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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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   2101. SteveF Posted: January 25, 2022 at 03:07 AM (#6062362)
Well, if Bill Simmons says so...
   2102. jmurph Posted: January 25, 2022 at 07:42 AM (#6062365)
Well (Bill) Simmons or not, has there been a single report of a decent trade offer that Philadelphia has turned down? Other than the Kings one, which seems to be disputed to some extent.
   2103. PJ Martinez Posted: January 25, 2022 at 08:35 AM (#6062368)
Also, has there been any explanation of why Harden would want to leave Brooklyn, or why Brooklyn would want to move on from him (can they not afford him any longer)? I haven't seen any actual reporting on either question.
   2104. spivey Posted: January 25, 2022 at 08:38 AM (#6062369)
Jazz are actually not that far from the 5th seed, which is pretty wild.


It is, but I think even more wild is that every playoff team in the East is 2 or 4 losses out of the play-in.

Utah is 10th in defense. That's not bad 3pt luck. They're basically a 0 net rating team when Gobert is off the court. Their non-Gobert defenders were never excellent, but they had a lot of solid to good defenders, but they've pretty much all aged out to passable at best, bad at worst. I wonder if Boston would be willing to clean up their books a bit where they dealt a couple of Smart/Richardson/Grant Williams. I'm not sure Utah has much to send back besides picks, though. Maybe Bogdanovic has some value? Or, I wonder if a deal like Bullock for Ingles with the Mavs? But I don't really have a good sense on if Bullock moves the needle on defense.
   2105. asinwreck Posted: January 25, 2022 at 08:59 AM (#6062374)
The last relevant quote from Harden I have seen is from October:
"I don't plan on leaving this organization and the situation that we have. So my focus, honestly, is just focus on the season and then winning the championship. The contract and all that stuff will bear itself out, but my focus is going to be locked on this season...."
"I love it here, myself and [Brooklyn owners] Joe [Tsai] and Clara [Wu Tsai] and [GM] Sean [Marks] and the front office and [alternate governor Oliver Weisberg] and [head coach] Steve [Nash]. From top to bottom the communication has been unbelievable, it's been amazing. I feel at home. It's nothing to worry about. For me individually I just want to focus on this year and that's it."

It's possible there's backchannel communications revealing some desire to come to Philadelphia, but nothing like that has been leaked in the local media.
   2106. DCA Posted: January 25, 2022 at 09:08 AM (#6062376)
If there's a team that can afford to trade shooting for defense, it's Utah. This works.
   2107. PJ Martinez Posted: January 25, 2022 at 09:12 AM (#6062377)
I wonder if Boston would be willing to clean up their books a bit where they dealt a couple of Smart/Richardson/Grant Williams. I'm not sure Utah has much to send back besides picks, though. Maybe Bogdanovic has some value?
I suspect Stevens would listen if Utah offered a first-round pick for Richardson. Does that seem like too much? I think Bogdanovic has some value, too, if not a ton -- Bogdanovic for Richardson and Schroder works, but I don't know if that's worthwhile for either team?

Grant is still cheap and has made big strides this year; I don't think they're looking to move him, and they still value Smart, as best I can tell. Both are available in the right deal, I'm sure, but I think Boston would have to like what it was getting back. I think Horford could help Utah, honestly -- he's still a good defender; he could make the non-Gobert minutes less painful, and could probably help in the playoffs. But I don't know if there's a salary-matching option that makes sense for both teams.
   2108. jmurph Posted: January 25, 2022 at 09:58 AM (#6062385)
Richardson and Schroder

Side note, I've enjoyed Josh Richardson more than I expected. He's a smart player, does a little bit of everything. Obviously things look better when he's knocking down open 3s, which he's done well this year.

Schroder, on the other hand. As advertised, I'll say. He's actually played well, but still drives me crazy.
   2109. PJ Martinez Posted: January 25, 2022 at 10:15 AM (#6062388)
Yeah, I won't be upset if they dump Schroder for a second-round pick or two, even though he's had some very good games here and there. But I could see them choosing to keep Richardson around if he won't return much more than that.
   2110. PJ Martinez Posted: January 25, 2022 at 11:12 AM (#6062395)
To follow up on 2103, there's a new story in Bleacher Report by Jake Fischer that cites league sources saying Harden has told confidants he wants to be a free agent and doesn't like Nash's "fluid" rotations, Irving's part-time status, or the weather and taxes in New York City.
   2111. spivey Posted: January 25, 2022 at 11:24 AM (#6062399)
How about this. Utah throws in 1 or 2 FRPs.

Or this. Maybe Utah gets a couple 2nds or something?
   2112. jmurph Posted: January 25, 2022 at 11:26 AM (#6062402)
I absolutely believe the Nets thing could blow up as soon as this year. Another early exit, Kyrie is still missing games, etc., it's not hard to imagine those guys deciding to move on from each other. I also can imagine Harden deciding the Sixers would be a good move.

   2113. Booey Posted: January 25, 2022 at 11:28 AM (#6062403)
Re: Jazz -

I do think they need to look at picking up a defensive wing at the trade deadline to better match up with the likes of Phoenix or Golden State in the playoffs (although I'd look to move Clarkson and/or Ingles before Bogdanovic), but the sky won't be falling if they can't make a deal. Lost in the midst of their recent skid is the fact that they were really good when healthy. They've been devastated with injuries and COVID in the past month; Gobert and Mitchell have played only 2 of their last 11 games together (Jazz are 3-8 in that span).

