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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 loves a good maim Posted: October 15, 2021 at 11:39 AM | 4178 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: get me out of philly, nba, off top

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   1901. jmurph Posted: January 14, 2022 at 12:17 PM (#6061071)
To me Brooklyn has lost the benefit of the doubt, they're just not a great team yet and I don't see why we should just pencil them in. We talk about Kyrie's vaccine status, but there's also the fact that he's finished like half the seasons of his career in street clothes with various injuries.
   1902. tshipman Posted: January 14, 2022 at 12:50 PM (#6061075)
Yeah, I think Brooklyn looks way worse than last year. Last year, you had a lot of questions about the defense, but the offense was otherworldly.

This year they have improved their defense all the way to mediocre, and they're incredibly dependent on Durant making tough shots. Harden looks like just a guy. In home games they have a grand total of like 5 rotation players. If Durant gets hurt, they're a first round loss waiting to happen.
   1903. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 14, 2022 at 12:57 PM (#6061078)
Trying to think of who could really use McCollum this year. Miami, but there's no way to take on his salary without shedding someone more critical. Memphis? I think this would make sense for both teams if McCollum comes back full strength by the deadline.
this works.

so would this. (or this)
   1904. Fourth True Outcome Posted: January 14, 2022 at 01:17 PM (#6061081)
so would this. (or this)

Once Houston puts Tobias Harris next to John Wall they'll be unstoppable!
   1905. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: January 14, 2022 at 01:33 PM (#6061083)
My periodic posting of these. From Pinnacle on 1/14

NBA Title
+278 Nets
+476 Warriors
+683 Bucks
+733 Suns
+866 Jazz
+1409 Heat
+1562 Lakers
+2112 Bulls
+2572 Sixers
+2917 Grizzlies

I feel like the Nets have hovered between +200 and +300 all year.

One thing I thought of recently was if there was a real-time title probability tracker, like how this one tries coming up with them per games.

Like, what were the Cavs odds down 3-1 compared, to the Bucks odds last year down 2-0 in the second round compared to the Warriors odds down 3-1 to the Thunder, etc., to find the biggest title "comeback". Raptors were down 2-0 the year they won, too, and that was with the Warriors looming. Been quite a few in recent years and not sure how odd that is historically or not.
   1906. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: January 14, 2022 at 02:29 PM (#6061092)
Since it looks like Portland is planning to bottom out this year, I think the Wolves would be a good trade partner for McCollum. Minnesota's bench units are terrible, especially offensively, and by adding McCollum they could basically keep 2 of CJ, Ant, & DLo on the floor at all times. McCollum for Malik Beasley, Taurean Prince (expiring), and some major draft compensation would work. Maybe along the lines of two lightly-protected 1sts and a couple 2nd rounders?
   1907. tshipman Posted: January 14, 2022 at 03:23 PM (#6061102)
Giving the Jazz better odds than the Bucks is completely inexplicable to me.

Since it looks like Portland is planning to bottom out this year, I think the Wolves would be a good trade partner for McCollum. Minnesota's bench units are terrible, especially offensively, and by adding McCollum they could basically keep 2 of CJ, Ant, & DLo on the floor at all times. McCollum for Malik Beasley, Taurean Prince (expiring), and some major draft compensation would work. Maybe along the lines of two lightly-protected 1sts and a couple 2nd rounders?


Like, yeah, I guess it makes sense, but zoom out and what a bad decision for the Wolves to make. They're 20-22, in the 9 seed, and you're going to trade future assets for a guy who's overpaid?
   1908. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: January 14, 2022 at 04:44 PM (#6061107)
Since it looks like Portland is planning to bottom out this year, I think the Wolves would be a good trade partner for McCollum.

Have they recently said or made playing decisions that they are bottoming out or is this based on their record.
(I don't mean that to be snarky, I'm asking.)

Their off-season plan of upgrading the roster by hiring Chauncy to emphasize defense more might have been the plan all along.
(OK, that was meant to be a little snarky.)
   1909. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: January 14, 2022 at 04:59 PM (#6061110)
Have they recently said or made playing decisions that they are bottoming out or is this based on their record.

Record combined with Lillard opting for surgery and being out the next couple months rather than trying to play through it.
Like, yeah, I guess it makes sense, but zoom out and what a bad decision for the Wolves to make. They're 20-22, in the 9 seed, and you're going to trade future assets for a guy who's overpaid?

Counter: The guys they'd be trading away are far more overpaid (though for a shorter period), and free agents do not come to Minnesota. What could they realistically do that would make them better in the next 2.5 years than trading picks and negative players for McCollum? When healthy, McCollum tends to be quite good (e.g. 40th by DPM (DARKO)), particularly in areas where the Wolves currently struggle like ball-handling and 3P%.

Sure, there's a chance they could find a gem in the 10-20 range of the draft that would help them much more, especially in the long run, but it's not to be expected. I guess it depends on whether they're more concerned with being competitive and potentially winning a playoff series (get McCollum) or maximizing long-term championship odds (don't).

I'll also note that there's a difference between a team like Minnesota, whose starting lineup is strongly positive and bench stinks, and a comparable team like the Knicks, whose roster is full of average players and always carried by the bench. The Wolves have a much easier path to improvement, as they can gain a lot more by adding someone who's merely good rather than great.

