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Friday, April 15, 2022

2022 NBA Playoffs thread

I estimate the NBA thread only had 10-12 years of content so we’re in reruns already.

Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: April 15, 2022 at 11:59 AM | 4141 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: narratives, nba, off-topic, playoffs

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   1801. spivey Posted: May 25, 2022 at 11:10 AM (#6078401)
flip
   1802. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 25, 2022 at 11:10 AM (#6078402)
All-Star teams announced. Giannis, Joker, Luka, Tatum and Booker 1st team.


I think it's fair to say the next generation of players has officially taken over the game.
   1803. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 25, 2022 at 11:20 AM (#6078404)
I am pretty sure we mean all NBA teams. /pedantry. :)
   1804. KronicFatigue Posted: May 25, 2022 at 11:29 AM (#6078406)
Is there a resource to easily see the changes in playoff scheduling? There was certainly a period of time where I was dismayed by how much time there was between games. But someone on reddit posted a couple of examples in the 90's where the Knicks played a ton of games in a short period of time. So it must have been something that's changed, and then changed back.

It seems less than ideal that teams are both shortening their benches in the playoffs while also being completely gassed by the tighter schedules. Guys at the end of benches might have terrible +/- but if they could give the stars a breather, it might be a net benefit.

I think it's fair to say the next generation of players has officially taken over the game.


Remind me who the last generation is. Lebron's a generation onto himself, but I'm already forgetting who the stars were supposed to be prior to this new amazing group. The Anthony Davis types? Giannis, Joker and Luka feel like you can just pencil them in for the next several years. Tatum and Booker have great futures too, but feel like a substantial tier below.
   1805. tshipman Posted: May 25, 2022 at 12:10 PM (#6078411)
I think I've made this point before, so at the risk of being tedious, there was a whole (basketball) generation of players that failed to thrive. There was only player from about a 5 year age cohort that really got to that MVP level--Kawhi. And with Kawhi, he misses so many games that even he sort of doesn't really fit.

That generation gap is part of what has allowed for LeBron to last so long.
   1806. sardonic Posted: May 25, 2022 at 12:54 PM (#6078414)
Joker and Giannis made All NBA First Team for the first time in the 2018-19 season. The year before that, the All NBA First Team was:

F: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
F: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
C: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
G: James Harden, Houston Rockets
G: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

That feels like a good snapshot of the last "generation."

KD and Lebron made the first team together for the first time in 2009-10. The year before that the team was:

F: Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
F: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
C: Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
G: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
G: Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat


If you go back a few more years to 2006-7, the last year before Lebron made the first team for the first time:

F: Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
F: Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
C: Amar’e Stoudemire, Phoenix Suns
G: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
G: Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns
   1807. Cagerfan Posted: May 25, 2022 at 01:07 PM (#6078415)
I think it's fair to say the next generation of players has officially taken over the game.
It so happened I called in to NBA radio during the pre-season. The hosts (can't remember who but I think Shams Charania was one of them) were slamming Stevens off-season roster moves and were saying the Celtics were not going to be a contender in the east (never mind contend for a title), they didn't have a real point guard, Tatum and Brown were not ready for prime time and weren't that good anyway, they didn't have any quality bigs to compete with Giannis, Embiid, Adebayo, etc. So, I tried to explain what analytics said about the age curve (they poo-pooed the idea Tatum was in the same ballpark as Kevin Durant), tried to explain the Horford/Kemba trade was a #######-A trade for the Celtics (I said the C's needed a passing big and Kemba was done due to his knee injury), said they were a young team and would get better if for no other reason than a nother year of inching towards their collective prime. I also said Smart would be a lot better than Kemba as the PG because Kemba couldn't play defense and that presented a major weakness agains the good teams (citing the inability to contain Herro in the bubble). They used their control of the mute button to slam everything I said, didn't allow me to counter-argument their counter-arguments and put words in my mouth I couldn't contest. In particular, they got outraged when I said the advanced metrics strongly suggested Tatum was as good at the age of 22 as Durant was, and kept mangling my argument, instead comparing the GS Durant with a 21 year old Tatum. I got kinda pissed and frustrated.

At the beginning of the season, I thought I might be the wrong one but I'm feeling pretty good now about what I said. Especially analytics part, which they were dismissive of. Also think it permanently damaging my estimation of Charania.
   1808. spivey Posted: May 25, 2022 at 01:08 PM (#6078416)
Curry should be on the list over Booker. But the generation after LeBron had Curry, Harden, Durant, Westbrook, Kawhi, then to a lesser extent Kyrie, Derrick Rose, Oden, John Wall, Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis.

Curry and Durant are top 20 all-time guys, probably higher. Kawhi is probably top-30, Harden and Westbrook are probably top-40, even with their flaws. Development of top-20 guys is pretty random, and since we seem to be seeing a few more develop (Jokic, Giannis, Luka), it's hard to say there weren't enough all-time peak guys in that small window, given it's so random and difficult to develop into that.

