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Monday, December 23, 2019

OT - NBA Thread 2020

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, and hopefully none of the other ones posted a duplicate thread to this.

Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 23, 2019 at 04:40 PM | 2055 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nba, off-topic

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   1401. jmurph Posted: February 21, 2020 at 03:49 PM (#5925936)
This seems like criminal incompetence from Cleveland:
Jason Lloyd
Feb 20, 5:15pm
The only one that I know definitely equated to just a salary dump. Portland offered Bazemore and Whiteside, which essentially would’ve matched Kevin’s salary. But both of those are expiring contracts and the Cavs would’ve received no real assets in return. Portland eventually sent Bazemore to Sacramento.

Most teams were telling the Cavs they’d need to include assets just to get them to take Kevin’s contract. The Cavs were asking for a first-round pick. No one even came close to that. I’d expect them to resume trade talks on Kevin this summer.

(From an Athletic chat, apparently, I found it linked elsewhere.)
   1402. CFBF's Overflowing Pathos Posted: February 21, 2020 at 04:43 PM (#5925947)
Hassan Whiteside seems to have gone from "rim-protecting badass" to "salary-matching detritus in a Kevin Love salary dump" with impressive celerity. Is Whiteside just that much of an ass?
   1403. tshipman Posted: February 21, 2020 at 05:24 PM (#5925955)
This seems like criminal incompetence from Cleveland:


Koby Altman--what's the take on him?
   1404. SteveF Posted: February 21, 2020 at 06:47 PM (#5925960)
I think he should stop drafting 6' point guards.
   1405. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: February 21, 2020 at 08:31 PM (#5925968)
I'd guess Cleveland's thinking is what's the rush? Maybe someone will magically want to give up an asset at some point for Love. Seems to be their Drummond theory, too.

I think they're wrong on both but that must be the thinking.
   1406. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: February 21, 2020 at 09:28 PM (#5925972)
Drummond with 12 points on 12 shooting attempts and 7 turnovers tonight. Not that I'm keeping track or anything.
   1407. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: February 22, 2020 at 02:22 AM (#5925980)
Caruso/Rondo: Here are their on/off and net numbers:

CARUSO: +11.5, +6.1
RONDO: +3.4, -6.1

In tonight's game, Caruso was +22, and Rondo was -7. So, it is kind of a thing in the Lakers blogworld, as I said. But I see Caruso as the "Evolutionary Dellevadova." Like shipman says, Caruso fits perfectly with James: digs on D, competent from the arc, doesn't need the ball, gets some steals. In spite of the dorky bald white guy vibe, Caruso is actually pretty athletic, and he is definitely not just a mascot. But getting past all that, he really doesn't do anything especially well. IMO he is a sparkplug guy, a 15-20 MPG guy who works if you have LeBron James. I think that he would get exposed in a larger role and with more ballhandling responsibilities.

As to Rondo, it is true that they might do better if they "nailed his ass to the bench" but that would be a tough one for Vogel. Rondo was a key guy in the only playoff series that Anthony Davis won in NO, and I expect that Davis and James still see him as a guy who can help them win the title. Collison would have been a guy who could have replaced him; I don't think that can be done with Caruso unless it becomes even more glaring in the crucible of the postseason.

The Lakers are apparently going to cut Cousins to bring in Markieff Morris, which surprises me a little given Cousins's connection to James and Davis. But Pelinka and Vogel have made a big deal of not doing anything notable without consulting James and Davis, so they (all four of them) must think that Morris can help as a floor-spacing 4 with Davis. I am skeptical.

Boston is in town this weekend for an old-school Sunday afternoon post-Super Bowl/pre-NCAA Tournament nationally-televised game, and given how the Lakers have looked against top teams, that Boston beat them by 32 in the previous matchup, and that the official public service for Kobe and Gianna Bryant is on Monday at Staples Center, it will be an emotional weekend for the dog days of Feb. for Lakers fans.
   1408. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 22, 2020 at 12:51 PM (#5926009)
I watched some of the game and the Lakers half-court offense when LeBron while he was on the bench was just simply awful. Caruso has uses but he can't really create offense for others. I wonder if they wouldn't just be better going old school and have AD just post-up.
   1409. send the 57i66135 over with flamethrowers Posted: February 22, 2020 at 10:14 PM (#5926045)
your philadelphia 87ers:

burks
korkmaz
scott
tharris
horford
   1410. PJ Martinez Posted: February 22, 2020 at 10:59 PM (#5926047)
Giannis showing Joel Embiid who’s actually the best player in the world.
   1411. jmurph Posted: February 23, 2020 at 09:16 AM (#5926063)
That Harden to Westbrook lob was outrageous.

Also, Gobert literally can’t play against Houston? Seems like a problem.
   1412. Booey Posted: February 23, 2020 at 10:32 AM (#5926074)
#1411 - Houston has been a bad matchup for Gobert - and thus the Jazz - for a few years now.

That said, last night was a classic case of 3-pt variance determining the game. Hard to win when you only hit 7 threes and your opponent hits 20. Everything else was secondary.
   1413. tshipman Posted: February 23, 2020 at 03:20 PM (#5926099)
That said, last night was a classic case of 3-pt variance determining the game. Hard to win when you only hit 7 threes and your opponent hits 20. Everything else was secondary.


