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Friday, December 18, 2020

NBA 2020 Season kick-off thread

I estimate it would take 10-12 Primates to beat James Harden in a wing eating contest.

Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: December 18, 2020 at 02:28 PM | 1100 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: best shape of his life, nba, off-topic

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   1. jmurph Posted: December 18, 2020 at 02:57 PM (#5994924)
I also kind of just think Herro is ridiculously overrated right now. For all his improvement in the bubble, he still had a -11.1 net plus minus (edit: in the playoffs)!

The dude is an arsonist on defense!

Yeah my current belief is that he's going to be a very talented specialist, but we'll see I guess. I would see him as like the 3rd or maybe 2nd best guy in a trade for a star, not the guy you're building the deal around.

I will say in the eastern playoffs I saw him make a couple passes that I wouldn't have previously thought he was capable of making, and he's very young, so I'm not suggesting he can't get a lot better.

The other thing is the Heat's draft situation isn't great, so a trade is going to be like Herro/Robinson/Olynyk/salary and some trash picks. Again, give me Simmons over that all day.
   2. jmurph Posted: December 18, 2020 at 03:06 PM (#5994925)
Umm I had completely forgotten that Houston now employs John Wall, for the next several expensive years. That complicates things I guess, but I think I still focus on Simmons.
   3. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: December 18, 2020 at 03:07 PM (#5994926)
I also kind of just think Herro is ridiculously overrated right now. For all his improvement in the bubble, he still had a -11.1 net plus minus (edit: in the playoffs)!
The dude is an arsonist on defense!

I agree with all of this! Otoh, he's also 20 and was a rookie last year - it's not hard to envision a future where he turns the corner on defense and improves significantly on offense. If he's an average defender and is, say, a 18-5-3 with plus to plus-plus shooting (these are reasonable outcomes), you've got something.
   4. JJ1986 Posted: December 18, 2020 at 03:08 PM (#5994928)
Duncan Robinson is going to get expensive very quickly.
   5. jmurph Posted: December 18, 2020 at 03:12 PM (#5994930)
Duncan Robinson is going to get expensive very quickly.

Saw some very credulous reporting on twitter last night about how hesitant Miami was to discuss him in Harden talks and I was like LOL yes I'm sure.

EDIT: If the decision is Harden isn't a fit with Butler/Bam, that's totally fine and defensible. But if they're interested I'm reasonably sure they don't let Duncan Robinson hold that up.
   6. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: December 18, 2020 at 03:20 PM (#5994931)
fwiw, i'd trade embiid before i'd trade simmons. i'm pretty sure i've said this before.
   7. jmurph Posted: December 18, 2020 at 03:22 PM (#5994933)
fwiw, i'd trade embiid before i'd trade simmons. i'm pretty sure i've said this before.

I think I would, too, but not for Harden.
   8. tshipman Posted: December 18, 2020 at 03:35 PM (#5994935)
Am I trying to win a championship or have a good team for 5 years?
   9. jmurph Posted: December 18, 2020 at 03:36 PM (#5994936)
tship is that an Embiid/Simmons question?
   10. tshipman Posted: December 18, 2020 at 03:39 PM (#5994937)
If he's an average defender and is, say, a 18-5-3 with plus to plus-plus shooting (these are reasonable outcomes), you've got something.


I agree that these are reasonable outcomes. I don't see how this reasonable outcome for Herro + the depleted picks available to Miami to trade is better than Simmons.

(Maybe you are just low on Simmons relative to me)

tship is that an Embiid/Simmons question?


Yes, to me at least. Embiid is more likely to win a championship in the next two years while Simmons is more likely to be on a good team for the next five years.
   11. jmurph Posted: December 18, 2020 at 03:45 PM (#5994941)
Yes, to me at least. Embiid is more likely to win a championship in the next two years while Simmons is more likely to be on a good team for the next five years.

Okay yeah, I probably agree. I think Harden/Embiid* is definitely a potential title winning tandem as soon as this season. I think if someone can fully figure out a Simmons led offense, there's a chance he's leading very good teams for 10+ seasons (he's currently 24).

*They would also QUICKLY become major villains, which would be a lot of fun. The free throw grifting would be otherworldly.
   12. tshipman Posted: December 18, 2020 at 04:14 PM (#5994951)
I alluded to this in the old thread, but this is turning into much more of a potential issue.

Wilkes also alleges that after Leonard signed with the Clippers he met with West at a Beverly Hills restaurant and West "reconfirmed that he and the CLIPPERS would take care of him and honor their agreement. Jerry then instructed Plaintiff to type his request for payment and email it to his good friend Jim Gray. While at the meeting Jim Gray sent Plaintiff his email address. Plaintiff formalized his request in writing and emailed it to Jim Gray shortly thereafter," according to the lawsuit.


