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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 | 3492 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: narratives, nba, off-topic, playoffs

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   1901. Fourth True Outcome Posted: May 27, 2022 at 11:14 PM (#6078770)
You realize that Marcus Smart plays for Boston?

He needs a few years yet to get on Kyle Lowry's level.
   1902. spivey Posted: May 27, 2022 at 11:16 PM (#6078772)
Jimmy ####### Buckets.
   1903. Fourth True Outcome Posted: May 27, 2022 at 11:17 PM (#6078773)
What a game from Butler
   1904. spivey Posted: May 27, 2022 at 11:24 PM (#6078775)
The Dunker Spot is the best podcast in the game, at least for listening to game/series recaps. And there's no ads just sprinkled throughout.
   1905. PJ Martinez Posted: May 27, 2022 at 11:31 PM (#6078776)
I am not a fan of Butler but he was incredible.
   1906. spivey Posted: May 27, 2022 at 11:34 PM (#6078777)
Pretty wild that Philadelphia let Butler walk. And now Embiid is openly fanboying Butler and Miami on Twitter.
   1907. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: May 27, 2022 at 11:36 PM (#6078778)
I'm retroactively giving the Celtics more points in my head for their game 4 and 5 performances since I was just assuming Butler was injured. So they can console themselves with that I suppose.
   1908. tshipman Posted: May 27, 2022 at 11:51 PM (#6078780)
Pretty wild that Philadelphia let Butler walk. And now Embiid is openly fanboying Butler and Miami on Twitter.


"Tobias Harris over me???"

The thing is, I kind of see it. The deal with Butler is that he takes up a lot of the same space that Embiid does, and Butler takes the ball out of Embiid's hands. Both players are better apart from each other than they would be together.

   1909. spivey Posted: May 28, 2022 at 09:27 AM (#6078789)
Butler and Embiid's skills may not mesh great, and Butler can drift in and out of games because his shot is shaky. But to build championship level teams, there's almost always skill redundancy and some inefficient use of resources. And Butler's ability to drive and create contact and shoot is just good enough to where you have to acknowledge it. Unless you can get KD or David Robinson as your #2, that's just something that I think you accept when building a team. Talent trumps all especially for your top 2 guys, and Butler is probably about the 10th best guy in the NBA. He's better than Harden, that's for damn sure.
   1910. spivey Posted: May 28, 2022 at 09:55 AM (#6078793)
Sure, but if your model [538] produces counter intuitive results and doesn’t perform well … you maybe try a different model?


Maybe they're trying? I just imagine they have some internal pressure to have *a* model, and they're either fine with this one, haven't been able to develop a better one, or don't have someone on staff capable of developing a better one.
   1911. JJ1986 Posted: May 28, 2022 at 12:41 PM (#6078803)
When the model first came out, Nate Silver went on Thinking Basketball and his response to many questions was that they knew about the problems but were going to fix them in the next release. I'm not sure that ever got done.
   1912. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: May 28, 2022 at 02:19 PM (#6078818)
538: I do not pay much attention to 538 projections, but the model did say that the Lakers would have a lot of trouble, and they took some crap for it, but ofc were proven to be correct. It also IIRC had GSW going 37-45 and being in the play-in.

Ham: The word had been that he was James's preferred candidate for the last couple of weeks, so it seemed likely. I am fine with trying him and a couple of experienced assistants. As a slight caveat, I will say that a lot of the smartguy types in the Lakers blogosohere commentariat hyped Walton when the FO hired him and some of the same crew is now hyping Ham. I think that is sort of like the old cliche about the fan favorite on a football team being the second-string QB.
   1913. sardonic Posted: May 28, 2022 at 07:49 PM (#6078897)
It's kind of crazy to me how much the Warriors "next generation" has showed out this playoffs. With Two Way Wiggins and Jordan Poole, they've got two borderline max players to build around for the future, and if any one of Kuminga, Moody or Wiseman can pan out that's a great start. Add in role players like Looney (still only 26) and GP2 (somehow 29 already). It'll be expensive for a while, as Curry is signed for 4 more season after this one, while Dray and Klay both have two more years on their max contracts.

I believe that Poole is an RFA after this coming season while Wiggins will be a UFA, so there could be a year where they are on the hook for gulp 5 max contracts if they want to keep everyone together. Then after that season, there'd be tough decisions to make on all sides between Klay, Dray and ownership.

My guess is that they originally planned for Kuminga to supplant Wiggins after next year, but Wiggins may be playing too well to let him go.
   1914. spivey Posted: May 29, 2022 at 08:47 PM (#6079006)
I don't care who wins this game, I'm just excited to #### on someone's legacy.
   1915. spivey Posted: May 29, 2022 at 09:51 PM (#6079010)
He's a flawed player, but Boston can't really stay in front of Oladipo off the dribble and it's one of the very few ways they can create an advantage in the half court. Adding that with his defense, I'd ride him pretty hard the second half.