So, I've been tracking this with Houston so far. In all of their Pocket Rockets games, they've won and shot an outrageous percentage. In their losses, they haven't. However, in every game, their 3pa are through the ####### roof. They're averaging almost 50 3s per game!

When I watch, I see them getting amazing looks from 3 ... so maybe it's not ALL variance? Plus Russ is being absolutely unleashed with this. It seems like your hard choices are between stopping Westbrook drives or staying home on shooters. They are legitimately getting destroyed on the boards, but in the wins, they hit enough 3s that it doesn't matter.

I'm fascinated by this move.
   1414. smileyy Posted: February 23, 2020 at 04:01 PM (#5926101)
Me too. It's novel. I love that.
   1415. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: February 23, 2020 at 04:08 PM (#5926103)
The Rockets are the very last team I want the Jazz to face in the playoffs. I think they'd have a better chance against the Bucks or Lakers.

I think Rudy on Russ is probably still the best move, so long (as Andy Larson pointed out) he plays a bit more up on him so Russ doesn't just have wide-open mid-rangers all game. I'm more concerned about how awful he was offensively and on the boards, though. If he's not getting several dunks and 15+ boards (including a bunch of offensive boards) when the Rockets are playing so small, he really can't be on the floor against them.
   1416. SteveF Posted: February 23, 2020 at 04:18 PM (#5926105)
If he's not getting several dunks and 15+ boards (including a bunch of offensive boards) when the Rockets are playing so small, he really can't be on the floor against them.

This is where I land. Yeah, there was 3 point variance. That said, Utah didn't punish Houston on the offensive glass. They'll need to if they want to win that series.
   1417. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: February 23, 2020 at 05:06 PM (#5926110)
Rudy on Russ sounds like a great recipe for Rudy spending the whole series in foul trouble, doesn't it?
   1418. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: February 23, 2020 at 05:25 PM (#5926112)
Rudy on Russ sounds like a great recipe for Rudy spending the whole series in foul trouble, doesn't it?


He only had 2 fouls last night and 0 fouls the other game they did this. I think the biggest problem they've had defensively with it overall is that Russ (unsurprisingly) can easily get ahead of him in transition, causing confusion for the rest of the team on who to guard.
   1419. jmurph Posted: February 23, 2020 at 06:36 PM (#5926113)
That was a lot of fun. That LeBron go ahead fade-away was ridiculous.
   1420. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 23, 2020 at 07:05 PM (#5926114)
It is hard to criticize Anthony Davis considering he ended the game with 32 points but he did not really punish the Celtics inside. You'd think he'd be able to take advantage of the Tatum/Brown mismatch to a much greater extent. Alternatively, the Celtics must be pretty happy with those guys ability to play him tough. More impressed with the Celtics despite the loss.

The Lakers are building a pretty substantial lead in the West right now, 6 games in the loss column.
   1421. Paul D(uda) Posted: February 24, 2020 at 01:18 PM (#5926195)
Despite what many of the Power Rankings say, no one actually believes the Raptors are the 3rd best team in the nba, right?
   1422. Rally Posted: February 24, 2020 at 01:44 PM (#5926198)
They certainly made Davis work for his points - 10-25 shooting. Lakers actually won the game in the 12.5 minutes Lebron was not playing, Lebron was -1 for the game. McGee/Howard were a combined -12 in 28 minutes. Once again small ball rules.

Rondo was a big key to the game with +15 in 22 minutes, he had 5 steals, 5 assists, and no turnovers.
   1423. RJ in TO Posted: February 24, 2020 at 01:48 PM (#5926199)
They're third in SRS, despite having Lowry, VanVleet, Siakam, Ibaka, and Gasol all missing at least 10 games. I don't know if they're actually the 3rd best team in the NBA, but I do think they're a better (regular season) team this year than most people expected them to be.
   1424. spivey Posted: February 24, 2020 at 01:52 PM (#5926200)
What does 3rd best team in the NBA mean to you, Paul? They have the 3rd best regular season SRS, and have the 3rd best record. They are having the 3rd best season in the NBA, but they aren't the 3rd most likely team to make the NBA finals.

I think I'm at the point where I think both Toronto and Boston are better, not just in the regular season but in the playoffs as well, than Philadelphia. Which was not a point I expected to reach.
   1425. Paul D(uda) Posted: February 24, 2020 at 01:56 PM (#5926201)
I guess that's the difference Spivey. Sure, they could finish the regular season with the 3rd best record, but would they be a favourite in a series with any of the Clippers, 76rs,Celtics, jazz or Nuggets? If not, why would we call them the 3rd best team in the nba?
   1426. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: February 24, 2020 at 01:56 PM (#5926202)
I think that as things stand, yeah, the Barneys are behind only MIL and LAL. I think that they're in the second tier, with BOS, DEN and HOU, behind the LA clubs and the Bucks in terms of likelihood to win the whole thing.
   1427. Rally Posted: February 24, 2020 at 01:56 PM (#5926203)
Seems an easy call to me. Philly is 0-2 in playoff series against Boston and Toronto in the Embiid era. At least they have done well against Boston head to head, 3-1 this year, but I'll believe they can win a playoff series when I see it. They're 1-2 against Toronto.
   1428. spivey Posted: February 24, 2020 at 02:01 PM (#5926206)
I guess that's the difference Spivey. Sure, they could finish the regular season with the 3rd best record, but would they be a favourite in a series with any of the Clippers, 76rs,Celtics, jazz or Nuggets? If not, why would we call them the 3rd best team in the nba?


