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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 | 3341 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: best shape of his life, nba, off-topic

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   2501. jmurph Posted: April 02, 2021 at 04:28 PM (#6011300)
you're a hornets fan now.

I feel like I've missed something important.
   2502. tshipman Posted: April 02, 2021 at 04:38 PM (#6011305)
I missed it too, I'm afraid. I've been too busy deleting posts about Celtics 3p shooting.
   2503. jmurph Posted: April 02, 2021 at 04:55 PM (#6011306)
LOL. Well let me praise your restraint. I promise this year's team isn't interesting enough to spill the ink on anyway, they're boringly mediocre.
   2504. asinwreck Posted: April 02, 2021 at 05:44 PM (#6011316)
Wearing those City Edition jerseys that look like Dollar Store knockoffs have plunged the team into mediocrity.
   2505. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: April 02, 2021 at 07:44 PM (#6011328)
Toppin is a defensive abomination, which armchair-biomechanics types tend to chalk up to his high and stiff hips, and I can indeed confirm with my expert eyes that he has the approximate shape of a plantain. He cannot backpedal, cannot recover, has rec-league instincts and awareness; even in college, he was hopeless at a range of different pick-and-roll coverages. Coach Tom Thibodeau has built the league’s fourth-ranked defense out of lots of mediocre parts, but it is doubtful that even he can get something out of a player this limited
...
As of mid-March, he had airballed as many corner threes as he had made. At time of writing, he has shot 52 threes, made 29 percent of them, and failed to make contact with the rim on 13 percent of them.
   2506. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: April 02, 2021 at 09:30 PM (#6011338)
Mark Murphy @Murf56
Timelord checks out with a career high 21 points, and is flirting with his first career triple double. He also has nine rebounds and eight assists.

Eric Walden @tribjazz
Raptors couldn't even win by 60. What are we even doing here?!

   2507. Mike A Posted: April 03, 2021 at 12:02 AM (#6011363)
Raptor point differential moved a point, going from -0.5 to +0.5 in one game. 19-30 with a positive point differential, ouch.
   2508. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: April 03, 2021 at 12:27 AM (#6011364)
I expect that tonight might be it for Luke Walton.
   2509. asinwreck Posted: April 03, 2021 at 09:40 AM (#6011389)
I think Giannis wants to threepeat as MVP. Who shoots 85%?
   2510. Ken Griffey's Grotesquely Swollen Jaw Posted: April 03, 2021 at 11:18 AM (#6011399)
   2511. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: April 03, 2021 at 01:50 PM (#6011416)
Ky Carlin @Ky_Carlin
Bro, they really did Al Horford like that? Come on man.
https://twitter.com/Ky_Carlin/status/1378370891722207234
DNP-old

Chris Sheridan @sheridanhoops
Big announcement just came in from USA Basketball: Grant Hill will succeed Jerry Colangelo as managing director following the Tokyo Olympics.

Marc J. Spears @MarcJSpears
Olympic gold medalist and former NBA star Grant Hill has been approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors as the next managing director of the USA Men’s National Team. Hill will succeed current managing director Jerry Colangelo after the Tokyo Olympics.

   2512. asinwreck Posted: April 03, 2021 at 02:52 PM (#6011431)
@ShamsCharania
Hornets‘ Gordon Hayward will miss at least four weeks with right foot sprain, team says.
   2513. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: April 03, 2021 at 04:05 PM (#6011437)
Space Jam 2 Trailer

Featuring the Iron Giant, Zendaya, Don Cheadle, and Yosemite Sam shooting a basketball and Daffy Duck (they pulled Pepe LePew from the cast but left Sam and his guns in).

My good buddy has a 12-year-old who loves LeBron, so I will likely end up seeing this in an actual theater this summer. Heh.
   2514. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: April 03, 2021 at 09:11 PM (#6011474)

Brock Landes @LandesBrock
JOEL EMBIID DEFIES EVERYTHING ON THE BASKETBALL COURT...
https://twitter.com/LandesBrock/status/1378515343585513478
   2515. Ken Griffey's Grotesquely Swollen Jaw Posted: April 04, 2021 at 12:42 PM (#6011535)
Bucks just signed Jrue to the max, 4 years and up to $160 million, per Shams. That number makes me nervous but whatever, Jrue rules and I'm glad he's committing to the Bucks.
   2516. Ken Griffey's Grotesquely Swollen Jaw Posted: April 04, 2021 at 03:00 PM (#6011558)
more details are coming out on Jrue's contract-- it's looking more like 4 years, $135 with incentives that could take it higher and a player option on the last year. That makes more sense, it's the max they could offer him as an extension but not the full max he'd be eligible for this summer.
   2517. asinwreck Posted: April 04, 2021 at 03:00 PM (#6011559)
Bulls getting to the line against the Nets today. The Bulls guard who seems to have benefited the most from Vučević's presence is Satoranský.

