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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 | 1937 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: best shape of his life, nba, off-topic

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   1601. Mike A Posted: February 19, 2021 at 08:44 PM (#6005935)
Flip as I try to figure out how it's possible John Collins, Kevin Huerter, Danilo Gallinari and Cam Reddish are 1-26 at the half.

Couldn't you shoot better just heaving half-court shots? I really don't know where the Hawks go from here. Re-sign John Collins? Fire Lloyd Pierce? Send Cam Reddish back to Duke?
   1602. asinwreck Posted: February 19, 2021 at 08:44 PM (#6005936)
The Bulls had a watchable first half on national television for the first time since, since, when? When Butler was still on the team?
   1603. asinwreck Posted: February 19, 2021 at 09:33 PM (#6005940)
The national TV audience got to see exactly how horrid Luke Kornet is from three this year.
   1604. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: February 19, 2021 at 09:58 PM (#6005943)
what would it even look like for embiid to get better than this?
   1605. asinwreck Posted: February 19, 2021 at 10:02 PM (#6005944)
Average 50 for the season?
   1606. aberg Posted: February 19, 2021 at 10:56 PM (#6005951)
what would it even look like for embiid to get better than this?


Play 75+ games.
   1607. tshipman Posted: February 19, 2021 at 10:59 PM (#6005953)
what would it even look like for embiid to get better than this?


Have an assist to turnover ratio greater than 1?
   1608. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: February 19, 2021 at 11:56 PM (#6005960)
Average 50 for the season?
Play 75+ games.
Have an assist to turnover ratio greater than 1?
so, for him to be better, he'd need to literally be wilt chamberlain. got it.
   1609. Paul D(uda) Posted: February 20, 2021 at 07:22 AM (#6005969)
Watching highlights of the Raptors T-Wolves, and my daughter asks "has the team in Black ever won a game?"
   1610. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: February 20, 2021 at 08:43 AM (#6005977)
I have never been happier to be blacked out from watching my two teams play. Good lord God almighty.
   1611. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: February 20, 2021 at 12:55 PM (#6005987)
ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: February 17, 2021 at 08:41 PM (#6005543)
it would not be unwelcome to win a game solely on the basis of 3P variance.


PHI 112 CHI 105

3pts
PHI 7/21 (33%) CHI 7/32 (22%)

If Bulls shot their season avg of 37.5% and Philly their avg of 36.1%, Bulls win 120-115. So, there you go. :)

More seriously though, a team deserves to win and should win when their best player gets 50.

---

LaVine is still not good defensively - that is very clear by the stats - but this year he actually is trying and is making his share of solid defensive plays. His offense really is something else right now, not just the scoring (but that too, he's shooting 42.7% on 8.3 3pa/g - even after going 2 for 10 last night) but his decision making has really taken another step. He'll never be the best player on a team with serious intentions on contending, but I do find myself wondering how good a team with him as the 2nd option could be (for one, it would have to be really strong defensively at every other spot). In all seriousness, he'd look really, really good on Philly with Embiid/Simmons - though I obviously am not suggesting the Bulls trade him there for Tharris.
   1612. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: February 20, 2021 at 12:57 PM (#6005990)
The Bulls had a watchable first half on national television for the first time since, since, when? When Butler was still on the team?

Remember when the Bulls had that ridiculous TNT winning streak, like 25+ games across 2 or 3 seasons? Ah, what a worthless thing that was talked about all the time here.
   1613. rr doesn't talk to pawns Posted: February 20, 2021 at 02:30 PM (#6006003)
LaVine went 13th to Minnesota the year that the Lakers drafted Julius Randle 7th, and I said at the time I kind of had wanted the Lakers to take LaVine (said it on a Lakers board, not here IIRC). LaVine as a local guy with serious hops I think would have been a good gamble.
   1614. tshipman Posted: February 20, 2021 at 02:57 PM (#6006009)
I don't think Zach LaVine is a winning player. He's too bad on defense. Maybe someplace that is set up to completely cover for his weakness, like Houston was with Harden.
   1615. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: February 20, 2021 at 04:36 PM (#6006024)
I don't think Zach LaVine is a winning player. He's too bad on defense. Maybe someplace that is set up to completely cover for his weakness, like Houston was with Harden.
he'd fit in well on the sixers.
PHI 112 CHI 105

3pts
PHI 7/21 (33%) CHI 7/32 (22%)

If Bulls shot their season avg of 37.5% and Philly their avg of 36.1%, Bulls win 120-115. So, there you go. :)

i know you know this, but i was referring to games where a team shoots 60% from beyond the arc and is up by 30 at the half.

an opponent missing a few extra shots doesn't have quite the same feel.
LaVine went 13th to Minnesota the year that the Lakers drafted Julius Randle 7th, and I said at the time I kind of had wanted the Lakers to take LaVine (said it on a Lakers board, not here IIRC). LaVine as a local guy with serious hops I think would have been a good gamble.

the sixers had the 10th pick that year, and i wanted nothing to do with lavine.
   1616. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: February 20, 2021 at 07:47 PM (#6006044)
6 teams have won an NBA title over the last 9 years, but each of those winners has employed one of three men: LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, or Stephen Curry.

