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Friday, May 01, 2015

OT: Monthly NBA Thread - May 2015

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: more trolling than ever.

Speaking of which, from Paul Pierce’s Twitter:

The District Attorney Posted: May 01, 2015 at 09:08 AM | 2927 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   2801. Oriole Tragic didn't have the teams Lebron had Posted: May 28, 2015 at 07:01 PM (#4966597)
@Quaker: Reggie Bullock for #26?
   2802. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: May 28, 2015 at 07:42 PM (#4966615)
I think people are just trading "assets" now because no one wants to dig into the bottom 30 of the draft class.
   2803. Oriole Tragic didn't have the teams Lebron had Posted: May 28, 2015 at 07:48 PM (#4966618)
I'd actually like to pick up some more 2nd-round picks. There are at least a few guys there that I know I'd like to draft.
   2804. i hear there are a lot of dead animals in 57i66135 Posted: May 28, 2015 at 08:23 PM (#4966626)
This probably isn't supportable Looney strikes me as a slightly-poorer man's Tyrus Thomas, an athlete who doesn't really know how to play basketball and if he does get there it'll take him a while. Harrell seems like he's got a better shot of contributing immediately in a junkyard dog role -- like what Looney might look like in a year or two if things go really well.

i'm not a fan of those spindly PF types, either. it seems like every year there are a couple projected for the first round and looney and christian wood are the ones this year.

   2805. Oriole Tragic didn't have the teams Lebron had Posted: May 28, 2015 at 08:40 PM (#4966636)
@Zeth:

I don't think Harrell is that bad. Seems like he could have something like Faried's career. Harrell certainly isn't too small: 6'7", 250, 7'4" (!) wingspan.
   2806. Quaker Posted: May 28, 2015 at 08:54 PM (#4966647)
Sorry forgot PJT was included in that trade. I'll pass on Bullock.
   2807. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 28, 2015 at 09:46 PM (#4966676)
Harrell was on my short list to pick, had I moved Taj or Pau w/out getting a PF back.
   2808. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 28, 2015 at 09:58 PM (#4966682)
Even though it was inevitable, I'm still surprised Thibs' firing passed through this thread so quietly. I guess just about everything there was to say has been said, yet I was still shocked how strongly worded Reinsdorf's statement was. KC Johnson said JVG's comments really hurt Jerry, and others have pointed out the last time Jerry said anything negative about a departing coach/player/executive was when Horace Grant left in 94 and bad mouthed everyone on his way out.

On twitter, most of the reaction from the writers/etc I follow was pointing to Thibs' overall record, and pointing out he only got 2 playoffs with a healthy roster. They also pointed out the Bulls' history of parting with coaches less than amicably*. Which is all right. But it seems incredibly obvious that the Bulls couldn't have brought him back**. There's stories of multiple players ripping Thibs to the FO, there's the all the minutes stuff***, and at the end if the coaches and FO can't work together at all it just can't continue. In the end, Jerry's cheapness (Thibs will get another job, so the Bulls won't have to pay all the money they still owe Thibs) won out over Pax/Forman's pettiness/spite**** (wanting to wait to fire him until he couldn't get a new job this year).

Thibs was a good, though far from perfect, coach and the Bulls and multiple players made huge strides under him (Rose, Noah and Butler all are who they are, for better or worse, thanks to Thibs). This was a very successful stretch - by far the most successful since the MJ era - though also very far from an enjoyable one. Everyone is saying it's Hoiberg's job if he wants it, and I'm optimistic that he can be a good coach; there's a lot to like about his offense at Iowa St. He probably is a downgrade in the short term, but with the right mix of roster tweaks (and tons of good luck in the health department) the Bulls could have a similarly successful, or fingers crossed more successful, season next year.