Huge second quarter from Butler to keep Miami close.
   1916. spivey Posted: May 29, 2022 at 10:13 PM (#6079011)
Refs seem to always come out in the 3rd quarter on a mission to call *something* these playoffs.
   1917. tshipman Posted: May 29, 2022 at 10:20 PM (#6079012)
Miami making a very poor decision to not hit any 3s.
   1918. spivey Posted: May 29, 2022 at 10:42 PM (#6079014)
Celtics players whine to the officials so ####### much. Whole team of Tim Duncan's out there.
   1919. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: May 29, 2022 at 10:55 PM (#6079016)
Both these teams are pretty whiny.
(I’m neutral on being whiny, fwiw. Seems like an issue for the league, not for specific teams to me.)
   1920. asinwreck Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:09 PM (#6079018)
Boston is terrible at closing out quarters.
   1921. spivey Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:12 PM (#6079019)
I get that Smart needed to take all of these 3s in the last 3 minutes, but man, he isn't a good shooter.

Jaylen Brown drive was stupid though.

STRUSSSSSS
   1922. spivey Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:13 PM (#6079020)
Totally disagree with JVG. You go for 3 down 2, shot was uncontested, Butler's been a big shot maker, o rebounds are probably higher in a transition setting.
   1923. spivey Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:16 PM (#6079021)
Cannot believe Miami had a 3 to take the lead with 15 seconds left.

Boston is the better team, I think, but they made a meal out of these last couple games. Very entertaining series.
   1924. Mike A Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:16 PM (#6079022)
I'm with JVG. Butler isn't a good 3-point shooter, he's only got Big Al in front of him - I think you drive around Horford and go to the rim. Horford is probably forced to foul.

That said, it feels unfair to blame Butler for anything since he pretty much carried the Heat all series. The Celtics were a deeper and better team.
   1925. Cagerfan Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:17 PM (#6079023)
Thank god. Now we wont have to watch Lowry flop on every play and complain if he doesn’t get the call until next season.
   1926. SteveF Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:18 PM (#6079025)
Edit: I see. My bad. Must have misread.
   1927. Cagerfan Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:20 PM (#6079026)
538 nailed it.
   1928. tshipman Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:21 PM (#6079027)
I do wonder if more Duncan Robinson could have helped. Strus was pretty good on defense, but he really stunk up the joint on offense. That, plus Kyle Lowry being hampered all series really hurt the Heat.
   1929. Cagerfan Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:22 PM (#6079028)
I think Al Horford should get MVP.
   1930. SteveF Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:23 PM (#6079029)
Dubs are -145 and Celtics are +125. Sounds about right to me.
   1931. spivey Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:26 PM (#6079031)
I'm with JVG. Butler isn't a good 3-point shooter, he's only got Big Al in front of him - I think you drive around Horford and go to the rim. Horford is probably forced to foul.


Horford's been a great defender and rim protector, including without fouling, all year/playoffs. Butler and Bam have struggled to attack him a lot of the series. On top of the fact a 2 only ties the game and gives Boston the last shot so kind of best case scenario you're going into OT, so I think usually analytics favors a 3 there assuming it's relatively clean (know it definitely does with less time on the clock, I could be off here).
   1932. Cagerfan Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:31 PM (#6079033)
I agree with JVG. The matchups favor the Celtics as they are bigger at every position and GS doesnt have a quality big like Milwaukee or Miami does.
   1933. tshipman Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:32 PM (#6079034)
I think a 3 is absolutely the right play there. Butler could have driven and maybe had Oladipo open on the wing for a 3 if he didn't have the clean 2. It's hard to criticize either choice, honestly, given that Oladipo was 1-7 from 3 in the game so far.
   1934. sardonic Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:33 PM (#6079035)
Make or miss league type shot for sure.
   1935. Cagerfan Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:33 PM (#6079036)
Yeah, i think its a little unfair to slag Butler on that shot. He made it the last game and if it went in, everyone would be crowing about what a great clutch player he is.
   1936. spivey Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:33 PM (#6079037)
Re: 1928

I think you gotta be really happy with what Strus gave you. Shots didn't go in, but he's a huge volume guy at good percentage, and good movement shooter. You just gotta live with the variance. Lowry on the other hand was really, really bad. I think he was maybe the worst defender in their rotation as well (probably due to injuries, but nevertheless). 2 more years at $29mil/per. Wouldn't love that as a Heat fan.
   1937. Cagerfan Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:36 PM (#6079038)
And the league should just do us all a favor and shitcan Scott Foster. He’s terrible.
   1938. Mike A Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:42 PM (#6079039)
Horford is an excellent defender, but he was caught pretty far out and I think Butler has room to get around him. Re-watching it, though, there is the possibility Brown gets to the rim to help. So Horford wasn't on quite as much of an island as I initially thought.

That said, Butler was a 23.3% 3-point shooter on the year, 29% in this series. It's not his bread and butter. Herro, Strus, etc..sure, take the three there. With Butler I still want him to go towards basket.

