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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 loves a good maim Posted: December 18, 2020 at 02:28 PM | 3341 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: best shape of his life, nba, off-topic

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   101. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: December 22, 2020 at 10:24 AM (#5995482)
Flip.
   102. NJ in NJ Posted: December 22, 2020 at 10:30 AM (#5995486)
[99] Cautiously optimistic. Overall, they looked like a team that was doing things that made sense as far as defensive principles and where guys are looking to get shots from. It reminded me of watching the Liberty in the summer where most of the players weren't very good, but the principles were there. Given the talent on hand, I think that matters.

On an individual level, I'm encouraged by RJ's (small sample size) improved FT shooting. That's going to be the biggest thing for his offense. If he can make defenses pay when he gets to the line it's going to open up lanes to the basket for him. I'm not a shot doctor, but my friends who claim to be see positive subjective signs there as well. And, IQ, who I loved in the draft and drafted for the BBTF Knicks had a great preseason so that's nice. The handle doesn't look like it will hold up at lead ball handler level, I'm pro teams stretching young guys so I like the experiment of him at the 1. The shooting is as advertised (his release could definitely be quicker) and I really like how...intelligent...a player he appears to be. Mitchell Robinson's inability to tone down the fouling while playing impactful defense is still frustrating, but I guess hey now we've got two versions of that so at least one of them will always be on the floor.

My biggest concern with the Knicks right now is that I feel confident they're comfortable having a losing season and being rewarded with a Cade Cunningham or Jalen Suggs in '21. I don't know whether they're ok doing that for another year after that though and I don't see anyone on the roster or in '21 free agency who I feel is good enough to be a Top 2 guy on a team that matters. Maybe RJ if he REALLY figures out the shooting (can you tell I've talked myself into his future after digging into the numbers and realizing he had Brandon Ingram's rookie season?)
   103. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: December 22, 2020 at 10:31 AM (#5995487)
I can't see Thibs in NY working out well. Perhaps my Thibs in MN experience is influencing me, but still.
   104. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: December 22, 2020 at 10:38 AM (#5995490)
I can't see Thibs in NY working out well. Perhaps my Thibs in MN experience is influencing me, but still.

I just think that the league has passed him by. Perhaps his not being miscast as a GM will help here?
   105. jmurph Posted: December 22, 2020 at 10:52 AM (#5995494)
Okay here we go. Using tship's categories:

1. Strong contenders--teams that you are surprised if they don't make the conference finals.
Lakers, Clippers, Nets, Bucks

2. Weak contenders--teams that you are surprised if they don't win their first round playoff series.
Nuggets, Blazers, Jazz, Sixers, Celtics, Heat (yes I'm aware the math doesn't work on this)

3. Solid Playoffs--teams that you are surprised if they don't make the playoffs
Raptors, Mavs, Rockets,

4. Fringe playoffs--teams that you wouldn't be shocked if they made it, or shocked if they missed it. Play-in game teams.
Warriors, Pelicans, Suns, Spurs, Hawks, Wizards, Pacers, Magic

5. Non-contenders--teams that you would be shocked if they made the playoffs.
Hornets, Bulls, Grizzlies, Thunder

6. Dregs--teams that you would be surprised if they weren't in contention for #1 overall pick
Wolves, Kings, Knicks, Pistons, Cavs (Thunder need to dump more talent if they want to be here)

And for the record:

East
1. Bucks
2. Nets
3. Sixers
4. Celtics
5. Raptors
6. Heat
7. Hawks
8. Wizards
9. Pacers
10. Magic
11. Hornets
12. Bulls
13. Knicks
14. Pistons
15. Cavs

West
1. Lakers
2. Clippers
3. Nuggets
4. Jazz
5. Blazers
6. Rockets
7. Mavs
8. Suns
9. Pelicans
10. Spurs
11. Grizzlies
12. Warriors
13. Thunder
14. Kings
15. Wolves

Conf Finals: Nets over Bucks, Lakers over Clippers
Finals: Lakers over Nets
MVP: Davis
Worst record: Cavs

EDIT: Extremely fine that my groupings don't match my standings, that way I get to claim whichever one works out better.
   106. jmurph Posted: December 22, 2020 at 11:17 AM (#5995502)
Random things:

- I'm oddly excited to watch Russ/Wall on their new teams, and I think if Russ is relatively healthy they're a playoff team.
- I refuse to spend time thinking about how the play-in thing works.
- I picked them both in the playoffs because I'm a coward but I think the Hawks and Suns still might not be very good.
- There are legitimately 5 East teams that, if they make the Finals, wouldn't be a shock (obviously some are closer than others). That feels like a recent conference high.
- I just don't see the path to the Warriors being good. They still have so few players that are actually good. I guess Wiseman being legit would do the trick.
- I think the Celtics will finish somewhere between 4-6 but be the 2rd or 3rd "best" team in the conference by the fancy stats.
   107. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: December 22, 2020 at 12:01 PM (#5995513)
What are the Knicks going to do?

There is a word in German: 'verbocken.' I like to pretend that it is derived from the NY Knickerbockers. It means to completely and utterly mess something up. And that is what the Knicks are going to do, cause they are the Knicks.
   108. JJ1986 Posted: December 22, 2020 at 12:18 PM (#5995519)
1. Strong contenders—Los Angeles, LA, Milwaukee
2. Weak contenders—Boston, Brooklyn, Dallas, Denver, Philadelphia – I have Boston ahead of the other three teams. I picked Philly barely over Miami and Toronto. I’m not a big fan of this Denver squad, but it would be silly not to give them the benefit of the doubt.
3. Solid Playoffs—Miami, Phoenix, Portland, Toronto, Utah – If I had to bump up another team, it would be Indiana
4. Fringe playoffs—Atlanta, Golden State, Houston, Indiana, Memphis, New Orleans, Washington – I put the Rockets here, though I’d have them higher with Harden all year. This is about where they’d be swapping him for Simmons.
5. Non-contenders—Charlotte, Chicago, Orlando, Sacramento, San Antonio
6. Dregs—Cleveland, Detroit, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma City – Minnesota should be better, but I can’t only have one West team at the bottom.

Finals: Bucks over Lakers.
MVP: Anthony Davis will win.
RoY: Killian Hayes (I think Ball is going to have crazy-bad numbers). I wouldn’t be surprised by a Patrick Williams win.
6MoY: Spencer Dinwiddie
DPoY: Giannis
CoY: It would probably be Rick Carlisle if things break how I’ve predicted.
   109. asinwreck Posted: December 22, 2020 at 12:58 PM (#5995524)
Finals: Nets over Clippers.
MVP: Dončić.
RoY: Wiseman.
Sixth Man: Gallinari.
Defense: Davis.
Coach: Lue.

I'd qualify the Nets prediction with "if health permits," except health is going to be a big factor for every team as the league starts before any players are vaccinated. It would not surprise me if the adaptations the Bulls had to make in the preseason are the norm for most teams at some point this year.
   110. DCA Posted: December 22, 2020 at 01:05 PM (#5995526)
The path to the Warriors being good is Curry and Green.