*To this day, I stand by my comments that they treated Cartwright and Skiles just fine. Cartwright was clearly over his head, and Skiles quit on 2 other teams midseason; I fail to see how the Bulls undermined or sabotaged either of them.
**Paxson did confirm what I suspected all along; he said if the Bulls won the title they wouldn't have fired Thibs.
***And the training staff and FO are just as blameworthy as Thibs is most cases, though it was Thibs who hung out Deng to dry publicly after his spinal tap.
****They did get to do this, which totally makes them way too happy I bet:
Dave McMenamin ‏@mcten 9h9 hours ago
Per a league source, at this moment the Bulls have security waiting to escort Tom Thibodeau out of the building.while he packs his things
   2809. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 28, 2015 at 10:00 PM (#4966687)
Mike Bresnahan ‏@Mike_Bresnahan
Dwight on another early playoff exit: "No matter how the season ends, I'm still a champion. I won't let anybody tell me anything different"
   2810. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 28, 2015 at 10:10 PM (#4966695)
"No matter how the season ends, I'm still a champion. I won't let anybody tell me anything different"
He's a champion. All he's missing are championships.
   2811. Rob_Wood Posted: May 28, 2015 at 10:17 PM (#4966699)

The Paxson quote I heard was that Thibs would not have been fired had the Bulls defeated the Cavs and reached the finals.
   2812. tshipman Posted: May 28, 2015 at 10:17 PM (#4966700)
Dwight leaving instead of re-signing with the Lakers was a huge blessing in disguise. It means more years in the wilderness, but Dwight will never win anything. I don't put a lot of emphasis on makeup, but Dwight has terrible, terrible makeup.

On twitter, most of the reaction from the writers/etc I follow was pointing to Thibs' overall record, and pointing out he only got 2 playoffs with a healthy roster. They also pointed out the Bulls' history of parting with coaches less than amicably*. Which is all right. But it seems incredibly obvious that the Bulls couldn't have brought him back


I don't think so. The Cossacks work for the czar. Thibs has never had a team quit on him. That's what you're worried about, right? The bottom line is that if the team is healthy and winning, everyone's happy.
   2813. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 28, 2015 at 10:24 PM (#4966704)
I don't think so. The Cossacks work for the czar. Thibs has never had a team quit on him. That's what you're worried about, right? The bottom line is that if the team is healthy and winning, everyone's happy.

I think the Bulls quit in the 2nd half of game 6 against Cleveland. Rose quit - he took like 2 shots with Dellevadova guarding him. And no, I don't think it's that simple, Thibs and the FO were never happy with each other, and both of them are to blame. Also:

K.C. Johnson ‏@KCJHoop 7h7 hours ago
Minute restrictions got little overblown at times/fit neatly in Thibs vs. front office: But players it was imposed on had no problem w/ it.


Dan Bernstein ‏@dan_bernstein 7h7 hours ago
#Bulls sources: at least three starters ripped Thibs in exit interview, said they'd avoid team facility this summer if he were still there.


You can read between the lines on a bunch of Pau quotes during the year - I think he was clearly on the anti-Thibs team. I think Noah and Rose are the other two - they both prefer working out in LA during the offseason anyway. Minute restrictions this year were on Rose, Noah and Hinrich.
   2814. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 28, 2015 at 10:26 PM (#4966708)
The Paxson quote I heard was that Thibs would not have been fired had the Bulls defeated the Cavs and reached the finals.

“You have to have a situation where you are all pulling in the same direction,” Paxson said. “Once that stops, it’s very difficult to move forward.”

Seconds later, Paxson added: “We probably wouldn’t be sitting here if we won a championship” – a nod to the realities of pro sports: No matter how difficult a player or coach is to work with, winning cures all.

"We were all really disappointed in the way the season ended," Paxson said. "Cleveland is a great team and they're in the Finals. But we felt like, given their injuries, the path was there for us if we could have seized it."
   2815. Kurt Posted: May 28, 2015 at 10:32 PM (#4966713)
Mike Bresnahan ‏@Mike_Bresnahan
Dwight on another early playoff exit: "No matter how the season ends, I'm still a champion. I won't let anybody tell me anything different"


It's a silly thing to say, but I wouldn't call losing the WCF to Golden State, even in five games, an "early" playoff exit. Toronto checked out over a month ago.
   2816. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: May 28, 2015 at 10:42 PM (#4966719)
Dwight leaving instead of re-signing with the Lakers was a huge blessing in disguise. It means more years in the wilderness, but Dwight will never win anything. I don't put a lot of emphasis on makeup, but Dwight has terrible, terrible makeup.


I've been thinking this for a while, but haven't wanted to say it here. He's just a weird dude, and not in a good way at all.
   2817. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: May 28, 2015 at 10:44 PM (#4966722)
Rose quit - he took like 2 shots with Dellevadova guarding him.


