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Friday, October 15, 2021

NBA 2021-2022 Season Thread

I estimate there are maybe 10-12 Primates left on this site, and none of us want to post this thread.

Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 15, 2021 at 11:39 AM | 1250 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: get me out of philly, nba, off top

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   1. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 15, 2021 at 12:52 PM (#6046664)
We can start doing predictions here, if you'd like.
   2. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: October 15, 2021 at 01:08 PM (#6046675)
With another short off-season, I predict more injuries.
   3. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 15, 2021 at 02:10 PM (#6046686)
this past Tuesday, the dam finally broke, and the Nets announced that Irving was, effectively, no longer a member of the team for as long as he remained noncompliant with New York City’s vaccine protocols. It’s worth pausing to reflect on just how bizarre this all is: Imagine an injured player who could return to play instantly with an extremely simple medical procedure, and yet the player refused the procedure, for reasons he refused to explain. That is essentially what’s happening here
...
Irving’s aunt recently gave an interview to Rolling Stone that was riddled with anti-vax talking points and referred to Anthony Fauci as “Dr. False-y.” A story in the Athletic earlier this week quoted a source close to the guard speaking on Irving’s desire to be “a voice for the voiceless,” an absurd claim for a number of reasons, not least of which being that Irving himself had thus far refused to speak on the matter.
...
Thus far Irving’s vaccine refusal has led him to be celebrated by the likes of Donald Trump Jr. and assorted Fox News personalities. Irving might prefer to see himself as a Muhammad Ali–like hero of conscience, but the people currently lionizing him are the sort of people who, in 1967, would have clamored for Ali to be imprisoned. Irving’s not obligated to disavow the full-throated support of Sen. Ted Cruz—a cynical opportunist who stands in opposition to nearly every cause Irving believes in—but not doing so is a personal choice, too.

   4. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: October 15, 2021 at 03:35 PM (#6046697)
Irving believes in aliens and Cruz believes in nothing. I'm not sure those are opposed, so much as orthogonal to one another.
   5. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 15, 2021 at 05:02 PM (#6046715)
Trying to make sense of this #### is wearying.
   6. aberg Posted: October 15, 2021 at 05:36 PM (#6046719)
Trying to make sense of this #### is wearying.


The NBA: Come for the epidemiological lessons, stay for the multi-variate ideological sorting. It's faaaannnntastic.
   7. CFBF is Obsessed with Art Deco Posted: October 15, 2021 at 05:45 PM (#6046722)
I keep reading things about how smart and thoughtful Irving usually is, and I guess that's fair enough considering some of his past. But I have to say, it sure seems like he's taking a dumbass, incomprehensible position for dumbass, incomprehensible reasons, and the desire to find something deep and meaningful about it is kind of entering Chauncey Gardiner territory.
   8. asinwreck Posted: October 15, 2021 at 06:43 PM (#6046725)
Orlando signed Wendell Carter Jr. to a 4 year, $50 million extension.
   9. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 15, 2021 at 07:07 PM (#6046727)
Keith Pompey @PompeyOnSixers
Tyrese Maxey, Seth Curry, Furkan Korkmaz, Georges Niang and Andre Drummond will start for the #Sixers tonight vs. #Pistons
Keith Pompey @PompeyOnSixers
#Sixers coach Doc Rivers said he expects Ben Simmons to be at Sunday’s practice.



i think it's fair to assume that anyone not in tonight's lineup will be preparing the 'code red' for this weekend.
   10. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: October 15, 2021 at 07:20 PM (#6046732)
I keep reading things about how smart and thoughtful Irving usually is


Funny, I keep hearing about how he believes the earth is flat, despite the fact that he can actually see the curvature of it out the window of the team plane dozens of times a year, every year.

EDIT:

Chauncey Gardiner


Yeah, that seems about right.
   11. tshipman Posted: October 15, 2021 at 07:45 PM (#6046739)
EAST:
Tier 1--the true contenders:
1. Milwaukee
2. Brooklyn

Tier 2--question marks:
3. Philadelphia
4. Hawks
5. Miami
6. Boston

Tier 3--not good teams who maybe have a shot to move up:
7. Indiana
8. Chicago
9. Toronto
10. Charlotte
11. New York Knicks

Tier 4--these are not good teams
12. Washington
13. Detroit
14. Orlando
15. Cleveland

West:
Tier 1--the true contenders
N/A

Tier 2--question marks
1. Utah
2. Lakers
3. Phoenix
4. Denver

Tier 3--Really hard to tell right now
5. Dallas
6. Golden State
7. Portland
8. LA Clippers

Tier 4--not good teams who could move up
9. Memphis
10. San Antonio
11. Sacramento
12. New Orleans

Tier 5--bad teams
13. Houston
14. Timberwolves

Tier -1000--guaranteed to be bad or your money back:
15. OKC
   12. DCA Posted: October 15, 2021 at 08:29 PM (#6046748)
How are the Lakers with LeBron and Davis not true contenders? Yeah, LeBron will eventually become mortal, and both are moderate injury risks, but there's no better top two if they are both healthy.
   13. Hombre Brotani Posted: October 15, 2021 at 09:40 PM (#6046782)
Funny, I keep hearing about how he believes the earth is flat, despite the fact that he can actually see the curvature of it out the window of the team plane dozens of times a year, every year.
Some people only see what they want to see.
   14. MHS Posted: October 15, 2021 at 09:52 PM (#6046785)
T-ship great list! Thanks for posting the only 3 minor quibbles I have is I think I’d move the bulls down, knicks up and lackers down but all staying within the same tier.