This isn't to say that I'd love the deal for Minnesota, just that I see a McCollum trade making more sense for them than other teams. He could really help them if he'd buy in as a 6th man, and the Wolves can match salaries without really losing anything.
   1910. spivey 2 Posted: January 14, 2022 at 05:39 PM (#6061114)
I firmly believe that if you build a winning team and culture, guys will mostly play anywhere. Now, if it's a superstar and they're getting those things from every team, then sure, location matters. But as far as I can tell, guys care about money and winning well beyond other things. Milwaukee was mentioned as one of the acceptable trade destinations for AD and Harden, for example. I love Milwaukee, but Minneapolis is a better city in every way and has the same drawbacks of winter. I think the worst thing Minnesota could do is try to take a shortcut to success. They've got a good thing going. It's also no surprise their best lineups seem to have Vanderbilt and Beverly. I don't think adding another guy who can't play defense is helpful here. I mean, sure, they get better, but not meaningfully.

I think the Wolves have something exciting going for the first time in quite a while. I think they'd be better off trying to over pay a couple million per year (if that's even needed) for 2 way players like Lonzo Ball or Alex Caruso. Rather than tying up a ton of money on a guy whose best years are behind him, and his best years probably weren't even that good anyways.
   1911. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 14, 2022 at 06:24 PM (#6061119)
Agree 1 billion % with #1910.
   1912. tshipman Posted: January 14, 2022 at 07:28 PM (#6061129)
Trading picks for McCollum in an attempt to chase the 8th seed is a Kings-like move. Any time you find yourself saying, "Yes, but for us, it makes sense to do something like the Kings," stop, you are making a mistake.
   1913. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: January 14, 2022 at 08:32 PM (#6061133)
Lavine left the bulls warriors game with a non contact left knee injury (the knee with his repaired ACL). Bulls injury and covid luck has completely overwhelmed the good luck early in the year. ####.

And the defense is even worse than last game. Bulls have given up 130 points in the last 3 quarters and 5 minutes.

Edit:. 76 for bkn 2nd half, 78 for GS in 1st today. Good lord
   1914. spivey 2 Posted: January 14, 2022 at 09:36 PM (#6061141)
LaVine getting seriously hurt would be a huge bummer. I don't buy Chicago as contenders, but they absolutely were contenders for a #1 seed.
   1915. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: January 14, 2022 at 09:46 PM (#6061142)
I agree that trading for McCollum is not the right call for Minnesota; the real question is whether Towns and Edwards are good enough and synched enough (skills/timeline) to get the team to the top level. Edwards is only 20; they have a chance.

As to the city stuff, my position there is well-known. The system is tilted so that the top guys tend to stay where they were drafted for 6-9 years regardless, and Towns is another case in point: he re-upped in Minnesota through 2024. If he leaves after that, then that is how it goes. OTOH, the top disgruntleds/FAs recently coalesced in Brooklyn and LA, which has lead to the Lakers winning another title, Brooklyn contending, and the Clippers making their first conference finals. OTOOH, last year's Finals was Milwaukee/Phoenix, and Utah is one of the 6-8 best teams. So like I have said, I think the balance on the "big market" issue is pretty good from the league's standpoint.

   1916. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 14, 2022 at 11:04 PM (#6061146)
Noah Levick @NoahLevick
Joel Embiid says he feel good about where the Sixers are at through 41 games. Points to how well they’ve done when he and other key players are healthy. Embiid, in part: “There’s no urgency to change anything. We’ve got everything we need.”

   1917. asinwreck Posted: January 15, 2022 at 08:28 AM (#6061155)
Edit:. 76 for bkn 2nd half, 78 for GS in 1st today. Good lord

Yep. At home against two teams with title aspirations, this is the measuring stick. Yes, they are on their fifth-string 4, and LaVine was out after 3 minutes, but the defense and ballhandling showed a team as lost on the court as on any given night in the Boylen era.

Ugly couple of games, made even uglier by LaVine's injury. Here's hoping for good news on that front.

   1918. DCA Posted: January 15, 2022 at 10:24 AM (#6061161)
Trading picks for McCollum in an attempt to chase the 8th seed is a Kings-like move.

You are absolutely right. It's going to be this.
   1919. tshipman Posted: January 15, 2022 at 12:40 PM (#6061164)
You are absolutely right. It's going to be this.


This is hilariously plausible.
   1920. mike f Posted: January 15, 2022 at 01:10 PM (#6061167)
Portland should trade Lillard for Mobley and Jalen Green like I did.
   1921. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 15, 2022 at 01:26 PM (#6061168)
You are absolutely right. It's going to be this.
i prefer something more like this.
   1922. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 15, 2022 at 01:58 PM (#6061171)
#1918 is plausible. Way too plausible for this thread ;)
   1923. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: January 15, 2022 at 04:00 PM (#6061184)
Luckily Lavine isn't seriously injured, but they haven't set a timeline yet for how long he'll be out. And because that's not enough, Ball is out at least tonight too with knee soreness.
   1924. asinwreck Posted: January 15, 2022 at 08:29 PM (#6061197)
Kevin Durant just left a lopsided Nets-Pelicans game with a knee injury.
   1925. CFBF is Obsessed with Art Deco Posted: January 15, 2022 at 11:53 PM (#6061208)
Relevant line from tonight's Saturday Night Live: "Basketball is an impossible game played by giants and gods."
   1926. Howie Menckel Posted: January 15, 2022 at 11:59 PM (#6061209)
My periodic posting of these. From Pinnacle on 1/14

minor point, perhaps, but presumably there are plenty of references available for legal, regulated, consumer-protected gambling odds sites. do we have to go illegal offshore, then?
   1927. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 16, 2022 at 12:28 AM (#6061211)
In their last 10 games, the Lakers' opponents are shooting about 41% from 3. That's not good.
   1928. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: January 16, 2022 at 09:54 AM (#6061219)
Amazingly, the Hawks have lost 10 straight home games (last win was 11/22). They host the Bucks on MLK Day, and the Wolves and Heat later this week.
   1929. asinwreck Posted: January 16, 2022 at 12:52 PM (#6061226)
Durant is out 4-6 weeks. Sad not to see him or LaVine play for a while; here's hoping LaVine's return is quicker.
   1930. jmurph Posted: January 16, 2022 at 01:37 PM (#6061229)
I have just now learned that the Celtics won last night. I turned it off in disgust with a couple minutes left when they were losing to the makeshift Bulls.

