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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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   1001. PJ Martinez Posted: November 22, 2021 at 11:57 AM (#6053971)
Something around Siakam for Simmons has always made sense to me, I just don't think they add VanVleet to make it happen. (I know Wiggins is Canadian, but still.)
   1002. jmurph Posted: November 22, 2021 at 12:36 PM (#6053980)
I think he is probably not great value on his contract, but I have a suspicion that Siakam as the 2nd or 3rd guy next to a real offensive star (like Steph or Embiid) would look really good.
   1003. Roger McDowell spit on me! Posted: November 22, 2021 at 01:14 PM (#6053996)
EDIT: Honestly, for Golden State it's Wiggins for Siakam and... I'm not sure they do that? The extra year for Siakam stands out to me.


Wiggins has been rock solid and isn't going anywhere this season. I also don't think they want the extra year commitment that Siakam would cost - assuming they are all playing well enough, they will have rookie year extensions for Kuminga, Wiseman and Moody all due, plus they'll still be committed to Curry, Draymond and Klay. At some point, there's only so much luxury tax even Joe Lacob is willing to pay.
   1004. tshipman Posted: November 22, 2021 at 01:55 PM (#6054007)
I don't think Siakam can be traded into space. He's worth less than his remaining contract.
   1005. Powderhorn für sich und Gott gegen alle Posted: November 22, 2021 at 05:14 PM (#6054073)
That trade doesn't seem to make sense for anyone but the Sixers.
   1006. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: November 22, 2021 at 06:40 PM (#6054097)
@ShamsCharania
LeBron James has been suspended one game and Isaiah Stewart receives two-game suspension for roles in altercation during Lakers-Pistons.
Seems about right to me.
   1007. tshipman Posted: November 22, 2021 at 07:14 PM (#6054107)
The suspensions are largely in line. I think probably if Stewart doesn't go nuts, LeBron would have skated with the Flagrant 2.
   1008. SteveF Posted: November 22, 2021 at 07:54 PM (#6054114)
Both players will be available for round two on Nov. 28. Stewart doesn't seem like the forgiving type.
   1009. asinwreck Posted: November 22, 2021 at 08:52 PM (#6054118)
With Joe Harris out, the Nets are giving Cam Thomas minutes and the ball. He's shot them into a lead after they dug a hole against Cleveland.
   1010. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: November 22, 2021 at 09:38 PM (#6054128)
I fully expect the WOVLES to choke this away.
   1011. spivey 2 Posted: November 22, 2021 at 09:47 PM (#6054130)
Playing the Lakers, OKC, and Magic x2 over a 4 game stretch is just what Milwaukee needed.
   1012. SteveF Posted: November 22, 2021 at 09:52 PM (#6054131)
Hard to imagine putting the Lakers in that group at the start of the season, but they've played more like an OKC than they have a mediocre team like the Pacers or Knicks.
   1013. asinwreck Posted: November 22, 2021 at 10:04 PM (#6054132)
The Bulls are getting routed on the second night of a back to back with Caruso out. The game is most notable for this:

Rob Schaefer @rob_schaef
A full-fledged 'Fire Nagy' chant has broken out at the United Center
   1014. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: November 22, 2021 at 10:05 PM (#6054134)
Keith Pompey @PompeyOnSixers
Sixers are down four starters tonight with Tobias Harris (strained hip), Seth Curry (back tightness), Danny Green (hamstring tightness) and Joel Embiid ( COVID-19) all being sidelined.
Keith Pompey @PompeyOnSixers
#Sixers only have seven guys in the layup line.



NBC Sports Washington @NBCSWashington
When you're off to one of the best starts in franchise history, you get to wear whatever you want

@kylekuzma | #DCAboveAll
https://twitter.com/NBCSWashington/status/1462916705387175947
   1015. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: November 22, 2021 at 10:27 PM (#6054138)
Derek Bodner @DerekBodnerNBA
Do the Sixers actually NEED players to play basketball? We'll answer that question in the next @SixersBeat
Lauren Rosen @LaurenMRosen
First quarter @Bball_paul incoming!

   1016. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: November 23, 2021 at 12:19 AM (#6054158)
i can't believe the sixers won this game.
   1017. SteveF Posted: November 23, 2021 at 12:20 AM (#6054159)
The KANGZ are 10.3 points per 100 better with Fox off the floor, 16.3 points better on defense. Opponents are shooting 33% from 3 with him off, 34% with him on. Is De'Aaron Fox a good player? Does his contract have positive trade value?
   1018. tshipman Posted: November 23, 2021 at 12:34 AM (#6054162)
Is De'Aaron Fox a good player?


Maybe, but not in these circumstances. The upside for Fox is like ... I dunno, John Wall before all the injuries or Jameer Nelson. Except Fox is a much worse defender right now, so he'd have to get better there quickly.

Does his contract have positive trade value?


It definitely did in the offseason. I'm not sure if it does now. I traded him in the mock offseason for RJ Barrett, which looks like a trade where both parties lost.
   1019. SteveF Posted: November 23, 2021 at 01:55 AM (#6054167)
Shoot. Did the math wrong on Fox. Teams are shooting 30% from 3 with him off, 36% with him on, so the -16 will almost certainly regress to something more like -9. My bad.
   1020. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: November 23, 2021 at 06:55 AM (#6054173)
I fully expect the WOVLES to choke this away.