How are the Lakers with LeBron and Davis not true contenders?


IMHO it’s because it’s all relative to Brooklyn and Bucks. Everyone in the west should be a prohibitive dog to either.

Mosses, thank you for posting. Loved the intro.
   15. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: October 15, 2021 at 10:13 PM (#6046787)
It wouldn't surprise me if Toronto moves Siakam or Van Vleet and goes towards a rebuild. That's not based on anything except neither of them looks to be good enough to lead a contender.

I liked Carter coming out of Duke, thought he could be a better pro than Bagley. He hasn't improved at all, but he's an okay rotation piece.
   16. asinwreck Posted: October 15, 2021 at 11:04 PM (#6046799)
Game 3 of the WNBA Finals is fun if you're a Sky fan. A great defensive performance in front of a packed building has them one win away from their first championship.

This one was over by halftime. Final 86-50.
   17. tshipman Posted: October 16, 2021 at 12:36 AM (#6046838)
How are the Lakers with LeBron and Davis not true contenders? Yeah, LeBron will eventually become mortal, and both are moderate injury risks, but there's no better top two if they are both healthy.


Lakers went 0-a million in preseason and Russ looked awful. That's pretty much it. I think they'll figure it out, but they have to answer some questions IMO.

Thanks for posting the only 3 minor quibbles I have is I think I’d move the bulls down, knicks up and lackers down but all staying within the same tier.


All of those are reasonable. I think I would have had the Bulls much lower before preseason. The Knicks I have lower not for any reason that I can really articulate. I just think they weren't as good as they played last year.
   18. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: October 16, 2021 at 12:53 AM (#6046840)
The "Lackers": I have been dealing with a lot of stuff in my life/work and have watched 0 minutes of ball so far, but like I said after the Westbrook deal, I could see this year being Dwightmare on South Figueroa Street 2 and the preseason has had some of the same vibes (and results) as 2013. Westbrook is 33 and James will be 37 in December; Davis has health concerns obviously. It's that simple. The Lakers could win the title or they could go 42-40.

League: The off-season was noisy, but in many ways, not much changed since no Top 10 guys switched teams. With that and the Irving situation, Milwaukee should be the favorite for the same reasons I picked them to make the Finals last year: they have a superstar who is still in his physical prime, last year Middleton and Holiday gave him enough help, they caught a few breaks like every champ does, and there it is. As to Brooklyn, Durant is 33, Harden is 32, both have health concerns, and Irving won't get vaxxed and thinks the world is flat. Brooklyn's floor is not as low as the Lakers's, but they are not as solid a bet as Milwaukee.

I will be watching Chicago closely, due to the preseason awesomeness and Ball and Caruso being there.
   19. spivey 2 Posted: October 16, 2021 at 10:44 AM (#6046848)
I think Brooklyn is still the favorite. I think there's still some chance that Kyrie gets vaccinated or traded that helps Brooklyn. At least 25%, I'd say.

And even without him, I think if Harden and Durant are 100% going into the playoffs, they're still the favorite. They've got good role players.

Now, the Bucks are more physical and healthy, so I think they're close just by virtue of I feel much more confident of what you're going to get from them in the playoffs. More likely to be healthy, outstanding defense, kill teams on the glass, shaky half court offense. That's a very good, but not elite, playoff team. So Brooklyn's best is better, imo.
   20. Rally Posted: October 16, 2021 at 03:13 PM (#6046913)
Re: Flat earther

Kyrie Irving was born in Australia. He has lived in worked in the US. I’d be interested in knowing which route he took, East or West, to get from Australia to the US, and which direction leads to falling off the edge of the planet.
   21. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: October 16, 2021 at 03:25 PM (#6046918)
8. LA Clippers


I was going to quibble with this, but then I discovered the Kawhi Leonard news. They'd be solid favorites with him in the lineup, right? If he can come back close to 100% before the playoffs (big if), that's a truly excellent team.
   22. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 16, 2021 at 03:28 PM (#6046920)
Re: Flat earther

Kyrie Irving was born in Australia. He has lived in worked in the US. I’d be interested in knowing which route he took, East or West, to get from Australia to the US, and which direction leads to falling off the edge of the planet.
clearly, someone's never heard of the antarctic crust theory.
   23. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: October 16, 2021 at 04:20 PM (#6046934)
[11] Wouldn't tier -1000 be, like, an automatic championship?

