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Friday, October 15, 2021

NBA 2021-2022 Season Thread

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

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

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   301. spivey 2 Posted: October 23, 2021 at 10:18 AM (#6048523)
I'm excited to see (the highlights of) Davion Mitchell on Steph. Nobody questioned his on-ball defense, but Davion Mitchell has more than lived up to what was expected.
   302. asinwreck Posted: October 23, 2021 at 08:22 PM (#6048613)
Ricky Rubio may be the test case of how bad Trae Young is on defense.
   303. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 23, 2021 at 08:55 PM (#6048617)
I could believe that the Pelican'ts won't win a game this year. Yikes.
   304. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 23, 2021 at 09:48 PM (#6048632)
OKC looks like it's their mission to lose every game.
Their pursuit of the tank is remarkable in its shamelessness.
Circle the dates: March 20 and 23, when OKC and Orlando play a near-b2b (with one game for each in between). It's gonna be something special.
I could believe that the Pelican'ts won't win a game this year. Yikes.
hinkie lives.
   305. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 23, 2021 at 10:03 PM (#6048635)
I mean, NOP looks a lot better, but even still, I think Griffin thinks he's putting a nominally competitive team together?
   306. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: October 24, 2021 at 12:07 AM (#6048681)
I mean, NOP looks a lot better, but even still, I think Griffin thinks he's putting a nominally competitive team together?


For Orlando, I mean, I also don't think they are *trying* to lose games per se. It's more that they have no good players, and are giving playing time to young players rather than signing mediocre vets for the hell of it. Is that tanking? I don't know, depends how you count, but to me it's more like rebuilding, you traded away your good players because you weren't going anywhere and of course what's left is not very good.
   307. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: October 24, 2021 at 04:04 PM (#6048735)

The people that Stockton and Malone turned out to be really makes me sad.


Malone was a rapist before he ever played for the Jazz, though I have no idea how well known it was. As a kid I knew that he refused child support and other shitty things for kids, but did not know how awful he really was. It does feel weird as an adult having so many good memories of him.

Stockton's politics/conspiracy theories are not surprising at all from a rich white guy who grew up in Spokane and spent his career in Utah, but just like with Mariano Rivera I'd rather pretend he simply returned to his home planet the second he retired.
   308. smileyy Posted: October 24, 2021 at 05:02 PM (#6048740)
Was the girl that Malone raped Black? Society and the media, for whatever reason, treat Black girls as more mature than they are, and also as instigators luring men in.

Statutory rape was accepted for so long as a thing men just do to teenage girls.
   309. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 24, 2021 at 05:43 PM (#6048743)
Ky Carlin @Ky_Carlin
Andre Drummond is out tonight against the Thunder. Joel Embiid is a game time decision. #Sixers

   310. MHS Posted: October 24, 2021 at 09:07 PM (#6048761)
#307 - I’m so happy that I don’t follow most news outside of my profession and hobbies, and for my hobbies like hoops I try and stick to in game stories and analysis. So I know of nearly nothing about Malone, Stockton or Rivera as people.
   311. asinwreck Posted: October 24, 2021 at 09:18 PM (#6048762)
New York's professional basketball teams have had better days than today. The Nets lost to Charlotte in their home opener, and the Knicks are currently down by nine late in the fourth. To Orlando. At home.
   312. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: October 24, 2021 at 09:54 PM (#6048770)
Is the comment against Stockton just that he appeared in a conspiracy-minded COVID movie? While irresponsible and clueless, that seems pretty benign.
   313. Hombre Brotani Posted: October 24, 2021 at 10:49 PM (#6048778)
Is the comment against Stockton just that he appeared in a conspiracy-minded COVID movie? While irresponsible and clueless, that seems pretty benign.
As someone who has lost family and friends to covid, and as someone whose wife works in healthcare, that doesn't seem benign at all. You know what healthcare admin call people like Stockton? "The Enemy."

Anyways, whatever. Melo looks good tonight.
   314. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: October 25, 2021 at 12:20 AM (#6048790)
Magic won?!?!?
   315. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 25, 2021 at 08:24 AM (#6048799)
I mean, NOP looks a lot better, but even still, I think Griffin thinks he's putting a nominally competitive team together?

I'm not saying they'll be *good* per se, but Zion is out and that does make them less good.

---

I had no idea how much I would need this Bulls team to be worth watching. The rest of the Chicago teams (outside the Sky) are in some awful shape right now, with some very questionable futures (and very shaky FO/ownership - that's not to say Jerry is doing a good job here, but it could be worse).
   316. spivey 2 Posted: October 25, 2021 at 09:41 AM (#6048814)
Zion is going to ask out in a year or two, and David Griffin and the Pelicans front office will complain after he leaves that they felt forced to make win-now moves they didn't want to make. But really, they just don't know what the hell they're doing.

