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Friday, May 21, 2021

NBA 2021 Playoffs+ thread

I estimate there are maybe 10-12 Primates left on this site, and they all post in the NBA thread.

Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: May 21, 2021 at 01:07 PM | 4930 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: clutch, narratives, nba, off topic, redemption

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   4601. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 25, 2021 at 10:45 PM (#6041718)
   4602. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: September 26, 2021 at 09:18 AM (#6041734)
It seems inevitable that there will be a massive 76er/Timberwolves trade that somehow damages both teams

I’m just trying to loop in the Warriors and Washington to see if it’s possible to ruin ⅛ of the league on one fell swoop.
   4603. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: September 26, 2021 at 02:08 PM (#6041748)
I am sure that there is an historical parallel that I have forgotten, but I don't recall anything quite like the Simmons thing. Shaquille O'Neal's departure from the Lakers was messy, but that was after three titles and being MVP and was tied to his and Bryant's massive egos. In this case, there does not appear to be a rift with Embiid. One thing I can think of was Chris Webber leaving the Warriors, which was ugly and had some racial overtones. It has long since been forgotten since everybody remembers Webber from the Sacto teams, but it was a big deal in the moment (and there were larger issues involving Webber than that--The Fab Five scandal).

I have been working a lot and following the stretch run of the baseball season, so I do not know the ins and outs here, but I am always a little skeptical of armchair internet negotiation analysis--people online talking about how "Executive X is hurting his leverage in dealing Player Y by making statement Z and is being screwed by Rumor Q." But that may be the case here; I don't know.
   4604. tshipman Posted: September 26, 2021 at 03:08 PM (#6041755)
I think the whole Starbury thing is the closest parallel. Not perfect, but the closest I can think of.
   4605. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: September 26, 2021 at 04:11 PM (#6041761)
I am sure that there is an historical parallel that I have forgotten, but I don't recall anything quite like the Simmons thing. Shaquille O'Neal's departure from the Lakers was messy, but that was after three titles and being MVP and was tied to his and Bryant's massive egos. In this case, there does not appear to be a rift with Embiid. One thing I can think of was Chris Webber leaving the Warriors, which was ugly and had some racial overtones. It has long since been forgotten since everybody remembers Webber from the Sacto teams, but it was a big deal in the moment (and there were larger issues involving Webber than that--The Fab Five scandal).

yeah, this feels more like a drew rosenhaus holdout in the NFL circa the mid-00s than anything that's happened in the NBA.

maybe the toni braxton thing with the dallas mavericks in the 90s?
I have been working a lot and following the stretch run of the baseball season, so I do not know the ins and outs here, but I am always a little skeptical of armchair internet negotiation analysis--people online talking about how "Executive X is hurting his leverage in dealing Player Y by making statement Z and is being screwed by Rumor Q." But that may be the case here; I don't know.

if you try to find a pattern between what happened with okafor, noel, butler, horford, the shitty MFer, and now this, there really isn't any overlap on the basketball ops side. 4 GMs, 2 head coaches, a bunch of assistants coming in and out, and yet these weird as hell nuclear level shitstorms keep happening.

i suspect there's something wrong in the ownership group, that there's some minority owner (hopefully it's a minority owner because if it's josh harris (which is not particularly unlikely), that's ####### death) who is constantly hanging around the team and saying #### like this that poisons the atmosphere around specific players.
   4606. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: September 26, 2021 at 05:12 PM (#6041765)
Stifles, I’m calling Karma. Either for tanking or for firing Hinkie or both. It’s a simpler explanation. ;)
   4607. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: September 26, 2021 at 05:29 PM (#6041769)
Spell check got me!
   4608. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 26, 2021 at 06:01 PM (#6041779)
I don’t have an easy ready comp either. While not really analogous, I like the Braxton mention.
   4609. spivey 2 Posted: September 26, 2021 at 07:04 PM (#6041795)
It's a pretty unique situation, but is it so different from Jimmy Butler, Kawhi, Kyrie, Harden? Butler and Kawhi were in their last years, but Harden had 3 years left when he pulled his shenanigans. Kyrie had 2 years left. So, not as many as Simmons for either, but enough to where sitting out for the remainder of the contract wasn't really feasible.

I think the different there is those guys were better players, or at least much more plug and play players.
   4610. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: September 26, 2021 at 07:21 PM (#6041797)
Butler and Kawhi were in their last years
yes, this is very different from that, and for that exact reason. also, MIN was never going to pay butler long term, and kawhi broke up with SAS over medical treatment.
Harden had 3 years left when he pulled his shenanigans
his coach and GM had just left, his team had just traded his best friend for john wall, and HOU build a team around him that only had 2 NBA caliber players.
Kyrie had 2 years left
iirc, kyrie "threatened" to get knee surgery if he wasn't traded. so yeah, that might work as an analogue.
Stifles, I’m calling Karma. Either for tanking or for firing Hinkie or both. It’s a simpler explanation. ;)
that sounds like some hippie ####.
   4611. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: September 26, 2021 at 07:24 PM (#6041799)
I'm trying to put something together where the Warriors get KAT, the 76ers Klay + Beasley, and the Wolves get Simmons and Kuminga. Obviously it's not going to happen, but I'm started to get a little more interested in moving Towns nowadays.
   4612. tshipman Posted: September 26, 2021 at 07:36 PM (#6041802)
It's a pretty unique situation, but is it so different from Jimmy Butler, Kawhi, Kyrie, Harden? Butler and Kawhi were in their last years, but Harden had 3 years left when he pulled his shenanigans. Kyrie had 2 years left. So, not as many as Simmons for either, but enough to where sitting out for the remainder of the contract wasn't really feasible.