Power Rankings are nonsense click generators and nothing more. But the top 3 in terms of likelihood to win the title are pretty clear cut - Bucks, Clippers, and Lakers. In some order. I don't have any big problem with putting Toronto 4, though like TFTIO says, I think it's a tier there.
   1429. SteveF Posted: February 24, 2020 at 02:01 PM (#5926207)
I don't think the gap between the two LA teams and Toronto, Boston, Denver, Utah, and Houston is all that large. In the case of the Clippers, there might not be a gap at all.

On some level I'm hoping the Bucks 4-1 everyone (well, 4-0 in case of the Magic) so I can go back to believing the regular season means something.
   1430. spivey Posted: February 24, 2020 at 02:05 PM (#5926208)
I didn't appreciate just how good Westbrook has been the last 2 months. The NBA is more entertaining with an all-star level Westbrook.

I hope we don't get Utah/Houston round 3. One, I think they can each push the LA teams, and I think both are better than Denver. Seeding really matters this year, imo.

I am happy that it's shaping up for the Bucks to only get one of Boston/Toronto, and that Philly has to go on the road potentially in the first round.
   1431. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 24, 2020 at 02:14 PM (#5926210)
They're third in SRS, despite having Lowry, VanVleet, Siakam, Ibaka, and Gasol all missing at least 10 games. I don't know if they're actually the 3rd best team in the NBA, but I do think they're a better (regular season) team this year than most people expected them to be.

I asked this earlier this year and I'll ask it again. Who would you rather have over the next 5 years, Siakam or George?

I think people forgot how good the Raptors were in the regular season last year even without Kawhi Leonard in the lineup so I am not surprised playing they are playing well.

   1432. RJ in TO Posted: February 24, 2020 at 02:18 PM (#5926212)
I asked this earlier this year and I'll ask it again. Who would you rather have over the next 5 years, Siakam or George?
I'd go with Siakam, on the basis of younger, less of an injury history, and still seems to be adding skills.
   1433. tshipman Posted: February 24, 2020 at 03:39 PM (#5926233)
Paul George vs. Siakam:
It's tricky …

Siakam looks to have come back to earth after his scorching start. He's basically added volume from last year, while significantly tanking efficiency.

Siakam is highly dependent on young person skills (transition and defense)

the transition game: it's 20% of his possessions, and his eFG% there is 67.7%. Outside of the transition game, he's just not superlative in any area. He's okay as an isolationist, but that still is only 0.90 PPP. He handles the ball in the PnR a fair amount (14% of his possessions), but is below average there. He's about average as a spot up guy (51st percentile, 0.99 PPP). He's added post up possessions (13% of usage), and is about average there as well.

Like Jared Dudley said about Ben Simmons: if you take him out of transition, he's very average (except on defense).

Paul George, by contrast, has already transitioned out of the young man's game.

A significantly lower percentage of George's offense comes from transition, where he is mediocre (44th percentile).

Instead, 31% of PG's possessions are used as the PnR ball-handler, which is incredibly scalable in the playoffs. There, he's above average, 69th percentile. George is great as a spot up guy--79th percentile, 1.13 PPP. He is deadly coming off screens (1.11 PPP, 79th percentile).

So the things that George are good at tend to be more valuable in the playoffs, and are more independent of defensive play. The next 5 years is a tricky metric because of the age of both players (and Kawhi!--Kawhi only has 2-3 years of his prime left), but if you want to win a championship, Paul George is much more likely to help Kawhi in the playoffs than Siakam.

   1434. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 24, 2020 at 05:20 PM (#5926252)
I might be too stubborn about my priors, but no I don't think the Raptors are the third best team in the NBA. I think they are at the top of the third tier (or bottom of the second tier) and are set up more for the regular season than the playoffs.
   1435. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: February 24, 2020 at 09:18 PM (#5926267)
Huh. The Wolves without Towns on the second night of a back-to-back -- this is not entertaining basketball.
   1436. PJ Martinez Posted: February 24, 2020 at 10:18 PM (#5926274)
"How good are the Raptors, really?" is a reasonably interesting question (my answer: quite good!), but there are some other intriguing ones also suggested by Net Rating (obviously an imperfect and by no means definitive measure). Here are the Net Rating Tiers, at the moment, more or less:

Bucks
*
*
*
Lakers
Raptors
Celtics
*
Mavericks
Clippers
*
Rockets
Jazz
Nuggets
*
Heat
Thunder
*
Sixers
*
Pacers

The questions that jump out most to me: 1) At what point should we wonder if the Clippers are really more of a contender than three or four other teams they are usually ranked above? 2) Are we sure the better LA team is in a tier by itself,* or are we really talking about the Bucks and everybody else this season? 3) How good are the Mavericks?

* SRS has the Lakers as a clearer notch above the Raptors and Celtics, and slightly closer to the Bucks, than Net Rating does, for whatever reason.
   1437. smileyy Posted: February 24, 2020 at 11:43 PM (#5926279)
The Wolves seemed to pay tribute to Towns alleged defense in his absence.
   1438. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: February 25, 2020 at 12:35 AM (#5926282)
Huh. The Wolves without Towns on the second night of a back-to-back -- this is not entertaining basketball.


