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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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   301. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: December 30, 2020 at 10:41 AM (#5996588)
Flip.
   302. puck Posted: December 30, 2020 at 10:41 AM (#5996589)
10 turnovers in a game is a lot.
   303. aberg Posted: December 30, 2020 at 02:25 PM (#5996642)
Russillo
@ryenarussillo
·
3h
Jahlil Okafor has the best defensive rating in the NBA

edit: after checking basketbal-ref, that seems to be untrue.
   304. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: December 30, 2020 at 03:37 PM (#5996667)
Casey Holdahl @CHold
I don’t think anyone thought Carmelo Anthony, who missed the Laker game due to “health and safety protocols,” had COVID-19, but the NBA confirms it by stating there have been no positive player tests since Dec. 24.

   305. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: December 30, 2020 at 04:33 PM (#5996690)
Guessing Russillo is using the "on court team defensive rating" version of defensive rating that NBA.com tracks:

https://www.nba.com/stats/players/advanced/?sort=DEF_RATING&dir=-1
   306. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: December 30, 2020 at 04:48 PM (#5996692)
I think we way overstate the difference between organizations that are perceived as smart and organizations are perceived as dumb. So much of what we perceive as intelligence is luck combined with a couple 60-40 decisions that work out and so much of what we perceive as idiocy is bad luck combined with 60-40 decisions that don't work out


I think there is a lot of truth in this, and as I have said many times, timing is a big deal in creating a NBA Championship roster--Durant going to GSW due to the cap spike was a recent example.
   307. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: December 30, 2020 at 05:03 PM (#5996696)
It has always seemed to me like West had a great intuitive sense for how players and skill sets will fit together. He got credit for pushing back on the Warriors trading Klay Thompson in a package for Kevin Love. That seemed insane to me, even to the point that I didn't want Klay back as the centerpiece as a Wolves fan. In reality, Klay became a perfect partner for Curry- he didn't need the ball to be an offensive force and he could guard the best perimeter player on the other team to keep Steph fresh/protected. If the accounts about the negotiations are true, he saw all of that coming together for GSW before those players were even close to their peaks.


Interesting take. Couple of points:

1. There is some back-channel noise that West exaggerates his acumen after the fact, with the Thompson/Love thing and the LakerLore story of the Kobe Bryant pre-draft tryout being the main examples. That may be true, but as I said when Leonard joined the Clippers, one thing West has shown a knack for is connecting with superstar players who are half, a third or a quarter of his age. O'Neal, Bryant and Durant have/had all been very public about how they feel about West. West may play up his role, but IMO West has simply been part of too many good/great teams for it to be coincidence.
2. As I have noted, the best advertisement for his talent judgment was his player acquisition run for the LakeShow teams, which was mostly late/mid 1sts and early 2nds, plus a couple of trades.

   308. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: December 30, 2020 at 05:41 PM (#5996712)
2. As I have noted, the best advertisement for his talent judgment was his player acquisition run for the LakeShow teams, which was mostly late/mid 1sts and early 2nds, plus a couple of trades.


The Jerry West/Vlade/smoking thing always makes me laugh.
   309. aberg Posted: December 30, 2020 at 05:58 PM (#5996722)
Probably due to my age and when I became more cognizant of front office dealings, West really cemented his reputation in my mind when he wrung 50 wins out of the Grizzlies. He took over a franchise that had never won more than 25 games in its first 7 or 8 years. They had Gasol, Battier, and some semi interesting pieces that were certainly not enough to build a playoff team. He hired Hubie Brown, who played through Gasol in the interior and built a good offense. He brought in a bunch of guys who could shoot and play defense, or could at least impact the game without the ball in their hands- Mike Miller, James Posey, Bo Outlaw, Bonzi Wells, Earl Watson, Welsey Person. It wasn't a drastically different roster, but they went from 23 to 28 to 50 wins from the year before he was hired to his second season.
   310. JJ1986 Posted: December 30, 2020 at 08:13 PM (#5996770)
Nets/Hawks is going to be first team to 150.
   311. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: December 30, 2020 at 08:15 PM (#5996774)
Feeling pretty good about fake drafting Pritchard at 47. Hope I fake signed him to a team-friendly 4 year deal during fake training camp.
   312. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 30, 2020 at 10:20 PM (#5996822)
Charlotte up by 31 on Dallas approaching the end of the third, and that's with Gadzooks San Leandro having 2 points on 1 of 11 shooting.
   313. spivey 2 Posted: December 30, 2020 at 11:23 PM (#5996839)
I still think the NBA is a great product, and I don't mind the 3 point bombing like some folks, but blowouts are way, way up this year. And not just in games you expect blowouts. Bad teams are blowing out contenders. Contenders are blowing out other contenders. I know not everyone feels this way, but I think the regular season does matter - both from an entertainment and a winning a championship point of view. It's not good for the NBA for so many games to be blowouts. I'm a lot less likely to put a game on the TV or go to a game if a blowout is very likely.
   314. PJ Martinez Posted: December 30, 2020 at 11:35 PM (#5996840)
Blowouts are up, but that seems flukish, no?
   315. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: December 31, 2020 at 12:55 AM (#5996848)
Blowouts are up, but that seems flukish, no?