Each of them kind of have different similarities.

Butler, you have the way that both felt slighted by their organizations.
Kawhi, maybe the least similar, but you have the whole way it dragged on forever due to the FO being stubborn.
Kyrie, you have the whole "second banana" guy wanting to force their way out.
Harden, you have the length of the contract remaining being similar in how unusual that is.

Really to me the biggest takeaway is that not trading him last year was an even bigger error than I thought at the time.
   4613. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: September 26, 2021 at 07:41 PM (#6041804)
I'm trying to put something together where the Warriors get KAT, the 76ers Klay + Beasley, and the Wolves get Simmons and Kuminga. Obviously it's not going to happen, but I'm started to get a little more interested in moving Towns nowadays.
i've got you covered.
   4614. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: September 26, 2021 at 08:33 PM (#6041811)
I don’t have an easy ready comp either. While not really analogous, I like the Braxton mention.
btw, here's a good deep dive into that situation.
   4615. PJ Martinez Posted: September 26, 2021 at 09:10 PM (#6041814)
Quick note: the general reaction from sources close to the Nuggets regarding reports that they are “frontrunners” for a Simmons deal is general confusion. “Who would we even trade?” is a common refrain.

Update: Source close to the Sixers expresses similar confusion on the idea that anyone is in the front on Simmons talks and says team has not had talks with Denver.
   4616. tshipman Posted: September 26, 2021 at 10:55 PM (#6041824)
It's a bit weird, because I think Simmons would be a good acquisition for the Nuggets for Jamal Murray.

Like, Simmons is a much better player than Murray, and a great fit next to Jokic.
   4617. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: September 27, 2021 at 01:17 AM (#6041845)
I think the different there is those guys were better players, or at least much more plug and play players.


That is and of itself is a pretty big difference. In addition to that, though, Simmons just turned 25 two months ago, is on a team that, in spite of its problems, is one of the top 6 or 7 in the game, and he is only one year in to a massive five-year deal. Also, the team's playoff failure was due in no small part to Simmons's own weaknesses. With Embiid and Simmons locked in, and with the team having not yet made the ECF, the 76ers should theoretically be on the start of a potential upswing, and should be in "coming together to try to get to the next level" mode with Simmons working on the holes in his game. So, no, I don't think the other situations are really all that similar other than the basics of guys wanting off the team they were on.

Part of the problem, it seems, may be that being a #1 overall pick with the contract he has, is that Simmons probably believes he is much better than he actually is. That is probably true of a lot of guys, ofc, but it seems to be very damaging in this case.
   4618. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 27, 2021 at 07:43 AM (#6041851)
Both Simmons and the 76er front office think Simmons is better than the whole rest of the NBA thinks. So the perfect match for Simmons is Philly, since they have similar ideas about his value, right?

Wait...
   4619. jmurph Posted: September 27, 2021 at 08:11 AM (#6041854)
and a great fit next to Jokic.

Alright I'm trying again: what is Simmons doing when Jokic has the ball? And not the theoretical Simmons who is going to start doing all the things he's never had any interest in doing, but the actual real life Simmons?
   4620. jmurph Posted: September 27, 2021 at 08:12 AM (#6041855)
Like, Simmons is a much better player than Murray

I also strongly disagree with this part.
   4621. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: September 27, 2021 at 08:53 AM (#6041856)
I do not see the fit with Simmons and Jokic, at all. Now, y'all are a lot smarter than me, so I'll hang up and listen.
   4622. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: September 27, 2021 at 09:04 AM (#6041857)
I can't wait until Ben Simmons is traded because then I can stop reading the Ben Simmons discourse that I feel like I've been reading endlessly, constantly, for eternity. I'm tired of the Ben Simmons discourse, yet realize that I cannot stop myself from consuming the Ben Simmons discourse. I'm not blaming others here. I just need it to stop.
   4623. spivey 2 Posted: September 27, 2021 at 09:25 AM (#6041860)
I think Simmons works best with a big who can pass, space the floor, and could use some interior defense help. I can see the fit next to Jokic, but Aaron Gordon does a lot of the same things, so I think bringing in Simmons too would sacrifice spacing too much. Unless it was Gordon going back out.
   4624. asinwreck Posted: September 27, 2021 at 09:35 AM (#6041864)
The Sixers have secured their defensively aggressive lead guard who can't shoot. Shaq Harrison has been invited to camp.
   4625. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 27, 2021 at 09:59 AM (#6041871)
I wanna watch Shaq and Matisse play one on one. Different types of defenders (and offensive players) but still fun.
   4626. PJ Martinez Posted: September 27, 2021 at 10:50 AM (#6041885)
I think Simmons is an intriguing fit next to Jokic, but less of a sure thing than with Towns. Also, Denver appears to be in a feel-good stretch; they've mostly been exceeding expectations and their players seem to love each other. I don't see a franchise eager to shake things up by bringing in a disgruntled semi-superstar, particularly if it means sending out a very popular (albeit injured) player who isn't obviously worse than Simmons.

As for how Murray and Simmons compare, my (uncontroversial?) take is that Simmons has been better than Murray to this point in their careers *in the regular season.* But in the playoffs, probably not, or at least not lately. Also, Murray appeared to be on an upward trajectory prior to his injury. That's no guarantee of continued improvement, but it least suggests the strong possibility of it. Simmons's game hasn't really budged since he arrived in the league.
   4627. jmurph Posted: September 27, 2021 at 10:53 AM (#6041886)
Matthew Tynan @Matthew_Tynan
Pop said vaccination-wise “we’re good to go.” Also said he just got his third booster the other day because “I’m over 90.”
   4628. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: September 27, 2021 at 10:55 AM (#6041888)
Paul George signed a 4-year deal with OKC, and got moved after playing one year.