I take no lessons from this and will surely do it again.
   1931. tshipman Posted: January 16, 2022 at 04:30 PM (#6061246)
Exceptionally soft ejection for Cade at home.
   1932. SteveF Posted: January 16, 2022 at 05:43 PM (#6061253)
Well, it was his second tech. Should there be a different standard for issuing second techs? Or maybe the auto-eject rule on second techs should be reconsidered. I think I'd lean towards the second. Players should only be ejected from games for doing something really bad -- like intentionally assaulting another player in a non-basketball way (punches, egregious elbows, etc.) or getting intentionally physical with officials.

Technical free throws are probably a sufficient punishment to curb behavior for the other stuff, and refs could just keep calling them on guys. If a guy wants to earn himself 5 techs in a game and cost his team 3-4 points, let him.
   1933. tshipman Posted: January 16, 2022 at 06:05 PM (#6061256)
Or, and hear me out here, we shouldn't give guys a T for pointing at their own bench after a play.
   1934. chisoxcollector Posted: January 16, 2022 at 06:16 PM (#6061259)
Was Brown flopping when he hit Durant's knee, or did he go down for real?
   1935. asinwreck Posted: January 16, 2022 at 08:19 PM (#6061300)
Draymond Green is out for at least the next two weeks with a disc issue, meaning late January is becoming mid-season injury break for stars.
   1936. SteveF Posted: January 17, 2022 at 12:00 AM (#6061319)
Or, and hear me out here, we shouldn't give guys a T for pointing at their own bench after a play.

Sure, and hear me out here, but officials are going to screw up. Much better that the consequences of that be 1 foul shot vs. an ejection. It seems to me to be only marginally less of an injustice had he been pointing at an opponent, which I have to assume what the ref was thinking.
   1937. KronicFatigue Posted: January 17, 2022 at 10:03 AM (#6061331)
I would have called a technical for celebrating while down 20.
   1938. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 17, 2022 at 11:10 AM (#6061339)
I don't think it is that hard to avoid getting two technical fouls in a game.
   1939. tshipman Posted: January 17, 2022 at 11:32 AM (#6061342)
The quality of refereeing has been quite poor over the last month. With all the players out due to protocols, many refs have been out as well. I saw as many as a third of refs are fill-in replacements.
   1940. PJ Martinez Posted: January 17, 2022 at 12:12 PM (#6061351)
Is Ayton Phoenix's second-best player? Some of the all-in-one stats seem to think so.
   1941. An Athletic in Powderhorn, Silly Posted: January 17, 2022 at 01:38 PM (#6061366)
I would have called a technical for celebrating while down 20.
Booker had scored seconds earlier and done some yapping at, IIRC, the Pistons' bench. Cunningham's pointing was more of a "Yeah? What do you have to say now?" than a celebration.
   1942. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 17, 2022 at 01:54 PM (#6061370)
Booker had scored seconds earlier and done some yapping at, IIRC, the Pistons' bench. Cunningham's pointing was more of a "Yeah? What do you have to say now?" than a celebration.

"scoreboard. scoreboard."
   1943. tshipman Posted: January 17, 2022 at 03:48 PM (#6061381)
Is Ayton Phoenix's second-best player? Some of the all-in-one stats seem to think so.


I don't think so, and Phoenix is a very weird good team.

Most very good teams have their success driven by a few key players. When Giannis, Middleton and Jrue play together, the Bucks are +12/100. When LeBron and AD played together in 2020, the Lakers were +8. When Steph and Draymond play together, the Warriors are +13.

When you look at Phoenix's lineups, it's hard to find that star power that drives success. The closest thing the Suns have is the trio of Booker/Paul/Bridges--the Suns are +10 with those guys playing. However, if you sub Jae Crowder for Booker, the Suns are still ... +10. If you sub Jae Crowder in for Bridges, the Suns are ... +10.

So that looks like Paul and Booker drive the bus in Phoenix, right? Except if you look at their lineups, Paul + Bridges and no Book, or Booker + Bridges and no Paul are actually better.

Anyway, you asked about Ayton, and that's the weird thing. Basically, the Suns' starting lineup is really good, and when Ayton is in that lineup, it performs well. Ayton doesn't perform well with basically any other lineup. Ayton without both Booker and Paul is a shocking -11. Ayton without just Chris Paul is -1.5.

That's what's weird about the Suns. They look like a two star team, but they play just as well with just CP3 or just Booker out there as they do with both of them out there. To answer your question, though, Ayton is just a role player on the Suns. The team is better with Kaminsky or JaVale out there.
   1944. spivey Posted: January 17, 2022 at 04:19 PM (#6061389)
League is calling way too much taunting stuff. The #### is all so tame. These guys are super competitive, just let them jaw a bit. It's fun. And then when Jokic knocks Morris out for the whole season, he only gets a game.
   1945. PJ Martinez Posted: January 17, 2022 at 07:04 PM (#6061406)
1943 is interesting -- thanks for the detailed thoughts. They jibe with my general impression, which is that Phoenix has Chris Paul and then a bunch of guys who fill important roles and range, as players, from solid to very good. JaVale's numbers look similar to Ayton's, which suggests, in part, that the system they have in place may be statistically kind to big men (though McGee plays fewer MPG and presumably faces more bench competition).