Four game winning streak. I am as amazed as anyone.
   1021. SteveF Posted: November 23, 2021 at 07:57 AM (#6054185)
This is mainly for Spivey:
Ran some numbers on Davis. With Davis on the floor, Lakers opponents shoot 66% at the rim at 36.5% frequency. With Davis off the floor it's 61.5% at 29% frequency.
   1022. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: November 23, 2021 at 08:50 AM (#6054197)
If we award a tie-breaker to Atlanta over Cleveland, right now the non-playoff, non-play-in teams are:

Cleveland, Toronto, Indiana, Detroit, Orlando, OKC, Sacramento, San Antonio, New Orleans, Houston

So, playoffs are set except for seeding before Thanksgiving, right? Maybe Indiana/Toronto can climb in if one of the East teams runs into injuries. Or maybe Timberwolves get injuries and somehow slip to 11. Can't see much shake-up beyond that. I'm sure that's not completely abnormal for the league but feels a little more set than usual.

On other hand, the playoff teams themselves feel more messy, in that I think it's highly unpredictable right now who gets seeded where and a lot of teams have a wide rang of where they land between 3-10.
   1023. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: November 23, 2021 at 09:05 AM (#6054203)
I think injuries can derail any team (and thus boost a current pretender), but other than that I agree with #1022.
   1024. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: November 23, 2021 at 09:40 AM (#6054211)
The Bulls are getting routed on the second night of a back to back with Caruso out.

The Pacers* were the first team to really punish the Bulls for being small (+21 on rebounds). There have been some individual matchups where they have had issues (Randle has given them a hard time, but the 2nd big on NYK didn't do anything, etc). It would be easy to really overrate Caruso's impact after last night when it probably was more of a schedule loss. But I've been afraid of a game like that - getting destroyed inside on offense and defense and have an off shooting night - and since it was early enough in the season it had a huge impact on the Bulls overall efficiency ratings (their SRS and NetRtg both went down 2 points, knocked them down 5+ slots in ORtg and DRtg ranks).

*Why have they been so bad? They're definitely a team that on paper should be better than they've been.

EDIT: And yes, the Bears need to clean house.
   1025. DCA Posted: November 23, 2021 at 10:02 AM (#6054218)
Pacers have a 11-8 pythag (8-11 actual). Yes, a game like last night can move pythag quite a bit, but they were still positive point differential before the game. Seems like just a bit of bad luck.

I'm not sure the East isn't a 12-way tie for the 2 seed, with the Nets on top and the Pistons and Magic at the bottom.
   1026. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: November 23, 2021 at 10:25 AM (#6054225)
The East looks so much better than the last few years but other than a few teams it kind of looks like Regular Season Hero, Playoff Zero to me.
   1027. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: November 23, 2021 at 10:37 AM (#6054233)
Pacers do stick out as the team with the best chances to get in and I probably shouldn't just write them off. I'm not sure they're better than any of the teams ahead of them, but they're probably in the same ballpark and the odds are good that at least one of those teams will have the wheels fall off due to injuries.
   1028. spivey 2 Posted: November 23, 2021 at 10:47 AM (#6054237)
On the Lowe Post with Pelton, Zach Lowe also mentioned that the Pacers have been the best team in the league at getting teams to take low efficiency shots. They aren't a deep team and don't have much offense, but Warren helps both of those if he's able to play most of the year.
   1029. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: November 23, 2021 at 10:50 AM (#6054238)
Four game winning streak. I am as amazed as anyone.

I mean, the one game that stands out is the pummelling of Memphis. They are getting unbelievably lucky on opponent 3%, though, so I don't expect their #7 defense to continue. Still, not playing drop has been pretty amazingly great, given how straightforward a change it was from the previous six years of futility.
   1030. tshipman Posted: November 23, 2021 at 11:04 AM (#6054240)
Ran some numbers on Davis. With Davis on the floor, Lakers opponents shoot 66% at the rim at 36.5% frequency. With Davis off the floor it's 61.5% at 29% frequency.


With AD, you basically have to run everything twice, once for him playing at C and once for him playing PF. The Lakers are so incredibly tedious as a team, because everyone knows what the issues are.
   1031. spivey 2 Posted: November 23, 2021 at 11:20 AM (#6054244)
With AD, you basically have to run everything twice, once for him playing at C and once for him playing PF. The Lakers are so incredibly tedious as a team, because everyone knows what the issues are.


I didn't dig into all of the lineup stuff, but I think the biggest issue probably applies in 2 big and 1 big lineups, right? Which is that they're getting blown by and are both giving away the most shots at the rim in the NBA (34.1, 2.2 more than 2nd worst) and a high efficiency. 1 big or 2 big doesn't completely solve that. Their guards and wings being a mixed of has-been's and never-was's is a big factor.
   1032. tshipman Posted: November 23, 2021 at 11:44 AM (#6054245)
I didn't dig into all of the lineup stuff, but I think the biggest issue probably applies in 2 big and 1 big lineups, right? Which is that they're getting blown by and are both giving away the most shots at the rim in the NBA (34.1, 2.2 more than 2nd worst) and a high efficiency. 1 big or 2 big doesn't completely solve that. Their guards and wings being a mixed of has-been's and never-was's is a big factor.


With Davis on and DAJ/Dwight off, they allow just 30% of their shots at the rim (but a high percentage, 68%).

For sure the entire team defense has problems. It's such a waste of time to talk about such a shitty, boring team.
   1033. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: November 23, 2021 at 01:50 PM (#6054278)
NBC Sports Washington @NBCSWashington
When you're off to one of the best starts in franchise history, you get to wear whatever you want

@kylekuzma | #DCAboveAll
https://twitter.com/NBCSWashington/status/1462916705387175947


This is exactly the type of journalism that The Defector was made to tackle:

As you can see, the arms of the large pink sweater reach at least a foot lower than Kuzma’s. The neckline appears to reach the outer edges of his collarbones. The bottom of the sweater is only an inch or two above Kuzma’s knees. Here I would like to note that Kuzma stands 6-foot-10, with a seven-foot wingspan and a standing reach of nearly nine feet. He is a huge person with extremely long arms. This sweater, which fits Kuzma roughly the way one of my wife’s sweaters would fit my infant daughter, cannot have been made with the dimensions of man as its target. Guinness World Records says the largest wingspan of a living human belongs to Mohamed Shehata, at a staggering 8 ft. 2.5 in., as recorded in April of this year. Each of Mr. Shehata’s incredible arms reaches just over six inches longer than Kuzma’s, and even he would be swimming in this gigantic garment. That is not to say that Kuzma does not look extremely cool wearing it: On the contrary, I believe Kyle Kuzma could wear an outfit made out of several different-sized garbage bags and still look extremely fuckin’ cool. It’s infuriating, really.

