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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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   401. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 04, 2021 at 08:09 PM (#5997428)
and ryan.
   402. jmurph Posted: January 04, 2021 at 08:24 PM (#5997433)
Basketball coaches seem to universally believe the mask is important except for when they need to speak.
   403. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 04, 2021 at 08:25 PM (#5997434)
bismack biyombo has been in the NBA for 10 years.
   404. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 04, 2021 at 08:26 PM (#5997435)
Basketball coaches seem to universally believe the mask is important except for when they need to speak.
it's very weird.

and the chin-diaper look is not aesthetically pleasing.
   405. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 04, 2021 at 08:28 PM (#5997437)
Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater
Steve Kerr on Luke Walton's scheme vs Curry tonight after the 62-pointer: "I'm expecting something crazy from Luke tonight. Box-and-1, triangle-and-two. I don't know."

   406. Powderhorn™, moonstruck rascal Posted: January 04, 2021 at 08:35 PM (#5997438)
Oh, and unrelated point, but as I watched Steph and Dame upfake guys into giving them 3 cheap free throws, I was annoyed. Neither the jumping into a guy while pretending to try to shoot nor the free throws are fun to watch. It's a tacky way to create offense. I'd prefer to make it a 2-shot foul again until the last x minutes of the game (so teams can't sit on a lead with cheap fouls).
   407. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 04, 2021 at 08:49 PM (#5997440)
Oh, and unrelated point, but as I watched Steph and Dame upfake guys into giving them 3 cheap free throws, I was annoyed. Neither the jumping into a guy while pretending to try to shoot nor the free throws are fun to watch. It's a tacky way to create offense. I'd prefer to make it a 2-shot foul again until the last x minutes of the game (so teams can't sit on a lead with cheap fouls).
yup; the late-game carve-out isn't even needed.
   408. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 04, 2021 at 09:03 PM (#5997441)
Derek Bodner @DerekBodnerNBA
It's so weird watching so many people who can dribble.

   409. smileyy Posted: January 04, 2021 at 09:21 PM (#5997443)
[400] Tyrone Hill isn't walking through that door :D
   410. NJ in NJ Posted: January 04, 2021 at 09:28 PM (#5997445)
Not gonna lie...I NAILED that Quickley pick.
   411. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 04, 2021 at 09:32 PM (#5997446)
Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck
Doc Rivers on the changes/re-emphasis with mask-wearing NBA is instituting on benches: "Well obviously I haven't done a good job because I got fined $10,000"

[400] Tyrone Hill isn't walking through that door :D
matt harpring isn't walking through that door
   412. tshipman Posted: January 04, 2021 at 09:35 PM (#5997447)
I guess I was way too optimistic about Toronto.
   413. tshipman Posted: January 04, 2021 at 10:49 PM (#5997460)
Jesus the Golden State/Sacramento game is ugly when Fox and Curry are out.
   414. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: January 05, 2021 at 12:38 AM (#5997474)
"Too early" will be my theme here, esp. in this environment but opinions:

Phoenix: Their improvement has been more on D than on O, but they are Top 10 in both ORTG and DRTG. I remain a believer in Chris Paul between the lines.
Houston: In three games, Harden has a 35.8 PER and an 11.1 OBPM--again, people can say what they want, but the guy is not just very good on O
--he is one the greatest guards ever on that side of the ball. Houston is 21st in DRTG, though. Cousins has a 6.6 PER and his on/off is -19. I do not like Houston's roster and I think Harden will likely be gone before the end of the year.
Minnesota: As most here know, Towns has lost seven family members to COVID, including his mom. I would suggest that this on some level affects the whole team. I have always defended Russell, as I usually do with guys who can score some, but he has been awful. Edwards looks OK to me , and I think that he is doing fine so far given his age and situation, but based on seeing them once each, I would take Wiseman. They are bottom five on both sides of the ball as per BaskRef, but if any team needs more time, it is Minnesota.
New Orleans: They are 21st in ORTG but 3rd in DRTG. Not that surprising for a team that plays Lonzo Ball and Steven Adams 61 minutes a game, and carrying the weaknesses that the Lakers had when they Ball, Ingram and Hart, NO is 25th in 3p% and 28th in FT%.

I have never been sold on either Brandon Ingram or Jaylen Brown, and they still don't look all that impressive to me when I see them. But they are both putting up some numbers.

   415. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 05, 2021 at 03:07 AM (#5997485)
As most here know, Towns has lost seven family members to COVID, including his mom
wait, what????