If there really is a paper trail, then it seems like we may be looking at Joe Smith 2.0.
   13. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: December 18, 2020 at 04:15 PM (#5994952)
Yes, to me at least. Embiid is more likely to win a championship in the next two years while Simmons is more likely to be on a good team for the next five years.
replacement level at center is a lot higher than at whatever position ben simmons plays.


if you're replacing embiid with andre drummond or steven adams or jahlil okafor or nik vucevic, sure, that's a big step down, but you're still good there.
   14. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 18, 2020 at 04:16 PM (#5994953)
BTF Wacky Predictions 2019-20

As with everything else 2020, I had to be a bit creative. I prorated raw numbers to 82 games, and also one of the questions was Nugget home wins so I prorated the games they actually played in Denver to 41 home games (they lost three "home" games in the bubble, which didn't seem like it should count).

Answers (prorated where relevant):
Joel Embiid played 57 games (closest: Mouse 59, tship 55, stevegamer 59)
David Fizdale was the first coach fired (got it: jmurph, Crosseyed, Votto, NJ, Der-K)
Zion had 28 blocks + steals; obviously the injury was highly relevant, DCA's guess of 45 was the low but most people were in the 100s
Ben Simmons made 1-4 threes (2) (many correct)
There were many first-time all-stars; all of the most common picks (Gobert, Doncic, Siakam, Tatum) made it (many had both picks correct)
The Bucks won 21 games (!) by 20+ points (nobody guessed this high, Booey's 16 was closest)
The Nuggets lost 10 home games (Mouse was spot on)

Markelle Fultz had more FT made - missed than Dwight Howard
A Rocket did lead the league in FG missed (Harden)
Kyrie Irving had more PPG than Kemba Walker
The Raptors had (a lot) more wins than the Warriors
The Lakers had more wins than the Clippers
Rudy Gobert out-dunked Giannis

Add it all up and your winner is... it's... a three-way tie! Crosseyed and Painless, Mellow Mouse, and Votto all had 62 points out of a possible 100. Maybe we'll have a tiebreaker question next year. Stevegamer (59) and DCA (54) rounded out the top five.
   15. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: December 18, 2020 at 04:23 PM (#5994956)
I alluded to this in the old thread, but this is turning into much more of a potential issue.

Wilkes claims he gave the Clippers the idea of trading for Paul George to sway Leonard. “This information was vital,” Wilkes wrote, “because it was the exact information Kawhi Leonard wanted to hear at the time in order to effectuate his signing with the Clippers.”



from what i've seen, the most likely explanation is that the guy is a ticket holder/booster that west et al couldn't just tell to piss off, and so they strung him along ('yeah, just send an email to someone who's not me') because they thought he wanted a few free tickets.
   16. tshipman Posted: December 18, 2020 at 04:34 PM (#5994958)
There's audio of Jerry West leaving him a voicemail.
   17. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: December 18, 2020 at 04:49 PM (#5994962)
John Ledesma @JohnnyNBA
The Jerry West "voicemail"

Sounds like him, yes?
https://twitter.com/JohnnyNBA/status/1339981005512466436


again, this doesn't sound like anything more than a guy who thinks he's offering a booster free tickets.
   18. bfan Posted: December 18, 2020 at 04:57 PM (#5994963)
I think it should be a tip-off thread, and not a kick-off thread, but that's just me.
   19. tshipman Posted: December 18, 2020 at 05:02 PM (#5994964)
again, this doesn't sound like anything more than a guy who thinks he's offering a booster free tickets.


Wilkes is Uncle Dennis's former basketball teammate.

We'll see what comes out of it, but the NBA at least is taking it seriously.
   20. NJ in NJ Posted: December 18, 2020 at 09:00 PM (#5994977)
As someone who listens to the LeBatard Show every day and somehow has a bunch of IRL friends from Miami, Herro is easily one of the most overrated players in the game.
   21. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: December 18, 2020 at 09:27 PM (#5994979)
Tatum, Brown, and Smart are a combined 3/28 from deep after 3 preseason quarters; if that continues all season, I feel pretty confident that the Celtics will not win the 2021 title.

-----

An assertion from last thread that I thought was very interesting:
it's probably a safe assumption that Simmons will never be as valuable
I think the exact opposite is more likely? I think a Simmons + 3&D team would make Tall Rondo look like a borderline MVP candidate for a decade straight. Anyway, it's interesting in large part because Simmons' weaknesses are 1) unusually dependent on team context, and 2) if you control for overall talent level (everyone would look bad if you put them on the 7-59 Bobcats), his weaknesses play worst in a roster like... well, the Embiid-era Sixers.

Anyway, this is all fundamentally speculative, but I've long felt that an accurate and systematic model of fit is the holy grail of basketball analysis, and the prospect of Simmons with a whole roster of shooters is, IMO, the preeminent test case these days.
   22. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: December 18, 2020 at 10:58 PM (#5994989)
Duvalier Johnson @DuvalierJohnson
Carmelo Anthony just got ejected out of a preseason game. He believed that he was fouled on a finish and let the refs hear it.
Brandon Rahbar @BrandonRahbar
Horford on his pick and pop: “Guys are doing a good job of running our offense. I have the easy part. Just being ready to shoot.” Horford will become an OKC fan favorite by the end of December.
Mike Vorkunov @MikeVorkunov
Immanuel Quickley just dropped a Synergy Sports stat in his post-game press conference after the Knicks win.
Kellan Olson @KellanOlson
there's a mild white noise effect being played with the just as loud as before in-game music. Piped-in cheers every now and then. We can't hear much.
John Hollinger @johnhollinger
Always remember: The most important stat in any preseason game is FG .... F***s Given. Some of these veteran teams, especially, will look completely different next week.
Sopan Deb @SopanDeb
Celtics fans will simultaneously campaign for cutting the entire roster after a preseason game while also be unwilling to trade any of them for established stars. It’s the best.