Seeing M. Beasley in a box score shoot 8 for 20 with a -30 -- it brings back memories.
   1439. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: February 25, 2020 at 02:07 AM (#5926289)
should we wonder if the Clippers are really more of a contender than three or four other teams they are usually ranked above? [....]are we really talking about the Bucks and everybody else this season?


I’m past wondering: both of these are my actual positions. I haven’t decided if the Lakers are tier 1.75 or tier 2 yet, because I’m not sure how much of the supporting cast will work in the playoffs, but I think the Clippers are pretty squarely at the level of Toronto and Boston. I did think they’d be better coming into the season; they might be yet. But they aren’t right now.

———-

Primer RT:
@HPbasketball

So.. it’s very possible right now given margins that the 4-5 matchup could be Chris Paul and OKC vs. Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and the Rockets.
   1440. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 25, 2020 at 07:55 AM (#5926298)

* SRS has the Lakers as a clearer notch above the Raptors and Celtics, and slightly closer to the Bucks, than Net Rating does, for whatever reason.


Strength of schedule.
   1441. Paul D(uda) Posted: February 25, 2020 at 08:52 AM (#5926302)
If both my kids weren't sick, I'd be joining my brother courtside for tonight's Raptors - Bucks game. The joys of parenthood
   1442. spivey Posted: February 25, 2020 at 08:59 AM (#5926303)
Milwaukee is on the 2nd night of a road B2B and the first game went to OT, which is a bit of a bummer, but it should be a fun game nonetheless. I'm sure Toronto will be playing hard.

It's been mentioned a bit, and it's mainly shooting so it could come back to earth, but Middleton is absolutely on fire this year. 50.9 FG%, 43.7 3pt%, 90.9 FT%. At good volumes too.
   1443. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: February 25, 2020 at 09:17 AM (#5926307)
I'm stoked for the game tonight.
   1444. jmurph Posted: February 25, 2020 at 10:00 AM (#5926313)
Milwaukee is on the 2nd night of a road B2B and the first game went to OT, which is a bit of a bummer, but it should be a fun game nonetheless.

I know you weren't making excuses for them, but I just want to point out that if you go down to the wire in OT against the Wiz on the front end of a back to back it's your own fault!
   1445. JJ1986 Posted: February 25, 2020 at 10:20 AM (#5926318)
The 2-7 seeds in the West right now have 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 losses.
   1446. tshipman Posted: February 25, 2020 at 12:21 PM (#5926344)
Bucks are clearly in a tier of their own.

Tier 2 is the Lakers + other teams depending on how much you value the regular season.

What you think of the Clippers is really dependent on your priors. We argued about this ages ago with the Cavs, but I think of "switch flip" teams as being teams who stop trying on defense in the regular season. Generally, teams don't flip a switch on offense because offense is fun. LeBron is maybe an exception, but he is back to caring about the regular season, so I guess it's a null point.

Reasons to think the Clippers belong in tier 2:
They have the best single player in last year's playoffs.
They have a good coach.
They are openly tanking some games in the regular season.

Reasons to not think the Clippers belong in tier 2:
the PG/Kawhi thing isn't actually that great. Those two are +9, which is nice, but not amazing. Giannis + Bledsoe is +20, and Giannis + Middleton is +17. LeBron + AD is +10.
Lou Williams is a huge problem in the playoffs. I love Lou Will, but the Clippers are -6 in net rtg because he doesn't play a lick of defense. That isn't changing in the playoffs.
They don't really have an identity beyond Kawhi Iso.

I think reasonable people can disagree on the Clippers. If there were any Clippers fans, I guess they could be upset about it.
   1447. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: February 25, 2020 at 01:47 PM (#5926367)
Here's a George stat: In the post-2005 NBA, there have been as many players with the last name George (Paul George, Devean George) as there have with the first name George (George Hill, and something called a George King, who played six minutes for the Suns last year.)

Paul George and George Hill were of course long-time teammates in Indiana, which happened because George Hill was traded for Paul George's current star teammate, Kawhi Leonard.
   1448. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: February 25, 2020 at 01:47 PM (#5926368)
the PG/Kawhi thing isn't actually that great. Those two are +9, which is nice, but not amazing..... LeBron + AD is +10.

I'm actually surprised on the LeBron/AD one, and would be more worried about that than the PG/Kawhi one for a number of reasons (such as I like the rest of the Clippers more, it's a much bigger sample for LeBron/AD and at least on paper those 2 seem like a better fit). /notconcerntrollinghonestly;ireallyamlookingforwardtoanalllawcf
   1449. jmurph Posted: February 25, 2020 at 01:48 PM (#5926369)
We argued about this ages ago with the Cavs, but I think of "switch flip" teams as being teams who stop trying on defense in the regular season.

I guess the difference here would be the Clippers have Kawhi, Beverley, and George, three guys who are capable of elite defense, whereas those Cavs teams had LeBron and... many of the worst individual defenders in the entire league. So even though they're already solid on defense (currently 6th in DRtg), you could argue they have the ability to turn it up even further.*

Of course that's (significantly) complicated by your Lou Williams point. Also I guess I thought Harrell was better on defense than he really is?