I also think LeBron's career probably has a very different narrative if he's in the West that whole time. Probably makes the Finals fewer times, but probably has a much better Finals record. I think that's the more interesting what if than if Derrick Rose stayed healthy. Rose or John Wall or whoever was never going to be as good as LeBron.

I'm also not ready to write off the last generation of LeBron, Durant, Kawhi, and Steph (obviously). Booker isn't better than LeBron and Durant. I don't think Tatum is either. I'm not even positive I'd say Luka is, though I think he's worked his way into that conversation. Tatum is here because he's developed into a top ~8 player *and* he has excellent, playoff resilient guys around him. I think the last part is the difference here. If the Lakers had Smart, Grant Williams, Horford, and Derrick White as their 3-6 guys, they'd be a real handful too. And when they did have guys like that recently, they were a real handful.
   1809. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: May 25, 2022 at 01:29 PM (#6078417)
Link. Yes, we are. Both by average and standard deviation.

The first round and a half of the playoffs I think were really interesting. It's gotten a bit less so. IIRC, we saw this in the regular season, at least during the COVID years, that blowouts were up. It makes sense as teams continue to shoot higher and higher 3pt rates. I think there's other things too, but discussion should start there. And I think in general the teams in the playoffs are better at protecting the paint and rim than they are at attacking it.
i think we settled on a #hoopidea to address this a few years ago.


iirc, it was that 3s count for 2 when a team is leading by more than 10.
   1810. Cagerfan Posted: May 25, 2022 at 01:40 PM (#6078418)
Curry should be on the list over Booker.
Concur. I suppose it can be explained by Curry hitting a mid-season slump, then getting hurt, and Booker being on the team with the (much) better record.
   1811. Cagerfan Posted: May 25, 2022 at 01:41 PM (#6078419)
I don't think Tatum is either.
Tatum just demonstrated he's now better than Durant. I'm pretty sure he's better than Lebron is too. Lebron doesn't play defense with much energy anymore. The conventional wisdom is that Lebron needs a better supporting cast but Lebron isn't anywere near the players he was even two years ago. I'm not sure he can still lead a team to a title.

   1812. Mike A Posted: May 25, 2022 at 01:54 PM (#6078421)
2nd team NBA for Ja Morant despite only playing 57 games seems like a stretch. And it's not like the Grizzlies were awful without him. Jrue/Trae/Paul had a better claim.

Ja seems to be getting a little overrated, but I guess that's a product of being ridiculously fun to watch.
   1813. Cagerfan Posted: May 25, 2022 at 03:37 PM (#6078430)
Ja seems to be getting a little overrated, but I guess that's a product of being ridiculously fun to watch.
Concur. He's already been designated by the marketing powers that be as the Next One.
   1814. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: May 25, 2022 at 04:46 PM (#6078435)
But the generation after LeBron had Curry, Harden, Durant, Westbrook, Kawhi, then to a lesser extent Kyrie, Derrick Rose, Oden, John Wall, Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis.

You left out Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Damian Lillard, and Garden Hardware.
   1815. aberg Posted: May 25, 2022 at 05:21 PM (#6078438)
I think I've made this point before, so at the risk of being tedious, there was a whole (basketball) generation of players that failed to thrive. There was only player from about a 5 year age cohort that really got to that MVP level--Kawhi. And with Kawhi, he misses so many games that even he sort of doesn't really fit.


Dandy and spivey mostly covered it, but that 5-year age window of guys who are currently in their late 20s or early 30s includes: Davis, Beal, Gobert, Irving, Kawhi, McCollum, Middleton, Lillard, Klay, Draymond, George, Holiday, Harden, Butler, Derozan. That doesn't feel like a lost generation to me.
   1816. aberg Posted: May 25, 2022 at 05:23 PM (#6078439)
Concur. He's already been designated by the marketing powers that be as the Next One.


I have to admit that I don't totally get it. He's a really good player who can do things off the dribble and in midair that nobody else in the league can do. With that said, he's not very good as a shooter or defender and not that advanced as a playmaker. He's certainly young enough to develop in one or more of those other areas, but saying he's already in the top 10 in the league seems like a stretch. Top 10 is more like where I'd project him to be in a few years if his development goes in the right direction, which is far from guaranteed.
   1817. SteveF Posted: May 25, 2022 at 06:51 PM (#6078445)
Smart and Williams reportedly will play. Herro will not.
   1818. spivey Posted: May 25, 2022 at 07:21 PM (#6078451)
Boston really needs to seize this opportunity. Milwaukee had a key injury, Miami is hobbled. I am not making injury excuses because they happen every year and there's only 1 champion out of 30 teams, so if you start discounting championships when they're already so rare what are we even doing here? I think Boston will be very good next year too, but after that Horford will be old/gone, Grant Williams will be really hard to resign as well unless they move other core pieces.