We just saw the Lakers win a championship with LeBron and Davis and nobody else on the roster who was even an average NBA starter. LeBron/Davis were better than Curry/Green are likely to be this year, but it's not a crazy comparison - they were not as good as Curry/Green were a few years ago.

Reasonable health, and a return to 2018-19 level of performance and Curry/Green should be able to carry a similarly garbage roster to the playoffs. And the 2020-21 Warriors roster has upside that the 2019-20 Lakers roster doesn't: Wiseman, Oubre, and Wiggins all have the potential to be a lot better than washed-up Danny Green who was probably the Lakers' #3 guy. And the Klay DPE could get them another piece midseason without having to salary match (I like Derrick Rose/Bjelica/Markkanen as targets when the Pistons/Kings/Bulls are officially eliminated in mid-February).

Not saying the Warriors ought to be championship favorites, but it's easy to see how they get in that mix.
   111. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: December 22, 2020 at 01:10 PM (#5995527)
White got 4/73


I had to look up who this was. Is Derrick White good? His stats look better than Dejuante Murray, but far from star level.
   112. aberg Posted: December 22, 2020 at 01:30 PM (#5995532)
These are my power rankings going into the season.

Top Contenders
1. LAL – I like adding Schroder. Replacing Dwight and McGee with Gasol and Harrell seems to cost some verticality, albeit with an improvement in overall skill level. Given how well Lebron and AD gelled right away, I’m keeping them at the top as long as they’re healthy.
2. MIL – Mixed feelings here. The structural flaws that doomed Jordan and Lebron in the playoffs look like natural growth in retrospect. Maybe we’ve reached that point with Giannis? I love Jrue, don’t love the bench.
3. LAC – Last time we saw them, we all said the glaring need was a true playmaking PG. Kennard + Ibaka in place of Shamet + Harrell might be a slight upgrade but didn’t address the main need.
4. BKN – I said before that adding a healthy Durant to a pretty deep core should make them a title contender. Downgraded slightly due to health concerns for KD and Irving.
Fringe Contenders
5. DEN – Seems like room for growth from MPJ + Murray (if he keeps his postseason improvement). Getting Barton back offsets loss of Grant.
6. BOS – Losing Griswold Herkheimer is obviously negative, but plenty of talent and good fit if Kemba comes back healthy.
7. MIA – I’m a believer in Bam. Duncan Robinson seems like a perfect role player for this roster. Even if Herro is overrated, they have talent, a great coach, and work their asses off.

Good Playoff Teams
8. TOR – Lowry/FVV/Siakam gives them a very high floor. Don’t think they need a great center, and I look forward to Boucher having a bigger role.
9. PHI – Doc has been around long enough that we focus on his shortcomings, but he has been a really good coach for a long time. For all the Embiid/Simmons fit hand-wringing, they have been mostly good together and they seem to have more competent coaching and FO support.
10. DAL – I’m bullish on Luka. Richardson was a great get. KP being out might suppress regular season wins, but I think they’ll keep making progress as a contender.
11. Utah – Seems like they got Conley one year too late, which is a shame since Mitchell is hitting his prime. Getting Bogdanovic back will help. Like the defense. Probably one offensive creator short.
12. POR – They were 28th in DRtg last year. Even if they’re not that bad, I think there’s a ceiling on the defense of a team with Dame and CJ together. Getting Nurkic back for the year will help a lot.
13. IND – Really expected them to rearrange pieces, swap Turner into someone who would fit better with Sabonis. Not sure they upgraded coaching. Don’t know what to expect from Oladipo. Still love Brogdon.
14. PHX – Paul makes everyone look better. Crowder was an overpay but makes sense with the roster. Ayton should look better with the guys around him. (not really a “good playoff team,” but I like them better than the next couple).

Don’t know what I’m rating
15. GSW – If Draymond isn’t ever going to be what he was again, Curry might be their only good player, and he’s over 30 and has been injured a lot.
16. HOU – I was kind of looking forward to what they would look like with Wood as their “big,” but it’s obviously a cluster now. This spot kind of splits the difference between Harden being on the team and trying versus getting traded for future assets.

Not very good playoff teams
17. NOP – Don’t like investing in Adams next to Zion. Bledsoe is worse than Jrue (although those picks will help). It’s going to take some reshaping to get this roster to make sense, and not sure if SVG’s style works with what you’ll want to do with Zion.
18. MEM – Morant and Jackson are a good starting point. Need to keep adding talent around them. Seems like their identity is defense, but were only 15th last year. Progress there will be key.
19. ORL – Losing Augustin as Fultz security blanket is a problem. Whole franchise is so much more interesting with Isaac as a focal point, so missing him makes them boring and not very good.

Good thing there’s a play-in game
20. SAS – Were exceptionally boring last year and seemingly decided they were ok to do that for another year. I guess the strategy is to try to hit on late lotto picks. Not going to be an easy way to rebuild.
21. WAS – I’m bizarrely excited to watch this team. Westbrook and Beal are such a weirdo pairing. Do not trust whatever qualifies as their frontcourt.
22. ATL – Adding Bogdanovic, Gallinari, and Capela obviously helps, but they have a really long way to go. 27th in DRtg and 26th (!) in ORtg. Also seems like the marginalized their 2nd best returning player (Collins) with Capela and Gallo taking up most of the minutes at the positions he can play. I think I’m a Trae Young skeptic relative to average. Seems like a good player, but not one who will win much if he’s the best player on a team.
23. MIN – Two big problems last year were having awful shooters taking tons of threes and not playing defense. First problem should be somewhat fixed with Russell, Beasley, Rubio, Hernangomez taking a lot more of the shots. DRtg was 20th last year and that would probably be ok if offense breaks through, but that will require Russell and KAT to focus and commit.
24. CHO – Think of how boring this roster would be if they didn’t add Grizzer Happenstance and Lamelo. Seems like they’re still in the very early stages of building this team and GH is just a ban-aid to make them less horrific during that process.
25. SAC – I have trouble endorsing teams that don’t know what they are. Does this roster want to be huge with Barnes at the 3, Bagley at the 4, and one of their 7 Cs at the 5? How does that fit with a fast-break PG? Is Hield going to be on this roster past the trade deadline? My guess is a year from now, they’ll be stripped down to Fox, Bagley (as a 5), and Halliburton and try to build around that.
26. CHI – The lack of a real PG is going to make everyone else look worse. Williams should be good but he needs time. I think Carter will bounce back and I like Markkanen. Boylen built an ok defense by sacrificing tons of offense, but I think the defense will slide back a lot.

Bottom of the Barrel
27. DET – I respect that they’re trying stuff, but WTF is this team? Probably the strangest roster in the league. I hope Blake recovers because he seems like a cool guy and he was beyond awful last year. In an era where teams usually play one big, they have like 2.5 guards/wings on the entire roster who should be in an NBA rotation in 2021.
28. NYK – I still think they could’ve done more asset accumulation with their money, but I respect that they didn’t do anything stupid this fall. Limiting your talent base to a single agency seems dubious. Biggest flaw is that it seems like most of the young guys have an upside of “good rotation player” if things generally break right.
29. CLE – It remains funny to me that they drafted consecutive zero guards high in the lottery to try to get one good lead scorer (and it’s not clear they got one). I like Okoro a lot. Wonder if they finally unload Love this year. I’d rather have Nance.
30. OKC – Once the find a home for Hill, they’ll have less than no shooting. They seem to be the most aggressive tanking team, so they’ll unload anyone playing well (other than SGA).