Nevertheless we are called to inquire: What would a normal person look like in the large pink sweater? More importantly, how many normal humans could fit inside the large pink sweater? The answer to the first question is simple and blessedly intuitive: A normal person inside the large pink sweater would look like a not-minor industrial accident at the Pepto-Bismol factory. As a person of roughly normal height, I hate to think of the reception I might receive if I walked into the Wizards’ arena within the large pink sweater. As I would look an awful lot like the terrifying blob of The Blob, I think there’s a very decent chance I would wind up full of bullet holes, and dead. Even that is assuming that I would not first become lost and disoriented inside the large pink sweater’s many folds, and die of suffocation or starvation.
   1034. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: November 23, 2021 at 07:39 PM (#6054355)
East: If Milwaukee is healthy for postseason, my money is still there. If Irving, Harden and Durant can all go, Brooklyn is the title favorite. I think it will either be Brooklyn or Milwaukee again with more interesting series in the early rounds. There are some improved, more interesting teams in the East than usual, notably Chicago, Washington, and Charlotte. Riley I am sure will be/is trying to make a move to add another big name in Miami, and you have the Ben Simmons situation.
West: Golden State, Phoenix, Utah, or the Clippers, but the Clippers ofc depend on what happens with Leonard. A Finals rematch could happen quite easily.

For sure the entire team defense has problems. It's such a waste of time to talk about such a shitty, boring team.


Lakers: People will always watch and talk about a train wreck or a Buss crash, especially one involving famous people. But yes, I am going to focus on emailing Laker fan pals (including Hombre) and posting on the team-themed board I hang out at some rather than talking about it here.

   1035. asinwreck Posted: November 23, 2021 at 07:58 PM (#6054358)
The Knicks' offense has looked disjointed recently, but the starters look in sync tonight.
   1036. asinwreck Posted: November 23, 2021 at 08:22 PM (#6054367)
Davis looks gassed, and the Knicks are up 22 in the second quarter. Would Vogel rest him by this point if this wasn't on national television?
   1037. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: November 23, 2021 at 08:24 PM (#6054369)
It's such a waste of time to talk about such a shitty, boring team.

... said every WOVLES fan, ever.
   1038. SteveF Posted: November 23, 2021 at 08:29 PM (#6054372)
Lakers: People will always watch and talk about a train wreck or a Buss crash, especially one involving famous people.

Well, they have two of the ten best players in the NBA and have an SRS worse than the Spurs. It's sort of interesting in the way an autopsy is interesting. Morbid and unpleasant for the deceased's family to be sure, but interesting enough to those mostly unaffected.
   1039. spivey 2 Posted: November 23, 2021 at 08:30 PM (#6054374)
I'm torn between thinking a team with a healthy LeBron and AD should still be very dangerous in the playoffs and "This team looks like they're in the tier with San Antonio where they are only better than all of the teams trying to lose".

It will be interesting to see what happens with the buyout market this year. I think the Lakers are a team, and there are a few others as well like Milwaukee, that 1 plus perimeter defender can go a long way to changing the landscape of their team. I thought for Milwaukee maybe it could be Ojeleye, but that doesn't look realistic right now.
   1040. SteveF Posted: November 23, 2021 at 08:33 PM (#6054375)
I thought for Milwaukee maybe it could be Ojeleye

You should have talked to some Celtics fans about Ojeleye first.
   1041. spivey 2 Posted: November 23, 2021 at 08:41 PM (#6054379)
Eventually things will shake out a bit more, but with the play-in, and the number of teams trying to win there may be way less guys getting bought out or expiring contracts being traded than normal.
   1042. PJ Martinez Posted: November 23, 2021 at 08:54 PM (#6054383)
A team with a healthy LeBron and AD *would* still be dangerous in the playoffs, IMO. But "dangerous in the playoffs" and "bona fide contender" are two different things. (And of course they have to make the playoffs first, which still seems likely to me but is not a foregone conclusion.)

Semi Ojeleye has played nearly four thousand minutes in his NBA career and has fewer than a hundred steals and blocks combined. Blocks and steals aren't everything, but it always seemed like a guy who was ostensibly on the floor for his defense should be getting more than that. (Meanwhile, it looks like Grant Williams is perhaps becoming the player the Celtics always wanted Ojeleye to be.)
   1043. spivey 2 Posted: November 23, 2021 at 09:34 PM (#6054404)
I wasn't suggesting Ojeleye was going to be Alex Caruso or something, but he's a big wing who can shoot 35% from 3. Maybe the "big wing" isn't as much of a threat this year.

LeBron's numbers are pretty down, Kawhi is hurt. There's still Durant, though it sometimes feels like nobody can actually stop him from getting a shot off so why even try.

The next tier down, Tatum is just going to chuck inefficient bullshit his whole career, Butler can be guarded by bigs in the playoffs.