   23. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: December 19, 2020 at 10:08 AM (#5995015)
Add it all up and your winner is... it's... a three-way tie! Crosseyed and Painless, Mellow Mouse, and Votto all had 62 points out of a possible 100. Maybe we'll have a tiebreaker question next year. Stevegamer (59) and DCA (54) rounded out the top five.


Despite it being complete and total blind luck, I am going to allow this shared victory to make my day! I had forgotten entirely about this contest.
   24. GregD Posted: December 19, 2020 at 11:06 AM (#5995024)
Tip of the cap to Carmelo for being in midseason form already
   25. I am going to be Frank Posted: December 19, 2020 at 11:18 AM (#5995026)
What do you all think OKC really wants for George Hill? Obviously they want at least a first round pick, but is any contender willing to give them that? I think he would be a great fit on the Nets. A straightforward trade of Dinwiddie for Hill works salary-wise, but it doesn't make sense for either team.
   26. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: December 19, 2020 at 02:07 PM (#5995049)
At this point, I’m strictly in devil’s advocacy territory but:
I think we might underrate how bad of a shooter Simmons is? He’s yet to crack 60% from the line for his career and, with the notable exception of his passing, is the kind of guy many consider unplayable at the end of the game. No matter what he’s still valuable but he’s also really expensive.
   27. JJ1986 Posted: December 19, 2020 at 02:44 PM (#5995050)
RHJ got cut. I don't watch European club basketball, but I feel like he'd be really good in Europe.
   28. DCA Posted: December 19, 2020 at 02:49 PM (#5995051)
25: There isn't a team in the NBA that George Hill wouldn't help. OKC is going to hold him until all the "recently signed/traded" time limits are up and then gouge the first contending team that develops a need for a 25 MPG rotation guard that can run the point and shoot. OR they'll keep him, make the playoffs while simultaneously gathering assets (again), and then move him for a 1st next offseason.

26: Simmons' defense (quality and versatility) is good enough to make him end-of-game playable no matter how bad a shooter he is.


   29. tshipman Posted: December 19, 2020 at 04:12 PM (#5995059)
I think we might underrate how bad of a shooter Simmons is? He’s yet to crack 60% from the line for his career and, with the notable exception of his passing, is the kind of guy many consider unplayable at the end of the game. No matter what he’s still valuable but he’s also really expensive.


I think Simmons can play in crunch time on any team in the league.
   30. spivey 2 Posted: December 19, 2020 at 05:52 PM (#5995068)
I think the idea of Simmons + shooters is easier said than done. How good are these shooters, given how bad Simmons is? I'd argue you'd likely have floor spacing issues with a normal NBA shooting cast around him. Really, you need your center to be a shooter and a couple of the guys to be very good shooters, probably.

But then, if those guys are capable of playing defense or doing other things, like some solo playmaking, they're likely already very coveted in the league right now and not cheap.

Simmons with 4 shooters may be a good offense, there's guys like Giannis and Harden, who have struggled in the playoffs with that. Hell, even LeBron can be slowed down (within reason) when he's had his years he can't make outside shots. I think there are defenders that can reasonably guard Simmons one-on-one in the playoffs. And then what?
   31. puck Posted: December 19, 2020 at 06:25 PM (#5995071)
Is there a general idea of which sorts of teams benefit from a fast vs slow offensive pace?

An Athletic article says pace has been an emphasis this preseason by the Nuggets. The Nuggets were 29th in pace last year and 27th the season before. I thought that was intentional.
   32. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: December 19, 2020 at 06:28 PM (#5995072)
you people are trying to build the wrong team.

the model to follow when building around simmons is the early-mid 2010s memphis grizzlies. simmons would be the tony allen in that scenario, except instead of being tony allen, he's ben ####### simmons.


simmons/butler/embiid actually came very close to that ideal, but of course the sixers immediately ###### it up.


can we all just take another second to consider how utterly mind-bottling it is that the sixers are even on the fringes of title contention after all of the colossal ####### mistakes they've made in the last 5 years. from that shitty MFer; to drafting zhaire smith instead of MPJ, SGA or mikal bridges; to trading for tharris; extending tharris; letting butler leave; signing horford. these were not just run of the mill transactions. these were huge swings and misses, one after another after another. and there hasn't been much of anything to balance the other side of the ledger. this team should be forked. and they probably are. but they might somehow not be, and it's a ####### marvel.
   33. tshipman Posted: December 19, 2020 at 07:07 PM (#5995075)
the model to follow when building around simmons is the early-mid 2010s memphis grizzlies. simmons would be the tony allen in that scenario, except instead of being tony allen, he's ben ####### simmons.


I mean, why would you want to win a title when you can go out in the first or second round?