(*I realize you were broadly describing "switch flip" teams and implying they weren't necessarily one, but I thought I'd just think through the defensive thing a bit.)
   1450. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: February 25, 2020 at 01:57 PM (#5926371)
Filling out tier 2:

Lowry and Siakam are a +8
Tatum and Brown are +9
Siakam and Gasol are a +11
Tatum and Hayward are +13.5
   1451. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: February 25, 2020 at 02:40 PM (#5926380)
Other notables in the West:

Jokic/Murray +8
Harden/Westbrook +7
Gobert/Mitchell +7
Chris Paul/SGA +7
Doncic/Porzingis +6
Zion/Jrue +17
   1452. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: February 25, 2020 at 02:43 PM (#5926381)
I got curious about how strength of schedule might be weighting these numbers, so here are the ESPN numbers as of now (higher number = harder schedule; please take with several grains of salt):
Lakers: 0.510
Clippers: 0.503
Celtics: 0.494
Raptors: 0.491
   1453. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 25, 2020 at 02:53 PM (#5926382)
Here's a George stat: In the post-2005 NBA, there have been as many players with the last name George (Paul George, Devean George) as there have with the first name George (George Hill, and something called a George King, who played six minutes for the Suns last year.)


Over the same span, there have been nearly as many players with the last name Paul (Chris Paul, Brandon Paul) as there have with the first name Paul (Paul Pierce, Paul Millsap, Paul George).
   1454. tshipman Posted: February 25, 2020 at 03:03 PM (#5926386)
I guess the difference here would be the Clippers have Kawhi, Beverley, and George, three guys who are capable of elite defense, whereas those Cavs teams had LeBron and... many of the worst individual defenders in the entire league. So even though they're already solid on defense (currently 6th in DRtg), you could argue they have the ability to turn it up even further.*

Of course that's (significantly) complicated by your Lou Williams point. Also I guess I thought Harrell was better on defense than he really is?


The Clippers are at a 105.2 DRTG whenever Lou Will is not on the floor, which would be good for third in the league. So I don't know that they have a flip to switch other than bench Lou Williams. Which, of course, they could do, but seem unlikely to.

***

The point of the two man +/- wasn't necessarily to say that higher numbers indicate playoff success, just that there's a lot of stuff about how the Clippers haven't been healthy, and the point was that even when healthy, the PG/Kawhi combo has not been unstoppable or whatever.

   1455. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 25, 2020 at 06:30 PM (#5926427)
If both my kids weren't sick, I'd be joining my brother courtside for tonight's Raptors - Bucks game. The joys of parenthood


You should have your kids taken away, so you can go. :)
   1456. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 25, 2020 at 06:33 PM (#5926428)
I think the best case you can make for the Clippers is they have a bunch of talented players and it takes teams with so much turnover to settle in and play together (and load management is not helping on that front).
   1457. Paul D(uda) Posted: February 25, 2020 at 08:15 PM (#5926440)
Mellow, I'm here! Row B though
   1458. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: February 25, 2020 at 08:29 PM (#5926441)
The Bucks look tired.
   1459. SteveF Posted: February 25, 2020 at 08:34 PM (#5926442)
Toronto has received the memo about Milwaukee's D -- 26 of their first 40 field goal attempts are threes.
   1460. tshipman Posted: February 25, 2020 at 09:54 PM (#5926446)
Toronto has received the memo about Milwaukee's D -- 26 of their first 40 field goal attempts are threes.


this is what scares me about Milwaukee ... like you don't have to take shots at the rim.
   1461. spivey Posted: February 25, 2020 at 09:55 PM (#5926447)
Kyle Lowry is such a little #####
   1462. spivey Posted: February 25, 2020 at 10:03 PM (#5926450)
What’s scary about Toronto is they play super physical on Middleton and it bothers him and they have a good scheme on Giannis too.
   1463. SteveF Posted: February 25, 2020 at 10:03 PM (#5926451)
like you don't have to take shots at the rim.

You usually shouldn't, especially if Giannis and a Lopez is in the game. Teams should drive to force help/rotation and kick to shooters. If the shot isn't open, attack the closeout and rinse/repeat until you get an open 3.

I think teams playing the Bucks should probably take 60+ threes.
   1464. tshipman Posted: February 25, 2020 at 11:02 PM (#5926460)
After all that, Milwaukee did win by 11, so maybe I'm just full of ####.
   1465. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: February 25, 2020 at 11:19 PM (#5926462)
College, but Randolph Childress's son just scored 13 points in two OTs to beat Duke. I feel old.
   1466. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 25, 2020 at 11:24 PM (#5926464)
LeBron in the post > AD in the post.

I think the opposite being true would be better for the Lakers. AD just doesn't seem like a dominant post player.
   1467. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: February 26, 2020 at 12:19 AM (#5926471)
I'm at the stage of depression over the Jazz that I'm admitting to myself that this Lakers team is actually pretty fun.
   1468. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: February 26, 2020 at 02:47 AM (#5926482)
I think the best case you can make for the Clippers is they have a bunch of talented players and it takes teams with so much turnover to settle in and play together


I have always been skeptical about this, but there are some data points. OTOH, the Lakers turned over even more than the Clippers and were 24-3 27 games in.

George has played 35 games and Leonard has played 44, and they are averaging 29 and 32 MPG when they do play, but they still have a 38-19 PYTH (and actual) and are 6th in both ORTG and DRTG. The point about George and Leonard not being devastating together is valid, but I am comfortable saying that I think the Clippers are being a little underrated by some people here in this current discussion. Like I said, I think if you put the Clippers in the East and gave Leonard and George James's and Davis's minutes and games, they would be about 44-13. The Lakers are 44-12 (40-16 PYTH) playing in the West, in large part because James and Davis are playing more often and putting in more floor time than Leonard and George have been. I want the Lakers to make the Finals, obviously, but I still would not take them over the Clippers in a best-of-7.