Finals – Bucks over Lakers
MVP – Giannis
ROY – Toppin
Sixth man – Rubio!
DPOY – Gobert
Coach – Kyrie (just kidding, I’ll say Vogel with some credit going over the 2 seasons)
   113. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: December 22, 2020 at 01:34 PM (#5995534)
We just saw the Lakers win a championship with LeBron and Davis and nobody else on the roster who was even an average NBA starter. LeBron/Davis were better than Curry/Green are likely to be this year, but it's not a crazy comparison - they were not as good as Curry/Green were a few years ago.

Green has been a below average OFFENSIVE player for a while now and he is not a guy with plus athleticsm. He has shot less than 30% from 3 and 43% overall the last 4 years and has never shot at a good percentage outside 2016. He wasn't good defensively last year. There's certainly a situation where he's one of the worst values in basketball considering his contract.

I am excited to see what Curry will do this year. I have been something of a "Curry hater" in that I never really believed he was the best player in the league and that he benefitted from a good situation and the perfect complement of players. I thought he was a top-10 guy. I am willing to be proven wrong by that this year and if he can win a playoff round, I will be pretty impressed. The Warriors were 1-4 in games he played last year. Small sample but we will see.

There's no way 2021 Curry+Green come close to 2020 LBJ/AD.

   114. spivey 2 Posted: December 22, 2020 at 02:15 PM (#5995540)
I will basically co-sign the general groupings of teams from 108. I'd bump Denver down, though.

MVP - Doncic
ROY - Wiseman (mostly because I think he'll get minutes and box score stats)
DPOY - AD
Coach - Vogel

Finals - Lakers over Bucks
   115. tshipman Posted: December 22, 2020 at 02:36 PM (#5995543)
1. Strong contenders—Los Angeles, LA, Milwaukee. I will add that I think that the two teams I think are most likely to possibly joint his group would be Philly and Brooklyn.
2. Weak contenders— Brooklyn, Dallas, Denver, Miami, Philadelphia – I think Brooklyn could be in either the first group or the third, so I am compromising by putting them here. Dallas was on pace for 53 wins last year, and underperformed pythag significantly. Philadelphia I think gets a lot better with the coaching change. Denver is a weird team.
3. Solid Playoffs—Boston, Indiana, Portland, Toronto, Utah – I think Boston has some real injury issues with Kemba out--they are very thin until he comes back. Utah maybe could be in group 2, but I think they're worse than last year and last year they lost in the first round.
4. Fringe playoffs—Atlanta, Golden State, Houston, Phoenix, Memphis, New Orleans, Washington – I think the earlier the Rockets trade Harden, the better they'll do. The Jimmy Butler in Minnesota experience is not a good blueprint. I actually am pretty high on Washington after looking at their roster. Russ will finally have the dream spread PnR personnel.
5. Non-contenders—Oklahoma City, Chicago, Orlando, Sacramento, San Antonio, Minnesota--I would say that San Antonio has the most upside? Oklahoma City might #### around and make the playoffs on accident if they stay healthy.
6. Dregs—Cleveland, Detroit, New York, Charlotte – CLT vs. NYK should be an epic battle for the bottom of the league.


MVP - Doncic--there's going to be Giannis fatigue.
ROY - Wiseman--bigs often win early
DPOY - AD--Giannis fatigue
Coach - Maybe Doc? Maybe Carlisle? I think this award is basically dumb. It should just be Nurse or Spo almost every year.
   116. tshipman Posted: December 22, 2020 at 02:40 PM (#5995545)
There's no way 2021 Curry+Green come close to 2020 LBJ/AD.


I think this is overly determined. If Draymond randomly has another 38% 3p shooting year, he could come close. I don't think that's likely *at all*, but Draymond's performance on offense is much more variable based on his shooting, which is the stat that is most likely to jump around and provide a fluky performance.
   117. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: December 22, 2020 at 02:45 PM (#5995546)
White - I prefer him to Murray, in particular the possibilities he offers as an outside shooter (they started to drop in the bubble). He's a poor man's Jrue.
I kind of halfassed making trade offers in our mock offseason, but I thought he was a great guy to put next to Trae.
   118. aberg Posted: December 22, 2020 at 02:54 PM (#5995549)
ROY - Wiseman--bigs often win early


The only bigs who have won ROY in the last 15 years are KAT and Blake. Depending on how you classify Brandon Roy and Ben Simmons, 11 PG/lead ball-handlers have won in that same timeframe.
   119. tshipman Posted: December 22, 2020 at 03:01 PM (#5995551)
The only bigs who have won ROY in the last 15 years are KAT and Blake. Depending on how you classify Brandon Roy and Ben Simmons, 11 PG/lead ball-handlers have won in that same timeframe.


Yeah, that's a good correction. I do think Simmons is a big, but otherwise, yeah.

My thought process is basically that ROY is almost always either someone in the top 3 or someone totally random, and Anthony Edwards and LaMelo both look like they're going to be incredibly inefficient early, whereas Wiseman just has to finish lobs and grab boards.

I don't have strong priors on who the totally random ROY winner could be, so I sort of defaulted to Wiseman.
   120. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: December 22, 2020 at 03:24 PM (#5995554)
I would have Obi Toppin for ROY, but I don't think Thibs will allow him to play enough.
   121. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: December 22, 2020 at 03:28 PM (#5995557)
1. (Conference Favorites)
Bucks, Lakers

2.
Nets, Nuggets, Clippers, Heat

3. Solid Playoffs:
76ers, Raptors, Celtics, Jazz, Blazers, Suns, Wizards, Mavs, Warriors

Tier 3.5
Rockets

4. Fringe Playoffs:
Pacers, Grizzlies

5. Non-Contenders: Spurs, Hawks, Magic, Hornets, Pelicans, Kings

6. Dregs:
Bulls, Knicks, Thunder, Timberwolves, Cavs, Pistons


My lukewarm takes:
1. Clippers: I'm not sold on Ty Lue as a coach. Wake me up when he does something notable with a non-LeBron team. Their roster is also not any better. If they are as good as last year, I'll be surprised.

2. Celtics depth has taken a hit, I like their top players, but can see them falling back in a compressed season. They won't be a Top-4 team in the East.

3. Wizards: everyone shits on Westbrook, but adding him kicks Washington into solid playoff territory for me. Beal/Westbrook is a better top two than Indiana and Orlando, maybe even Toronto (obviously the Raptors have other strengths).