That said, I think both arguments are valid. And again, I'm not blaming Butler or anything, it's a split-second decision and it was a good look.
   1939. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:51 PM (#6079042)
Revenge tour a success. Can't say they didn't earn it, even if they did their best to choke this last one away playing the clock instead of their offense down the stretch.

This has been an extraordinarily rewarding Celtics team and season to follow. Almost every rotation player is homegrown, or in Al's case, spent enough time here that it feels that way; watching them take their lumps over and over the last few years and keep responding with growth has made the breakthrough to the finals extremely sweet, the more so for how hard the road was.

Al Horford deserves this more than anyone; glad his family has something to celebrate while grieving his grandfather.
   1940. esseff Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:56 PM (#6079043)
A clean, uncontested shot in rhythm just beyond the arc -- Butler was absolutely right to take it. There's no guarantee they'd have gotten something better if he passed it up there, and if they didn't, they'd be kicking themselves.
   1941. MHS Posted: May 30, 2022 at 12:02 AM (#6079044)
Butler, has earned the right to shoot whatever shot he thinks is best. He is the only reason they are playing and he can hit a pull up 3.
   1942. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: May 30, 2022 at 12:04 AM (#6079045)
On Butler's shot: if he goes for the 2 instead, the Celtics have enough time for a look at a game winner, with overtime looming if not. It looked like Miami was the more tired team at the end (making the clock milking so infuriating as a Celtics fan); there's no guarantee that OT would've gone Miami's way. I think it was a perfectly reasonable decision to shoot.
   1943. Cagerfan Posted: May 30, 2022 at 12:05 AM (#6079046)
They just showed a close-up of that block by Horford on Strus at the rim. The little finger on his right hand is horribly disfigured, like Bird’s index finger.
   1944. PJ Martinez Posted: May 30, 2022 at 12:07 AM (#6079047)
Also, as others have pointed out, if Butler ties the game there, Celtics probably hold for a last-second shot and if they miss it goes to OT, and maybe the Celtics get their act together. (Edit: see also 1942.) Tough call, maybe, but I don't think you can kill Butler for it.

And man oh man, late-game execution remains Boston's Achilles heel. I can't believe they almost blew that.

Golden State is rightly favored. Rob Williams was a shell of himself tonight, and I don't imagine two days is going to be enough to get him back to what he's been at his best. Horford's got to be a bit worn down, too. (Second edit: also Smart. And I realize everyone's dinged up at this point.) And the Warriors are excellent, experienced, and have home court. Hoping for a good series (or a laugher in Boston's favor, but that seems extremely unlikely).
   1945. Cagerfan Posted: May 30, 2022 at 12:10 AM (#6079048)
538 is giving Boston an 83% likelihood of winning.
   1946. Cagerfan Posted: May 30, 2022 at 12:38 AM (#6079049)
And yes, I’m really, really happy for Al Horford. He’s the ultimate unselfish team guy and he deserves this.
   1947. Cagerfan Posted: May 30, 2022 at 12:44 AM (#6079050)
ESPN just flashed a remarkable stat: Boston is 17-4 in the NBA Finals.
   1948. KronicFatigue Posted: May 30, 2022 at 05:50 PM (#6079088)
Does the extra time between games benefit the older warriors or banged up Celtics?
   1949. spivey Posted: May 30, 2022 at 06:31 PM (#6079090)
I think it benefits the Celtics, both because they're banged up, but also their rotation is shorter. And I just think the accumulated fatigue, even for guys who aren't banged up, is higher with them. They just had 2 extremely physical 7 game series.

And since we're talking about the Finals, it annoys me how many of these games, even the ones in Boston, have 9pm Eastern start times. That really sucks for people who live in the Eastern or even Central TZs.
   1950. PJ Martinez Posted: May 30, 2022 at 08:34 PM (#6079113)
This is the first Finals to feature the top two teams in defensive efficiency since 1996, when the Chicago Bulls defeated the Seattle SuperSonics.
This Celtics roster enters the Finals with zero games of Finals experience, while Golden State has 123. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, this is just the third Finals in NBA history in which one team has had 100-plus games of experience while the other team had zero, and the first time since 1997 (Bulls 134, Utah Jazz 0).
— ESPN preview
   1951. villageidiom Posted: May 31, 2022 at 09:15 AM (#6079163)
ESPN just flashed a remarkable stat: Boston is 17-4 in the NBA Finals.
Or 6-3 without Bill Russell.
   1952. sardonic Posted: May 31, 2022 at 09:28 AM (#6079168)
I think this is gonna be a good series. I have a pit in my stomach going into it -- haven't had this feeling since going into that first finals in 2015 against Lebron. The Ws are good enough that I know they can win (slightly favored by oddsmakers) but there's also a very real chance that they lose. Some scattered thoughts:

- Boston has definitely won the eye test imo, but it still took them 7 games to beat the Bucks without Middleton and a Heat with Jimmy hobbled and Herro out. The Warriors cruised vs. the Mavs and definitely took their foot off the gas pedal against Memphis after Ja went out.