Yeah, too early to tell. My guess is just a blip. I am sure the various podcasters/analysts have talked about whether no-fans will affect HRC and how if so.

As to Dallas, other than Doncic's phenomenal O skills, they do not look like that good of a team to me. But it's early.
   316. SteveF Posted: December 31, 2020 at 05:15 AM (#5996860)
I think teams are going to be quicker to punt on games this year given the compressed schedule. Coaches (of probable playoff teams, at least) will likely take their starters out for good after the third quarter in 20 point games. That likely doesn't change the outcomes, but it is going to impact the margins of victory.

Of course that's a factual claim. Maybe I'll look at some games from the start of last year and try to see if I can get some anecdata to support it. (Unless someone has already done it?)
   317. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: December 31, 2020 at 06:03 AM (#5996861)
HRC=HCA
   318. tshipman Posted: December 31, 2020 at 12:40 PM (#5996893)
I will admit that the presence of Hillary Rodham Clinton is an under-discussed aspect of home court advantage.
   319. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: December 31, 2020 at 12:47 PM (#5996894)
I still think the NBA is a great product, and I don't mind the 3 point bombing like some folks, but blowouts are way, way up this year. And not just in games you expect blowouts. Bad teams are blowing out contenders. Contenders are blowing out other contenders. I know not everyone feels this way, but I think the regular season does matter - both from an entertainment and a winning a championship point of view. It's not good for the NBA for so many games to be blowouts. I'm a lot less likely to put a game on the TV or go to a game if a blowout is very likely.

Well, weird offseason for everyone - shorter than usual for some, much longer than usual for others. No summer league, no real off-season programs, virtually no time between draft/FA and training camp starting, then a condensed training camp and preseason, plus all the other #### going on in everyone's lives. Wasn't one theory about shooting being up in the bubble because of the better sight lines (and that it was the same for everyone all the time)? Well, now everyone is playing in empty arenas so that surely impacts different people differently. All that, plus as Steve said, the different and compressed schedule....there's no *one* thing as much as there's just a ton of little things. So I think we're going to continue to see a bunch of weird, crazy, and bad #### this regular season.

I have a feeling the playoffs will be "normal" and we'll get closer to that as the season goes on.
   320. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: December 31, 2020 at 02:10 PM (#5996907)
I think teams are going to be quicker to punt on games this year given the compressed schedule.


I think that's right even aside from Load Management. I mean, you look at Dallas getting blasted in the third quarter against the Hornets, and they end up with nobody playing 30 minutes. Jaylen Brown scored 42 points in a 19 point win, and only played 29 minutes.
   321. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 31, 2020 at 03:07 PM (#5996912)
I mean, you look at Dallas getting blasted in the third quarter against the Hornets, and they end up with nobody playing 30 minutes.


Not a bad showing, given that Terence Hill is 81.
   322. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 31, 2020 at 03:13 PM (#5996913)
I think it's also worth noting that 20 points is not actually as much of a blowout as it used to be (because of more possessions and higher variance per possession in this era). Like, if you're down 20 at the half, it's much easier to come back from that than it would have been in 2000, and also a final score differential of 20 does not suggest as much of a one-sided game as it would have.
   323. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: December 31, 2020 at 03:58 PM (#5996919)
I will admit that the presence of Hillary Rodham Clinton is an under-discussed aspect of home court advantage


Yes, I was in a political convo on another thread, and I think that my aging brain failed to multi-task.

Good points in 319. The sched and the weird environment will obviously have effects that cannot be foreseen; more blowouts may well be one.