Very early days, but Lakers with a reasonably big win imo against Memphis last night. With a conference that deep, injury concerns, and the growing pains of figuring out their rotations, I could see a world in which they slide to the bottom half of the playoff bracket.
   317. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: October 25, 2021 at 10:14 AM (#6048818)
As someone who has lost family and friends to covid, and as someone whose wife works in healthcare, that doesn't seem benign at all. You know what healthcare admin call people like Stockton? "The Enemy."


Fair enough. Until yesterday I was blissfully unaware of what Joh Stockton was doing in 2021, but I withdraw the comment.

   318. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: October 25, 2021 at 10:15 AM (#6048819)
Very early days, but Lakers with a reasonably big win imo against Memphis last night. With a conference that deep, injury concerns, and the growing pains of figuring out their rotations, I could see a world in which they slide to the bottom half of the playoff bracket.

Checking the gameflow, the Grizzlies' starting lineup was +24. You don't often see that in a losing effort, but their bench was terrible, particularly the 18 minutes with Ziaire Williams on the floor (-22). I know they're really high on him long-term and it's a great story that played with Bronny and now against LeBron, but it seems like malpractice for a borderline playoff team to be giving so many early-season minutes to a rookie who was bad in college. It's not like they don't have much better options, either off the bench or simply by playing the starters normal starter minutes.
   319. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: October 25, 2021 at 10:16 AM (#6048821)
The rest of the Chicago teams (outside the Sky) are in some awful shape right now
The White Sox 93-69 record didn’t impress you?
   320. Eddo Posted: October 25, 2021 at 10:21 AM (#6048823)
The rest of the Chicago teams (outside the Sky) are in some awful shape right now, with some very questionable futures (and very shaky FO/ownership - that's not to say Jerry is doing a good job here, but it could be worse).

I can think of one other Chicago team in pretty good shape, despite how disappointing their divisional series loss was...

EDIT: Coke to Edmundo. You know what they say, great Eds think alike.
   321. GregD Posted: October 25, 2021 at 10:51 AM (#6048831)
Went to Warriors kings game. Not always pretty. But if Warriors can win a (nominal) away game when Steph is off…that’s a sign they’re a solid team even before Klay returns.
   322. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: October 25, 2021 at 11:10 AM (#6048838)
it seems like malpractice for a borderline playoff team to be giving so many early-season minutes to a rookie who was bad in college


Even so, the Grizzlies have been scoring like crazy in their first few games, even with Dillon Brooks out.
   323. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: October 25, 2021 at 11:22 AM (#6048846)
Pelicans seem like such an awful situation to be in because of the pressure to win around Zion combined with Zion's health making him seem like an absolutely terrifying person to worry about building around.

Who gets fired first? Griff, Luke Walton, or some other wild card? I'm not sure who the other candidates for a coach or FO firing would be looking up and down the NBA. Houston's coach? Jason Kidd? Someone in Cleveland?
   324. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 25, 2021 at 11:34 AM (#6048852)
The White Sox 93-69 record didn’t impress you?

I'm not a Sox fan, so not really. But TLR is pretty depressing for that team, so...
   325. aberg Posted: October 25, 2021 at 12:01 PM (#6048863)
I was able to watch the Wolves hang on against New Orleans on Saturday. I texted a friend going in that KAT always struggles with Valanciunas and that had me worried. KAT owned him in the first quarter, then JV started to get under his skin, and he ended up getting ejected with about 7 minutes to go. DLo wasn't shooting well and gave them absolutely nothing else. He made three big shots after KAT was ejected, including a banked three off the dribble that pretty much sealed the game. The one thing that was very encouraging was how active the team was defensively. Beverley, Okogie, Prince, and Vanderbilt are all pests and Finch did a good job keeping a couple of them on court most of the time. McDaniels is pretty good for his age and both KAT and Edwards looked more comfortable. They should be quite a bit better defensively this year.
   326. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 25, 2021 at 12:35 PM (#6048879)
I will believe in any improvement in the Wovles once the season is over and Towns has been traded for a bag of magic beans and Mo Bamba, but it's pretty clear that continuity is important for this team, and that they are just too damn small. I wonder what they'd look like with a bruiser next to Towns?
   327. asinwreck Posted: October 25, 2021 at 12:40 PM (#6048885)
Who gets fired first?

Walton seems like he'll finish out the year so the Kings don't pay two head coaches. New Orleans has enough dysfunction at the highest level that DG could stick around and hurt that team for a while longer.

Most of the rock-bottom teams hired recently and have few expectations other than development/securing lottery position. I suppose Silas could go if Stone doesn't think he's the guy to mentor the teenagers on the roster.