As I type this, Zach LaVine just got two dunks.
   2518. asinwreck Posted: April 04, 2021 at 03:36 PM (#6011561)
Bulls up big, but the Nets make a run as soon as Lauri Markkanen comes into the game.
   2519. asinwreck Posted: April 04, 2021 at 04:13 PM (#6011569)
Nets managing minutes down the stretch, but this Bulls win is the best game of theirs I've seen in the past couple of years. Good ball movement, solid defense (when Markkanen was sitting), and Patrick Williams is flashing signs of being a real force in the making.
   2520. spivey 2 Posted: April 04, 2021 at 09:50 PM (#6011611)
I think Jrue both deserves the contract and Milwaukee didn't really have much negotiating power after dealing so much to get him.

It'd be nice to see them do a bit more with him offensively, as he can be a passenger for large stretches there, but mainly because he's the third option.

His defensive versatility is critically important on this team. Middleton is an underrated defender, too.
   2521. spivey 2 Posted: April 04, 2021 at 10:09 PM (#6011615)
I realize this has already been said and is obvious, but it's very possible that 2 of the Lakers, Clippers, and Denver play each other in the first round. It's not unlikely the winner then has either Utah or the other one of those teams. The West isn't a bloodbath like it's been, but we could end up either some first round series like that great Spurs/Clippers series.
   2522. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: April 05, 2021 at 09:21 PM (#6011837)
Paul Pierce: Self-Cancelled

Celtics legend Paul Pierce has been fired by ESPN, industry sources confirmed Monday night.

Pierce, an NBA analyst for the network since 2017, posted videos of him smoking, drinking, and cavorting with scantily clad women on Instagram Live Friday. It is not clear whether Pierce was smoking marijuana.


Some of the pix floating around are NSFW, although not those on this link.

   2523. CFBF's Results are Certified Posted: April 05, 2021 at 10:23 PM (#6011877)
Rachel Nichols was trending on Twitter because someone on the Instagram asked Pierce if she was there. I suspect that probably pissed off ESPN too.
   2524. SteveF Posted: April 05, 2021 at 10:45 PM (#6011882)
I would feel much better about the world had Pierce just been fired for being a bad analyst. He was trash.
   2525. tshipman Posted: April 05, 2021 at 11:22 PM (#6011887)
It was probably a little of both, if it makes you feel better. If Charles Barkley did something similar, Turner wouldn't fire him.
   2526. Moeball Posted: April 05, 2021 at 11:45 PM (#6011892)
RE #2510 and Giannis outscoring Portland on 2s and FTs: In that once famous game in Hershey, PA in 1962 against the Knicks, that useless slug Wilt Chamberlain got outscored by NY by a whopping 47 points on 2s and FTs! What a loser!
   2527. Moeball Posted: April 06, 2021 at 12:51 AM (#6011906)
#2524 to fire Pierce for incompetence the network would have to be capable of recognizing competence. Not gonna happen. As to Pierce being able to analyze anything, keep in mind that after the C's beat the Lakers for the title in 2008 he loudly bragged that he was the best player in the world. Heck, he wasn't even the best player on his own team. The massive improvement by Boston that season had a lot more to do with a guy named Kevin Garnett than Pierce. So he's never been a particularly astute judge of basketball to start with.
   2528. jmurph Posted: April 06, 2021 at 08:57 AM (#6011926)
I would feel much better about the world had Pierce just been fired for being a bad analyst. He was trash.

He was both a bad analyst and bad at TV. Jalen Rose doesn't exactly always have the best takes on things, but he knows how to do television and be reasonably interesting. Also he's only Paul Pierce? Like I get why Shaq is on TNT- he's also a bad analyst and bad at TV, but he's incredibly famous and popular. I can't imagine Pierce is 10% as well known, it never made any sense to me.
   2529. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: April 06, 2021 at 11:10 AM (#6011956)
i enjoyed this.
Ainge confirmed that the Celtics had “numerous talks” with the Rockets to potentially add the Beard, but that “the price was really high for us.” Brian Robb of Boston Sports Journal reported that price: Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and “draft compensation”—probably multiple first-rounders, considering the Nets ultimately gave up four first-round picks for Harden.

It does sound like a pretty high price—but the price of not making the trade is that the Celtics won’t be the best team in their own division for years to come.
...
The Celtics’ involvement in the Davis trade market may be the most impressive thing Ainge has ever pulled off. Even though the Celtics were clearly not a serious destination for Davis, and trading for him likely would have been a disaster, he still managed to get it on the public record that he was fighting to pull it off anyway.
   2530. tshipman Posted: April 06, 2021 at 11:16 AM (#6011957)
He was both a bad analyst and bad at TV. Jalen Rose doesn't exactly always have the best takes on things, but he knows how to do television and be reasonably interesting. Also he's only Paul Pierce? Like I get why Shaq is on TNT- he's also a bad analyst and bad at TV, but he's incredibly famous and popular. I can't imagine Pierce is 10% as well known, it never made any sense to me.