Like, Simmons is a much better player than Murray, and a great fit next to Jokic.


Denver could use Simmons' defense, but Jokic is Denver's interior scorer, and he's best surrounded by guys that can shoot. That sure ain't Simmons. And Jokic isn't going to be running fast breaks with Simmons either.
   4629. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: September 27, 2021 at 10:55 AM (#6041889)
Obviously Murray will be out all year, and who knows what he'll look like post-injury, etc.
   4630. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: September 27, 2021 at 11:24 AM (#6041896)
the problem with trading murray for simmons, and this is a problem that keeps popping up in these various trades, is that simmons needs to play alongside a scoring guard exactly like murray, rather than replacing him, which means these kinds of proposed swaps are inherently self-sabotaging.

it's why minnesota actually makes some sense. they can package beverley, beasley and whatever else, while still keeping dangelo russell around to eat a ton of shots on the perimeter.

I can't wait until Ben Simmons is traded because then I can stop reading the Ben Simmons discourse that I feel like I've been reading endlessly, constantly, for eternity. I'm tired of the Ben Simmons discourse, yet realize that I cannot stop myself from consuming the Ben Simmons discourse. I'm not blaming others here. I just need it to stop.
just root for as much #### to hit the fan as humanly possible. noone will blame you, and it's good content.
   4631. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: September 27, 2021 at 11:29 AM (#6041897)
Alright I'm trying again: what is Simmons doing when Jokic has the ball? And not the theoretical Simmons who is going to start doing all the things he's never had any interest in doing, but the actual real life Simmons?
i feel like this question is its own answer.
   4632. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 27, 2021 at 12:40 PM (#6041913)
There is zero chance they would trade Simmons for someone injured like Murray though. They want to compete in the now, and an injured player doesn't help that at all.

The number of teams that want Simmons and have stuff the 76ers want, where both sides seem to be close to agreeing on the price, seems to be very low. Weird situation.
   4633. GregD Posted: September 27, 2021 at 12:55 PM (#6041917)
The Simmons for Murray trade does fulfill the criteria that the trade must make both teams clearly worse.

+1 to Simmons likely being better than Murray but Simmons plus Jokic being notably worse than Murray plus Jokic
   4634. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: September 27, 2021 at 01:03 PM (#6041918)
From a Minnesota perspective, Simmons for picks, Beasley, and Beverley makes the Wovles Very Interesting:

Russell/McLaughlin
Edwards/Nowell
McDaniels/Prince
Simmons/Vanderbilt
Towns/Reid

Like, not good, but it all sort of makes some kind of sense?
   4635. Fourth True Outcome Posted: September 27, 2021 at 01:13 PM (#6041922)
I continue to think that Morey is overplaying his hand, based primarily on my thoughts that a) Ben Simmons is not going to back down or return fo the Sixers fold any time soon, as he seems stubborn and pretty set in his position and b) I'm not sure what offers they're waiting for here. I think a trade centered on CJ McCollum or D'Angelo Russell and draft equity makes about as much sense as any trade you could make right now and can't really picture a more valuable player coming available soon. Lillard and Beal both seem likely to stay put at the very least until the trade deadline, which seems brutally long for the Sixers to just play as the Embiid show, and I'm not sure if you're either of those teams that Ben Simmons is the guy you want to reset your culture around. Maaaaybe Cleveland or San Antonio will become desperate, but most of the pressure seems to be on Philly and I don't see how waiting improves their position.

We'll see, and I know Morey is one of the GMs most willing too push through interpersonal discomfort if he thinks it's worth it but...I just don't see the road from here to anywhere markedly better. Could be I'm missing something, but the downside risk of waiting months to do something you could have done before training camp seems awfully real.
   4636. tshipman Posted: September 27, 2021 at 01:39 PM (#6041928)
Alright I'm trying again: what is Simmons doing when Jokic has the ball? And not the theoretical Simmons who is going to start doing all the things he's never had any interest in doing, but the actual real life Simmons?


Simmons would basically be Paul Millsap on offense (edit: in the half-court). Play as a passer at the high post when Jokic is on the low post, cut and seal, and punish little guys on the offensive glass. As Spivey notes, there is a lot of overlap with Aaron Gordon, which is what you would have to figure out. Can you play Jokic/Gordon/MPJ and Simmons at the same time? Because Gordon/Jokic/Porter were +10 points in the regular season, and were just phenomenal.

If Simmons can fit in to that lineup, and it's a big if, but if he can fit into that lineup, you're talking about just a completely unguardable team where the shortest guy is like 6-8.
   4637. tshipman Posted: September 27, 2021 at 01:41 PM (#6041930)
To me, Denver makes more sense than Minnesota, because Minnesota is not a contender even with Simmons, but Denver has basically a one to two year window with this group and Jamal Murray won't be healthy for most of it, so he's kind of surplus to their team.

Campazzo is a great story, but he was a huge liability in the playoffs last year, so you have the potential to make the leap to being a top tier contender by trading a guy who's injured.