With Gobert, Mitchell, and Conley: 24-8 (with an SRS over 10, IIRC)
Without Gobert: 1-5
Without Conley: 1-5
Without Mitchell: 4-4

Obviously there's some overlap as some games were missing 2 or more of these players (2 of their losses this month came without their entire starting lineup!). But the point remains; the main thing the Jazz need is just to stay healthy. It's not time for panic moves or a massive overhaul (not that anyone here has suggested that).
   2114. nick swisher hygiene Posted: January 25, 2022 at 12:12 PM (#6062411)
2110–OK, then, why not deal Kyrie straight up for Simmons? A Kyrie who plays half the games while alienating Harden is not much of an asset—a Simmons who never plays is not much of an asset in Philly. Get it done! Simmons will handle the ball and guard guys, freeing Harden from those unpleasant tasks. And he’s taller than Harden so he can block off some weather. Haven’t solved the taxes thing yet but the rest works….
   2115. GregD Posted: January 25, 2022 at 12:18 PM (#6062413)
It’s an interesting idea. A challenge trade! Phillys vaccine mandate applies to the arena…but not to players
   2116. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: January 25, 2022 at 12:19 PM (#6062414)
Ayo Dosunmu's shooting of late has been unreal. Currently 10-12 tonight, including this halfcourt heave.

Like everyone he struggled in the Bucks game (and passed up way too many open looks late because he was off), but since he's started (and Billy appears to agree with me about him starting at PG over Coby with Ball out) he's averaging 15pts, 5.3reb, 6.3ast, 1.2stl, 2.3to on 62.7/54.5/80 - which isn't far off from Lonzo's of 13/5.4/5.1/0.8/2.2 on 42.3/42.3/75 once you try to normalize Ayo's hot shooting streak. Like Lonzo, he plays solid defense - he's not as good off ball yet but IMO isn't too far back from on ball (though he really isn't strong as Lonzo so he hasn't tried guarding traditional 4s yet) and he's not as creative a passer and doesn't push the break as often. He's a better finisher, mostly because Lonzo is a terrible finisher, and overall has better shot selection (but is still too timid to shoot every time he's open).

He's scoring in different ways than in college - he was a lot more assertive then, drove more - and while his 3pt shooting improved a lot it wasn't nearly as good as it's been so far in the pros (he's getting a lot more open looks since he's not the primary scorer like he was at UI). Last night he busted out a number of mid range shots, which had Adam and Stacy calling him mini-DeRozan. I'm ready to completely overrate him and say his ceiling of Jrue isn't as far fetched as it was last week.

Bulls looked totally different last night with LaVine and Green back - a lot more fast breaks (even just compared to the game before against the Magic so it wasn't all just the Thunder). And then the Bulls offense completely imploded down the stretch without DeRozan (and Zach being rusty). They've become so, so dependent on DeRozan in close games that if he comes back to earth at all or is effectively game planned against, they're in big trouble.
   2117. Fourth True Outcome Posted: January 25, 2022 at 12:52 PM (#6062416)
OK, then, why not deal Kyrie straight up for Simmons? A Kyrie who plays half the games while alienating Harden is not much of an asset

If Morey is hell-bent on S&Ting; for Harden, or even on keeping that option open as leverage for other big trades, I imagine he'd stay the hell away from Kyrie in the meantime. Kyrie and Embiid would be great, but Harden and Embiid would be better, and Morey has already waited long enough that it's hard to imagine him going for Kyrie now if he thinks he can legitimately snag Harden this offseason. (For the same reasons, I suppose, it would behoove Brooklyn to make the trade if it's an option.)
   2118. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: January 25, 2022 at 12:54 PM (#6062417)
Would Simmons be the best ever return in a sign and trade? I'm not talking about something like Ben Wallace going from throw in to the HOF, but actual on court value at time of the trade. Most trades usually include filler, maybe a young guy or two, but for the most part the team losing the FA has very little leverage, even in situations where the acquiring team doesn't have cap space.
   2119. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 25, 2022 at 01:03 PM (#6062419)
Also, has there been any explanation of why Harden would want to leave Brooklyn, or why Brooklyn would want to move on from him (can they not afford him any longer)? I haven't seen any actual reporting on either question.

why would harden want to leave brooklyn?
-- have you met kyrie?
-- cash.
-- embiid is still in the middle of his prime, whereas durant, kyrie and himself are all a lot closer to the end of theirs.
-- he might just want the ball in his hands at the end of games.

why would brooklyn want to move on from him?
-- it's not really their choice. if harden chooses to sign somewhere else, the nets decision isn't whether or not they get to keep harden, it's whether or not they let harden leave without getting anything in return.
-- the luxury tax exists.
-- his skillset is somewhat redundant on their roster.



all of this is just speculation, so it's pretty thin, but it's at least a baseline to start from.
   2120. asinwreck Posted: January 25, 2022 at 01:03 PM (#6062420)
Isn't Simmons unvaccinated? Imagine the Nets having a backcourt of Kyrie and Simmons only available for road games.
   2121. aberg Posted: January 25, 2022 at 01:12 PM (#6062421)
I saw the Jazz connected to Covington. If he can be had for some combination of 2nds or a highly protected first, that's probably a good deal for them. He isn't outstanding on the ball anymore, but he would cover some of the mental mistakes guys like Clarkson and Whiteside might make when Gobert is off the floor. I don't know if a team can possibly survive having both Clarkson and Schroder.

In addition to Harden's contract, Kyrie has a player option this summer. No idea what the vaccine policies will look like for next season and beyond or if he even cares if he plays most of the games, but that's another complicating factor.
   2122. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 25, 2022 at 01:13 PM (#6062422)
In addition to Harden's contract, Kyrie has a player option this summer. No idea what the vaccine policies will look like for next season and beyond or if he even cares if he plays most of the games, but that's another complicating factor.
he can always just go play in texas.
   2123. An Athletic in Powderhorn, Silly Posted: January 25, 2022 at 01:14 PM (#6062423)
The problem for any contender in the East who might want to trade for Irving is that he still can't play in New York. So if you face the Nets in the playoffs...
   2124. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 25, 2022 at 01:15 PM (#6062424)
don't know if a team can possibly survive having both Clarkson and Schroder

Dion Waiters
Rajon Rondo
Dwight Howard
JaVale McGee
J.R. Smith
   2125. aberg Posted: January 25, 2022 at 01:41 PM (#6062427)
don't know if a team can possibly survive having both Clarkson and Schroder

Dion Waiters
Rajon Rondo
Dwight Howard
JaVale McGee
J.R. Smith


I don't mean knuckleheadedness, I just mean the iso-chucking tendencies.
   2126. tshipman Posted: January 25, 2022 at 01:47 PM (#6062428)
This appears to be driving a lot of Morey's actions:

Ever-important behind Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons trade talks, James Harden has recently told several confidants—including former teammates and coaches—of his growing interest to explore other opportunities outside of Brooklyn this summer. More at



Harden has been vocal to Nets figures and close contacts alike about his frustrations regarding Kyrie Irving's part-time playing status. A recent injury to Kevin Durant has exacerbated the issue, leaving Harden to shoulder the majority of the offensive burden during Brooklyn home games.