   416. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: January 05, 2021 at 04:48 AM (#5997486)
Yeah, Towns and his family were hit unbelievably hard. Poor dude.
   417. asinwreck Posted: January 05, 2021 at 08:50 AM (#5997491)
He lost his uncle a month ago and did an interview about the toll the virus has taken on his family.
   418. NJ in NJ Posted: January 05, 2021 at 09:11 AM (#5997496)
I have never been sold on either Brandon Ingram or Jaylen Brown, and they still don't look all that impressive to me when I see them. But they are both putting up some numbers.

Agree with you on Jaylen Brown. Feels like unsustainably hot shooting. I really like what I've seen from Ingram so far this year though
   419. jmurph Posted: January 05, 2021 at 09:19 AM (#5997497)
Pssshhhhh, of course Brown is now a 43% 3pt shooter, you guys are crazy.
   420. jmurph Posted: January 05, 2021 at 09:25 AM (#5997499)
I guess I was way too optimistic about Toronto.

It's only 5 games, but considering how he faded last season, too, the Siakam thing must be pretty worrying to the Raptors.
   421. Paul d mobile Posted: January 05, 2021 at 09:48 AM (#5997502)
As a Raptors fan, I'm sort of writing this season off - second consecutive session where they're not playing at home has got to be pretty tough. There does seem to be something weird going on from a chemistry perspective, and I also wish OG looked better, but I think I'll give them a pass (although being bad will probably make it harder to sign a free agent). This year's draft is supposed to be good, right?

Do the Sixers want Lowry for Thybulle and filler? Lowry makes a lot of money, but would help a team out.

Alternatively, they trade for Harden and we see what happens. Siakam struggling doesn't help their case for Harden though.
   422. PJ Martinez Posted: January 05, 2021 at 10:04 AM (#5997506)
Pssshhhhh, of course Brown is now a 43% 3pt shooter, you guys are crazy.
The real fluke in Brown's shooting is probably mid-range: he's taking more shots from 10 feet out to the three point line than he did last year and hitting seventy percent of them, rather than forty-something. No way that holds up. (Meanwhile he hit 38 percent of six threes a game last year, which isn't *that* different from 43 percent on five a game, though presumably some regression is coming.)

His assist percentage has also soared, even beyond what you'd expect (I think?) given his increased usage. Maybe that's sustainable? Some improvement seems likely, in any case; his passing, which has been a weakness, is improved.

He's not going to average 27 a game or finish with a 26 PER, but he will probably be better than he was last year.
   423. PJ Martinez Posted: January 05, 2021 at 10:07 AM (#5997507)
Do the Sixers want Lowry for Thybulle and filler? Lowry makes a lot of money, but would help a team out.
I had the same thought, but was thinking it was the Raptors who would decide that's not enough, even with the Sixers throwing in a first-rounder (which would be low, of course). Lowry for Thybulle, Green, Scott, and Poirier seems to work salary-wise, for what it's worth.
   424. Paul d mobile Posted: January 05, 2021 at 10:11 AM (#5997508)
I think Lowry's gone at the end of the year. If at the end of Jan it doesn't look like the Raptors will be a playoff team, I think they'll have to start seriously thinking about getting a return for him.
   425. jmurph Posted: January 05, 2021 at 10:16 AM (#5997510)
He's not going to average 27 a game or finish with a 26 PER, but he will probably be better than he was last year.

Yeah he's looked good and I will just be happy to ride the hot shooting while it lasts. I hope he doesn't fall in love with the mid range, but the little floater range stuff looks improved. We'll see, I'll take whatever extra offense they can get while Kemba is out, true talent level or not!
   426. spivey 2 Posted: January 05, 2021 at 10:43 AM (#5997515)
I've not watched much of Toronto, but I wouldn't be too worried just yet. They have mostly the same core. They lost Ibaka and Gasol for Baynes, which is a downgrade, but not a huge one imo.

They probably overperformed a bit from 3 last year, and look to be significantly underperforming this year. They're also shooting a ridiculous 45 3s per game, so a few percentage points is actually a pretty big deal. Lowry is getting old, but he doesn't seem to be the reason, at least statistically, that they're struggling.
   427. spivey 2 Posted: January 05, 2021 at 10:45 AM (#5997517)
I was clicking around basketball-ref and I see Orlando is listed at first in attendance with 12k fans for the year. With 4 home games, that's 3k/game, which is not nothing given the capacity of most stadiums.

That's crazy to me.
   428. jmurph Posted: January 05, 2021 at 10:50 AM (#5997519)
They lost Ibaka and Gasol for Baynes, which is a downgrade, but not a huge one imo.