Appetite for resuming the wacky predictions contest?
   24. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: October 16, 2021 at 04:48 PM (#6046939)
I think that if you look at the three bling-market FA/disgruntled stars teams vs. Milwaukee, any of the three, in a Platonic state of health and clicking, is probably a little better than Milwaukee. But there are many reasons to believe, that, like last year, none of those three teams will be in that state in May and June. Although I am not a big fan of 538 NBA stuff either, I think the sim results reflect that.
   25. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 16, 2021 at 08:20 PM (#6046982)
7. CFBF is Obsessed with Art Deco Posted: October 15, 2021 at 05:45 PM (#6046722)
I keep reading things about how smart and thoughtful Irving usually is, and I guess that's fair enough considering some of his past. But I have to say, it sure seems like he's taking a dumbass, incomprehensible position for dumbass, incomprehensible reasons, and the desire to find something deep and meaningful about it is kind of entering Chauncey Gardiner territory.
i just realized you weren't talking about charlie garner.
   26. Powderhorn für sich und Gott gegen alle Posted: October 16, 2021 at 09:14 PM (#6046987)
I keep reading things about how smart and thoughtful Irving usually is, and I guess that's fair enough considering some of his past. But I have to say, it sure seems like he's taking a dumbass, incomprehensible position for dumbass, incomprehensible reasons, and the desire to find something deep and meaningful about it is kind of entering Chauncey Gardiner territory.
Looking at it from an Occam's Razor point of view, it seems like Irving is a dude of above-average intelligence who has convinced himself that he is a genius who is always right and doesn't need to listen to anyone, ever. That's a super-annoying personality type.
   27. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 17, 2021 at 01:19 PM (#6047012)
Tom Moore @TomMoorePhilly
Bigger-than-usual media contingent at today's #Sixers practice.
Ky Carlin @Ky_Carlin
Ben Simmons participated in practice today #Sixers
Tom Moore @TomMoorePhilly
#Sixers coach Doc Rivers: Ben Simmons ‘was just one of the players’ today. ‘He was a full participant.’ Says team jokingly re-introduced Simmons to team. ‘I’m going to wait and see’ if Simmons will play in Wednesday’s opener.
Tom Moore @TomMoorePhilly
#Sixers wing Matisse Thybulle has little to say about Ben Simmons’ return. ‘I live in my world.’
Tom Moore @TomMoorePhilly
#Sixers forward Tobias Harris: ‘I didn’t ask (Ben Simmons why he came back).’
Tom Moore @TomMoorePhilly
#Sixers forward Tobias Harris on other players’ reaction to Ben Simmons being back: ‘We’re grown men here. This is not seventh or eighth grade.’
Ky Carlin @Ky_Carlin
Furkan Korkmaz on Ben Simmons: “It was great having him back. Personally, I missed him.” #Sixers
   28. asinwreck Posted: October 17, 2021 at 05:17 PM (#6047022)
The final two minutes of the WNBA Finals were phenomenal. Candace Parker and Courtney Vandersloot willed the Sky to a championship after being down all game.
   29. spivey 2 Posted: October 17, 2021 at 07:00 PM (#6047026)
I watched a few Sky games throughout the playoffs, and it was interesting, they didn't always feel like the most talented team on the court, but Vandersloot just seemed to always make a play when they needed one.
   30. smileyy Posted: October 17, 2021 at 08:07 PM (#6047027)
Those three blown layups by Phoenix hurt.
   31. jmurph Posted: October 18, 2021 at 09:10 AM (#6047109)
EAST:

1. Milwaukee
2. Brooklyn
3. Hawks
4. Philadelphia (on the other hand, feels like Embiid's due for like a 40 game season again)
5. Boston
6. Miami (I dislike the Heat and am biased, that said I could see them being play-in game bad this year. Lowry is old. Butler is basketball old. Their offense should be below average. They have no depth, etc. I don't know!)
7. Indiana (I want to pick them as high as 3rd but I'm a coward)
8. Charlotte
9. New York Knicks (not as good as their record last year, but they've really improved their talent level)
10. Chicago
11. Toronto
12. Washington
13. Detroit
14. Cleveland
15. Orlando

West:

1. Utah
2. Lakers
3. Phoenix
4. Denver (I think they're the best team in the west if healthy, but who knows when Murray is back or what he'll look like)
5. Portland
6. Golden State
7. LA Clippers
8. Dallas (one year they should try to get some good players to play with Luka)
9. San Antonio
10. Sacramento (Gentry is going to lead them on a nice run in the 2nd half of the season to make the play-in)
11. New Orleans
12. Memphis
13. Timberwolves
14. Houston
15. OKC

Finals:
Nets over Lakers

- I agree with what seems to be the consensus that there aren't a lot of teams at the very top. Like I think the Hawks are good, but it seems like the 3rd best team in a conference should be better than them.
- I want to pick the Suns to tumble way down but everyone below them has serious roster/injury questions.
- I'm guessing Kawhi doesn't play at all.
   32. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: October 18, 2021 at 09:44 AM (#6047117)
Here are a few predictions that may vary slightly from consensus:

1 - Bucks lose in round two these playoffs. I'm not sure who gets them, but I still am not buying them as a playoff team. (I didn't buy them at any point last year, either, so what the hell do I know?)
2 - Utah/Phoenix finish a clear 1-2 in the West standings again in some order. I'll predict that, but not predicting how either of them do in the playoffs.
3 - Minnesota makes the play-in tournament.
4 - Golden State also makes the play-in tournament.
5 - Memphis finishes ahead of the Clippers.
   33. spivey 2 Posted: October 18, 2021 at 10:46 AM (#6047132)
1. Brooklyn
2. Milwaukee
3. Philadelphia
4. Atlanta
5. Boston
6. Miami
7. Chicago
8. New York Knicks
9. Charlotte
10. Indiana
11. Toronto
12. Washington
13. Cleveland
14. Detroit
15. Orlando


1. Utah
2. Phoenix
3. Lakers
4. Denver
5. Dallas
6. Portland
7. Golden State
8. Clippers
9. Memphis
10. New Orleans
11. San Antonio
12. Sacramento
13. Minnesota
14. Houston
15. OKC

Brooklyn over Milwaukee in the East
Lakers over Utah in West

Brooklyn over Lakers
   34. PJ Martinez Posted: October 18, 2021 at 10:53 AM (#6047137)
Indiana (I want to pick them as high as 3rd...)
Why?
   35. jmurph Posted: October 18, 2021 at 11:34 AM (#6047145)
Pacers: I don't actually think they're capable of that which is why I didn't put them there, it was more about the teams I'm picking ahead of them.