I think the reason for that is obvious, Rose knew Delly would hurt him if he tried to shoot more.
   2818. stevegamer Posted: May 28, 2015 at 10:49 PM (#4966724)
Miami is not interested in dealing Stanley Johnson - we were thrilled to get him there.
   2819. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: May 28, 2015 at 10:50 PM (#4966725)
I've said it here before and would happily say it again re: Dwight.

Technically, though, he is a multi-time division champion.
   2820. i hear there are a lot of dead animals in 57i66135 Posted: May 28, 2015 at 10:52 PM (#4966726)
Technically, though, he is a multi-time division champion.
also a gold medal winner. i think.
   2821. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: May 28, 2015 at 10:56 PM (#4966728)
Also, he and Josh Smith won some AAU tournaments.
   2822. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: May 28, 2015 at 11:13 PM (#4966735)
Thibodeau seems like an absolutely toxic coworker, but then, I've never liked coaches.
   2823. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 29, 2015 at 12:01 AM (#4966754)
I thought you were gonna say co-workers.

Yes, he would be a pain to work with. But so would Pax and Gar by all accounts.
   2824. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 29, 2015 at 12:03 AM (#4966756)
General manager Gar Forman said the Bulls haven't "put together a formal list or made any contacts" to replace Tom Thibodeau, who was fired Thursday. But make no mistake: The job is Hoiberg's to lose, according to multiple sources.

An announcement likely would occur before the NBA Finals begin June 4. One person close to Hoiberg expressed confidence he would accept the Bulls' job if offered. The Ames (Iowa) Tribune reported Thursday that Hoiberg had told a prominent recruit some time ago that he couldn't ensure he would be coaching Iowa State next season.

One source said a formal interview would serve as a formality given the Bulls' familiarity with Hoiberg, who played four seasons in Chicago and has maintained close communication with Forman throughout his successful five-season run at his alma mater. Forman served as assistant coach under Tim Floyd for Hoiberg's senior season in Ames.


Almost a shame Tim Floyd's name has to be constantly dragged through my memory during this process.
   2825. rr Posted: May 29, 2015 at 12:03 AM (#4966757)
I've been thinking this for a while, but haven't wanted to say it here. He's just a weird dude, and not in a good way at all.


No offense, but any number of people--literally millions--think this and far worse about Kobe Bryant. Between 2005-2007, we were told that Kobe would never win without Shaq, that he was toxic, a sociopath, that no one wanted to play with him, that he ran Shaq out of town and because of all that, kills your team. There are people who still say the same things now, even with 19 years and 5 O'Brien Trophies in the book. During that time, Bryant himself added to the fire when he foolishly went off on Andrew Bynum and Mitch Kupchak in public, and demanded to be traded.

Then Phil came back, Bynum developed, the Lakers got Pau, they picked up Ariza and then Artest to play the 3...and bam.

Howard strikes me as being an immature, selfish, and mildly creepy guy. I also don't like his game much aesthetically, never have liked watching him, and didn't like rooting for him. But I haven't seen any indication that he doesn't mostly hustle, and he seems to keep himself in great shape. Last year, his team lost a tight series to a very good Portland team, which IIRC ended on a phenomenal shot by Damian Lillard. This year, they got that back against a banged-up version of that Portland team, then pulled off the comeback against the Clippers, before going to down to a fully healthy GSW team that went 67-15. Therefore, I don't see this as the best time to be calling out Dwight Howard based on saying something dumb right after an elimination game, and Howard has mostly played well for Houston in postseason. Yes, Kobe is a very different kind of guy than Howard is, and they basically seemed to hate each other. But I don't see Howard's makeup as a problem in Houston.

So, not to pick on you (and shipman) but I have had this discussion with Lakers fans, (who understandably like seeing Howard lose) over the last few days, and I am not really buying it. For the Lakers to be better off without Howard, they will need to get guys who are actually better players than he is likely to be over the next two years and has been over the last two. That will not be easy.



   2826. Squash Posted: May 29, 2015 at 12:44 AM (#4966766)
The guy who I could actually see Howard winning with, ironically, is a young(er) Kobe type, a guy who dominates the ball but also dominates personality-wise, so Dwight isn't free to be Dwight for lack of a better phrase. Harden is a great player (if annoying for all the obvious reasons) but he doesn't seem to have that dominate personality type that overwhelms everybody else, so Dwight can still freelance and complain and perform various knucklehead maneuvers.