Nets coach Steve Nash's fluid rotations have also disappointed Harden, sources told B/R. Nash has favored hot-hand closing lineups, rather than a fixed crunch-time unit.

His new city could also be an issue. According to multiple sources, Harden has not enjoyed living in Brooklyn, compared to his days as a central Houston magnate. Outside of the change in climate, the chasm between state taxes in New York versus Texas is quite obvious as well.



I don't really get why Philadelphia would be *better* for some of these issues, but he does appear at least to be unhappy with Brooklyn.
   2127. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: January 25, 2022 at 01:49 PM (#6062429)
2123: is that true? I thought it only applied to the Nets and their employees/players. Have other visiting, unvaccinated players been prohibited from playing?

That Bill Simmons quote surprises me, because usually he's pumping up Morey. I'd expect him to say, "Morey is playing this perfectly, blah blah blah". I'm a Bill Simmons fan, but he's almost a hate-listen at this point.
   2128. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: January 25, 2022 at 02:06 PM (#6062432)
A recent injury to Kevin Durant has exacerbated the issue, leaving Harden to shoulder the majority of the offensive burden during Brooklyn home games.

If he picked Philly, there's definitely no risk of Embiid getting injured and having to do the same thing.
   2129. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: January 25, 2022 at 02:10 PM (#6062433)
I do think they need to look at picking up a defensive wing at the trade deadline to better match up with the likes of Phoenix or Golden State in the playoffs (although I'd look to move Clarkson and/or Ingles before Bogdanovic), but the sky won't be falling if they can't make a deal. Lost in the midst of their recent skid is the fact that they were really good when healthy. They've been devastated with injuries and COVID in the past month; Gobert and Mitchell have played only 2 of their last 11 games together (Jazz are 3-8 in that span).

With Gobert, Mitchell, and Conley: 24-8 (with an SRS over 10, IIRC)
Without Gobert: 1-5
Without Conley: 1-5
Without Mitchell: 4-4

Obviously there's some overlap as some games were missing 2 or more of these players (2 of their losses this month came without their entire starting lineup!). But the point remains; the main thing the Jazz need is just to stay healthy. It's not time for panic moves or a massive overhaul (not that anyone here has suggested that).


Agreed, booey. They went from best covid/injury luck in the NBA to probably the worst (for this last stretch, not overall). Someone like Smart would be a great addition because even when healthy they have horrific perimeter defense. I would not trade Bogey for him, as they're already so small outside of Rudy and I don't think the offense could take the hit of going from Bogey to Smart and still playing Clarkson. I'm also not sure that Smart's contract isn't a negative value, so if Celtics are looking to move him, I think Jazz have to send Clarkson back (obv with draft picks + maybe Jared Butler since Clarkson's deal is clearly worse even if shorter).
   2130. aberg Posted: January 25, 2022 at 02:22 PM (#6062437)
Would Butler and Ingles for Smart piss everyone off equally?
   2131. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: January 25, 2022 at 02:28 PM (#6062438)
I think if Jazz didn't already have so much money on small guards it would be a no-brainer for them, though as a fan I really don't want to see Ingles traded. But I think that would be somewhere around $90M on 4 guys under 6'3" the next two years. It's very hard for me to imagine a Smart trade where the Jazz can't move Clarkson.
   2132. epoc Posted: January 25, 2022 at 02:40 PM (#6062442)
A recent injury to Kevin Durant has exacerbated the issue, leaving Harden to shoulder the majority of the offensive burden during Brooklyn home games.

If he picked Philly, there's definitely no risk of Embiid getting injured and having to do the same thing.


If these Harden rumors are true, I'd imagine the Nash element is a big part of it. He's a sneaky-terrible coach. The problem with the "offensive burden" in Brooklyn is that the Nets' offense mostly involves letting the stars hit tough, contested shots. That's not Harden's game, and when Durant and Irving aren't playing, the offense sucks. I think Harden is smart enough to realize that another team/coach would probably institute an actual system and play a consistent rotation so that there would still be some functionality to the offense even if Harden had to run it alone (I mean, he ran elite offenses by himself for years in Houston; I doubt shouldering the majority of the offensive burden is really the issue for him). My guess is that's why Philly appeals to him (again, if the rumors are true): he trusts Morey to put functional systems/personnel in place.
   2133. aberg Posted: January 25, 2022 at 02:47 PM (#6062444)
he trusts Morey to put functional systems/personnel in place.


Can't remember where I heard it (possibly McMahon, who was close to Harden in Houston), but I have definitely heard reporting that Harden views playing for Morey as a positive.
   2134. spivey Posted: January 25, 2022 at 03:33 PM (#6062450)
Agreed, booey. They went from best covid/injury luck in the NBA to probably the worst (for this last stretch, not overall). Someone like Smart would be a great addition because even when healthy they have horrific perimeter defense. I would not trade Bogey for him, as they're already so small outside of Rudy and I don't think the offense could take the hit of going from Bogey to Smart and still playing Clarkson. I'm also not sure that Smart's contract isn't a negative value, so if Celtics are looking to move him, I think Jazz have to send Clarkson back (obv with draft picks + maybe Jared Butler since Clarkson's deal is clearly worse even if shorter).


Given Ingles is on an expiring, and most of your non-Gobert/Mitchell players are good but old and probably won't be good in 3 years, and are probably better regular season players than playoff players... I think for Utah to make a deal that moves the needle, I think it's going to have to be one that feels like it makes them worse in the regular season. But hopefully makes them better in the playoffs, and younger.