It'd be interesting if Phoenix won it all and forced people to reckon with another exception to the various supposed rules for building a title team. Still seems more unlikely than not, but they've got about as good a shot as any other team, or close to it.
   1946. Harlond Posted: January 17, 2022 at 09:26 PM (#6061418)
This Heat-Raptors game is the most physical game I've seen this year. Someone gets knocked down practically every trip with no call. Every pass and every shot is contested. Very intense game from a defensive perspective.
   1947. tshipman Posted: January 17, 2022 at 09:36 PM (#6061421)
You know what's remarkable about Phoenix?

I know this is my whole bit, but in their wins, they have given up just a 29.8% opponent 3p%, and in their losses, opponents have hit 42.5% of their threes.

Every team has opponents hit a higher percentage in their losses, of course, but that degree of difference is extreme. Golden State is within a couple of percent, the Jazz have an 8 point difference, and the Nets are at a 4% difference.
   1948. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 17, 2022 at 09:39 PM (#6061422)
You know what's remarkable about Phoenix?

I know this is my whole bit, but in their wins, they have given up just a 29.8% opponent 3p%, and in their losses, opponents have hit 42.5% of their threes.
it's a make or miss league.
   1949. tshipman Posted: January 18, 2022 at 12:15 AM (#6061435)
Russ with maybe the dunk of the year.
   1950. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: January 18, 2022 at 01:31 AM (#6061436)
Russ with maybe the dunk of the year.


It was not only a great dunk, but it was also surprising that he could do it at all, given how many dunks/bunnies he has missed.

forced people to reckon with another exception to the various supposed rules for building a title team.


As I have said a few times, I think that the lessons of history are pretty clear on this issue, and I would suggest that the fact that Phoenix lost to Milwaukee last year with Antetokounmpo winning Finals MVP was another one. Phoenix reminds me of the 2001-2003 Sacramento teams. Those teams won 55, 61, and 59 games, and were Top 10--and nearly Top 5 the latter two years--in both O and D. Their best player was Chris Webber, and they were like Phoenix in terms of quality 1-8. And yes, Phoenix obviously can win it, but if I had to bet on the Finals matchup today, I would bet GS/MIL.
   1951. PJ Martinez Posted: January 18, 2022 at 08:10 AM (#6061442)
if I had to bet on the Finals matchup today, I would bet GS/MIL
Oh, me too. But every so often a team that doesn't quite fit the model wins it all, and then NBA folks have to admit that it's *possible* at least, which I like...
   1952. spivey 2 Posted: January 18, 2022 at 08:48 AM (#6061448)
Phoenix also reminds me of the late-era Spurs. Not exactly the same kind of makeup, but they go 8 deep (top 7 plus McGee) of good players. And their top 7 are all pretty versatile. Pretty much all 2 way players, and guys that can shoot and are at least acceptable dribblers and passers.

Cam Johnson is having a nice year.

Phoenix is getting some 3 point luck, but they allow one of the lowest 2pt%'s in the league too. Even if they were allowing a 3pt% of .345 rather than .327, they'd still have one of the top SRSs, and still comfortably be a top 10 defense.

--

On the East, I don't think it's been mentioned Durant is out for several weeks. Milwaukee has also been crap recently. They've been without Jrue (and Lopez), and Donte has been awful getting back up to speed. But they can't chalk it all up to injuries, they need to play better. Bulls haven't looked good whenever they have to play a good team. East playoff standings I think could go all sorts of ways this year. Very possible that Milwaukee and Brooklyn could face in the first round.
   1953. PJ Martinez Posted: January 18, 2022 at 10:09 AM (#6061458)
I know Chicago likes Patrick Williams, and maybe they can bolster the roster without giving him up, but if there was ever a team lined up to go for it now, the Bulls are it, aren't they? DeRozan's not going to play like this forever. LaVine is more youngish than young, at 26. Vucevic is 31, Caruso's 27. And it's not like Williams is a shoo-in future All Star or anything. Right?

Edit: Obviously, the other part of this is that the league doesn't often feel as open as it does this year -- sure, GSW and MIL could blow everyone away come playoff time, but both (especially MIL, Chicago's more immediate concern) look vulnerable, as does Brooklyn.
   1954. tshipman Posted: January 18, 2022 at 10:34 AM (#6061461)
I think this is a year, like 2015, that will feel more obvious in hindsight.

Like if Milwaukee wins, they will have been the obvious champion all along. Great team, goes back to back, best player in his prime in the league.
If the Nets win, they always had the best talent.
If the Warriors win, the last couple of years were just a brief interregnum.
Even if a team like the Suns wins, they are likely to have the best record in the NBA. Is it really such a shock that the best team wins?

It's only really if someone unexpected wins that you get the validation of the "openness" of the league this year.
   1955. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: January 18, 2022 at 11:05 AM (#6061463)
Russ with maybe the dunk of the year.


Be still my heart. Glad to see that Russ can still make a highlight play every now and then.
   1956. KronicFatigue Posted: January 18, 2022 at 11:47 AM (#6061469)
I think this is a year, like 2015, that will feel more obvious in hindsight.

Like if Milwaukee wins, they will have been the obvious champion all along. Great team, goes back to back, best player in his prime in the league.
If the Nets win, they always had the best talent.
If the Warriors win, the last couple of years were just a brief interregnum.
Even if a team like the Suns wins, they are likely to have the best record in the NBA. Is it really such a shock that the best team wins?