Chasing that studio analyst role, they don't love Pierce like that. Pierce can't get no ESPN analyst show. They don't love him like that. He thought he was Kobe.
   2531. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: April 06, 2021 at 11:23 AM (#6011958)
I can't imagine Pierce is 10% as well known, it never made any sense to me.

There's probably a league constituency for him that we don't get to see.
   2532. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: April 06, 2021 at 11:30 AM (#6011959)
There's probably a league constituency for him that we don't get to see.
ESPN is headquartered in new england; pierce played some of his career in boston.
   2533. tshipman Posted: April 06, 2021 at 12:26 PM (#6011976)
Wait, you mean Kendrick Perkins isn't the best guy to be a studio analyst?
   2534. jmurph Posted: April 06, 2021 at 01:26 PM (#6012007)
Perkins seems good at the main job of an ESPN studio person, which is to say ridiculous things for his fellow panelists to argue with. Now I'm not sure why ESPN has defined the role that way, it seems to be the crowd they're going for.

I guess the bigger question is why ESPN just continuously sucks at getting an interesting group of people together to talk about basketball.
   2535. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 06, 2021 at 02:10 PM (#6012029)
I feel like ESPN has been trying to reverse-engineer the success of the TNT crew for years now without any actual plan to do so, so they just cycle through ex-players, seeing who catches on. It's not clear how they evaluate their NBA talking heads at all, or what exactly they are trying to accomplish.

For a bit more Celtics talk, as that's what we all desire, here's a Primer RT:
Chris Forsberg
Truly unbelievable how health and safety protocols continues to affect this team.

Celtics were at 131 player-days lost through Sunday. Twenty more than the next closest team. More player-days lost than the 10 lowest impacted teams COMBINED.

@celtics
#NEBHInjuryReport update vs. Philadelphia:

Evan Fournier (Health & Safety Protocols) - OUT
Tristan Thompson (post Health & Safety Protocols reconditioning) - OUT

   2536. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 06, 2021 at 02:13 PM (#6012031)
To follow up on that, I looked a bit for the overall numbers for that and found a Tableau workbook.

Top Five in absences:
Boston 131
Dallas 111
Toronto 105
Miami 104
Minny 95

Lowest Five:
Indy 2 (how??)
Cleveland 7
New Orleans 7
Atlanta 8
Detroit 8
   2537. jmurph Posted: April 06, 2021 at 03:10 PM (#6012046)
It's gonna be a major bummer if a playoff team gets hit with it at the wrong time.* Hopefully nearly all the players will have been vaccinated by that point.

I assume they're relaxing the protocols for those who have been fully vaccinated (in terms of sitting out games for contact tracing)? Not sure I've seen anything about that.

(EDIT: Obviously for health reasons, too, of course. Just thinking about team implications here.)
   2538. asinwreck Posted: April 06, 2021 at 03:20 PM (#6012049)
Somehow, it felt like the Wolves were the leaders in COVID missed time. I'm surprised they aren't in the top four.
   2539. tshipman Posted: April 06, 2021 at 03:40 PM (#6012054)
Tristan Thompson being out is a benefit to the Celtics, though. You gotta subtract his days missed from the total.
   2540. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: April 06, 2021 at 04:10 PM (#6012062)
Hopefully nearly all the players will have been vaccinated by that point.

I'm kinda pessimistic about how many players will end up getting vaccinated...I know the NBA is trying to educate and encourage, but...
   2541. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 06, 2021 at 04:34 PM (#6012068)
I'm kinda pessimistic about how many players will end up getting vaccinated...I know the NBA is trying to educate and encourage, but...


Among healthy people, only idiots won't vaccinate. So ... yeah, you are probably right. No reason NBA players should be smarter about it than the regular population.
   2542. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 06, 2021 at 04:46 PM (#6012072)
Tristan Thompson being out is a benefit to the Celtics, though. You gotta subtract his days missed from the total.

I was actually curious about the quality of player side of time missed, but decided to do my actual job instead of trying to parse that out. It would be interesting to weight time missed by player quality and see how that list looked.
   2543. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 06, 2021 at 05:20 PM (#6012077)
While we're at it, here is the top ten in games missed to injuries this season:
Orlando Magic           15  261
Houston Rockets         14  208
Atlanta Hawks           12  183
Brooklyn Nets           14  176
Cleveland Cavaliers     12  175
Sacramento Kings        16  161
Boston Celtics          15  156
San Antonio Spurs       14  154
Memphis Grizzlies       13  152
Portland Trail Blazers  12  151 
   2544. Mike A Posted: April 06, 2021 at 05:22 PM (#6012078)
I'm kinda pessimistic about how many players will end up getting vaccinated...I know the NBA is trying to educate and encourage, but...
I don't know...every single Hawk player that was eligible (14 out of the 17) got vaccinated. And the NBA is providing incentive for the players to get vaccinated in the form of greatly eased rules. I think the rates may be higher than anticipated.
   2545. asinwreck Posted: April 06, 2021 at 06:06 PM (#6012089)
   2546. tshipman Posted: April 06, 2021 at 06:46 PM (#6012094)
I was actually curious about the quality of player side of time missed, but decided to do my actual job instead of trying to parse that out. It would be interesting to weight time missed by player quality and see how that list looked.