   2135. tshipman Posted: January 25, 2022 at 04:07 PM (#6062453)
Being better in the playoffs probably means getting away from Gobert as the foundation of the team's offense and defense. I don't realistically see how that happens.

Gobert was great against Memphis in the first round, and then was -26 in the Clippers' series.
   2136. spivey Posted: January 25, 2022 at 05:02 PM (#6062465)
With Gobert. As I recall, his numbers are excellent when switching. But then you have the best rim protector and one of the best rebounders in the NBA away from the basket. The problem is their wing and guard defenders can't stay in front of anyone, or at least couldn't in the Clippers series, and aren't showing it this year either. Some people have handwaved away some of that performance, saying Mitchell and Conley were hurt. Ok, but the team they played was missing their best player, and Mitchell isn't a good defender anyways. Conley, Bogdanovic, and Ingles are probably all worse defenders than they were last year (setting aside the injury for Conley).

The problem is their non-Gobert guys don't play defense. Royce O'Neale, who as far as I can tell is just a guy on defense, is meant to be their wing stopper. They're asking Gobert to be a one-man defense. Nobody can do that. He can probably do about as good a job as anyone, but the fact they're 10th in defense this year in the regular season I think already shows it's cracking as the role players get older.

I think Gobert is an easy max player, and the finals last year had 2 teams playing traditional centers. Lakers were also a huge team when they won it, and Toronto was a huge team the year before that. I think the Warriors dynasty made people draw bad conclusions about guys like Gobert. I think today there are 5-out matchups that can make life tough for Utah and centers to have their normal rim protection impact, but I think they can find a happy medium of having at least one or two defenders who can hold up at the point of attack.
   2137. Booey Posted: January 25, 2022 at 05:43 PM (#6062469)
Note: Jazz were 5th in defense before Gobert got COVID. 5 games without him was all it took to drop them from 5th to 10th.

In their 13 losses with Gobert in the lineup, the Jazz lost by 8, 3, 7, 11, 6, 1, 1, 2, 6, 7, 6, 5, and 2. They're literally in the running every game he plays.
   2138. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: January 25, 2022 at 05:45 PM (#6062471)
Agreed spivey. I think Royce is above average but he should be a contending team's 2nd or 3rd best perimeter defender (honestly Rudy might be their best perimeter defender even, but the defense has no hope if he's not protecting the rim). The problem with Gobert in the Clippers series was not his defense, but his inability to punish smaller guys on offense and offensive boards. Jazz guards could also do a better job (like the French national team apparently did) getting him the ball when he's sealed a smaller guy close to the basket, but I get why they're worried about it when he can't do anything if he's more than a couple feet from the rim.

EDIT: and I think there's something to Rudy being more valuable in regular season than playoffs, as in the regular seaosn he can take an awful defense to top 5 on his own but obviously cannot do that in playoffs. I don't buy that he's the reason their defense has struggled in the playoffs, but I do think when teams can heavily scout and gameplan they can figure out all the spots they can get to easily or how to get Rudy away from the basket and the defense just collapses.
   2139. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: January 25, 2022 at 06:21 PM (#6062477)
[2111] Both make some sense, but neither quite works for Boston: the Celtics are either 0.8 or 2.7 million above the tax line, depending on whether Jaylen Brown hits some currently-unlikely contract incentives (65 games and an All-Star spot, though a late-breaking injury/covid scratch from an All-Star wing after the trade deadline could shift those odds rapidly), and the Hernangomez salary dump makes it pretty obvious they don't intend to start the repeater tax clock going all-in on the current iteration of the roster.

FWIW, I think Schröder to Cleveland for marginal pieces like Ed Davis (unlikely though it be, given their PG situation, I'd actually love to get Rondo on this Celtic team; he's near-useless on-court, but he would pass the ball to better shooters and Brown can pick his mind) is the second-most-likely Celtics trade behind dumping Bol, Dozier, and (cash, highly protected second round pick, whatever) to OKC.

The problem for any contender in the East who might want to trade for Irving is that he still can't play in New York. So if you face the Nets in the playoffs...
Opponents are exempt from the vaccine mandate, actually; Irving suiting up for an opponent for a playoff game in Brooklyn would be some delicious schadenfreude.
   2140. aberg Posted: January 25, 2022 at 07:00 PM (#6062483)
Mitchell should be better defensively. When he came into the league, his profile was as a sure defensive stopper who might or might not develop enough as a shooter to be a contributor. His off the dribble game has been so much better than anyone forecasted. It's weird that the defense didn't show up with the combination of his wingspan and athleticism. Getting him to hit his potential defensively would change the profile of the team as much as any realistic trade addition they could make.
   2141. asinwreck Posted: January 25, 2022 at 07:33 PM (#6062489)
Anthony Davis has dunked in a game for the first time in 2022.
   2142. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: January 25, 2022 at 07:42 PM (#6062490)

Mitchell should be better defensively. When he came into the league, his profile was as a sure defensive stopper who might or might not develop enough as a shooter to be a contributor. His off the dribble game has been so much better than anyone forecasted. It's weird that the defense didn't show up with the combination of his wingspan and athleticism. Getting him to hit his potential defensively would change the profile of the team as much as any realistic trade addition they could make.


The offensive load justifies some of his loafing (especially in the regular season), but yeah it's strange that that part of his game has just never shown up in the NBA. Especially early on this season he seemed to make an effort to steal more passes, and his steal rate is his highest yet, but even in imporant situations he still can have trouble keeping in front of his man and sometimes just loses focus and gets back cut more often than you'd like.

Also he and Rudy are out against the Suns again tomorrow, so that's almost certainly another loss. And if they're not both back vs. Memphis that is too.
   2143. tshipman Posted: January 25, 2022 at 08:09 PM (#6062497)
In their 13 losses with Gobert in the lineup, the Jazz lost by 8, 3, 7, 11, 6, 1, 1, 2, 6, 7, 6, 5, and 2. They're literally in the running every game he plays.


And they lost by 13 to the Clippers without Kawhi last June. So having a good loss against Houston in January isn't that impressive.