I think the idea of Simmons + shooters is easier said than done. How good are these shooters, given how bad Simmons is? I'd argue you'd likely have floor spacing issues with a normal NBA shooting cast around him. Really, you need your center to be a shooter and a couple of the guys to be very good shooters, probably.


Right, the thing with Simmons + Shooters is that he still needs to run a PnR at an elite level to pressure a defense, and he hasn't shown any ability to do that yet. He was just 39th percentile last year as the ballhandler in PnR, and only finished 2.6 possessions per game with that. In fairness, in 2018-2019, he was much better, 82nd percentile, but on even lower play volume.

Simmons + shooters is more of a thing in the abstract. There are a lot of proof points that need to be met before you can make it a reality.
   34. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: December 19, 2020 at 07:48 PM (#5995079)
I mean, why would you want to win a title when you can go out in the first or second round?
most franchises can't get one of the 5 best players in the world to force a trade to them, and go out and sign one of the best players in NBA history, for shits and giggles.

i mean, if you think about it, it's their own fault for letting the lakers move to los angeles.
   35. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: December 19, 2020 at 08:20 PM (#5995084)
if we're being "honest" here, the best "plan" for the sixers is to collude with james harden and get him to depress his value around the league until he's so toxic an asset that HOU is forced to trade him to PHI for tobias harris and "draft" "picks", just to get rid of him, and because noone else wants to touch him.
   36. tshipman Posted: December 19, 2020 at 08:40 PM (#5995094)
I remember when everyone was clowning on the Lakers for giving up too much for Anthony Davis.
   37. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: December 19, 2020 at 08:51 PM (#5995100)
I remember when everyone was clowning on the Lakers for giving up too much for Anthony Davis.
here's the thread where it happened. i don't see any clowning by moses or derk.

3763. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: June 15, 2019 at 09:19 PM (#5852367)
Good trade for both teams
Carries risk for the lakers but I can see kemba going there and that’s an outstanding team in the short term
   38. tshipman Posted: December 19, 2020 at 10:18 PM (#5995127)
Here's what you said, Stiggles:

FWIW, i'm not a big fan of this deal for LAL. i get it...especially after how things turned out with paul george and russell westbrook and dangelo russell, but i think they should have held back a bit knowing that they had the in on AD next summer.
   39. tshipman Posted: December 19, 2020 at 10:22 PM (#5995130)
Here are some more comments from that thread:

Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: June 16, 2019 at 12:40 AM (#5852441)
That is a big gamble, given those swaps. Oof.


This really could be the Celtics-Nets trade v2.0.

Wow, with the swaps that's insane. LeBron will be 41 in 2025, and even with an extension I think that's the last year of AD's deal. If AD misses a chunk of time at any point in the next five years one of those picks could end up in the lottery.
   40. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: December 19, 2020 at 11:22 PM (#5995156)
right, but none of that is "clowning" on the lakers.
   41. asinwreck Posted: December 20, 2020 at 10:55 AM (#5995209)
Big contract happens, small contract does not.
Shams Charania
@ShamsCharania
·
52m
Utah Jazz All-Star Rudy Gobert has agreed to a five-year, $205 million contract extension with the franchise, with player option in year five, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA
@Stadium
.
Shams Charania
@ShamsCharania
· 12h
Sources: Letter of Clearance didn’t arrive in time for Jeremy Lin to sign-and-waive with Warriors before tonight’s waiver deadline. twitter.com/ShamsCharania/…
   42. tshipman Posted: December 20, 2020 at 01:35 PM (#5995234)
Are the Jazz Pacers West, or are the Pacers Jazz East?
   43. rr doesn't talk to pawns Posted: December 20, 2020 at 06:20 PM (#5995258)
Clowning the Lakers: I had recalled that thread as being pretty balanced; I also recall during James' first year here, Stiggles clowning on James a lot for joining the Magic Johnson Disaster Tour instead of creating a juggernaut in Philly with Simmons and saying that James would be demanding a trade to the Clippers.

Gobert: I think it is the right move for Utah. As discussed ad nauseum, you can't shut down your team because somebody else has James and Davis, and the NBA's economic structure means massive money for guys in Gobert's value range.

I have a thing going on with the site where I can't see any pages other than the first page of any thread or the site's home page; I wanted to comment on the other thread but it wouldn't load. Emailed the siterunner about it.
   44. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 21, 2020 at 01:04 AM (#5995286)
Re: site issues, I think this has tipped me over to voting to take our talents somewhere else. Not sure where but BTF is largely a shell at this point.
   45. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 21, 2020 at 01:36 AM (#5995288)
Haven't had any site issues.
   46. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: December 21, 2020 at 08:33 AM (#5995295)
There already exists an ex-patriot BBTF Discord server. I am sure the server person would happily add a Basketball or NBA channel.

It is reasonably well behaved, with politics generally sticking to the political and general channel. Plus discord is way better as an interface.

https://discord.gg/JjpmTkWb
   47. jmurph Posted: December 21, 2020 at 09:26 AM (#5995298)
I'll follow the crowd, but I'm ideally not trying to have to download discord on my work computer (don't have much experience with it, so I'm not sure if there is a web-only version).