The problem I think they really had in LA was simply too many cooks needing too much stroking and too many touches. Kobe and Dwight alone I think would have been more effective than Kobe and Dwight and Pau and Nash. Ditto Nash and Dwight and Pau. What that team needed was a little addition by subtraction.
   2827. rr Posted: May 29, 2015 at 12:50 AM (#4966768)
What that team needed was a little addition by subtraction.


Maybe, but they were basically too old, too thin, and lousy on D. So, yeah, in the sense that they should have moved Pau, but I think the chemistry issues came from the tangible problems. Also, D'Antoni didn't adapt his system very well to the personnel, and Howard didn't like him and never wanted him to be the coach.
   2828. Squash Posted: May 29, 2015 at 01:03 AM (#4966771)
Maybe, but they were basically too old, too thin, and lousy on D. So, yeah, in the sense that they should have moved Pau, but I think the chemistry issues came from the tangible problems. Also, D'Antoni didn't adapt his system very well to the personnel, and Howard didn't like him and never wanted him to be the coach.

Yeah, I'm ignoring the coaching angle for the most part - there were a couple of things that needed to change. In general I'm just saying there's a world in which Kobe & Dwight, or Nash/Pau/Dwight could have been successful combos. Kobe/Nash/Pau/Dwight however really is a tough group in the modern NBA, despite all the talent, as there are only so many touches to go around, and too many conflicting personalities. Personality-wise I think Kobe alone or Nash alone could keep Dwight in check. The two of them together sort of cancel each other out.

EDIT: I.e., who could really control those four and keep everything running smoothly? If the answer is only one guy, Phil Jackson, that tells you something. Whereas there is a much larger pool if you trim down that group, focus on specific strong suits, and surround the rest with role players.
   2829. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 29, 2015 at 01:35 AM (#4966772)
K.C. Johnson ‏@KCJHoop 41m41 minutes ago
Several Thibodeau confidantes have suggested him taking season off, collecting Bulls' check and waiting for 16-17 openings.


He could use a long ass vacation. But he also seems like the type that wouldn't really enjoy it. If he doesn't get a coaching job, he will totally catch on somewhere as an ass't - LAC makes a ton of sense, for instance.
   2830. theboyqueen Posted: May 29, 2015 at 01:43 AM (#4966773)
The Dwight bashing is silly and revisionist. Orlando Dwight was historically awesome at peak powers. Lakers Dwight didn't meet expectations but it's not clear to me that those expectations were ever warranted and Steve Nash, the other piece, is the one who contributed nothing and eventually quit. Houston Dwight is what he is: when healthy, pretty damn awesome. He was the most reliable player on a playoff team that got way further than anyone expected and just happened to lose to a historically great team. He's definitely a weird dude and has not had the career most were expecting but put him instead of Bogut on the Warriors and they may well be the greatest team ever.
   2831. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 29, 2015 at 01:58 AM (#4966775)
Speaking of Tim Floyd and terrible, terrible memories...

And look at the rest of that roster! I'm getting dizzy and my ears are starting to bleed. If that experience isn't enough to permanently scare Hoiberg away from Chicago, he might just be amazing here.
   2832. rr Posted: May 29, 2015 at 02:30 AM (#4966776)
   2833. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: May 29, 2015 at 02:37 AM (#4966777)
Speaking of "not enough touches to go around", weren't the Thunder pre Harden trade in that position? Heck, even with just Westbrook and Durant people talk about not enough touches (mostly blaming Westbrook, but still).
   2834. stevegamer Posted: May 29, 2015 at 02:38 AM (#4966778)
Nothing wrong with Brand, Mercer, and Artest, but they tore the young trio apart by dealing Brand and netting Chandler & the carcass of Charles Oakley. Generally you want to get the best player in a deal, and dealing a Rookie of the Year is a gamble, especially when he didn't win due primarily to a weak field.

Also, young/prime Nash is really not a big sink on touches, as he is a tremendous passer. That was part of the discussion with Harden on the Thunder, but they could have kept him, and spread the minutes out as duos rather than a triplet. Harden does have a lack of defense problem as well.
   2835. rr Posted: May 29, 2015 at 02:44 AM (#4966779)
Speaking of Harden and OKC, Durant Tweeted this a couple of months ago:

Kevin Durant ✔@KDTrey5
@BillSimmons just let it go!
10:03 AM - 5 Apr 2015
   2836. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 29, 2015 at 02:56 AM (#4966780)
Couple of interesting reads on the Thibs stuff. Kelly Dwyer takes Thibs to task, and I think he speaks for a lot of Bulls fans. Wojoyahoo and the pro-Thibs side, and while there's good points, I can't help but read his stuff through the prism of his relationships with sources (IOW, he's buddying up to Thibs here, with a total hatchet job on the Bulls' FO - who totally deserve it - while completely absolving Thibs of his role.