I continue to think it was a pretty big downgrade. Ibaka and Gasol gave them 53 minutes a game last year. Baynes is only a 20 minutes per game guy. So far some of the extra minutes are going to Boucher, who has been good, and the rest to Len, who does not look good so far (that's roughly the 53 minutes to replace Ibaka/Gasol). Still really really early, but I think that's a thing that could hurt them.
   429. jmurph Posted: January 05, 2021 at 10:51 AM (#5997520)
I was clicking around basketball-ref and I see Orlando is listed at first in attendance with 12k fans for the year. With 4 home games, that's 3k/game, which is not nothing given the capacity of most stadiums.

That's crazy to me.

Wow. I have no idea how gameday revenue works- are they just banking way more money than the other teams, or is a big chunk of it shared?
   430. jmurph Posted: January 05, 2021 at 11:07 AM (#5997523)
I continue to think it was a pretty big downgrade. Ibaka and Gasol gave them 53 minutes a game last year. Baynes is only a 20 minutes per game guy. So far some of the extra minutes are going to Boucher, who has been good, and the rest to Len, who does not look good so far (that's roughly the 53 minutes to replace Ibaka/Gasol). Still really really early, but I think that's a thing that could hurt them.

My dumb person math actually undersells this a bit, because Boucher was obviously giving them minutes last year, so he needs to replace those, too. I will not start over and make another, new dumb math mistake, so I'll just say it appears to be a downgrade and they haven't necessarily replaced all those minutes, which could be a problem this season.
   431. NJ in NJ Posted: January 05, 2021 at 11:23 AM (#5997527)
The JJ Barea episode of the JJ Redick podcast is so good.
   432. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: January 05, 2021 at 12:28 PM (#5997537)
   433. JC in DC Posted: January 05, 2021 at 12:31 PM (#5997539)
NJinNJ: Great call on IQ. Man, I love watching him run the team. And, unless I was deceived by the one game, he plays or seems bigger than I thought he was. (IOW, he doesn't seem incapable of switching defensively 1-2.)
   434. Paul d mobile Posted: January 05, 2021 at 12:36 PM (#5997542)
432 - my butcher is convinced that Kawhi is coming back to Toronto. Like, knows it in his soul that Kawhi has already committed to coming back. Somehow this is because Ibaka left? I am expecting him to end up disappointed.
   435. spivey 2 Posted: January 05, 2021 at 01:24 PM (#5997545)
Did your butcher also think Giannis was signing with Toronto?
   436. NJ in NJ Posted: January 05, 2021 at 01:28 PM (#5997546)
NJinNJ: Great call on IQ. Man, I love watching him run the team. And, unless I was deceived by the one game, he plays or seems bigger than I thought he was. (IOW, he doesn't seem incapable of switching defensively 1-2.)

Yep. 6'10" wingspan. I don't think he's a PG because I don't think his handle is tight enough, but he's got pretty good vision and is just a really intelligent player (on both ends, fitting for a guy with his initials).
   437. aberg Posted: January 05, 2021 at 01:34 PM (#5997548)
I've not watched much of Toronto, but I wouldn't be too worried just yet. They have mostly the same core. They lost Ibaka and Gasol for Baynes, which is a downgrade, but not a huge one imo.


I'm a little worried about Siakam. There were questions going into next year if he had the ability to be a first option in a half-court offense since so much of what he did previously came in transition or during breakdowns. It started out ok (but still leaned on his transition game) and got much worse when the games slowed down in the bubble. On the other hand, FVV seems to have kind of seized the role as their offensive leader. Siakam's usage ticked down from 28 to 24 from last year to this (I believe it was even higher pre-bubble). FVV has gone from 21 to 24. In his five years in the league, FVV's FGA have gone 3-7-9-14-18. Points and rebounds have gone up every year. Shooting has stayed steady or even improved. Is he really good enough to be a first offensive option? They might need it if Spicy P doesn't get his mojo back.
   438. Paul d mobile Posted: January 05, 2021 at 01:35 PM (#5997549)
Did your butcher also think Giannis was signing with Toronto?

Not in the same way. He was hopeful, but didn't 'know', the way he 'knows' that Kawhi is coming back.
   439. PJ Martinez Posted: January 05, 2021 at 02:28 PM (#5997557)
How good do people think Anunoby can be?
   440. jmurph Posted: January 05, 2021 at 02:44 PM (#5997559)
How good do people think Anunoby can be?

