harden has a much better argument to being on pace for an inner circle (say, top 25 or 30) career, IMO.
   225. rr: target market for blowhard nonsense Posted: April 22, 2019 at 01:25 PM (#5834154)
this will actually be the first playoff series loss of Rubio's career. He never made the postseason with the Wolves ,


Good catch, but never making postseason and then missing one with an injury when you do is sort of the same thing, in a way.

   226. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: April 22, 2019 at 01:32 PM (#5834156)
Good catch, but never making postseason and then missing one with an injury when you do is sort of the same thing, in a way.

It's hard to pin the blame on Rubio considering how badly run the Wolves were when he was there.
   227. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: April 22, 2019 at 01:42 PM (#5834158)
I think Rubio is fine, but not really good enough to be the starting PG on a contending team. His defense is probably above average against most guys still, but he really struggles with small, quick PG. His passing has been the biggest disappointment for me as someone who didn't watch him much with the Wolves -- it's good, but not great. His shooting and finishing issues are well-known, but he also has a habit of making just incredibly stupid, unforced turnovers. That being said, he's still by far the Jazz' best playmaker and the offense has been quite a bit better with him despite all his flaws.

Like Booey has already said, Rubio seems like a great guy and is really fun to root for, so a part of me will be sad if he's not on the Jazz next year. However, I also don't see how the Jazz can get to a higher tier without upgrading both PG and a better stretch 4 than Crowder. I don't think any team wanting to make a playoff run should have Rubio as their target for starting PG, especially the Lakers if they still have Ball.
   228. spivey Posted: April 22, 2019 at 01:56 PM (#5834165)
Westbrook from 2-3 years ago I would absolutely take, I thought he was one of the best players in the NBA.

Now that his midrange and free throw shooting has fallen apart, I dunno. He's still good, but he's not worth a max contract anymore, and is a tricky fit. It would depend.
   229. rr: target market for blowhard nonsense Posted: April 22, 2019 at 02:41 PM (#5834192)
It's hard to pin the blame on Rubio considering how badly run the Wolves were when he was there.


Not trying to pin blame on him. Just pointing out that I do not see him as a difference-maker and as a guy who is a little overrated with real flaws to his game. I think he was drafted with the idea he would be a difference-maker. YMMV.
   230. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: April 22, 2019 at 03:47 PM (#5834229)
When he was drafted, I thought he'd be a difference maker - a somewhat better shooter than he turned out to be (and at a time where that mattered a bit less than it does now), which would open up things for his floor vision.
Setting aside where the line between that and solid player is, he's clearly on the lesser side of things now.
   231. jmurph Posted: April 22, 2019 at 04:53 PM (#5834246)
Bad luck on the schedule tonight, not a lot of excitement for the neutrals.
   232. rr: target market for blowhard nonsense Posted: April 22, 2019 at 05:21 PM (#5834257)
Setting aside where the line between that and solid player is,


Yeah, I was not specific. I am thinking ~Top-60 guy. Maybe Rubio is there based on D and passing, but IMO his shooting is a real problem is today's game. Lonzo Ball's ceiling is quite possibly Rubio, which is not bad, if he even gets there, but the Lakers were ofc hoping for much more. I think Minnesota was too. Rubio as suggested might look better on a team with different personnel than Utah's. I am not trying to bag on the guy; he is not a bad player and I like him. But I agree with the Utah fans who do not see him as an answer for their squad.

>>>like I'm the Rockets when Jordan was retired or something. DISRESPECT.<<<

You can address this at length in your speech when you are inducted into the BBTF NBA Thread Hall of Fame.

   233. Tin Angel Posted: April 22, 2019 at 06:01 PM (#5834261)
Bad luck on the schedule tonight, not a lot of excitement for the neutrals.


The second round cannot come soon enough. How I wish they'd go back to the first round being best of five.
   234. Ken Griffey's Grotesquely Swollen Jaw Posted: April 22, 2019 at 06:21 PM (#5834263)
and, if I understand correctly, even if the Bucks finish off the sweep tonight, Bucks/Celtics will start Saturday at the earliest. I appreciate the extra time as a Bucks fan to allow them to get a little more healthy but that's just too far away.
   235. stevegamer Posted: April 22, 2019 at 06:36 PM (#5834265)
This feels like you're putting an asterisk on my (shared) outstanding achievement, like I'm the Rockets when Jordan was retired or something. DISRESPECT.