And 7 of their 9 finals opponents also employed one of those three men.
   1617. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: February 20, 2021 at 08:12 PM (#6006045)
6 teams have won an NBA title over the last 9 years, but each of those winners has employed one of three men: LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, or Stephen Curry.

And 7 of their 9 finals opponents also employed one of those three men.
if you swap iguodala for curry, you get up to 8 of 9 finals opponents.
   1618. PJ Martinez Posted: February 20, 2021 at 09:50 PM (#6006046)
It's starting to look like a three-team race in each conference.
   1619. asinwreck Posted: February 20, 2021 at 11:25 PM (#6006052)
LaVine is 15-20 tonight and just buried Sacramento with a nice shot as the clock ran down to zero.
   1620. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: February 21, 2021 at 11:57 AM (#6006081)
I don't think Zach LaVine is a winning player. He's too bad on defense. Maybe someplace that is set up to completely cover for his weakness, like Houston was with Harden.

That's what I'm trying to get at - with the steps he's taken offensively this year, I think he could be a #2 on a good team. There's a little chicken/egg thing here, but he's always been on bad teams although all of them have been terribly built and dysfunctional (until maybe this year, but that's still TBD) enough that's he's not the main reason for their terribleness. He's played with very few even average defensive players, and there's been plenty of bad defenders that have played big roles on good teams.

Again, he's taking smallsteps forward on defense - all anecdotal, but I don't think I recall him making any of those types of plays before this year and he obviously has to do more things like that and more often. I wouldn't call him an indifferent defender anymore - he still makes mistakes - but prior to this year I don't think he tried at all.

He's been in the league long enough that it's fair to be skeptical whether or not he can get any better from where he is now. He'll always be flawed, but he's clearly improved in ways that someone like, oh I dunno...Wiggins hasn't.
   1621. asinwreck Posted: February 21, 2021 at 12:34 PM (#6006086)
It would be interesting to see LaVine in a backcourt with an average defensive player. Coby White, at this stage in his career, is a sieve.
   1622. NJ in NJ Posted: February 21, 2021 at 12:49 PM (#6006089)
I've been banking on Lavine as a '22 FA target for the Knicks.
   1623. rr doesn't talk to pawns Posted: February 21, 2021 at 01:47 PM (#6006098)
LaVine: His TS% is up to .647, which is 16th in the league. The three guys immediately ahead of him are Curry, Durant, and Harden. The guy behind him is Jeff Green, which shows you the quirks in the metric, but it is hard for me to buy that a guy with a 31.2 USG and a .647 TS isn't a "winning player" in the right situation. I have always sort of bought into LaVine because he is very talented offensively and a UCLA guy--two of my biases--and I didn't clown on the Bulls for the contract that they gave him like some guys here did. I am not sure about a "#2", but a I could definitely see a "#3" (obviously, those things are very context-dependent). The .647 is well above anything he has ever done, but this is his age-25 season.

As I have said when Irving has come up here, I tend to buy in to getting guys who can really score and counting on the coach and GM to manipulate the roster and motivation/tactics to shore up the defense. This is why I would still take Irving--or LaVine--on my team. YMMV.

Three-team race: The Lakers have dropped off to .355 in 3P--20th--and have a 21-10 PYTH. Phoenix, whom no one here or elsewhere seems to talk about all that much, has a 19-10 PYTH and 19-10 actual record, and they are Top-10 in both ORTG and DRTG. The Davis thing looks pretty bad, and there are very few easy games in today's NBA. The Lakers without Davis (and Schroder) will lose games. That said, I see the point, in that it seems likely that one of PHI/BRK/MIL/LAL/LAC/UTA will be the champ. But I also think that Phoenix, Denver, Boston, and maybe Indiana, Miami, and Portland are all teams that can win a playoff series.

   1624. rr doesn't talk to pawns Posted: February 21, 2021 at 02:04 PM (#6006103)
Also, speaking of Davis's injuries, there is obviously a good chance that Cousins ends up on the Lakers.
   1625. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 21, 2021 at 04:27 PM (#6006118)
One thing to remember about Zach Lavine is that he is a crazy hard worker and total gym rat. He loves basketball. I think he would have been a huge asset had he been on less dysfunctional teams. I wanted the Wolves to trade Wiggins to the Bulls instead of Levine.
   1626. SteveF Posted: February 21, 2021 at 04:48 PM (#6006119)
Opponents this year are 16.1 points better on offense per 100 with LaVine on the court.
   1627. tshipman Posted: February 21, 2021 at 05:25 PM (#6006122)
Opponents this year are 16.1 points better on offense per 100 with LaVine on the court.


This is what I keep coming back to. LaVine is completely disastrous on defense. Maybe he's trying harder, maybe he's just got bad teammates, but he's never been more of an arsonist on defense.

It's so hard to win with a guy like that. The Rockets had to cater completely to Harden's negative tendencies to make it kind of work--and they only made it to the WCF.

I think it'd be difficult to find a guy who played at that level who was able to be a big part of a championship level team. Maybe you could figure it out, and the offense is compelling, but if it were me, I'd want to let someone else try to solve the problem.
   1628. jmurph Posted: February 21, 2021 at 05:54 PM (#6006124)
Basically every Celtics game is like 36 minutes of me being like hmm okay, they're looking better, and then 12 minutes of utter trash. There is no lead too big for them to blow.