Also, despite my constantly reiterated Carlisle skepticism, they're poised for a massive improvement on that end, and if/when they ever get healthy, LeVert/Brogdon/Turner/Sabonis/Warren/Torrey Craig/Justin Holiday/McConnell is a solid rotation.
   36. PJ Martinez Posted: October 18, 2021 at 11:39 AM (#6047147)
I guess those players are all the right age where, if they stayed healthy and clicked, they could surprise people. But it also strikes me as a roster full of guys who impress you as supporting players but none of whom are stars.
   37. asinwreck Posted: October 18, 2021 at 11:50 AM (#6047150)
Regular-season predictions:

EAST
1. Brooklyn
2. Milwaukee
3. Atlanta
4. Miami
5. Boston
6. Philadelphia
7. Chicago
8. Toronto
9. Charlotte
10. Knicks
11. Indiana
12. Washington
13. Detroit
14. Orlando
15. Cleveland

WEST
1. Phoenix
2. Denver
3. Utah
4. Lakers
5. Dallas
6. Clippers
7. Memphis
8. Portland
9. Golden State
10. San Antonio
11. Minnesota
12. Sacramento
13. New Orleans
14. Houston
15. Oklahoma City

I have a bad feeling this Pelicans team is going to be the kind of disaster that gets a reporter to write a Worst Team Money Can Buy-type of book next summer. I think the Hawks make a jump past a lot of the East teams.

If the Nets aren't hobbled by injuries to Durant and/or Harden, I see them beating the Nuggets in the finals. (I also think Denver will make a consequential trade in February.)
   38. tshipman Posted: October 18, 2021 at 12:03 PM (#6047152)
@jmurph:
I was exactly in the same place you were with the Pacers. Something makes me think they'll be good, but when I interrogate that, I don't know what I come up with.

In addition to the points you made, I would add that I think they are the most likely Simmons team.
   39. Willard Baseball Posted: October 18, 2021 at 12:17 PM (#6047154)
JJJ gets 4/105. He really needs to improve as a rebounder, but he is a good offensive weapon to pair with Ja.
   40. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 18, 2021 at 12:39 PM (#6047156)
4. Philadelphia (on the other hand, feels like Embiid's due for like a 40 game season again)
i don't know that i'd hate a tank season right now.
   41. Fourth True Outcome Posted: October 18, 2021 at 12:50 PM (#6047160)
I think I'm with PJ on Indiana, both because I agree they have a lot of good players who aren't quite good lead options, and because I think it's a roster of good players who don't really fit that well together. I hadn't considered them as a Simmons destination, but it makes sense and could shake things up. Indianapolis might be a tough town for a young socialite, though.
   42. aberg Posted: October 18, 2021 at 01:30 PM (#6047175)
East

1. Brooklyn
2. Milwaukee

3. Boston
4. Atlanta
5. Philadelphia- probably the third best team, but, you know.
6. New York- pieces make sense and Thibs is a good coach when not the GM
7. Miami- probably more dangerous as a playoff team, but Lowry and Tucker are showing signs of aging and Jimmy isn't young.

8. Chicago
9. Charlotte
10. Indiana- Bjorkgren was awful. They have a really good 2nd, 3rd, 4th best player, but no star.

11. Detroit- more interesting than good
12. Washington
13. Toronto- might just tear it down
14. Cleveland- kind of an apocalyptic scenario for them
15. Orlando

West

1. Utah- nobody in the West is built to dominate the regular season. Someone has to win the most games.
2. Phoenix- even if they don't have the most star power, the roster and roles fit together.
3. Dallas
4. Denver- would be first with Murray
5. Lakers

6. Portland
7. Golden State

8. Memphis
9. Clippers
10. Minnesota
11. Sacramento
12. San Antonio

13. New Orleans

14. Houston
15. OKC
   43. spivey 2 Posted: October 18, 2021 at 01:56 PM (#6047182)
I'm not even sure Indiana's guys are great 2nd or 3rd options. None would be a top 3 player on Milwaukee or Brooklyn. Not sure they would be on Denver, Utah, or Phoenix either. And in the era of chucking 3s, most of their good players aren't very good at that - either percentage, volume, or both.

JJJ's payday is excessive to me.

Bridges with 4/90 makes sense. It's funny how past market sets the market, and I know that's the top of the 3&D market, but I think he's more valuable than Ayton, and has a clearer path to become a true max guy than Ayton. It's normal and reasonable to expect he'll continue to get a bit better at passing and creating his own as he continues his career. I like Ayton. But how much better is he than, say, Javale McGee - serious question?
   44. aberg Posted: October 18, 2021 at 02:38 PM (#6047194)
I'm not even sure Indiana's guys are great 2nd or 3rd options. None would be a top 3 player on Milwaukee or Brooklyn. Not sure they would be on Denver, Utah, or Phoenix either. And in the era of chucking 3s, most of their good players aren't very good at that - either percentage, volume, or both.