Somehow I missed the contest this year, but a shared title is good - no asterisk!
   236. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: April 22, 2019 at 09:28 PM (#5834294)
@espn_macmahon

Quin Snyder: “We’re getting better shots than anyone in the playoffs based on QSQ ratings. We’re getting open looks. We can’t stop taking them.”


I do think part of that is because Houston is fine with a bunch of Jazz players shooting, but it also reinforces that Snyder is not the problem and they desperately need better shooters and at least one more player who can create for himself/others.
   237. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 22, 2019 at 09:59 PM (#5834302)
The Bucks have been prancing their way through this series, then Blake shows up and suddenly it's a dog fight.
   238. spivey Posted: April 22, 2019 at 10:06 PM (#5834303)
I do think part of that is because Houston is fine with a bunch of Jazz players shooting, but it also reinforces that Snyder is not the problem and they desperately need better shooters and at least one more player who can create for himself/others.

I was just coming here to post the qSQ reference, and Pelton said on Twitter they lead by quite a bit.

I think that metric is more than just jump shots, right? Even if not, they were just as good of a regular season 3pt% team as Houston and their 3pt shot distribution looks pretty similar in the playoffs and regular season. This is of course a quick and dirty analysis but it’s a good counterpoint to just blaming it on the matchup. I think you can sum much of it up to two good teams are playing and one is making shots.
   239. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 22, 2019 at 10:07 PM (#5834304)
Is "QSQ Ratings" a real thing? Did Quin Snyder name it after himself?
   240. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 22, 2019 at 10:08 PM (#5834305)
Looks like the Bucks have put the hammer down.
   241. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: April 22, 2019 at 10:16 PM (#5834307)
Poor, sad Pistons. Thought they might at least give me one close game.

Funny gif of Blake mouthing along to the "ref you suck" chant at least, so postseason wasn't a total wash.
   242. spivey Posted: April 22, 2019 at 10:35 PM (#5834314)
Could be some alltimers in the second round. Denver/Portland could be fun, if ultimately just a preamble.
   243. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: April 22, 2019 at 10:44 PM (#5834316)
I was just coming here to post the qSQ reference, and Pelton said on Twitter they lead by quite a bit.

I think that metric is more than just jump shots, right? Even if not, they were just as good of a regular season 3pt% team as Houston and their 3pt shot distribution looks pretty similar in the playoffs and regular season. This is of course a quick and dirty analysis but it’s a good counterpoint to just blaming it on the matchup. I think you can sum much of it up to two good teams are playing and one is making shots.


Yeah, I believe it's all shots. I would guess that most of the difference is on jumpers though:

@espn_macmahon
Per Second Spectrum, the Jazz have a 56.3 quantified shot quality in the playoffs, the best of any team. Utah is 12-of-64 (18.8%) on wide-open 3s (no defender within 6 feet), the worst of any team in the last five postseasons.
   244. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: April 22, 2019 at 11:39 PM (#5834321)
The QSQ thing and related stats are interesting. Does that mean we should be more skeptical of the Rockets' defense? There have been a lot of puff pieces about it this postseason. I guess we will see if GSW shreds them to pieces or not (assuming no crazy comeback).
   245. SteveF Posted: April 22, 2019 at 11:55 PM (#5834322)
Does that mean we should be more skeptical of the Rockets' defense?

The Rockets defense has been significantly better post AS break. That improvement doesn't appear to be driven by the quality of their opponents, but that's just based on my quick scan.
   246. rr: target market for blowhard nonsense Posted: April 23, 2019 at 12:38 AM (#5834325)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A female sports reporter has accused new Sacramento Kings coach Luke Walton of sexual assault in a lawsuit.

