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Saturday, February 17, 2018

OT - 2017-18 NBA thread (All-Star Weekend to End of Time edition)

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, none of whom can be bothered to curate their own thread to avoid detracting from what this site is really about:  eliminationist rhetoric and precognition.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: February 17, 2018 at 02:09 AM | 6537 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   6301. Rally Posted: June 01, 2018 at 03:13 PM (#5684170)
Cleveland got 32 wide open or open threes last night. They were 2-12 open, 6-20 wide open. That looks like a recipe for a giant swing in fortunes in game 2.


If that's right, then they were 2 for 5 when not open or wide open. Perhaps they need to take a dribble and let the defender close in before firing.
   6302. zenbitz Posted: June 01, 2018 at 03:19 PM (#5684172)
There is a rulebook foul on literally almost every play in the NBA


this is what I am trying to say. The game is broken if this is true.

EDIT: Not broken, that's too strong. Badly bent. Is NCAA basketball the same? D-League? WNBA??
   6303. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: June 01, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5684176)
Woj is reporting John Beilein interviewed for the Pistons job. Come on man, can we not have nice things at UM Hoops?
   6304. SteveF Posted: June 01, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5684177)
The game is broken if this is true.

Well, the published rules aren't the 'real' rules. I don't think that means the game is broken (or even badly bent).
   6305. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: June 01, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5684178)
6302/zenbitz: Yes, they are. Basketball is a complicated game.
I've done very little refereeing in my life - a handful of little league / kids baseball and basketball games. Basketball is INFINITELY harder.
   6306. zenbitz Posted: June 01, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5684180)
Well, the published rules aren't the 'real' rules. I don't think that means the game is broken (or even badly bent).


I claim this is the definition of -- if not a bent game -- a bent rulebook.
   6307. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: June 01, 2018 at 03:26 PM (#5684181)
Is football any different (well, it's easier to ref, I suspect, but that's a matter of degree)? Watch the lines do battle...
   6308. SteveF Posted: June 01, 2018 at 03:30 PM (#5684187)
I claim this is the definition of -- if not a bent game -- a bent rulebook.

I think when officiating contact between players, you have a rule and then you have a set of rules about what kinds of physical actions are going to be permitted.

Every contact call in basketball is kind of like offensive line holding or defensive back contact. You have the rule, and then you have the discrete physical actions by defensive and offensive players that officials will deem violations of the rule. Those discrete physical actions aren't listed in the rule book, but they effectively are the rule.

As long as the participants have a clear understanding of the permitted physical actions (I know NFL officials go to every training camp and explain these things, NFL coaches coach technique accordingly -- I assume the NBA is the same) then I don't really see a problem.

In fact, I don't see how it could be any other way.
   6309. jmurph Posted: June 01, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5684189)
Yeah I think people just broadly don't want more free throws, more dead balls, etc. So maybe the stance is if they called the game tighter for a while, eventually the players would have to adjust and have to stop the ticky tacky stuff that isn't currently called. I don't know. I suspect that, in the meantime, the games would be dreadful.
   6310. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: June 01, 2018 at 03:34 PM (#5684190)
We've seen those efforts, right? - the game slows to a crawl, players adjust, refs loosen standards, the players adjust again...
   6311. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: June 01, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5684191)
A few points:

1. My skepticism about Iguodala appears to be badly misplaced. We will see if that continues. I know some data back the argument that Iguodala matters a lot against Cleveland.
2. Durant will shoot better, and I don't think that even James can do what he did last night every game.
3. Cleveland always needs a second scoring option, and Love provided that last night.
4. The Smith play was obviously a very bad mental error, but many plays decided the outcome and clearly they might not have scored even if he immediately calls a TO. And yes, guys miss FTs....but Hill is an 80% FT guy. Probably not a choke per se, but he needed to stick that one.
   6312. tshipman Posted: June 01, 2018 at 03:41 PM (#5684197)
I think when officiating contact between players, you have a rule and then you have a set of rules about what kinds of physical actions are going to be permitted.

Every contact call in basketball is kind of like offensive line holding or defensive back contact. You have the rule, and then you have the discrete physical actions by defensive and offensive players that officials will deem violations of the rule. Those discrete physical actions aren't listed in the rule book, but they effectively are the rule.


Right. Like, you're allowed to grab with one hand, but not two hands when you're defending a guy. You're not allowed to hold onto the jersey.

We've seen those efforts, right? - the game slows to a crawl, players adjust, refs loosen standards, the players adjust again...


Typically those are only points of emphasis. Even when they're tightening up in one area, they're allowing more in another.

So if they call on-ball tighter, they typically allow more off ball.
   6313. Tin Angel Posted: June 01, 2018 at 03:43 PM (#5684200)
I just don't get it- wouldn't it be great if there was another game tonight to keep the momentum going, instead of waiting until Sunday? How do these long breaks benefit the ratings?
   6314. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 01, 2018 at 03:45 PM (#5684202)
I don't really think anyone is saying anything about this play because it involves LeBron, certainly not anyone here.
I wasn't clear. I didn't mean anyone here, just in general. And plenty of people are upset about this play in large part because it was LeBron (or at least using the fact that it was LeBron to provide extra weight to their argument)... it's the same star treatment bs writ large that makes basketball hard to watch.