(Those trash minutes don't always fall in the 4th, but pretty frequently they do.)
   1629. SteveF Posted: February 21, 2021 at 05:59 PM (#6006125)
I think some of it is just them being gassed. They don't have enough good players.

What contract should a GM be willing to give to Lonzo Ball?
   1630. rr doesn't talk to pawns Posted: February 21, 2021 at 06:16 PM (#6006126)

It's so hard to win with a guy like that. The Rockets had to cater completely to Harden's negative tendencies to make it kind of work--and they only made it to the WCF.


Factually correct, but a little bit of a short sell. The 2018 Houston team went 65-17 and, playing without Paul, lost G7 of the WCF to GSW in part because they had a really bad game from the arc. OTOH, that team was 6th in DRTG, whereas most of the other Houston teams with Harden were in the teens in DRTG, and as I have said, I think it is pretty hard to win the title unless you are Top 10 in both, so that supports your point. But the 2018 Rockets were clearly a championship-level squad, and they won over 50 games several times while Harden was there.

Ball: He will get a lot of money, I think. Whether it will be worth it--very context-dependent. NO is 29th in DRTG; 7th in ORTG, and has a 14-15 PYTH. I expect that they will keep him.
   1631. tshipman Posted: February 21, 2021 at 07:12 PM (#6006130)
This is one of the softest T's I've ever seen.

What contract should a GM be willing to give to Lonzo Ball?


"should" is different from "will receive", but I think that somewhere between 15 million and 20 million is probably about right. I think he should make 15, and he'll probably get 20.
   1632. asinwreck Posted: February 21, 2021 at 10:33 PM (#6006155)
Brooklyn just swept a West Coast road trip. Durant was out for most of it, and only a couple games (Clippers, Suns) were close.
   1633. asinwreck Posted: February 21, 2021 at 11:14 PM (#6006157)
After losing to the Knicks, the Wolves fired Ryan Saunders. The new coach is longtime assistant Chris Finch, most recently with Toronto.
   1634. aberg Posted: February 21, 2021 at 11:16 PM (#6006158)
I've always heard good things about Finch but don't know much about his strengths or weaknesses. I know he coached some of the nutty/innovative Rio grande teams. Anyone have any details?
   1635. aberg Posted: February 21, 2021 at 11:18 PM (#6006159)
Yes, it's funny that Thibs put the nail in Ryan's coffin.
   1636. asinwreck Posted: February 21, 2021 at 11:24 PM (#6006160)
Finch has a reputation as an innovative offensive coach, though it's hard to see particular tendencies with the Nuggets, Rockets, and Pelicans teams that had him on staff in recent years. He interviewed for a few HC jobs in the last couple of years and also has head coaching experience in Europe.

He was linked to the Bulls job along with a bunch of other assistants before Donovan was hired in September, then when New Orleans fired Gentry, he hooked on with Nick Nurse's staff.
   1637. aberg Posted: February 21, 2021 at 11:27 PM (#6006162)
A friend asked if there are recent examples of hiring an assistant employed by another team midseason. I couldn't think of any, did I miss any?
   1638. asinwreck Posted: February 21, 2021 at 11:30 PM (#6006164)
Seems unusual. Interesting they didn't consider David Vanterpool, considering he's already on staff and is mentioned frequently as a future head coach.
   1639. aberg Posted: February 21, 2021 at 11:47 PM (#6006168)
One argument against Vanterpool is that he was the lead assistant on this very poorly coached team.
   1640. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2021 at 06:58 AM (#6006180)
So Rosas and Finch were negotiating about a job before it was available? Seems like that would be pretty unpopular among players and coaches.
   1641. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: February 22, 2021 at 07:38 AM (#6006182)
Wolves gonna Wolf.
   1642. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 22, 2021 at 08:09 AM (#6006184)
Opponents this year are 16.1 points better on offense per 100 with LaVine on the court.


I don't think that rebuts anything I wrote. Lavine for all his flaws (mostly defense) is a major gym rat and is a very hard worker. And yes, the Wolves would have been better off keeping him and trading Wiggins.
   1643. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2021 at 08:48 AM (#6006185)
So Rosas and Finch were negotiating about a job before it was available? Seems like that would be pretty unpopular among players and coaches.

I should say I'm sure this kind of thing frequently happens to some extent, but teams usually leave at least some time between the two things.
   1644. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 22, 2021 at 08:49 AM (#6006186)
And yes, I am fine with Ryan being let go. I think he might make a really good head coach someday, but the season has been an utter trainwreck on top of the dumpster fires of past seasons. I don't think anything will be truly fixed until we get new ownership, but still.

Next stop a bad record and some lottery luck and we keep our first-round pick this year. Meanwhile, I will be enjoying Nets games.
   1645. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: February 22, 2021 at 01:36 PM (#6006221)
I don't think that rebuts anything I wrote. Lavine for all his flaws (mostly defense) is a major gym rat and is a very hard worker. And yes, the Wolves would have been better off keeping him and trading Wiggins.
but then they wouldn't have dangelo russell.
   1646. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: February 22, 2021 at 02:42 PM (#6006232)
but then they wouldn't have dangelo russell.