TMZ reported Monday night citing legal documents that Kelli Tennant is suing Walton. TMZ reports that Tennant claims she went to Walton’s hotel room to discuss a book she was writing when Walton pinned her to the bed, forcibly kissed her and groped her. The alleged incident happened before Walton became coach of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2016 and while Tennant worked for Sportsnet LA.
   247. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: April 23, 2019 at 12:38 AM (#5834326)
The QSQ thing and related stats are interesting. Does that mean we should be more skeptical of the Rockets' defense? There have been a lot of puff pieces about it this postseason. I guess we will see if GSW shreds them to pieces or not (assuming no crazy comeback).


I think Jazz were also #1 or #2 in the regular season (or at least in % of shots either from three or the restricted area). Houston's defense really does look good to me, even if some of it is flukey bad shooting by the Jazz.
   248. tshipman Posted: April 23, 2019 at 12:45 AM (#5834327)
Does that mean we should be more skeptical of the Rockets' defense?


No, but it's about time you give Brad Stevens some damn credit. He's not just improving the Celtics defense now, but also the Rockets.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A female sports reporter has accused new Sacramento Kings coach Luke Walton of sexual assault in a lawsuit.


This news is really, really bad and makes me sad. Luke was one of my favorite Lakers, and the behavior described in the suit is terrible. I think that the witness is very credible, and has nothing to gain. It makes me think much worse of someone I used to like.
   249. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: April 23, 2019 at 01:02 AM (#5834330)
Kokoskov out in Phoenix, per Woj. That's a clown org, bro.
   250. SteveF Posted: April 23, 2019 at 01:06 AM (#5834332)
Edit: Bleah. I changed my mind. That failed tweak/joke was in bad taste and I apologize.
   251. tshipman Posted: April 23, 2019 at 01:16 AM (#5834333)
[216] One question, which I don't know the answer to, is how good the shots he creates are. It's a huge part of the puzzle: is Russ's high usage allowing others to be more efficient due to lower usage, and are his assists coming in efficient fashion? He has led the league in AST% three years in a row, for what that's worth (maybe mostly that he has the ball in his hands a ton).

Is there a publicly available source for shooting percentage on a player's passes? tship, I feel like you know the most. I know this is tracked through Second Spectrum but I don't know if it's publicly available anywhere.



You can track some of that stuff here.

Westbrook passes the most to Paul George (the other high usage wing) who shoots a good percentage on 3 and a terrible percentage on 2. Most of these are not shots created by Westbrook.
His other two targets are Steven Adams (Westbrook creates over half of Adams' shot attempts and Adams plays an amazing 82% of his minutes with Westbrook on the court) and Jerami Grant (less extreme, but similar).

Overall, Westbrook is a good, but not amazing passer who specializes in diming up the roll/pop man in the PnR, rather than really creating a high number of 3pers. That's still really valuable!

That said, I think the best way to look at Westbrook is two areas: on/off offense and playoff shooting.

When Westbrook is on the court, the Thunder get better looks in the PnR, and their offense comes to life. The 113.8 ORTG with Westbrook on the court would tie for 5th in the NBA, exactly the same as the Milwaukee Bucks. However, the problem with the Thunder (and Westbrook by extension) is that they are very, very one dimensional. They achieve that rating by avoiding turnovers, running hard in transition, and running PnR. That's it. When Westbrook is on the court, 18.4% of the Thunder points come from fast break (compared to 10% when he's off court), and 45% come in the paint.

Now what happens in the playoffs?

For the last 3 years, there have been the same three problems:

1. Transition goes away. Transition opportunities go from 18% of points in the 2019 regular season to 14% in the playoffs. 13.2% in the 2018 playoffs. 14% in the 2017 playoffs. Every year down from the regular season (which is a normal pattern).
2. Russ can't finish in the playoffs. There's this misconception that Westbrook is this nuclear finisher, like LeBron or Giannis. He's not. For the last three years he's averaged about 52% within 3 feet of the rim in the playoffs. Compare that to the regular season where he's consistently at about 60%. Further, he has a harder time getting to the rim in the playoffs. His percentage of opportunities at the rim decline in the playoffs and the midrange shots from 3-16 feet go up. That's Russell's worst area of the court, and he consistently kills his team from that range.
3. Russ doesn't get to the line in the playoffs. The game tightens up, the defenders get better, and suddenly he's taking 5 FTAs/36.