Though Tatum and Brown are young, this could easily be their best shot. I also think they're the team in the NBA best positioned to defend Golden State, and I would have said that before the playoffs too.
   1819. SteveF Posted: May 25, 2022 at 09:07 PM (#6078460)
Both teams look physically compromised.

It's just not good basketball and I'm not sure the NBA should be scheduling things t
   1820. SteveF Posted: May 25, 2022 at 09:22 PM (#6078462)
this way.
   1821. spivey Posted: May 25, 2022 at 09:22 PM (#6078463)
I'm all for good defense but man this offense is hard to watch.
   1822. spivey Posted: May 25, 2022 at 09:33 PM (#6078464)
When Tatum can't get an advantage on his man or has to try to dribble for 10 seconds to do so, Boston's offense is really, really shaky.
   1823. MHS Posted: May 25, 2022 at 11:16 PM (#6078480)
I don’t known Spivey. I guess it’s shaken, but the truth is both teams are massively banged up.

The healthiest guys seemed to have the best games for both team.
Horford, Brown, White
Bam and Vincent

Tatum having trouble beating people is I think the shoulder and his lack of confidence in the shoulder. When he didn’t fire that corner three near the with Duncan closing out in slow motion, instead trying get the cheap bump , it indiicates to me lack of confidence in the shot right. With good reason.

Heat need to play more Vincent and Martin in game 6.

Celtics need to play more PP I think.

Just live/fresh bodies.

That was an ugly ass game.
   1824. sardonic Posted: May 25, 2022 at 11:18 PM (#6078481)
Boston defense looking scary. They're like an amped up version of Memphis. Hard not to see the Celtics as the favorite of the remaining teams .
   1825. Cagerfan Posted: May 25, 2022 at 11:23 PM (#6078482)
The players are in equal parts exhausted and beaten to ####. Also, while I appreciate the permission to limit the contact whistles, I think things have gone too far. Moving picks are just being ignored by the refs this series.
   1826. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: May 25, 2022 at 11:44 PM (#6078483)
Analysis (before the game):
@stevejones20
If you want to put a "series" concern for Miami in this one, it's Boston being this effective with the drop defensively. If they can do that *and* still have the small lineup that can switch everything that's potentially a lot of time in the mud.


Comedy (during the game):
@KendrickPerkins
Jaylen Brown out there handling the basketball like me. That not a good thing btw! Jesus Christ.


History (after the game):
@CoupNBA
Heat's halfcourt points-per-play number in Game 6, 59.8 per @cleantheglass, is their lowest mark since November of 2019.
   1827. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 25, 2022 at 11:55 PM (#6078487)
Dandy and spivey mostly covered it, but that 5-year age window of guys who are currently in their late 20s or early 30s includes: Davis, Beal, Gobert, Irving, Kawhi, McCollum, Middleton, Lillard, Klay, Draymond, George, Holiday, Harden, Butler, Derozan. That doesn't feel like a lost generation to me.


None of those players feel like inner-circle guys, though, which I guess is what is meant by a 'lost generation'.
   1828. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: May 26, 2022 at 12:14 AM (#6078490)
Heat's halfcourt points-per-play number in Game 6, 59.8 per @cleantheglass, is their lowest mark since November of 2019.

I don't know. 60 points per play sounds like a lot to me.
   1829. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: May 26, 2022 at 12:19 AM (#6078491)
None of those players feel like inner-circle guys, though, which I guess is what is meant by a 'lost generation'.

I think Kawhi would be but for health.

And you also have to really cherry-pick to get your "generation" down to that window. 1 year earlier, and you pick up Durant and Curry. A year later you catch Giannis and Embiid.
   1830. spivey Posted: May 26, 2022 at 09:39 AM (#6078501)
Per Seth Partnow, Miami was 0-23 on semi-contested 3s (defender 4-6 feet away) last night. I went to bed midway through the 3rd because I'm an old man, but I felt like a decent amount of their 3s seemed like good looks (though many were off what I felt were illegal screens by Bam). MOML.
   1831. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: May 26, 2022 at 09:49 AM (#6078504)
The fact that Robert Williams was getting blocks on 3pt attempts from >6 feet away, may have been a factor in shooters being uncomfortable.
   1832. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: May 26, 2022 at 10:33 AM (#6078508)
And you also have to really cherry-pick to get your "generation" down to that window. 1 year earlier, and you pick up Durant and Curry. A year later you catch Giannis and Embiid.

It's certainly a challenge to agree on what constitutes a generation. Steph Curry was in the 2009 draft and just had his age 33 season. LeBron James was in the 2003 draft and just had his age 37 season. Is Curry part of LeBron's generation or the next one? I also agree that Kawhi stands out as a counterpoint. In terms of playoff performance he's been 2nd only to LeBron in the past dozen years.