I didn't know this though:

Thibodeau was Jerry Reinsdorf's choice to coach the Bulls, choosing him over Paxson's (Doug Collins) and Forman's (Lawrence Frank and Mike Brown). This was Reinsdorf's way. He hired Del Negro, too.


I always/thought heard Collins' was Jerry's choice, because he's a friend in the LaRussa mode talked about in that piece.
   2837. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 29, 2015 at 03:38 AM (#4966781)
What's with the Doug Collins fetish in Chicago? His last two stints weren't very impressive. Is it that he's still got the Michael Jordan around him from the 80s?
   2838. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: May 29, 2015 at 04:32 AM (#4966784)
Speaking of "not enough touches to go around", weren't the Thunder pre Harden trade in that position? Heck, even with just Westbrook and Durant people talk about not enough touches (mostly blaming Westbrook, but still).


There aren't enough touches in the world to sate Russell Westbrook's thirst. I don't think "there aren't enough touches" is a good reason to be giving away All-Stars. I mean it's one of the things you say when your team deals a star away but you would rather not admit it's because ownership is too cheap to pay him.
   2839. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 29, 2015 at 04:33 AM (#4966785)
[2837]
He's friends with the owner, is a local guy, and his son coaches at NW. I don't even understand the MJ thing, since even though MJ liked him (and hired him to coach during the Wiz comeback that never happened), I always thought MJ was all for canning Doug from the Bulls back in the day.

In addition to the weird flirtation with him to be head coach (BTW, that was before his stint in Philly, and the story at the time was he removed himself from consideration and wasn't interested in leaving broadcasting for coaching), supposedly he offered to be an assistant for Thibs before either last year or the year before, to help with the offense, and probably act as a go between for Thibs with the FO. Thibs turned him down, but never told anyone. For some unknown reason, that story just came out this week.

I guess everyone like him or something, now that I type all this out.
   2840. Booey Posted: May 29, 2015 at 10:51 AM (#4966887)
Last year, his team lost a tight series to a very good Portland team, which IIRC ended on a phenomenal shot by Damian Lillard. This year, they got that back against a banged-up version of that Portland team,


!!!PEDANTRY ALERT!!!

Houston actually beat Dallas in the 1st round, not Portland. The Blazers lost to the Grizz.

But yeah, dating back to his final season in Orlando, I think Howard's unlikeable personality has caused a lot of people to underrate him as a player. Most teams would be ecstatic to have him playing the middle for them instead of whoever they're running out at center now.
   2841. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: May 29, 2015 at 11:01 AM (#4966891)
Maybe, probably, I'd just be needlessly handicapping my team, but I really would not want Dwight Howard playing the middle for my team. For one thing, there's unlikeable, and then there's Dwight Howard. For another, there is such a thing as mentally tough and mentally weak--just because we can't quantify it doesn't make it not exist--and I feel comfortable asserting Dwight Howard is, um, near a far end on that scale.

That's just me.
   2842. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: May 29, 2015 at 11:04 AM (#4966900)
Re: Dwight Howard...I just think he's very, very immature. When the Rockets or the NBA fed him to the media wolves after game 3, I felt kind of bad for him. Anyway, I thought he played well--almost great--against the Warriors which surprised me because the challenge of Bogut often makes him cower. I was impressed.
   2843. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: May 29, 2015 at 11:20 AM (#4966914)
Speaking of Dwight...he'll be suspended the first game of next season as the NBA upgraded one of his fouls. I'm not sure if it was the one on Igoudala or the one on Bogut. Whatever!
   2844. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: May 29, 2015 at 11:20 AM (#4966915)
It's difficult to find a flight path that could result in a mid-air collision between the Cavs and Nats team planes. Very frustrating.
   2845. rr Posted: May 29, 2015 at 11:22 AM (#4966918)
!!!PEDANTRY ALERT!!!


Nah. That is a legit factual error on my part, and I should have caught it. My bad.