Maybe it's just because he seems to play well against Boston every time I see them, but I like him a lot. If he's an average-ish shooter from 3 while being a pretty versatile defender, he can fit with every team even though he doesn't look like he could be a top 3 scoring option. He'll even do things on the move without the ball in every game that make me wonder why that isn't a bigger part of their approach, but I guess I trust their coaching staff to know whether or not he's capable of more.
   441. JC in DC Posted: January 05, 2021 at 02:59 PM (#5997561)
Yep. 6'10" wingspan. I don't think he's a PG because I don't think his handle is tight enough, but he's got pretty good vision and is just a really intelligent player (on both ends, fitting for a guy with his initials).


From last night's game (eye roll appropriate!), I concluded he could play point. His dribble was a bit high and loose, and I was really surprised the Hawks never tried to pressure it at all. Maybe they don't have anyone who can, I guess. I was shocked they let him bring it to the 3-line unimpeded. But, boy, he does a few things very, very well, including shooting, the push shot, and drawing contact. One thing I've noticed is his shot has a bit of "suddenness": he gets it up a beat early.
   442. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 05, 2021 at 03:00 PM (#5997562)
How good do people think Anunoby can be?
brad stevens' jae crowder.
   443. tshipman Posted: January 05, 2021 at 03:05 PM (#5997563)
How good do people think Anunoby can be?


Good player, but pretty overrated. He's a 3/D wing who is just slightly above average at both of those things. Does not appear to have a ton of room for growth in his game. Good comp to: Trevor Ariza, Danny Green, Wes Matthews.
   444. NJ in NJ Posted: January 05, 2021 at 03:18 PM (#5997564)
From last night's game (eye roll appropriate!), I concluded he could play point. His dribble was a bit high and loose, and I was really surprised the Hawks never tried to pressure it at all. Maybe they don't have anyone who can, I guess. I was shocked they let him bring it to the 3-line unimpeded. But, boy, he does a few things very, very well, including shooting, the push shot, and drawing contact. One thing I've noticed is his shot has a bit of "suddenness": he gets it up a beat early.

I think it was a combo of (a) the Hawks lack the personnel and (b) he's a guy who moves at a very different cadence/gait than expected so it will probably take the league a bit to adjust to his rhythms. Agree with you on his floater. It's a really nice in-between weapon that guys usually don't have this early in their career. On his shot, I actually find the release on his spot up shooting to be...not sure if it's quite slow, but it feels averagish maybe slightly below. At the same time, he's really explosive in terms of sensing there's an opportunity for contact and getting something that looks like a legitimate shot attempt up. It's weird.
   445. Paul d mobile Posted: January 05, 2021 at 03:19 PM (#5997565)
The best hope for Anunoby is that he's only 23.
   446. tshipman Posted: January 05, 2021 at 03:31 PM (#5997569)
From Windhorst:


Within the league office, sources said officials have floated the price tag of $2.5 billion each for two expansion teams in the near future. Unlike other major revenue streams such as TV and ticket money, expansion fees are not split with players. Such a haul could mean about $160 million per team, a windfall that could wipe out the massive debt load that's piling up, and that alone has perked interest in the expansion path.


Holy cow.
   447. NJ in NJ Posted: January 05, 2021 at 03:38 PM (#5997571)
[446] Cuban mentioned that on his last appearance on the Simmons podcast.
   448. SteveF Posted: January 05, 2021 at 03:43 PM (#5997574)
I have a higher opinion of Anunoby's defense than those that have posted, but I agree he's likely limited on offense to being a good catch and shoot guy.
   449. asinwreck Posted: January 05, 2021 at 03:44 PM (#5997575)
With the Allen family and Steve Ballmer already spoken for, what Pacific Northwest plutocrat will unlock the vault for a Seattle expansion franchise?
   450. tshipman Posted: January 05, 2021 at 03:47 PM (#5997576)
I dunno, does Jeff Bezos want to own an NBA team, and is he willing to cough up some ashtray money?
   451. spivey 2 Posted: January 05, 2021 at 03:52 PM (#5997579)
I agree with tshipman's post. Anunoby is also a very weak FT shooter and 50% of his 3s come from the corner over his career. He's also been a pretty low volume guy until this year, where he's sucked from 3 (though it's only been 6 games). Basically, I don't see him as a guy we should really expect to be able to ramp up the 3pt volume meaningfully, and I'm not comfortable classifying his 3pt ability as any more than average - at best - given the low volume and that they're taken so heavily in the corner.