   324. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: December 31, 2020 at 06:56 PM (#5996938)
Rob Perez @WorldWideWob
Cash.
pic.twitter.com/c1ws6LzLzg
   325. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: December 31, 2020 at 07:20 PM (#5996940)
sixers up 32 with 6 minutes left in the 2nd quarter. ho-hum.
   326. Hombre Brotani Posted: December 31, 2020 at 07:48 PM (#5996943)
Yeah, see, I'm not tuning in to see if the Magic can close that 35-point halftime deficit.
   327. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: December 31, 2020 at 07:51 PM (#5996944)
Yeah, see, I'm not tuning in to see if the Magic can close that 35-point halftime deficit.
"if". hah
   328. Hombre Brotani Posted: December 31, 2020 at 08:15 PM (#5996947)
A coaches challenge 53 seconds into the Pelicans-Thunder game. Kinda feels like you wanna save those for a little bit later on.
   329. smileyy Posted: December 31, 2020 at 08:26 PM (#5996948)
That's the 4-0 Orlando Magic y'all are dissing.
   330. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: December 31, 2020 at 08:31 PM (#5996950)
That's the 4-0 Orlando Magic y'all are dissing.
i would like the record to show that i expected the sixers to blow their lead and lose by double digits.

they did not.
   331. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 31, 2020 at 08:37 PM (#5996952)
Ben Simmons AND Dwight Howard hit a 3 pointer tonight for the sixers
   332. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: December 31, 2020 at 09:03 PM (#5996953)
John Schuhmann @johnschuhmann
Austin Rivers made his Knicks debut & at first, a couple of guys didn't realize that he's on their team now. pic.twitter.com/STwzh2oSir
   333. . . . . . . Posted: December 31, 2020 at 11:24 PM (#5996963)
3 for 36. 3 for ###### 36.
   334. Hombre Brotani Posted: January 01, 2021 at 01:45 AM (#5996965)
Karl-Anthony Towns
@KarlTowns

From my family to you 2020,

#### You.

-KAT
   335. smileyy Posted: January 01, 2021 at 03:27 AM (#5996970)
I think the Mavs may regret losing Seth Curry.
   336. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 01, 2021 at 06:43 PM (#5997029)
Eric Woodyard @E_Woodyard
Chandler Hutchison has tested positive for coronavirus, according to Bulls coach Billy Donovan. He remains in Washington. His other teammates Lauri Markkanen, Ryan Arcidiacono and Tomas Satoransky are under the league’s health and safety protocol and are back in Chicago.

   337. asinwreck Posted: January 01, 2021 at 07:48 PM (#5997033)
Satoranský has a shot to miss more games due to coronavirus (without actually having coronavirus) of any player this season. This is his second time in the protocol over the past month.
   338. tshipman Posted: January 01, 2021 at 09:31 PM (#5997053)
Marc Gasol has been a way better fit than I anticipated.
   339. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: January 01, 2021 at 10:10 PM (#5997061)
2021 Standings
Pistons 1-0
Celtics 0-1
   340. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 01, 2021 at 10:33 PM (#5997067)
2021 Standings
Pistons 1-0
Celtics 0-1
and the sixers did not lose a game in philadelphia for all of 2020.
   341. puck Posted: January 01, 2021 at 10:59 PM (#5997070)
So, good 3pt pct against (that is, the defensive number) is supposed to regress. How about a bad number? Theoretically if you never closed out on anyone out there, your opponent could shoot really good. The Nuggets were allowing 43% headed into this game, and in teh 3rd the Suns are 11 of 27. I guess that's kind of regressing to the mean.
   342. puck Posted: January 01, 2021 at 11:40 PM (#5997079)
Suns finished 13 for 35.. Nuggets still lost. Gary Harris is 3 for 20 from the 3pt line for the season.
   343. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 02, 2021 at 01:02 AM (#5997081)
The Vertical @YahooSportsNBA
Melo moves ahead of Tim Duncan into 14th place on the all-time scoring list
pic.twitter.com/7Hn6x3VqqK
   344. Tin Angel Posted: January 02, 2021 at 02:02 AM (#5997082)
Was Kelly Oubre ever actually good?
   345. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: January 02, 2021 at 11:09 AM (#5997105)
Good lord the Wolves are terrible. Wow.
   346. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: January 02, 2021 at 04:56 PM (#5997148)
Well, they don't have Towns right now, and looking at the box score I see that Washington was 55% on FGs and 48% on 3s. For the Anti-Westbrook types, he didn't play in the game for the Wizards.
   347. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: January 02, 2021 at 05:12 PM (#5997150)
On a Lakers note: Tonight would be a good night to "load manage" James; he went 35 minutes last night in SA, and they had to come from behind in the 4th. As we have discussed a few times, I think the best argument against guys sitting out is that fans pay to see these guys and it may be the only time they get to see the greats in person. But on Planet COVID, that is ofc not an issue. But James has been pretty negative about taking nights off, so we'll see.
   348. smileyy Posted: January 02, 2021 at 05:24 PM (#5997151)
Well KATs defense probably wouldn't have helped quell that offensive output from Washington.
   349. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: January 02, 2021 at 06:36 PM (#5997156)
The problem is roster construction, and Russell, who is wow bad these days.
   350. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 02, 2021 at 07:16 PM (#5997164)
most people don't know this, but bismack biyombo is still in the NBA. and he's starting games.
   351. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 02, 2021 at 07:32 PM (#5997165)
i... am starting ....to not hate .......tobias harris.