When I think of a lost generation I think of men's tennis, where 3 guys aged 35-40 have been the top 3 players in the world for well over a decade and the only other guy to really challenge them is another 35 year old. There's no one in his late 20s or early 30s who's won anything or been ranked up near the top. Even now there isn't a single player in the top 15 who's older than 26 and younger than 35.
   1833. sardonic Posted: May 26, 2022 at 10:45 AM (#6078511)
Also Giannis was drafted in 2013, so there were only 3 drafts in between him and Steph. Admittedly, those three drafts were pretty poor. Players with over 10K points in those drafts:

2012
- Damian Lillard
- Anthony Davis
- Bradley Beal
- Khris Middleton
- Harrison Barnes

2011
- Kemba Walker
- Kyrie Irving
- Klay Thompson
- Nikola Vucevic
- Tobias Harris
- Jimmy Butler
- Kawhi Leonard

2010
- Paul George
- Demarcus Cousins
- John Wall
- Gabagool Ham
- Eric Bledsoe

Collectively that's one player who was best player on a championship team (Kawhi), a few second bananas (Anthony Davis, Klay, Khris Middleton) and a few consistent All NBA types who haven't quite landed on the right team to win a title (Dame, PG13, Jimmy Buckets).

   1834. sardonic Posted: May 26, 2022 at 10:50 AM (#6078512)
The previous three drafts produced Steph, Harden and KD. The next two drafts produced Giannis and Joker. So definitely a lull.
   1835. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 26, 2022 at 11:05 AM (#6078515)
We are talking talent on the far tail of probability. I would expect distribution in the long tail to be kind of lumpy.
   1836. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 26, 2022 at 11:07 AM (#6078516)
Per Seth Partnow, Miami was 0-23 on semi-contested 3s


That doesn't sound right. Ojeleye isn't on the Celtics anymore.
   1837. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: May 26, 2022 at 11:38 AM (#6078519)
2012 is also the Draymond draft. Of those 3 drafts, 2010 is the only one that looks to be below average. Compare them to a decade earlier, for example, which was a real lull:

2002
- Amare Stoudemire
- Carlos Boozer
- Caron Butler
- Tayshaun Prince
- Mike Dunleavy
- Nene
- Yao Ming (less than 10K points)

2001
- Pau Gasol
- Joe Johnson
- Tony Parker
- Zach Randolph
- Richard Jefferson
- Jason Richardson
- Gilbert Arenas
- Tyson Chandler (less than 10K)
- Shane Battier (less than 10K)

2000
- Jamal Crawford
- Michael Redd
- Hedo Turkoglu
- Mike Miller

2001 had some depth, but apart from that there isn't anywhere near the talent of 2010-2012.
   1838. aberg Posted: May 26, 2022 at 12:17 PM (#6078523)
There are 15 All-NBA slots every year. Superstars are probably at their peak for something like 5-8 years. A draft should probably produce something like 2-3 All-NBA guys per year. That probably breaks down to something like 1 perennial All-NBA guy, 1-2 who make it a few times in their prime, and 1-2 who make it once or twice.

If that's the expected metric, 2012 and 2011 look pretty good (Lillard and Kawhi as the A guys, Davis, Beal, Klay, Butler, Irving as the Bs, Middleton, Kemba, Vucevic as the Cs). 2010 is bad, but we already knew that.

If there's an argument for a "lost generation" it might have to do with health. There are a ton of guys on those three lists who have missed more time than I would've expected. Davis, Kyrie, Kawhi, Wall, George, and Cousins have seemingly all fallen short of their max possible peak due to health issues. It seems plausible, maybe likely, to me that Davis and Kawhi would've won MVPs by now if they'd had average health.
   1839. aberg Posted: May 26, 2022 at 12:20 PM (#6078524)
We are talking talent on the far tail of probability. I would expect distribution in the long tail to be kind of lumpy.


Well said. Lebron is one of the two greatest players ever and has probably had the longest "peak window" of any mega star ever (I suppose you could debate about what constitutes Kareem's peak here). Durant is probably top 10 all-time. Not sure where Steph rates, but he's one of a kind historically. Guys with that level of uniqueness tend to defy probability distributions.
   1840. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 26, 2022 at 12:28 PM (#6078526)
I think people are focusing too microscopically on specific draft classes. The original statement was: " I think it's fair to say the next generation of players has officially taken over the game." Said generation being, Antetokounmpo, Tatum, Doncic, Jokic, Booker, and some others.

That was followed up with:
There was only player from about a 5 year age cohort that really got to that MVP level--Kawhi. And with Kawhi, he misses so many games that even he sort of doesn't really fit.


"MVP-level" (or all-NBA-level) is a bit relative, because they pick a MVP and an all-NBA team every season, regardless of overall talent level. And yet, I think I see what those posters were saying.