4. If Harden gets traded to an Eastern team, that team will become a favorite to make the Finals.

MVP: Anthony Davis
ROY: LaMelo


   122. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: December 22, 2020 at 04:34 PM (#5995578)
Harden to the 76ers feels inevitable to me.
   123. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: December 22, 2020 at 07:28 PM (#5995602)
True or false: Steph is more able to help a good team became great than make a bad team good?
   124. smileyy Posted: December 22, 2020 at 07:39 PM (#5995603)
Well last year Steph said he wouldn't go full-Hardem, so there may be a grain of truth in that.
   125. asinwreck Posted: December 22, 2020 at 08:34 PM (#5995610)
The way the third quarter is going, the Nets have a shot to double up on the Warriors.
   126. smileyy Posted: December 22, 2020 at 08:46 PM (#5995613)
Hot take: Steph Curry should be taking all of those shots that Wiggins is.
   127. spivey 2 Posted: December 22, 2020 at 08:50 PM (#5995614)
You guys are gonna make me go Stephen A Smith this with Curry BLASPHEMY.

Steph Curry is almost 33 and is coming off a season long injury/layoff, with a super short preseason. Let's lay off the takes for a while on what his performance tonight or even for the next couple of months mean regarding what Curry could have done 3 or 4 years ago with a bad team.

Their team's ORtg last year was 30/30, so his supporting cast really sucks, both generally but especially at offense, too. And it's one game, and their 3pt shooting is 20%. But mostly the first part.
   128. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: December 22, 2020 at 09:02 PM (#5995617)
The Warriors are now 1-5 in the post-Durant (sans Klay) with Steph and have been blown out multiple times. As a Curry "hater", I am interested in how he does this year but if the Warriors are bad this year, I personally will look at his prime with a grain of salt.
   129. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: December 22, 2020 at 09:35 PM (#5995623)
Spivey is correct
   130. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: December 22, 2020 at 09:44 PM (#5995624)
This ring ceremony is painful
   131. tshipman Posted: December 22, 2020 at 10:10 PM (#5995627)
The Warriors are now 1-5 in the post-Durant (sans Klay) with Steph and have been blown out multiple times. As a Curry "hater", I am interested in how he does this year but if the Warriors are bad this year, I personally will look at his prime with a grain of salt.


This is a below ESPN level take.
   132. Hombre Brotani Posted: December 22, 2020 at 10:25 PM (#5995629)
TNT's Harlan-Miller combination feels like they've actually gotten worse.
   133. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: December 22, 2020 at 10:25 PM (#5995630)

This is a below ESPN level take.


I have said this before but I think Curry is a great player just never the greatest in the NBA. I think he's a guy who has limitations because of his size and limited defensive value. I also think he was in the perfect situation for him.

Also, I am comfortable with the fact that you don't care for my opinion. I value what you think but I won't think I am wrong just because you or most other people think differently.

To ask this another way, how good do people think Curry is right now? Does that change if the Warriors suck this year?
   134. Tin Angel Posted: December 22, 2020 at 10:32 PM (#5995631)
I have said this before but I think Curry is a great player just never the greatest in the NBA.


Every year he has been in the NBA has been at the same time as possibly the greatest basketball player in history.
   135. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: December 22, 2020 at 10:50 PM (#5995634)
This has been an ugly half for the Lakers and an ugly 2nd quarter for Clippers.
   136. tshipman Posted: December 22, 2020 at 10:57 PM (#5995635)
This has been an ugly half for the Lakers and an ugly 2nd quarter for Clippers.


I personally will look at the prime of Kawhi and LeBron with a grain of salt.
   137. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: December 22, 2020 at 11:01 PM (#5995636)
I personally will look at the prime of Kawhi and LeBron with a grain of salt.

Oooooh, good one!
   138. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: December 22, 2020 at 11:12 PM (#5995638)
I am surprised that challenge was successful.
   139. Hombre Brotani Posted: December 23, 2020 at 01:06 AM (#5995642)
Regular Season P was awesome tonight.
   140. NJ in NJ Posted: December 23, 2020 at 09:45 AM (#5995661)
I don't think we learned much last night. Well, the Warriors are REALLY bad, but otherwise everyone played about as I would expect.

1. Strong contenders—Lakers, Clippers, Bucks, Nuggets, Sixers-I don't see what everyone else does with the Lakers offseason moves. This is a REALLY old team and as much as I love LeBron (stop me if you've heard this before) it has to stop at some point. The lack of shooting still concerns me and as good as the defense was last year I fear that's where the age will show. If it does, the offensive talent isn't there to overcome. On the one hand, I feel like we are overreacting to the collapse last year, on the other I texted my friends that last night was a must win for the Clippers on the heels of 3-1. Primary concern I have about the Clippers is they could still use a point guard or someone to help their offense become more than hey this one on one scorer is having a really great night. In addition, despite being much younger with nowhere near the mileage, Kawhi is in the same stage as LeBron for me. The Bucks can't fail to figure this out three years in a row...can they? Nuggets, I believe that most of the Murray improvement was real. I think MPJ-Murray-Jokic+Jokic's passing talent makes for a really really tremendous offense. If the defense can be good enough I really, really like this team. Choosing to believe in the Sixers again because it seems like their are simple fixes to getting them back to their '18-'19 level.

2. Weak contenders-Brooklyn, Utah, Dallas, Heat, Celtics-Brooklyn is a regular season team. I expect them to put up gaudy scoring totals and win a good amount of games in the regular season before running into a Spo, Nurse or Stevens team in Round 2 and calling it a season. I'm buying the spin on the Favors move for Utah, my concern is just that I don't think Mitchell is good enough to be the sole star offensive player for a team with dreams of a long playoff run. I could see Dallas jumping up to the top tier if the moves they made to strengthen their defense work out and Porzingis stops getting hurt every second. Celtics, I'd like to see Tatum do it again. If second half Tatum was real then they are somewhere between the two tiers. If Kemba is healthy on top of that then they probably deserve Tier 1. Miami, Jimmy and Dragic's miles concern me and I think Herro is extremely overrated.

3. Solid playoffs-Portland, Indiana, Toronto, Phoenix-Phoenix is the only one of these teams that's particularly interesting to me. If Paul can do what he did last year with OKC then this is a weak contender. Paul-Booker-Ayton is a REALLY good top 3 in that scenario.

4. Fringe playoffs—Atlanta, Golden State, Houston, Memphis, New Orleans, Washington, Orlando – Based on what I saw last night I might be too high on Golden State.

5. Non-contenders—Detroit, Chicago, Sacramento, San Antonio, Minnesota--Maybe Sacramento jumps up a level here?

6. Dregs—OKC, Cleveland, New York, Charlotte – Charlotte will be really fun to watch. Interested to see how SGA does in OKC because I don't buy him as more than a second or third guy.