Some X Factors
- I think both OPJ and GP2 will be need to come up clutch for the Warriors to win. They've both been +/- monsters this season. If OPJ can play, he'll grab rebounds, play good team D and eat crucial minutes against Horford. If he plays and his jumper is also falling (let's say 45%+ FG% for the series), and GP2 can play and hit at least 33% of his 3s for the series, I think the Ws pull it out.

- Stylistically for the Warriors offense vs. Boston D it'll be about whether the Warriors can get out in transition and run without turning the ball over inordinately. Boston is super solid on D and puts a lot of pressure on you, so this will be hard. But I think they win most games where they get >20 fast break points while also turning the ball over <16 times.

- For Boston offense vs. Ws D, I think it's about forcing turnovers (why GP2 could be key) and making the right people (ie. Marcus Smart) beat you. If Boston can stay even in the FGA battle and Smart shoots well, I think Boston wins.
   1953. Cagerfan Posted: May 31, 2022 at 10:48 AM (#6079182)
Boston has definitely won the eye test imo, but it still took them 7 games to beat the Bucks without Middleton and a Heat with Jimmy hobbled and Herro out. The Warriors cruised vs. the Mavs and definitely took their foot off the gas pedal against Memphis after Ja went out.
Let's not forget Boston has had injury problems at least as significant as either Milwaukee or Miami had. Both Smart and R. Williams missed games against both. Smart in particular has been really banged up. He's had a quad contusion, a badly sprained ankle and a midfoot sprain just in the past 3 weeks. And Tatum had a shoulder injury that really limited his shooting efficiency. Williams has not been the same since his knee injury and he's a critical piece. If he was in February form, Celts beat Miami in 5. The 4 day layoff is badly needed.
   1954. tshipman Posted: May 31, 2022 at 12:25 PM (#6079194)
- Boston has definitely won the eye test imo, but it still took them 7 games to beat the Bucks without Middleton and a Heat with Jimmy hobbled and Herro out. The Warriors cruised vs. the Mavs and definitely took their foot off the gas pedal against Memphis after Ja went out.

Some X Factors
- I think both OPJ and GP2 will be need to come up clutch for the Warriors to win. They've both been +/- monsters this season. If OPJ can play, he'll grab rebounds, play good team D and eat crucial minutes against Horford. If he plays and his jumper is also falling (let's say 45%+ FG% for the series), and GP2 can play and hit at least 33% of his 3s for the series, I think the Ws pull it out.

- Stylistically for the Warriors offense vs. Boston D it'll be about whether the Warriors can get out in transition and run without turning the ball over inordinately. Boston is super solid on D and puts a lot of pressure on you, so this will be hard. But I think they win most games where they get >20 fast break points while also turning the ball over <16 times.


I think this is kind of a boring series from an analysis standpoint.

The last two rounds, Boston opponents have shot 60/252 from 3 in losses, or 24%. If the Warriors shoot that poorly 4 times, they lose.
In the Warriors' playoff losses, they have averaged 16 turnovers. If they are that careless with the ball, they lose.

Other stuff matters at the margins (Boston has been mediocre on the glass, who gets more transition buckets), but GSW turnovers and the M-O-M-L stuff will probably matter the most in terms of outcome.
   1955. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 31, 2022 at 01:20 PM (#6079201)

The last two rounds, Boston opponents have shot 60/252 from 3 in losses, or 24%. If the Warriors shoot that poorly 4 times, they lose.


Well, maybe that's obvious, but what if they shoot 31% four times?
   1956. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: May 31, 2022 at 01:44 PM (#6079204)
Surprised no one here posted this, but here's possibly a good reason why Butler took the 3....

I do wonder if more Duncan Robinson could have helped. Strus was pretty good on defense, but he really stunk up the joint on offense. That, plus Kyle Lowry being hampered all series really hurt the Heat.

They also missed Herro in game 7 (not sure those couple minutes in the first half helped).
   1957. PJ Martinez Posted: May 31, 2022 at 02:08 PM (#6079205)
FWIW, the Celtics outscored the Heat (IIRC, by a non-trivial amount) when Herro played. Doesn't mean he couldn't have helped, of course, but it's at least possible they were better off without him (and if I was Pat Riley I'd be looking to sell high).
   1958. villageidiom Posted: May 31, 2022 at 02:47 PM (#6079208)
- Boston has definitely won the eye test imo, but it still took them 7 games to beat the Bucks without Middleton and a Heat with Jimmy hobbled and Herro out.
I like to think of it as "Both the Bucks and Heat had to go to 7 games to beat a hobbled Celtics team, and both ultimately failed."
   1959. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: May 31, 2022 at 04:04 PM (#6079222)
- Boston has definitely won the eye test imo, but it still took them 7 games to beat the Bucks without Middleton and a Heat with Jimmy hobbled and Herro out.
I like to think of it as "Both the Bucks and Heat had to go to 7 games to beat a hobbled Celtics team, and both ultimately failed."