I agree with 2.5 of those choices. I think a team like the Suns winning for the first time will always be a bit of a shock, regardless of making the finals the year before. Whether or not the Warriors will be a surprise depends on how they play with their big 3 together. If they start dominating games in a month and looking like the Warrior of old, then yeah, it's expected they'll win. But as of now, there are still too many question marks regarding Klay specifically, and how the minutes will be distributed generally.
   1957. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: January 18, 2022 at 11:55 AM (#6061470)
For me, the only "obvious" champion is a Brooklyn team with all three of the guys playing the full playoffs. I'd take them over the field if that's the case.

Obviously, those three being healthy and available is not obvious.
   1958. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 18, 2022 at 12:04 PM (#6061473)
Do the Lakers have a chance at winning the title if LeBron is healthy and playing at this current level and AD is magically healthy and performing at the level he did in the bubble?
   1959. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: January 18, 2022 at 12:05 PM (#6061474)
Bulls haven't looked good whenever they have to play a good team.

That just isn't true. They haven't looked good against good teams the past month (and have been horrible against everyone the past week) when half of their rotation (the half with the guys that play defense) is out. At least it sounds like Caruso should be back tomorrow.

I know Chicago likes Patrick Williams, and maybe they can bolster the roster without giving him up, but if there was ever a team lined up to go for it now, the Bulls are it, aren't they? DeRozan's not going to play like this forever. LaVine is more youngish than young, at 26. Vucevic is 31, Caruso's 27. And it's not like Williams is a shoo-in future All Star or anything. Right?

That's the question I keep asking. Williams maybe could develop into a future All_Star (not gonna say it's likely even), but is he enough to get someone good enough to actually make them a contender? The 2 guys most talked about are Jerami Grant and Harrison Barnes; adding either of them for Williams+ isn't going to be enough for them to be confident they can beat BKN/MIL/GS come playoff time. I also think Vuc is a fatal flaw, so unless there's a big trade out there for a more defensive minded 5 that's borderline All-Star they're not winning this year unless everything goes wrong for everyone else.
   1960. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 18, 2022 at 12:40 PM (#6061478)
   1961. tshipman Posted: January 18, 2022 at 12:42 PM (#6061479)
That's the question I keep asking. Williams maybe could develop into a future All_Star (not gonna say it's likely even), but is he enough to get someone good enough to actually make them a contender?


I think the big issue with the Bulls is that their best guy isn't that great. The best player on the Bulls is probably either LaVine or DeRozan. In a given series against another contender, where is the Bulls guy in terms of "best guy on the court"?

(This is a very robinred style analysis, so apologies for stealing the schtick)

East
Nets: Durant is better, Harden has played better in the past, but not this year.
Bucks: Giannis is better, Jrue is sort of at the same level
Philadelphia: Embiid is better
Miami: Butler is better, Bam is probably better.
Cleveland: Probably DeRozan/LaVine have an argument.

West:
GSW: Curry is better
Phoenix: Chris Paul and Booker are better
Memphis: DeRozan/LaVine have an argument
Utah: DeRozan/LaVine have an argument
Dallas: Luka is better
Denver: Jokic is better
Lakers: LeBron/AD are better


IMO, the issues the Bulls have are at the top end, not the 4th best guy on the court.
   1962. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: January 18, 2022 at 01:41 PM (#6061483)
I don't disagree in principle or in your specific analysis minus a guy or two here or there* and depending on how much weight you give to DeRozan's career year (again, it's not really out of line with the last several years besides the box score impact). Although I wouldn't make the decision based on that, the even over simplified point is the Bulls don't have a top 10/15 player and can you win without one? But also, are the Bulls going to make the decision based on whether they think they could win this year if some things break their way, and if yes is trading Williams and/or White enough to do it? Or are they going to max out LaVine, and use how DeRozan/Vuc have fit as the way to get the next available superstar that wants out**? In that case, you don't go all in this year regardless. The surprise fit/value of DeRozan means the Bulls have to at least try to win now, but find a way to do it without spoiling future years. I think this is the way the Bulls have to approach it - they're not seen as a toxic environment anymore so hopefully they can get back in the mix for star players to come. There's value this year to finishing in the top of the conference and winning a playoff round (or if lucky, 2).

*Booker and LaVine are very, very similar players in almost every stat across the board; I'd argue LaVine has been better the last 2 years but he just doesn't get to play with CP3 so his team hasn't been as good.
**Some Bulls have the pipe dream of Jokic with his history with AK and noting that Vuc's deal is up the same time Jokic becomes an UFA. Is a Jokic/LaVine/Ball (plus whatever Williams turns out to be) core good enough to be a contender? I think LaVine can be a good #2 on a title team - you'll obviously hope to have some better role player defenders around him, and are Ball or ceiling Williams a good enough #3? Related, I'm much higher on Ayo's ceiling now than before the year (when I said he'd be a good bench player on a good team and unnamed people didn't agree with me), but he's not likely a future All Star even though the guy he reminds me most of right now is rookie Jimmy Butler (but with 3pt range) - Jimmy's career track isn't something to expect but he can be a lesser version of that type of player.
   1963. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: January 18, 2022 at 01:56 PM (#6061484)
Shams Charania @ShamsCharania ·25m
Denver Nuggets forward Bol Bol has decided to undergo surgery on his foot and will be sidelined for 8-to-12 weeks, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Bol’s trade to Detroit was voided last week because of issue with physical exam.