Anyways, really like the new Ja Morant Nike commercial. Link, for those who haven't seen it.
   1044. spivey 2 Posted: November 23, 2021 at 09:45 PM (#6054410)
Jason Tatum's TS+ over his career is 100. And he was 105 his rookie year, so it's not a matter of having a bunch of inefficient stuff early in his career dragging him down. I knew his efficiency wasn't quite where you'd want it. But for a guy who isn't a good passer and isn't a great defender.. how good is he? Are we sure he's a top 20 player?
   1045. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: November 23, 2021 at 09:54 PM (#6054413)
I dunno, I'm not a Tatum fan and I can't be rational about it. I also can't explain why he draws such a vicersal reaction from me.
   1046. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: November 23, 2021 at 09:55 PM (#6054414)
I dunno, I'm not a Tatum fan and I can't be rational about it. I also can't explain why he draws such a vicersal reaction from me.

Duke and Celtics? I mean that's enough for a lot of people.
   1047. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: November 23, 2021 at 10:04 PM (#6054415)
Well, they have two of the ten best players in the NBA and have an SRS worse than the Spurs. It's sort of interesting in the way an autopsy is interesting. Morbid and unpleasant for the deceased's family to be sure, but interesting enough to those mostly unaffected.


As to the media/cultural piece, a lot of people will always talk about the Lakers, and a lot of people will always talk about LeBron James. (Boston gets more media attention than is warranted by the actual quality/recent history of their team as well, and they don't even have any superfamous guys). The only scenario in which the Lakers will stop being a thing this year is if James and/or Davis suffer season-ending injuries and the team is clearly dead, (in which case the autopsy analogy will be more apt) and even then, people would bittch about how often they are on national TV.

On the floor, I don't subscribe to The Athletic, but Hollinger wrote a piece today that basically says that James is still very good but he does not seem to be LE BRON JAMES anymore. I have mentioned this a few times, citing his PER (Hollinger ofc did a more granular take and an actual analysis).I was talking to a buddy about Davis the other day, and although he is 28, it feels like watching a guy who is 32. So, the Lakers have not actually had two of the ten best players in the NBA so far this year. It is easy enough to (probably) speculatively reconstruct Pelinka/James's reasoning in doing what they have done, but they are 0-for-3 right now in terms of what they were basing it on:

James and Davis have not been truly dominant and have trouble staying on the floor.
Westbrook is not fitting it and is just not that good anymore.
Losing Caruso and KCP (and people are also talking about Kuzma) has in fact been a blow to the team's defense.

As a Lakers fan, for me, having two guys as gifted as James and Davis on the team means that there is hope. But there is little reason to think that this team is anything other than play-in fodder, and I kind of think that is what shipman means by "tedious."



   1048. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: November 23, 2021 at 10:05 PM (#6054416)
Duke and Celtics? I mean that's enough for a lot of people.


Ha. Yeah. Plus like I mention in 1047, Boston always will get some attention just because they're Boston.
   1049. SteveF Posted: November 23, 2021 at 10:06 PM (#6054418)
I think watching talented players make bad basketball decisions is probably more frustrating than watching guys without talent display a lack of talent. One is a physical failure we think the player has no control over. The other we (many, at least) think is a moral failing. Anyone can learn how to play basketball the right way, right?

Tatum probably needs some rewiring, and it's probably never going to happen. He just doesn't accept the responsibility of creating shots for other players. He seems to lack sufficient self-awareness to recognize the deficiencies in his game given those deficiencies have only become more glaringly obvious as his career has gone along.
   1050. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: November 23, 2021 at 10:08 PM (#6054420)
Russell Westbrook actually played very well. He had six turnovers and I hate that about his game. But he finished well at the rim, got to the free throw line, and created shots for the team. If he limits the turnovers just a bit, finishs a little better at the rim, and makes more free throws, he can be a positive player.

Anthony Davis was meh as he largely has been despite what the numbers say.

THT has scored 10 points in the last three games, shooting 4-27. That is after he scored 70 points in his first 3 games back.

   1051. tshipman Posted: November 23, 2021 at 10:10 PM (#6054422)
I think you guys are not fully rational on Tatum. While he definitely doesn't rack up assists, he is associated with better offense. The last two years, his team's been 8 and 10 points better on offense with him on the court--the personnel has changed enough that I think he's the most likely cause (I don't think it's Kemba or Smart).

The team actually passes better with him off the court both years, but he seems to draw enough attention that the rest of the team shoots better. He's a good rebounder.

He's more Anthony Davis than LeBron, to use the Zach Lowe formulation.
   1052. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: November 23, 2021 at 10:10 PM (#6054423)
Russell Westbrook actually played very well. He had six turnovers and I hate that about his game. But he finished well at the rim, got to the free throw line, and created shots for the team. If he limits the turnovers just a bit, finishs a little better at the rim, and makes more free throws, he can be a positive player.

Anthony Davis was meh as he largely has been despite what the numbers say.


Yep. Westbrook did tonight exactly what he was brought in to do; Davis was banged up as he always is, and was just good, not awesome, although he was +8 (Westbrook was 0 in +/-).
   1053. spivey 2 Posted: November 23, 2021 at 10:24 PM (#6054429)
He's more Anthony Davis than LeBron, to use the Zach Lowe formulation.


Is he better than Khris Middleton, in your mind? But he's widely treated by the media as a player who clearly is, who is in the next tier below the mostly aging superstars, but I'm not sure there's anything he's really better at (besides drawing FTs in the playoffs, which isn't nothing, I suppose).

I do think the Celtics have had a pretty awful bench last year and this, and basically only 2 guys who can score (him and Brown), so the offense being better with him I think is at least partially explained by that. Kemba didn't play a lot last year. His +/- has been consistently been good to very good though, which usually means something. FWIW, I do think he's good, but am genuinely uncertain how good, and last year and this have given me some pause.
   1054. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: November 23, 2021 at 10:26 PM (#6054430)
I am not worried by what I have actually seen from LeBron this year. The athleticsm is still there from what I have seen. I can still see him being just as good as he was during the 2020 season.