I think when talking about Westbrook, people focus on some of the wrong things. The 3p shots generally aren't the issue--those are not great, but still come out to a 46% eFG%. The problem is that he never developed a reliable floater, or managed to consistently hit the shooter out of PnR action instead of the roll man. I think if Westbrook really is significantly worse as a finisher in the playoffs, it's approximately impossible to win a championship with him as your primary ball handler.
   252. Davo (Love Won The Battle Of Stalingrad) Posted: April 23, 2019 at 01:20 AM (#5834334)
Question from a newbie:

I was looking over the minutes-per-games leaderboards, and I saw that in the 2005-2006 season, there were 10 different players who averaged over 40 minutes a game. Whereas in the 2018-19 season, no one played 40 minutes a game; in fact, Bradley Beal led all players with just 36 minutes a game. (Beal's total is the lowest for a league leader in NBA history.

What.....what might explain that? Is it just injury concern, the 36-minute mark is akin to the 100-pitch limit for baseball pitchers or something? Better bench players? Longer playoffs? Less selfish superstars?

It just surprised me--it's not a trend I would have guessed on my own.
   253. tshipman Posted: April 23, 2019 at 01:36 AM (#5834337)
I was looking over the minutes-per-games leaderboards, and I saw that in the 2005-2006 season, there were 10 different players who averaged over 40 minutes a game. Whereas in the 2018-19 season, no one played 40 minutes a game; in fact, Bradley Beal led all players with just 36 minutes a game. (Beal's total is the lowest for a league leader in NBA history.

What.....what might explain that?


1. Generally speaking, players get more efficient the less they play. They can play with greater intensity and effort for the time on the court. This is particularly pronounced for shooters, btw.
2. Pop piloted and popularized using rest as an intentional strategy to keep players healthy, with high profile success stories for Duncan in particular. I don't know the data on this, but it does seem there are fewer strains and tears.
3. Sports science/tracking stuff became popular at the same time, and it also suggested that different rest patterns from traditional NBA patterns would be more effective. Guys rarely play entire quarters these days.
   254. SteveF Posted: April 23, 2019 at 01:36 AM (#5834338)
What.....what might explain that? Is it just injury concern, the 36-minute mark is akin to the 100-pitch limit for baseball pitchers or something? Better bench players? Longer playoffs? Less selfish superstars?

Players expend more energy per second that they are on the court now than ever before. Players move more on offense and defenses have to keep up with them. Also, defenses have to defend a much larger percentage of the court. I think this is the main reason.

Some of it might be improved science/information about how well tired players can play. Teams might value their players more now that they are paying them so highly. Players -- well, star players at least -- also have more power to demand humane working conditions.
   255. shout-out to 57i66135; that shit's working now Posted: April 23, 2019 at 01:42 AM (#5834339)
Question from a newbie:

I was looking over the minutes-per-games leaderboards, and I saw that in the 2005-2006 season, there were 10 different players who averaged over 40 minutes a game. Whereas in the 2018-19 season, no one played 40 minutes a game; in fact, Bradley Beal led all players with just 36 minutes a game. (Beal's total is the lowest for a league leader in NBA history.

What.....what might explain that? Is it just injury concern, the 36-minute mark is akin to the 100-pitch limit for baseball pitchers or something? Better bench players? Longer playoffs? Less selfish superstars?

It just surprised me--it's not a trend I would have guessed on my own.
players and coaches stopped caring about the regular season.


the turning point, imo, was the lockout year, which forced teams to play 66 games in 120 days. it just wasn't possible for players to 40 MPG when playing 5 games in 6 nights, so everyone kind of let off the gas a bit.

in the process, they all realized it wasn't so bad, and there's been a steady flattening of regular season minutes ever since.
   256. Davo (Love Won The Battle Of Stalingrad) Posted: April 23, 2019 at 01:47 AM (#5834340)
Much appreciated--thanks.
   257. Oriole Tragic don't want me here no more Posted: April 23, 2019 at 02:03 AM (#5834342)
Bill Simmons F-U edge territory, I will say this: with what OKC is paying for that team
I think it was on his latest pod with Russillo that Simmons said Presti should bounce to the Lakers because OKC is looking like a dead-end.