As to Milwaukee, as I said a few months ago, Middleton and Hill (and Hill is 33) are having great years by their own standards, and the other guys are all mostly playing at or near the top of their range. Add that to having the best two-way player in the NBA, and you get to 49-8 with a 47-10 PYTH. The questions are how much of that they hold in postseason and whether the "You can game plan for Giannis enough to slow him down" narrative is real. I am still mildly skeptical about Milwaukee in spite of the metrics, but I may be full of shitt, like shipman. Ha.

As to Boston and Toronto: PER has many limitations, but one thing it is very good for is identifying superstars. Antetokounmpo is at 32.26 right now; if it holds, that will be highest single-season PER of all time. The two career leaders all-time are Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Boston and Toronto both have a bunch of guys around 17-20 in PER. Walker leads Boston at 21; Siakam leads Toronto at 19.3. Tatum is at 20. Stevens, Ainge, Nurse, and Ujiri are all smart guys, but teams like this just don't win the title very often.

So, I think among Tier 2 or Tier 3 teams, Houston IMO is more the team to watch. I am not a big fan of hard-core MDA ball, but it can be really bad news for opponents when it is clicking.

Another thing to keep an eye on that spivey suggested: Jaren Jackson is now out, and NO is only 3.5 games out of 8th. So the NBA might get a Lakers/NO 1-8, which would be a wet dream for marketing types and would be some work for the Lakers, although I am confident that they would win, as we saw tonight. James leading the Lakers to the title this year would be exciting and meaningful for Lakers fans, but I just can't see them beating each of, say, New Orleans, Houston, the Clippers and Milwaukee, for reasons I have gone over many times.
   1469. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: February 26, 2020 at 04:18 AM (#5926484)
I think in the West, the Lakers are probably the best team and will likely have the easiest road with a fairly straightforward first round series. But they are far from invincible, and after that I'm not seeing huge deltas. Nobody is really talking about Denver or Utah these days, but they're both having similar seasons to last year and have more playoff seasoning and continuity, and their players were young enough that some improvement wouldn't be surprising. I don't really think they are appreciably worse than LAC (depending on priors as tship says), HOU, or DAL -- a couple points in SRS is within the margin of error anyway and I think they will be relevant participants.

OKC is a great story, but still seems likely they are outplaying their talent level and due for a regression to the mean.

Everyone needs Milwaukee to lose, of course, but if you are in the WC, you have three lottery tickets you can hit before you have to play them. It's possible we'll be sitting here it at the end of June talking about the inevitability of the Bucks' title and Giannis's ascension into a Jordan-like truly unstoppable force, and crowning them in advance in 2020-21, but I think that would likely be revisionist history. As of right now, there is still a lot in this NBA season.

Moses, curious about your thoughts on Coby White's recent play. From the numbers, it really looks like he was enjoying a run of the mill super inefficient teenage rookie season, but then all of a sudden these last three games have been nuts. Do you think he has figured something out or is this just one of those random hot streaks that makes the NBA so fun?
   1470. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: February 26, 2020 at 10:29 AM (#5926506)
That TOR/MIL game was so much; even Lowry's #### was funny.

On the other side of the "good" coin:

Cody Westerlund @CodyWesterlund

Jim Boylen says #Bulls management hasn’t once said he and the team need to win a threshold of games. The focus is on establishing a culture.

So would Boylen be surprised if poor win-loss record is used against him at season’s end?

Boylen: “Yes. I don’t see that happening.”

Cody Westerlund @CodyWesterlund

#Bulls coach Jim Boylen: "I’m not worried about my personal record or my win-loss record. I’ve been asked to establish a style of play, to have a disciplined approach and develop a young group of guys. And in my opinion, we are doing that."

Cody Westerlund @CodyWesterlund

More Boylen on this line of thought: “It is hard for me. But that’s not my calling. That’s not what they ask me to do. Nobody in this organization said to me, ‘You got to win this many games.’ ... Not one time have they said that to me. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to win."


Hmmmm...

9/30:
“We have revamped this roster in a big way, and a way in that we can look at this team and we see real talent,’’ Paxson said during media day. “We see a versatile roster, we see depth on this roster, we see some leadership on this roster which we haven’t had, and because of that, our goals this year are really simple. First and foremost, we want to compete at a high, high level. We think we can compete. And when you compete at a high level, you have an ability to be a playoff-caliber team. And we set that as a goal.

“Jim talks about it, he’s not afraid of it, and our guys through their work have shown us that they want to make that commitment, so we feel good about that.’’


12/14:
What we said is our goal is to challenge and compete for the playoffs. I don’t know why that changes. And the reason we said that, the summer we had and the changes we made and the draft and the buy-in in September, our players felt good about themselves. And we all felt good about it. The way Jim is wired, we’re all wired, why shouldn’t we be sending the message to them to compete for the playoffs? If that’s a pressure you put on people, I’m fine with that. I don’t waver. But I don’t know where that lands. I don’t know if that’s a realistic thing right now. We certainly haven’t played like a team that’s playoff-bound. But 50-some games left, it can change. If it doesn’t, we obviously didn’t achieve something that we thought we could’ve.