Anthony Davis does need to be better/more healthy. He did miss a lot of time and maybe he is just not there yet. He is an injury question mark always but so is Kawhi. He can be special and AD at his best gives the Lakers the most complementary 1-2 punch in the league with the Lakers.

Russ and THT have to be the third and fourth best players on this team. Westbrook still can do some good things for the team. He has not been a huge problem for this team. THT has been awful and will need to better.

They have a ton of new guys and they have not really played all that much with each other yet.

I hate watching them without LBJ and there have been some ugly times even when he has played. There was always going to be growing pains.
   1055. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: November 23, 2021 at 10:28 PM (#6054431)
Also, I need to apologize again for my take about Steph Curry that I made before last season. What he did last year was impressive and this has been even more impressive. I did not think you could build an elite team with Steph Curry as the undisputed best player on the team at this point in his career. He is making me look really, really dumb for that one.
   1056. tshipman Posted: November 23, 2021 at 10:56 PM (#6054434)
Is he better than Khris Middleton, in your mind? But he's widely treated by the media as a player who clearly is, who is in the next tier below the mostly aging superstars, but I'm not sure there's anything he's really better at (besides drawing FTs in the playoffs, which isn't nothing, I suppose).


I dunno, it's a tough call because they don't fill the same role on offense or defense. I would cop out a bit and say that Middleton is a better fit next to Giannis than Tatum would be, but Tatum is better as the main star than Middleton would be.

The media tends to evaluate all young players based on the great player who immediately preceded them (at a reasonably similar position). So Kobe got compared to MJ, LeBron got compared to Kobe, and now Tatum gets compared to LeBron instead of AD or Giannis.
   1057. spivey 2 Posted: November 24, 2021 at 09:13 AM (#6054455)
I am not worried by what I have actually seen from LeBron this year. The athleticsm is still there from what I have seen. I can still see him being just as good as he was during the 2020 season.


His finishing at the rim frequency and efficiency are both way down so far this year.

For reference, LeBron has taken 36% of his career shots from 0-3 feet. In his late prime it was 40%. Their title winning team, it was 36.5%. Last year it was down to 31.8%, which was the lowest since his first year in Miami. This year it's at 28.3%. His efficiency at the rim is 65.9%, whereas for most of his career he's been around 75%.

That's something that is concerning, and needs to be watched.
   1058. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: November 24, 2021 at 10:20 AM (#6054458)

His finishing at the rim frequency and efficiency are both way down so far this year.

For reference, LeBron has taken 36% of his career shots from 0-3 feet. In his late prime it was 40%. Their title winning team, it was 36.5%. Last year it was down to 31.8%, which was the lowest since his first year in Miami. This year it's at 28.3%. His efficiency at the rim is 65.9%, whereas for most of his career he's been around 75%.

That's something that is concerning, and needs to be watched.
we are all witnesses.
   1059. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: November 24, 2021 at 11:13 AM (#6054466)
So Kobe got compared to MJ, LeBron got compared to Kobe, and now Tatum gets compared to LeBron instead of AD or Giannis.

I think Tatum and LeBron overlap enough for it to not be that crazy, but a comparison to Giannis isn't exactly favorable for him either.
   1060. tshipman Posted: November 24, 2021 at 11:48 AM (#6054471)
I think Tatum and LeBron overlap enough for it to not be that crazy, but a comparison to Giannis isn't exactly favorable for him either.


It's not favorable, but it is more instructive, IMO. If Tatum is going to lead a true contender, the team around him needs to look more like the Bucks last year than the LeBron teams.
   1061. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: November 24, 2021 at 02:48 PM (#6054489)
I don't see the Tatum/Giannis comparison at all; they have very different games and play different positions. I don't think LeBron is a terribly useful comparison either, but his role is much closer:

player  age | %C&|  %PU | % late (7-4s) | % very late (4-0s) |
|---------+-----+------+------+---------------+--------------------|
Tatum   |  23 17.9 44.9 |          11.4 |               10.4 |
LeBron  |  36 17.2 43.4 |          10.3 |                8.3 |
Giannis |  26 |  5.7 39.0 |           8.8 |                4.4 

("%C&S" is the percentage of shots that are catch and shoot; similarly, "%PU" is pull-up shot frequency. Last two are shot clock regions.)

Tatum has also had a real Jekyll and Hyde start to the season; I'm curious to see where he lands (Giannis had a significant and lasting jump in efficiency between his age-23 and -24 seasons; I know Tatum's age is a meme that's long since been run into the ground, but there are still rookies in the league who played NCAA ball last year and are older than him). Anyway, the splits are something else:

games offRtg defRtg netRtg EFG% |  TS% |
|-------+--------+--------+--------+------+------|
|  
1-10 |  104.3 |  103.5 |    0.8 45.2 48.8 |
11-18 |  114.6 |   99.7 |   14.9 50.5 55.5 
   1062. Fourth True Outcome Posted: November 24, 2021 at 03:20 PM (#6054495)
For the Cs haters among us, there's a new Tim Bontemps piece on the team today that was clearly conceived and started around when Marcus Smart publicly criticized Tatum and Brown after a game (what he said was pretty fair, but it did generate a great pull quote for making it seem like he was throwing them under the bus for selfishness) about the struggles of the team's rebuild which reads...oddly given that they've been the third-best team in the league over the last eight games. That doesn't mean a ton, necessarily, but it makes the doom and gloom tone of the piece, with some real "Jayson Tatum is a selfish chucker" quotes in it, kinda odd. The last paragraph kind of gestures at their recent success but it's still weird in such a negative piece.