That's a fair point. How good would the team be if they swapped in a true star (let's say Beal) for Levert? A closing lineup of Brogdon, Beal, Warren, Sabonis, Turner with McConell, Lamb, Craig, Goga in the rotation. That team seems like it would be right in the mix with that Philly, Boston, Miami, Atlanta tier. Maybe not a true contender, but a team that could get out of the first round.
   45. Fourth True Outcome Posted: October 18, 2021 at 02:58 PM (#6047200)
A closing lineup of Brogdon, Beal, Warren, Sabonis, Turner

Potential roster moves aside, hasn't the Pacers' biggest issue over the last few years been that they haven't been able to find a way to make Sabonis and Turner mesh well on the court together?
   46. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: October 18, 2021 at 03:31 PM (#6047206)
Ayton feels like he's "worth" less than the max, but is he worth close enough that the Suns should've just paid it anyway in order to get the Good Vibes?
   47. smileyy Posted: October 18, 2021 at 03:37 PM (#6047208)
Remember that one game where he was the second coming of Wilt Chamberlain?

How much does his value drop once Chris Paul retires?
   48. Fourth True Outcome Posted: October 18, 2021 at 03:38 PM (#6047209)
I think my thing on Ayton and players like him is that whether or not you think he deserves the max, he's good enough that he is going to get it from someone in RFA, so if you are the team that controls him you should almost always either extend for the Good Vibes (and to avoid getting trapped into less control than you want via matching) or trade him ahead of the friction. Still time for the Suns to do either, but we shall see.
   49. spivey 2 Posted: October 18, 2021 at 03:52 PM (#6047215)
I don't see why they have to act now? Ayton's gonna be hungry to win being on a contender, and he's also should be hungry for money whether from Phoenix or another team. He needs to have a good year to get a max offer sheet, imo.

I get more teams are locking guys up early, but John Collins just played out the last year, proved he was worth what he wanted, and then got it.

I also don't like Sarver, but they're surely going be in the repeater tax in 2 or 3 years if they keep Ayton. Each little bit you save matters quite a bit once that's the case.
   50. asinwreck Posted: October 18, 2021 at 04:11 PM (#6047220)
Yeah, I don't think Indiana's roster makes sense. Do you trust Pritchard's ability to make the right deal with the frontcourt?

I also worry about LeVert's health, though I am relieved they caught the cancer early. He's one of the easiest players in the league to root for after the Kenny Atkinson-era Nets built a nice little core with him, Dinwiddie, Harris, Allen, and Russell after the Billy King-designed roster bottomed out in spectacular fashion.
   51. tshipman Posted: October 18, 2021 at 04:21 PM (#6047223)
Yeah, I don't think Indiana's roster makes sense.


Indiana starts to make a ton of sense with Ben Simmons in, Sabonis and Brogdon (and maybe LeVert) out.
   52. spivey 2 Posted: October 18, 2021 at 04:26 PM (#6047224)
Brogdon just signed an extension today that makes him ineligible to be traded this year.

I also think he's one of their most versatile players. Can defend most guys 1-3, plays off of stars well because he's a good secondary creator, can attack closeouts, and he's a great shooter but has a lower release. He's the guy I'd most want around Simmons, besides Turner.

Sabonis and Embiid don't make sense, though. So that'd have to be a 3 team trade.
   53. tshipman Posted: October 18, 2021 at 04:32 PM (#6047230)
Sabonis and Embiid don't make sense, though. So that'd have to be a 3 team trade.


I assume that's the major issue. Didn't see that Brogdon signed, so that probably means nothing happens with PHL until the trade deadline for Indiana.
   54. aberg Posted: October 18, 2021 at 04:36 PM (#6047231)
I had my eye on the Wolves getting Turner in a 3-team deal at one point, but I'm pretty much over trying to construct Simmons trades. Something like Turner to the Wolves, Simmons to the Pacers, Levert, Beasley, McDaniels, and an Indy pick to Philly.
   55. aberg Posted: October 18, 2021 at 04:39 PM (#6047233)
I'm also in the camp that thinks going into RFA for Ayton is a reasonable play. If someone else wants to pay him the full max they can offer, you can make a decision at that point. If nobody else wants to pay him, it's a pretty clear statement about his market value. It might become an issue if he takes the QO next summer, but now we're talking about how to handle the 2024 season, and that's not too important to a team led by Chris Paul.
   56. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: October 18, 2021 at 05:25 PM (#6047241)
shamet got a 4/43 extension and grayson got 2/20 -- which makes me further wonder how furkan korkmaz didn't get more money as a ufa this offseason.
add huerter for 4/65
   57. JJ1986 Posted: October 18, 2021 at 05:32 PM (#6047243)
If you don't want to max Ayton because he's a center, maybe that's a clue that you shouldn't draft centers over equal (or obviously better) perimeter players.
   58. spivey 2 Posted: October 18, 2021 at 05:43 PM (#6047245)
I've thought Grayson Allen is a bit underrated coming into this year, but I didn't think he was "give him 2/20 when you're already in the repeater tax" underrated, especially since Divincenzo is a RFA and better, and I'm not sure there's a huge market for Allen unless he really steps up. And even if he does... Reggie Jackson and Patty Mills just got the MLE? Am I missing something?
   59. tshipman Posted: October 18, 2021 at 06:15 PM (#6047249)
If you don't want to max Ayton because he's a center, maybe that's a clue that you shouldn't draft centers over equal (or obviously better) perimeter players.