There's all these rumors that the Bulls will hire a new FO person after this year, but nothing about actually cleaning house or giving the new person any sort of actual power to make changes. It will be an absolute joke if anyone with the current FO (Both Paxson brothers, Doug Collins, Gar Forman) or Boylen is around this team after this year. Jerry seems content with letting his son Michael run the show, and Michael has invoked the Wirtz situation*; he'd be a ####### hero if he cleaned house.

*The second Dollar Bill Wirtz died and his son Rocky took over the Blackhawks, they went from laughingstock to damn near dynasty. I wouldn't expect that quick of a turnaround, but the general blueprint applies. Rocky still gets a (deserved) pass even today even though the last 3 years have been a steady decline back into irrelevance.

Moses, curious about your thoughts on Coby White's recent play. From the numbers, it really looks like he was enjoying a run of the mill super inefficient teenage rookie season, but then all of a sudden these last three games have been nuts. Do you think he has figured something out or is this just one of those random hot streaks that makes the NBA so fun?

Can I cop out and say it's a little of both? I'm not watching every minute of this ####, but he seemed better than the numbers he was putting up originally yet also obviously isn't *this* good. I also don't know how to account for this joke of a coaching staff and their impact on development (and lack thereof in guys like Lauri's case).
   1471. SteveF Posted: February 26, 2020 at 11:10 AM (#5926520)
PER has many limitations, but one thing it is very good for is identifying superstars.

I'm imagining Hassan Whiteside somewhere reading this and nodding vigorously in agreement.

Maybe it's more of a necessary rather than sufficient condition ;)
   1472. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 26, 2020 at 11:15 AM (#5926522)
College, but Randolph Childress's son just scored 13 points in two OTs to beat Duke. I feel old.

At least it's not Josh Childress's son.
   1473. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: February 26, 2020 at 02:14 PM (#5926572)
Here's how I plan on not working for a while...

https://dunksandthrees.com/epm
   1474. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 26, 2020 at 02:39 PM (#5926580)
Here's how I plan on not working for a while...
https://dunksandthrees.com/epm


Love seeing 'The Glove The 2nd' 3rd in steal percentage.
   1475. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: February 26, 2020 at 03:25 PM (#5926595)
So, I think among Tier 2 or Tier 3 teams, Houston IMO is more the team to watch. I am not a big fan of hard-core MDA ball, but it can be really bad news for opponents when it is clicking.


I agree, and even if they're not necessarily a "better" team than last season, I think being unique might just throw off better teams enough to give them a better chance than they would otherwise have.
   1476. Tin Angel Posted: February 26, 2020 at 03:51 PM (#5926599)
The Athletic NBA @TheAthleticNBA

JUST IN - The Jazz are pulling Mike Conley Jr. from the starting five and will move Royce O'Neale into Conley's place.
   1477. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: February 26, 2020 at 05:13 PM (#5926649)
They already switched it to Conley staying in and Ingles going to the bench. For all the (justified) attention on Conley's poor play this year, Ingles -- besides a hot stretch when Conley was out -- has had a pretty poor season too.
   1478. SteveF Posted: February 26, 2020 at 08:03 PM (#5926674)
At least now the Sixers can build up Horford's value for the inevitable trade this summer.
   1479. tshipman Posted: February 26, 2020 at 11:24 PM (#5926691)
They already switched it to Conley staying in and Ingles going to the bench. For all the (justified) attention on Conley's poor play this year, Ingles -- besides a hot stretch when Conley was out -- has had a pretty poor season too.


Now they're saying it's Ingles. Must have had a foot on the line.
   1480. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: February 27, 2020 at 12:52 AM (#5926701)
Jazz are a mess, up and down the entire rotation. I'm too young to remember before like 94-95, but think this is going to be the most disappointing Jazz team of my life.
   1481. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 27, 2020 at 01:26 AM (#5926706)
I know the Jazz are going through a rough stretch, 4-9 in their last 13, but they are on pace for 50+ wins in a tough Western conference. If you are dissapointed in them, it is probably because you were two high on them in the first place. It's a good team but one without a superstar.
   1482. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: February 27, 2020 at 01:45 AM (#5926707)
I know the Jazz are going through a rough stretch, 4-9 in their last 13, but they are on pace for 50+ wins in a tough Western conference. If you are dissapointed in them, it is probably because you were two high on them in the first place. It's a good team but one without a superstar.


They've been basically a 50-win team for the last three seasons, and made big acquisitions this last offseason that made them a pretty typical pick for being the 2nd or 3rd best team in the West. They also have a worse SRS than any of those 50-win teams, so not only are they not better, they very much look worse. I think it's pretty fair to be really disappointed with them. It's made worse by how good they were after acquiring Clarkson (pretty much all due to the offense destroying mostly a bunch of bad teams).
   1483. spivey Posted: February 27, 2020 at 09:37 AM (#5926732)
I don't watch too much of Utah, but they always seemed like a team that would need their starters to carry them. I don't know that there's anything to say other than Conley and Ingles are getting a bit older, and have had big dropoffs. I expect both to regress back towards their career numbers a bit, but if they are merely ok players vs. the borderline allstars they had been, Utah is probably in the same spot.