Look at MVPs since Kobe's last in 2008 to Giannis' in 2019. You have LeBron, Curry, Durant, Rose, Harden, Westbrook. Harden and Westbrook are now seen as very good but not all-time greats. Rose ended up not achieving the levels people hoped. So for 11 years, we have LeBron, Curry, and Durant, drafted in 2003, 2007, and 2009 respectively. That's a long time ago.

If we compare from 1998 to 2009, we have as MVPs Jordan, Malone, Shaq, Iverson, Duncan, Garnett, Nash, and Kobe. That seems like a much more robust group with more rapid turnover than we saw from 2009 to 2019.
   1841. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: May 26, 2022 at 06:58 PM (#6078569)
I just had a nightmare that the KANGZ will trade for Andrew Wiggins.
   1842. DCA Posted: May 26, 2022 at 08:21 PM (#6078578)
   1843. asinwreck Posted: May 26, 2022 at 09:06 PM (#6078587)
Warriors starting this game like they want to close things out tonight.
   1844. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: May 26, 2022 at 09:10 PM (#6078588)
Mike Schmitz (the Draft Express turned ESPN guy) is joining the Blazers as an AGM.
   1845. tshipman Posted: May 26, 2022 at 09:52 PM (#6078595)
This is Luka's worst playoff game so far.
   1846. SteveF Posted: May 26, 2022 at 09:56 PM (#6078597)
There's just no way Dallas gets enough stops to make this a game.
   1847. Cagerfan Posted: May 26, 2022 at 10:00 PM (#6078598)
Dallas looks screwed.
   1848. SteveF Posted: May 26, 2022 at 10:02 PM (#6078599)
Doncic couldn't even manage to take a few steps to his left to contest that Curry three.
   1849. tshipman Posted: May 26, 2022 at 10:29 PM (#6078604)
This series is not on Doncic, obviously, but it does illustrate where he needs to work to get from all-NBA to MVP.

Defense, the outside shot, and staying mentally in the game when it's not going well are all things to grow.
   1850. Cagerfan Posted: May 26, 2022 at 10:39 PM (#6078605)
He needs to work on his conditioning too. His body has very unimpressive definition for a professional basketball player.
   1851. Cagerfan Posted: May 26, 2022 at 10:47 PM (#6078607)
Oh my!
   1852. SteveF Posted: May 26, 2022 at 10:52 PM (#6078609)
There's just no way Doncic can play this whole quarter without puking up his lungs.
   1853. tshipman Posted: May 26, 2022 at 10:55 PM (#6078611)
I am begging NBA coaches to stop challenging charge/block calls.

Edit: I guess this was technically a screen.
   1854. SteveF Posted: May 26, 2022 at 10:58 PM (#6078612)
I think the last call I'd ever challenge is a moving screen given how many moving screens go uncalled (nearly all of them).
   1855. tshipman Posted: May 26, 2022 at 11:01 PM (#6078613)
I think in slow motion, something like 99.99% of all screens are moving.
   1856. SteveF Posted: May 26, 2022 at 11:06 PM (#6078614)
Doncic's shot selection has kinda sucked, especially being in the bonus. It's just lazy offense.
   1857. tshipman Posted: May 26, 2022 at 11:11 PM (#6078616)
Kevon Looney has been more dominant on the glass and less risky on defense against the 5 out Mavs than Rudy Gobert or DeAndre Ayton.

I did not get that right before the series.
   1858. Cagerfan Posted: May 26, 2022 at 11:22 PM (#6078617)
Looney reminds me of Kendrick Perkins some. Won’t ever make the Bolshoi, but works hard out there.
   1859. SteveF Posted: May 26, 2022 at 11:24 PM (#6078619)
You wouldn't think it would be so easy to play Looney and Green at the same time, but they had both those guys on the floor for 10-12 minutes a game in this series.
   1860. PJ Martinez Posted: May 26, 2022 at 11:36 PM (#6078623)
   1861. Moeball Posted: May 27, 2022 at 12:31 AM (#6078632)
Game 5 Klay in the building!

Just illustrates how many different weapons GS has at their disposal. Different guys get hot in different games and it's tough for defenses to stop all of them. In this series, Curry, Looney, Wiggins and Klay have all taken star turns.