But as you say, I think the basic point holds. I don't like Howard, either, but I think the positives about what he does for you on the floor outweigh the various negatives about him by a comfortable margin.
   2846. aberg Posted: May 29, 2015 at 11:49 AM (#4966946)
It means more years in the wilderness, but Dwight will never win anything


It's kind of silly, but I think this Rockets team would win the title if they had Lebron and Chris Paul. As with all things, talent and fit are on a spectrum.
   2847. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: May 29, 2015 at 12:00 PM (#4966956)
It's kind of silly, but I think this Rockets team would win the title if they had Lebron and Chris Paul. As with all things, talent and fit are on a spectrum.


Just to be safe, let's give them Kawhi too.
   2848. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: May 29, 2015 at 12:03 PM (#4966959)
But as you say, I think the basic point holds. I don't like Howard, either, but I think the positives about what he does for you on the floor outweigh the various negatives about him by a comfortable margin.


He's a good player who will help a team win, but if I'm a fan, I definitely don't want him on my team. I couldn't root for him. Like when the A's acquired Jon Lester, I was pretty unhappy. (Lester then instilled a big mix of emotions when he blew the play-in game.)
   2849. Booey Posted: May 29, 2015 at 12:15 PM (#4966967)
Dwight will never win anything


Is a title the only thing that counts as winning something? Howard was the best player (by far) on a team that won 59 games in back to back years, reaching the finals in 2009 and the conference finals in 2010. Just now he was the 2nd best player on another conference finals team (in a much tougher conference). That level of playoff success already far exceeds the Tracy McGrady's and even Chris Paul's of the world that are often criticized for never winning anything.

And of course, lots of great players never win anything...until they do. The Admiral reached only one conference final and no NBA finals until teaming with Timmy. KG won a grand total of 2 playoff series in 12 years in Minnesota.

   2850. Rob_Wood Posted: May 29, 2015 at 12:38 PM (#4966985)

Yes, see Jerry West and Oscar Robertson.
   2851. smileyy Posted: May 29, 2015 at 03:53 PM (#4967110)
Dwight and Carmelo to be on the same team IMO
   2852. Tin Angel Posted: May 29, 2015 at 04:44 PM (#4967155)
Adrian Wojnarowski ‏@WojYahooNBA
Scott Skiles' deal with Orlando will be four years, league source tells Yahoo Sports.


Over/under- he lasts three years?
   2853. smileyy Posted: May 29, 2015 at 05:04 PM (#4967170)
I'll take the over. Makes the playoffs in his third year, fired after a slow start / losing the team early in his 4th season.
   2854. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: May 29, 2015 at 05:06 PM (#4967171)
I'll happily take the under. smileyy has it right, except it'll be playoffs first or second year, fired early in his third season.
   2855. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 29, 2015 at 05:36 PM (#4967187)
I'll push. Fired at the end of the 3rd season.
   2856. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 29, 2015 at 05:41 PM (#4967190)
Skiles doesn't get fired; he quits.

Did everyone see the crazy Thibs first pitch story at deadspin? link
   2857. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: May 29, 2015 at 05:43 PM (#4967193)
I'll take the over. Orlando is starting low enough that three years of improvement seems reasonable culminating in like a 6 seed and coaches tend not to get fired until a stagnant year (non-crazy-owner division). I think they'd naturally improve anyway due to being young, so I think it'd be hard for the optics on Skiles in terms of record to look bad.

They may get decent enough too quickly though, something like 35-47 next year, 42-40 the year after, then back to 37-45 or something.
   2858. Maxwn Posted: May 29, 2015 at 07:31 PM (#4967257)
Aberg, I'll do that deal for the 31 and Bjelica. He seems interesting. The grizz have done ok with 2nd rd picks who won MVPs in europe somewhere.

But only if he'll agree to come over now, so I'll need you to set up negotiations with his agent and the Turkish team. Let me know.