It's not impossible that the first firing will be Vogel if the Lakers underperform between now and NYE.

The fun one to consider is if Jason Kidd is exactly as bad in Dallas as he was in Milwaukee and Brooklyn, the offense never revs up, and Luka rebels.

La Russa is less the anvil on the Sox than his buddy Jerry, though I hold out hope the old man can be convinced to hire well by his son convincing him to let Artūras Karnišovas run the Bulls.
   328. jmurph Posted: October 25, 2021 at 12:58 PM (#6048900)
Walton seems like he'll finish out the year so the Kings don't pay two head coaches.

Alvin Gentry is on staff, you just make him the interim. It's almost too obvious.
   329. aberg Posted: October 25, 2021 at 01:27 PM (#6048908)
I wonder what they'd look like with a bruiser next to Towns?


I think this is true. My new hope is that they waive/dump Layman and signed Aaron Bayns to a vet minimum contract. Reid can be the backup 5 in a lot of match-ups, but against guys like Valanciunas, it would be nice to have a 260 lb guy to throw some hip checks around.
   330. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: October 25, 2021 at 03:49 PM (#6048934)
You know it's early in the season when fans are pumped up by wins against the Kings and Pelicans. The NBA's back, baby!
   331. spivey 2 Posted: October 25, 2021 at 04:10 PM (#6048943)
I think Walton is most likely to get fired just because most other teams that I think could disappoint have a coach that I perceive as very safe (Pop, Billy Donovan) or a coach they just hired. I think moving from Carlisle to Kidd was something Luka wanted. Even if Luka reverses course, I expect they'll make him give it more time than he may want.
   332. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 25, 2021 at 04:36 PM (#6048954)
You know it's early in the season when fans are pumped up by wins against the Kings and Pelicans. The NBA's back, baby!

Oh totally, in the Bulls case I know it's just the Pistons (twice, without Cunningham) and the Pels (without Zion). But in my defense, they play some defense now and do cool things like this, while the Bears and Blackhawks are having dueling COVID outbreaks and are racing to see which coach can publicly embarrass himself more without getting fired. Needless to say, it's been quite a day in the sportsradioverse here.
   333. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 25, 2021 at 04:53 PM (#6048961)
Marc Stein @TheSteinLine ·59m

The Sixers have stopped fining Ben Simmons for missed games and practices given that he is now out for personal reasons, one source close to the situation says, confirming a report this afternoon from @ramonashelburne on the NBA Today.


Marc Stein @TheSteinLine ·54m

Here is video of the @ramonashelburne report on Philly ceasing the fines Simmons had been accumulating. Simmons told teammates Friday that he is not mentally ready to play and the Sixers, according to a source close to the situation, have offered Simmons any "resources" he seeks.
   334. aberg Posted: October 25, 2021 at 06:25 PM (#6048984)
This is a dumb question that popped into my head because they're almost equal in career points. Who would you rather build a team around at their peak- Patrick Ewing or Ray Allen? Feel free to answer in today's game or either player's peak years.
   335. DCA Posted: October 25, 2021 at 06:53 PM (#6048986)
Allen today, and at his peak. Ewing at his peak.

Value of being able to make 3's at high volume. That didn't really exist in Ewing's time.
   336. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: October 25, 2021 at 07:29 PM (#6048989)
I keep thinking how incredible it'd be if you time machined Steph into the early 90s. I guess Laimbeer would probably just put him out for the season the first time he tried to drive, but it would have been so alien to the entire league.
   337. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 25, 2021 at 07:40 PM (#6048992)
I keep thinking how incredible it'd be if you time machined Steph into the early 90s. I guess Laimbeer would probably just put him out for the season the first time he tried to drive, but it would have been so alien to the entire league.
i mean, this guy wasn't too far off.

mark price had the handle, the shot, the range, the vision, the movement. the only things he didn't have were a green light out to 40' and a eurostep.
   338. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: October 25, 2021 at 07:59 PM (#6048994)
Coke to Edmundo. You know what they say, great Eds think alike.

I comanaged a project with another Ed and our unofficial project motto was “Two Eds are better than one”.
   339. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 25, 2021 at 08:12 PM (#6048997)
...I should have remembered Dragic was on the raptors, but I didn't.
   340. asinwreck Posted: October 25, 2021 at 08:13 PM (#6048999)
In the Spencer Dinwiddie revenge game, the Nets seem to be ironing out the kinks in their offense. Harden is making some beautiful passes at a level he hasn't done since the hamstring pull, and they've opened up a 23-point lead midway through the second quarter.