I think Gobert is an easy max player, and the finals last year had 2 teams playing traditional centers. Lakers were also a huge team when they won it, and Toronto was a huge team the year before that. I think the Warriors dynasty made people draw bad conclusions about guys like Gobert. I think today there are 5-out matchups that can make life tough for Utah and centers to have their normal rim protection impact, but I think they can find a happy medium of having at least one or two defenders who can hold up at the point of attack.


It's not like it's just Rudy. Every team with an exclusive drop coverage philosophy seems to struggle in the playoffs. The Lakers were successful when they went to AD at center, and the Raptors used a funky zone.

EDIT: and I think there's something to Rudy being more valuable in regular season than playoffs, as in the regular seaosn he can take an awful defense to top 5 on his own but obviously cannot do that in playoffs. I don't buy that he's the reason their defense has struggled in the playoffs, but I do think when teams can heavily scout and gameplan they can figure out all the spots they can get to easily or how to get Rudy away from the basket and the defense just collapses.


I think the Jazz are just built to an extreme extent around PnR with Gobert putting pressure on the rim on offense and on dropping on screens on defense. In the playoffs, both of those things work less well.
   2144. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: January 25, 2022 at 09:09 PM (#6062509)
I think the Jazz are just built to an extreme extent around PnR with Gobert putting pressure on the rim on offense and on dropping on screens on defense. In the playoffs, both of those things work less well.


Yeah that's fair, though their offensive rating in each series since they acquired Conley have been great (but stand by Rudy needed to do more offensively against small Clippers). I don't think they're a real contender without getting at least one top perimeter defender, but I also don't want to see them unable to score like in the Rubio days.

Jazz ORTG:
vs. Clippers 120.9
vs. Grizzlies 124.6
vs. Nuggets 123.3
   2145. smileyy Posted: January 25, 2022 at 09:47 PM (#6062516)
LeBron was 12/13 from inside the arc tonight. Dude is locked in right now.
   2146. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: January 25, 2022 at 09:48 PM (#6062517)
Maybe Ty Lue really is a genius.
   2147. tshipman Posted: January 25, 2022 at 09:53 PM (#6062519)
Jesus, the Kings lost by 50?

***

Good win for the Lakers with AD back. The Nets without Durant are a "who dat" all star team, but any win against a playoff team on the road is a good one.

Edit: the Nets court is an abomination btw. How has this lasted so long?
   2148. PJ Martinez Posted: January 25, 2022 at 10:01 PM (#6062523)
Jesus, the Kings lost by 50?
Honestly one of the worst performances I've ever seen from an NBA team. They were missing shots, obviously, but they also just weren't playing defense. And the Celtics, refreshingly, came out really focused from the start and just faced no resistance at all. They were up by 60 with a minute or two to go, which would have been a franchise record.

Also, sounds like a crazy game in Washington: the Wizards, having blown a 35-point lead, had the ball up 3 with 8 seconds to go, but got called for a 5-second violation on an in-bounds, then Beal fouled Kennard on a three-point shot with 1.9 seconds left; Kennard hit the foul shot for the four-point play and the Clippers won.
   2149. tshipman Posted: January 25, 2022 at 10:06 PM (#6062527)
Honestly one of the worst performances I've ever seen from an NBA team.


Well, their owner shills Kings-themed NFTs on twitter, so it's only the second most embarrassing thing about the franchise. It's amazing that this thread is like 15 years old and the Kings have been bad for all of it. LeBron and the Kings being bad sort of define the NBA. Someday there will be an end to the era, but will it be LeBron giving in to Father Time, or the Kings making the playoffs?
   2150. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: January 25, 2022 at 10:16 PM (#6062529)
Someday there will be an end to the era, but will it be LeBron giving in to Father Time, or the Kings making the playoffs?
The most impressive thing here is that it's a scenario where it actually makes sense to bet against LeBron.

Let's not get carried away, though, it's not like *everything* is bad for Sacramento: there's some delightful rafting on the American River, for example.
   2151. An Athletic in Powderhorn, Silly Posted: January 25, 2022 at 10:30 PM (#6062532)
2123: is that true? I thought it only applied to the Nets and their employees/players. Have other visiting, unvaccinated players been prohibited from playing?
No, after looking it up I think I'm wrong.
Worker does not include:

i. an individual who works from their own home and whose employment does
not involve interacting in-person with co-workers or members of the public;

ii. an individual who enters the workplace for a quick and limited purpose; or

iii. non-City residents who are performing artists, college or professional
athletes, or individuals accompanying such performing artists or college or
professional athletes who do not have to display proof of vaccination
pursuant to the Key to NYC program, Emergency Executive Order No. 316
and successor Orders.
Serves me right for assuming.
   2152. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 25, 2022 at 10:39 PM (#6062533)
That was a relatively stress free win for the Lakers against a team that they should be able to beat with Nets missing several key players. The Lakers did get killed on the boards. AD was a menace defensively but he only collected two rebounds. That said, at least Nets didn't have a layup drill going on offense as so many Lakers' opponents have had with him out.

The Lakers were killed on the boards and they are going to have to be better if they are going to better than mediocre.
   2153. asinwreck Posted: January 25, 2022 at 10:50 PM (#6062535)
Let's not get carried away, though, it's not like *everything* is bad for Sacramento: there's some delightful rafting on the American River, for example.
I rafted the American River the day Michael Olowokandi was drafted first overall. Somehow, the Clippers had a bigger wipeout that day than we did.
   2154. asinwreck Posted: January 25, 2022 at 10:55 PM (#6062536)
Chicago Bulls @chicagobulls
Injury Update: Derrick Jones Jr. fractured his right index finger earlier today while working out at the Advocate Center. Jones, sidelined since January 12, has been placed in a splint and is expected to return in 6-8 weeks.
Despite the joys Airplane Mode has given the Bulls, I think this seals his fate as a salary slot for a trade. That's what media speculation on his fate would be when the Markkanen trade happened as he'll be a free agent and he makes $9.7m this year. The slot will be handy if they decide to combine it with Williams and/or picks at the deadline.
   2155. smileyy Posted: January 26, 2022 at 01:14 AM (#6062540)
I rafted the American River the day Michael Olowokandi was drafted first overall. Somehow, the Clippers had a bigger wipeout that day than we did.