When BS and Russillo get together, I feel like Russillo fluctuates between demonstrating pseudocritical-thinking skills (in that he'll at least call out BS much more acutely than any Ringer staffer dares) and enabling BS' frat-boy mode.
   258. Booey Posted: April 23, 2019 at 02:13 AM (#5834344)
Ah, the power of 3's. Jazz start out 4/6 from deep, build a lead of as many as 14 pts in the 1st. Then they brick 13 of their next 14 and spend the next 2 quarters coughing up the lead. Houston meanwhile enters the 3rd down by 6, hits 8/12 from deep, and now goes into the 4th up by 3. Then they promptly go 0/13 in the 4th and turn a 3 pt lead into a 16 pt loss.

Really happy the team didn't roll over. Crowder and Rubio got them off to a great start, and then Mitchell - and Favors and O'Neale, making up for poor games by Gobert and Ingles - finished it off. I applaud Snyder's decision to pull Rudy and go with Faves down the stretch. Tough call, but the right one on this night.
   259. jmurph Posted: April 23, 2019 at 09:08 AM (#5834358)
I was looking over the minutes-per-games leaderboards, and I saw that in the 2005-2006 season, there were 10 different players who averaged over 40 minutes a game. Whereas in the 2018-19 season, no one played 40 minutes a game; in fact, Bradley Beal led all players with just 36 minutes a game. (Beal's total is the lowest for a league leader in NBA history.

What.....what might explain that?

In addition to what the others said: Men are no longer men. Participation trophies. Millennials. Michael Jordan didn't need a day off.

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

Sincerely,
Jeff Van Gundy
   260. shout-out to 57i66135; that shit's working now Posted: April 23, 2019 at 09:53 AM (#5834383)
When BS and Russillo get together, I feel like Russillo fluctuates between demonstrating pseudocritical-thinking skills (in that he'll at least call out BS much more acutely than any Ringer staffer dares) and enabling BS' frat-boy mode.
does russillo "enable" it, or does he goad BS into saying stupid things because A: he knows BS will take the bait, and B: it amuses him? he used to #### around with danny kannell like that all the time.

how long will it take everyone to turn on donovan mitchell? i forgot who said this (my guess would be bomani jones or sarah spain) but whoever it was made the point that people only like volume scorers (rose, arenas, westbrook, rudy, melo, ai) while they're young.
   261. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 23, 2019 at 09:54 AM (#5834384)
the turning point, imo, was the lockout year, which forced teams to play 66 games in 120 days. it just wasn't possible for players to 40 MPG when playing 5 games in 6 nights, so everyone kind of let off the gas a bit.


Not everyone.
   262. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 23, 2019 at 09:57 AM (#5834388)
Kokoskov out in Phoenix, per Woj. That's a clown org, bro.

Seriously, WTF? I think Woj, and others, are saying they're also targeting Monty Williams.
   263. NJ in NY (Now with Big Girl!) Posted: April 23, 2019 at 10:13 AM (#5834394)
When BS and Russillo get together, I feel like Russillo fluctuates between demonstrating pseudocritical-thinking skills (in that he'll at least call out BS much more acutely than any Ringer staffer dares) and enabling BS' frat-boy mode.

This is a perfect description. So on the one hand I'm happy that there is finally someone on Simmons' pod that will call him on his ####, on the other I can do without Russillo making fun of people who follow the NBA who watch tons of video and actually learn plays.
   264. spivey Posted: April 23, 2019 at 10:24 AM (#5834398)
The degree to which the NBA tinkers their schedule for TV annoys me. I get why they do it, but as someone with tickets to all Bucks home playoff games, it's pretty annoying to not know when I'm buying them, or right now, what that schedule will be. I can't just have no other evening plans for 2 months. I have a nice dinner and a concert planned this Saturday and Tuesday, and that could very conceivably both be home games against Boston.
   265. Booey Posted: April 23, 2019 at 11:17 AM (#5834425)
how long will it take everyone to turn on donovan mitchell? i forgot who said this (my guess would be bomani jones or sarah spain) but whoever it was made the point that people only like volume scorers (rose, arenas, westbrook, rudy, melo, ai) while they're young.