I'm very sympathetic to the idea that the refs had no business reviewing it in the first place, because he was well outside the circle. I'm not familiar enough with the rules, but if they have been stated correctly here then the refs shouldn't have reviewed it on that basis.
   6315. Fourth True Outcome Posted: June 01, 2018 at 03:47 PM (#5684205)
How do these long breaks benefit the ratings?


By making sure the players are ready to go for a full NBA game? LeBron played all 48 minutes; expecting players to play a back-to-back in the NBA Finals would be nigh criminal, given that both teams have played around 100 games this season at this point. Saturday would be doable, but I believe I'm on record as saying the lack of more than a single day off between games was to Boston's advantage in the ECF because a tired LeBron was the biggest advantage they could get. I don't mind waiting an extra day to get the best quality basketball possible in the Finals.
   6316. tshipman Posted: June 01, 2018 at 04:00 PM (#5684215)
Kevin Love not going to get suspended.


Suns fans get upset all over again.
   6317. JC in DC Posted: June 01, 2018 at 04:02 PM (#5684219)
Knicks fans most upset!
   6318. SteveF Posted: June 01, 2018 at 04:02 PM (#5684220)
By making sure the players are ready to go for a full NBA game? LeBron played all 48 minutes; expecting players to play a back-to-back in the NBA Finals would be nigh criminal, given that both teams have played around 100 games this season at this point.

Well, by making sure the STAR players are ready to go. The league could force them to play 7 games in 7 nights and test basketball rosters in a different way if the league chose.

But given the way the game is marketed (and talent distributed) that would make for a less entertaining product.
   6319. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: June 01, 2018 at 04:09 PM (#5684223)
Yeah, I think the breaks between Finals games help the product for the reasons noted and because it gives more time for talk at the cyber and real water coolers.
   6320. zenbitz Posted: June 01, 2018 at 04:17 PM (#5684228)
The difference between holding (offense or defense) in football and off ball (or even on-ball) contact fouls in basketball, is that in basketball, the penalty for fouling is much, much lower.

Defensive holding is an automatic first down, better than an average successful play. In basketball it's a stoppage or 2 shots.
   6321. Darren Posted: June 01, 2018 at 04:20 PM (#5684232)
Newb question again: how is the play at the end of this game flagrant and not the on at the end of game 7 in the Celts/Cavs series, where Lebron is grabbed on both shoulders while shooting?
   6322. tshipman Posted: June 01, 2018 at 04:27 PM (#5684237)
Newb question again: how is the play at the end of this game flagrant and not the on at the end of game 7 in the Celts/Cavs series, where Lebron is grabbed on both shoulders while shooting?


elbow above the head is a no-no.
   6323. jmurph Posted: June 01, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5684241)
where Lebron is grabbed on both shoulders while shooting?

They tend to be relatively forgiving with these as long as you hold the guy up and it's not super violent. But it will occasionally get called.
   6324. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: June 01, 2018 at 05:44 PM (#5684263)
I claim this is the definition of -- if not a bent game -- a bent rulebook.

I disagree fairly strongly on this point; unlike several other referreeable sports situations, I think human judgement is an irreducible part of basketball. It's not just that a textbook foul occurs on almost every play: it's that, often, there are concurrent, mutually-exclusive textbook fouls on the same play. This isn't because of a failure of the rule writers either: a lot of the physical contact that happens is interdependent, and there's not a clear objective standard for "too much contact" or "initiating contact" that could be leveraged for clarity.
   6325. spivey Posted: June 01, 2018 at 05:51 PM (#5684266)

They tend to be relatively forgiving with these as long as you hold the guy up and it's not super violent. But it will occasionally get called.


I generally agree with this, but I think the flagrant foul has become the NBA's version of the NFL catch. You have zero confidence predicting an action that will warrant a flagrant 1, flagrant 2, or no flagrant at all.
   6326. tshipman Posted: June 01, 2018 at 06:00 PM (#5684272)
I generally agree with this, but I think the flagrant foul has become the NBA's version of the NFL catch. You have zero confidence predicting an action that will warrant a flagrant 1, flagrant 2, or no flagrant at all.


Generally, yes. The issue (in my opinion) is that every year there's a new point of emphasis, and it's really hard to remember whether the given flagrant thing was this year's point of emphasis or last year's.

It's like how I keep ######## about the continuation call. This year it was supposed to be a point of emphasis to only allow continuation when the foul was committed in the gather, but they will sometimes allow a dribble or two steps in the playoffs and still call the continuation.
   6327. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: June 01, 2018 at 06:06 PM (#5684277)
so Steph said "you couldn't let me have that one?" jokingly to LeBron after LeBron pinned his shot at the end of the game, and LeBron responded "get the f*ck out of my face."

I'm dying
   6328. tshipman Posted: June 01, 2018 at 06:24 PM (#5684284)
Btw, was that a goaltend?

Watching it live, I thought it was, but they didn't show a replay. Looks like it hits the backboard to me, but hard to say for sure.
   6329. SteveF Posted: June 01, 2018 at 06:36 PM (#5684288)
Btw, was that a goaltend?