Or maybe don't draft a center in the lottery at all (unless he's Turkish, natch).

Edit: that Allen deal is inexplicable to me. Is Grayson Allen really that much better than Garrison Matthews?
   60. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 18, 2021 at 06:25 PM (#6047251)
Although Doc Rivers tells me the “chemistry” with @BenSimmons25 and his teammates is getting better everyday, I can tell you he did NOT put his hand in the team huddle to end practice and stayed in the back before immediately exiting the court while others stay out shooting
pic.twitter.com/i2sBAoEHO2

— Jamie Apody (@JamieApody) October 18, 2021
Ben Simmons (white sleeveless) participating in #Sixers’ defensive drill: pic.twitter.com/klrmGemT3M

— Tom Moore (@TomMoorePhilly) October 18, 2021
...and still more engaged than jahlil okafor.
   61. Powderhorn für sich und Gott gegen alle Posted: October 18, 2021 at 06:49 PM (#6047253)
I approach predictions slightly differently. Here's how I think of the West at the moment.

Team     Best Case Worst Case
Suns              1st        3rd
Jazz               1st        3rd

Nuggets       2nd        5th
Lakers          3rd        7th

Mavs            3rd        6th
Clippers       4th        7th
Blazers         5th        9th
Warriors       4th        10th
Grizzlies       7th        10th

Pelicans       9th        12th 


I don’t consider the five other teams playoff contenders. They playoffs are what we care about, so I don’t think deciding which team I think will be the 14th-best in the conference is relevant here.
   62. tshipman Posted: October 18, 2021 at 06:52 PM (#6047254)
Oh wow, is that like assuming zero injuries? because I think the Suns' worst case is much much worse than 3rd.
   63. aberg Posted: October 18, 2021 at 06:53 PM (#6047255)
I don’t consider the five other teams playoff contenders.


If NO's worst case is 12th, then there's at least one more playoff contender by definition.
   64. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 18, 2021 at 07:21 PM (#6047258)
I approach predictions slightly differently. Here's how I think of the West at the moment.

Team     Best Case Worst Case
Suns              1st        3rd
Jazz               1st        3rd

Nuggets       2nd        5th
Lakers          3rd        7th

Mavs            3rd        6th
Clippers       4th        7th
Blazers         5th        9th
Warriors       4th        10th
Grizzlies       7th        10th

Pelicans       9th        12th 
that seems like an excessively narrow range of outcomes.
   65. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: October 18, 2021 at 08:11 PM (#6047267)
I don't know how literally they mean best or worst?

Bjorkgren is back with Toronto as an assistant, it looks like.

I'm really struggling with predictions this year - don't know what to assume with Irving or Simmons or Westbrook integrating in LA.
   66. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 18, 2021 at 08:15 PM (#6047268)
I'm really struggling with predictions this year - don't know what to assume with Irving or Simmons or Westbrook integrating in LA.

irving: take the under
simmons: take the under
westbrook: take the over
   67. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: October 18, 2021 at 08:23 PM (#6047271)
do we agree that wasn't a phone in ben's pocket - or does that not matter, because a phone is funny?
   68. O Tempura, O Morays ('Spos) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 08:23 PM (#6047272)
I'm assuming Irving and Simmons won't integrate in L.A.
   69. Hombre Brotani Posted: October 18, 2021 at 08:25 PM (#6047274)
do we agree that wasn't a phone in ben's pocket - or does that not matter, because a phone is funny?
Best response on Twitter was: "That man has so little range his phone doesn't even get long distance."
   70. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: October 18, 2021 at 11:57 PM (#6047345)
Second year in a row I just don't know what's going to happen. It's great, I love this current state of the NBA.
   71. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: October 19, 2021 at 08:15 AM (#6047369)
4 - Golden State also makes the play-in tournament.


Quoting myself is annoying but I listened to the Thinking Basketball podcast season preview and want to take this back. I guess I am now a Jordan Poole Truther. Also maybe the Warriors scuffled to start last year because they played so many BAD players and maybe this year they'll just decide to stop doing that?
   72. billyshears Posted: October 19, 2021 at 09:41 AM (#6047382)
My moderately uninformed opinion is that Golden State is going to win the West. This mostly depends on Klay, but I think there will come a time around March when we all remember how good this team can be.
   73. asinwreck Posted: October 19, 2021 at 09:44 AM (#6047384)
   74. spivey 2 Posted: October 19, 2021 at 10:10 AM (#6047388)
I was listening to the Athletic pod with Ben Taylor and yeah, he's very high on Golden State.