Edit: and let's be clear, ACTUAL Jamal Murray is kind of mediocre, with the exception of one playoffs where he went thermonuclear for two rounds before crashing back to earth.
   4638. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: September 27, 2021 at 01:43 PM (#6041931)
most of the pressure seems to be on Philly and I don't see how waiting improves their position.
well, it probably can't get worse. if simmons just isn't going to show up, that at least does the sixers the favor of keeping everything in stasis.

if simmons randomly shows up 10 games into the season, that would pressure both sides to do something.
If Simmons can fit in to that lineup, and it's a big if, but if he can fit into that lineup, you're talking about just a completely unguardable team where the shortest guy is like 6-8.
oh for ##### sake.
   4639. jmurph Posted: September 27, 2021 at 02:20 PM (#6041944)
Edit: and let's be clear, ACTUAL Jamal Murray is kind of mediocre, with the exception of one playoffs where he went thermonuclear for two rounds before crashing back to earth.

He wasn't bad, though up and down, in the first trip, too. Not as great as he was in the second, but pretty good. I also want to note that "crashing back to earth" against the Lakers that year amounted to 25 pts and 7 assists per game, though yes, with a pile of turnovers and poor 3 pt shooting. Still, not terrible. He was also having a really good season last year before the injury.

I don't discount the injury, maybe it ruins him, but if it doesn't I have no doubt about which guy I'd prefer to go forward with. With Simmons it's a lot of "well if he does that or plays this way or is surrounded by these guys" and he's just not actually good enough to justify all the gymnastics. Just go with the normal lead guard who can actually shoot and create offense for himself and others and has dropped 40+ in multiple playoff games instead of pulling a Richie Tenenbaum.

(Also I think "play like Millsap on offense" fails the "actual Simmons vs theoretical Simmons" test. Millsap being a stretchy big is one of the key things that has made him so valuable.)
   4640. jmurph Posted: September 27, 2021 at 02:31 PM (#6041948)
Man, the slow motion, all day, multi time zone reveal of which NBA stars are still unvaccinated for incredibly stupid reasons seems to be going great.
   4641. tshipman Posted: September 27, 2021 at 02:33 PM (#6041950)
(Also I think "play like Millsap on offense" fails the "actual Simmons vs theoretical Simmons" test. Millsap being a stretchy big is one of the key things that has made him so valuable.)


Millsap takes 2 3s per game, and is a career 34% shooter.

He wasn't bad, though up and down, in the first trip, too. Not as great as he was in the second, but pretty good. I also want to note that "crashing back to earth" against the Lakers that year amounted to 25 pts and 7 assists per game, though yes, with a pile of turnovers and poor 3 pt shooting. Still, not terrible. He was also having a really good season last year before the injury.

I don't discount the injury, maybe it ruins him, but if it doesn't I have no doubt about which guy I'd prefer to go forward with. With Simmons it's a lot of "well if he does that or plays this way or is surrounded by these guys" and he's just not actually good enough to justify all the gymnastics. Just go with the normal lead guard who can actually shoot and create offense for himself and others and has dropped 40+ in multiple playoff games instead of pulling a Richie Tenenbaum.


My whole point re: the Nuggets is that even if you think that Murray is better than Simmons (and I don't think so), Murray isn't on this team until the playoffs in the best case scenario. Their owner has never paid the luxury tax and likely never will, so either you take a swing or you never actually get to field a contender for the entire Jokic prime.
   4642. jmurph Posted: September 27, 2021 at 02:43 PM (#6041952)
Millsap takes 2 3s per game, and is a career 34% shooter.

NOW DO SIMMONS!

But seriously, I think this is a little unfair: going back several years now it's a range of 2.3-3.5 per game. Also last year he took about 46%ish of his shots from 10+ feet. My point was he's a credible threat from the high post and beyond, you can't just lay 7 feet off him.

My whole point re: the Nuggets is that even if you think that Murray is better than Simmons (and I don't think so), Murray isn't on this team until the playoffs in the best case scenario.

Sure, I have no quibbles with this (except for the parenthetical obviously, as already discussed).

   4643. asinwreck Posted: September 27, 2021 at 02:44 PM (#6041953)
   4644. Mike A Posted: September 27, 2021 at 03:09 PM (#6041960)
I can't wait until Ben Simmons is traded because then I can stop reading the Ben Simmons discourse that I feel like I've been reading endlessly, constantly, for eternity.
I am with you here. Seems every time I get in the car and turn on NBA Radio, they're talking about Ben Simmons. I get that it's a weird situation, but there just seems to be some much time and energy being dedicated to a guy who is..what...the 30th best player in the NBA? I guess there's not too much to talk about because it's been a pretty dull offseason, but still.

(And yes, I also can't turn away.)
   4645. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: September 27, 2021 at 03:18 PM (#6041961)
The 30th best player to the 30th best franchise. Get 'er done, Minnesota!
   4646. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: September 27, 2021 at 04:20 PM (#6041981)
@MarcJSpears
Andrew Wiggins said his "back against the wall" and that he plans to stick with his beliefs.


Meanwhile, Jazz are apparently 100% vaxxed. Was worried about Rudy since he's into crystals and has posted some other dumb #### but even he got it.
   4647. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: September 27, 2021 at 04:28 PM (#6041987)
Most detailed reporting I’ve seen so far on player vaccination.

This really was a good article. Scary, but even the NBA is doing better than the public at large.

Man, the slow motion, all day, multi time zone reveal of which NBA stars are still unvaccinated for incredibly stupid reasons seems to be going great.