i don't like this feeling.
   352. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: January 02, 2021 at 07:32 PM (#5997166)
Yeah, Russell has been awful, but it is, ofc, early.
   353. tshipman Posted: January 02, 2021 at 08:13 PM (#5997169)
most people don't know this, but bismack biyombo is still in the NBA. and he's starting games.


This Bismack Biyombo clip is really great.
   354. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 02, 2021 at 08:17 PM (#5997170)
This Bismack Biyombo clip is really great.
can confirm.

also: zone is for cowards.
   355. SteveF Posted: January 03, 2021 at 07:56 AM (#5997198)
In fairness to Biyombo, there was only 18 seconds left on the shot clock.
   356. tshipman Posted: January 03, 2021 at 05:20 PM (#5997255)
Just some beautiful basketball in Detroit. Down 1, with under a minute to go, Detroit calls timeout and goes to a Mason Plumlee post up.
   357. smileyy Posted: January 03, 2021 at 05:37 PM (#5997261)
They had to call a play for one of their centers, didn't they?
   358. smileyy Posted: January 03, 2021 at 05:42 PM (#5997264)
The Biyombo video would only be better if he played for the Knicks, right after they ignored Austin Rivers in the exact same corner.
   359. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 03, 2021 at 06:39 PM (#5997267)
Just some beautiful basketball in Detroit. Down 1, with under a minute to go, Detroit calls timeout and goes to a Mason Plumlee post up.

It worked out oddly enough.
   360. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 03, 2021 at 06:51 PM (#5997269)
They had to call a play for one of their centers, didn't they?
i can neither confirm, nor deny, that i am a consultant with the detroit pistons.
   361. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 03, 2021 at 06:57 PM (#5997271)
Harrell has screamed out "And-1" multiple times in this game and I am surprised that he has not been T'd up as a result.

Jayson Tatum has averaged fewer than 3 FTA/g so far this year and did not shoot a free throw today despite having an excellent game overall. He averaged 7.5 FTA/G in the playoffs last year. Small sample but interesting nonetheless.
   362. tshipman Posted: January 03, 2021 at 07:45 PM (#5997273)
Harrell has screamed out "And-1" multiple times in this game and I am surprised that he has not been T'd up as a result.


If we give out Ts for screaming And-1, Dion Waiters and Draymond would just be permanently suspended.
   363. asinwreck Posted: January 03, 2021 at 07:56 PM (#5997276)
The Bulls have announced he's tested positive.
Satoranský has a shot to miss more games due to coronavirus (without actually having coronavirus) of any player this season. This is his second time in the protocol over the past month.
   364. smileyy Posted: January 03, 2021 at 08:13 PM (#5997277)
Jaylen Brown sure is scoring a lot so far.
   365. asinwreck Posted: January 03, 2021 at 08:30 PM (#5997280)
The Wizards have a two-game winning streak, having forced enough turnovers by the Nets to narrowly win.
   366. Tin Angel Posted: January 03, 2021 at 10:14 PM (#5997288)
Oof those Brooklyn uniforms are atrocious.
   367. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 03, 2021 at 10:32 PM (#5997290)
Kanter is just so bad on defense. He's game but he's just too slow.

Steph Curry having a brilliant game.
   368. Hombre Brotani Posted: January 03, 2021 at 10:42 PM (#5997291)
Steph and Lillard putting on a show.

Steph just got 50.
   369. asinwreck Posted: January 03, 2021 at 11:04 PM (#5997297)
And he finished with 62. I started to wonder if he'd make more 3s than Portland.
   370. Powderhorn™, moonstruck rascal Posted: January 03, 2021 at 11:08 PM (#5997298)
He finishes with 62. I guess the rust is gone. I don't know what to make of this team.
   371. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 03, 2021 at 11:09 PM (#5997299)
He finishes with 62. I guess the rust is gone. I don't know what to make of this team.

their best player hasn't played a meaningful game in nearly two years, plus he's over 30, coming off an injury, and the rest of the team has changed completely over from when they were competitive. also: wiggins.

either it's going to take some time to come together, or it's never going to come back together at all, and they're going to trade steph curry for tobias harris at the deadline.
   372. tshipman Posted: January 03, 2021 at 11:55 PM (#5997302)
Huh, I guess Steph can put a bad team on his back.
   373. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 04, 2021 at 01:33 AM (#5997308)
Huh, I guess Steph can put a bad team on his back.