Danny Green at his best was a better volume 3pt shooter and doing much of it above the break. Ariza had more offensive versatility.

Anunoby is just an ok rotational wing, and I think he'll hang around a while doing that, but his deficiencies are so large, it's hard to see where the growth comes from.
   452. tshipman Posted: January 05, 2021 at 04:01 PM (#5997582)
The one good thing about Anunoby is that he's a weirdly good finisher (edit: at the basket).
   453. jmurph Posted: January 05, 2021 at 04:21 PM (#5997587)
The one good thing about Anunoby is that he's a weirdly good finisher (edit: at the basket).

Yeah that's what I mean, I always end up wondering why they don't do more of that, he seems capable.

On the comparisons: Ariza didn't get to double digits per game until his 6th season (he was only a year older than Anunoby by BBRef age), but had also been traded around by then. He didn't have an above average 3pt shooting year until later. Danny Green was clearly a much (much) better shooter than Anunoby, but more limited elsewhere on offense. I think I'd put Mathews in a higher category of scorer than any of these other guys. But yeah big picture, if he can score more frequently and in more ways than just catch/shoot from the corner, I don't think it's hard to imagine him being around 13-15 points a game while playing solid defense, which seems pretty useful to me. This year, his 4th, is probably the time you'd like to see that growth happen, though, so I get the skepticism, too.
   454. SteveF Posted: January 05, 2021 at 04:26 PM (#5997588)
Some of the finishing is probably Toronto's system. They get out a bunch in transition and (at least the past few years) played 5 out in the half court. That's a pretty good recipe for finishing at the rim at a high percentage.
   455. tshipman Posted: January 05, 2021 at 04:52 PM (#5997595)
I don't think it's hard to imagine him being around 13-15 points a game while playing solid defense, which seems pretty useful to me.


The problem is that he isn't really *that* good on defense.

Like, you can put him on the big wings, but it's not clear that's he's very good at it. His on/off was negative on defense in both the regular season (barely) and the playoffs (pretty significantly) last year. He was also negative in 2019, and hugely negative in the 2018 playoffs (while being a slight positive in the 2018 regular season).

He's not really a guy you feel great about guarding LeBron/KD/Kawhi, he's just not awful there.
   456. smileyy Posted: January 05, 2021 at 05:31 PM (#5997601)
Just curious, who in the NBA would you feel "great" about covering those guys?
   457. tshipman Posted: January 05, 2021 at 06:19 PM (#5997607)
Iguodala, Jimmy Butler, Marcus Morris, DORT, those guys.
   458. smileyy Posted: January 05, 2021 at 07:48 PM (#5997615)
Thanks for the list! Iggy's "defense" probably isn't there anymore, and even when it was it was pretty hacktastic.

Is Dort really that good? (Asking seriously)
   459. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 05, 2021 at 08:01 PM (#5997616)
Thanks for the list! Iggy's "defense" probably isn't there anymore, and even when it was it was pretty hacktastic.
i don't remember iguodala having foul issues. i do remember reading an interview (i think it was with zach lowe, and i'm pretty sure it happened, literally, a decade ago) where he said that if someone pushed off on him, he'd grab their arm because he knew the refs wouldn't call it.

also, add ben simmons to that list, because he's as good at it as anyone.
   460. asinwreck Posted: January 05, 2021 at 08:01 PM (#5997617)
The Nets lost to Washington, which I note while watching them up 28-7 on the Jazz in the first quarter. The Jazz are currently shooting 13%.
   461. smileyy Posted: January 05, 2021 at 08:11 PM (#5997619)
I was referring to the very physical "D" he played on Lebron when Iggy won Finals MVP. It's likely that the situation you mentioned happened a lot.
   462. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: January 05, 2021 at 09:22 PM (#5997622)
Went crazy and dropped $28 for a month of League Pass just in time for EVERY GAME to be decided by 20 points or more
   463. asinwreck Posted: January 05, 2021 at 09:22 PM (#5997623)
Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen are dominating the Jazz at both ends of the court. DeAndre Jordan getting into immediate foul trouble was the best thing to happen to Brooklyn tonight.
   464. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 05, 2021 at 11:08 PM (#5997631)
Is Marcus Morris good at defense against guys like KD/Kawhi/LeBron, or does he have the reputation as being good? I remember really not doing much to slow down LeBron in the 2018 ECF and I don't remember him being all that good against him at other times.