In that case, we should have a good 10 years or so, then. I'll take it.

I'm not sure what makes you so confident that Mitchell won't improve or isn't already improving. After a horrid start to the season, he ended up at a respectable .362 from deep (.340 last year). From Jan 4th to the end of the regular season (43 games) he averaged 26.7 pts on .450/.419/.813 shooting splits. Since the AS break (24 games), those splits rose to .461/.451/.827

He didn't just starting hitting 3's at an acceptable level in the 2nd half, he actually got really good at them (and at almost 7 attempts a game).


Edit: And just for fun, he's now outscored (and shot a higher percentage) than James Harden 2 games in a row, and he personally outscored the Rockets in the 4th quarter 19-12 last night. ;-)
   266. jmurph Posted: April 23, 2019 at 11:20 AM (#5834429)
As a non-Jazz fan, I also don't understand all the recent Mitchell skepticism. Who else is creating shots on that team?
   267. spivey Posted: April 23, 2019 at 11:25 AM (#5834431)
Ingles is a pretty good creator. He averages more assists/game than Mitchell by a healthy margin, and his assisted% on 3pt and 2pt shots are both relatively low for a SG. But he's not gonna get you 25 points a game. They do need another creator, but they could also use Mitchell either finishing at the rim better, or passing better, or both.

One thing in Mitchell's defense is his 3pt shooting looks solid enough to where he can play off the ball ok, he's not someone quite like Westbrook who needs to be the primary ball handler.

In fact, Utah probably needs 2 more creators, because in the next couple of years Ingles is probably gonna gonna lose his efficiency a bit.
   268. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 23, 2019 at 11:29 AM (#5834432)
In fact, Utah probably needs 2 more creators, because in the next couple of years Ingles is probably gonna gonna lose his efficiency a bit.

How old is Ingles? I don't need anyone to answer that, and I don't want to look it up. He looks likes he's at least 37.
   269. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: April 23, 2019 at 11:34 AM (#5834438)
Ingles looked 37 when he first came over at 27. Between his face and his height, even if he'd lived in the US he probably would have been able to buy booze without getting carded when he was 15.
   270. jmurph Posted: April 23, 2019 at 11:51 AM (#5834443)
Ingles is a pretty good creator. He averages more assists/game than Mitchell by a healthy margin, and his assisted% on 3pt and 2pt shots are both relatively low for a SG. But he's not gonna get you 25 points a game. They do need another creator, but they could also use Mitchell either finishing at the rim better, or passing better, or both.

One thing in Mitchell's defense is his 3pt shooting looks solid enough to where he can play off the ball ok, he's not someone quite like Westbrook who needs to be the primary ball handler.

In fact, Utah probably needs 2 more creators, because in the next couple of years Ingles is probably gonna gonna lose his efficiency a bit.

It's also worth highlighting that Ingles has played like trash in this series.
   271. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: April 23, 2019 at 12:07 PM (#5834448)
Seriously, WTF? I think Woj, and others, are saying they're also targeting Monty Williams.

I feel bad for Zion Williamson.
   272. jmurph Posted: April 23, 2019 at 12:08 PM (#5834449)
I feel bad for Zion Williamson.

The great underreported story is that the Sixers are obviously going to win the lottery. It's the inevitable conclusion of the NBA Thread.
   273. Booey Posted: April 23, 2019 at 12:09 PM (#5834450)
It's also worth highlighting that Ingles has played like trash in this series.