Of course, they will have to tighten up the defense against Boston in the Finals but we shall see how they do.
   1862. The Honorable Ardo Posted: May 27, 2022 at 04:15 AM (#6078637)
The only way Boston wins the Finals is if both Tatum and Brown go Jordan/Pippen on us, play elite defense, and dominate both ends of the court. It's possible - but not likely.
   1863. Cagerfan Posted: May 27, 2022 at 08:24 AM (#6078641)
538 is giving the Warriors an 18% chance of winning the title.
   1864. An Athletic in Powderhorn, Silly Posted: May 27, 2022 at 09:06 AM (#6078643)
The only way Boston wins the Finals is if both Tatum and Brown go Jordan/Pippen on us, play elite defense, and dominate both ends of the court. It's possible - but not likely.
Boston's playing elite defense so far (105.7 DRtg) in the playoffs, IMO. They're long, and switchable, and adaptable. The Warriors can be lured into making high-risk passes. I can easily imagine the Celtics beating them.
   1865. villageidiom Posted: May 27, 2022 at 09:10 AM (#6078644)
The only way Boston wins the Finals is if both Tatum and Brown go Jordan/Pippen on us, play elite defense, and dominate both ends of the court. It's possible - but not likely.
Midway through Game 1 against the Heat I thought, "there's no way the Celtics will keep up with this level of intensity from the Heat all series". With Game 5 I thought, "Oh. The Heat couldn't keep up with that level of intensity from the Heat all series."

I think GSW can do better than that, and the Finals schedule will allow better for recovery between games than what the ECF schedule has. But, like, nearly any prognostication that starts with "The only way ______ wins is..." is certainly wrong.
   1866. DCA Posted: May 27, 2022 at 10:22 AM (#6078649)
1862. The Honorable Ardo Posted: May 27, 2022 at 04:15 AM (#6078637)
The only way Boston wins the Finals is if both Tatum and Brown go Jordan/Pippen on us, play elite defense, and dominate both ends of the court. It's possible - but not likely.
1863. Cagerfan Posted: May 27, 2022 at 08:24 AM (#6078641)
538 is giving the Warriors an 18% chance of winning the title.


As a GSW fan, Boston is the only team that scares me. I've been rooting for the Bucks and the Heat, for that reason, but I think the Celtics are going to close it out tonight.

I think it'll be a close series. I'd probably make the Warriors the slight favorite (home court for an extra game, seem to be healthier and better rested) but it's certainly not more than 60-40 either way.
   1867. An Athletic in Powderhorn, Silly Posted: May 27, 2022 at 10:30 AM (#6078650)
Any sentence that begins "538 is" should only contain one more word. That word is "trash".
   1868. spivey Posted: May 27, 2022 at 10:33 AM (#6078651)
I think Golden State's offense is the one best designed to get good looks vs. Boston. Especially since so many of their guys are good contested shot makers. I think the question will be, if that's the matchup, can Boston consistently be able to matchup hunt Poole. I think it'd be a fun matchup.
   1869. PJ Martinez Posted: May 27, 2022 at 11:23 AM (#6078660)
In the regular season, by net rating, the Warriors were far better defensively than offensively — the Celtics were actually a better offensive team than the Warriors during the regular season, and slightly better defensively, too — but that seems to have flipped in the playoffs: they're the top offensive team in the postseason, and the sixth-best defensive team. (Boston has been the second-best defensive team, after Milwaukee, and the seventh-best offensive team, which is more in keeping with their regular-season profile.)

Obviously, the playoffs are a relatively small sample size. But do people have a sense of the key changes here? Health? Opponents? Schemes? Three-point luck? All of the above?
   1870. tshipman Posted: May 27, 2022 at 11:24 AM (#6078661)
I think the question will be, if that's the matchup, can Boston consistently be able to matchup hunt Poole. I think it'd be a fun matchup.


Poole held up pretty well against Dallas--much better than I expected. I don't think Boston really has the personnel to matchup hunt him--Jaylen Brown is the best guy for it, but his handle isn't good enough to initiate 20+ PnRs a game.

Boston's playing elite defense so far (105.7 DRtg) in the playoffs, IMO.


A lot of it will be dictated by shooting. Of the four factors, Boston has been below average at rebounding and forcing turnovers, while they've been above average at avoiding fouling and opponent shooting. Most of the opponent shooting value comes from opponents shooting .316 on 3pers.
   1871. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: May 27, 2022 at 11:25 AM (#6078662)
Current title odds at Pinnacle are Warriors -143, Celtics +119, and Heat +2553.
   1872. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: May 27, 2022 at 12:17 PM (#6078668)
i don't understand how 538's models are struggling this much. it's been years now of nonsense.
   1873. tshipman Posted: May 27, 2022 at 12:43 PM (#6078671)
i don't understand how 538's models are struggling this much. it's been years now of nonsense.


1. Modeling is hard.
2. There are structural issues with using Elo to model basketball. Elo was designed for chess, which is a perfect information game that has low variance. I would guess that historical results were robust due to the previous lower variance results of basketball.
3. Independent of those issues, the inputs that 538 feed in to their model are not high quality. Jokic is not the second best defensive player in the league, Klay Thompson is not a worse player than Payton Pritchard, and Jordan Poole is not a negative value player.
   1874. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: May 27, 2022 at 12:48 PM (#6078673)
i agree with all three of these. what i don't get is that there are smart people who know enough about basketball over there to know these things as well, and yet...
   1875. An Athletic in Powderhorn, Silly Posted: May 27, 2022 at 01:17 PM (#6078680)
In the regular season, by net rating, the Warriors were far better defensively than offensively — the Celtics were actually a better offensive team than the Warriors during the regular season, and slightly better defensively, too — but that seems to have flipped in the playoffs: they're the top offensive team in the postseason, and the sixth-best defensive team. (Boston has been the second-best defensive team, after Milwaukee, and the seventh-best offensive team, which is more in keeping with their regular-season profile.)