I was really just making a joke. I think if you care about player quality, the Heat would probably be right up there in terms of impact, since they've have just about every important player miss time.

I've kind of noticed that people haven't really been digging in on analysis this year. A lot of analysts/podcasters don't really seem to be taking COVID, home court and other factors into account.

The Jazz, for example, look a lot less impressive if you care about some of the outside impact. The Nuggets and the 76ers look more impressive.
   2547. Mike A Posted: April 06, 2021 at 07:05 PM (#6012100)
It's not perfect by any means, but here's payments to injured players:

1. Nets 44.5m
2. Magic 37.5
3. Warriors 32.6
4. Cavs 30.5
5. Rockets 28.4
6. Blazers 25.5
7. Lakers 24.5
8. TWolves 24.2
9. Hawks 24.1
10. Clippers 23.7
.
.
29. Suns 7.5
30. Jazz 5.5

So, yeah, the Suns and Jazz have gotten pretty darn lucky this year all things considered. Nets, not so much, but their situation is obviously a bit different than most. Celtics just miss the 'top' ten at 11th.
   2548. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: April 06, 2021 at 09:50 PM (#6012154)
hot take incoming:
the celtics might not be very good.
   2549. PJ Martinez Posted: April 06, 2021 at 10:21 PM (#6012163)
What gave it away, the losing record or the barely positive point differential?
   2550. asinwreck Posted: April 07, 2021 at 07:36 AM (#6012188)
Trading Theis for Kornet was a clue that this would not be a championship season in Boston.
   2551. PJ Martinez Posted: April 07, 2021 at 08:19 AM (#6012191)
ding ding ding
   2552. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: April 07, 2021 at 11:17 AM (#6012210)
I don't know...every single Hawk player that was eligible (14 out of the 17) got vaccinated. And the NBA is providing incentive for the players to get vaccinated in the form of greatly eased rules. I think the rates may be higher than anticipated.

Glad to hear that about the Hawks. That sounds like the outlier though, at least from the quotes we've gotten so far (I think we talked on this thread about how disappointing LeBron's quotes on the vaccine were). Baseball is in a similar boat.
   2553. asinwreck Posted: April 07, 2021 at 11:49 AM (#6012218)
2545 has pictures of the Wolves' vaccination event.
   2554. jmurph Posted: April 07, 2021 at 01:17 PM (#6012229)
1. I'm bad at comps.
2. I didn't actually watch anything outside the tournament. But:
3. Jalen Suggs as Brandon Roy, a little bit? Slightly smaller, but likely to be a better shooter.

EDIT: Well damnit the actual college watchers have beat me to this, but at least I know it's not crazy.
   2555. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: April 07, 2021 at 01:41 PM (#6012233)
Oh, that's a good one. He seems a bit more athletic than Roy was; regardless, I'm all in on him.

I also see why everyone likes Mobley at USC, that skill at that size is rare. But he's gonna need to put on a lot of weight and I do wonder how that'll impact his game long term. I do like Suggs more than him.

Mitchell from Baylor is really impressive too. Hell, the whole team was impressive but I wasn't exactly watching that from a pro prospect standpoint. From what I watched, no one else really jumped out and quite of few of the other higher ranked guys didn't really have great tourneys.
   2556. Shohei Brotani (formerly LA Hombre) Posted: April 07, 2021 at 03:47 PM (#6012248)
3. Jalen Suggs as Brandon Roy, a little bit? Slightly smaller, but likely to be a better shooter.
The comp I saw was Jason Kidd, which makes sense to me offensively.
   2557. asinwreck Posted: April 07, 2021 at 07:28 PM (#6012310)
Most of the Bulls got vaccinated.
Before embarking on a season-long, five-game road trip, Chicago Bulls players received the COVID-19 vaccine, multiple sources told The Athletic.

Nearly a dozen Bulls players received the vaccine, sources say. The team currently carries 17 players, including a pair of two-way-contract players eligible to toggle between the NBA and the NBA G League.

Players who chose to be vaccinated received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Monday, sources say. Their second dose is scheduled in the coming weeks.
   2558. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: April 07, 2021 at 09:17 PM (#6012324)
I can see why the Wolves drafted Edwards.
   2559. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: April 07, 2021 at 09:30 PM (#6012327)
The comp I saw was Jason Kidd, which makes sense to me offensively.