The issues for me here lately get fixed when I re-click into the thread.
   48. jmurph Posted: December 21, 2020 at 09:33 AM (#5995299)
I think we might underrate how bad of a shooter Simmons is? He’s yet to crack 60% from the line for his career and, with the notable exception of his passing, is the kind of guy many consider unplayable at the end of the game. No matter what he’s still valuable but he’s also really expensive.

Yeah I've been on this for at least a year now, and I think a couple others have, too (I think NJ, but could be remembering wrong). People compare his shooting to Rondo but it's not even close, Rondo actually took shots. Simmons took just under 2/3 of his shots from inside of THREE feet last year, which I'm not even sure is helpful if you're an actual center, let alone if you play alongside one. People constantly pretend like he's working on it, but he's taking fewer actual shots per season. Net negative on/off guy the last two seasons, including almost 4 points per 100 worse on offense last season. His offensive issues are significantly underplayed.

But I'm still a strong believer in the talent, which is incredible. And while I agree with those pointing out how difficult it is to make a Simmons + shooters lineup work, it's at least worth trying.
   49. JJ1986 Posted: December 21, 2020 at 09:38 AM (#5995300)
I made a Discord account, but I don't like learning new interfaces and it looks clunky on first glance. I'd rather setup something like a Vbulletin forum if this thread is going to move.
   50. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 21, 2020 at 09:49 AM (#5995301)
Plus discord is way better as an interface.


It's also the hangout of choice for the far right/white supremacists. Not a good place.
   51. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: December 21, 2020 at 10:03 AM (#5995303)
It's also the hangout of choice for the far right/white supremacists. Not a good place.


Um, what? Discord is a platform with hundreds (thousands, more?) servers. I am on several different servers. Most are aimed at gaming (which is what it was originally designed for), but there are plenty of others.

In other words, it is not a place at all.
   52. NJ in NJ Posted: December 21, 2020 at 10:05 AM (#5995305)
jmurph, your memory is correct.
   53. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 21, 2020 at 10:12 AM (#5995307)
Discord caters to the far-right. It's a problematic platform.
   54. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: December 21, 2020 at 10:33 AM (#5995311)
Discord caters to the far-right. It's a problematic platform.


I think this is a pointless sidebar and your opinion runs counter to my experience. I mean Ford is problematic because so many KKK members over the years have driven them and I mean what with the history of Henry Ford...
   55. spivey 2 Posted: December 21, 2020 at 11:25 AM (#5995316)
I occasionally have issues with this site loading and obviously at some point the site will just die when Jim decides it's not worth the time and money.

But I've not had any significant issues recently using either Chrome (work) or Edge (home) computer.
   56. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: December 21, 2020 at 11:27 AM (#5995317)
Back to basketball, I am having more trouble than even in previous years figuring out regular-season records. I don't think it is the uncertainty of COVID or player movement or anything like that, I think the main issue I am having is the increasing divergence between the regular season and playoff basketball.

More and more the top teams seem to be trying to optimize for the 16 games at the expense of the regular-season. The "lesser" teams are either trying to win in the regular season or occasionally tanking. In net, I have no idea how things will shake out (more than I normally don't know).
   57. NJ in NJ Posted: December 21, 2020 at 11:32 AM (#5995320)
Back to basketball, I am having more trouble than even in previous years figuring out regular-season records. I don't think it is the uncertainty of COVID or player movement or anything like that, I think the main issue I am having is the increasing divergence between the regular season and playoff basketball.

More and more the top teams seem to be trying to optimize for the 16 games at the expense of the regular-season. The "lesser" teams are either trying to win in the regular season or occasionally tanking. In net, I have no idea how things will shake out (more than I normally don't know).


If this were the case, wouldn't we see more instances of lower seeds upsetting higher seeds? I haven't done the research, but off the top of my head I can't think of very many "This team was 1 way relative to their peers all regular season and then shockingly played another way in the postseason" examples that don't involve clear structural problems (Ability to gameplan for a Harden and/or Giannis powered offense in the postseason).
   58. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: December 21, 2020 at 11:50 AM (#5995321)
I don't think history helps much, because I think it is a fairly recent trend (and last year there was no real home teams). Especially since I think it will be exacerbated by the compressed offseason and regular season.

Who will have the most wins in the regular season? Normally I would think the Lakers are a good option, but I think they will be on cruise control since it was like yesterday they won. The Bucks made changes that look to me aimed at the playoffs, but could easily hurt their record in the regular season (less bench depth). The Clippers will load manage again this year, so I don't know that they will have the best regular-season record, I think Brooklyn will be aimed at being ready and healthy for the playoffs over racking up regular-season wins.

Basically, and this might just be the circumstance with compression and injuries, that the top end seems really muddled, and at the root of it is that teams are rightly recognizing that playoffs are way more important than the regular-season.

Note: The above list of top-end teams is not meant to be complete, just top of my head.
   59. jmurph Posted: December 21, 2020 at 12:03 PM (#5995323)
Who will have the most wins in the regular season? Normally I would think the Lakers are a good option, but I think they will be on cruise control since it was like yesterday they won. The Bucks made changes that look to me aimed at the playoffs, but could easily hurt their record in the regular season (less bench depth). The Clippers will load manage again this year, so I don't know that they will have the best regular-season record, I think Brooklyn will be aimed at being ready and healthy for the playoffs over racking up regular-season wins.