Who's keeping track of this for those of us who can't follow in real time? I see a bunch of dunking on Beal, plus the Wiggins one from last post.
   4648. Fourth True Outcome Posted: September 27, 2021 at 04:44 PM (#6041993)
I'm sure there will be plenty of articles, but other than big name players showing their ass like Beal, Wiggins, and Kyrie, there is a ton of "it's a personal decision" talk from all sorts of players today. It seems like the only players willing to directly address it are those against and those, like KAT, who have personal reasons to not respect antivax privacy requests and a position to not have to worry about pissing such players off. I've been curious about the Celtics, and reading between the lines it seems like Schröder and Richardson aren't vaccinated and likely the only two, but it's hard to be sure of any such determination. As Moses pointed out, the NBA is doing better than America broadly, but has plenty of room for improvement yet.
   4649. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: September 27, 2021 at 04:46 PM (#6041995)
Did everyone already know that Zion had a broken foot this summer? He'll supposedly be ready for opening night.
   4650. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: September 27, 2021 at 05:16 PM (#6042007)
My whole point re: the Nuggets is that even if you think that Murray is better than Simmons (and I don't think so), Murray isn't on this team until the playoffs in the best case scenario. Their owner has never paid the luxury tax and likely never will, so either you take a swing or you never actually get to field a contender for the entire Jokic prime.

Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42 ·29m
Denver will become the 4th team in 2022-23 that has 3 players on max contracts.

- Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.

They will join Brooklyn (KD, Harden, Kyrie), GSW (Steph, Klay, Wiggins) and LAL (LeBron, AD, Russ)


Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42 ·28m
Denver also projects to have $156M in salary and will go into the luxury tax for the first time since 2009-10.


They could always move on from one of them before this extension kicks in.
   4651. Fourth True Outcome Posted: September 27, 2021 at 06:17 PM (#6042023)
I get why on paper you could argue Denver should trade Murray for Simmons, though I think that fit would require halfcourt off-ball aggression from Simmons that we haven't seen to date, but I think the idea that they would seriously consider it is a stretch. They've made two deep playoff runs in the last two seasons and haven't yet had Murray and Gordon both for the postseason. Murray is coming back from an ACL tear, but that doesn't seem like a big enough issue to blow up a young core that seems to work on court and off in favor of a guy on a max contract who has been a clunky fit in both places for his career to date. If it were a year from now and they'd just suffered a demoralizing playoff washout I could see it, but I would be shocked if a team in as good a position as Denver were willing to risk ruining what they have to try Simmons, as good as he is. If they could flip Gordon, picks, and pieces maybe, but that doesn't work and Philly would never do it. Simmons is such a weird fit to trade. Too expensive to trade for non-stars, deep enough into his contracts that he's no bargain to build around, and Philly needs to trade him for a guard or small wing but he'd be best served somewhere he could be a postmodern big.
   4652. Fourth True Outcome Posted: September 27, 2021 at 06:32 PM (#6042025)
Primer RT:
@OPPMagicBlog
When asked about his brother winning a title…

Robin Lopez says he’s not sure if Milwaukee actually won a championship because he wasn’t there (and didn’t watch it). Says “he’s still doing his own research”.
   4653. PJ Martinez Posted: September 27, 2021 at 10:50 PM (#6042056)
Last year, Paul Millsap played 700 fewer regular season minutes than Ben Simmons (1162 vs. 1877) and shot 14 times as many threes (143 vs. 10).
   4654. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 28, 2021 at 08:15 AM (#6042082)
i don't have the numbers handy but millsap was something like 37% from three over the last three years and simmons had hit like a quarter of his shots from outside 10 feet over that period.

that lopez line is pretty good.

   4655. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: September 28, 2021 at 11:12 AM (#6042104)
Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck
Sometimes I think “Philly isn’t that different from other sports markets” and then I find out, for example, that Hurricane Schwartz was going after Ben Simmons before doing the weather lol pic.twitter.com/fWAEarkjHB

   4656. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: September 28, 2021 at 03:36 PM (#6042156)
League sources say the primary motivation for Klutch Sports’ aggressive holdout is to steer him to a team built around him on offense. No matter the roster makeup in Philly, he will only ever be no. 2 as long as Embiid is healthy.
...
There have been flashes of what Simmons can do in that role, like last season’s 42-point, 12-assist game against the Jazz when Embiid was absent
...
On Tuesday, The Athletic reported Simmons doesn’t believe his style is conducive to playing with Embiid. The Sixers and Simmons want some of the same things, but Simmons wants to be the man.
...
Not much has changed on offense for Simmons since he was a rookie, but people in his circle remember the highs. In April 2018, the morning after Simmons had a 27/15/13 performance in a win sans Embiid over LeBron James and the Cavs, I texted about the game with someone from Klutch. They responded that he’s “going to be the face of the league in 4-5 years.” Three years later, Simmons hasn’t met those expectations. But their belief in his potential has not wavered. The question is where he could reach that potential. And when.

trade this guy to ####### buffalo.
   4657. JJ1986 Posted: September 28, 2021 at 03:56 PM (#6042158)
So, Magic, Rockets or Spurs?
   4658. DCA Posted: September 28, 2021 at 04:41 PM (#6042173)
This works.
   4659. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 28, 2021 at 04:44 PM (#6042174)
Nice!
   4660. smileyy Posted: September 28, 2021 at 06:28 PM (#6042195)
I have no idea what the Spurs would have to offer for Simmons, but if anyone can make Simmons work in the NBA, it's Pop.
   4661. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 28, 2021 at 08:01 PM (#6042204)
So this is a good sign, right?

KAT expresses his love for the franchise he works for

“It’s been something that’s been very constant,” he said, addressing the perpetual turmoil. Just last week, the team fired its president of basketball operations, Gersson Rosas. “Being transparent, it just added to the list. It’s just the same thing every single time. It’s something that always leads to instability. And I joked about it the day before, ‘Man, it’s been a real quiet offseason in Minnesota. It’s very different.’ Then boom. [They] made sure they had one left in the hat.”