Anyway I still stand by my perhaps overambitious preseason hype for Tatum; he's was ice-cold to start the season but has looked more like himself since. It'll be interesting to see how the rest of the year goes, obviously, but I don't think it's fair to call him a guy who "chucks inefficient bullshit" particularly. He definitely has the Kobe thing where he takes a lot of tough shots, but is both efficient enough despite that fact and also (and I didn't check a stat here so this is all eye test, but pretty consistent so far this season) doing a much better job than he ever has of finishing strong at the rim and using his frame to get protect the ball instead of trying to use his long arms to snake a shot around the defense.

I don't have time to really dig into stats today because of my (ugh) job, but just comparing his age 22 season to Khris Middleton's, Tatum has a better TS% on 10% more usage with better rebounding and assists. That was Tatum's fourth year in the league and Middleton's second, but the same things are true, if a bit less so, if you look at Middleton's fourth year. Add in the fact that Tatum's numbers include a month where he was a shell of himself due to covid, and it seems pretty clear-cut.

I know the question was more about who's better today, but for all that Tatum is no Giannis/LeBron yet, and probably ever, he's better than a lot of you seem to want to give him credit for today, and as If on a Winter's night said, is truly still only 23.
   1063. tshipman Posted: November 24, 2021 at 04:37 PM (#6054511)
I don't see the Tatum/Giannis comparison at all; they have very different games and play different positions.


Not sure if you've heard Zach Lowe's AD bit, but the idea is that even if you're the best player on a championship team (which AD at least debatably was in 2020), the "all-around" player archetype typically needs someone to be the primary offensive initiator on their team.

So with the 2019 Raptors, Kawhi was the best player, but Lowry was the primary initiator.
AD and LeBron.
Giannis and Middleton/Jrue.
If you want to go back a ways, Pau Gasol was at least debatably the best player, but Kobe obviously dominated the offense and was the primary initiator.

Tatum is more like those guys than he is like LeBron.

I don't have time to really dig into stats today because of my (ugh) job, but just comparing his age 22 season to Khris Middleton's


Middleton had to improve dramatically to be the second best player on a championship team. Tatum would have to improve less so, but his overall player profile is one of a secondary star, not the main banana. You shouldn't project anyone to improve as much as Middleton did from 22 to 28.
   1064. spivey 2 Posted: November 24, 2021 at 04:48 PM (#6054515)
I agree with tship. I think there's every reason to think Tatum will get to Middleton level abilities of passing, and I'd be inclined to say his prime will be better than Middleton now. That part of the game improves over time for stars.

But I think for the here and now, Tatum as your primary ball handler is going to have limited effectiveness against a good defense. Even the Bucks struggle with this, and I think Middleton is a clear tier above Tatum in terms of playmaking for others.

I don't think they're wrong for not trading Brown or Tatum, but Brown mostly has the same issues, but more-so.
   1065. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: November 24, 2021 at 06:16 PM (#6054528)
It really is amazing what disparate opinions Tatum inspires. Perhaps this is karma for the Kobe Discourse a decade ago, when he was the one putting up 100 TS+ on a ≈32% usage. For example, compare the above to what Durant, his primary defender in last year's playoffs, had to say about him (rr, you can go ahead and add "appeal to authority" to your list of BBTF logical fallacies):
I’ve been in the league for 13, 14 years and I started to like tally mark the matchups, the series, the players that I’ve played against... I’ve had series against Kobe, LeBron, Tim Duncan, the Memphis Grizzlies — Jayson Tatum is in that conversation. He’s that elite level player already at 23 and I’m like, alright, I can see where this is going. It was an honor to play against him.

I suppose that, at least for the time being, we will have to agree to disagree about how best to categorize his role and game.

Brown mostly has the same issues, but more-so
Brown has significantly worse instincts/court vision than Tatum; his (nontrivial) playmaking improvement to date has all come from having the athleticism and body control to create easy passing lanes and having the work ethic to dramatically improve his handle so he can play with his head up in more contexts. Both he and Zach LaVine have improved along these lines more than I expected possible for them; the two have forced me to reevaluate how I think about both them and the role individual work ethics play in player development somewhat.
   1066. tshipman Posted: November 24, 2021 at 06:47 PM (#6054534)
Definitely don't think Kobe is a good comparison for Tatum.
   1067. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: November 24, 2021 at 07:24 PM (#6054537)
I didn’t read that as a comparison to Kobe-the-player but rather to Kobe-the-divisive-player.
   1068. spivey 2 Posted: November 24, 2021 at 07:26 PM (#6054538)
It really is amazing what disparate opinions Tatum inspires. Perhaps this is karma for the Kobe Discourse a decade ago, when he was the one putting up 100 TS+ on a ≈32% usage.


I think Kobe is a bit overrated, but need to come to his defense here. His TS+ was pretty consistently 105-107 throughout his very long prime. This started in year 2, and he was also doing it with better Assist% numbers, especially as it compares to usage.

105-107 may not seem like a super high TS+ when we compare to the bbref + normalized numbers, but for reference - Middleton's career is 104 TS+. Klay Thompson is 107. Jordan is 106.
   1069. spivey 2 Posted: November 24, 2021 at 07:48 PM (#6054543)
LeBron did have this interesting thing to say about Tatum though:

"That ####### Tatum boomed me
He's so good
He's so good
He's so good
He's so good"
   1070. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: November 24, 2021 at 07:48 PM (#6054544)
it seems odd to me that lebron, giannis, and davis being used as a basis of comparison for tatum, rather than players like middleton or paul pierce or paul george, or even melo?
   1071. spivey 2 Posted: November 24, 2021 at 08:19 PM (#6054552)
   1072. spivey 2 Posted: November 24, 2021 at 08:51 PM (#6054554)
Kevin Durant since he joined Golden State is over 50% on 3-10ft jumpers, 10-16ft jumpers, and 16<3 jumpers. That's absurd. I don't recall ever seeing a player have a run like that across every midrange level. And you can even go back to his last 2-3 years in OKC and see almost equally ridiculous mid-range shotmaking.