I have a dislike for Marcus Morris that may be irrational, like a lot of my positions apparently.
   465. smileyy Posted: January 05, 2021 at 11:11 PM (#5997632)
Irrational takes can make fandom more fun.
   466. Tin Angel Posted: January 06, 2021 at 02:07 AM (#5997640)
Jokic is awesome.
   467. JC in DC Posted: January 06, 2021 at 08:59 AM (#5997647)
[444] You're right. It's his cadence. It's funky. People will get used to it, but for now it's funky. His three point form is goofy, but not broken. It's a little lower than ideal, and a little slow, but his timing is what I was calling sudden. Regardless, he's a rotation player at least, and that's quite a find for the team.
   468. jmurph Posted: January 06, 2021 at 09:01 AM (#5997648)
The only guys I feel comfortable putting on LeBron, Durant, and Kawhi for big minutes are LeBron, Durant, and Kawhi.
   469. jmurph Posted: January 06, 2021 at 09:06 AM (#5997649)
I assume some have already seen this:
LeBron James @KingJames
Think I’m gone put together an ownership group for the The Dream. Whose in? #BlackVotesMatter

   470. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: January 06, 2021 at 09:12 AM (#5997651)
The only guys I feel comfortable putting on LeBron, Durant, and Kawhi for big minutes are LeBron, Durant, and Kawhi.

This is kind of how I feel? It makes the Dunc'd On style bleating on about how Wing X isn't an NBA player because "you can't put them in against the Big Wings in the later rounds of the playoffs" really grating.
   471. jmurph Posted: January 06, 2021 at 09:17 AM (#5997652)
Agree. And the flipside is that every team (at least that I can think of), has guys you can throw at them for chunks of time. You never feel great about anyone guarding LeBron and Durant, especially, but you do what you can (Kawhi is also great, don't get me wrong, but he's less of a threat to just completely overwhelm a team individually).
   472. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: January 06, 2021 at 09:28 AM (#5997654)
John Schuhmann @johnschuhmann ·30m

Teams are 49-1 when leading by 20+ this season.

The Bulls (!) are the 1 in the 49-1.
   473. spivey 2 Posted: January 06, 2021 at 09:30 AM (#5997655)
I think there is something to be said for can you guard the big guys. Danny Green was an all-NBA defender for a few years but the year Kawhi got hurt at the beginning of the Zaza series, Green was completely overmatched trying to handle Durant. There is an ideal level of length you'd want from your top 2 wing defenders so they can at least challenge shots.

But yes, many of the guys who are the best defenders in crunch time are also the best offensive players, because the gifts that make them the best defenders make offense easier for them as well. There are a few exceptions, of course. Roberson was a good example. But he was so bad offensively you wonder sometimes if it was even worth it to play him.
   474. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: January 06, 2021 at 09:33 AM (#5997656)
To me, the problem is the analysis that assumes two acceptable outcomes for a team's season: winning the title, or getting the 1st pick in the draft.
   475. asinwreck Posted: January 06, 2021 at 09:37 AM (#5997657)
After the Bulls fired Jim Boylen, he served as a consultant on defense for Portland. I feel that fact is relevant to last night's Blazers-Bulls game.
   476. jmurph Posted: January 06, 2021 at 09:37 AM (#5997658)
Danny Green was an all-NBA defender for a few years but the year Kawhi got hurt at the beginning of the Zaza series, Green was completely overmatched trying to handle Durant. There is an ideal level of length you'd want from your top 2 wing defenders so they can at least challenge shots.

Sure but there's at least a 4 inch difference there, not to mention Durant's insane arm length. I just think this is an unfair standard that almost literally no one can meet.
   477. spivey 2 Posted: January 06, 2021 at 09:39 AM (#5997659)
Re: 474

Perhaps I've been reading less NBA media but I feel like I see a lot less of this today than I did ~5 years ago.

Certainly, it's better than baseball where the only acceptable outcome is reducing costs, regardless of team quality.
   478. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: January 06, 2021 at 09:42 AM (#5997660)
469:
Yeah I have sent the pic around. Another reason aside from the obvious that I enjoy James being on my team.
   479. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: January 06, 2021 at 09:44 AM (#5997661)
477-
Yes. I also got more perspective on that issue from comments over the years in this thread.
   480. jmurph Posted: January 06, 2021 at 09:50 AM (#5997662)
I don't know, I listened to some podcasts recently (ESPN, Athletic, Lowe) and the main takeaway was that all the teams in the East are a mess because they can't beat the Lakers. I think that perspective is still out there.
   481. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: January 06, 2021 at 09:52 AM (#5997663)
Perhaps I've been reading less NBA media but I feel like I see a lot less of this today than I did ~5 years ago.