I downloaded the video and went through it frame by frame and it looks like a goaltend.
   6330. Booey Posted: June 01, 2018 at 06:46 PM (#5684293)
So the Last 2 Minutes Report is out, and it confirms that the refs made the correct call in overturning the LeBron/Durant block/charge, but it also says that Draymond got away with a foul against LBJ at the 12 second mark, and that he committed a lane violation on George Hill's missed free throw.
   6331. Fourth True Outcome Posted: June 01, 2018 at 07:49 PM (#5684314)
Oh man if we think everyone is losing their minds over the block/charge, imagine a playoff game hinging on a called lane violation giving George Hill an extra free throw.
   6332. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: June 01, 2018 at 07:57 PM (#5684317)
I try to avoid armchair psychology, but I'll be surprised if JR has any more good games in this series. Seems like the team was pretty peeved at him.
   6333. Fourth True Outcome Posted: June 01, 2018 at 07:59 PM (#5684319)
Zach Lowe did an emergency Lowe Post with Windhorst, who said the Cavs lockerroom after the game was as devastated as he's ever seen an NBA team. I'm very curious to see how game 2 goes.
   6334. zenbitz Posted: June 01, 2018 at 08:41 PM (#5684336)
Conviently: If the Cavs lose the next 3 games, they were spiritually crushed by G1. If they come out and beat the Ws G2 then they were inspired to new levels.

LBJ might put up 75 on Sunday.
   6335. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 01, 2018 at 09:44 PM (#5684383)
I was busy last night. Did I miss anything?

Zach Lowe did an emergency Lowe Post with Windhorst, who said the Cavs lockerroom after the game was as devastated as he's ever seen an NBA team.
Last night on SportsCenter, Rachel Nichols described the Cavs locker room as "tense, angry, hurt, in disbelief...." That's pretty rough.
   6336. smileyy Posted: June 01, 2018 at 10:02 PM (#5684392)
How heartbreaking would "Cavs lose in 7" be?
   6337. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: June 01, 2018 at 10:06 PM (#5684397)
It would be rough...but IMO 2016 makes all the difference in the LBJ-Comes-Home narrative. The Indians came up just short again in 2016, the Browns are a disaster...but James and Co. did get a banner and a parade for The Land.
   6338. aberg Posted: June 01, 2018 at 10:52 PM (#5684415)
The league opted not to fine Lue for saying the refs were wrong to use the restricted area as a pretense for reviewing the charge call. Read into that what you choose
   6339. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: June 01, 2018 at 11:01 PM (#5684420)
They also downgraded TT flagrant to a 1, not 2.
   6340. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: June 02, 2018 at 12:13 AM (#5684449)
Unrelated to anything else, this is hilarious.
   6341. tshipman Posted: June 02, 2018 at 12:21 AM (#5684452)
Cool resource for NBA boxscore visualizations.
   6342. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: June 02, 2018 at 12:31 AM (#5684455)
I figured that the refs called for a review on that block/charge because the two of them called it differently and wanted to review it to decide. Totally against the intent of the rules.

Why do they allow the b/c call to be reviewed in this one particular circumstance, anyway?
   6343. KronicFatigue Posted: June 02, 2018 at 12:06 PM (#5684508)
Zach Lowe did an emergency Lowe Post with Windhorst, who said the Cavs lockerroom after the game was as devastated as he's ever seen an NBA team.


The narrative of these finals is "LeBron has singlehandedly carried a bunch of clowns to the finals to face a vastly superior team who will slaughter them". It's gotta be very disheartening to be one of those clowns. Then, in game one, on the road, LeBron puts the team on his shoulders and carries them right to the finish line only to see the head bozo throw the game away. The entire supporting cast gets lumped in with that play, not just JR. It's just piling on after the fact that OT was so lopsided. Pretty much as soon as that play happens, the collective opinion going forward was "yup, clowns are getting clowned".

Cavs don't recover from that play. I don't even think a gentleman's sweep is on the table. The only way the GSW lose a game is if Durant gets annoyed that he isn't getting his and tries to take over a game and has an ice cold performance.
   6344. the virus could be killed by injecting 57i66135 Posted: June 02, 2018 at 02:09 PM (#5684540)
Mike Beuoy @inpredict

Some win probability numbers on game 1:
The offensive foul reversal swung win probability by 28%. GSW would have been at 19% down 2 w/o possession. With the reversal, the were at 47%.
1/

@inpredict
George Hill's 2nd missed free throw cost the Cavs -27% in win probability. 56% pre-miss, 29% post-miss.
2/

@inpredict
JR's rebound added back 8% win probability for the Cavs. But his decision to dribble the ball out cost the Cavs 14% in win probability.
3/
   6345. JC in DC Posted: June 02, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5684546)
Do numbers like that add anything to what we all saw? (I'm serious, not being a dick.)
   6346. KronicFatigue Posted: June 02, 2018 at 03:11 PM (#5684565)
Can someone help me understand these numbers. What does "29%, post miss" mean? As soon as the ball is missed, it's a loose ball, right? Neither team has possession and there's less than 5 seconds on the clock. Why are the Cavs severe underdogs in that situation? Is it accounting for the Warriors being a vastly superior team and/or defenses being much more likely to rebound a missed foul shot?