... yes, well.
   1647. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 22, 2021 at 03:43 PM (#6006249)
Yeah. They probably also would have gotten more or kept the draft pick because at that time Wiggins was much higher valued.
   1648. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: February 22, 2021 at 07:32 PM (#6006280)
Like, I'm not super high on firing Saunders and then offering a multi-year deal to Finch, because I think Vanterpool earned a shot here -- as woeful as the Wolves are, they are if anything better on defense than offense; on the other hand, Vanterpool isn't going to go without opportunities, and it's not like he lit the world on fire in Minnesota.

I had always assumed that Saunders was a legacy hire; his firing makes the team now entirely Rosas'. I think that's clarifying, but are they just going to run out some kind of Rio Grande Vipers offense?
   1649. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: February 22, 2021 at 09:20 PM (#6006291)
Like, I'm not super high on firing Saunders and then offering a multi-year deal to Finch, because I think Vanterpool earned a shot here -- as woeful as the Wolves are, they are if anything better on defense than offense; on the other hand, Vanterpool isn't going to go without opportunities, and it's not like he lit the world on fire in Minnesota.
if nothing else, the process is godawful.
   1650. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: February 22, 2021 at 09:28 PM (#6006292)
if nothing else, the process is godawful.

Wolves gonna Wolf.

I mean, this is the team.
   1651. aberg Posted: February 22, 2021 at 10:55 PM (#6006303)
Only the Wolves could fire the worst, least qualified coach in the league and still somehow screw it up.
   1652. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 23, 2021 at 12:53 AM (#6006308)
The Lakers are slumping. No AD, No Schroder, and LBJ has not really shot well recently. They haven't had an impressive win in a long while and actually have not been impressive against the weaker teams despite winning games. They blow a big lead against the Wizards today. LBJ nearly has a triple double but also had 8 turnovers, made missed a FT that would have given the Lakers a late lead, and then made a bad defensive gaffe at the end of the game. 1-4 in last 5 with Utah up next. This team is limping to the all star break.
   1653. jmurph Posted: February 23, 2021 at 08:48 AM (#6006324)
I wouldn't have any big picture concerns with the Lakers as long as AD gets back, but obviously seeding could be an issue.
   1654. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 23, 2021 at 10:06 AM (#6006331)
I am not convinced firing Ryan was at all a bad move or even that how it was done really matters past next week.

Ryan was not great and the team as a whole was poorly coached. Bringing in a fresh face is not the worst idea, especially since clearly he and Rosas knew each other really well and he was Gerson's guy. Since he is Rosas's guy, basically any "process" is going to end up with Finch being hired.

If he does a good job and coaches the Wolves up then everyone will be happy enough, except possibly Vanterpool or the other legacy coaches, and honestly, Rosas might want to clean house anyway to let Finch have his guys. This year is lost anyway, so give Finch a jumpstart getting to know the players and start to repair the damage poor coaching did.

All that of course assumes Finch is the right guy. And I think the bottom line is if he is the right guy then who cares and if he isn't then it is a bad hire no matter when it is made.

When you are as bad as the Wolves I think there is a sharp limit to the possible downside of a move like this. What, are they going to be worse? Ryan had basically lost several players on the team (including DLo, whiich matters because he is KAT's buddy).
   1655. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: February 23, 2021 at 10:14 AM (#6006332)
When you are as bad as the Wolves I think there is a sharp limit to the possible downside of a move like this. What, are they going to be worse? Ryan had basically lost several players on the team (including DLo, which matters because he is KAT's buddy).

I agree with this, but it is of course telling that the Wolves did the right thing but had put themselves into a position where doing that right thing was ugly and lame. It's the Wolves, baby.
   1656. aberg Posted: February 23, 2021 at 11:25 AM (#6006352)
I am not convinced firing Ryan was at all a bad move or even that how it was done really matters past next week.

Ryan was not great and the team as a whole was poorly coached. Bringing in a fresh face is not the worst idea, especially since clearly he and Rosas knew each other really well and he was Gerson's guy. Since he is Rosas's guy, basically any "process" is going to end up with Finch being hired.

If he does a good job and coaches the Wolves up then everyone will be happy enough, except possibly Vanterpool or the other legacy coaches, and honestly, Rosas might want to clean house anyway to let Finch have his guys. This year is lost anyway, so give Finch a jumpstart getting to know the players and start to repair the damage poor coaching did.

All that of course assumes Finch is the right guy. And I think the bottom line is if he is the right guy then who cares and if he isn't then it is a bad hire no matter when it is made.

When you are as bad as the Wolves I think there is a sharp limit to the possible downside of a move like this. What, are they going to be worse? Ryan had basically lost several players on the team (including DLo, whiich matters because he is KAT's buddy).


Well said. I agree with all of it. The only thing that matters beyond this news cycle is whether Finch gets them playing competitive basketball. My comment was more of a summary of what seems to be the local/media response, but I'm sure that's colored by how popular the Saunders family is and was.
   1657. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: February 23, 2021 at 01:07 PM (#6006381)
Maybe the Lakers slump will end up dropping them to the 4-seed. Clippers will stay 2/3 or so can get another chance of a LA WCF this year. I know it's rude to other teams to jump ahead like this but the thought crossed my mind.
   1658. DCA Posted: February 23, 2021 at 01:21 PM (#6006385)
I for one would love to see Clippers-Lakers in the first round. City championship first, then you go on to play for bigger prizes.
   1659. tshipman Posted: February 23, 2021 at 01:48 PM (#6006390)
I think that both Utah and LAC will hit some large regression to the mean in the coming months.