I wasn't paying as much attention then, so. But it's an extremely impoverished way of thinking.
   482. spivey 2 Posted: January 06, 2021 at 10:01 AM (#5997665)
I like the versatility of the Laker's roster, but they're not unbeatable. I think there's just too much lazy analysis that assumes the favorite is unbeatable, or the one team you need to build your roster around to stop. In the Golden State era, that was fine because if you were going to win the title you pretty much guaranteed were going to have to beat them to do it. I also don't see glaring issues with a lot of the top teams' rosters as it matches up with the Lakers.
   483. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: January 06, 2021 at 10:41 AM (#5997675)
I don't know, I listened to some podcasts recently (ESPN, Athletic, Lowe) and the main takeaway was that all the teams in the East are a mess because they can't beat the Lakers
.

This will not be a popular comment, and I have not heard any of this stuff personally (I have been watching a few games again, but not as many and I am not following ancillary stuff nearly as closely--the fanless arenas on Planet COVID give me the creeps and the game is not the same for me) but I will say it anyway: if that sort of thing is being said, then part of that is just Lakers Bogeyman Syndrome. And contra 482, that is in part simply a Lakers thing for some people, not a favorites thing. Didn't happen as much here, for example, even when some guys on the thread were talking daily about Milwaukee's awesome SRS and point differential and I don't think Milwaukee was seen that way by the people/sites mentioned in the quoted post. And, I get people feeling that way: the Lakers have James, they have Davis, and they're the Lakers. Of course they won.

But, in reality, the team last year was 5th in PYTH, and as Lowe has noted, all championship teams catch a few breaks: I think last year's team would have had more trouble--maybe a lot more--if they had had to go through the Clippers and then Milwaukee or Boston than they had with Denver and Miami. The other key for the Lakers was that James was able to hit another gear in postseason, jacking his PER from 25 to 30, and as I said at the time, he may have been helped by the layoff. Different gameboard this time. That is one reason why repeating is hard: each run is different.

So, yeah, I think they are the favorites, but only slight favorites. Again, if James were 30, different story. But he's not.

As to the team-building issue, spoiled by 40 years of Lakers fandom, I was sort of a title-or-bust guy coming into this thread, and I have Lakers fan friends who still experience things that way too. But people also remember the Vlade/Eddie Jones/Van Exel teams fondly, and from seeing other teams on League Pass and reading comments here, I see now that teams doing stuff like winning 55 games and making the conference semis has real value, for many reasons. I think the best example of that in recent years is the Gasol/Conley Memphis teams. They never won the title, or even made the Finals, but they gave the fans there a lot of wins, a lot of memories, and really established the Grizzlies brand in the city of Memphis and probably in the whole state of Tennessee. That is a big deal in sports terms.

   484. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 06, 2021 at 11:19 AM (#5997683)
The only guys I feel comfortable putting on LeBron, Durant, and Kawhi for big minutes are LeBron, Durant, and Kawhi.
idk, i think some other guys like ben simmons, draymond green, robert covington, jahlil okafor, mo harkless are more than capable of doing work against even the top tier of giant wings.


then again it does always kind of just come back to the idea that your team's problem isn't that it needs a "lebron stopper", the problem is that it needs lebron.
   485. jmurph Posted: January 06, 2021 at 11:35 AM (#5997685)
idk, i think some other guys like ben simmons, draymond green, robert covington, jahlil okafor, mo harkless are more than capable of doing work against even the top tier of giant wings.

Sure I'd probably add Simmons and Draymond to the list, that's fine, but then we're talking some first team all defense guys who can also contribute on offense. There aren't, by definition, many of those out there.

Lots of teams have Roberson types (not quite that extreme, but close), but if you're putting an all defense/no offense guy on the court for 20-30 minutes just to guard LeBron mildly less ineffectively than someone else could, I don't think that's a winning move.
   486. Fourth True Outcome Posted: January 06, 2021 at 12:50 PM (#5997694)
Like anything NBA defense-related, there's some interplay between individual and team defense here too, right? The better the system and players around and behind your LeBron stopper, the less you need that stopper to be up to every challenge. If they're a sieve you'll get roasted even with Gobert lurking etc, but if you have a long defense that can switch everything and rim protection, you have less need of a Tony Allen kind of defender to put the clamps on at the point of attack.
   487. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: January 06, 2021 at 12:57 PM (#5997695)
After the Bulls fired Jim Boylen, he served as a consultant on defense for Portland. I feel that fact is relevant to last night's Blazers-Bulls game.