Patty Mills leads the team with 11 points.
   341. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 25, 2021 at 08:27 PM (#6049001)
Jesus Towns really needs to stop being such a whiny baby. Holy ####.
   342. asinwreck Posted: October 25, 2021 at 08:33 PM (#6049003)
I should amend that most of the Nets seem to be ironing out the kinks in their offense. Blake Griffin is having the kind of game that looked familiar in his final season as a Piston. A lot of difficulty finishing at the rim.

Durant, on the other hand, has 18 points on 7 of 10 shooting at halftime.
   343. asinwreck Posted: October 25, 2021 at 08:50 PM (#6049007)
OMG, Lonzo Ball is on fire from deep tonight.
   344. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 25, 2021 at 08:53 PM (#6049009)
Guys, I'm thisclose to going all meathead on dis Bulls team.
   345. asinwreck Posted: October 25, 2021 at 08:56 PM (#6049011)
If the Bulls are going to have this balanced of an offensive attack when Zach LaVine's having a quiet night, do the full Rob Reiner.
   346. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 25, 2021 at 09:16 PM (#6049016)
I was thinking more George Wendt.
   347. asinwreck Posted: October 25, 2021 at 09:26 PM (#6049019)
345's reference dates me as someone who used to watch Artis go up against Kareem at Chicago Stadium, but, sure, minimum eightpeat.
   348. jmurph Posted: October 26, 2021 at 08:02 AM (#6049064)
OMG, Lonzo Ball is on fire from deep tonight.

The other Ball was also hot from 3 last night. His shot might be even uglier than his brother's, but whatever works!

Related, Charlotte looks good. They're just really deep with actual quality NBA guys. I don't think they're a finals contender or anything, but they look like they'll be a tough matchup.

   349. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 26, 2021 at 08:13 AM (#6049066)
I obviously posted 344 when the Bulls opened up that 20 point lead, and not when they were trying to choke it away late.

"Fun" fact about last night's game that I've seen in about 50 different places today - that's the first 4 game winning streak LaVine has had in his NBA career.
   350. spivey 2 Posted: October 26, 2021 at 09:24 AM (#6049077)
Milwaukee is 3-1 basically on the back of Giannis, Middleton, and vibes. Both conferences just seem way deeper in solid teams. Beyond OKC, Houston, Orlando, and Detroit I'm not sure there is a team that isn't at least solid, or trying.

I'm a worrier by nature, but it's not that hard for me to imagine Milwaukee if they deal with injury problems throughout the year sliding down the seedings. Just because there's so many solid teams in the middle, I expect 1 or 2 of them will rise up and win 50-55 games.
   351. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: October 26, 2021 at 01:38 PM (#6049153)
Related, Charlotte looks good.

Eh I dunno about that.
   352. SteveF Posted: October 26, 2021 at 09:52 PM (#6049251)
Knicks playing their starters in a 17 point game with like 2 minutes left and the Sixers playing their bench has to be close to peak Thibs.

I don't love the Sixers shot profile/quality. This team is roadkill if Embiid looks like this for extended stretches of the season.
   353. Hombre Brotani Posted: October 26, 2021 at 10:12 PM (#6049261)
Between Westbrook and Rondo, and without Lebron, this Lakers team is agony to watch.
   354. Hombre Brotani Posted: October 26, 2021 at 10:51 PM (#6049277)
Anthony Davis is down and holding his right knee, and it looks bad.

EDIT: Stayed on the floor for the last possession, but then just sat down at the buzzer. Don't know what he's got for OT.
   355. asinwreck Posted: October 26, 2021 at 11:01 PM (#6049282)
And Nikola Jokić is down on the floor with an apparent leg injury.

EDIT: He is now stiffly walking on the sidelines after a knee-to-knee collision.
   356. Hombre Brotani Posted: October 26, 2021 at 11:08 PM (#6049284)
I can't believe the Lakers escaped with that win. Westbrook alternated between shockingly bad and unstoppably good.

Spurs missed all seven of their free throws in the 4th.
   357. Fourth True Outcome Posted: October 26, 2021 at 11:16 PM (#6049286)
Spurs also missed some pretty wide open 3s too. What happened to Chip Engelland!?
   358. asinwreck Posted: October 26, 2021 at 11:17 PM (#6049287)
Jokić now listed as questionable to return with a right knee contusion.
   359. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 26, 2021 at 11:23 PM (#6049288)
Anthony Davis is down and holding his right knee, and it looks bad.

Like once a year, he gets hurt in a way that looks like his career will end. He also gets legit hurt a lot.
   360. jmurph Posted: October 27, 2021 at 08:05 AM (#6049335)
I don't love the Sixers shot profile/quality. This team is roadkill if Embiid looks like this for extended stretches of the season.