Yeah, he's had a very invisible and disappointing series. Jazz fans will probably blame Rubio when the series is over, and non-Jazz fans seem to like targeting Mitchell for some reason, but there's been plenty of blame to go around thus far for the 1-3 deficit. Even Gobert has disappeared offensively since Game 1. He's played good D the last 2 games (10 blocks), but he really struggles to score against Capella, and he needs to put glue or something on his hands cuz he's bobbled way too many passes and rebounds the past few games.
   274. shout-out to 57i66135; that shit's working now Posted: April 23, 2019 at 12:48 PM (#5834457)
so, here's an interesting hypothetical:

what would the NBA look like if the nets had hired brian colageno, instead of sean marks?

i assume hinkie would still have been fired.

considering sean marks high profile with the spurs, jerry colangeno would probably have passed him over and hired billy king instead.

billy king would probably have traded the sixers #1 overall pick (ben simmons), plus joel embiid (who had yet to play an NBA game in 2 years) and the future lakers pick, in exchange for lamarcus aldridge and tony parker.

the spurs would have crushed the warriors dynasty before it took off.

lebron and durant would have gone to CHI in 2016, turning the bulls into the new heatles.

moamar qhaddafi would rise from the dead, earning the presidential medal of freedom.

the nets and kings would be contracted.

the black hole picture would have been neil gorsick's ball sack.

the jazz would relocate to winnipeg.



it's hard to believe that so much about the world we know would have been completely different if just this one thing had changed. it really makes you think
   275. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 23, 2019 at 12:58 PM (#5834470)
I don't want to jinx it, but Lillard kicking Playoff P and Westbrook to the curb would be so, so satisfying.
   276. Booey Posted: April 23, 2019 at 01:42 PM (#5834488)
#275 - Agree 100%
   277. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 23, 2019 at 01:48 PM (#5834491)
I don't really get the disrespect Westbrook has for Lillard but, man, Lillard is having all kinds of cold revenge so far. Talk about personifying the adage that the best revenge is a life lived well.
   278. JC in DC Posted: April 23, 2019 at 02:42 PM (#5834518)
[274] I don't think "interesting" means what you think it means.
   279. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: April 23, 2019 at 02:57 PM (#5834523)
I am listening to “Behind The Bastards” podcast about James Dolan, and they’re playing some of his “music” and it is so amazing. So amazing. If anything, he might be better at being an owner of the New York Knicks than as a musician.
   280. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 23, 2019 at 03:05 PM (#5834525)
The Onion @TheOnion 2m2 minutes ago

Dedicated Russell Westbrook Stays Late After Practice To Miss 100 Extra Shots https://trib.al/o32aPny


Hehe
   281. rr: target market for blowhard nonsense Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:02 PM (#5834543)
279--

I will own that when I found out that Dolan had a band, I watched a video of the band performing on YouTube. It had a mockumentary vibe to it; I was transfixed for the whole three minutes or so of the song.
   282. rr: target market for blowhard nonsense Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:22 PM (#5834559)
Wikipedia on JD and the Straight Shot:

Because of his corporate status and his friendship and business relationship with entertainment executive Irving Azoff,[3] Dolan has been able to leverage JD & The Straight Shot onto shows by The Eagles, The Allman Brothers Band, ZZ Top, Jewel, Keith Urban, the Dixie Chicks, Joe Walsh and Robert Randolph.[4][5][6] Attendance by Madison Square Garden staff employees "is expected and noted" when the group plays at New York clubs.[7] The group's song "Can't Make Tears" was on the soundtrack for the TV show Hell on Wheels on the cable channel AMC, which is controlled by Dolan and his family.[6] The group's music has also been featured in films including Hurricane Season, August: Osage County, and Butter, all of which were produced by The Weinstein Company, a corporate business partner of Dolan's Madison Square Garden Company.[6] The group's fifth album Ballyhoo! sold only 113 copies in the first four months after its January 2016 release.[6] The group's sixth album, Good Luck and Good Night, was released on September 15, 2017.

The New York Times has described the band as a group of "well known sidemen backing a karaoke grade singer," and noted that Dolan's "musical talents are unlikely to endanger his day job."[8]

   283. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:29 PM (#5834564)
If there's one thing the musical world needs, it's more boomer dudes playing toothless blues rock!
   284. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 23, 2019 at 05:05 PM (#5834589)
It's a meritocracy for most people, but not for everyone.
   285. jmurph Posted: April 23, 2019 at 05:08 PM (#5834592)
It's a meritocracy for most people, but not for everyone.