I'm still not sure. They have so little margin for error on scoring. Klay is a huge question mark. I think Poole is getting almost too much cred now. He's a good scorer, but is he an efficient scorer? His efficiency last year was slightly above average, but was awful his rookie year and not great in college either. It's unclear to me he's a plus 3 point shooter, and if he's not, then what's their non-Curry offense look like. Curry is getting older and has had injuries 3 of the last 4 years. Wiggins had a career year on shooting, not 100% convinced that's going to hold up. Porter may not contribute, Iguodala is toast and can't score anymore, and at that point you're looking at potentially having to play 2 big lineups or a fair amount of rookie time. I think some of the moves around the edges will make their defense a bit worse, too.
   75. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: October 19, 2021 at 10:14 AM (#6047389)
I've probably asked this and never got the answer:

All the Lakers have to do is open up the floor for Davis by playing him at center. The only big man in the West with even a prayer of stopping him at the rim is Draymond Green. He has a huge mismatch against every other contender, and Jokic is the only one who can force the Lakers to keep a center on the floor next to Davis.


That's from this Ringer article.

And it feels true. Here's the Lakers numbers from the 2020 playoffs with Davis at center, which are insane. Here are the Bucks with Giannis at center in these playoffs.

But then I always come back to "If it's so simple what stops this from happening all the time?"

Is it really just avoiding dealing with being the center on defense? I guess that's a valid concern, but it still confuses me a bit. It's not like they have to guard Shaq or Moses Malone these days. (EDIT - It still may be the valid concern here. I acknowledge I do not have first hand knowledge of the physical toll playing center in the NBA takes compared to other positions.)
   76. spivey 2 Posted: October 19, 2021 at 10:29 AM (#6047392)
I'll speak to Milwaukee...

The Giannis at center lineups were very good in the playoffs, but:

- Giannis at C lineups weren't that great in the regular season (+3.1). So some sample size stuff likely in play here.
- In the playoffs, pretty much all the Giannis at C lineups were crunch time lineups with their best switching defenses and some of their best shooting lineups, when Giannis was at C, those lineups appear to always have had both Middleton and Jrue on the floor. Point being, I suppose, that's not so different from looking at a starting unit's net rating. Usually they're pretty damn good, because all your best players are playing. For reference, Milwaukee's starting lineup had a slightly better playoff net rating than the Giannis at C lineups.
- Brook Lopez is a good to very good player, and does need to play some minutes. He's a great regular season defender, and ultimately is just one of their best players. He needs minutes - they don't have an equivalently good wing to give those 27 minutes a game. I think this is a challenge for a lot of teams. There are only so many solid wings to go around.
- It's not just Giannis at the C where you worry about banging. You then are dealing with Middleton banging with PFs, Connaughton potentially guarding more SFs, etc. Game conditions in the 4th quarter of playoffs that make the small-ball lineups successful I'm not positive apply as well for long periods of time, though this may not be true. I just bring it up because usually there are very specific scenarios where these guys are playing at C, and it's not a random distribution of game events.
- Giannis' defensive greatness imo is mostly as a weakside help defender where he zones up the 2 weakside shooters and provides secondary rim protection better than anyone in the NBA. I think he can be successful as a C, but I do think his best attributes are highlighted when playing on the weakside shooter in the corner.

I think AD is a bit of a different case.
   77. PJ Martinez Posted: October 19, 2021 at 10:32 AM (#6047394)
@johnhollinger So excited for tonight. Matchup of the two best teams and the best playoff series from a year ago, followed by a rematch of the third-best play-in game.
   78. aberg Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:03 PM (#6047419)
My biggest issue with Golden State is that I'm skeptical that Klay will be anything close to what he was before, especially on defense. I'm sure he'll still be a dead-eye shooter, but will he have the same ability to run off hundreds of screens to get space? Will he be able to take the best perimeter player defensively every night to ease the burden on Curry? If he does, will he be any good at it? I think there will be slippage in all of those areas, which has a direct impact on the alchemy that made that triumvirate so magical.

The Warriors were still pretty good last year with the Steph + Draymond - Wiseman lineups last year. That will probably be mostly true again, though there can be some aging even with those two. Wiggins has become fine as a role player, but I don't think he raises their ceiling- he is more of a poor man's Harrison Barnes. Bjelica, 58 year-old Iguodala, more rookies... I don't think the structure of the team has changed much from the version that needs something close to 100% Klay to contend.


Then again, if Klay is fully healthy, they are a real title contender.
   79. aberg Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:07 PM (#6047420)
The Giannis at center lineups were very good in the playoffs, but:


One of the reasons that worked is that PJ Tucker can play "center," and even if he's not making shots, he still gets enough attention to draw a defender away from the paint. I assume Portis will get more of those minutes this year in lineups with their 3 stars and another shooter. Lopez can do that, but he has more specific stylistic limitations on defense. I'm sure they'll be on the lookout for someone who can fill that Tucker role as a shooter/rebounder/big defender who can switch through a buyout or a trade.
   80. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:12 PM (#6047423)
I mean, Klay will be 32 this season. Even without an ACL and an Achilles, he'd be much less athletic a defender. I think it's likely the case that he's not going to be a plus individual defender any longer, and isn't even likely to play until, what, February? March? I just don't see the Warriors hype, but maybe that's me being a contrarian because the Dunc'd On boys are big on GSW this year.
   81. asinwreck Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:19 PM (#6047424)
It begins.

Malika Andrews @malika_andrews
The 76ers say Ben Simmons has been suspended for one game for “detrimental conduct” to the team.