He looked very unhappy all night, he needs some help out there. I suspect his timeline/patience with the Ben Simmons thing doesn't quite align with Morey's.
   361. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 27, 2021 at 09:11 AM (#6049344)
Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon ·9h

Jason Kidd says Mavs played all 15 players vs. Rockets per request of Dallas’ three-man leadership council.


Everyone on twitter last night was comparing this to Boylen's council in Chicago.

Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon ·9h

Mavs leadership council members, per source: Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr.
   362. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: October 27, 2021 at 10:10 AM (#6049352)
Like once a year, he gets hurt in a way that looks like his career will end. He also gets legit hurt a lot.

More like once a week.
   363. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 27, 2021 at 12:51 PM (#6049373)
He looked very unhappy all night, he needs some help out there. I suspect his timeline/patience with the Ben Simmons thing doesn't quite align with Morey's.
his knee is a bigger issue, imo.
I don't love the Sixers shot profile/quality. This team is roadkill if Embiid looks like this for extended stretches of the season.

joel embiid is not very good at creating easy shots (mostly because he doesn't "get" the pick and roll), and he seems to take great pride in taking bad shots. it still works for him because he's amazing, but it's going to look terrible when it doesn't work.
   364. Fourth True Outcome Posted: October 27, 2021 at 01:07 PM (#6049374)
his knee is a bigger issue, imo.

All of it is the reason I'm concerned (or, as a Celtics fan, "concerned") that Morey is overplaying a bad hand here. Embiid is 27 and injury-prone, and the Sixers current title hopes rest entirely on his shoulders. I may be that some team panics near the deadline and offers a lot more for Simmons than they are currently, or that Simmons works through his ish and rejoins the team (and maaaaaybe it works better in the playoffs this time) but if not, he will have torched a year of Embiid's prime, and they have a finite number of those to leverage.
   365. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 27, 2021 at 01:12 PM (#6049377)
All of it is the reason I'm concerned (or, as a Celtics fan, "concerned") that Morey is overplaying a bad hand here. Embiid is 27 and injury-prone, and the Sixers current title hopes rest entirely on his shoulders. I may be that some team panics near the deadline and offers a lot more for Simmons than they are currently, or that Simmons works through his ish and rejoins the team (and maaaaaybe it works better in the playoffs this time) but if not, he will have torched a year of Embiid's prime, and they have a finite number of those to leverage.
yeah, i've kinda been thinking it wouldn't be the worst thing for this year to turn into a 1996-97 spurs kind of thing, where embiid takes the year off due to injury, simmons loses a kidney, the team goes in the tank and happens to win the lottery.
   366. DCA Posted: October 27, 2021 at 01:18 PM (#6049380)
Except there's no Tim Duncan in next year's draft class, even if a tanking team manages to snag the #1 pick.
   367. spivey 2 Posted: October 27, 2021 at 01:20 PM (#6049381)
All of it is the reason I'm concerned (or, as a Celtics fan, "concerned") that Morey is overplaying a bad hand here. Embiid is 27 and injury-prone, and the Sixers current title hopes rest entirely on his shoulders. I may be that some team panics near the deadline and offers a lot more for Simmons than they are currently, or that Simmons works through his ish and rejoins the team (and maaaaaybe it works better in the playoffs this time) but if not, he will have torched a year of Embiid's prime, and they have a finite number of those to leverage.


If Embiid isn't going to be healthy, that year of his prime was going down the drain regardless. I agree he's not looked great this year (despite that disrespectful block he had on Bazley).
   368. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 27, 2021 at 01:21 PM (#6049382)
also fwiw, last night was one of those games where your team shoots 2/15 from beyond the arc in the first half, and the other one shoots 10/16. noone is going to look good when they're on the wrong end of that.
   369. Fourth True Outcome Posted: October 27, 2021 at 01:30 PM (#6049383)
If Embiid isn't going to be healthy, that year of his prime was going down the drain regardless.

True enough. I was pointing more towards both the fact that Embiid's playing load will be harder to manage and also make the playoffs without a Robin to his Batman and that his injury history suggests he may not age as gracefully as one would hope.
   370. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 27, 2021 at 02:33 PM (#6049391)
One way to build a stout defense with an iffy back line? Disrupt, disrupt, disrupt.

Ball and Caruso give Chicago a pair of excellent point-of-attack defenders, with both the quickness to slither around screens and the size to defend across the positional spectrum. (Rookie Ayo Dosunmu has also shown flashes of being able to avoid screens, stay connected to his man, and generally muck things up.) Sophomore forward Patrick Williams (who is still finding his sea legs after missing the bulk of preseason with an ankle sprain) and former Celtics reserve Javonte Green bring the kind of fly-around-the-court athleticism and weak-side rim protection that can help cover for Vucevic, who has averaged fewer than one block per game in his career. Everybody, including the stars, is showing a renewed commitment to the Little Things™—getting over screens, maintaining ball pressure, keeping your hands up, being on time with help rotations—that every coach will tell you aren’t really all that little.