Likewise, it sounds like the Cavs, with the ball in a tie game with little time left, would only be 37% chance to win. That doesn't feel right. And then at the start of OT, the Cavs only had a 23% chance to win? Doesn't feel right. I didn't think a matchup could be that lopsided.
   6347. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 02, 2018 at 04:02 PM (#5684576)
Is it accounting for the Warriors

I am guessing. Their graph seems to have had the Warriors at 87% to win to start the game.
   6348. KronicFatigue Posted: June 02, 2018 at 04:07 PM (#5684580)
I am guessing. Their graph seems to have had the Warriors at 87% to win to start the game.


Does that pass the smell test? The 73-9 record setting Warriors only won 89% of those games. Sure, only 1/2 were home games, but that has to be offset by Cleveland being better than average.
   6349. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: June 02, 2018 at 04:17 PM (#5684582)
Does that pass the smell test? The 73-9 record setting Warriors only won 89% of those games. Sure, only 1/2 were home games, but that has to be offset by Cleveland being better than average.


Game 2 odds have the Cavs at +600 and Warriors at -750, so indeed about an 87% implied win probability for the W's. I assume game 1 was pretty similar.
   6350. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 02, 2018 at 04:46 PM (#5684585)
The odds aggregator I reviewed prior to game 1 had GSW at 88%.
   6351. sardonic Posted: June 02, 2018 at 05:58 PM (#5684608)
BTF RT:


Shams Charania
@ShamsCharania
Sources: Warriors star Klay Thompson is dealing with high left ankle sprain and significant bruising, receiving treatment around clock with plan to play in Game 2 of Finals.


Anthony Slater
@anthonyVslater
Klay Thompson on his high ankle sprain, which has swelled and stiffened the last couple days. Status for Game 2 much more uncertain, but "I'm optimistic" for tomorrow, he says.
   6352. the virus could be killed by injecting 57i66135 Posted: June 02, 2018 at 06:30 PM (#5684617)
The Vertical @YahooSportsNBA
"It was his account though, right?" LeBron James hilariously takes shot at Bryan Colangelo's alleged burner Twitter accounts:
yhoo.it/2J5IWIk
pic.twitter.com/DS8NnVjq1n
@jonjohnsonwip
Opening lines(Westgate) are out for 2018-19 NBA season. #Sixers with second best odds to win it all.
pic.twitter.com/Sf5kLitilq
   6353. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 02, 2018 at 06:53 PM (#5684625)
The Vertical @YahooSportsNBA
"It was his account though, right?" LeBron James hilariously takes shot at Bryan Colangelo's alleged burner Twitter accounts:
yhoo.it/2J5IWIk
pic.twitter.com/DS8NnVjq1n

I take issue with that. A burner is a disposable, prepaid phone. An anonymous secondary social media account such as this, is more accurately described as a sockpuppet account.
   6354. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 02, 2018 at 07:14 PM (#5684627)
I take issue with that. A burner is a disposable, prepaid phone. An anonymous secondary social media account such as this, is more accurately described as a sockpuppet account.


All you hear in Philly is "burner account", so you pedanticness is being overwhelmed by common usage. You might be fighting a losing lost battle. :)
   6355. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 02, 2018 at 07:26 PM (#5684631)
Does that pass the smell test? The 73-9 record setting Warriors only won 89% of those games. Sure, only 1/2 were home games, but that has to be offset by Cleveland being better than average.
The bookmaker's odds are as about generating betting action as they are about accurately assessing winning and losing. Moreso, in fact.
   6356. the virus could be killed by injecting 57i66135 Posted: June 02, 2018 at 07:37 PM (#5684639)
I take issue with that. A burner is a disposable, prepaid phone. An anonymous secondary social media account such as this, is more accurately described as a sockpuppet account.
i think it's defensible in this case because
A: the accounts themselves were disposable, as evidenced by them being disposed and
B: the term "sockpuppet" should never be used in a conversation between people who have graduated kindergarten
   6357. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 02, 2018 at 07:45 PM (#5684641)
The bookmaker's odds are as about generating betting action as they are about accurately assessing winning and losing. Moreso, in fact.
We've been over this several times on this site, and this is generally not the case. Bookmakers are repeat players so don't have to get, and very often don't get, approximately equal money on both sides (i.e. "generate action" on the side that does not have as much action). They tend to follow their analysis and the sharps that help set the line early, but tend to only shade it a little bit for the public, even if most of the public money comes down on one side or the other.
   6358. the virus could be killed by injecting 57i66135 Posted: June 02, 2018 at 07:59 PM (#5684649)
We've been over this several times on this site, and this is generally not the case. Bookmakers are repeat players so don't have to get, and very often don't get, approximately equal money on both sides (i.e. "generate action" on the side that does not have as much action). They tend to follow their analysis and the sharps that help set the line early, but tend to only shade it a little bit for the public, even if most of the public money comes down on one side or the other.
on the topic of sports gambling:

that's the obvious exit route for colangelo, right? everyone thinks there's going to be a gold rush, and hiring colangelo would bring credibility, access and notoriety to any startup.


oh, and counterpoint:
lakers: 20/1
   6359. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 02, 2018 at 08:02 PM (#5684652)
B: the term "sockpuppet" should never be used in a conversation between people who have graduated kindergarten