MVP - KD--Giannis fatigue plus the perfect narrative is sitting right there
ROY - Wiseman--The team is going to be mediocre at best and I feel like he has a pretty easy route to a 15-10 year.
DPOY - Bam--Giannis fatigue plus narrative plus the Lakers chill mode will show on defense
Coach - Malone--I like the Nuggets to overpower teams this year and be in that 1st seed conversation
   141. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: December 23, 2020 at 11:41 AM (#5995686)
This Harden stuff....
   142. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: December 23, 2020 at 11:53 AM (#5995688)
1. Strong contenders--teams that you are surprised if they don't make the conference finals.
Lakers, Clippers, Nets, Bucks

2. Weak contenders--teams that you are surprised if they don't win their first round playoff series.
Nuggets, Heat

3. Solid Playoffs--teams that you are surprised if they don't make the playoffs
Jazz, Raptors, Celtics, Sixers, Mavs

4. Fringe playoffs--teams that you wouldn't be shocked if they made it, or shocked if they missed it. Play-in game teams.
Rockets, Pelicans, Warriors, Blazers, Suns, Spurs, Hawks, Wizards, Pacers, Magic, Bulls, Grizzlies

5. Non-contenders--teams that you would be shocked if they made the playoffs.
Hornets, Thunder, Kings

6. Dregs--teams that you would be surprised if they weren't in contention for #1 overall pick
Wolves, Knicks, Pistons, Cavs

Random thoughts/explanations:
-In general, I think people aren't putting enough teams in bucket #4. There's a huge talent difference in that group. Then again, maybe I'm looking at it differently than others because I have only have 6 totals teams in the top 2 buckets meaning those are the only teams I'm confident predicting today will win at least 1 series. Maybe it's outside the purpose of this exercise if a team in bucket 4 makes the conference finals, but I'm not looking at it that way at least.
-Rockets ranking is the Harden stuff. That can go so many different ways, and with a new FO/coach and that owner, I worry they handle it the worst possible way, which means I thought twice about putting them one rung lower.
-Maybe it's my homerism talking, but I don't think the Bulls will be as bad as most people here think.
-Warriors, uh, I don't want last night to make me second guess myself but I still think they're a playoff team if Curry/Green are healthy (which to be fair, is also far from a guarantee)
-Eh, can't think of much else worth pointing out now.

MVP: Durant
ROY: Wiseman
DPOY: Gobert
Coach: Irving Nash
   143. tshipman Posted: December 23, 2020 at 12:13 PM (#5995692)
My thing with the Harden stuff:

Haven't we seen what happens when Harden is checked out? In 2016 when he was feuding with the coaches and Dwight, the team went 41-41. So we're looking at something less than that with Harden even less engaged.
   144. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 23, 2020 at 02:09 PM (#5995713)
I think my threshold for surprise is maybe higher (lower?) than most people's. I don't think the NBA is as cut and dry as most. In these rankings I'm also assuming as I assume everyone is that there's no major injuries. Like, I wouldn't be surprised if LeBron, AD, Kawhi, or Embiid had a serious injury, but using that to demote their teams a tier feels outside the scope of this.

I also think that the bubble was relatively unique especially psychologically and that what happened there is likely something of an aberration.

1. Strong contenders--teams that you are surprised if they don't make the conference finals.
MIL, LAL

2. Weak contenders--teams that you are surprised if they don't win their first round playoff series.
LAC, BOS, PHI

3. Solid Playoffs--teams that you are surprised if they don't make the playoffs
DAL, TOR, BKN (debated a tier higher), DEN, MIA, IND, UTA

4. Fringe playoffs--teams that you wouldn't be shocked if they made it, or shocked if they missed it. Play-in game teams.
ORL, ATL, WAS, OKC, SAS, PHX, HOU, NOP, MEM, GSW, POR

5. Non-contenders--teams that you would be shocked if they made the playoffs.
CHI, DET, CHA, SAC, MIN

6. Dregs--teams that you would be surprised if they weren't in contention for #1 overall pick
CLE, NYK
   145. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: December 23, 2020 at 03:15 PM (#5995725)
Vaguely ordered within tiers (I expect the first and the last to be competing one level higher/lower)

Strong contenders
LAL, LAC
Weak contenders
DEN, MIL, PHI, BOS, POR, MIA
Solid playoffs
DAL, PHX, IND, UTA, BKN
Fringe playoffs
WAS, NOP, MEM, HOU
Non contenders
SAS, ATL, ORL, SAC, CHI, CHA, GSW, MIN
Dregs
CLE, NYK, CHI, OKC, DET

ETA:

1. I am lower on the Nets because I do not see how they work on defence, and I think it is vanishingly unlikely that Kyrie and KD play more than, say, 100 games total.
2. Fool me twice, won't get fooled again: until Bud stops being so damn stubborn, I can't have the Bucks higher; I think the world of Jrue but that team is weaker than last year's.
3. Who even knows? The Rockets are strange and I assume that Harden will be gone, having done maximum damage on his way out the door.
4. Good Lord, the dregs are gonna be dreggy this year.
   146. a 57i66135 with a grenade still has a grenade Posted: December 23, 2020 at 03:18 PM (#5995727)
Choosing to believe in the Sixers again because it seems like their are simple fixes to getting them back to their '18-'19 level
jimmy ####### butler isn't walking through that door.


but yes, trading two high-quality role players for one of the best players in the world is a "simple fix".
   147. CFBF is Obsessed with Art Deco Posted: December 23, 2020 at 03:22 PM (#5995729)
The NBA is back again? Weren't the Finals, like, two weeks ago?
   148. tshipman Posted: December 23, 2020 at 03:23 PM (#5995730)
This COVID stuff coming out of Houston is crazy.
   149. a 57i66135 with a grenade still has a grenade Posted: December 23, 2020 at 03:23 PM (#5995731)
The NBA is back again? Weren't the Finals, like, two weeks ago?
the knicks haven't played in 10 months.
   150. CFBF is Obsessed with Art Deco Posted: December 23, 2020 at 03:31 PM (#5995734)
Yes, but what relationship do the Knicks really have with the NBA?
   151. a 57i66135 with a grenade still has a grenade Posted: December 23, 2020 at 04:08 PM (#5995739)
Jordan Schultz @Schultz_Report
#Hornets’ source on LaMelo Ball: “Great feel and will be great. Loves the game. I didn’t know what to expect regarding baggage and what everyone was saying. I’m glad I don’t listen to that because the kid is amazing. Polite, friendly, great teammate, works on his game...


i ... don't know how this is possible.
   152. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 23, 2020 at 04:13 PM (#5995740)
This COVID stuff coming out of Houston is crazy.


I, for one, applaud an NBA team trying to achieve herd immunity.
   153. a 57i66135 with a grenade still has a grenade Posted: December 23, 2020 at 04:28 PM (#5995741)
   154. a 57i66135 with a grenade still has a grenade Posted: December 23, 2020 at 04:38 PM (#5995743)
Young Core Rankings
20. New York Knicks
WAR: 51.5
Best under-25 player: Mitchell Robinson (19.1)
Last year’s rank: 20th

The Knicks’ rebuild is still in its infancy, despite the team picking in the top 10 four drafts in a row. Robinson is a per-minute star—when he’s able to avoid fouls and stay on the floor—and 20-year-old RJ Barrett (8.4 projected WAR) is young enough that he still has ample room to improve.