Add in some stuff about refs, and this would be NBA playoff fandom in two posts.

Golden State has HCA, they have Curry, and while I don't know if there is stuff to back it up and even if there is, it would be a biased sample, I think Finals experience, both on the bench and on the floor, probably helps a little as well.

Boston overcame being on the road against a more experienced team in G7 IMO because they are a little better than Miami. I think that Golden State healthy is a little better than or even with Boston, so I think GS will win. But I think it will be competitive and will go 6 or 7. I also think that it will get very good TV ratings. This matchup sucks for me personally, but it is a good one for the league's marketing arms.
   1960. Hombre Brotani Posted: May 31, 2022 at 04:26 PM (#6079226)
- Boston has definitely won the eye test imo, but it still took them 7 games to beat the Bucks without Middleton and a Heat with Jimmy hobbled and Herro out.
I like to think of it as "Both the Bucks and Heat had to go to 7 games to beat a hobbled Celtics team, and both ultimately failed."
Add in some stuff about refs, and this would be NBA playoff fandom in two posts.
I was just about to say the same thing. The Bucks lost their second-best player, the Heat's best player was hobbled. The Celtics didn't have anything like that happen to them. That stuff matters for fan-biased narratives about how deserving they were in winning or how unlucky they were in losing, and it's almost always at least a little bit wrong. We're all reasonably smart guys, but when it comes to our rooting interests, we're all dumb guys.
   1961. villageidiom Posted: May 31, 2022 at 04:48 PM (#6079230)
- Boston has definitely won the eye test imo, but it still took them 7 games to beat the Bucks without Middleton and a Heat with Jimmy hobbled and Herro out.
I like to think of it as "Both the Bucks and Heat had to go to 7 games to beat a hobbled Celtics team, and both ultimately failed."


Add in some stuff about refs, and this would be NBA playoff fandom in two posts.
My point was any take with the premise of "Team X with no specified injuries beat Team Y missing key players" or "Team X with no specified issues beat Team Y with their best player playing hurt (yet scoring 40+ in 47 minutes played)" is a blatantly unfair and useless take, and anyone can make it in support of any team. Boston had Tatum, Smart, and Williams playing hurt or not playing at all depending on which game you're talking about, but they won so they didn't have something material to overcome? GTFO.

Basically two great and well-matched teams squared off, and the series ended up being a coin flip. People building narratives are going to be able to point to any one thing for one team, and take all other things being equal, and say that's the difference. And, like, in that narrow context they're right. But the context is incredibly wrong. It's just narrative reinforcement, and narratives suck.
   1962. Howie Menckel Posted: May 31, 2022 at 05:04 PM (#6079233)
That stuff matters for fan-biased narratives about how deserving they were in winning or how unlucky they were in losing

The NY Rangers just won a pair of seven-game series, going 5-0 in elimination games.
in the first series, the Penguins had to start their third-string goalie 5 times.
in the second series, the Hurricane had to start their second-string goalie in all 7 games - and, trailing 2-0 late in the second period of Game 7, that backup got hurt so they had to go to their third-string guy. both third-string guys had appeared in only a small handful of NHL games, too - this wasn't a grizzled veteran they had on the farm for insurance purposes, in either scenario.

given the paramount importance of goaltending, seems like calling the Rangers "lucky" would be a fair description.
:)
   1963. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: May 31, 2022 at 05:21 PM (#6079235)
Every team that wins is both good and lucky.
   1964. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: May 31, 2022 at 05:48 PM (#6079239)
My point was


I know what your point was, and although you are going a little both sides/meta with it, your reaction as a Boston fan to the comment made by the GS guy is a very typical fan reaction. I know this because I have had very similar reactions as a Lakers fan, like when Doc Rivers focused on Kendrick Perkins being out as being the difference after G7 back in 2010.

We're all reasonably smart guys, but when it comes to our rooting interests, we're all dumb guys.


I am dumb under all conditions, but I see the point. Sometimes important to remember, especially at playoff time, that this is not a team-based blog.
   1965. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: May 31, 2022 at 06:20 PM (#6079244)
   1966. sardonic Posted: May 31, 2022 at 06:21 PM (#6079245)
Add in some stuff about refs, and this would be NBA playoff fandom in two posts.


I'll cop to this.
   1967. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: May 31, 2022 at 06:27 PM (#6079246)
I'll cop to this.