He continued, “I’ve been through almost everything. I don’t feel like I’ve not seen something. I’ve been through the death of a head coach [...], I’ve been through numerous front offices, I’ve been through numerous regimes. While being blessed to have so many great teammates to play with, I’ve also [not had] a chance to really build any true relationships with anybody because there’s always instability, always change. I’ve been through a lot. [...] I’ve really been through everything you can think about.”

He sure as hell has, but Towns didn’t stop there.

“I’ve been defamed by teammates, been a scapegoat for people, COVID, my own personal life. I mean, #### hasn’t been easy since I came here. But the only thing that’s constant is me being a constant personal in all of that.”
   4662. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: September 28, 2021 at 08:09 PM (#6042208)
I mean, he's not wrong.
   4663. smileyy Posted: September 28, 2021 at 09:17 PM (#6042220)
Ryan Ruocco, the Hall of Famer Rebecca Lobo, and Holly Rowe are a broadcasting treasure. I'd highly recommend checking out one of the WNBA games they call.
   4664. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 28, 2021 at 10:10 PM (#6042243)
Towns: he’s not wrong, no. Definitely have a softer spot for him now, after what he’s gone through.

Maybe old news but LBJ says he’s vaxxed.
   4665. smileyy Posted: September 28, 2021 at 10:11 PM (#6042245)
LeBron having an "anti-vaxxers buy shoes too" moment.
   4666. spivey 2 Posted: September 28, 2021 at 10:23 PM (#6042249)
LeBron's stuff is even more disappointing than "anti-vaxxers buy shoes too", because he said he was skeptical and I think has been acting for a long while like it's an unclear choice. Certainly don't get the sense he was vaccinated as early as he could have been.
   4667. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: September 28, 2021 at 10:35 PM (#6042253)
I feel like it must be so maddening to be Towns, because he is someone who could likely have been a generational talent, in an organization that wasn't so goddamned clownshoes, and now, if he doesn't get traded, he'll go down as a "what if".
   4668. smileyy Posted: September 28, 2021 at 10:55 PM (#6042261)
The only thing left for these Wolves to do is make an under the table deal with some middling talent player.
   4669. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: September 28, 2021 at 11:22 PM (#6042267)
I mean, deangelo Russell is still under contract.
   4670. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 29, 2021 at 06:55 AM (#6042286)
The only thing left for these Wolves to do is make an under the table deal with some middling talent player.


This displays a shocking lack of imagination. With the Wolves there is never just one more thing that can go wrong.
   4671. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: September 29, 2021 at 08:07 AM (#6042290)
LeBron's stuff is even more disappointing than "anti-vaxxers buy shoes too", because he said he was skeptical and I think has been acting for a long while like it's an unclear choice. Certainly don't get the sense he was vaccinated as early as he could have been.

Right. And it was a little naïve of him to say the vaccine choice was just a personal decision and not a political one.
   4672. PJ Martinez Posted: September 29, 2021 at 09:30 AM (#6042304)
I could be wrong, of course, but my sense is that LeBron's unfortunate both-sides-ing of vaccination seems more out of deference to other players than concern for shoe-buyers. Edit: It is perhaps also a product of his own ambivalence -- unless I'm mistaken, LeBron waited a long time to get vaccinated.
   4673. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 29, 2021 at 03:35 PM (#6042386)
add trey burke to the list of unvaccinated, "doing their research" types.
   4674. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: September 29, 2021 at 03:49 PM (#6042391)
tying together various lines of discussion on this page, i'd love to see KAT run against lebron the next time there's an election for union president, just hammering him on this single issue.

   4675. CFBF is Obsessed with Art Deco Posted: September 29, 2021 at 03:58 PM (#6042395)
Does Ben Simmons have a vaccine take? Feel like that would really add another dimension here.
   4676. smileyy Posted: September 29, 2021 at 04:23 PM (#6042401)
LeBrons's take to appease members of the NBPA is a stark contrast to the WNBA player's associations drive to educate and vaccinate its members.

I get the feeling that if LeBron weren't running the risk of missing games due to Covid protocols he wouldn't have gotten vaccinated. That's knocked my esteem for him down a peg.
   4677. smileyy Posted: September 29, 2021 at 04:23 PM (#6042402)
I lol'ed at 4675
   4678. aberg Posted: September 29, 2021 at 04:35 PM (#6042406)
LeBrons's take to appease members of the NBPA is a stark contrast to the WNBA player's associations drive to educate and vaccinate its members.


I know there are a lot of other factors involved (and money is a bit one), but between the WNBA and USWNT, I feel like my political orientation lines up more with the Female Pro Athlete Party than any real ideological body.
   4679. tshipman Posted: September 29, 2021 at 05:43 PM (#6042419)
I could be wrong, of course, but my sense is that LeBron's unfortunate both-sides-ing of vaccination seems more out of deference to other players than concern for shoe-buyers. Edit: It is perhaps also a product of his own ambivalence -- unless I'm mistaken, LeBron waited a long time to get vaccinated.


LeBron's not talking to you or me.

45% of Black Americans are vaccinated, the lowest of any ethnic group. If you look at the south, that number is lower.
   4680. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: September 29, 2021 at 05:50 PM (#6042422)
add trey burke to the list of unvaccinated, "doing their research" types.

MPJ too.