Now I won't have to draw names of college players I never watched out of a hat for 6 more picks.
   2859. Oriole Tragic didn't have the teams Lebron had Posted: May 29, 2015 at 07:42 PM (#4967263)
Nice job, aberg.
   2860. Oriole Tragic didn't have the teams Lebron had Posted: May 29, 2015 at 08:02 PM (#4967269)
@steagles: Interested in moving Hollis T. and/or early second-round picks for my #27?
   2861. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: May 29, 2015 at 08:18 PM (#4967273)
On the Clock: MIN (aberg)

1. MIN (aberg) - Karl Towns, University of Kentucky
2. LAL (Hombre and RR) - D'Angelo Russell, The Ohio State University
3. PHI (STEAGLES) - Jahlil Okafor, Duke University
4. NYK (NJ) - Justise Winslow, Duke University
5. ORL (JJ1986) - Emmanuel Mudiay, Guangdong Tigers
6. SAC (theboyqueen) - Willie Cauley-Stein, University of Kentucky
7. DEN (Amit) - Mario Hezonja, FC Barcelona Basquet
8. DET (smileyy) - Kristaps Porzingis, Baloncesto Sevilla
9. CHA (Votto) - Devin Booker, University of Kentucky
10. MIA (stevegamer) - Stanley Johnson, University of Arizona
11. IND (Zeth) - Myles Turner, University of Texas (traded to UTA)
12. UTA (Tom Cervo/Booey) - Kelly Oubre, University of Kansas (traded to IND)
13. PHO (Oriole Tragic) - Bobby Portis, University of Arkansas
14. OKC (Thok) - Cameron Payne, Murray State University
15. ATL (Rickey) - Tyus Jones, Duke University
16. BOS (Joe C.) - R.J. Hunter, Georgia State University
17. MIL (Griffey) - Frank Kaminsky, University of Wisconsin
18. HOU (Dandy) - Delon Wright, University of Utah
19. WAS (JC in DC) - Robert Upshaw, University of Washington
20. TOR (Der-K) - Sam Dekker, University of Wisconsin
21. IND (Zeth) from HOU via DAL - Montrezl Harrell, University of Louisville
22. LAL (Hombre) from PHO via CHI - Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, University of Arizona
23. POR (Lord Palmerston) - Justin Anderson, University of Virginia
24. CLE (Bitter Mouse) - Trey Lyles, University of Kentucky
25. MIN (aberg) from MEM
26. SAS (Quaker)
27. PHO (Oriole Tragic) from LAL
28. BOS (Joe C)
29. BKN (District Attorney)
30. GSW (Chris P)

31. MEM (Maxwn) from MIN
32. DAL (Arjun) from HOU
33. BOS (JoeC)
34. PHO (Oriole Tragic) from LAL
35. PHI (steagles)
36. MIN (aberg)
37. PHI (steagles)
38. DET (smiley)
39. CHA (Votto)
40. MIA (stevegamer)
41. BKN (DA)
42. UTA (BooeyCervo)
43. HOU (Dandy) from IND
44. PHO (Oriole Tragic)
45. BOS (JoeC)
46. MIL (Griffey)
47. PHI (steagles)
48. OKC (Thok)
49. WAS (JC in DC)
50. ATL (sam)
51. ORL (JJ1986)
52. IND (Zeth) from HOU via DAL
53. CLE (Bitter Mouse)
54. UTA (BooeyCervo)
55. SAS (Quaker)
56. NOP
57. DEN (Amit)
58. PHI (steagles)
59. ATL (sam)
60. PHI (steagles)

Transactions:
HOU #32, Motiejunas to DAL
DAL #21, 52 to HOU

UTA #12 (Kelly Oubre), Alec Burks to IND
IND Myles Turner (#11) to UTA

CHI #22, Taj Gibson to PHO
PHO Markieff Morris, P.J Tucker to CHI

PHO #22 (via CHI) to LAL
LAL #27, #34 to PHO

HOU #21 (via DAL), #52 (via DAL), Kostas Papanikoloau to IND
IND #43, C.J. Miles to HOU

MEM #25 to MIN
MIN #31, Nemanja Bjelica to MEM
   2862. i hear there are a lot of dead animals in 57i66135 Posted: May 29, 2015 at 09:15 PM (#4967304)
@steagles: Interested in moving Hollis T. and/or early second-round picks for my #27?
i think i'd rather stand pat. it seems like there's enough talent on the board to get what i want at 35, 37, 47, 58 and 60.
   2863. stevegamer Posted: May 29, 2015 at 10:03 PM (#4967335)
I don't see the 76ers taking more than 2 US players in round 2, and that may be generous. I wouldn't be surprised if they end up making all 5 picks, but I think a deal will happen with one of them for more assets down the road.
   2864. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: May 29, 2015 at 10:18 PM (#4967344)
I thought this was interesting from Lowe's column today:

The NBA badly needs the middle way to work. A league is not healthy if it consists of only three types of teams: contenders with superstars, teams losing on purpose to get superstars, and a bunch of cute little hamster-jogging-in-wheel teams killing time before venturing onto one of the other two paths.