Paul is over .500 on all of them over his last 2+ years, and almost over .500 on each dating back to the 12-13 season.
   1073. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: November 24, 2021 at 09:28 PM (#6054558)
Weird Westbrook moment of the game: About to dunk on a fast break with no one really in front of him and he just loses the ball.
   1074. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: November 24, 2021 at 09:31 PM (#6054559)
Hmm, I think they are calling too many fragrants. Westbrook got one that I agree with, they gave Sabonis one for something on LeBron a little weak.

The Lakers are playing LeBron at centre and having some success.
   1075. tshipman Posted: November 24, 2021 at 09:33 PM (#6054560)
The Lakers are playing LeBron at centre and having some success.


Yeah, they're coming back on the Pacers by running this lineup:
Westbrook
Monk
Ellington
Carmelo
LeBron

It's kind of debateable who the "center" is in this, but if you swab out Melo for AD, this is how I thought they were going to play all year.
   1076. Fourth True Outcome Posted: November 24, 2021 at 09:35 PM (#6054562)
Oof
   1077. asinwreck Posted: November 24, 2021 at 09:37 PM (#6054563)
That is what scoring at will looks like.
   1078. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: November 24, 2021 at 09:42 PM (#6054566)
AD on Westbrook: "We had a conversation about what he wants to see from us so we can help him cut down the turnovers. We talked about it, & it showed tonight."
AD glanced at boxscore: "I say that, & he got 8. But at least it wasn’t – he had a triple double, not a quadruple double"

— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) November 11, 2021
   1079. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: November 24, 2021 at 09:44 PM (#6054569)
Lakers were up 4 with 28 seconds, and the Pacers have the ball, the Lakers only needed not to give up two threes because Westbrook made two cluch free throws, and of course they give up two three pointers. Honestly, the Pacers should have had an AND-1.
   1080. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: November 24, 2021 at 09:50 PM (#6054570)
LeBron hits just enough of what I consider ill-advised 3-pointers that I can't really say much about it. He probably should be taking Sabonis to the hole but decided he wants to take deep threes instead. He shot 5 or 6 of them but hit 3 late.

Lakers esecape. 4-0 in overtime so far this year. A win is a win is win, especially whn you are struggling, it is the second game of B2B, and AD is out.

That said, Lakers still not playing well.
   1081. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: November 24, 2021 at 10:12 PM (#6054574)
I am enjoying this MIA/MIN game a lot more than I expected to.
   1082. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: November 24, 2021 at 10:22 PM (#6054577)
Just for aesthetics, if nothing else, you don't call this an offensive foul.
   1083. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: November 24, 2021 at 10:28 PM (#6054579)
This is a bad, bad loss for the Bulls. Yes, a tiny bit 3pt variance with rockets shooting so well, but that's not acceptable against Houston. DeRozan has been bad last 5 games. But defense has been terrible last 2 games.
   1084. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: November 24, 2021 at 10:29 PM (#6054581)
It's not favorable, but it is more instructive, IMO. If Tatum is going to lead a true contender, the team around him needs to look more like the Bucks last year than the LeBron teams.

Replace Giannis with Tatum last year and the Bucks aren't sniffing the Finals, much less winning it. I know that's not what you mean more on latter comments but I'll echo stiggles here.
   1085. asinwreck Posted: November 24, 2021 at 10:34 PM (#6054583)
Yep, worst game of the season for the Bulls, even worse than the blowout against Indiana. They look tired and they don't get a decent break until after the Nets game.
   1086. tshipman Posted: November 24, 2021 at 10:46 PM (#6054588)
Sengun is such a delight. He's not a good player now. He's the best player on the Rockets, which is not exactly impressive. He's such a weird player. I have no idea what he will be when he's older. He's just so weird.
   1087. spivey 2 Posted: November 24, 2021 at 11:14 PM (#6054590)
I agree 100% that in a redraft every single team takes Evan Mobley. I'm starting to get a bit worried about Cade though. Jalen Green is also very inefficient, but has enough quickness to where I'm more confident he'll be dangerous in the future. Cade Cunningham has had a really bad start, and shows very little "wiggle".
   1088. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: November 25, 2021 at 01:43 AM (#6054598)
rr, you can go ahead and add "appeal to authority" to your list of BBTF logical fallacies):


I actually used some BTF COVID posts for a class activity and had the students find the logical fallacies. Ofc didn't mention the site and redacted the dates/screennames. Students had fun with it.

I didn’t read that as a comparison to Kobe-the-player but rather to Kobe-the-divisive-player.


I am comfortable asserting that no player active today is as divisive as Bryant was, although I guess you could argue James. But Bryant was a pretty big thing before he played a NBA game and went on to inspire Barry Bonds/Derek Jeter levels of vitriol and adulation, scored 60 points in his last game after sort of helping to wreck the franchise, and then died in a sudden and tragic accident, which took other people and his child as well. He also won an Oscar, to go with five rings, two Gold Medals, and a MVP. If there had been no Kobe Bryant, and someone made a fictional version of Bryant's life with the exact same events into a STARZ series, people would say that it was over the top. Tatum OTOH is just a guy who played for Duke and plays for Boston and sometimes takes too many tough shots, and I agree that he occasionally takes some slightly excessive crap here. But in terms of BTF Boston stuff, I think Ainge was more divisive than Tatum is. The guy is a good/very good player and will probably get a bit better, and I don't think that anyone is hotly disputing that, ultimately. I think he is/will be more like Paul George than LeBron James or Giannis Antetokounmpo in terms of what he is going to do for his team. But as I have noted, it is hard for me to be objective about Boston.