And the game before, the Blazers beat the Warriors by 25 points and the Warriors were -27 with Curry on the floor. Before last night night, the Warriors were -17.9 ORTG with him on so far this season. That game was the 3rd time this season the Warriors had lost by 25 points and prior to tonight the Warriors had only been competitive against the Bulls and Pistons, teams thought to be the dregs of the league.

This was an impressive game by a guy who I think is at worst a top-15 guy now, and a top-10 guy in his prime. I think he's the greatest shooter in NBA history. I also think he has benefited from having the perfect situation to thrive and that he's closer to Damian Lillard than he is to one of the top-20 guys in NBA history.

I am happy to be proven wrong and I will change my opinion. I will be very impressed if Steph can lead this team into the second round of the playoffs.
   374. Tin Angel Posted: January 04, 2021 at 02:48 AM (#5997310)
This was an impressive game by a guy who I think is at worst a top-15 guy now, and a top-10 guy in his prime. I think he's the greatest shooter in NBA history

I am happy to be proven wrong and I will change my opinion.


What I don't understand is what you are trying to prove. That Curry is not as good as LeBron? As far as I know absolutely no one thinks or is saying he ever was.
   375. . . . . . . Posted: January 04, 2021 at 11:24 AM (#5997328)
so my beloved Michigan Wolverines have sort of lucked into a rare breed these days - a legit, game changing, run-the-offense-through-the-post center. Hunter Dickinson.

He has little-to-no chance to be more than a backup big at the next level. He's unathletic, plays below the rim, is a mediocre shooter (~70%FT), and god is he slow.

But.

He absolutely transforms the offense. He's marvelously coordinated and skilled from the midrange and in. Get him the ball virtually anywhere, any time on the clock and he can turn it into a 55% shot. He is currently shooting 71.8% (!!), which reflects a blend of his phenomenal efficiency turning nothing into something and then 100% success with all of his cleanup, rebounds, etc that a big usually gets. He rebounds well, his coordination give him some ability to block/alter shots despite about as much bounce as a ball of clay.

Even at the college level, he needs to be covered for on defense. He can't guard stretch bigs, let alone a smaller guy on a switch.

But his value in making the Michigan offense work is so massive that the defensive hit is an easy trade to make, particularly at the college level where there's almost always one offensively useless big to hide him against when playing man.

It's weird to see a guy like this. There aren't many left even at the college level. And he's single-handedly taken what should've been a middling UM team that was shaping up for an off year - I would've pegged them preseason as a 5 seed - and now they look like (both stats and eye test) top 10.

To bring it back to discussion thread - seeing how much impact high usage high efficiency scoring has, even if that's all a guy has to offer, I can totally buy Curry as a top-10 guy notwithstanding his warts.
   376. aberg Posted: January 04, 2021 at 11:55 AM (#5997331)
A few things I have noticed jumping around games early in the season.

-Phoenix has been impressive to me. I think they're probably a little better than the morass at the bottom of the Western playoff field (San Antonio, Sacramento, probably NO and GS). Chris Paul makes everyone's job a lot easier, especially Ayton. Bridges is a useful defender at a young age and the Crowder/Saric PF combo makes some sense. I think this team is more likely to win a playoff series than finish outside the top 8.

-I don't like the way New Orleans is playing. They play so much through Ingram at the expense of making things easy for Zion. It feels like they're trying to de-emphasize Zion in their half-court offense. I guess that's the natural consequence of playing him full time with a rim-bound center like Adams. It's also pretty easy to scheme against a Lonzo/Bledsoe backcourt. The level of talent is high but it feels like they're trying to keep games close rather than play the best they can.

-The Wolves are definitely awful without Towns. I'm a little more patient because hardly any of these guys have played together and got basically no training camp. Still, I would expect Russell to be able to offer something. The small silver lining is that Edwards looks better than I expected and Culver has shown signs of growth.
   377. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: January 04, 2021 at 12:01 PM (#5997333)
The Wolves are definitely awful without Towns. I'm a little more patient because hardly any of these guys have played together and got basically no training camp. Still, I would expect Russell to be able to offer something. The small silver lining is that Edwards looks better than I expected and Culver has shown signs of growth.