I think it perfectly encapsulates the underlying childish behavior it describes.
   6360. SteveF Posted: June 02, 2018 at 08:11 PM (#5684655)
Lakers and Heat were 20:1 (tied for 5th best odds). I can sort of get the Lakers (cap space, possibility of landing LeBron/other free agent) but I really don't see how the Heat get much better in 2018-2019.
   6361. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 02, 2018 at 08:12 PM (#5684656)
We've been over this several times on this site, and this is generally not the case.
Hm. I was just listening to a discussion on sports betting and the Supreme Court decision — several podcasts, actually — and all of them mentioned that betting lines shift to generate action. I'm familiar with the Vegas books because I'm friends with some very heavy gamblers, but I don't bet myself and you may know better. I DO follow horse racing, and there's no question the line reflects the betting trends there.
   6362. the virus could be killed by injecting 57i66135 Posted: June 02, 2018 at 08:26 PM (#5684658)
@diannaESPN
It needs to be highlighted...what @Rachel__Nichols has done with her show along with her reporting/commentary on the NBA this season is incredible. I’ve seen some hard workers in this business, this is another level. Need a role model young people in sports? You clearly have one
   6363. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 02, 2018 at 08:26 PM (#5684659)
Hm. I was just listening to a discussion on sports betting and the Supreme Court decision — several podcasts, actually — and all of them mentioned that betting lines shift to generate action. I'm familiar with the Vegas books because I'm friends with some very heavy gamblers, but I don't bet myself and you may know better. I DO follow horse racing, and there's no question the line reflects the betting trends there.
Well, I guess it helps tp be precise. Vegas and similar bookies will follow the public a little bit, just not near enough to try to equal the action on both sides. For example, the public is notorious for betting the favorites and the over, and the casinos only adjust for that a bit. If the favorites and/or overs go on sustained winning streaks, the casinos lose. See a recent article on this exact point.

I don't know how horse racing odds are done away from the track, but at the track they are usually (I think) parimutuel, meaning that the house always breaks even (assuming no funny business, which some tracks have been accused of) and makes money solely from the commissions/vigorish. In other words, for horse racing at the track you don't know what odds you have until the windows close and the race actually starts (and, since all the bets have to be counted, you may not know the odds until after the race is over, which leads to the possibility of funny business on the part of the house). Caveat--I have never been to the track and only talked to people who have been. This is my understanding of the process. Others here might know better how it works in practice.
   6364. spivey Posted: June 02, 2018 at 09:03 PM (#5684666)
That's correct about track betting. You are often best imo waiting until just a few minutes before a race starts before putting in a bet to see how odds develop. It's been a while since I've done horse betting, but iirc a lot of the money comes late.
   6365. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: June 02, 2018 at 10:55 PM (#5684699)
Vegas and similar bookies will follow the public a little bit, just not near enough to try to equal the action on both sides.


Right. Vegas wins (long run) if their line is anywhere between the true line and the "equal action" line. Note that for money lines, equal action doesn't actually mean the same amount of money bet on each side, but rather that the same amount of money is paid out on both sides, so e.g. "equal action" on a 4-1 favorite is 4x as much money on the favorite as on the underdog.

Lakers and Heat were 20:1 (tied for 5th best odds). I can sort of get the Lakers (cap space, possibility of landing LeBron/other free agent) but I really don't see how the Heat get much better in 2018-2019.


This is LeBron, right? I know they have no cap room, but I imagine the assumption is that if he wanted to go to Miami, they'd find a way.

Other weird thing about the odds is that it feels like the odds are too long at this point in the offseason on a bunch of teams. I'd be tempted to put down money on Toronto at 40/1, Portland at 80/1, Denver at 100/1, Indiana at 100/1. These are pretty good teams already and you never know who might take a leap, hire a great new coach, swing a blockbuster trade, unexpectedly sign LeBron, or whatever.
   6366. Howie Menckel Posted: June 02, 2018 at 11:24 PM (#5684712)
That's correct about track betting. You are often best imo waiting until just a few minutes before a race starts before putting in a bet to see how odds develop. It's been a while since I've done horse betting, but iirc a lot of the money comes late.

New Jersey now has "exchange wagering," and one key lure is that you can seek 'action' outside of the traditional pari-mutuel betting. it's mano-a-mano. you can lock in favorable odds hours before the race, without worrying about your big bet tilting the odds in the general pool.

also, NJ lets you bet on a race in the middle of the race.

that has been true for a decade or so in the UK, including bets on US races. I've seen it happen in real time, and it's interesting. one race, the sharps didn't like the favorite and didn't bet it. BUT if he raced to the lead (which they questioned), then with the two speed horses scratched, they would pound the favorite.

that's what happened - they took on every comer for 10-20 seconds, until the other gamblers realized that it was over, so the well dried up. those bettors made money on a race where their starting-gate picks were losers.

also, Delaware opens Vegas-style sports books at its 3 racinos on Tuesday. bet with your head, not over it!
   6367. the virus could be killed by injecting 57i66135 Posted: June 02, 2018 at 11:35 PM (#5684722)
Other weird thing about the odds is that it feels like the odds are too long at this point in the offseason on a bunch of teams. I'd be tempted to put down money on Toronto at 40/1, Portland at 80/1, Denver at 100/1, Indiana at 100/1. These are pretty good teams already and you never know who might take a leap, hire a great new coach, swing a blockbuster trade, unexpectedly sign LeBron, or whatever.