Hmmmm, I don't see that one. Suggs seems a bit more athletic and likely a better scorer and I don't think he's anywhere near Kidd's league in passing.

----

Random non-basketball thoughts while watching this blowout in Brooklyn
-Aldridge looks like he's put on a lot of muscle since I've last watched him (I haven't watched much SA the last couple of years)
-I may have said this before, but Kyrie looks really skinny (which makes his look much older in the face)
-Zion somehow looks fatter than earlier in the season
-The lighting in that stadium is reflecting quite a bit off Durant's bald spot

----

Happy to be proven wrong so quickly, what with so many positive vaccine stories coming out today. That link isn't just about ATL, there's a bunch of teams in there. Plus I just saw the NBA run a commercial showing a bunch of NBA legends getting their shots. And that's the first I've seen anything on the Bulls (but also they haven't hit the 14 needed yet to have loosened team restrictions).
   2560. Ken Griffey's Grotesquely Swollen Jaw Posted: April 07, 2021 at 10:30 PM (#6012334)
OKC's draft long shot might pay off-- Poku has approximated an NBA player lately and put up 25 and 8 tonight, with 7 threes. He's such an interesting guy to watch.
   2561. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: April 08, 2021 at 09:21 AM (#6012353)
Justin Kubatko @jkubatko
T.J. McConnell last night:
19 PTS
15 AST
2 STL
9-12 FG

Since the NBA started tracking starters in 1970-71, McConnell is the only bench player to record multiple games with at least 15 points and 15 assists in a single season. pic.twitter.com/7kfbo8GM6P

i have no words.
   2562. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: April 08, 2021 at 10:35 AM (#6012361)
Nuggets added Shaq Harrison on a 2 way deal. I think that's a good pickup and fit for what he can do.
   2563. tshipman Posted: April 08, 2021 at 11:50 AM (#6012367)
Poku is such a weird dude. He alternates between looking like an all-star and someone who should not even be in the G-league.

   2564. PJ Martinez Posted: April 08, 2021 at 12:24 PM (#6012369)
The Ringer built an odds machine for playoffs/lottery/seedings.
   2565. asinwreck Posted: April 08, 2021 at 12:31 PM (#6012373)
One last Bulls vaccine tidbit.
@KCJHoop
Thad Young, a lefty, laughingly said he was only player to get vaccine shot for COVID-19 in his right arm.
   2566. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: April 08, 2021 at 05:35 PM (#6012437)
I promise this year's team isn't interesting enough to spill the ink on anyway, they're boringly mediocre.
Tristan Thompson being out is a benefit to the Celtics, though. You gotta subtract his days missed from the total.
hot take incoming:
the celtics might not be very good.

Of the Celtics fans here, I think I might have the most surviving optimism about this year's edition having upside for this season's playoffs; certainly more than PJ and jmurph. This is not to say I am not worried about the clear and present possibility that they are what they have been; just that there are so many unusual aspects to this season (both league-wide and Celtics-specific) that expecting this regular season's problems to be as predictive as normal strikes me as absolutely insane.

I do want to find time to look at seeding vs playoff performance in the lockout-shortened '99 and '12 seasons vs normal, to see if I have any basis to maintain some half-baked hypotheses I hold about what sort of teams are more or less resilient to a compressed regular season and whether those effects remain in the playoffs (main ones being that especially young teams and teams that miss lots of player/games might be most likely to outperform their seed in a compressed season). Obviously the sample size is so small that "weakly suggestive" is about as strong a signal as can be expected, and obviously I should (strongly) suspect myself of bias given my specific hypotheses and the team I root for.

Lastly, since I imagine some folks' eyes have already glazed over from yet more Boston talk, I only included the Tristan Thompson quote because I think he'll be an interesting test case of some of the network effects that determine effectiveness for everyone but MVP sorts. It's clear that the early season center rotation was gumming up the works: no two of Theis, Thompson, and Robert Williams could play together effectively; none was able to separate himself enough to sideline the others (except Timelord, who started the season under a load management scheme); and the overcrowded center spot prevented Grant Williams from getting any minutes as a PJ-Tucker-style microball 5, the only NBA role he's been effective in. (Besides clarifying a rotation ###########, the other basketball benefit to trading away Theis and Javonte Green was to take away Brad Stevens' binkies, forcing him to give less reliable but higher upside prospects more of the center and "high energy wing off the bench" minutes.)
   2567. tshipman Posted: April 08, 2021 at 06:59 PM (#6012478)
What do you mean by "upside in the playoffs"?

Boston is currently the 7th seed, and pretty deservedly so. They should be heavily favored in the play-in, and if seeding holds, would face Philadelphia in the first round.