The Clippers are shooting 42% from 3! The Jazz are at 40%! This is unprecedented! The Curry/Durant/Klay Warriors peaked at 39%.

Basically *everyone* on the Clippers and the Jazz are shooting way above their career norms. Nic Batum and Marcus Morris are not Ray Allen. Royce O'Neal is not Mark Price. Surely at some point, sanity will prevail.
   1660. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 23, 2021 at 01:55 PM (#6006391)
I am excited about the playoffs this year. I think my Nets are going to be fun to watch, but really both conferences are pretty wide open this year.
   1661. rr doesn't talk to pawns Posted: February 23, 2021 at 03:03 PM (#6006405)
I posted a basic overview of the Lakers at a team site I hang out at sometimes, since I was annoyed by a few people clowning on Vogel, in case anyone is interested:

Vogel: While you can pick on any one decision that he makes, I am very down on any bagging on Vogel. The team’s regression from the arc was statistically inevitable, and the Lakers are still #1 in DRTG. Last night’s loss was bad, but there are very few easy wins in today’s NBA and HCA is perhaps somewhat neutralized with limited fan presence, so the Lakers can lose to anybody at any time right now.
Gasol/Matthews/Caruso: Matthews was signed as a 34-year-old coming off an 8 PER season. PER is just one number, but anything below 10 suggests that the guy is mostly useless, and his PER is at 7.5. Caruso, in spite of how likable he is and how some podcasters/bloggers and a lot of fans make a big deal out of "the little things" he supposedly does, has never been much more than a 5th guard. I am a huge Gasol Stan, but he is 36. The real issue, though, is that these types of players seem to be OK when you have two superstars carrying the water for them. When asked to do more, they generally get exposed.
James: I agree that they should watch his minutes and sit him occasionally, but I doubt that it goes that way, in part because he is now chasing Kareem on the scoring list. If the team were to drop to a 6th or 7th seed, then so be it. It won’t happen, especially since both games are on national TV, but I would actually prefer that James skip the two-game trip to Utah and Portland, and suit up again in LA on Sunday for Golden State.

As the siterunner correctly said when Davis went down: all that really matters is Davis getting healthy. I ofc hope that Pelinka can find a little marginal value with the two open roster spots now that Cook is gone, but that is secondary.
   1662. aberg Posted: February 23, 2021 at 03:22 PM (#6006408)
I am a huge Gasol Stan


Stan is the Cooper Manning of the Gasols.
   1663. spivey 2 Posted: February 23, 2021 at 03:34 PM (#6006412)
I agree with rr about the Lakers, and about role guys in general. It's easy to overrate those guys when things are going well, and underrate them when shots aren't falling. That's true across all NBA teams. Milwaukee had a 5 game losing streak recently (without Jrue for most of that, but some of those games they still had more talent). The Nets have laid plenty of duds. Boston's underperformed, as have many others.

Really, outside of Utah, every team's had some stretches of playing pretty uninspired basketball.

I think there are a lot of valid reasons for that, and it's just one of those things this year.
   1664. jmurph Posted: February 23, 2021 at 03:40 PM (#6006415)
Sort of related, but I've been guilty of thinking about Covid-related absences as just like any other injury. But, like, it's a virus that has killed many people! And even many people who easily survive have lingering health issues! And meanwhile I'm like "uhhhhh come on Tatum (or whomever), get it together" like a week after he comes back from it.

This is a very weird season, and while it's always true it will be especially true this year: health in the playoffs is going to be huge.
   1665. asinwreck Posted: February 23, 2021 at 03:52 PM (#6006417)
Yup, and due to the pandemic (both the actual virus itself, injuries caused by the disruption of routines, and mental health stresses unlike those most of these young people have faced before), health is less predictable than ever.
   1666. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: February 23, 2021 at 05:15 PM (#6006430)
Just listened to Simmons and Russillo go on and on about how awful replay is, and I mostly think they're right. But also think if they dumped replay and then the refs missed a call that was obvious on replay and the next 24 hours of Twitter was nothing but showing that replay over and over and over then that would also cause problems.

I don't know what the answer is. My personal idea is give the coaches each 2 challenges (or 1 and then a second if they get the first right) and if it's that important and obvious, they can use a challenge. And that's it (other than checking 3 pointers and shot clock during the breaks). No one seems to like my idea.

EDIT - Unrelated topic, Lakers are 8 point under-dogs tomorrow. I wonder how many times a LeBron team has been an 8-point underdog in a game that LeBron suits up this past decade. Not too often I don't think.
   1667. Fourth True Outcome Posted: February 23, 2021 at 05:26 PM (#6006432)

I don't know what the answer is. My personal idea is give the coaches each 2 challenges (or 1 and then a second if they get the first right) and if it's that important and obvious, they can use a challenge. And that's it (other than checking 3 pointers and shot clock during the breaks). No one seems to like my idea.