The result: The Bulls are tied for the NBA lead in deflections per game. Caruso is tied with Dejounte Murray and Fred VanVleet for the top spot among players, Vucevic (who has great hands and timing reaching around post players to knock away entry passes) is tied for fifth, and Ball and Green also both rank in the top 50. Chicago also sits third in steals and seventh in blocks, forcing turnovers on 20.4 percent of its opponents’ offensive plays—a monster number that has fueled a dynamic transition attack, which is led by hit-ahead heat seeker Ball, who hunts opportunities to hit the gas to get early baskets.


The next 14 games for the Bulls come against playoff teams from last year (and GS), so we shall see if any of this can continue. Even LaVine is making a difference defensively (still not great, and big thing with him has always been effort), but he now has a torn ligament in his left thumb so that may slow him down.
   371. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: October 27, 2021 at 05:06 PM (#6049417)
370--
Yeah, I sent the stuff below to a Lakers fan buddy after the Memphis game. The San Antonio game was an obvious demonstration of what Westbrook can do to help.

I agree that the W was pretty key, but what Pelinka/LeBron did in the off-season was based on three key assumptions:

1. That sabermetrics, age, fit, etc. do not matter that much. What wins games and titles is star power. It doesn't matter if Westbrook is 33, makes 45M a year, and is a bad fit on paper. It doesn't matter that he adds to the team's problems from the arc and at the line. Get him on the damn team; he's a star.
2. That the advanced defensive metrics that said that KCP and Caruso were key to the perimeter D are overrated. THT and a couple of other young guys, like Monk and Nunn, can do well as long as Vogel is the coach and LBJ and AD plus Howard are on the team.
3. That James and Westbrook will figure out a way to co-exist so that Westbrook can still get his numbers while taking the heat/load off of LeBron.

Only three games in, but things could not be going worse, even with the W:

1. The Lakers are 22nd in DRTG and LeBron is playing 38 minutes a game.
2. LeBron has been bad by his standards; his PER is only 19.1.
3. Westbrook has been dreadful. His PER is 6.5, (*Westbrook's PER is now 12.4 after the SA game--ha) and he is shooting 35% from the floor and 42% from the line.
4. Two surprise teams so far? The Bulls, with Caruso, (and Ball) and the Wizards, with Kuzma, KCP, and Harrell.

So..I need to see it happen now--I won't just assume that it is going to because of the names and the resumes. There was a 2013 vibe in preseason, and it is still there now.

But, it is very early and I am a believer in the James/Davis pairing.
   372. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 27, 2021 at 09:53 PM (#6049481)
This is a peculiar ¾ of a game in Milwaukee.
   373. spivey 2 Posted: October 27, 2021 at 10:00 PM (#6049482)
Milwaukee just isn't very good right now. It's nice that they're 3-1, but without Lopez, Holiday, and Divincenzo they're not very deep. Portis and Ojeleye are back, but this is their first game back, and they've struggled.
   374. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: October 27, 2021 at 10:02 PM (#6049484)
Russell Westbrook is just so terribly sloppy with the basketball.
   375. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 27, 2021 at 10:12 PM (#6049487)
Anthony Edwards is fast. Water: remains wet.
   376. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: October 27, 2021 at 10:37 PM (#6049497)
What a terrible game for the Lakers, up 26 against the worst team in the league and they lose. That is despite the fact that the Thunder really tried to give them the game late. Last three shots: Westbrook brick out of bounds, then the Lakers get the ball after an 8-second violation by OKC. Monk airball quickly out of bounds. Then OKC throws the ball right to Carmelo, who airballs a three pointer that was wide open.

Russell then gets tossed after being made that one of the OKC players dunks to end the game.

There may a version of Westbrook that is good for the Lakers but not this version. He had a triple double and was still awful. He had 10 turnovers and honestly could have 15.
   377. asinwreck Posted: October 27, 2021 at 10:53 PM (#6049501)
My night was spent watching the Heat demolish the Nets on the boards, but I wish I had watched the Thunder-Lakers game out of morbid fascination.

I see Josh Giddey got a double-double. How did he look?
   378. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 27, 2021 at 10:58 PM (#6049504)
I see Josh Giddey got a double-double. How did he look?
unimaginably gangly.
   379. Hombre Brotani Posted: October 27, 2021 at 10:59 PM (#6049505)
LOSING TO OKC FEELS BAD, MAN.
   380. Mike A Posted: October 27, 2021 at 11:06 PM (#6049507)
Looking at the Lakers' ages the other day (7 of their top 10 are 32+) I was wondering if any team that old had won the title.