Absolutely.

I complained here about the Bulls after their first 3 games - the 2 blowouts and the blown game against the Warriors. But they have made honest to god progress in subsequent games. It's very easy to see the differences and improvements in execution in all situations already.

Also, I'm loving Patrick Williams.
   488. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: January 06, 2021 at 01:06 PM (#5997697)
486

Yeah, the more I have tried to learn about defense, it is a team thing in a diff way than O, and perhaps an area where coaches have more impact. I also think that when you are dealing with a James-level guy it may, depending on the personnel on both teams, be better to go with "let him get his" but try to stop other players who are actually stoppable.
   489. spivey 2 Posted: January 06, 2021 at 01:24 PM (#5997699)
Also, I'm loving Patrick Williams.


The Florist!
   490. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 06, 2021 at 03:53 PM (#5997749)
Sure I'd probably add Simmons and Draymond to the list, that's fine, but then we're talking some first team all defense guys who can also contribute on offense. There aren't, by definition, many of those out there.

can someone tell that to everyone who wants to trade ben simmons and 6 draft picks to houston for james harden?
   491. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 06, 2021 at 04:09 PM (#5997753)
Yeah, the more I have tried to learn about defense, it is a team thing in a diff way than O, and perhaps an area where coaches have more impact. I also think that when you are dealing with a James-level guy it may, depending on the personnel on both teams, be better to go with "let him get his" but try to stop other players who are actually stoppable.

organization and cohesion matter a lot to defensive performance, which is one of the reasons why teams can see significant improvement when they switch to a zone. the concepts are simpler, so there's less room to #### up.

effort also makes a big difference, and that is often influenced by coaching/team culture.
   492. jmurph Posted: January 06, 2021 at 04:14 PM (#5997757)
can someone tell that to everyone who wants to trade ben simmons and 6 draft picks to houston for james harden?

Yeah I think I posted here that I thought Simmons basically straight up for Harden was better than anything else they could get (if, in fact, they could get it).

Not sure if that's a good idea for the Sixers or not, I'm just thinking about Houston's end.
   493. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: January 06, 2021 at 05:11 PM (#5997777)
Given the way this season is going, I want Lowry in Philadelphia, instead of Harden. I think he'd be perfect, and the Raps aren't going anywhere.
   494. aberg Posted: January 06, 2021 at 05:56 PM (#5997784)
I identify Lowry with Philadelphia more than probably any other player with a city where he hasn't ever played as a pro. HS in Philly, college in (suburban) Philly, tons of rumors about playing there. It has to happen at some point.
   495. smileyy Posted: January 06, 2021 at 06:06 PM (#5997785)
A little surprised that NBA games are apparently still happening.
   496. aberg Posted: January 06, 2021 at 06:08 PM (#5997787)
A little surprised that NBA games are apparently still happening.


On the other hand, the nation deserves a respite from this Kimye fallout.
   497. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 06, 2021 at 06:14 PM (#5997788)
A little surprised that NBA games are apparently still happening.

it's almost like 'black lives matter' was not a partisan political movement, and it was, in fact, just a group of people who decided to take action because they were fed up with seeing themselves being killed by police for no legitimate reason and without any repercussions.
   498. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: January 06, 2021 at 06:15 PM (#5997789)
Joe Vardon @joevardon
Both Brad Stevens and Erik Spoelstra, in their pregame remarks on this historically sad day for our democracy, cited the decision not to prosecute in the Jacob Blake shooting as ‘disheartening'
Rod Boone @rodboone
James Borrego said although they are professionals, it's tough to play a game tonight in the wake of what's going on in Washington. Also said it's difficult to not be with his family on days like this. "This is bigger than basketball," he said.
Chris Fedor @ChrisFedor
#Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff on the footage of Wednesday's events at the U.S. Capitol 'It’s a disgrace, a stain on our democracy. I mean, it’s saddening. It’s disgusting, to be honest with you" cleveland.com/cavs/2021/01/j…
Chris Kirschner @ChrisKirschner
Lloyd Pierce's full quote on what transpired in DC today. "Racism is real. The issues are real. The protests are real. What we’re seeing now is a sad reality that our country has yet to reckon with and acknowledge. For those who didn’t believe it, I hope you believe it now." pic.twitter.com/TalkM0Mvoa

   499. smileyy Posted: January 06, 2021 at 06:16 PM (#5997791)
Apologies if I planted a seed of the odious OT:P here and also it seems relevant.
   500. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: January 06, 2021 at 07:21 PM (#5997805)
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