I haven't completely given in to the idea they're both washed up, so I could see either Ingles, Conley, or both having a bit of a renaissance in the playoffs. For that reason, they feel a bit more dangerous when playoff time rolls around. They're a more modern team, with more scoring and shooting.
   1484. jmurph Posted: February 27, 2020 at 09:38 AM (#5926734)
Sixers trolling incoming:
Zach Kram @zachkram
Stat of the Day #129!

Worst teams this season by net rating (ignoring garbage time):

30. Warriors
29. Cavaliers
28. Hawks
27. Hornets
26. 76ers with both Simmons and Embiid off the floor
25. Knicks

Not a great precedent if both injured Philadelphia stars miss extended time!
   1485. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: February 27, 2020 at 09:41 AM (#5926735)
How many teams wouldn't be in the bottom five if you removed their two best players?
   1486. jmurph Posted: February 27, 2020 at 09:48 AM (#5926740)
How many teams wouldn't be in the bottom five if you removed their two best players?

Of course, but the point is that is now their team for the indefinite future.
   1487. spivey Posted: February 27, 2020 at 09:50 AM (#5926743)
Beautiful dream for a Bucks fan: 4/5 matchup is Miami/Indiana, with 76ers, Toronto, and Boston all on the other side of the bracket.
   1488. jmurph Posted: February 27, 2020 at 10:03 AM (#5926752)
Beautiful dream for a Bucks fan: 4/5 matchup is Miami/Indiana, with 76ers, Toronto, and Boston all on the other side of the bracket.

It's true, they could get through the East having to play only one good team. I'm less impressed by Miami every time I watch them.
   1489. send the 57i66135 over with flamethrowers Posted: February 27, 2020 at 11:37 AM (#5926782)
At least now the Sixers can build up Horford's value for the inevitable trade this summer.
horford is a sunk cost; i just hope tharris can do work while the team needs him, and then maybe be able to keep it up when simmons/embiid get back.
How many teams wouldn't be in the bottom five if you removed their two best players?
the nets.
   1490. PJ Martinez Posted: February 27, 2020 at 12:53 PM (#5926822)
I know he was a playoff-minded pickup, and may be rusty, but Andre Iguodala does not seem to be helping the Heat so far.
   1491. CFBF's Overflowing Pathos Posted: February 27, 2020 at 01:15 PM (#5926832)
Random question: does anyone track "assist-worthy passes" in the NBA? You drive and kick to an open Klay Thompson, you're much more likely to get an assist than if you drive and kick to an open Aaron Gordon, and I'm curious if there's any systematic attempt to determine if some players get screwed on assists by playing with poor shooters.
   1492. tshipman Posted: February 27, 2020 at 01:54 PM (#5926839)
Random question: does anyone track "assist-worthy passes" in the NBA? You drive and kick to an open Klay Thompson, you're much more likely to get an assist than if you drive and kick to an open Aaron Gordon, and I'm curious if there's any systematic attempt to determine if some players get screwed on assists by playing with poor shooters.


Yes.

I know he was a playoff-minded pickup, and may be rusty, but Andre Iguodala does not seem to be helping the Heat so far.


he's really negative so far. I'd want to see what the numbers look like with the 3p shooting taken out.
   1493. SteveF Posted: February 27, 2020 at 03:55 PM (#5926874)
Based on my digging, with Iguodala on the court opponents are 46-116 and Miami is 44-132 from three.
   1494. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 27, 2020 at 10:51 PM (#5926975)
Man, the Laker offense without LeBron is offensive.
   1495. smileyy Posted: February 28, 2020 at 12:25 AM (#5926986)
Are the Warriors given Andrew Wiggins some much-needed load management, or....?
   1496. aberg Posted: February 28, 2020 at 12:19 PM (#5927103)
Are the Warriors given Andrew Wiggins some much-needed load management, or....?


You would think they'd want him out there to help their draft position.

I'm a couple days late, but the Wolves had a very satisfying win at Miami the other day. They stormed back from a late deficit and went ahead with ~9 seconds left on a Jordan McLaughlin layup. Butler took it the other way and drove to the hoop, but Russell blocked his shot just before the buzzer.

There are so many intervening variables, but if you zoom out far enough, the Wolves ended up with Russell as KAT's running partner instead of Butler. I'm not confident that they're on the right side of that trade (could be very different in 2-3 years), but that one moment at least made it feel good.
   1497. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: February 28, 2020 at 02:54 PM (#5927137)
Hmmm....makes you think
   1498. jmurph Posted: February 28, 2020 at 03:17 PM (#5927150)
Speaking of players famous for their beards, this Harden-Giannis stuff is very dumb/great. Harden (and Rockets fans) should probably care a lot less about these things.
   1499. Fourth True Outcome Posted: February 28, 2020 at 06:05 PM (#5927184)
Yeah, I get why Harden is prickly about his reputation compared to how much he impacts winning, but this isn't a great look.

On a different note, here are the league leaders in off-the-bounce 3P%.

We all had Marcus Smart tied for #1, right?
   1500. SteveF Posted: February 28, 2020 at 06:18 PM (#5927190)
We all had Marcus Smart tied for #1, right?

Noticed this a few days ago when I was looking at which teams were good on pull up shooting as I was thinking ahead to the playoffs. Houston, Milwaukee (Khris Middleton is nutty), and Boston were the cream of the crop.

People should be off the whole Khris Middleton isn't a good enough #2 by now. I'll grant you he gets easier looks because of Giannis, but the dude can shoot off the bounce and players that can do that can get their shots in the playoffs.
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