I think his college stats are incomplete, but from what's there, wow, what a reach as the #1 pick. The free throw shooting really stands out to me.

I do not miss the days of 7' (ok, 7'1") stiffs being drafted just because you can't teach tall.
   2156. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 26, 2022 at 01:31 AM (#6062545)
I rafted the American River the day Michael Olowokandi was drafted first overall. Somehow, the Clippers had a bigger wipeout that day than we did.
yeah, but that was also a bad draft. there were only, like, 3 hall of famers that came out that year.
   2157. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 26, 2022 at 01:38 AM (#6062546)
here's a contemporary report about selection of the kandi-man:
Two words summed up the decision by the Clippers:

Size matters.

Unable to resist the potential of a man who has made tremendous strides in his three years of organized basketball, the Clippers selected Olowokandi
...
"Bibby's going to be a very fine point guard in this league, but Olowokandi -- his size and all that ability -- you're looking at a good small man against a good big guy," said Elgin Baylor, vice president of basketball operations for the Clippers. "He improved each time we looked at him. His upside is as good as anybody in the league."


and as a bonus, here's a ####### coup buried in the 8th paragraph:
the Dallas Mavericks later dealt the sixth pick, Robert Traylor from Michigan, to Milwaukee for Nowitzki and Pat Garrity (19th pick). Dallas then packaged Garrity, the rights to Bubba Wells and Martin Muursepp and a 1999 first-round pick to the Phoenix Suns for promising point guard Steve Nash.

and, the more things change...:
The Washington Wizards, without a first-round pick for the third straight year, failed in an attempt to move up in the second round.
   2158. smileyy Posted: January 26, 2022 at 01:47 AM (#6062547)
Unable to resist the potential of a man who has made tremendous strides in his three years of organized basketball, the Clippers selected Olowokandi


From his wikipedia page:

On 3 April 1995, on Olowokandi's 20th birthday, he opened the Peterson's Guide to American Colleges and Universities to a random page and landed on the University of the Pacific (UOP). Olowokandi called the UOP basketball office in hopes that he would be accepted to play basketball for the Pacific Tigers.



Olowokandi had no understanding of basketball terminology and was in poor physical condition. He frequently committed backcourt and traveling violations in his early games but persisted with his progression and committed to extended practice sessions.


So yeah, you make tremendous strides when starting from 0. Though I'm impressed at a center committing frequent backcourt violations.

I'm guessing that modern drafts wouldn't look so brightly on him being a 23 year-old at the time of the draft.

   2159. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: January 26, 2022 at 02:07 AM (#6062548)
but will it be LeBron giving in to Father Time,


Going all LeBron Stan: he shoots too many 3s some games, he takes a lot of plays off on D, and the team is pretty bad, but it is amazing to me how good he still is after all this time. If I were creating a team from today's players for one year, or one series, there are still very few guys whom I would take ahead of him.
   2160. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: January 26, 2022 at 07:59 AM (#6062562)
Anthony Edwards had himself a game last night.
   2161. PJ Martinez Posted: January 26, 2022 at 10:07 AM (#6062579)
If the Sixers traded Simmons for Beal today, could they trade Beal for Harden in the offseason?
   2162. DCA Posted: January 26, 2022 at 10:20 AM (#6062580)
I don't remember Olowokandi being controversial at the time. There's a lot of risk taking project bigs in the draft (the Shaq/Duncan/Robinson types who are already NBA-level players are a different pool) and sometimes you hit and sometimes you don't. He was dominant his last year at UOP.

Looking back, there wasn't a clear alternate choice instead of the Kandi Man. Obviously, in hindsight, you'd take Dirk, but the league wasn't there yet (hell, it still isn't there - Doncic dropped to #3 behind two project bigs). Vince and Pierce would also have been solid choices at #1, but it's worth noting that despite being lottery picks, they were each the second player drafted off their college teams, so if you pass on Kandi you likely end up with Jamison or LaFrentz, which isn't a whole lot better compared to who you still missed.
   2163. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 26, 2022 at 10:55 AM (#6062590)
tired (2016):
Derek Bodner @DerekBodnerNBA
So far this preseason Embiid has 52 field goal attempts, 18 turnovers, and 0 assists.

wired (2022):
Mark Schindler @MSchindlerNBA
Joel Embiid threw my favorite pass I've seen from him ever last night
   2164. Harlond Posted: January 26, 2022 at 10:56 AM (#6062591)
Anthony Edwards had himself a game last night.
He wasn't the only one. Cade Cunningham had 34 points (on 6 of 9 3PA), 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, and 4 blocks.
   2165. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: January 26, 2022 at 11:23 AM (#6062602)
wired (2022):

Why do I have to do this post? You should have done this already. In his last 5 games, Embiid is averaging 40.4/11.8/3.8 on 56.5/47.1/85.7 shooting in only 31.5mpg. He has scored more points than minutes played in each of those games.
   2166. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 26, 2022 at 11:28 AM (#6062604)
Why do I have to do this post? You should have done this already. In his last 5 games, Embiid is averaging 40.4/11.8/3.8 on 56.5/47.1/85.7 shooting in only 31.5mpg. He has scored more points than minutes played in each of those games.
yup.

in other news from the department of redundancy department, today is a day that ends in 'y'.
   2167. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: January 26, 2022 at 11:36 AM (#6062607)
He could still average it without doing it every game. That 50pt/32min game can carry a lot of water. I'm impressed with the consistency here too.

And thankful my team isn't wasting that year dicking around with Simmons.
   2168. Mike A Posted: January 26, 2022 at 12:09 PM (#6062618)
I don't remember Olowokandi being controversial at the time.

From a pre-draft article: "Most NBA personnel agree there are six top players available in the draft: Mike Bibby, University of the Pacific center Michael Olowokandi, North Carolina forwards Vince Carter and Antawn Jamison and Kansas forwards Raef LaFrentz and Paul Pierce."