I get the feeling that if LeBron weren't running the risk of missing games due to Covid protocols he wouldn't have gotten vaccinated. That's knocked my esteem for him down a peg.

That was also my read. And that's honestly probably the best way to get people to agree (aka it's working in college football in places)

LeBron's not talking to you or me.

45% of Black Americans are vaccinated, the lowest of any ethnic group. If you look at the south, that number is lower.


Also this. However, it's disappointing he's still not convinced because surely he could also do a lot of good were he to advocate for it.
   4681. aberg Posted: September 29, 2021 at 05:53 PM (#6042424)
That's odd. There was a WaPo op-ed today that said 70% of black adults had received at least one vaccine dose and it cited another KFF study.
   4682. tshipman Posted: September 29, 2021 at 05:58 PM (#6042427)
Also this. However, it's disappointing he's still not convinced because surely he could also do a lot of good were he to advocate for it.


Could he? I'm pretty skeptical.

LeBron gave a pretty tepid endorsement to the vaccine. However, he gave a full-throated endorsement to Joe Biden in 2020, campaigning particularly in Ohio.

91% of black voters voted for Biden in Ohio. That was up just barely by 3% from 2016. But black turnout was down by 3%, from 14% to 11%.

It's not at all clear to me that Black america is just waiting for LeBron to lead. The most popular black figure is Obama, who's been a huge vaccine advocate. Hasn't mattered that much.

***

All of this is to say that it is disappointing that LeBron has vacillated on vaccination. I'm not sure it mattered, though.
   4683. jmurph Posted: September 29, 2021 at 07:01 PM (#6042440)
Whoa, they're getting rid of referee-initiated out of bounds reviews in the last two minutes. That's amazing. Has a league ever clawed back replay before?
   4684. SteveF Posted: September 29, 2021 at 07:46 PM (#6042443)
NFL and PI calls.
   4685. Fourth True Outcome Posted: September 29, 2021 at 09:21 PM (#6042462)
I agree with tship that LeBron's tepidness on the vaccine has been surprising and disappointing, especially given how impressed I've been by most of what he's done outside of basketball/shilling. I suppose it's possible he's got some sort of Tom Brady svengali managing his diet and telling him that vaccines will upset his humors or whatever.
   4686. spivey 2 Posted: September 29, 2021 at 10:15 PM (#6042475)
I think a big issue with why self reporting and the data aren't lining up super well is that race/ethnicity is a pretty complicated topic and isn't always super well captured by the organizations that are administering vaccines. In situations where it's poorly captured, I would also argue that's most likely to affect non-white people. Anyways, I think looking at both is likely appropriate. KFF acknowledges a lot of this in their article that evaluates the data which shows the 45% vaccination rate among blacks.
   4687. Fourth True Outcome Posted: September 29, 2021 at 11:03 PM (#6042486)
It is undoubtedly the case that African-Americans in particular and non-white Americans in general have plenty of good reason to be skeptical of the aims and methods of the medical establishment in America. I've also seen reporting suggesting that a surprising percentage of the as-yet unvaccinated are not philosophically opposed but have not been able to get it around work or are concerned with missing work from vaccine side-effects, and race and professional opportunity are of course deeply intertwined too (though this is not the case for any NBA players.)
   4688. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: September 29, 2021 at 11:15 PM (#6042487)
I understand without accepting why there might be greater vaccine hesitancy in the NBA when compared to the population at large:

1. The medical establishment has a terrible record with black folks;
2. NBA players are probably much more sensitive to their bodies;
3. NBA players undoubtably over-index on their own self-belief -- you don't get to be where they are by being riddled by self-doubt.

Like, they should all just nut up and get the goddamned shot; but I get why there might be more hesitancy.
   4689. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: September 30, 2021 at 12:49 AM (#6042497)
Count me in among those who are a little disappointed by James' comments. My favorite celeb COVID take is Arnold Schwarzenegger:

“I always say you should know your strengths and listen to the experts. If you want to learn about building biceps, listen to me, because I’ve spent my life studying how to get the perfect peak and I have been called the greatest bodybuilder of all time. We all have different specialities.

Dr. Fauci and all of the virologists and epidemiologists and doctors have studied diseases and vaccines for their entire lives, so I listen to them and I urge you to do the same. None of us are going to learn more than them by watching a few hours of videos. It’s simple: if your house in on fire, you don’t go on YouTube, you call the damn fire department. If you have a heart attack, you don’t check your Facebook group, you call an ambulance. If 9 doctors tell you you have cancer and need to treat it or you will die, and 1 doctor says the cancer will disappear, you should always side with the 9. In this case, virtually all of the real experts around the world are telling us the vaccine is safe and some people on Facebook are saying it isn’t.

In general, I think if the circle of people you trust gets smaller and smaller and you find yourself more and more isolated, it should be a warning sign that you’re going down a rabbit hole of misinformation. Some people say it is weak to listen to experts. That’s bogus. It takes strength to admit you don’t know everything. Weakness is thinking you don’t need expert advice and only listening to sources that confirm what you want to believe.”




   4690. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: September 30, 2021 at 12:58 AM (#6042498)
4688 is a good post. But I remain disappointed in James; I agree to a large extent with shipman's comment about people not waiting for James to lead on this, but I still wish he would, especially since one of his main philanthropic interests is his school.
   4691. tshipman Posted: September 30, 2021 at 01:19 AM (#6042499)
Kind of a meme idea, but it's crazy to think about just how well a Kyrie for Simmons trade would work.

Kyrie fits very well with Embiid.