But the Knicks’ young players still rank closer to the bottom of the league than the top because other recent high draft picks and trade targets don’t look nearly as promising as their pedigrees would suggest. Among all active players with at least 1,000 career shot attempts, Frank Ntilikina is last in true shooting percentage, Kevin Knox is third worst, and Dennis Smith Jr. is fourth worst. At negative-2.1 WAR in the next half-decade, Knox—who combines that inefficient offense with poor defense—has the worst long-term projection for any young player in the league.
   155. tshipman Posted: December 23, 2020 at 04:49 PM (#5995745)
Hahahahahahahaha:

Adrian Wojnarowski
@wojespn
·
3h
There was a group of Houston players -- including Martin, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins -- away from the facility at an apartment getting haircuts, sources said. That's led to the contact tracing on Wall and Cousins as team awaits more testing results on Martin, sources said.


Houston is about to forfeit a game because guys wanted a haircut.
   156. . . . . . . Posted: December 23, 2020 at 05:16 PM (#5995746)
20. New York Knicks
WAR: 51.5
Best under-25 player: Mitchell Robinson (19.1)
Last year’s rank: 20th


I get it . . . but on another level, I don't get it. If you look at the Knicks last four drafts, its not like they whiffed on any talent that really moves the needle. Like there's the year they missed on Bam and Donovan Mitchell, but a bunch of teams picking after the Knicks missed on them too, which IMO is a pretty good sign that its not that you drafted stupidly, its that a player developed way more than the consensus expected.

If anything, the more recent vintages of the Knicks have been ###### by circumstance - always one or two picks below the guaranteed hits. They haven't had a coup other than Mitch Robinson, but they haven't missed a ton of value either. There's just the Knicks, so everything sucks.
   157. tshipman Posted: December 23, 2020 at 06:05 PM (#5995751)
I get it . . . but on another level, I don't get it. If you look at the Knicks last four drafts, its not like they whiffed on any talent that really moves the needle.


I mean, that's the draft. You can draft the consensus best player at your spot for years and lose.

A lot of these would be reaches, and it's pretty unfair to use hindsight to evaluate decisionmaking, but:

2019: Tyler Herro (13 vs 3, probably could have traded down to 9-10 to get him)
2018: Shai or Mikal Bridges vs. Kevin Knox
2017: Donovan Mitchell or Bam were both fringe at 8, but they probably could have traded down to 10
2016: Traded as part of the Andrea Bargnani deal (ouch)

I agree that it's questionable to use hindsight to criticize (except for the Barnani trade, lol), but if they had picked the right guys, that really is talent that moves the needle.
   158. a 57i66135 with a grenade still has a grenade Posted: December 23, 2020 at 06:48 PM (#5995757)
2018: Shai or Mikal Bridges vs. Kevin Knox
the 2018 draft is exhibit 1A for why bad organizations stay bad.
   159. a 57i66135 with a grenade still has a grenade Posted: December 23, 2020 at 07:09 PM (#5995758)
fun fact:

tobias harris was booed during introductions. there are no fans in the arena.
   160. a 57i66135 with a grenade still has a grenade Posted: December 23, 2020 at 07:13 PM (#5995759)
westbrook/beal/bonga/bertans is a really fun core for the wizards.


i don't know if "league pass teams" are still a thing, but if they are, the wizards deserve serious consideration, imo.
   161. a 57i66135 with a grenade still has a grenade Posted: December 23, 2020 at 07:37 PM (#5995761)
i still don't like dwight howard
   162. a 57i66135 with a grenade still has a grenade Posted: December 23, 2020 at 07:40 PM (#5995762)
what is this weird feeling? there are short people on the floor, and they're doing something weird with the ball. it bounces, and then comes back up, and then goes down again. i've never seen this before.
   163. a 57i66135 with a grenade still has a grenade Posted: December 23, 2020 at 07:46 PM (#5995763)
a lot of chin diapers on the sixers sidelines
   164. Mike A Posted: December 23, 2020 at 08:04 PM (#5995764)
Excited to the see the Hawks play after what seems like an eternity.

No idea how good they're going to be this year, but at the least they should be entertaining.
   165. tshipman Posted: December 23, 2020 at 08:38 PM (#5995767)
OKC/Houston suspended tonight. I honestly did not expect this, and thought that the Rockets would have to forfeit or something.
   166. Mike A Posted: December 23, 2020 at 09:13 PM (#5995770)
That was almost worth the wait as the Hawks equal their franchise (including St Louis!) mark for points in a first half with 83.
   167. asinwreck Posted: December 23, 2020 at 09:48 PM (#5995774)
A forfeit would likely lead to complications with the sports books. Speaking of which, what's the over/under for total postponements this season due to players in COVID protocols?
   168. a 57i66135 with a grenade still has a grenade Posted: December 23, 2020 at 09:52 PM (#5995775)
Liberty Ballers @Liberty_Ballers

Tobias Harris in 25 minutes: 6 points, 5 rebounds, 0 assists, 0 steals, 0 blocks, 3/10 from the field, 0/2 from 3, no free throws, 2 TOs, 3 fouls, -16
   169. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: December 23, 2020 at 09:55 PM (#5995776)
Awful awful shot by tatum. Awful.
   170. asinwreck Posted: December 23, 2020 at 09:58 PM (#5995777)
Cody Zeller fractured his hand, so Charlotte leads the league in something at this stage of the season.
   171. Howie Menckel Posted: December 23, 2020 at 10:06 PM (#5995778)
A forfeit would likely lead to complications with the sports books.

the game itself just gets voided on all picks.

some books have gone with winning pct, with a total game minimum, which was wise

with total win over/unders, it's based on a specific number of games. at this moment, that one game presumably just gets made up. iirc, the league has a midseason buffer to allow for time to make up multiple games.

NHL is going with only in-division play, 56 games
3 8-team US divisions, face each foe 7 times
7-team all-Canada division, face each foe 8 times

1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3 in division for playoffs, then winners play for chance to make Cup conference finals.

no sport where familiarity breeds contempt like hockey
   172. Mike A Posted: December 23, 2020 at 10:08 PM (#5995780)
Can't believe the Celtics won on a shot that was off by about three feet. Giannis really short-armed that second free throw (though the foul? was certainly debatable).
   173. NJ in NJ Posted: December 23, 2020 at 10:09 PM (#5995781)
I think it's fair to say RJ Barrett played the best game of his career tonight. Took almost all good shots. Did a great job penetrating and kicking including some nice reads he was not making last year. Pulled out a PnR to pinning my man on my back move to get to floater in the lane. Played hard on defense all night. Just a great all around game.

I hate watching Julius Randle play.
   174. NJ in NJ Posted: December 23, 2020 at 10:12 PM (#5995782)
This Harden situation is the first time in my life I am 100% pro management. I hope they bury him in fines and penalties.
   175. jmurph Posted: December 23, 2020 at 10:18 PM (#5995783)
Can’t scroll down to the late games in the League Pass app. Their commitment to finding new ways to screw up is genuinely impressive.
   176. spivey 2 Posted: December 23, 2020 at 10:30 PM (#5995784)
Giannis’ free throw shooting is an issue, and has been since the Toronto 18-19 playoff series. That Tatum bank was so bad, he should feel bad for being the teams closer, and they should probably trade him for someone with a less shitty beard.
   177. tshipman Posted: December 23, 2020 at 11:12 PM (#5995786)
This Harden situation is the first time in my life I am 100% pro management. I hope they bury him in fines and penalties.