I agree with these, basically. Top-ish teams off the top of my head that will likely push for the regular season would be Denver, Utah, and Milwaukee. I could also easily see either LA team getting the best record despite resting a lot (in fact I'm sure I'll pick one of them to be the one seed).
   60. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: December 21, 2020 at 12:06 PM (#5995324)
Bucks stripped of their '22 2nd for their bungling of the Bogdan stuff (per shams)
--
I am not having any browser issues with this site. I also share concerns with using discord on a work machine.
--
Pace: um, not sure how to respond? I can say obvious stuff like how good teams normally benefit from higher pace strictly from a variance reduction standpoint or teams with superior speed and deficiencies in playmaking...
--
   61. tshipman Posted: December 21, 2020 at 12:11 PM (#5995325)
Here's what I propose for our predictions:

1. Strong contenders--teams that you are surprised if they don't make the conference finals. Think Bucks, Lakers, Clippers last year.
2. Weak contenders--teams that you are surprised if they don't win their first round playoff series.
3. Solid Playoffs--teams that you are surprised if they don't make the playoffs
4. Fringe playoffs--teams that you wouldn't be shocked if they made it, or shocked if they missed it. Play-in game teams.
5. Non-contenders--teams that you would be shocked if they made the playoffs.
6. Dregs--teams that you would be surprised if they weren't in contention for #1 overall pick
   62. NJ in NJ Posted: December 21, 2020 at 12:35 PM (#5995326)
[61] I like that. I'd also like to do Who Will Win and Who Should Win for the major individual awards as well as pick the Finals matchup and Finals winner.

EDIT: I take back who should win, unless we can agree on a metric of choice.
   63. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: December 21, 2020 at 02:01 PM (#5995339)
Discord caters to the far-right. It's a problematic platform.
all new forms of technology cater to nazis, republicans, and child pornographers. that happens because established platforms can afford to moderate those undesireables off, while newer platforms either don't have the moderation tools set up, or are so desperate for a foothold in the market that appealing to republicans and child pornographers is a reasonably attractive business plan.
   64. JJ1986 Posted: December 21, 2020 at 02:12 PM (#5995343)
I put 29 teams into categories and could not figure out that the team I missed was Houston. I'm not even sure what they are now and I expect them to trade Harden soon-ish.
   65. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: December 21, 2020 at 02:36 PM (#5995348)
Can we pause/stop the Discord discussion? For the time being, this place exists. If it starts to not exist, someone can set up a Slack or a Discord server or something.
   66. jmurph Posted: December 21, 2020 at 02:39 PM (#5995350)
Man, trying to pick standings/playoffs and I feel like I see a relatively strong favorite in the Lakers, Clippers/Bucks fairly close after that, and then I have no idea after that. Hopefully that means we're in for an interesting season (of course it may mean that I'm just even dumber than ever before, which is absolutely possible, even likely).
   67. tshipman Posted: December 21, 2020 at 02:45 PM (#5995351)
This year is hard because the favorite should be the Bucks, but they've crapped the bed two postseasons in a row, so it feels bad to pick them.

Edit: Another way to think about this is that of last year's conference finalists, 2/4 were kinda fluky (Nuggets and Heat), and the other two look to have gotten worse.
   68. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: December 21, 2020 at 03:02 PM (#5995354)
Edit: Another way to think about this is that of last year's conference finalists, 2/4 were kinda fluky (Nuggets and Heat), and the other two look to have gotten worse.
i think it's premature to call MIA a fluke. there's a reasonable likelihood that a butler/bam core will be a title contender for the next few years.
   69. tshipman Posted: December 21, 2020 at 03:13 PM (#5995355)
i think it's premature to call MIA a fluke. there's a reasonable likelihood that a butler/bam core will be a title contender for the next few years.


It's totally reasonable that Butler/Bam could be the core of a title contender, but Miami was more than a little flukish. They had a +2 point differential in the playoffs--sixth in the playoffs, and they were outscored in the conference finals.

They won two series because two NBA teams inexplicably could not score against a 2-3 zone for three games, and got like the best 20 games of Jae Crowder's career.
   70. jmurph Posted: December 21, 2020 at 03:20 PM (#5995358)
Looking at the rest of the East, Toronto probably got a lot worse, right? I'm not alone in thinking that?