Yeah, they're coming back on the Pacers by running this lineup:
Westbrook
Monk
Ellington
Carmelo
LeBron


I only caught the last five minutes and the OT. There are no "bad wins" when your team sucks, is on the road, and is struggling, but this was close. The supersmall lineup looked very marginally better on the perimeter and generated one key TO, but the Lakers defense is compromised by drivers possession after possession. They ofc had trouble rebounding as always and ran no offense late at all other than LeBron taking long 3s and a fallaway, and Westbrook making one long 2.

I’ve been in the league for 13, 14 years and I started to like tally mark the matchups, the series, the players that I’ve played against... I’ve had series against Kobe, LeBron, Tim Duncan, the Memphis Grizzlies — Jayson Tatum is in that conversation. He’s that elite level player already at 23 and I’m like, alright, I can see where this is going. It was an honor to play against him


Guys having big scoring games and making tough shots tends to impress other players; Bryant and Anthony were/have been much more highly regarded by other players than by analysts/saber-minded fans.

Yes, a tiny bit 3pt variance with rockets shooting so well, but that's not acceptable against Houston


Yeah, but Houston wasn't going to go 1-81, and stuff happens sometimes. When a team like Houston beats your team, it is annoying, but teams like that will ofc win a few. I don't think it is a big deal for Chicago.
   1089. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: November 25, 2021 at 08:20 AM (#6054604)
“He ain’t finna fight nobody out there,” Edwards said. “All that walking up on each other, that’s stuff for the birds, man. I ain’t about to fight. I don’t get into all that. That #### be fake.”

I love this kid.
   1090. SteveF Posted: November 25, 2021 at 07:57 PM (#6054648)
I am comfortable asserting that no player active today is as divisive as Bryant was, although I guess you could argue James. But Bryant was a pretty big thing before he played a NBA game and went on to inspire Barry Bonds/Derek Jeter levels of vitriol and adulation, scored 60 points in his last game after sort of helping to wreck the franchise, and then died in a sudden and tragic accident, which took other people and his child as well. He also won an Oscar, to go with five rings, two Gold Medals, and a MVP.

This list feels like it might be missing something...
   1091. PJ Martinez Posted: November 26, 2021 at 10:55 AM (#6054659)
Warriors-Nets would be a pretty fun Finals matchup.
   1092. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: November 26, 2021 at 11:03 AM (#6054660)
This list feels like it might be missing something...

His Italian was pretty good, apparently.
   1093. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: November 26, 2021 at 12:35 PM (#6054666)
I love this kid.

He does seem pretty likeable. That's a great quote.
   1094. Harlond Posted: November 26, 2021 at 02:44 PM (#6054681)
I have League Pass Premium, which is advertised as "hundreds of games, no commercials." In fact, you can't watch any game without first watching a commercial. Sometimes commercials show in a separate window during the game. Sometimes I can hear the audio of a commercial during the game. And sometimes two minutes of commercials will play during timeouts, and if you click the "live" button after they end, you can see that the commercials overran the end of the timeout. Anyone else having this experience? Thanks.
   1095. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: November 26, 2021 at 03:22 PM (#6054682)
Noting that Bryant was divisive because he was accused of rape seemed a little redundant to me at this point, especially with shrewd and cagey observers like SteveF on the board, but fair enough I suppose.

Points of the post were that Bryant had a wild NBA ride and public life even without the rape charge, and he was already very famous and in some ways a pretty polarizing figure by the time he was Tatum's age, although the really intense stuff around that started in about 2003. So, I thought it was a little odd to compare any snark directed at Tatum because of his shot selection to the whole Kobe Bryant experience.
   1096. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: November 26, 2021 at 03:32 PM (#6054683)
Warriors-Nets would be a pretty fun Finals matchup.


ABC would like that one if they can't get the Lakers/James. GS is getting more attention for several obvious reasons, but Phoenix has won 14 in a row, and is 8th in ORTG/3rd in DRTG. They do not have a traditional superstar guy, but they have the Paul/Ayton/Booker core, plus some other useful guys, and I mentioned to Hombre in an email that the Lakers could use JaVale McGee, who had DeAndre Jordan's current job here in 2020 and who is on Phoenix doing his usual thing. I don't like Phoenix, but they are good and probably do not get enough credit in general. Their PYTH is 13-5, and they are 4th in SRS.
   1097. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: November 26, 2021 at 05:07 PM (#6054691)
None of you watch them so I don't know why I'm asking, but is there any reason to believe these are "growing pains" for the Pistons and not just "pains"?

All their sophomores look worse this year. I don't want to jump to conclusions about Cade but I'm antsy at minimum.

Hopefully this is just me being impatient, that progress with youngins' isn't linear, etc.
   1098. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: November 26, 2021 at 05:41 PM (#6054697)
It’s waaaay to early to worry about Cade, and sophomores almost always regress some. I wouldn’t be worried.
   1099. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: November 26, 2021 at 05:57 PM (#6054700)
Many One-and-done guys do seemingly almost always take awhile--3-5 years--to develop; I grew up in a different time, and it is one of many changes from that era. That said, if there are concerns with Cunningham's athleticism, that could be a thing. But Cunningham will likely not be whatever he is going to be until like 2026. That process can be tough on fans when they root for a team that has had a long run of bad/mediocre seasons.
   1100. asinwreck Posted: November 26, 2021 at 09:06 PM (#6054718)
DeMar DeRozan looks better tonight, as does the Bulls' defense. Yes, it's Orlando, but this team just lost to the Rockets, so it's good to see them recover.

I don't like Phoenix, but they are good and probably do not get enough credit in general. Their PYTH is 13-5, and they are 4th in SRS.

Their offense looks even better than last year. (Currently picking apart the Knicks.) I wish the schedule could be adjusted for a Suns-Warriors game right now as both teams are playing at such a high level right now.
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