Just absolutely hilarious:

Ramona Shelburne
@ramonashelburne
·
6h
Harden has told the league that he attended a seated dinner for a friend who’d recently been promoted at work, according to the source.

   178. CFBF is Obsessed with Art Deco Posted: December 23, 2020 at 11:45 PM (#5995791)
"James, you really can't go to that dinner. You'll get suspended."

"I don't care. Phil's been working to make lead salesman at the car dealership for five years. I'm not going to miss this."
   179. Tin Angel Posted: December 24, 2020 at 01:01 AM (#5995797)
Harden has told the league that he attended a seated dinner for a friend who’d recently been promoted at work, according to the source.


Can strippers get promoted?
   180. puck Posted: December 24, 2020 at 01:56 AM (#5995799)
Jamal Murray is super serious about regression from his bubble play.
   181. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 24, 2020 at 02:16 AM (#5995800)
I am very happy the NBA is back

Deni Avdija is starting for the Wiz, huh?
   182. a 57i66135 with a grenade still has a grenade Posted: December 24, 2020 at 05:46 AM (#5995803)
Deni Avdija is starting for the Wiz, huh?
bertans was limited to 20-ish minutes, and rui hachimura wasn't playing.
   183. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: December 24, 2020 at 09:51 AM (#5995821)
I guess the Wolves will go 1-71.
   184. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 24, 2020 at 06:45 PM (#5995894)
Late to the game here... but the Knicks are largely a reminder that asset accumulation matters. Let's take a look at the last decade of Knicks' first rounders.

2011: #17 Iman Shumpert. This is a solid pick at 17! But solid picks at 17 don't really move you towards a championship in and of themselves.
2012: No 1R. They had dumped their 1R to shed Jared Jeffries' salary to sign Amare Stoudemire. Yep, that happened.
2013: #24 Tim Hardaway Jr: Again, this is a solid pick! If you draft a guy at 24 who is a starter 7 years later you probably did something reasonable.
2014: No 1R. Traded for Melo.
2015: Porzingis at #4. Great pick! But even with this great pick, it didn't work out, largely I'd guess because they didn't have enough assets around him to keep him.
2016: No 1R. Bargnani trade.
2017: Frankie Smokes. Bad pick. Forget Bam or Mitchell, par here would have been #10 Zach Collins or #12 Luke Kennard, useful players. They also traded for #9 DSJ which was also a poor idea in retrospect.
2018: Kevin Knox. Bad pick. This for me was a head-scratcher at the time as it's never been clear to me what Knox can do at an NBA level that helps a team win. But by the boards not an overdraft. Par here would have been Mikal or Miles Bridges (SGA and Porter are above-par options).
2019: RJ Barrett. Seems fine, consensus #3 player in a draft where that wasn't a great pick to have.
2020: Obi Toppin. Jury's obviously out.

So, the Knicks basically are paying off the ill-advised mortgage they took out to pay for the Melo era, and then when that was paid off, they appear to have biffed their first two chances to start building a core (though of course they did grab Robinson in 2018). In between they made some middling free agent signings at market rate while conserving cap space to take a shot at a star. I don't think it was the wrong strategy given how behind they were in terms of asset accumulation, and I don't think their moves have collectively been stupidly dumb, but you're not just handed 30 wins in the NBA and they just haven't had enough assets to build a decent team with hope for the future yet. If Barrett and Toppin are solid, maybe with a couple more years they can get there. I don't think it's really a dramatic story, just life in the NBA.
   185. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: December 24, 2020 at 08:42 PM (#5995904)
I agree with most of what people are saying about how the teams shake out based on what we can see now. I also always like this part of the convo; many good write-ups from posters. A few thoughts:

1. I don't think 12/22 was a "must-win" for the Clippers, but the game meant more to them than it did to the Lakers. The bottom line for the Lakers is still James;if he is healthy and a Top-5 guy in May, then they have a great chance to repeat. If he isn't, then they don't.
2. I am not sold that the Holiday deal will do it for Milwaukee. With Antetokounmpo having re-upped, their FO is not dealing with it with a clock ticking loudly,which is good.
3. I think what happens with Harden is the big variable; I actually like watching Harden play, and I think at times his historical greatness as an offensive player gets submerged a bit in stripper jokes and foul-hunting editorials. And I do not see him finishing the season in Houston.
4. Like I said a few days ago, I am skeptical about Brooklyn skepticism. I think they are a team that might make a personnel add during the year, and I think Nash might be another Kerr. And as everybody knows, I am a "count the superstars" guy.
5. Although I am little skeptical about Ingram and Ball, I like New Orleans's team. Skeptical about Golden State, but it is always dangerous to jump to conclusions when Opening Night reinforces your opinions.

Anyway, putting the league in tiers based on how likely I think they are to be hoisting the trophy:

LAL LAC
MIL
BKN PHL BOS (I can see Harden in PHI as noted)
DEN MIA TOR DAL
UTA

NO PHX POR IND

GS MEM
WSH ATL ORL

Did not rank HOU, obviously.


   186. puck Posted: December 24, 2020 at 09:21 PM (#5995905)
I don't think 12/22 was a "must-win" for the Clippers, but the game meant more to them than it did to the Lakers.


I have a feeling they're going to open a can of whoopass on the Nuggets on Christmas.
   187. a 57i66135 with a grenade still has a grenade Posted: December 24, 2020 at 10:03 PM (#5995907)
BKN PHL BOS (I can see Harden in PHI as noted)

okay, but how do you make the deal work without including ben simmons?
   188. DCA Posted: December 24, 2020 at 10:57 PM (#5995908)
I saw Harden to Portland hinted as a possibility.

McCollum, Zach Collins, and picks seems like a win/win actually.
   189. . . . . . . Posted: December 25, 2020 at 12:20 AM (#5995914)
2017: Frankie Smokes. Bad pick. Forget Bam or Mitchell, par here would have been #10 Zach Collins or #12 Luke Kennard, useful players. They also traded for #9 DSJ which was also a poor idea in retrospect.


But this is kind of what I mean, Collins and Kennard ended up as better basketball players than Frankie No Shots, sure. But Frank had more upside, and how much incrementally closer do guys like Collins and Kennard bring you to a championship? If the marginal value of a player goes up as he becomes more and more of a star (not entirely true, but not not a terrible model) then it makes sense to trade doubles for potential home runs and whiffs.

I just don’t see what the Knicks could’ve reasonably done differently - once they were in their terrible hole - that would’ve really moved the needle on this year. Once you’re in “trade down 5 picks to pick the one guy who turned out way better than everyone expected” mode, you’re basically stipulating that.

And I say this as someone who loves Collins as the best of the next generation of stretch stiff bigs.
   190. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 25, 2020 at 12:25 AM (#5995915)
I just don’t see what the Knicks could’ve reasonably done differently - once they were in their terrible hole - that would’ve really moved the needle on this year. Once you’re in “trade down 5 picks to pick the one guy who turned out way better than everyone expected” mode, you’re basically stipulating that.