EDIT: I like Baynes as much as anyone, but last year was his career high in minutes with... 22. And he still missed a decent chunk of time. He's a 20 minutes or less guy. So I guess the question is does Baynes/Len replace Gasol/Ibaka? Maybe I'm overselling the downgrade.
   71. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: December 21, 2020 at 03:36 PM (#5995360)
tToronto's infrastructure is excellent, and they're still deep. I love Siakam, but (for now) he is miscast as a lead scorer. For the regular season, I still like them as a top-4 seed.
   72. NJ in NJ Posted: December 21, 2020 at 03:36 PM (#5995361)
Toronto should be worse...but Masai keeps pumping out 50+ win teams and Nurse is a consensus Top 5 coach so whether OG develops or he puts together a deal you can't completely count them out. They're out of the title picture but still in that second round maybe Conference Finals bucket.
   73. tshipman Posted: December 21, 2020 at 03:45 PM (#5995362)
For me, the big concern with Toronto is not trading Siakam/Gasol for Baynes/Boucher, but Kyle Lowry getting a year older.
   74. Rally Posted: December 21, 2020 at 04:01 PM (#5995363)
Reading over the thread from the Davis trade, what sticks out to me is how the championship-level defense was no sure thing. Davis was a great defensive talent, but that never showed up in the team stats in New Orleans. Lebron had not played much defense in a while. Frank Vogel deserves tremendous credit for devising a plan and getting everyone to buy into it. I think part of that was getting Lebron to accept some load management - his MPG for both regular and postseason were career lows.
   75. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: December 21, 2020 at 04:03 PM (#5995364)
Miami also happened to be in a state which had minimal shutdowns, and maintaining the ability to hit the gym likely contributed to their conditioning advantage. And their conditioning advantage was a significant part of their bubble run—the Heat's 4th quarter +/- was significantly better than their overall +/- in the playoffs. Definitely a quality team; definitely a better team than they looked early last season; quite fluky nonetheless. Yes, I'm still salty.

I am very, very interested to see how Toronto does this season. They'll be good, but I think they take at least a small step back. Top-4 sounds about right.

Turning my gaze closer to my own navel, I expect the Celtics to be a better playoff team this season than last, but I think they'll stumble out of the gates (injuries, youth, relative lack of wing depth) and probably have a lower seed.
   76. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: December 21, 2020 at 04:17 PM (#5995369)
Kemba's out for awhile, isn't he? And Wannamaker left for the Warriors, so who's going to run point for them, Marcus Smart?

   77. rr doesn't talk to pawns Posted: December 21, 2020 at 04:30 PM (#5995374)
Lakers defense: I mentioned in preseason that a look at Vogel's track record suggested that he was a good D coach but a mediocre O coach. The Lakers finished 3rd in DRTG but 11th in ORTG, so it played out that way. I also noted that the switch from Howard/McGee to Gasol/Harrell will impact rim protection, one of the team's main strengths. But the Gasol/Harrell/Schroder moves were obviously made with the idea of making the O functional when James sits.

Site: I am largely computer illiterate, so I am not sure what is causing the problem. I have not changed any software lately; I do use an old version of Windows. I don't really think the thread should move elsewhere unless a critical mass of guys want to move it, and I doubt that is the case.

The season actually starts tomorrow; I don't know if it seems as weird to fans of other teams, but I think fans of all the conference finalists, at least, are feeling sort of like the Bubble season ended two weeks ago. The finals ended on Oct 11, so it has been 70 days.
   78. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: December 21, 2020 at 04:41 PM (#5995377)
All kinds of options getting picked up and whatnot but the most interesting news is:
Kennard signs an extension for 4/64 (58 guaranteed, the rest likely incentives)
   79. asinwreck Posted: December 21, 2020 at 05:19 PM (#5995387)
>Siakam/Gasol

I think if Toronto jettisoned Siakam instead of letting Ibaka go, their near- and distant-future forecasts would be dimmer. Curious to see if Anunoby signs today.
   80. tshipman Posted: December 21, 2020 at 05:25 PM (#5995390)
Oof, I weirdly conflate Ibaka and Siakam.

Kennard signs an extension for 4/64 (58 guaranteed, the rest likely incentives)


16 million for an average starter is okay, but Kennard only played 28 games last year, which might be concerning. He's also had a lot of knee issues, so it's not freak injuries.

Not a huge fan of that extension.
   81. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: December 21, 2020 at 05:41 PM (#5995392)
I'm not either
---
Fultz extends for 3/50 and Isaac for 4/80. Orlando spendin'.
   82. tshipman Posted: December 21, 2020 at 05:47 PM (#5995395)
Isaac for 4/80


Speaking of guys with injury issues ...
   83. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: December 21, 2020 at 05:54 PM (#5995396)
OG 4/72, year 4 is a p-opt
   84. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: December 21, 2020 at 05:59 PM (#5995397)
Collins and Lauri not extending
   85. JJ1986 Posted: December 21, 2020 at 05:59 PM (#5995398)
Did Orlando add anyone to replace DJ Augustin's minutes? I guess Cole Anthony?

Anunoby's deal is the only one of these that I like for the team.
   86. asinwreck Posted: December 21, 2020 at 06:02 PM (#5995401)
Toronto's got a good young core. Now the questions if when --or if-- Ujiri signs back on.
   87. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: December 21, 2020 at 06:02 PM (#5995402)
They’ve got Cole and kept MCW, who disappoints as a playmaker and can’t shoot but is an truly excellent defender.
   88. JJ1986 Posted: December 21, 2020 at 06:02 PM (#5995403)
Jarrett Allen did not extend. I don't see anything on Derrick White or Josh Hart. I think those are the only 2017 first-rounders worth extending.
   89. tshipman Posted: December 21, 2020 at 06:10 PM (#5995404)
Lonzo will also not be extending. YMMV on whether or not he's worth extending (hard question, I'd rather wait and see if he can stay healthy and if the shot is real).
   90. aberg Posted: December 21, 2020 at 06:12 PM (#5995406)
Arnovitz recently pointed out that next summer is shaping up to be a players' market. Quite a few teams were hoarding cap space for the Giannis and others bonanza, but with Giannis locked up and other guys extending, the class looks significantly weaker. If there's a mediocre FA class and lots of cap space, the best players available tend to get pretty severely overpaid. I'm assuming teams are playing this out and figuring that any money beneath a max for even a good player is money saved over what they'll get in FA next summer.