The consensus was Bibby at #1, but the Olowokandi pick wasn't considered crazy or anything. It was thought he would fall to #2 at worst. It was much more of a big man league back then, and Kandi was considered the best center in the draft. Obviously he was raw, but most scouts thought the upside was there, as did poor Clippers GM Elgin Baylor.

Dan Issel perhaps said it best: "Olowokandi does have a lot of potential, but then again, potential gets a lot of coaches fired."
   2169. Fourth True Outcome Posted: January 26, 2022 at 12:32 PM (#6062622)
Honestly one of the worst performances I've ever seen from an NBA team.

At one point pretty deep into the game, certainly in the third quarter, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were outscoring the entire Kings team 66-52. The Cs played well, but much more than that the Kings looked utterly lost all game. Yeesh.
   2170. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 26, 2022 at 01:51 PM (#6062631)
Rich Hoffman @rich_hofmann
Barring something unforeseen, tomorrow will mark the 20th straight Sixers game Joel Embiid plays in. The only other time he did that, it was a much bigger story. Perhaps that is why, even as he scored 40 points again, he talked about pacing himself: theathletic.com/3093322

   2171. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: January 26, 2022 at 04:30 PM (#6062654)
I have not been following the Ben Simmons stuff other than snark-posting The Sports Guy, but having the crap going on with Simmons while Embiid is playing like Thor entering Wakanda with his axe would frustrate me intensely were I a 76ers fan (this is not an attempt to troll Stiggles, in case that is not clear).
   2172. smileyy Posted: January 26, 2022 at 04:33 PM (#6062655)
The past few Sixers box scores I've seen, I've seen opposing centers scoring a lot of points. Is there something going on with Embiid's or the Sixers D?
   2173. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 26, 2022 at 09:08 PM (#6062680)
I have not been following the Ben Simmons stuff other than snark-posting The Sports Guy, but having the crap going on with Simmons while Embiid is playing like Thor entering Wakanda with his axe would frustrate me intensely were I a 76ers fan (this is not an attempt to troll Stiggles, in case that is not clear).
yeah, well, you haven't been a sixers fan for the last 30 years.
   2174. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 26, 2022 at 11:27 PM (#6062689)
So, the Cavaliers could totally be the #1 seed in the east this year. This is the first decent Cavs team without LeBron James since 1998.
   2175. jmurph Posted: January 27, 2022 at 07:42 AM (#6062692)
Is there something going on with Embiid's or the Sixers D?

They're 13th in DRtg, slightly above average. Embiid still looks great when I watch them, but other than Thybulle they don't really have other good defenders in the rotation (and Drummond in backup C minutes, I guess).
   2176. PJ Martinez Posted: January 27, 2022 at 09:40 AM (#6062710)
Doug McDermott pulls off his practice jersey and spots up in the corner during the middle of play after the Spurs started the 4th quarter with only 4 players on the court
   2177. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: January 27, 2022 at 10:10 AM (#6062711)
At least the refs actually caught that one and rightly called a tech.

Speaking of, I haven't seen an update in a while, do we have most of the actual refs back out of protocol?

---

The Raptors are a fascinating team, especially last night without FVV. They basically play a bunch of 6'9" guys with 7' wingspans and just switch everyone. Siakam is the guy everyone knows, but he kinda feels expendable. They'll need to probably consolidate some of those guys into an actual star player if they want to do real damage, but they're a pain in the ass to play against.
   2178. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: January 27, 2022 at 10:14 AM (#6062712)
   2179. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: January 27, 2022 at 10:14 AM (#6062713)
Also, on the Raptors, I think Siakam would be absolutely ideal next to Towns in Minnesota. No way I can see to get him, though.
   2180. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: January 27, 2022 at 10:19 AM (#6062715)
This Aron Baynes story is scary as ####. I don't remember hearing anything about this.

EDIT: Coke, I guess, though I linked to the story and not the aggregator.
   2181. spivey Posted: January 27, 2022 at 10:24 AM (#6062716)
I think FVV is a real all-star, and a borderline top 20 guy (in that Middleton/Beal tier, and he's clearly been way better than both this year). They still need one more, but it's hard to get. Barnes could be that guy, but it may not come until Siakam or FVV are on the downside of their career. I'm not sure OG is ever going to be more than a 3&D guy who can maybe attack closeouts or create a bit for himself in a crunch.

FVV's deal effectively ends next year, because there's no way he's picking up that player option. He'll get the max, or at least a near-max deal like Jrue got.

Toronto's an interesting team because they are very switchable, a pain to play against, fun to watch, but also, I think they have to make a decision on which way they want to go. They have a lot of contracts that makes a trade very workable. And young guys who I think are assets. I guess the easiest thing to do, and probably the right one imo, is to keep the team together. But they're basically at the cap, so there's not really a way for them to get another star level player short of packaging either Gary Trent, additional salary + picks or something like Trent + Barnes/OG would get you in the tier of a max all-NBA type guy. That could work if such a guy comes on the market. I don't think I'd do that deal for Beal or Lillard though. No way Kyrie's anti-vax stuff will fly in Canada. Harden I don't think will go there. Simmons... I dunno, I don't think I do that either if I'm Toronto unless you can get him without giving up OG or Barnes. I don't think that takes them to the next level otherwise.
   2182. jmurph Posted: January 27, 2022 at 10:59 AM (#6062719)
Good Jim Petersen (Wolves broadcaster) interview on yesterday's Russillo podcast, I recommend it.
   2183. Fourth True Outcome Posted: January 27, 2022 at 01:19 PM (#6062746)
That Baynes story is nuts, and really fleshes out a mystery in a bad way. Glad it seems like the longer-term prognosis for him is good, and may even let him play ball again. Hilarious the story ends on a note of his excitement to get back to the NBA now that they're letting more physical play go.
   2184. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: January 27, 2022 at 04:15 PM (#6062780)
That's kind of a hot take on Van Vleet, who I love as a player but would probably have closer to 40 than 20. Same with Siakam, they are both fun players who can play both sides of the ball, but they don't have the efficiency that you'd like out of your best players. I agree with everything else Spivey said, and add in that they've got an excellent coach and an organization that seems opposed to going full rebuild.