here are the odds from before the playoffs:
Team Odds
Warriors 6-5
Rockets 5-4
Cavaliers 8-1
Raptors 12-1
76ers 25-1
Blazers 50-1
Jazz 50-1
Thunder 50-1
Celtics 100-1
Spurs 100-1
Heat 200-1
Pacers 200-1
Wizards 200-1
Wolves 200-1
Bucks 300-1
Pelicans 300-1

with those odds as a baseline, the best values for next year appear to be:
HOU: 7:2 from 5:4
CLE: 30:1 from 8:1
TOR: 40:1 from 12:1

   6368. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 02, 2018 at 11:39 PM (#5684727)
I don't know how horse racing odds are done away from the track, but at the track they are usually (I think) parimutuel, meaning that the house always breaks even
Yes, that's how it goes with horse racing. (Not being a gambler, the only time I put money on a horse was War Emblem to win the Kentucky Derby, and put the money down 10 days ahead of time, so I might be stupid. On the other hand, he won, so I might be a genius.)

I'm learning a lot about betting. The more I learn, the less I wanna.
   6369. Sean Forman Posted: June 03, 2018 at 10:33 AM (#5684795)
I disagree fairly strongly on this point; unlike several other referreeable sports situations, I think human judgement is an irreducible part of basketball. It's not just that a textbook foul occurs on almost every play: it's that, often, there are concurrent, mutually-exclusive textbook fouls on the same play. This isn't because of a failure of the rule writers either: a lot of the physical contact that happens is interdependent, and there's not a clear objective standard for "too much contact" or "initiating contact" that could be leveraged for clarity.


There would likely be unintended consequences as I suspect whistles blown are proportional to the number of refs on the floor, but adding a fourth ref could improve things quite a bit. Instead of requiring full court sprinting. The refs would more or less be stationary with one under each basket and one on each side of the half court line. This would dramatically improve calls on fast breaks. I think there might be other benefits to having a ref well behind the play as well as it could be used to reduce grabbing away from the ball etc. Just a thought.
   6370. PJ Martinez Posted: June 03, 2018 at 11:06 AM (#5684810)
Apparently the league experimented with four refs in the Summer League a couple of years ago. Lots of details in this piece, which was published at the time, but I haven't found any follow-up reporting.

KSL: What would be the next step if you choose to further experiment with having four referees?

Bantom: The next step would be to do it in the D-League in the course of the season, during the regular season and then also probably roll it into all the summer league games. It's just inherently something that's going to take a little bit of time, because if we were to go to a system that had four referees, we need significantly more officials on our staff. That's not an easy thing to do.
   6371. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 03, 2018 at 11:35 AM (#5684821)
here are the odds from before the playoffs:
...
with those odds as a baseline, the best values for next year appear to be:
HOU: 7:2 from 5:4
CLE: 30:1 from 8:1
TOR: 40:1 from 12:1

That is a terrible way of judging futures odds. Cleveland is so high, because there is significant doubt over whether LeBron stays or not. In Houston, Paul and Capela are FA's. Houston and Toronto were both #1 seeds, giving them HCA and a potentially easier path through the playoffs, than they are likely to have next year. The East is looking to be much harder next season with seasoning for Philly and Boston, and healthy Kyrie and Hayward, and potential assets to make another move.
   6372. the virus could be killed by injecting 57i66135 Posted: June 03, 2018 at 11:40 AM (#5684825)
KSL: What would be the next step if you choose to further experiment with having four referees?

Bantom: The next step would be to do it in the D-League in the course of the season, during the regular season and then also probably roll it into all the summer league games. It's just inherently something that's going to take a little bit of time, because if we were to go to a system that had four referees, we need significantly more officials on our staff. That's not an easy thing to do.

it's actually pretty simple.

year 1: hire new referees; use 4 referees in nationally televised games and all playoff games; give all refs 2-week byes during the season; rotate each new ref through the replay center for a week to help standardize the way games are called.

year 2: hire more new referees; use 4 referees in nationally televised games, half of the remaining regular season games and all playoff games; rotate all referees through the replay center for 2 weeks to standardize the way games are called.

year 3: hire more new referees; use 4 referees in all regular season games and all playoff games; after the season, start a yearly promotion/relegation scheme to funnel poor referees into the D league and add new ones to the NBA.
   6373. sardonic Posted: June 03, 2018 at 11:48 AM (#5684828)
Pretty good, in-depth article on officiating with Kevin Arnovitz, who has access with NBA VP of Refs Monty McCutchen.

Hysterics surrounding officiating predate the digital age, but the immediacy of the present day has created a hyper-charged world in which players, execs and any fan with a wireless signal can rewatch a missed call on loop, stew in their exasperation, text a friend who shares a belief that a specific referee is a lackey for the NBA, fuel that mutual ire ... then watch it again. In this respect, the NBA is more like the rest of the world than it is exceptional.