I don't think I agree with that line of thinking. It's basically saying "if I don't waste this money now, I'll waste even more later!" Still, the logic is player dependent. I don't mind the OG, Isaac, Fultz extension because I think all could still grow into something more. Maybe Kennard would've done better than that next summer; that one's a tough call.
   91. aberg Posted: December 21, 2020 at 06:13 PM (#5995408)
Lonzo will also not be extending. YMMV on whether or not he's worth extending (hard question, I'd rather wait and see if he can stay healthy and if the shot is real).


Not that Eric Bledsoe's presence should ever dictate the rest of your personnel moves, but I wonder how much Eric Bledsoe's long-term contract impacts NO's desire to pay Lonzo for more years.
   92. spivey 2 Posted: December 21, 2020 at 06:21 PM (#5995409)
If Milwaukee isn't prohibitive favorites in the East, and I don't think they should be given the last two playoffs (mainly the last one, they were really quite good 2 years ago). Then... I think the East is pretty open. I don't see a lot separating Toronto, Miami, Boston, and the Nets. Lowry getting older is an issue for Toronto, but Van Vleet and Siakam are young and them getting more efficient/better at managing their increased usage wouldn't shock me. I have an idea of how I'd rank the teams, but I think in a series, any of those teams could beat any of the others.

I like Isaac and Kennard as players. But between the injury problems on top of just the fact that, solid guys for solid money - I'm not sure what I think of that strategy, unless you have core pieces it feels like you can quickly just spend up a lot of money to be meh. Basically, I agree with the point that was made here that you make a good team by having players who are in excess of their contract value, and these sort of kind-of expensive mid-tenure players seem like high-risk, low-reward from that perspective. But, I dunno, need to think about it more. I don't know that just letting the little talent you go is the right strategy either.
   93. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: December 21, 2020 at 06:28 PM (#5995411)
White got 4/73
   94. aberg Posted: December 21, 2020 at 06:29 PM (#5995412)
If we grant something close to regular health from Durant or Irving, I'd have a hard time picking against Brooklyn in the East. It's one thing to add an inner-circle HOFer. It's another thing to add him to a team with another All-Star, plus guys as good as Levert, Harris, Dinwiddie, Allen, and Shamet around him.
   95. Fourth True Outcome Posted: December 21, 2020 at 06:57 PM (#5995417)
I think so long as Durant is as good as he looked in preseason, the Nets will be in the top tier of East teams, but I struggle to pick them as definitely being better than the Milwaukee/Miami/Boston/Toronto without an idea of where the defense is going to come from. The Nets have a lot of talent, but too much of it seems to be guys who can score with the ball. They'll be fun as heck to watch, though, and could be tremendous if I'm underestimating them on the defensive end.
   96. tshipman Posted: December 21, 2020 at 06:59 PM (#5995418)
Maybe Kennard would've done better than that next summer; that one's a tough call.


I don't know the Clippers' cap situation, but let's say that Kennard is healthy and plays like he has the rest of his career. Is an average starter worth *more* than 16 million per year? Danny Green got 15 million. Is Luke Kennard really going to get that much more?

At least with Isaac, you can see how if he gets healthy, he's worth more than his contract.
   97. rr doesn't talk to pawns Posted: December 21, 2020 at 08:28 PM (#5995423)
Since I was (and am) unable to load the thread, I missed the discussion of the Antetokounmpo extension. Leonard, Davis, James, Durant, George and Irving all going to BKN and LA in tandems is certainly important for the small/large market/player empowerment dynamic, but I had suggested several months ago that Antetokounmpo, as a guy from outside the US, might choose a different path, and he did. I know that MIA and GS, as well as TOR, had been linked to him.
   98. jmurph Posted: December 22, 2020 at 08:55 AM (#5995459)
I appear to be the only person on the internet who has noticed that Fultz is still bad. It's like rooting for him to get it together has turned into pretending he's good, and I really don't get it.

EDIT: I would literally rather have Brad Wanamaker. I don't mean "a Brad Wanamaker type," I mean actual Brad Wanamaker, who is essentially playing for free for Golden State, and is also better than Fultz.
   99. JC in DC Posted: December 22, 2020 at 09:37 AM (#5995462)
Hello fellas. Good to read the analysis. NJ: Any thoughts on the Knicks?
   100. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: December 22, 2020 at 10:23 AM (#5995480)
What are the Knicks going to do? I do not think highly of Thibs, and they don't seem to have much of a plan. I would expect them to have the worst offence in the league, and a bad defense.
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