Is upside winning the play-in? Sure
Is upside beating Philadelphia? I mean, they'd be a heavy dog, but anything is possible in a short series with enough threes and potential injuries.
Is upside making the conference finals? They will not do that.
Is upside making the NBA finals? They will not do that.
Is upside winning it all? This is another thing that will not happen.

There are three teams that are demonstrably better than the Celtics in the East, and a fourth (the Heat) who are probably better and have faced similar injury issues. That's pretty tough to find upside for.
   2568. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: April 08, 2021 at 08:20 PM (#6012503)
Boston is currently the 7th seed, and pretty deservedly so.

May god have mercy on my soul, as I'm going to defend Boston and that's definitely not something they need here - or honestly anywhere - but...they're 1 game behind the 4 seed. Put them in either the 4 or the 5 spot against anyone but Miami* and they're pretty clear favorites to win that round. Then they only have to beat a team with zero defense (if top seedings hold) and they're in the conf finals. So I guess that counts as upside.

*Honestly, I'm not totally sure I'm 100% confident Miami is clearly a better team (I mean, they most likely are, and I'm a huge Butler guy).
   2569. PJ Martinez Posted: April 09, 2021 at 09:12 AM (#6012569)
Yeah, I'd say the conference finals is Boston's upside, if only because Milwaukee has a history of screwing things up in the playoffs. The Celtics are clearly part of the East's mediocre middle, which includes about eight teams. They still have the potential to be the best of those mediocre teams, which would make them the fourth-best team in the conference, with an outside chance at the conference finals. But the gap between the mediocre middle and the East's big three is large.

I'd say Boston's primary competition for that fourth spot are the Hawks and the Heat. Also, Boston could totally finish in the 7-9 range, though I'd put the odds of that at less than 50-50.
   2570. spivey 2 Posted: April 09, 2021 at 09:30 AM (#6012571)
Boston's SRS is 1.85 (10th). I think in any one series they can give one of the big 3 a run if things break right. They also will be reasonably big dogs in every one of those series, so it's a big ask to expect them to win a couple of them in a row.

The thing that really strikes me with them is I feel like Boston had been a team for a good stretch there where they won because of their depth. They seemed to always have solid players on the edges of their team. Their team seems to have no depth now.
   2571. jmurph Posted: April 09, 2021 at 10:04 AM (#6012574)
Boston's SRS is 1.85 (10th). I think in any one series they can give one of the big 3 a run if things break right. They also will be reasonably big dogs in every one of those series, so it's a big ask to expect them to win a couple of them in a row.

This is where I am, too. When the time comes I am certain I will talk myself into them beating one of Philadelphia/Milwaukee/Brooklyn in the first round, but right now I'm expecting either a 1st round exit or a play-in exit. They're just not good enough.
   2572. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 09, 2021 at 12:29 PM (#6012583)
I'm pretty close to IoaWNaT on the Cs, optimism-wise, though time will tell if they get healthy enough to prove us right/wrong about the team's upside. I've felt for a while that the funniest possible outcome, and therefore perhaps what will happen, would be for them to once again make the ECF and lose. That would be 4 out of 5 ECFs reached and lost, each portending somewhat different things for the squad. Really, though, I have no idea what will happen the rest of this season. I think I'm more sanguine about their odds of bouncing back next year, though I'd be happy to be surprised there.
   2573. tshipman Posted: April 09, 2021 at 02:09 PM (#6012602)
Final video in the Ben Taylor greatest peaks series is out.

I don't think it's a spoiler to note that LeBron and Michael are basically in their own category and everyone else has a case for 3rd.
   2574. jmurph Posted: April 09, 2021 at 02:17 PM (#6012604)
That is awesome, thanks for posting. Gonna need to spend some time with it.
   2575. Shohei Brotani (formerly LA Hombre) Posted: April 09, 2021 at 02:53 PM (#6012609)
Final video in the Ben Taylor greatest peaks series is out.
Kinda makes me sad that it's the last one of that series, but all of Taylor's videos are fantastic. Whoever's doing the graphics for him is on point every time.
   2576. Fourth True Outcome Posted: April 09, 2021 at 03:35 PM (#6012612)
I'd somehow missed that video series. Thanks for posting, and I look forward to digging into what I've missed.
   2577. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: April 09, 2021 at 05:51 PM (#6012621)
What do you mean by "upside in the playoffs"?
I mean there is a reasonable chance, though not a guarantee, that they play better in the playoffs than they have in the regular season. I am not suggesting that they have played better than their record to date.

There are equally young rosters; there are a handful of other teams which have had very significant COVID absences; but the only other team near the top of both leaderboards is Minnesota, and they've literally got the worst record in the league. The next closest comp in my mind is Toronto, who went from 53-19 last year to 20-32 now despite relying on fewer rookie contracts than Boston. (Losing both Gasol and Ibaka hurt Toronto more than losing Hayward hurt the Celtics, but I would not reckon it accounts for the entire difference; perhaps I'm overrating how much Baynes has left in the tank.)