"When we have a lack of civility, then it's dogma," McCutchen says some 36 hours after the controversies of Game 1. "It's 'I'm right, and you're wrong.' And I think that what's happening with the internet culture is that we're much more interested in dogma than discourse. From my end, as long as I'm part of leading our group, I want there to be more discourse than dogma."

   6374. the virus could be killed by injecting 57i66135 Posted: June 03, 2018 at 11:54 AM (#5684831)
That is a terrible way of judging futures odds. Cleveland is so high, because there is significant doubt over whether LeBron stays or not. In Houston, Paul and Capela are FA's. Houston and Toronto were both #1 seeds, giving them HCA and a potentially easier path through the playoffs, than they are likely to have next year. The East is looking to be much harder next season with seasoning for Philly and Boston, and healthy Kyrie and Hayward, and potential assets to make another move.

i wasn't telling you to bet your life's savings on it, i just thought it was an interesting way to approach it.

going a bit deeper:
HOU: capela is a restricted free agent, so he's not necessarily going anywhere. paul has expressed no interest in leaving. they're one of lebron's favored destinations (if they can pull it off). GSW looks complacent.

CLE: as much as i talk about lebron coming to PHI, resigning with CLE is still the most likely scenario.

TOR: i don't trust them at all, but if lebron goes to the west, TOR has as good a chance as anyone to get out of the east.
   6375. the virus could be killed by injecting 57i66135 Posted: June 03, 2018 at 11:56 AM (#5684833)
"as long as I'm part of leading our group, I want there to be more discourse than dogma."
relevant?
   6376. GregD Posted: June 03, 2018 at 12:19 PM (#5684847)
it's actually pretty simple.

year 1: hire new referees; use 4 referees in nationally televised games and all playoff games; give all refs 2-week byes during the season; rotate each new ref through the replay center for a week to help standardize the way games are called.

year 2: hire more new referees; use 4 referees in nationally televised games, half of the remaining regular season games and all playoff games; rotate all referees through the replay center for 2 weeks to standardize the way games are called.

year 3: hire more new referees; use 4 referees in all regular season games and all playoff games; after the season, start a yearly promotion/relegation scheme to funnel poor referees into the D league and add new ones to the NBA.
I think it would be very challenging for referees to shift from 3-person to 4-person crews over and over during a season. While we focus on the moments of impact, my understanding from college refs I am related to, is that refs spend large amounts of time talking about positioning to get angles that allow them to carve out different triangles they are each primarily responsible for.

You could of course remake those triangles into quadrangles or (it sounds like) 3-person triangles on each side with one in the backcourt, but I think it would be challenging to shift back and forth in season. And I don't think the earlier suggestion of two sideline refs would really be easy to implement, as their rotations pull them into different positions over the course of a play, as they struggle to find sightlines (incredibly difficult) and then react to each other's rotations. It wouldn't be inherently clear who was the back referee to stay behind if two are meant to be sideline guys and one at each end. That's not how they work.

I do agree that the fast break would be better with a fourth. I'm agnostic on whether four people watching one play would work out.
   6377. zenbitz Posted: June 03, 2018 at 12:45 PM (#5684865)
and there's not a clear objective standard for "too much contact" or "initiating contact" that could be leveraged for clarity.


I assume this would make game stupid, but if the criteria was ZERO contact it would be more enforceable. I guess it's still difficult to tell who initiates. Obviously this would make it terrifically difficult to play defense. Maybe relax goaltending rules a bit, or let defenders stay in the key?

The opposite approach is to go full hockey/rollerball and give them pads and helmets and let them maul each other. Maybe lower the basket a foot.
   6378. Harlond Posted: June 03, 2018 at 12:52 PM (#5684869)
LeBron has been on antibiotics since game 1. Usually not a good sign for endurance.
   6379. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 03, 2018 at 01:44 PM (#5684891)
It's just inherently something that's going to take a little bit of time, because if we were to go to a system that had four referees, we need significantly more officials on our staff. That's not an easy thing to do.


Maybe Joe West is bored with baseball. Wouldn't you love to see him try to ref the NBA?
   6380. tshipman Posted: June 03, 2018 at 02:23 PM (#5684914)
I assume this would make game stupid, but if the criteria was ZERO contact it would be more enforceable. I guess it's still difficult to tell who initiates. Obviously this would make it terrifically difficult to play defense. Maybe relax goaltending rules a bit, or let defenders stay in the key?


Why allow teams to play defense at all? Then we get rid of fouls altogether!
   6381. SteveF Posted: June 03, 2018 at 03:28 PM (#5684969)
They could call contact more tightly -- both ways -- in the post. No more of those ludicrous backdowns into the post where the offensive player dislodges the defensive player 4-5 times over the course of 3 seconds, and more calls on body contact and hacks on shots in close to the hoop. How the hell is all that incidental contact?

They could also call the post the exact same way they call the perimeter. If you get to put a forearm on the guy in the lower box, you get to put a forearm on him everywhere.

A physical action should either be a foul or not a foul irrespective of where it is happening on the court.
   6382. JC in DC Posted: June 03, 2018 at 03:49 PM (#5684983)
A big one is screens. Everyone is taught, all the way through college, the screen has to be set and the defender has to be the one running into it. Now, screeners engage the defender, often grab them, or stick their asses out. Clean that crap right up.
   6383. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 03, 2018 at 03:53 PM (#5684985)
No more of those ludicrous backdowns into the post where the offensive player dislodges the defensive player 4-5 times over the course of 3 seconds, and more calls on body contact and hacks on shots in close to the hoop. How the hell is all that incidental contact?