I have done it a million times.
   1968. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: May 31, 2022 at 06:28 PM (#6079247)
Russell and Randle Reunion in the Big Apple
   1969. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: May 31, 2022 at 06:34 PM (#6079248)
It is hard to get Russell to New York but I believe in Gupta and Connelly.
   1970. Fourth True Outcome Posted: May 31, 2022 at 06:44 PM (#6079251)
It seemed a touch mean to point out at the time, but things like this are why I balked a bit at the Knicks' inclusion on the list a couple of pages back of franchises who were dedicated to spending money and winning. The Knicks are clearly dedicated to spending money, but I've seen little proof this millennium that winning is a goal of theirs.
   1971. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: May 31, 2022 at 07:00 PM (#6079254)
To be fair that’s just silly season speculation, based on nothing much.
   1972. tshipman Posted: May 31, 2022 at 07:03 PM (#6079255)
It seemed a touch mean to point out at the time, but things like this are why I balked a bit at the Knicks' inclusion on the list a couple of pages back of franchises who were dedicated to spending money and winning. The Knicks are clearly dedicated to spending money, but I've seen little proof this millennium that winning is a goal of theirs.


That list was poorly titled. It was more like, who could you possibly imagine spending a stupid amount of money on Masai. You could easily imagine the Knicks doing it, and doing it badly.
   1973. Fourth True Outcome Posted: May 31, 2022 at 07:03 PM (#6079256)
Sure, and almost certainly put out there by someone with ulterior motives. I stand by the broader point about the Knicks, though, and it would be pretty Knicks-y if they went out and got Russell.

Edit: was responding to TFTIO, obviously. Tship is of course also correct that it is very easy to imagine the Knicks throwing crazy money at an executive, though Dolan might always do something like try to lure back Phil instead of Masai.
   1974. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: May 31, 2022 at 09:23 PM (#6079282)
Who you pair with Luka is a real team building challenge.

The traditional answers (Paul George, Gordon Hayward, Jrue, Middleton, Klay) are getting a little bit older, and the shooting big route clearly didn't work out. Could you get Desmond Bane?

It's funny, on Twitter there have been a bunch of comments lately about how the Mavs missed out on Desmond Bane and how he could've made them a top tier contender. Lots of lamenting the Josh Green pick, though also a common sentiment that the Mavs just needed Bane to fall one more spot to #31 and it's unrealistic to think they'd consider him at #18 since he never went the high in mock drafts.

That leads me to recall, in grand stigglesian fashion, that I drafted Bane at #18 for the Mavs in our mock (one of several times I've picked someone well before the consensus -- Jordan Bell and De'Anthony Melton being other prime examples). Here's what I said back then, and I think it mostly holds up:
Adding to that outside shooting strength is Desmond Bane (6’6” 215-lb SG/SF, Age 22.4), who led the Big 12 in both 3PA and 3P%. His shooting proficiency is even more impressive considering that he played on a team without a functional point guard. After being almost purely a catch-and-shoot guy in prior years, Bane took on more and more ballhandling duties as the season wore on, such that roughly 1/3 of Bane’s 3s this year were unassisted. A large portion of his assisted 3s came while running around screens or squaring up well beyond the arc – he shot 17/45 (38%) from NBA distance according to The Stepien. Bane’s movement shooting, high volume, and deep range make it especially likely that his 3-point proficiency will translate to the next level.

Bane also excelled as a PnR ballhandler, flashing advanced reads and skip passes to set up his teammates for open looks. Despite being a Wing at the NBA level, Bane actually finished 2nd in Big 12 conference play in AST% (32.4%), ahead of Tyrese Haliburton. As defenses overplay Luka, Bane can take advantage of the open floor as a secondary creator, though it’s certainly worth noting that he isn’t much of a finisher in the paint.

Defensively, Bane is knocked for having short arms (6’5” wingspan) and suspect lateral quickness. However, he’s ridiculously strong and widely regarded as having a very high defensive IQ with respect to team concepts and positioning. I think his combination of strength, awareness, and height can offset the length and quickness limitations to make him no worse than an average-ish Wing defender (see, e.g., Jared Dudley).
   1975. spivey Posted: May 31, 2022 at 09:35 PM (#6079286)
Watching some WNBA tonight. Becky Hammon's LasVegas.com Aces are looking very good. Playing the Connecticut Sun in the matchup of the 2 clearly best teams in the league (both with net ratings over 13).

Earlier tonight we had Sky vs. Mercury Sun in a matchup of last year's WNBA finals.

Hammon, interestingly, replaced Laimbeer. And the LasVegas.com Aces were #2 in net rating the last 3 years. Just haven't gotten over the hump to the Finals. I'm still searching out my WNBA team. Part of me is leaning Sky, that's who I loosely rooted for last year, because they're local and I love Candace Parker's NBA commentary on TNT when they get the cloud yellers to go March Madness. But I don't particularly enjoy watching them play. Las Vegas is a great city, Hammon touches on my San Antonio upbringing, and their team plays fun basketball.
   1976. smileyy Posted: May 31, 2022 at 11:15 PM (#6079300)
The Aces are really good and really fun to watch.
   1977. The Honorable Ardo Posted: May 31, 2022 at 11:28 PM (#6079306)
I'm picking the Warriors in the Finals. It's a tough call because nearly every analytic model prefers the Celtics. But Milwaukee and Miami both missed lots of good looks from the 3-point arc; if a handful more dropped in either series, Boston isn't here. Golden State won't miss those looks.
   1978. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: June 01, 2022 at 01:27 AM (#6079320)
Adrian Wojnarowski
@wojespn
·
1h
ESPN reporting with
@ESPN_MacMahon
: After weeks of conversations with ownership and management, Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder’s future remains unclear and a possibility exists that he could decide to end his eight-year tenure with franchise:
   1979. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: June 01, 2022 at 02:46 AM (#6079322)
I don't understand the economics of the WNBA. Here in Seattle the cheapest seats are $50 in Key Arena. The Storm average 10k fans per game = something like 1M revenue. 18 home games = ~18M revenue just from gate, plus playoffs, merch, TV. But the salary cap is at just $1.3M.