Now, maybe my theory that younger teams are less resilient to lack of practice is totally off-base; maybe there is no interplay between this year's various and novel COVID and schedule challenges; or maybe I'm right about the nature of the problem but wrong to suppose that it may be more tractable in the playoffs, when every team has practice time and there are no back-to-backs. I haven't had time to do anything resembling a rigorous inquiry as of yet, though I'd like to, and I still haven't seen or had time to do a look into the two lockout-shortened seasons that could be at least somewhat relevant to understanding this season's unusual dynamics. Maybe I should just say that I strongly agree with this:
I've kind of noticed that people haven't really been digging in on analysis this year. A lot of analysts/podcasters don't really seem to be taking COVID, home court and other factors into account.
   2578. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: April 09, 2021 at 05:55 PM (#6012623)
Anyway, I don't expect anyone to agree with me fully; and in any case, I think it would be more interesting to try to understand transient COVID- and schedule-related issues through a wider lens than just one team. I'll poke at the question in what little free time I have these days.
   2579. jmurph Posted: April 10, 2021 at 09:48 AM (#6012665)
I've kind of noticed that people haven't really been digging in on analysis this year. A lot of analysts/podcasters don't really seem to be taking COVID, home court and other factors into account.

I would say I hear people mention Covid all the time, they just use it selectively to make whatever point they were going to make anyway. Which is generally how most of them treat injuries, too.
   2580. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: April 10, 2021 at 12:22 PM (#6012675)
25173--good video. Thanks for the link. Will watch other ones. A few thoughts:

-I liked what Taylor said about Garnett. As I have said, although I mostly root/ed against them, I think that Garnett and Paul are the two most underrated contemporary greats due to lack of hardware and subtlety of key skills.
-I liked the mention of Walton. Since he is a UCLA guy and SD guy, and since I met him once and he was cool to me, I have a soft spot for Walton. I think most modern fans think of him as a goofball announcer and aren't really aware of how awesome he was in Portland, albeit briefly, and of his staggering college career, which would never happen today. Walton was a NBA player at 18.
-I mostly agree with the order, and I also (reluctantly) agreed with Taylor's comments on Curry and Magic, although if I were starting a franchise, I would still take Magic.
-When the board did the Top 50 list, I sort of participated by doing a Top 10 list of peak and career, so I liked the structure of it.
-On a personal note, Bryant was mentioned a couple of times, and I had not really thought about him lately. I think that in SoCal, the pandemic has, understandably, pulled fans' attention away from his death. Seeing that reminded me of it, and of the fact that his 13-year-old daughter also died in the helicopter crash. Jeannie Buss has announced that fans will be back (20% capacity I think) for the April 15 game against Boston.

   2581. smileyy Posted: April 10, 2021 at 05:08 PM (#6012719)
(Walton's) staggering college career, which would never happen today


Only in women's college basketball, at least until the WNBA loosens up eligibility (which I have no idea why they wouldn't).
   2582. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: April 10, 2021 at 05:29 PM (#6012723)
i don't know what any of this means. is he on drugs, yes or yes?

Joel Embiid @JoelEmbiid
Madrid is playing 532 drop back 1 depth counter and I love it lmao... FIFA 21 has been real all this time @EASPORTSFIFA #ElClasico #Fifa21

   2583. Ken Griffey's Grotesquely Swollen Jaw Posted: April 10, 2021 at 07:05 PM (#6012732)
in a BTF NBA thread crossover event, Alex Rodriguez is buying the Timberwolves for some reason.
   2584. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: April 10, 2021 at 07:15 PM (#6012734)
in a BTF NBA thread crossover event, Alex Rodriguez is buying the Timberwolves for some reason.
take it to the equestrian thread.
   2585. aberg Posted: April 10, 2021 at 08:36 PM (#6012744)
Taylor can't even get selling the team right. Before anyone starts to pretzel logic their way into liking this purchase, remember that this truth is self-evident: arod sucks.
   2586. asinwreck Posted: April 10, 2021 at 08:46 PM (#6012746)
This is a very expensive way to bolster BTF traffic, but I applaud it. Rodriguez and the Wolves is just a perfect marriage.

Please say this means his broadcasting career is over.
   2587. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: April 10, 2021 at 09:21 PM (#6012748)
did i miss jim boeheim getting a job with OKC? because this starting frontline they're putting out is very orangey:

bazley: 6'8, 208
pokusevski: 7', 190 lbs
brown: 7'2, 220 lbs (he's listed 240, but i'm not repeating such a blatant lie. and bazley is not 208, either, fwiw).