There were a few that were pretty close, the prime example probably being the late-90s Bulls. Pippen, Jordan, Rodman, and Harper were all north of 32 in 1998. The 2011 Mavericks are another one, with 4 of their starting 5 over 32, including a 37 yo Jason Kidd. So, it's not out of the question.

I think one difference, however, is the pace of the game has increased pretty substantially over the past few years. I don't know how the Lakers are going to manage their older players (and a younger but oft-injured Davis) over the course of an 82-game season and still be ready for the playoffs. Yet the Lakers are still 3-1 in Vegas to win the title, tied with the Nets as the favorites.
   381. asinwreck Posted: October 27, 2021 at 11:14 PM (#6049511)
unimaginably gangly.
Compared to Poku, he's Oliver Miller.
   382. Mike A Posted: October 27, 2021 at 11:23 PM (#6049512)
And to touch a little more on pace, according to BRef's pace stat games this year are going at the quickest level since 1985. And free throws per game are the lowest...ever. Small sample size, of course, but it looks like they're 'letting them play.'

Maybe that will even out a bit as the refs adjust to the new foul rules. I know Nash has been complaining that they're making an example out of Harden but not calling anything for him.
   383. asinwreck Posted: October 28, 2021 at 08:11 AM (#6049531)
Nash is consistently advocating for Harden to get calls. On the other hand, Harden admitted last night that he isn't fully recovered from last season's hamstring pull. Not sure how much of his specific situation is refs swallowing their whistles or a lack of explosiveness to get in situations that would get him to the line.

   384. PJ Martinez Posted: October 28, 2021 at 08:52 AM (#6049538)
Good thread of non-calls for Harden against the Heat. (I say: good.)
   385. jmurph Posted: October 28, 2021 at 09:05 AM (#6049541)
I've loved the changes to how they're officiating offensive fouls so far. I've seen a couple instances where they're probably going a bit too far in the other direction, but I'm hoping it settles in a nice place and they don't just immediately go back to the way they use to call things.
   386. spivey 2 Posted: October 28, 2021 at 09:11 AM (#6049542)
I'm liking the changes too but agree the Euro fouls (which are no longer allowed in Europe) need to stop and are way up last year and this.

I will say in Hardens defense, at least that first one I think maybe is a foul. It's generally allowed in the playoffs, but I think he kind of gets body blocked there. Those are tough calls but I don't think the defender should always get away with that. It's not a shooting foul though, and the other stuff where he tries to throw his arms into the opponents arms is all good to clean up.
   387. spivey 2 Posted: October 28, 2021 at 09:38 AM (#6049547)
It's early, and I may have to eat these words, but the amount of parity in the NBA this season I think is unprecedented. Between that, the crowds, the highest percentage of the league trying to win I can also remember in the last decade, and the rules changes I think this could be an amazing regular season. The games have a real verve. Maybe it's always like this at the beginning of the season and I just forget pre-pandemic life, but it's markedly different from the bubble and 2020.
   388. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: October 28, 2021 at 10:11 AM (#6049558)
It's early, and I may have to eat these words, but the amount of parity in the NBA this season I think is unprecedented. Between that, the crowds, the highest percentage of the league trying to win I can also remember in the last decade, and the rules changes I think this could be an amazing regular season.


I agree with all this. I need to ditch the Pistons and become an NBA Generalist but old habits die hard.
   389. jmurph Posted: October 28, 2021 at 10:26 AM (#6049562)
It's early, and I may have to eat these words, but the amount of parity in the NBA this season I think is unprecedented. Between that, the crowds, the highest percentage of the league trying to win I can also remember in the last decade, and the rules changes I think this could be an amazing regular season. The games have a real verve. Maybe it's always like this at the beginning of the season and I just forget pre-pandemic life, but it's markedly different from the bubble and 2020.

I assume it will level out, but to the extent that I agree with this, it seems like it's because the top teams aren't looking as good as anticipated so far.
   390. spivey 2 Posted: October 28, 2021 at 10:42 AM (#6049570)
I assume it will level out, but to the extent that I agree with this, it seems like it's because the top teams aren't looking as good as anticipated so far.


I agree that's a big part of it, but don't think it's all of it.
   391. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 28, 2021 at 11:19 AM (#6049584)
Happy Joakim Noah Day, everybody. Also a possible ECF preview tonight on TNT...

Bulls have really gone all out on this for Jo, and there's been so many damn stories this week on him (even Lowe has a story and podcast). Tons of recentish ex-Bulls have been around too. Anyone seen Brad Miller lately?
   392. DCA Posted: October 28, 2021 at 11:24 AM (#6049587)
I assume it will level out, but to the extent that I agree with this, it seems like it's because the top teams aren't looking as good as anticipated so far.