It's just a total failure of roster construction, though. Like, any team would be hurting if you take away their best player, but ... where are the power forwards? I expect Juancho to play better eventually, but he is not a quality starting 4. Also, the backcourt logjam looks very bad, and most of that, to me, is on Russell.
   378. aberg Posted: January 04, 2021 at 12:49 PM (#5997344)
It's just a total failure of roster construction, though. Like, any team would be hurting if you take away their best player, but ... where are the power forwards? I expect Juancho to play better eventually, but he is not a quality starting 4. Also, the backcourt logjam looks very bad, and most of that, to me, is on Russell.


I agree that the two biggest faults have been Russell's poor play and the lack of a PF.

Russell isn't that great even when things are going well. His biggest strength is running a spread PNR. They pointed out on last night's telecast that he's doing almost none of that in the minutes he has shared with Rubio. Utah and Phoenix both found ways to run PNRs with Mitchell/Booker while Rubio was on the court, so that's up to Saunders to figure out (so many issues go back to a coaching vacuum with this team). Statistically, Russell has gone to shooting not a lot of FTs to basically shooting none, and a 2/1 A/T ratio to basically 1/1. The latter might have to do with not knowing his teammates or them not playing well. The former seems to be up to him to correct. His shooting numbers have been pretty good. The team has not done a good job protecting him defensively, which is even harder with Okogie out. In a bigger sample, I think the FTs and playmaking improve and he gets back to being an average to above-average scoring guard.

I doubt the FO thinks the PF question has been answered. I know they were connected to a handful of guys in the offseason- Millsap, Nance, Aaron Gordon. The archetype is obviously someone with size who can help KAT defend on the back line. I'm sure they'll be opportunistic going after that type of player if one becomes available. Hernangomez + Layman + small lineups looked like an ok stopgap to me, then those two guys have played MISERABLY and Okogie (who was probably the wing best suited to fake it) got hurt.
   379. aberg Posted: January 04, 2021 at 12:57 PM (#5997349)
As a follow-up, I think most of Rosas's moves have been very solid. The one that seemed questionable at the time was the Culver pick for Saric and the Cam Johnson pick. He allegedly wanted Garland there, which is a fascinating counter-history. Culver has not been very good and there are valid reasons for concern about his development. Saric would really fit well on this roster and Johnson's shooting would slot in nicely in the front court. If they didn't like Johnson, the next two picks off the board were Tyler Herro and PJ Washington (ugh).
   380. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: January 04, 2021 at 01:28 PM (#5997355)
As a follow-up, I think most of Rosas's moves have been very solid.

I agree with this. I also think that the problems here are ones of coaching, and obviously nobody thinks that this roster is settled, but RHJ would, uh, look pretty good out there.

And I do think that Saunders is in over his head, here.
   381. tshipman Posted: January 04, 2021 at 01:38 PM (#5997360)
I mean, what has Rosas gotten right?

Giving up a pick to get Russell is kind of a nightmare.

He traded RoCo for a first, which is like, okay, not great, considering he traded that first plus a second to get off James Johnson and pick up Rubio.

He drafted Cam Johnson who looks maybe decent, but traded him for Jarett Culver who um, does not look decent.

He drafted Anthony Edwards 1 overall, and it's too soon to tell with him.

Rosas has not made many big moves, and the moves he has made have not been good (except Anthony Edwards is too soon to tell). Every good move has been counterbalanced with a second poor transaction.
   382. jmurph Posted: January 04, 2021 at 01:47 PM (#5997361)
Towns is spectacularly talented on offense, but if he can't actually anchor a defense playing as the only big, I think there's a very low ceiling for his teams.

So I guess that leads me to wonder if Wiseman shouldn't have been the choice.
   383. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: January 04, 2021 at 01:49 PM (#5997362)
I think that Russell is significantly better a fit with Towns than Wiggins was. Better enough a fit to be worth the risk on the pick? That's debatable.
   384. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: January 04, 2021 at 01:50 PM (#5997363)
He finishes with 62. I guess the rust is gone. I don't know what to make of this team.


I love this kind of weird box score:
Draymond Green, 27 minutes, 1 point, +22

   385. aberg Posted: January 04, 2021 at 02:01 PM (#5997364)
He traded RoCo for a first, which is like, okay, not great, considering he traded that first plus a second to get off James Johnson and pick up Rubio.


Also got Beasley in that trade, along with his RFA rights, which allowed them to sign him to a decent deal. I think that trade worked well.

I guess most of the compliments are for the fringe moves. McLaughlin looks like a good find off the scrap heap. Reid is a very nice bench big for being an UDFA. Nowell has shown promise as a 2nd rounder. None of those are big things, but seems to indicate an eye or talent.