Whoa, sounds like someone should have chosen richer parents.
   286. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: April 23, 2019 at 05:12 PM (#5834595)
The group's fifth album Ballyhoo! sold only 113 copies in the first four months after its January 2016 release.

That's amazing. I would have thought more than 113 Knicks fans would have been bought that as a joke gift...
   287. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 23, 2019 at 05:58 PM (#5834612)
Clearly he should have made its purchase "expected and noted" for MSG employees.
   288. villageidiom Posted: April 23, 2019 at 06:10 PM (#5834617)
I hate to hijack an OT thread, but I know a few of the regulars haunt this thread. Any word on a NYC softball game this year?
   289. aberg Posted: April 23, 2019 at 06:31 PM (#5834622)
I don't want to jinx it, but Lillard kicking Playoff P and Westbrook to the curb would be so, so satisfying.


It seems like Lillard has an extremely high Q rating. Does anyone who isn't actively cheering against him in a series dislike him? He's fun to watch, has a tough and engaging personality that doesn't seem forced, and works like crazy all the time for a team that nobody has a good reason to hate. Shine on, Dame.
   290. aberg Posted: April 23, 2019 at 06:47 PM (#5834626)
(rose, arenas, westbrook, rudy, melo, ai)


Mitchell is a good defender, which differentiates him from most of that list. There's also a lot of additional context.

Rose almost got voted into the ASG as a bench player this year after all his injuries. People still like him (in spite of a fairly credible sexual assualt suit), but just don't see much of him.

Arenas was super fun, then he blew out his knee and was awful while on a giant contract. It was just natural aging.

Did people ever love Westbrook. He has always been very cranky. He's also not really a volume scorer as much as a volume everything-er.

I don't remember anyone ever enjoying Rudy Gay as a basketball player.

Melo fits the initial description. People just got tired of him, especially in NY when he failed to bring glory to the Mecca.

AI was always beloved. Fans kept voting him into ASGs, teams kept giving him roster spots, and the media kept talking about him all well after his body couldn't hold up to the NBA any more.

If anything, Mitchell will fall out of favor when he has played enough to earn a max contract and his knees give out from long-term wear. It's the circle of life.
   291. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: April 23, 2019 at 06:59 PM (#5834627)
and works like crazy all the time for a team that nobody has a good reason to hate.


Except God, apparently.

Seriously, I think if I were a big man and just got drafted by or traded to Portland I'd just say no thanks and go play in Greece or something.
   292. shout-out to 57i66135; that shit's working now Posted: April 23, 2019 at 08:31 PM (#5834652)
i can't believe how poorly philly is playing right now. do they even know that they have a chance to end the series here? get your heads in the game.
   293. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: April 23, 2019 at 08:53 PM (#5834663)
The Barneys are getting it done.
   294. shout-out to 57i66135; that shit's working now Posted: April 23, 2019 at 09:19 PM (#5834674)
just a pathetic showing by the sixers. someone needs to tell them this is an elimination game.
   295. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: April 23, 2019 at 09:28 PM (#5834679)
Second round is gonna be fantastic.
   296. Davo (Love Won The Battle Of Stalingrad) Posted: April 23, 2019 at 10:38 PM (#5834708)
This has been one of those "oh yeah that's right the Spurs don't have any good players" halves.
"Oh yeah that's right Derrick White is the only player who can create his own shot."
"Oh yeah that's right Bryn Forbes and Jakob Poetl are in the starting lineup."
   297. spivey Posted: April 23, 2019 at 11:03 PM (#5834728)
OKC is spitting fire out of the gate.
   298. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 23, 2019 at 11:20 PM (#5834738)
Scoring breakdown by individual Blazers so far, midway through the second quarter: 27-4-2-2-2-2-2-2. One possession ago, it was 27-2-2-2-2-2-2-2.
   299. shout-out to 57i66135; that shit's working now Posted: April 23, 2019 at 11:57 PM (#5834745)
i'm sure this isn't too unusual, but it seems kinda weird that every series in the east is over, and every series in the west is still going.
   300. puck Posted: April 24, 2019 at 12:16 AM (#5834752)
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