Isn't that the way the post game has been played since the days of Naismith?
   6384. MHS Posted: June 03, 2018 at 04:50 PM (#5685046)
I'd be hugely in favor of uniform foul calls and calling the game by the book. Specifically, as it relates to the superstar call. That is the one that drives me the most bonkers.
   6385. the virus could be killed by injecting 57i66135 Posted: June 03, 2018 at 04:57 PM (#5685047)
They could call contact more tightly -- both ways -- in the post. No more of those ludicrous backdowns into the post where the offensive player dislodges the defensive player 4-5 times over the course of 3 seconds, and more calls on body contact and hacks on shots in close to the hoop. How the hell is all that incidental contact?

nah. in fact, there should be no offensive fouls during charles barkley counts. if an offensive post player has a size advantage, he should be allowed to plow through his defender without having to worry about getting called for a foul on some bullshit flop or push off or elbow to the chin.

postups are already the least efficient scoring play, so the league should try to find ways to improve it, not to neuter it even further.
A big one is screens. Everyone is taught, all the way through college, the screen has to be set and the defender has to be the one running into it. Now, screeners engage the defender, often grab them, or stick their asses out. Clean that crap right up.

i disagree with that, too. those grabbing screens are used to force defensive switches, which is the most interesting aspect of NBA games right now.

i'm okay with cracking down on moving screens and butt-juts, but the grabbing screens should legalized and regulated.
   6386. zenbitz Posted: June 03, 2018 at 06:37 PM (#5685075)
I wonder if you could make a rule where players just weren't allowed to use their arms or legs to contact.
   6387. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 03, 2018 at 07:15 PM (#5685084)
nah. in fact, there should be no offensive fouls during charles barkley counts. if an offensive post player has a size advantage, he should be allowed to plow through his defender without having to worry about getting called for a foul on some bullshit flop or push off or elbow to the chin.

postups are already the least efficient scoring play, so the league should try to find ways to improve it, not to neuter it even further.

This opinion brought to you by the fact that Embiid is on the sixers.
   6388. PJ Martinez Posted: June 03, 2018 at 07:21 PM (#5685086)
NBA Today radio host: "Just spoke with Kiki Vandeweghe... He said the NBA will experiment with a challenge flag during Summer League."
   6389. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: June 03, 2018 at 07:47 PM (#5685095)
McGee starting for gsw. No Iggy again.
   6390. JC in DC Posted: June 03, 2018 at 08:18 PM (#5685100)
Hopefully, the Looney experiment is over.
   6391. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: June 03, 2018 at 08:20 PM (#5685102)
The Warriors' fans legitimately gave JR a standing ovation when he was announced during the starting lineups. Holy hell.


Not a good start for the Cavs.
   6392. NJ in NY (Now with two kids!) Posted: June 03, 2018 at 08:27 PM (#5685105)
The MVP chants when J.R. was at the line were legitimately funny.
   6393. JC in DC Posted: June 03, 2018 at 08:27 PM (#5685106)
They were. Cleveland right there despite hot GSW shooting (and Cleveland's bad d). McGee changes a bunch on both ends, but GSW is so careless with the ball.
   6394. Howie Menckel Posted: June 03, 2018 at 08:29 PM (#5685108)
I stood and cheered for Bill Buckner at Shea Stadium when he was introduced before Game 7 of the 1986 World Series.

other fans were more confused when I booed Keith Hernandez and shouted that he was a "DRUGGIE!"

I told them my pal and I got these seats from old-school, drove-Tom-Seaver-out-of-town legendary sportswriter Dick Young (true story), so I felt I owed it to him to hit Keith with Young's favorite term of derision for Keith.
   6395. SteveF Posted: June 03, 2018 at 08:36 PM (#5685109)
Much of GSW's hot shooting is a natural consequence of an inordinate number of dunks.
   6396. spivey Posted: June 03, 2018 at 08:36 PM (#5685110)
Interesting game so far. Golden State's shooting an insane percentage and it's still close.

Love and Thompson really kill Golden State on the glass.

Golden State is getting way too many rim runs. Klay looks healthy which is good for them.

I realize it took me longer to get there than everyone else, but yeah, ok, LeBron is still the best player in the NBA.
   6397. spivey Posted: June 03, 2018 at 08:38 PM (#5685111)
Much of GSW's hot shooting is a natural consequence of an inordinate number of dunks.

Yeah.
   6398. spivey Posted: June 03, 2018 at 08:38 PM (#5685112)
Game 1 really made me decide I am gonna watch this whole series. I've decided that sure, maybe LeBron actually is good enough to pull this off.
   6399. spivey Posted: June 03, 2018 at 08:39 PM (#5685113)
That was such a ####### bailout from Stafford. Edit: I'm actually ok with it, as Curry got clawed.
   6400. JC in DC Posted: June 03, 2018 at 08:50 PM (#5685116)
Why does Clarkson play? LBJ took some plays off there.
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