Agree. But it's not just falling short of expectations. The top teams now just aren't as good as the super-teams of the previous decade: the LeBrons, the Warriors, and even to a lesser extent the Westbrook-Durant Thunder, the Harden Rockets, the Spurs and Raptors with peak Kawhi. Those teams were all better than the top teams of the past 2-3 years. Only the Giannis Bucks are close, and they haven't been healthy. I was never a believer in this version of the Nets, but they haven't really ever been at full strength and that seems like it will be an ongoing issue.
   393. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 28, 2021 at 03:22 PM (#6049665)
if you were hoping that the NBA’s recent rule changes, designed to eliminate many of the very fouls that goobers like Harden spent the last few seasons successfully hunting, were suddenly going to turn him into a sub-replacement level scrub, well you are going to be sorely disappointed. Harden will figure out how to navigate the new rules, and he will score lots of points, because he’s really good.

However! Right now Harden is struggling a bit. Through five games he is averaging just 16 points and shooting 35 percent from the field while attempting just—and this number is honestly jaw-dropping given his free-throw rate from years past—three free throws per game
...
Harden absolutely blew past his defender there—just completely dusted him!—and then, confronted with an open lane to the basket and the slightest of contact from the guy he’d just zipped by with ease, decided to halt all of his forward momentum and just kinda … fling the ball towards the rim. What you are seeing here is a guy being absolutely betrayed by his own brain and muscle memory
...
It’s like watching a leopard, taught how to survive by evolutionary instincts reinforced over thousands of years, successfully chasing down and tackling a gazelle only to discover that all gazelles are now poisonous
   394. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 28, 2021 at 03:28 PM (#6049669)
It is beautiful. Patrick Beverly tried to draw a bullshit foul by stopping dead in front of a defender chasing him last night, and he got the offensive foul. It was great.
   395. Mike A Posted: October 28, 2021 at 03:37 PM (#6049671)
Watching Hawks games this year, I do feel like Trae isn't getting some calls that he should get, particularly on drives to the basket when he gets hammered. Whether the league is making an example out of guys like Trae/Harden/Luka or they're just calling it looser, I don't know. As noted, we'll have to see how it develops going forward.

Though it is funny to hear Nash complain about Harden after he called out Trae ('that's not basketball') last year.
   396. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 28, 2021 at 04:56 PM (#6049692)
the fact that NBA refs needed to be told not to call #### like this kinda says alot about the quality of people working as NBA refs.
   397. Fourth True Outcome Posted: October 28, 2021 at 05:03 PM (#6049694)
I think it's philosophical as much as it is stupidity. I recall some video where a ref or ref supervisor was asked about this sort of thing, and replied that refs are taught to try to judge every play as it happens without any sort of prejudice based on who is involved. Which sounds nice, but in practice lets players who are trying to coerce refs into calling things they shouldn't repeatedly get a benefit of the doubt they should at some point forfeit. I think that is part of what has made watching Hardenesque foul-baiting so infuriating, that at some point it feels like the refs are Charlie Brown, repeatedly trying to kick the football of "fair" adjudication. It's amusing how much glee NBA twitter seems to be taking in the faux foul merchants of the league getting their comeuppance, but it's been a long time coming.
   398. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: October 28, 2021 at 05:36 PM (#6049703)
I think it's philosophical as much as it is stupidity. I recall some video where a ref or ref supervisor was asked about this sort of thing, and replied that refs are taught to try to judge every play as it happens without any sort of prejudice based on who is involved. Which sounds nice, but in practice lets players who are trying to coerce refs into calling things they shouldn't repeatedly get a benefit of the doubt they should at some point forfeit. I think that is part of what has made watching Hardenesque foul-baiting so infuriating, that at some point it feels like the refs are Charlie Brown, repeatedly trying to kick the football of "fair" adjudication. It's amusing how much glee NBA twitter seems to be taking in the faux foul merchants of the league getting their comeuppance, but it's been a long time coming.

this is overly dismissive of NBA referees' agency to decide whether something is or is not a foul.

they were not some charlie brown; they actively contributed to the growth and spread of this epidemic.
   399. Fourth True Outcome Posted: October 28, 2021 at 05:46 PM (#6049707)
I'm guess saying that, due to the difficulty of refereeing NBA games and the philosophical choice to not account for player tendencies, they chose to be Charlie Brown. It was a BS decision for faux fair reasons, and it shouldn't have taken so long to get past but at least they seem to have finally done so.
   400. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 28, 2021 at 05:55 PM (#6049708)

flip you for real
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