Simmons will not play the 76ers’ season opener at New Orleans Wednesday night.
Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn
Sixers coach Doc Rivers threw Ben Simmons out of practice today and the suspension came shortly thereafter, sources tell ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn
Simmons’ reluctance to physically and mentally engage with the Sixers since his return has been a consistent theme, sources tell ESPN.
   82. aberg Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:26 PM (#6047427)
reluctance to physically and mentally engage with the Sixers since his return


Wouldn't it be easier to just call it "Hardening?"
   83. jmurph Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:28 PM (#6047429)
I love this so, so much. It's the best.
   84. Fourth True Outcome Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:32 PM (#6047430)
On some recent Lowe Post, Zach Lowe was talking about Philly and the idea that you couldn't let Ben Simmons jerk a team around while under four more years of contract and mentioned that for some time the question in this type of situation would be if the team would try to withhold the player's money, and if so whether it would work. His take was that the biggest thing of note was that Philly used the hammer and it worked, which is true enough, but he and his guest I believe then said the play was the Hardening play, to show up and half-ass it. It seems like that's what Simmons is doing, and if so it will be interesting if Philly continues to try to play hardball and, if so, if that will work or if "not giving a ####\" is not a thing you can fine a player for.

Also, like jmurph I love this. Is is sloppy and not going to get better soon. Tremendous stuff for anyone not invested in Sixers success.
   85. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:32 PM (#6047431)
I love this so, so much. It's the best.
it really kind of is.

i don't think people appreciate that the sixers, unlike houston with harden and minnesota with butler, are not desperate to get simmons back, and they're legitimately willing to live without him.
   86. tshipman Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:35 PM (#6047433)
Re: GSW:

It's hard to know exactly what to think. They played a couple of guys a lot of minutes who were absolutely ghastly last year (Oubre & Wiseman). If they just knock off the charity minutes and just go with the good players, you can see the case for optimism.

The case for pessimism is that Steph is the system and any time he misses is catastrophic.

I actually don't think Klay is that important to this team. I think Otto Porter, Jr. is a pretty key player. He and Klay are maybe sort of duplicative.
   87. tshipman Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:42 PM (#6047434)
Why I don't think Klay is that important:

2019:
Steph on/Klay off:
121 ORTG, 106 DRTG

Steph on/Klay on:
121 ORTG, 108 DRTG

Steph off/Klay on:
106 ORTG, 111 DRTG

The Steph off/Klay on minutes were mostly spent with Durant on the court as well, so it's not like the unit lacked talent.
   88. asinwreck Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:43 PM (#6047435)
A good bet this year is to wager which of Porter and Klay will miss more games due to injuries. Klay has the early advantage with his rehab, but Porter's back could go out at any time.
   89. PJ Martinez Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:45 PM (#6047436)
Joel Embiid says he has not talked to Ben Simmons.
Joel Embiid says his job “is not to babysit.” He says he is here to focus on the guys that want to be here and part of this team.

Edit: both those quotes from Tim Bontemps on Twitter
   90. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:46 PM (#6047437)
The Simmons thing is so wonderful, as someone who had to sit through General Soreness Days (for which I hold Thibs ultimately responsible).
   91. asinwreck Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:48 PM (#6047440)
What might Embiid say to Rivers and Morey this week?
   92. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:50 PM (#6047441)
What might Embiid say to Rivers and Morey this week?

"i'll carry you through the first half of the season. just get me help at the deadline"
   93. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:51 PM (#6047442)
The Simmons thing is so wonderful, as someone who had to sit through General Soreness Days (for which I hold Thibs ultimately responsible).

wait, was thibs the GM that signed wiggins to a max extension?
   94. tshipman Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:51 PM (#6047443)
The combo of Steph/Draymond is ... I dunno, peak Shaq or something. I don't know why the two of them fit so well together exactly, but they do.

2021 season:
Draymond on/Steph off:
103 ORTG, 114 DRTG

Steph on/Draymond off:
108 ORTG, 114 DRTG

Steph on/Draymond on:
117 ORTG, 112 DRTG

Steph on/Dray on, Wiseman/Oubre off:
130 ORTG, 112 DRTG

That right there is the case for optimism for the Warriors.
   95. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:53 PM (#6047445)
Justin Grasso @JGrasso_
Doc Rivers says that Ben Simmons will be welcomed back to practice on Thursday if he wants to be back #Sixers

   96. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:54 PM (#6047447)
wait, was thibs the GM that signed wiggins to a max extension?

Yes, although that was Glen Taylor's decision. But when General Soreness told Thibs that he wanted out right after their disgraceful exit to the Rockets, he should have actually done something.
   97. Powderhorn für sich und Gott gegen alle Posted: October 19, 2021 at 01:25 PM (#6047464)
I don't know how literally they mean best or worst?
Not 100% literally. More like a 90th percentile/10th percentile projection.
   98. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 19, 2021 at 01:57 PM (#6047473)
Thankfully, Joel Embiid actually said what he was feeling:

"At this point I don't care about that man." pic.twitter.com/telIeAGsyi

— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) October 19, 2021
   99. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: October 19, 2021 at 02:08 PM (#6047477)
I've listened to that twice and I'm not sure if he said "I don't care about that man" or "I don't care about that, man."
   100. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 19, 2021 at 02:11 PM (#6047478)
I've listened to that twice and I'm not sure if he said "I don't care about that man" or "I don't care about that, man."
oh, it's definitely the latter, but it's funnier if everyone agrees to interpret it as the former.
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