I've seen it mentioned occasionally, but I think the answer to replay is to do it the way sumo, of all sports does. Instead of the on-court officials having to put on headsets, pull out a tv, and review the video there is an additional referee with a monitor who the on-court refs can ask to review a play. I guess this is what the NBA sort of tried to do with the Secaucus refs, but it's all too slow and bureaucratic. If the refs on the court could converse with a single ref who tells them what the call is as soon as he/she can make it, all of the theater and process theater wouldn't make every review take three minutes.

Edit: I guess more succinctly put, the NBA, like other American leagues, seems to have designed their replay processes to minimize objections rather than to arrive at the correct decision as quickly as possible, and it is unpleasantly obvious how big a difference there is between those two things.
   1668. aberg Posted: February 23, 2021 at 05:45 PM (#6006436)
My belief on replay has always been and remains that, 1) the impact to the visceral emotional response in the moment is not worth the marginal improvement in "correctness," and 2) if leagues are so scared of getting roasted on Twitter that they have to have replay, it should be capped at something like 10-15 seconds or two viewings of the play in question. If it's not obvious from the first 1-2 viewings, it's not obvious enough to overturn.
   1669. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: February 23, 2021 at 05:55 PM (#6006439)
I've seen it mentioned occasionally, but I think the answer to replay is to do it the way sumo, of all sports does. Instead of the on-court officials having to put on headsets, pull out a tv, and review the video there is an additional referee with a monitor who the on-court refs can ask to review a play. I guess this is what the NBA sort of tried to do with the Secaucus refs, but it's all too slow and bureaucratic. If the refs on the court could converse with a single ref who tells them what the call is as soon as he/she can make it, all of the theater and process theater wouldn't make every review take three minutes.

Edit: I guess more succinctly put, the NBA, like other American leagues, seems to have designed their replay processes to minimize objections rather than to arrive at the correct decision as quickly as possible, and it is unpleasantly obvious how big a difference there is between those two things.
trust me, noone wants mono-iis in the NBA.

what you're describing is more of a rugby TMO (televised match official) situation. and i completely agree with you about that. rugby does replay reviews literally perfectly for TV audiences.


we've talked about this before, and it's really the TV angle where the NBA (all american sports, really) get replay review wrong. leagues need to trust in the professionalism of their employees and just mic everyone up, wire the discussion and the footage that's being reviewed into the broadcasts and let us see what's actually happening, rather than leaving us hanging while reggie miller spends 5 minutes sticking his thumb up marv albert's ass.
   1670. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: February 23, 2021 at 06:00 PM (#6006440)
while we're on the topic, i'd love to give a special shout out to cricket's DRS, which is just way too extra.
   1671. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: February 23, 2021 at 07:18 PM (#6006445)
Noah Levick @NoahLevick
Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are the first pair of Sixers to make three straight All-Star Games since Moses Malone and Julius Erving.
   1672. asinwreck Posted: February 23, 2021 at 08:31 PM (#6006447)
Zach LaVine is the Bulls' first rep in the ASG since....Jimmy Butler right before he got traded for LaVine.
   1673. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: February 23, 2021 at 09:31 PM (#6006452)
Well, I turned on the Wolves game and they were like down 5 to the Bucks. Big scoring half! I looked up from what I swear was like 45 seconds of writing to see them ... down 17. So the Chris Finch era begins.
   1674. asinwreck Posted: February 23, 2021 at 09:43 PM (#6006454)
I'm repeating myself from earlier in this thread, but James Harden's passing this season is a joy to behold. Another triple-double tonight, and feeding...Bruce Brown for 27 points so far.
   1675. Mike A Posted: February 23, 2021 at 09:54 PM (#6006455)
I turn on the Hawks game just in time to see All-Star snub(?) Trae inexplicably take a shot with 10 seconds left up 1 point and plenty of time on the shot clock to wind it down. And then Cleveland (Cleveland!) takes it the other way for an easy dunk and win 'cause rim-protector Clint Capela is out of the game for...free throw reasons.

Taking after the Falcons, I think that's the 10th 4th quarter blown lead from the Hawks. I like Lloyd Pierce as a person and community leader, but this can't keep happening. I know the Hawks have had a lot of injuries, but this team still should not be losing to a tanking Cleveland.

Rondo's -18 in 14 minutes says it all. Anyone want him for the playoffs?
   1676. jmurph Posted: February 23, 2021 at 10:11 PM (#6006458)
I mean
   1677. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: February 23, 2021 at 10:13 PM (#6006459)
1676:

Seriously
   1678. jmurph Posted: February 23, 2021 at 10:14 PM (#6006460)
Well listen, the Celtics are never going to win a game again but they actually played well tonight! Particularly on defense! But Doncic.
   1679. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: February 23, 2021 at 10:16 PM (#6006461)
1678:

The TNT crew saying he found his spot the last two shots. His spot is 28’ out? I guess
   1680. jmurph Posted: February 23, 2021 at 10:18 PM (#6006462)
Guarded fairly tightly, too. Stepping back.
   1681. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: February 23, 2021 at 10:26 PM (#6006464)
Giannis 10-13 on free throws. Good trend of late.
   1682. puck Posted: February 23, 2021 at 11:20 PM (#6006467)
I thought this article was fun: NBA Players Who Cannot Dunk

Mills is one of a handful of players in a select club: those with successful NBA careers who, for one reason or another, have never jammed. Since the 1996–97 season (the earliest data is available from Basketball-Reference.com) 1,801 different players have combined for 210,842 regular-season dunks, and 1,259 out of 1,367 players (or 92%) who have played at least 1,000 minutes have dunked at least once.