Right, I think we agree here. Just not enough assets. Add Kennard and Miles Bridges to the current Knicks and you still don't have a hell of a lot (not to mention Kennard is about to get expensive).

As a side note, I didn't realize how absurdly overflowing with mediocre assets the Kennard trade ended up:

November 19, 2020: As part of a 3-team trade, traded by the Detroit Pistons with Justin Patton, a 2023 2nd round draft pick, a 2024 2nd round draft pick, a 2025 2nd round draft pick and a 2026 2nd round draft pick to the Los Angeles Clippers; the Brooklyn Nets traded Saddiq Bey, Jaylen Hands, Dzanan Musa and a 2021 2nd round draft pick to the Detroit Pistons; the Brooklyn Nets traded Jay Scrubb to the Los Angeles Clippers; the Detroit Pistons traded Bruce Brown to the Brooklyn Nets; the Los Angeles Clippers traded Reggie Perry and Landry Shamet to the Brooklyn Nets; and the Los Angeles Clippers traded Rodney McGruder and cash to the Detroit Pistons. 2023 2nd-rd pick is POR own 2024 2nd-rd pick is DET's own 2025 2nd-rd pick is DET's own 2026 2nd-rd pick is DET's own 2021 2nd-rd pick is TOR own
   191. a 57i66135 with a grenade still has a grenade Posted: December 25, 2020 at 12:44 AM (#5995918)
I just don’t see what the Knicks could’ve reasonably done differently - once they were in their terrible hole - that would’ve really moved the needle on this year. Once you’re in “trade down 5 picks to pick the one guy who turned out way better than everyone expected” mode, you’re basically stipulating that.

they could hire the non-union mexican equivalent of sam hinkie.


NYK:
Season     W  L
2019
-20   21 45
2018
-19   17 65 # kristaps porzingis traded
2017-18   29 53
2016
-17   31 51
2015
-16   32 50 # kristaps porzingis drafted
2014-15   17 65
2013
-14   37 45 # phil jackson's first year as team president
2012-13   54 28 

PHI:
Season     W  L
2019
-20   43 30
2018
-19   51 31
2017
-18   52 30 # ben simmons' first NBA game
2016-17   28 54 # joel embiid's first NBA game
2015-16   10 72 
2014
-15   18 64
2013
-14   19 63 # sam hinkie's 1st year as GM
2012-13   34 48 
   192. tshipman Posted: December 25, 2020 at 01:42 AM (#5995920)
I just don’t see what the Knicks could’ve reasonably done differently - once they were in their terrible hole - that would’ve really moved the needle on this year. Once you’re in “trade down 5 picks to pick the one guy who turned out way better than everyone expected” mode, you’re basically stipulating that.


Probably the only really fair knock was the Kevin Knox pick.

Well, that and not trading for Bargnani.
   193. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: December 25, 2020 at 08:07 AM (#5995924)
I am a fairly casual NBA follower, so maybe my recollection is off. But I think the issue with the Knicks is not necessarily the draft picks they made, it's that they did virtually nothing to add to their picks, in terms of asset accumulation.

Good teams, when they know they are going to be bad, find ways to pick up additional assets for the future. They rent out their cap space. They facilitate trades. They sign players who will likely be assets in the future that they can use in trades. The Knicks do #### all of that. And on top of that, they seem to always find way to throw away genuine assets when they don't really need to.

Did they really need to trade for Carmelo, when it seemed he was determined to go there as an FA anyway. And if they did, at least hold out for a trade that doesn't involve a ton of legitimate NBA players, plus significant picks... which turned into Dario Saric and Jamal Murray.

The Knicks seem to think they can become great simply because they are the Knicks, and that is their birthright as a NY team. They think superstars will line up to play with them. Meanwhile the actual superstars see the disfunction and think 'I have five of options in great cities, where I can actually win, to hell with that.' And instead of getting guys who are worth way more than the max, they end up paying guys who are stretched to be worth their salary in 2-3 seasons, and become liabilities they can't turn into future assets.
   194. tshipman Posted: December 25, 2020 at 02:19 PM (#5995943)
Eric Bledsoe looks ready for the playoffs.

These center with Zion lineups just look so sub optimal. Steven Adams' man can just help with impunity.
   195. puck Posted: December 25, 2020 at 02:22 PM (#5995945)
This game is just on in the background w/no sound, so it took me a while to figure out Butler is out. Doesn't seem good the Pelicans still can't catch up. I looked up a couple times to see Zion getting his shot blocked inside.
   196. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 25, 2020 at 02:30 PM (#5995946)
The Knicks seem to think they can become great simply because they are the Knicks, and that is their birthright as a NY team. They think superstars will line up to play with them. Meanwhile the actual superstars see the disfunction and think 'I have five of options in great cities, where I can actually win, to hell with that.'


The hometown effect does seem to be at least a tiny bit of a thing. Leonard and George went to LA. LeBron went back to Cleveland.

NYC used to be the HS / playground hoops mecca that produced tons of NBA talent, but not anymore, right? Who is the best current NBA player from New York? None of the guys who would be the consensus top tier in the league as far as Alpha Dogs are from NYC or anywhere close (LeBron (Cleveland), Harden (LA), Giannis (Greece), Luka (Slovenia), AD (Chicago), Durant (DC), Curry (Charlotte), Kawhi (LA) -- also none of what I think most people would have as the next tier, guys like Embiid, Simmons, Jokic, Lillard, Paul, George, Butler, Tatum.)

EDIT: According to this random WaPo list, Donovan Mitchell (#23) is the highest ranked player from the NYC area. Kemba and (arguably) Kyrie are also options. Probably this was a meaningful factor in Kyrie's recruitment.
   197. a 57i66135 with a grenade still has a grenade Posted: December 25, 2020 at 02:41 PM (#5995947)
The Knicks seem to think they can become great simply because they are the Knicks, and that is their birthright as a NY team. They think superstars will line up to play with them. Meanwhile the actual superstars see the disfunction and think 'I have five of options in great cities, where I can actually win, to hell with that.' And instead of getting guys who are worth way more than the max, they end up paying guys who are stretched to be worth their salary in 2-3 seasons, and become liabilities they can't turn into future assets.
that plan worked for the lakers. they were also clearly dysfunctional, with an inbred front office, cash poor owners, a string of mediocre lottery picks, and handing out albatross contracts to luol deng and timminy mozgov.
   198. PJ Martinez Posted: December 25, 2020 at 02:48 PM (#5995950)
All of that is true, but the Lakers have been the league's premier glamour franchise for at least forty years. (The Heat have muscled in on that territory on occasion, I suppose.) Even on the rare occasions when the Knicks have been good, that hasn't really been their identity.

I remain convinced that they will be mediocre at best until Dolan is gone.
   199. tshipman Posted: December 25, 2020 at 02:48 PM (#5995951)
In the last 20 years, the Lakers have won the championship more times than the Knicks have made the playoffs, or the 76ers have gotten out of the first round.

Not exactly the same thing.

Edit: Coke to PJ.
   200. . . . . . . Posted: December 25, 2020 at 02:53 PM (#5995952)
If it was just Dolan, then the Rangers wouldn’t win.

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