In the preseason, I thought they might try to flip one or the other (+ Dragic, don't know what the hell is going on with him) to either build around the other or get an upgrade. Still, they've had a lot go right healthwise, and they are sitting at .500
   2185. tshipman Posted: January 27, 2022 at 04:59 PM (#6062789)
Van Vleet and Siakam are guys I would be looking to sell high on if I were Toronto.

Any time you think a guy is a negative asset at the beginning of the year, and you get the opportunity to get positive value, you should probably make that move. Both of them are kind of surprisingly old (FVV is 28 in February, Siakam is 28 in April). Both are in that same kind of "third best guy on a contender" zone. Unless you think that Scottie Barnes is going to be a top 5 in the NBA guy next year, it makes more sense to trade them.
   2186. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 27, 2022 at 07:20 PM (#6062797)
wiggins.
   2187. tshipman Posted: January 27, 2022 at 07:24 PM (#6062798)
oof, as a starter?

Apparently this is yet another thing we can blame KPop fans for.
   2188. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: January 27, 2022 at 08:06 PM (#6062804)
The eastern conference would never.
   2189. jmurph Posted: January 27, 2022 at 08:25 PM (#6062807)
It will be a nice homecoming for Cavs legend Andrew Wiggins.
   2190. PJ Martinez Posted: January 27, 2022 at 08:27 PM (#6062808)
So the rule is three frontcourt players, two guards? I'm in favor of top five finishers, regardless of position, but even if they had just done two frontcourt, two guards, and the next top finisher, they could have gone with Doncic or Booker instead of Wiggins (not sure what the tiebreaker is in that scenario; Booker, Doncic, and Wiggins all had the same score).
   2191. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 27, 2022 at 09:02 PM (#6062814)
Ben Golliver @BenGolliver
Utah's Rudy Gobert & Golden State's Draymond Green both finished above Andrew Wiggins in the media & player votes for the West's third frontcourt starting spot, but missed out because Wiggins carried the fan vote. pic.twitter.com/L27a2uKJCC
Brad Townsend @townbrad
Fans voted Doncic third. Players voted him fourth. Media voted him seventh. Seventh. Tied with Klay Thompson and Dame Lillard, who barely have played this season. pic.twitter.com/ImIR4H3mIK
Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds
Ben Simmons got two votes from players to be an All-Star starter. So did Grayson Allen.
Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck
Shaquille O'Neal: "The difference between [Embiid] and his soft partner is he can take criticism without being a crybaby, and he still wants to play.”
Dane Moore @DaneMooreNBA
Cannot wait to see what the next contract Andrew Wiggins signs is.

   2192. tshipman Posted: January 27, 2022 at 09:45 PM (#6062815)
Kyle Goon
@kylegoon
Anthony Davis went back toward the tunnel. He had been favoring his right wrist since dinging it against the rim on a dunk that Embiid challenged him on. He removed a wrap on that wrist as he was subbed out.


I really kind of ####### hate rooting for a team with Anthony Davis on it.
   2193. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: January 27, 2022 at 11:56 PM (#6062829)
Hot (?) take: Ujiri is lowkey the best exec in the game. He's gonna do something smart. I don't know what it is, but I trust him over anyone in the peanut gallery including the Thinking Fans here.
   2194. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 28, 2022 at 12:56 AM (#6062830)
Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck
Embiid says when he retires he wants to be known as the most skilled player ever, especially for his size — “seven two, six hundred pounds”
Tom Moore @TomMoorePhilly
#Sixers center Joel Embiid on second-year pro Tyrese Maxey having 10 assists (jokingly): ‘I said thank you for passing the ball and finally being a point guard.’

   2195. asinwreck Posted: January 28, 2022 at 08:11 AM (#6062838)
I don't think that's a hot take on Masai Ujiri. He has a strong concept of the type of player he wants on his roster as perfectly represented by drafting Scottie Barnes. The Kawhi deal was a terrific example of consolidating talent for the kind of star player who would push the roster further. The Raptors are in position to consolidate talent again if Ujiri sees another opportunity.

I thought he did a nice job with the Nuggets, too. So much so that I despaired for that team when he left, thinking the team that squandered Mutombo and McDyess would be back to square one. Tim Connolly's front office turns out to be pretty good, even aside from hitting on Jokić.
   2196. PJ Martinez Posted: January 28, 2022 at 08:37 AM (#6062841)
He hasn't featured heavily in national coverage this season but I thought it was kind of conventional wisdom at this point that Ujiri was the best executive in the league. Remember when the Knicks wanted to move heaven and earth to get him?
   2197. jmurph Posted: January 28, 2022 at 09:18 AM (#6062847)
Agree with 2196, I think since the title season that has been a widely held take on Ujiri.
   2198. Mike A Posted: January 28, 2022 at 09:31 AM (#6062848)
Fans voted Doncic third. Players voted him fourth. Media voted him seventh. Seventh.
Tied with Kent Bazemore and Jay Scrubb!

The media only gets 98 votes for each position, and Luka got zero, therefore he came in 7th with pretty much everyone else. Curry got 98 out of 98, Ja 67, Paul 16, Booker 13, Mitchell 1, and Dejounte Murray 1. It is surprising Luka got *no* votes from the media, but he hasn't been appreciably better than anyone who did get votes.

I mean, articles are pointing out Wiggins came in 6th in the media vote, which is technically true. But he got 4 whole votes, while Gobert got 65 and Draymond 20. Gobert got very little fan support (behind Carmelo!), while Draymond needed to move up one spot in the fan voting to tie Wiggins.

The whole thing is pretty silly, but that's all-star voting for ya'. Gobert, Luka, and Draymond will make the team regardless.
   2199. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 28, 2022 at 10:45 AM (#6062854)
flip,
   2200. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 28, 2022 at 10:46 AM (#6062855)
flip,
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