That leaves 108 consistent contributors across 25 seasons without so much as a delicate two-handed slam—11 of whom are playing this season. The list ranges from MVPs (Steve Nash) to solid veterans (JJ Redick, T.J. McConnell) to journeymen (Troy Daniels). Others, like Fred VanVleet, Ricky Rubio and DJ Augustin, have played long enough to become league staples.
   1683. rr doesn't talk to pawns Posted: February 24, 2021 at 03:21 AM (#6006469)
I missed a detail in 1661; the Portland game is in LA. James skipping the trip to Utah makes even more sense in that case for the team IMO, but he won't. He actually gave an interview with local media today about it today, getting a little salty about the whole "rest" idea:

LeBron James has spent a lot of time on the court this season. Through 32 games, he’s played 1,120 minutes, which is the third-most minutes in the NBA. Only Fred VanVleet (1,135) and Julius Randle (1,1140) have played more than James this season, and they’re both 10 years younger than him.

“I mean, I’m resting now,” James said after the Lakers’ loss to the Washington Wizards on Monday. “I’m sitting here, talking to you guys. I’ll rest when I get into my car and head home, I’ll rest when I get home, I’ll rest tomorrow. This whole narrative of ‘LeBron needs more rest’ or that I should take time here has become a lot bigger than what it actually, really is. I’ve never talked about it, I don’t talk about it, I don’t believe in it.”

James has admitted to being tired at various points of the season. In fact, earlier this month, he ended one of his postgame interviews by yelling “i’m sleepy as ####!” But James understands that he’s not the only on the team that is feeling fatigued.

“We all need more rest, ####,” James said. “This is a fast turnaround from last season and we all wish we could have more rest, but I’m here to work, I’m here to punch my clock in and be available to my teammates and if I’m hurt or if I’m not feeling well, then we can look it at then."


From the Lakers SB Nation site, SilverScreen&Roll;
   1684. KronicFatigue Posted: February 24, 2021 at 08:31 AM (#6006472)
what you're describing is more of a rugby TMO (televised match official) situation. and i completely agree with you about that. rugby does replay reviews literally perfectly for TV audiences.


That was legitimately interesting to watch unfold. I wonder if American sports shield their refs too much for it to happen. The closest we ever get to hearing their thought process is when we overhear them explaining things to the NBA/NCAA announcers.
   1685. aberg Posted: February 24, 2021 at 12:40 PM (#6006531)
That was legitimately interesting to watch unfold. I wonder if American sports shield their refs too much for it to happen. The closest we ever get to hearing their thought process is when we overhear them explaining things to the NBA/NCAA announcers.


The XFL mic'd up refs during their replay deliberations and it made it clear that their refs understood the review rules no better than (and often worse than) the average fan. The insane part was that they clearly used a "preponderance of the evidence" standard to overturn the call on the field rather than the "clear and obvious" (or equivalent) standard the league said it used. It wasn't one or two refs who went with what seemed most likely in the replay; it was every one, every time.
   1686. NJ in NJ Posted: February 24, 2021 at 01:49 PM (#6006545)
I wonder if American sports shield their refs too much for it to happen. The closest we ever get to hearing their thought process is when we overhear them explaining things to the NBA/NCAA announcers.

The unions make it really difficult.
   1687. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: February 24, 2021 at 02:52 PM (#6006570)
we've talked about this before, and it's really the TV angle where the NBA (all american sports, really) get replay review wrong. leagues need to trust in the professionalism of their employees and just mic everyone up, wire the discussion and the footage that's being reviewed into the broadcasts and let us see what's actually happening, rather than leaving us hanging while reggie miller spends 5 minutes sticking his thumb up marv albert's ass.
FIBA tournaments do exactly this: mic up the refs's discussion and show the footage they're looking at as they do. The technique works brilliantly compared to its NBA analogue. The refs positively identify the basic call just as instantly as the fans and commentary crew, and as soon as they do, move on to other less obvious details. When they don't, fans actually learn about the particular wrinkle in the rulebook that makes the call deceptively tricky. Most of the replay time is spent more or less efficiently going down a checklist of other details to make sure they restart the game in the correct state: exact time on the game clock and shot clock, any out of bounds issues, checking foot placement vis a vis the arc, and a slew of other details that I never think of in advance but which make sense in context.

The end result is that any fans who care to learn the rules better, and since there's no empty space in the broadcast, there's no tedious complaining from the commentary crew to fill it. The refs's basic competency is reinforced, instead of undermined.
   1688. jmurph Posted: February 24, 2021 at 02:59 PM (#6006573)
Okay but this doesn't fix the basic issue, which is that many (most?) viewers just don't want 15 breaks during the last 2 minutes of every close game. I'm not fully get off my lawn on this stuff, it's not turning me away from the game or anything, but it's pretty miserable.
   1689. tshipman Posted: February 24, 2021 at 03:09 PM (#6006574)
Counterfactual question:

Boston started the year 8-3, and James Harden was traded to the Nets on Jan 14.
Since Feb 3, Boston has gone 4-8.