That sucks.

Also,
Shams Charania @ShamsCharania ·1h
Pacers say center Myles Turner will be re-evaluated in two weeks due to a stress reaction in his left foot.


Sounds like it could mess up the Pacers trade deadline moves
   1964. tshipman Posted: January 18, 2022 at 02:43 PM (#6061489)
I actually kind of hesitated over Booker and Paul. Because you could argue that both are worse than LaVine/DeRozan. Like the offensive numbers in particular. And how good of a defender do I really think Booker is?

I guess I think that LaVine/DeRozan are still bad defenders and I don't fully believe in their results this year--I don't believe in DeRozan kind of at all, and I don't believe in LaVine's improved defensive results.
   1965. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: January 18, 2022 at 03:09 PM (#6061491)
Vogel on the hot seat? I'm not a big fan, but it's hard to call this his fault, particularly.
   1966. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: January 18, 2022 at 03:32 PM (#6061493)
Shams Charania @ShamsCharania ·25m
Denver Nuggets forward Bol Bol has decided to undergo surgery on his foot and will be sidelined for 8-to-12 weeks, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Bol’s trade to Detroit was voided last week because of issue with physical exam.


The phrasing is interesting on this, that he decided to have surgery. Not the team. You could make the case that the Nuggets tried to send a knowingly injured player to Detroit, but that hasn't been their MO. There was a lot of awkwardness around trading him and then seeing him come back, especially when they gave his number to James Ennis. I think his contract is up after this year, so being labeled broken doesn't help his market value. My guess is that this was mutually decided upon. Bol restores some of his long-term value, the Nuggets don't have to have him around (they clearly don't), and by Bol announcing the trade, it weakens the argument they traded a guy they knew was injured.
   1967. DCA Posted: January 18, 2022 at 03:43 PM (#6061494)
trade machine: who says no?

Bulls, obviously. Actually I think all three teams would be unhappy. I do think it is a good time for them to turn Williams and Coby White into help-now pieces, and maybe Troy Brown Jr if he's worth anything.

RoCo from Portland, Grant or Olynyk from Detroit, Wood from Houston would be decent targets.

I think I like this for all parties.

   1968. tshipman Posted: January 18, 2022 at 04:10 PM (#6061499)
Vogel on the hot seat? I'm not a big fan, but it's hard to call this his fault, particularly.


It's not Vogel's fault, and I don't think he should be fired.

The Lakers are a particularly opaque organization, with respect to strategy and playing time in particular. So it's hard to make definitive statements about a lot of this stuff because it's unclear exactly who was behind certain moves.

That said: starting DeAndre Jordan and Avery Bradley was a predictable trainwreck from day one. To the extent that Vogel was responsible for those decisions, he deserves criticism, because those players were cut from bad teams last year and it was obvious that they were mostly washed as NBA players. The Lakers have had a lot of injuries and outages, but so have every team. Compare how Miami has given playing time to the guys who deserve it to how the Lakers have given charity minutes to guys who should be out of the league, and it's remarkable. Austin Reaves and Malik Monk have dramatically outplayed veterans on the team and still do not receive playing time.
   1969. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: January 18, 2022 at 06:58 PM (#6061510)
(This is a very robinred style analysis, so apologies for stealing the schtick)


Ha. Count teh superstarzzzzz.

This is an edited version of what I said about Vogel at a Lakers site:

Vogel: He is the same guy he was in 2020. Good defensive coach, not so good an O coach, good at player relations. When James passive-aggressively trashed Vogel by talking up Lue's supposed tactical genius after a Clippers/Lakers game a couple of months ago, Vogel wisely said nothing, at least in public. The only reason to fire Vogel would be if he has lost the team, and I don't think he has. The Lakers benefited from Utah being on a b2b and shooting very poorly, but there was more hustle on D, which helped.

As to the rotations, I am skeptical about Reaves, but the +/- numbers are so weirdly high, and the other options are so bad, that I do think Vogel has to play him more even though his DBPM and OBPM are both below 0. As to Johnson, he is very limited on offense, but I said about three months ago that since the team was so desperate for wing D that they should call him up, and he has managed to keep his DBPM above 0 through 208 minutes.

Pelinka: I actually like Pelinka more than a lot of people do, and he is not going anywhere. But the big decisions--the Westbrook deal, letting Caruso walk, and giving THT 10M a year--all look very bad. Some other personnel decisions in back of that have been bad too, although Monk at the minimum was a nice get. Those decisions, and Davis's inability to stay on the floor, are the main problems, not Vogel.


---

So yeah, canning Vogel now would IMO be scapegoating him and would be unproductive. There are rumors that the original plan was DeRozan/Caruso, but James and Davis lobbied hard for Westbrook. Even if that is true it still ofc falls on Pelinka (unless Jeanie Buss ordered him to trade for Westbrook) and ofc they could have kept Caruso anyway.

The Lakers should just hope that Davis comes back strong soon and play this out, and as noted play Monk and Reaves a bit more. I would play Johnson a bit too, in spite of his awful O. There is not much else to do right now.
   1970. spivey Posted: January 18, 2022 at 08:36 PM (#6061522)
I'd not seen anything on this front until just now, but Kyrie was doing a recent press conference and implied he thought Giannis intentionally hurt him during the playoffs last year, saying with air quotes "his foot just happened to be in the way". Brooklyn is such a weird team, with their 4 head coaches.
   1971. PJ Martinez Posted: January 18, 2022 at 09:20 PM (#6061523)
Brooklyn is such a weird team, with their 4 head coaches.
Plus there are rumblings that Harden plans to leave after the season. What's that about, I wonder (if true)?
   1972. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 18, 2022 at 09:35 PM (#6061524)
Austin Reaves and Malik Monk have dramatically outplayed veterans on the team and still do not receive playing time.