You're right that he doesn't have that many "big" things so far. If Edwards truly hits, that will be meaningful. Getting off the Wiggins contract was a coup, in my mind, but if Russell doesn't give them anything, it's not worth much.
   386. tshipman Posted: January 04, 2021 at 02:13 PM (#5997365)
I guess most of the compliments are for the fringe moves. McLaughlin looks like a good find off the scrap heap. Reid is a very nice bench big for being an UDFA. Nowell has shown promise as a 2nd rounder. None of those are big things, but seems to indicate an eye or talent.


To me, I was not a fan of the AntEdwards pick, so I see him as getting the big things wrong. The coach is bad. The team is built around Towns, who may never carry a team. They traded for Towns' buddy to get him to stay. They picked a guy 1 overall who doesn't like basketball. I am pretty critical of the big decisions, so I view the small stuff as being unimportant.

In many ways, this is perhaps an inverse of the discussion around Pelinka. Fans are very critical of the little stuff with Pelinka, but the big decisions have all worked out.
   387. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 04, 2021 at 02:53 PM (#5997374)
It is too early to tell on the Edwards pick (but thankfully it appears he does NOT have Wiggins disease), and I was down on the Culver pick, there have been some encouraging signs on that front.

He inherited Towns and getting rid of Wiggins and pick, while getting Town's guy is, I think, basically a wash. Don't undersell how bad Wiggins, his fit, and contract were for the Wolves. Russell is just meh with some small upside. Wiggins was much worse IMO.

Overall it is way too early to give a grade for Rosas. He gets another year or so to shape the roster and see how his picks pan out.
   388. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 04, 2021 at 03:22 PM (#5997381)
In many ways, this is perhaps an inverse of the discussion around Pelinka. Fans are very critical of the little stuff with Pelinka, but the big decisions have all worked out.

"hey lebron, want to take a year off, while your best friend helps his client ruin another franchise for us?"
   389. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: January 04, 2021 at 03:45 PM (#5997385)
With the caveat that we have no idea what deals were on the table for the #1 pick, I am sort of OK with Edwards. Like, in my ideal world, they could've moved down for a future asset and someone like Vassell or Okoro.
   390. jmurph Posted: January 04, 2021 at 03:58 PM (#5997387)
It's a shame Harden is doing... well whatever it is he's doing, because I've kind of enjoyed this Rockets team. They're weird and don't necessarily fit, but Christian Wood has looked really good, Wall has shown flashes (though has not been good yet), Sterling Brown has looked useful, etc. I haven't seen Cousins yet, and I guess it looks like he might just be done, but if can give any decent bench minutes that would be interesting.

I'm not saying they're a contender as presently constructed by any means, but if Harden was actually in shape and committed I think they could put together a pretty decent team this year.
   391. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 04, 2021 at 04:05 PM (#5997388)
Chris Grenham @chrisgrenham
Tobias Harris (23.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg on 57.1% FG) takes home Eastern Conference Player of the Week. Jaylen Brown misses out on the honor -- he averaged 29.5 points on 67.1% FG (51.9% 3PT), 4.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2 steals in four games last week.

Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps
Tobias Harris, who was named this week's Eastern Conference Player of the Week, has followed through on Doc Rivers' repeated insistence over the past few weeks to make quick, decisive decisions, rather than holding the ball. One of several early encouraging signs for the Sixers.

Stefan Bondy @SBondyNYDN
Joe Tsai’s former business partner goes missing after calling for Chinese economic reforms nydailynews.com/news/world/ny-…
   392. tshipman Posted: January 04, 2021 at 04:09 PM (#5997391)
It's a shame Harden is doing... well whatever it is he's doing, because I've kind of enjoyed this Rockets team. They're weird and don't necessarily fit, but Christian Wood has looked really good, Wall has shown flashes (though has not been good yet), Sterling Brown has looked useful, etc. I haven't seen Cousins yet, and I guess it looks like he might just be done, but if can give any decent bench minutes that would be interesting.

I'm not saying they're a contender as presently constructed by any means, but if Harden was actually in shape and committed I think they could put together a pretty decent team this year.


It's kinda funny--I watched the Rockets for about a quarter against the Kings and it was the most I've enjoyed watching a Rockets game in some time. The ball moved, and they played really good basketball on offense.

I think that Wood makes them better in the regular season, but in a weird way, takes away from their ceiling in the playoffs. They were such a weirdo team last year, but kind of terrifying in that they didn't play like anyone else, which made them a real matchup problem, and gave them real advantages.

***

Re: Harris: I told you that as soon as they played him at the 4 he would be good. He was basically this guy whenever he played at the 4 last year.
   393. jmurph Posted: January 04, 2021 at 04:10 PM (#5997392)
Tobias Harris, who was named this week's Eastern Conference Player of the Week, has followed through on Doc Rivers' repeated insistence over the past few weeks to make quick, decisive decisions, rather than holding the ball. One of several early encouraging signs for the Sixers.