Probably Seattle is an anomaly here for various reasons, but like, I was just shocked at how high the ticket prices are.
   1980. . . . . . . Posted: June 01, 2022 at 08:19 AM (#6079329)
I know a little bit about this and can help. Cost of using the arena for a game - fully open, including concessions - is about $1M. $500K if concessions are mostly dark. If they are making $1M of revenue from gate they are probably losing money on home games (and, fwiw, I know the economics of the wnba a little bit and they are losing money on every home game).

Salaries in WNBA are something between charity, a political contribution, and an investment in the future. It doesn’t make money, standalone.
   1981. sardonic Posted: June 01, 2022 at 08:48 AM (#6079330)
I've gone all the way down the rabbit hole to find the most rigorous preview/analysis out there - Warriors in 6.

FANDOM!
   1982. Cagerfan Posted: June 01, 2022 at 09:53 AM (#6079333)
But Milwaukee and Miami both missed lots of good looks from the 3-point arc; if a handful more dropped in either series, Boston isn't here.
The "if only" knife cuts both ways though. If Boston makes just a few of the open threes they missed, then they beat Milwaukee in 5 and possibly sweep Miami. Really, Miami played way over their head in game 6. They were 24-25 from the line and made 43% of their threes against the best defense in the league (they took 243 of them for the series and only made 30%. That low percentage isn't a fluke). Remember, the Celtics blew out the Bucks twice and Miami three times, while not being themselves blown out once. They proved they were the best team in the east.
   1983. Cagerfan Posted: June 01, 2022 at 10:02 AM (#6079335)
Also, the last three Butler missed, that should have been expected. He was shooting less than 30% for the series and he had played the whole game and was gassed at that point. The results of the shot were telling. It was both short and off to the left so far the equator of the ball made contact with the side of the rim. It had no chance.
   1984. asinwreck Posted: June 01, 2022 at 10:49 AM (#6079338)
What odds would you give of each of Snyder, Gobert, and Mitchell still being with the Jazz on opening night?
   1985. DCA Posted: June 01, 2022 at 11:13 AM (#6079340)
I went to a Storm game on a visit to Seattle many years ago (200x, don't remember x). Tickets were like $10 and we sat in the second row from the court. So that's a change, at least.
   1986. Cagerfan Posted: June 01, 2022 at 12:10 PM (#6079346)
I'm dying to find out what the Lakers and Nets do to reconfigure their rosters.
   1987. villageidiom Posted: June 01, 2022 at 12:11 PM (#6079348)
I'll cop to this.
See, I don't go down that path. I mean, the refs are inconsistent and all, but are probably as good as they can be given all they need to watch simultaneously. I'm more of a "they never call traveling any more" old guy.
   1988. Cagerfan Posted: June 01, 2022 at 12:28 PM (#6079351)
I'm more of a "they never call traveling any more" old guy.
They don't call the palm double-dribble anymore either.
   1989. tshipman Posted: June 01, 2022 at 12:41 PM (#6079353)
What odds would you give of each of Snyder, Gobert, and Mitchell still being with the Jazz on opening night?


All 3: 0.00%
Any two: 40%
Gobert: 25%
Snyder: 50%
Mitchell: 75%
   1990. sardonic Posted: June 01, 2022 at 01:13 PM (#6079357)
Let's also not forget moving screen vs. off ball holding -- the toilet paper roll: over or under of any close Warriors series.
   1991. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 01, 2022 at 05:44 PM (#6079408)
I think that is low on Gobert. Not that I would be shocked if he were gone, but Utah should hold out for a decent offer. I think the Ben Simmons saga from last offseason is relevant here. You don't pull the trigger on a deal you can actually live with.

The other factor is what their read on Mitchell is. If they think he is going to ask out regardless of what they do, putting all your chips on building around him would be incredibly foolish. In such a case, I can see them moving on from Mitchell for the right package, and sticking with Gobert.
   1992. asinwreck Posted: June 01, 2022 at 05:47 PM (#6079409)
I agree Mitchell is the most likely of the three to stay, unless he tries to force his way out. (I would not be surprised to see the Knicks try to convince him to demand a trade back home.) I think Snyder's gone regardless of what else happens, either to take a year off or see what other jobs open after the playoffs.