   2588. aberg Posted: April 10, 2021 at 10:12 PM (#6012750)
As a Georgetown grad and Seattle resident, the idea of Boeheim coaching OKC makes me almost as mad as Arod buying my favorite team.
   2589. Shohei Brotani (formerly LA Hombre) Posted: April 11, 2021 at 12:20 AM (#6012769)
I was watching baseball, so I didn't see the Lakers game. Someone explain to me how they destroyed the Nets despite KD and Kyrie being in the lineup?
   2590. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: April 11, 2021 at 12:36 AM (#6012770)
If this were April 1, I would immediately assume that the Lakers/Nets score and the ARod/Wolves stories were jokes.
   2591. Thok Posted: April 11, 2021 at 07:55 AM (#6012777)
Is it clear that Arod would be a worse owner then Glen Taylor? Granted, my default assumption is that Arod would be the same level of owner as Michael Jordan, but Taylor is pretty bad.
   2592. asinwreck Posted: April 11, 2021 at 07:57 AM (#6012778)
The Lakers-Nets game was close until Dennis Schroder and Kyrie Irving were ejected early in the second half, at which point the Nets fell apart. Durant is playing limited minutes, so ABC executives probably loved that their marquee matchup had a lot of Chris Chiozza and Jeff Green sparring with Ben McLemore and Markieff Morris.
   2593. KronicFatigue Posted: April 11, 2021 at 11:27 AM (#6012788)
i don't know what any of this means. is he on drugs, yes or yes?

Joel Embiid @JoelEmbiid
Madrid is playing 532 drop back 1 depth counter and I love it lmao... FIFA 21 has been real all this time @EASPORTSFIFA #ElClasico #Fifa21


Real Madrid played Barcelona yesterday. When they play it's dubbed "El Clasico". Madrid winning basically means they'll win La Liga, the top Spanish league.

Soccer formations are described from back to front, so 532 is 5 defenders, 3 midfielders, and 2 forwards. That's an extremely defensive formation, and I presume hyperbole since I didn't see the match.

Within the video game FIFA, there's two ways to play: most people play online in something called "Ultimate team" while others (such as myself) play against the computer in career mode. I'm a casual player, so the "drop back 1 depth counter" is above my pay grade. You can fine tune your tactics to tell the players "how" to play. I'm going to guess "drop back" means that your players retreat back to their defensive shape as soon as you lose the ball, 1 depth means you've minimized your teams depth (vertically on the field) so they stay back, and "counter" is that your offense relies on counter attacks where you only go forward after stealing the ball.

To say it more clearly, Embiid was saying that Real Madrid was "parking the bus" after going up 2-0 and play ultra defensively (some might say cowardly). And he was loving it. And I imagine humans play cowardly once taking the lead in Ultimate Team.
   2594. tshipman Posted: April 11, 2021 at 11:49 AM (#6012793)
I was watching baseball, so I didn't see the Lakers game. Someone explain to me how they destroyed the Nets despite KD and Kyrie being in the lineup?


3pm/A:
LAL: 19/34 (56%)
BKN: 5/27 (19%)

The Lakers played good defense to limit attempts, and also got on the offensive glass and won the turnover game, but the 3p shooting was most of it.
   2595. DCA Posted: April 11, 2021 at 12:20 PM (#6012796)
Madrid winning basically means they'll win La Liga, the top Spanish league.

Atletico is still even on points with Real, with a game in hand. I understand that Atletico is generally considered a half-step back from Real/Barca but I don't think that's true this year. Barca's one point back with a commanding advantage in goal differential. It's completely wide open, but I like Atletico to hold on.
   2596. asinwreck Posted: April 11, 2021 at 03:44 PM (#6012819)
ROY race is a war of attrition.
@wojespn
Warriors center James Wiseman has suffered a meniscus injury in his right knee, sources tell ESPN. No timeline on a return yet.
@wojespn
Warriors are consulting with doctors over next couple of days, but there's certainly an expectation that Wiseman could miss the rest of the regular season, sources tell ESPN. For now, they're still working through a plan of action and timeline.
   2597. tshipman Posted: April 11, 2021 at 03:45 PM (#6012820)
Warriors really shouldn't have built Chase Center on that Indian burial ground.
   2598. KronicFatigue Posted: April 11, 2021 at 04:08 PM (#6012824)
2595

My apologies. I only watched the highlights and the announcer (unofficial, I suppose) said this meant Barca was out of the running. Not only is that not true, but yeah, Atletico is ahead as you mention. I guess I should have looked up the table.
   2599. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: April 11, 2021 at 04:22 PM (#6012825)
If you haven’t yet watched Miles Bridges dunking Capela into oblivion, you owe it to yourself to amend that.
   2600. . . . . . . Posted: April 11, 2021 at 04:26 PM (#6012826)
If you haven’t yet watched Miles Bridges dunking Capela into oblivion, you owe it to yourself to amend that.


and then the hornets promptly lost
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