In my opinion it was bad coaching for Brett Brown to demand that Harris play like trash for a year and a half.
   394. jmurph Posted: January 04, 2021 at 04:12 PM (#5997394)
It's kinda funny--I watched the Rockets for about a quarter against the Kings and it was the most I've enjoyed watching a Rockets game in some time. The ball moved, and they played really good basketball on offense.

Yeah same (I watched most of that game)! They're genuinely fun.

I think that Wood makes them better in the regular season, but in a weird way, takes away from their ceiling in the playoffs. They were such a weirdo team last year, but kind of terrifying in that they didn't play like anyone else, which made them a real matchup problem, and gave them real advantages.

This could definitely be true, but I think Wood might just be really good playing with good guards.
   395. aberg Posted: January 04, 2021 at 04:43 PM (#5997400)
It's a shame Harden is doing... well whatever it is he's doing, because I've kind of enjoyed this Rockets team. They're weird and don't necessarily fit, but Christian Wood has looked really good, Wall has shown flashes (though has not been good yet), Sterling Brown has looked useful, etc. I haven't seen Cousins yet, and I guess it looks like he might just be done, but if can give any decent bench minutes that would be interesting.


I'm glad someone brought up Wood. He has been one of the most fun players early this year. There are lots of bizarre players with fantasy basketball upside who never turn into actually good players (Chris Boucher's combo of blocks and threes tops the list right now). It's fun to see Wood making that leap. He also might have the sknniest arms in the league and still goes to the rim ferociously. It looks like he's going to get fouled and snap his ulna.

I will withhold judgment on whether he lowers their playoff ceiling. I don't think there's enough evidence one way or another on what you can do with a team around Harden in the playoffs- the successes and failures have been on a razor's edge. If the way they played last year demands too much of him on offense for him to keep up his level across seven games, then the ceiling wasn't that high anyway.

Also, Boogie has looked kinda good in what little I've seen of him.
   396. jmurph Posted: January 04, 2021 at 05:12 PM (#5997407)
I will withhold judgment on whether he lowers their playoff ceiling. I don't think there's enough evidence one way or another on what you can do with a team around Harden in the playoffs- the successes and failures have been on a razor's edge. If the way they played last year demands too much of him on offense for him to keep up his level across seven games, then the ceiling wasn't that high anyway.

I would lean this direction too, for now, he just gives them another scoring look.
   397. asinwreck Posted: January 04, 2021 at 05:23 PM (#5997410)
He also might have the sknniest arms in the league

The arms on the Thunder's 1st round pick from this year make Bol Bol's arms look like Shaq's by comparison.
   398. Powderhorn™, moonstruck rascal Posted: January 04, 2021 at 05:33 PM (#5997411)
their best player hasn't played a meaningful game in nearly two years, plus he's over 30, coming off an injury, and the rest of the team has changed completely over from when they were competitive. also: wiggins.

either it's going to take some time to come together, or it's never going to come back together at all, and they're going to trade steph curry for tobias harris at the deadline.
Yes, the sane parts of this are true. I just have many, many questions about this team:

How bad of a shooter is Oubre? He's not this bad. Nobody is. I wonder where the line is between "fine, I'll take it" and "you are unplayable in the playoffs". His career 3%, counting his 2 for 30 so far this year, is .323. That's still bad. But can he get up to, say, .340? I'd be happy with that.
How do you get Wiggins to stop shooting long 2s? Some sort of shock collar, maybe?
Can anybody on this team rebound? Wiseman, what about you?
What is an offense with the greatest shooter ever and four guys who cannot shoot at all going to look like? Steph can't do this every night.

The defense will get better as guys learn to play together. I like Wiseman a lot. He looks like he'll be a killer roll man. I don't see much offensive upside from anybody else, though.
   399. tshipman Posted: January 04, 2021 at 06:18 PM (#5997418)
The Warriors right now are just suffering from an extreme amount of 3p variance.

They are shooting 31.7%, and opponents are shooting 42.5%. Both of those numbers will improve as guys rebound off career worst performances.

If we regress both to a 36% league average number (maybe you should project them to shoot worse than league average, maybe better, it's hard to say), we'd have their offense at 114.6 points per game, and their defense at 121.2.

So we should be clear that this is still potentially a bad team. They need both regression and improvement to contend for the 8-10th spot, although the schedule has been challenging so far.
   400. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 04, 2021 at 08:02 PM (#5997426)
this sixers team might be the 3rd or 4th best in my lifetime.
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