Obviously, the playoffs are a relatively small sample size. But do people have a sense of the key changes here? Health? Opponents? Schemes? Three-point luck? All of the above?
This is not a super-deep analysis, but:

1. Klay's back. This has significantly reduced the minutes of marginal offensive players like Lee and Toscano-Anderson. Klay's defense is not back, not entirely. So the net result seems to be better offense, sometimes much better, and slightly worse perimeter defense.
2. No Young Glove. Fingers crossed that he'll be back in game 1 or 2.
3. To my untrained eye teams seem to be targeting Poole much more than they did in the regular season. He's not a liability, but he looks like a solid negative on that end. Watching him try to stay in front of Brunson on isos was not enjoyable.
   1876. spivey Posted: May 27, 2022 at 02:03 PM (#6078694)
i agree with all three of these. what i don't get is that there are smart people who know enough about basketball over there to know these things as well, and yet...


I've not developed a model, but you can't just manually change the values you don't like/think are wrong. It's really hard to develop a model that isn't going to spit out some nonsense, unless you're just doing pure adjusted +/- stuff like many models do. But there's a cap to how good such a model can be.
   1877. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: May 27, 2022 at 02:11 PM (#6078695)
Always looking to avoid work and do some data entry and shallow analysis, so I just threw the current 538 rotations and numbers for GSW and BOS into this little image file.

Things that stand out:
- They roughly think Boston is an All Time Team.
- According to their "Overall Raptor" number, Horford was #16, White was #19, Smart was #30, and RWIII was #32 among 249 qualified players.
- They had GP3 #6 overall this season, so I'm sure if he comes back that'll change the calculation.

For comparisons sake, I took the 538 rotation minutes and plugged in the numbers from DARKO in this image and for EPM in this image.

Using the 3 different sets of all-in-one numbers for a single game I get:

RAPTOR - Celtics +8.4
DARKO - Celtics +4.6
EPM - Celtics +3.3

So I guess all the "all-in-one" numbers seem to like the Celtics a lot, but the 538 one is on another level.

EDIT TO ADD - If I'm ever looking for a number to predict things, I just look at the gambling line.
   1878. asinwreck Posted: May 27, 2022 at 09:16 PM (#6078737)
The Lakers hired Darvin Ham. Based on their track record, I had assumed they were going to offer the job to Terry Stotts, but they went with an assistant from last year's champs instead of the veteran head coach.

Woj:
One of Ham's most important directives: Finding a way to incorporate future Hall of Fame guard Russell Westbrook into the franchise's framework with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. It was a significant subject of every Lakers coaching interview in the process, sources said
   1879. SteveF Posted: May 27, 2022 at 09:16 PM (#6078738)
Miami getting way more shots than Boston and actually hitting some of them. They've been the significantly better team.
   1880. spivey Posted: May 27, 2022 at 09:34 PM (#6078739)
Boston flops a lot for a team that grabs and bumps on every possession.
   1881. spivey Posted: May 27, 2022 at 09:39 PM (#6078742)
There was a moment in the Milwaukee series where Derrick White looked unplayable. Good for him bouncing back. His ability to get small to go over screens while still staying connected to guys is impressive. Normally when guys do that, they get blown by.
   1882. Cagerfan Posted: May 27, 2022 at 09:42 PM (#6078744)
Man, is Miami a bunch of whiners. Lowry grabs and flops on every play and Adebayo sets more moving screens than the rest of the league combined.
   1883. PJ Martinez Posted: May 27, 2022 at 09:43 PM (#6078745)
Boston flops a lot for a team that grabs and bumps on every possession.
Boston and Miami are the embodiment of the two Spider-Mans meme when it comes to this.
   1884. spivey Posted: May 27, 2022 at 09:48 PM (#6078747)
Jaylen Brown still can't create for others. His A:TO ratio this series and last is basically 1:1, but his ability to score the ball efficiently has been really impressive. I think when he's got the ball, you've just got to show help in the driving lanes and dig, he can be a bit loose with it.
   1885. spivey Posted: May 27, 2022 at 10:23 PM (#6078751)
I see Miami has decided not to shoot 4-33 in a closeout game or 0-23 on semi-contested/open 3s tonight. Crucial adjustment.
   1886. tshipman Posted: May 27, 2022 at 10:34 PM (#6078753)
I see Miami has decided not to shoot 4-33 in a closeout game or 0-23 on semi-contested/open 3s tonight. Crucial adjustment.