If those stretches of the season were reversed, would Harden be on the Celtics today?
   1690. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 24, 2021 at 03:15 PM (#6006576)
The insane part was that they clearly used a "preponderance of the evidence" standard to overturn the call on the field rather than the "clear and obvious" (or equivalent) standard the league said it used.


It's not insane -- I felt it was obvious long before replay was actually implemented (for the third time) that this was the standard that was going to be used (and indeed should be used) regardless of what the rules actually say. The umpires are human and want to make the correct call.
   1691. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 24, 2021 at 03:15 PM (#6006577)
That is an interesting question. I don't think so, because typically it feels like the Celtics avoid the in-season splash move and prefer to accumulate assets and do their own thing, but that is just my uninformed opinion.
   1692. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: February 24, 2021 at 03:40 PM (#6006585)
Okay but this doesn't fix the basic issue, which is that many (most?) viewers just don't want 15 breaks during the last 2 minutes of every close game. I'm not fully get off my lawn on this stuff, it's not turning me away from the game or anything, but it's pretty miserable.

sure, but most of those breaks aren't replay reviews, they're just regular timeouts.
That is an interesting question. I don't think so, because typically it feels like the Celtics avoid the in-season splash move and prefer to accumulate assets and do their own thing, but that is just my uninformed opinion.
tilman fertito seems like someone who would be easily outmaneuvered by ainge, so i wouldn't have been too shocked if he got harden for 7 2nd round picks and some random ojeleyes.
   1693. aberg Posted: February 24, 2021 at 05:25 PM (#6006612)
If those stretches of the season were reversed, would Harden be on the Celtics today?


It's a good question, but I think the answer is no. I don't think Boston can put together a superior package without including Tatum or Brown. Would the Celtics have traded Brown based on a 4-8 start? I don't think they would have given how reluctant they have been to trade their home-grown talent in the past.
   1694. tshipman Posted: February 24, 2021 at 05:46 PM (#6006614)
Would the Celtics have traded Brown based on a 4-8 start?


Brown's play has largely mirrored the Celtics' own start.

In December, Brown was 28/4/3, on 64% true shooting.
In February, Brown was 23/6/4.5, on just 55% true shooting.

So I guess in this hypothetical, Brown would have been off to more of his normal start, as opposed to the somewhat fluky shooting he showed at the start of the year.
   1695. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: February 24, 2021 at 06:24 PM (#6006621)
   1696. rr doesn't talk to pawns Posted: February 24, 2021 at 06:36 PM (#6006625)
1695: I have never collected anything, so I would be unlikely to see why someone would do that in the first place, but that seems super weird to me.

Boston and Harden: My biased views on Ainge in this area are well-known here. And no, I don't think Ainge would have done that. Boston is 15-16, 1/2 game out of the lottery (but 16-15 PYTH and 1 game out of 4th) 15th in ORTG, 14th in DRTG. I have never been fully sold on Tatum and Brown, but PG is the big problem. Walker has played only 16 games with a 14.8 PER and a .507 TS and Teague's PER and TS have cratered to below replacement level.
   1697. aberg Posted: February 24, 2021 at 07:14 PM (#6006636)
Boston and Harden: My biased views on Ainge in this area are well-known here. And no, I don't think Ainge would have done that. Boston is 15-16, 1/2 game out of the lottery (but 16-15 PYTH and 1 game out of 4th) 15th in ORTG, 14th in DRTG. I have never been fully sold on Tatum and Brown, but PG is the big problem. Walker has played only 16 games with a 14.8 PER and a .507 TS and Teague's PER and TS have cratered to below replacement level.


Teague has been atrocious, which was easy to see coming. If they ever have Walker, Tatum, Brown, and Smart available at the same time, I think they'll look a lot better. It probably wouldn't hurt to make a smaller trade for more guard depth.
   1698. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: February 24, 2021 at 07:34 PM (#6006638)
1695: I have never collected anything, so I would be unlikely to see why someone would do that in the first place, but that seems super weird to me.
it is beyond weird.


unless these things are being used to launder massive amounts of dirty money (which is entirely possible, to be fair), it's "you're not allowed to have sharp things" levels of insanity.
   1699. Fourth True Outcome Posted: February 24, 2021 at 07:38 PM (#6006639)
As with any Celtics roster moves the last few years, the answer to some degree depends on what you think their timeframe is. If they're trying to maximize winning this year, trading a boatload of 1st round picks and Jaylen Brown for James Harden is probably a good move. If you're trying to balance winning this year with winning over the rest of Tatum and Brown's prime, which is I think what Ainge is at least attempting, it's less clear. The Cs big issues are PG play, as rr/aberg said, and also overall health/depth. They're really thin on the wing, which has only been exacerbated by injuries; Giardiniera Hairdresser leaving left a real hole in their roster, and Harden wouldn't have done much for that, while adding a risk that he'd leave like Kyrie did.

I think Ainge is trying to thread the needle of not backslipping this year while positioning the team for the rest of the J&J prime, and through that lens trading for Harden doesn't make much sense, as it would cost a lot of assets, eat up any cap they might have had, while adding a real flight risk in the middle of that window. Whether or not you think it's a good approach, I don't think the Cs starting the year worse than they did would have shifted much of the calculus in not trading for Harden.
   1700. rr doesn't talk to pawns Posted: February 24, 2021 at 09:21 PM (#6006657)
Chris Finch
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