Simmons would basically be a huge upgrade on Bruce Brown on the Nets. Would be an ideal fit in terms of positional versatility, and would allow the Nets to play 5 skilled passers on the court at all times--Harden/Simmons/Harris/Durant/Millsap. He'd play as some kind of weirdo center on offense, and as an everything defender on defense.

None of the other trades out there for Simmons look like they're going to happen, and this one isn't going to either, but it would solve huge problems for both teams.
   4692. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 30, 2021 at 07:39 AM (#6042505)
None of the other trades out there for Simmons look like they're going to happen, and this one isn't going to either, but it would solve huge problems for both teams.


I think it helps both teams, but the only huge problem the Nets have is health (IMO). If healthy they win last year and it isn't close. If healthy they win this year.

I am not sure I make that trade if I am the Nets, because I think it helps the 76ers more than the Nets - much more. The Nets are built to function well with any two of their stars and awesome with all three. At full health it helps the Nets, but with one star down I think it might not help (Kyrie and Simmons are such interesting players, I admit I am having a hard time fully picturing it).

Cool idea though.
   4693. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 30, 2021 at 07:57 AM (#6042508)
I both agree with posts like TFTIO’s and remain disappointed in those who haven’t been jabbed for many reasons, a few unfair.

Dallas is supposedly gonna play Porzingis at the four, huh? As much as I’ve been a proponent of some teams going big more often than they do, I don’t think that makes sense.

   4694. JJ1986 Posted: September 30, 2021 at 09:53 AM (#6042522)
Jonathan Isaac has a lot of new fans.
   4695. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: September 30, 2021 at 09:57 AM (#6042523)
I just think that it's important to understand why people do what they do, if you want them to change their behaviour. Just shouting SCIENCE was going to be a fail even before we saw it fail. Shaming people isn't gonna work. I don't know. It's a really hard problem.
   4696. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 30, 2021 at 10:00 AM (#6042524)
If you need an optimistic (and maybe puff) piece, and what Timberwolves fan doesn't, read this article Leader of the Pack

I have to admit, when we first started working together, it threw me off. I knew he was very smart, but I’d never met anyone who kept their intelligence so quiet. We’d be having some discussion, I’d be blabbering confidently about some half-formed opinion, and Sachin would be listening, thinking, asking questions, genuinely interested to learn from what I thought. The more I’d talk, the more confident I’d feel. (Little, I’ve learned, makes you feel more confident than the sound of your own voice.) But then Sachin would spot something, and the questions would subtly shift, pointing at some weakness in the argument I’d been completely blind to. When I’d catch up to his train of thought and realize what had happened, I would quickly start walking back my statements, and be left wondering: How did he see that?

“How did he see that?” was a common echo in my head in those early days working with Sachin. He had this way of taking whatever question I was struggling to answer, tilting it by a few degrees, and suddenly everything would be clear. It felt like magic.

I learned quickly to take advantage of that magic. When I’d get stuck on a problem, it would just be a matter of time until I’d be knocking on Sachin’s (nearly always open) door. To be honest, I probably abused the privilege of having his office next to mine. And I wasn’t the only one. Sachin’s office seemed to turn into the unofficial meeting room, as staff members would all find themselves seeking his advice and getting into long and interesting discussions with him—and anyone else who happened to show up at the same time for the same reason. That included Sam Hinkie, by the way. If you were looking for Sam and he wasn’t in his office, he was usually in Sachin’s, doing the same thing the rest of us were.
   4697. spivey 2 Posted: September 30, 2021 at 10:30 AM (#6042527)
I just think that it's important to understand why people do what they do, if you want them to change their behaviour. Just shouting SCIENCE was going to be a fail even before we saw it fail. Shaming people isn't gonna work. I don't know. It's a really hard problem.


I mean, it's not a US-specific problem, but it's certainly a more US-centric problem when you look at our vaccination rates compared to, say, Canada - despite America getting started earlier than almost every country and having more vaccine supply than we know what to do with. The anti-government, anti-science, no-time-off-work, pro-individualism, don't-care-about-your-neighbor attitudes that pervade the Republican party and a lot of people in general in this country can't just be undone when it's convenient - that will take decades of work and/or a major political reckoning to resolve. I mean, there are still elected officials making COVID and the vaccine political.
   4698. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: September 30, 2021 at 11:46 AM (#6042548)
I mean, it's not a US-specific problem, but it's certainly a more US-centric problem when you look at our vaccination rates compared to, say, Canada - despite America getting started earlier than almost every country and having more vaccine supply than we know what to do with. The anti-government, anti-science, no-time-off-work, pro-individualism, don't-care-about-your-neighbor attitudes that pervade the Republican party and a lot of people in general in this country can't just be undone when it's convenient - that will take decades of work and/or a major political reckoning to resolve. I mean, there are still elected officials making COVID and the vaccine political.
i'm not gonna repost it here, but if you look at [14212] in the covid thread (empty stadium sports...), the right wing is fomenting a fun new take on the topic of vaccine politicization.
   4699. PJ Martinez Posted: September 30, 2021 at 03:21 PM (#6042584)
Kind of a meme idea, but it's crazy to think about just how well a Kyrie for Simmons trade would work.
Everything I've read about Simmons makes it sound like he wants the ball in his hands. I don't think he sees himself as a rich man's Bruce Brown.
   4700. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: September 30, 2021 at 04:10 PM (#6042602)
@KyleNeubeck
Embiid on Ben, partial: "Our teams have always been built around his needs. So it's just kind of surprising to see. Even going back to, the reason we signed Al, we got rid of Jimmy, which I still think was a mistake, just to make sure he needed the ball in his hands."
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