   1993. tshipman Posted: June 01, 2022 at 06:41 PM (#6079420)
I think that is low on Gobert. Not that I would be shocked if he were gone, but Utah should hold out for a decent offer. I think the Ben Simmons saga from last offseason is relevant here. You don't pull the trigger on a deal you can actually live with.


My read on the tension in Utah is that Mitchell blames Gobert for the playoff failures and the Wade cabal agrees with him. I think for that reason, Gobert will be moved as the way to keep Mitchell. I think that Snyder is very resistant to this, and that's why he may be gone.

You could make a compelling basketball case for not getting rid of any of them, but I think that is not realistically an option.

Like that's my opinion on what *will* happen, not what should happen. If I were Utah, I would look to get off everyone and rebuild because none of them are worth the hassle and this team has reached its ceiling.
   1994. sardonic Posted: June 01, 2022 at 07:13 PM (#6079427)
What I think Utah will do:
I agree with those who say that at least one of Snyder and Gobert are gone, probably both. I'd be surprised if Mitchell is gone barring him forcing his way out.

What I think they should do:
Get a new coach and keep just trying to make it work around Mitchell and Gobert. I doubt a rebuild is on average going to yield a better core anytime soon, and I think with better 3 and D players around Mitchell and Gobert there's no reason they couldn't put it together for a Blazers like WCF run or even a 2011 Mavs-esque title run.

I think Memphis is a good model. They rode Grit n Grind to 7 straight playoff appearances including a conference finals. Then they traded Conley and Gasol while letting Z-Bo walk and turned that into a pick that turned into Brandon Clarke, Grayson Allen, Kyle Korver (turned into De'Anthony Melton and Josh Jackson), Jae Crowder (turned into Justise Winslow), CJ Miles, Jonas V (turned into Eric Bledsoe and Steven Adams and a first), Delon Wright and a second round pick.

The teardown didn't yield much, but at least they had those 7 good years. Then they got Ja, which has now gotten them to... a second round exit. Next year they're well positioned to contend for WCF or Finals. Even with Ja there's a really good chance that Ja's Grizzlies never do better than the previous iteration.

So why tear that down before you have to?
   1995. spivey Posted: June 01, 2022 at 10:25 PM (#6079453)
It's hard to predict what Utah should do because I think so much of it's dependent on what they can get back. Their wings and Conley have all aged out, mostly, at least on defense. They can't stop point of attack from either guards or wings now.

So it really depends what they can get in trade from various guys.

Trading Gobert but otherwise running this back doesn't make sense unless they can get something like 2 good 3&D guys back. So if you're just getting cap relief and maybe some future assets, I'd be inclined to deal Mitchell too. The team won't be good enough to keep Mitchell.
   1996. aberg Posted: June 02, 2022 at 11:25 AM (#6079492)
I am picking Golden State to win the finals in 6. The very simplified version of the analysis is that they both have great defenses, but I think GS's offense is more effective against good defenses than Boston's is. I trust Curry, Poole, and Klay to make tough shots against good defense at an ok rate. GS's defense will hedge and show help on Tatum and Brown, so they'll be able to get the Warriors in rotation, but that means Smart, Jones, Williams, and Horford have to make shots, which is far from a sure thing. Of course, if those guys shoot 37% instead of 32% as a group, Boston is definitely good enough to win in 6. Either way, very much looking forward to the defensive chess moves.
   1997. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: June 02, 2022 at 01:10 PM (#6079509)
Andrew Marchand @AndrewMarchand
NEWS: Jeff Van Gundy is out for the start of the NBA Finals with COVID, Mike Breen still needs to be cleared for tonight's game, while Woj also has COVID, The Post has learned.


JVG sounded awful last game, so this isn't a surprise I guess.

---

Not sure if anyone here picked BOS/GS before the season, as not many people were that high on either team (also not going to read it all either, though skimming the high on BOS might have been 3 in East). I know I was one of the few who was high on GS - I nailed them as the 3 (higher than most) and had them in the Finals (losing to the Nets, but who's counting?).

GS in 6
   1998. jmurph Posted: June 02, 2022 at 01:43 PM (#6079513)
So Mark Jackson one-man booth, I'm assuming?

(I realized I can't miss the draft/offseason portion of this thread and decided to quietly slide back in after a few weeks away, I'm sure I was desperately missed.)
   1999. An Athletic in Powderhorn, Silly Posted: June 02, 2022 at 02:14 PM (#6079519)
Oh, for a broadcast of just Breen and Doris Burke. I know, that would never happen. It should.
   2000. asinwreck Posted: June 02, 2022 at 03:11 PM (#6079526)
Marc J. Spears @MarcJSpears

Mark Jones, Mark Jackson and Lisa Salters will be the announcing crew for @abc tonight in Game 1 of the NBA Finals and will be the first all-black TV announcing crew in Finals history.
Mark Jones did a fine job replacing Breen on short notice.
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