Malik Monk has played in every game he has been available during the season, is averaging 26 minutes per game, and has been playing starters' minutes since coming back from COVID, 32 minutes per game. This despite being cut from a bad team and not really getting much interest on the free agent market. Monk is getting rewarded for playing better.

Austin Reaves is getting some decent run although he did sit earlier in the year. He's a guy who looks like he'd get exposed playing more minutes especially as an undrafted rookie.

The Lakers would be stupid to fire Vogel when Davis and LeBron have barely played together so far this year.
   1973. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 18, 2022 at 09:55 PM (#6061526)
I'd not seen anything on this front until just now, but Kyrie was doing a recent press conference and implied he thought Giannis intentionally hurt him during the playoffs last year, saying with air quotes "his foot just happened to be in the way". Brooklyn is such a weird team, with their 4 head coaches.

Kyrie is pretty much always getting hurt. Klay Thompson came in to the league the same year as Kyrie. Klay has missed 2.5 years because of injuries. He has still played in more games than Irving.
   1974. asinwreck Posted: January 18, 2022 at 10:17 PM (#6061529)
Minnesota just beat the Knicks in a nail-biter at the Garden. The key defensive play late in the fourth was made when R.J. Barrett was forced into a turnover by [checks notes][rechecks notes] D'Angelo Russell.
   1975. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: January 18, 2022 at 10:30 PM (#6061531)
I'll take it.
   1976. Mike A Posted: January 18, 2022 at 10:34 PM (#6061532)
I'd not seen anything on this front until just now, but Kyrie was doing a recent press conference and implied he thought Giannis intentionally hurt him during the playoffs last year, saying with air quotes "his foot just happened to be in the way".
I figured Kyrie would have no point here like most of his takes, but watching the play on YouTube, it does appear Giannis undercuts him while he's in the air (Kyrie does jump a little left). So while I don't think Giannis did it on purpose - he's not even looking at Kyrie - I can see why Kyrie might think he did.

It was a little reckless, and Giannis can be a bit reckless from time to time.
   1977. Fourth True Outcome Posted: January 18, 2022 at 11:36 PM (#6061538)
Wojbomb:
Denver, Boston and San Antonio are making a three-way trade that includes Juancho Hernangomez to Spurs, Bryn Forbes to Denver, Bol Bol and PJ Dozier to Celtics, sources tell ESPN.

Bol Bol to the Cs! May we see him on the court someday.
   1978. PJ Martinez Posted: January 18, 2022 at 11:52 PM (#6061539)
I gather the C's are taking steps to get out of a tax bill? Watching Juancho this year, it was a little hard to believe that he's logged 4300 minutes in the NBA. Maybe Boston's coaching shares some blame for this but he just always looked totally lost out there.
   1979. tshipman Posted: January 19, 2022 at 12:00 AM (#6061540)
Random thoughts:

Juancho is *exactly* the kind of guy who randomly becomes good on the Spurs. He has a very punchable face.

Every time I see Bryn Forbes, between the name and the shooting, I am surprised that he's not a white guy somehow.

I wonder if Denver just wanted to get rid of Bol Bol? Seems like a bit of a headcase.
   1980. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: January 19, 2022 at 02:56 AM (#6061545)
One add on Vogel: like D'Antoni when he was here, he has a roster that does not suit his strengths as a coach. The big bullyball Lakers of 2020, with some D-oriented guards, were more his style. Like all champs, that team caught some breaks, and took advantage. The current group is not as suited for what Vogel appears to be good at as a coach.
   1981. jmurph Posted: January 19, 2022 at 07:36 AM (#6061552)
The thing with Juancho is that his entire deal is predicated on him being a stretchy big but he can't actually shoot.
   1982. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: January 19, 2022 at 09:52 AM (#6061563)
That Beverly for Juancho/Culver deal is looking shockingly lopsided these days.
   1983. asinwreck Posted: January 19, 2022 at 01:07 PM (#6061576)
The happiest person in that deal is Bryn Forbes, who should have plenty of opportunities to launch 3s in Denver.
   1984. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: January 19, 2022 at 03:58 PM (#6061606)
Another update on the Sixers metaverse partner. This series of stories have been a particular high point for Defector.
   1985. Fourth True Outcome Posted: January 19, 2022 at 04:47 PM (#6061611)
This series of stories have been a particular high point for Defector.

Strongly concur. Just a hilariously straightforward inquiry into a weird, grifty situation. A pull quote to give a taste for anyone who's curious:
Confounding legal posturing notwithstanding, this would seem a strange time for the 76ers to end their contract with Color Star, the Cayman Islands-registered, Dubai-based ready-mix concrete outfit pivoting to Web3 technology and hyping the forthcoming launch of a celeb-populated metaverse. However delightfully unserious Color Star may still seem to this very day, the company and its signature Color World app are at least several times more tangible now than back when Heck sat down in late December with a non-Color Star employee named Jarom Heaps and inked the deal to bring the two entities into a working partnership “for years to come.”
   1986. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 19, 2022 at 07:03 PM (#6061632)
Tom Moore @TomMoorePhilly
#Sixers coach Doc Rivers: ‘I trust what we’re doing (with Ben Simmons). For the most part, I stay out of it.’

Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck
Charlie Brown Jr. is starting tonight, alongside Embiid-Harris-Curry-Maxey

   1987. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: January 19, 2022 at 07:12 PM (#6061634)
@willgotlieb

Very glad to have Caruso back. He only appeared in 3 games out of the last 18.

Bulls defense in the first 24 games before he got hurt/sick:
5th in (105.6 drtg)

Bulls defense during the 18 game stretch where he missed time:
28th (116.3 drtg)


So glad he's back tonight. But Cavs should still win since Bulls have all their non-voos size out. Plus no Lavine or Ball for the next 3 games.
   1988. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: January 19, 2022 at 08:25 PM (#6061642)
It's unreal how good mobley looks, especially compared to college. He's the next Garnett. He's amazing.


Trying to think about ayo's ceiling, I've seen optimistic bulls fans say jrue. I could live with that, he's on his way there defensively. Bulls are using him as a pg now, and he looks natural there.
   1989. tshipman Posted: January 19, 2022 at 08:44 PM (#6061643)
It's unreal how good mobley looks, especially compared to college. He's the next Garnett. He's amazing.


It's so wild that after watching him for 10 minutes, everyone's comp for him is a hall of famer and it doesn't even seem remotely unrealistic. Last guy I can remember like that was LeBron.
   1990. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 19, 2022 at 09:16 PM (#6061646)
It's so wild that after watching him for 10 minutes, everyone's comp for him is a hall of famer and it doesn't even seem remotely unrealistic. Last guy I can remember like that was LeBron.

he also reminds me of ekpe udoh.
   1991. asinwreck Posted: January 19, 2022 at 10:00 PM (#6061651)
Midway through the fourth, Mobley is a +9. Every other Cav is a negative. Markkanen's -6 with 25 points brings back memories.
   1992. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: January 20, 2022 at 12:30 AM (#6061666)
I don't know anything about how he was in Indiana and Orlando, but here with the Lakers, Vogel has been good at saying vanilla stuff to avoid escalating petty controversies, which IMO is an underrated skill:

With the team not having practice on Tuesday, Vogel spoke to the media about the pressure surrounding his job.

“I don’t feel like I’m under siege,” Vogel said. “It’s not hard to do my job. I’m very focused on the task at hand. I’ve always been that way. It’s not really not up to me if it’s fair or not. It comes with the territory. It comes with being the Lakers coach. You have high expectations. This fanbase really cares. It’s a big market and I wouldn’t want it any other way, to be honest with you. I want people to care. I want people to want the best and to command excellence of our group. That’s what we command of ourselves so that’s the way it is.”


Caruso was +18 in 23 minutes, and Chicago broke Cleveland's winning streak. I wanted the Lakers to keep him, but I underrated the guy.
   1993. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: January 20, 2022 at 12:56 AM (#6061667)
Of course, Vogel may get fired tonight anyway.
   1994. Fourth True Outcome Posted: January 20, 2022 at 01:12 AM (#6061668)
Jokic had a 49 point triple double and almost single-handedly beat the Clippers in OT tonight.
   1995. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: January 20, 2022 at 01:15 AM (#6061669)
Ben Taylor has a good YouTube thing on Jokic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuO1iGP5L7I

   1996. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: January 20, 2022 at 10:25 AM (#6061689)
It's so wild that after watching him for 10 minutes, everyone's comp for him is a hall of famer and it doesn't even seem remotely unrealistic. Last guy I can remember like that was LeBron.

I think I've said this before, but I would be a terrible scout because I couldn't imagine this from him based on the games I saw him play at USC. Someone on twitter compared him to Bosh, I can also see that comp. It's just he does so, so much on defense already and is pretty advanced offensively for such a young big.

Speaking of rookies and ceilings, Ayo has started the last 3 games with LaVine/Ball out. He appeared to be the primary ballhandler last night, more so than the previous 2 (I think him and Coby switched roles), and he's averaging 18/5.7/8 shooting 76.7/70/50* with 2 steals and only 2 turnovers each per game and playing 39 minutes.

*1 for 2 on FTs, he doesn't get to the line enough

Caruso was +18 in 23 minutes, and Chicago broke Cleveland's winning streak. I wanted the Lakers to keep him, but I underrated the guy.

It's not all him, but the Bulls defense was totally different last night with him out there. He mainly played PF and was guarding Love/Mobley. He's something else.
   1997. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: January 20, 2022 at 10:35 AM (#6061691)
Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn ·10m
The Chicago Bulls and guard Lonzo Ball are expected to make a decision on undergoing arthroscopic surgery for a meniscus injury in his left knee in the next 24-to-48 hours, a procedure that would sideline him for 4-to-6 weeks, sources tell ESPN.

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn ·7m
As Chicago coach Billy Donovan said Wednesday night, Ball had changed treatment on the knee and doctors were waiting to see how he responded new treatment. A scope would sideline him in the neighborhood of a month-plus.

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn ·5m
As @KCJHoop notes, Ball had a similar meniscus procedure prior to Lakers training camp in 2018.


Dammit. If he gets surgery, would be back for playoffs. Ayo can keep starting in his place.
   1998. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 20, 2022 at 11:14 AM (#6061697)
lifetime ban incoming?

Nets coach stole ball from Kuzma. pic.twitter.com/XnTC8DzhUv

— House of Highlights (@HoHighlights) January 20, 2022
   1999. tshipman Posted: January 20, 2022 at 11:17 AM (#6061698)
Frank Vogel on benching Russ for the last 4 minutes: "Playing the guys I thought would win the game."



Good for Vogel.
   2000. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: January 20, 2022 at 11:48 AM (#6061703)
[1998] Well, for three of their four head coaches, this would be perfectly legal.
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