Udoka's eyes aren't blue enough. Bad job by him not wearing contacts.
   1887. spivey Posted: May 27, 2022 at 10:34 PM (#6078754)
Boston had a quarter I wasn't sure they could have in Q4 of G4 against Milwaukee when they were on the ropes. They need another one right here. Think Miami's getting the better shots winning boards etc. They can of course win G7 anyways. But I want to see some title fight here.
   1888. Fourth True Outcome Posted: May 27, 2022 at 10:43 PM (#6078755)
Celtics need to execute better, but these refs have also bought a ton of garbage from the Heat tonight.

Ime needs to put someone else in charge of challenges, though, he's as bad as Stevens was.
   1889. spivey Posted: May 27, 2022 at 10:52 PM (#6078758)
Get the #### out of here with this Celtics are getting ###### by the refs talk. Boston has a .306 FTr for the series. Miami is .179. Boston's shot 7 more free throws tonight. Fouls are even. Game seems fair to me. Grant Williams needs to stop picking up stupid fouls. He's gotten some leash too. He got in a ref's space after foul 4, and did the run down the court thing on foul 3 I think that Bobby Portis was T'd up for in the playoffs last year.
   1890. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: May 27, 2022 at 10:53 PM (#6078759)
I've not developed a model, but you can't just manually change the values you don't like/think are wrong. It's really hard to develop a model that isn't going to spit out some nonsense, unless you're just doing pure adjusted +/- stuff like many models do. But there's a cap to how good such a model can be.

Sure, but if your model produces counter intuitive results and doesn’t perform well … you maybe try a different model?

(I actually produced and sold an MLB model, like, 25 years ago. It wasn’t all that great but I guess it was good enough for someone to buy? Maybe the weirdest side project I’ve ever had; I digress.)

To be fair, I’ve had success using their college numbers as an input in my own March Madness aggregation tool, but - their pro stuff has serious issues.
   1891. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: May 27, 2022 at 10:54 PM (#6078760)
Jimmy butler: still good at basketball
   1892. spivey Posted: May 27, 2022 at 10:58 PM (#6078761)
I'd consider benching Lowry. Well, I was considering it a while ago. I'd do it, nowo.
   1893. tshipman Posted: May 27, 2022 at 11:00 PM (#6078762)
Celtics need to execute better, but these refs have also bought a ton of garbage from the Heat tonight.


I guess you think Boston should take triple the FTs? Since double isn't enough?
   1894. Fourth True Outcome Posted: May 27, 2022 at 11:02 PM (#6078763)
Get the #### out of here with this Celtics are getting ###### by the refs talk.

That's not what I was saying. I think the refs have been pretty even about actual contact tonight, but they have bought a ton of fairly egregious flops from the Heat in this game specifically.

But get out of here with the FTA discrepancy stuff, JVG and Mark Jackson of all people were comparing the Heat to the Legion of Boom last game because they're fouling so much and daring the refs to call it. The Heat were one of the top fouling teams and Boston one of the bottom. I hate the idea that FTA should be equal or things are unfair, that's ridiculous.
   1895. spivey Posted: May 27, 2022 at 11:08 PM (#6078764)
I hate the idea that FTA should be equal or things are unfair, that's ridiculous.

What's ridiculous is all the Boston Celtics urchins that crawl in here once every 4 years when they churn out a good team.

Nobody is saying they should be even always. But Boston fouls on every possession, just like Miami does. Boston's FTr during the regular season is middle of the pack, because they mostly suck at getting to the rim. Nevertheless, they had a better FTr against Milwaukee who absolutely killed them at points in the paint. Milwaukee is also a team that is excellent at FTr for vs. FTr against.

Boston has absolutely dominated Miami at FTr this series despite both teams being relatively similar at FTr-FTr(against). Yes, Miami fouls a lot, they also get to the line a ton. And Boston normally doesn't get to the line more than an average team.

   1896. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: May 27, 2022 at 11:09 PM (#6078765)
The refs are having a rough game
   1897. spivey Posted: May 27, 2022 at 11:10 PM (#6078766)
Jimmy Butler is so weird. I feel like he either gets 40 points or 10 points in a game, and it just averages out to 25.
   1898. tshipman Posted: May 27, 2022 at 11:11 PM (#6078767)
That's not what I was saying. I think the refs have been pretty even about actual contact tonight, but they have bought a ton of fairly egregious flops from the Heat in this game specifically.


You realize that Marcus Smart plays for Boston?
   1899. Fourth True Outcome Posted: May 27, 2022 at 11:12 PM (#6078768)
The Heat have done an unbelievable job of sending help at Boston players right as they're gathering and getting strips from the blindside.
   1900. spivey Posted: May 27, 2022 at 11:13 PM (#6078769)
Death, taxes, and Jason Tatum doing the "CALL IT OFF" arm motion.
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