I personally agree with him that it's annoying that this is the way the NBA works. But it doesn't seem to me that the NBA as a business is unhealthy for the fact you can't win a title without an MVP-caliber superstar. Which is definitely the case, and has always been the case; it's inherent to the nature of basketball, because unlike other sports any one particular player is actively participating in 85% or 90% of the game. In other sports they top out at 50% (football quarterbacks and hockey defensemen) or only about 20% (baseball, starting pitchers or up-the-middle position players).
   2865. covelli chris p Posted: May 29, 2015 at 10:49 PM (#4967353)
The NBA badly needs the middle way to work. A league is not healthy if it consists of only three types of teams: contenders with superstars, teams losing on purpose to get superstars, and a bunch of cute little hamster-jogging-in-wheel teams killing time before venturing onto one of the other two paths.


what you need is a way for the hamsters to both make consistent progress and have a chance to land a superstar. imho, the way to do that is to allow teams more control of their player development. allow them to draft players out of high school and stash them in a minor league. or maybe you allow teams to draft high school players and keep draft rights while they spend a year or 2 in college like they can with european players. i dunno.
   2866. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: May 29, 2015 at 10:57 PM (#4967356)
Or randomize the draft order. (Though that has other important and undesirable consequences, it's an option.)
   2867. rr Posted: May 29, 2015 at 11:05 PM (#4967359)
But it doesn't seem to me that the NBA as a business is unhealthy for the fact you can't win a title without an MVP-caliber superstar. Which is definitely the case, and has always been the case; it's inherent to the nature of basketball, because unlike other sports any one particular player is actively participating in 85% or 90% of the game.

--

You can win that way; it's just harder. The Knicks from 69-73 and the Pistons from 88-90 and 04-06 are arguably examples. I didn't think Lowe's article was that great by his standards, but I thought this was a pretty good point:

Indiana’s mysterious collapse last season amid chemistry issues is a useful analogue for the Hawks: If you bank everything on the whole being bigger than the sum of its parts, with no fallback plan, one kink in the system can undo everything.


Or short version: it is easier to overcome a couple of injuries and slumps if you have LeBron James. Also, Lowe wrote this:

The Hawks still don’t quite understand what happened to their team, and especially their offense, but the machine started wheezing at the wrong time.


I can't prove this, but I still think, in spite the way that SA blew everybody away last year, that you usually need a guy who can just generate O by himself in postseason when things get hairy. I remember the 1994 Bulls looking great at times and moving the ball around wonderfully when Pippen was the #1 guy instead of Jordan. But when postseason came, and they were playing tougher teams every game, sometimes they (duh) really missed Jordan on those key possessions.

So, I think the Hawks just had some guys hurt, played a good team, and Cleveland's defense is probably better without Love and maybe Irving.

The other thing is that even if you don't have a Top 5 guy, your best guy probably needs to be better than Horford, Teague, or Millsap. That is no knock on those guys--they are good. But I would venture to say that even the balanced NBA Champs' best guy was probably better than those guys are (although I don't know for sure and you could certainly argue it. Maybe Horford is better than Walt Frazier or Willis Reed, or Isiah Thomas).

And, yeah, I agree and others have said here over the years that part of this "issue" is just stuff that is inherent to the sport.

   2868. i hear there are a lot of dead animals in 57i66135 Posted: May 29, 2015 at 11:08 PM (#4967361)
The NBA badly needs the middle way to work. A league is not healthy if it consists of only three types of teams: contenders with superstars, teams losing on purpose to get superstars, and a bunch of cute little hamster-jogging-in-wheel teams killing time before venturing onto one of the other two paths.

this is horseshit.

as part of the sixers tank, they've traded jrue holiday to new orleans, spencer hawes to cleveland, evan turner to indiana, thaddeus young to minnesota, they've eaten nearly 20MM in cap space to take javale mcgee from denver and andrei kirilenko from brooklyn, they've given guys like tony wroten and robert covington the opportunity to play real NBA minutes instead of sitting on the bench or playing in the dleague, they've facilitated various trades as a third team.


what they're doing is good for the league. and more importantly, it's good for this team. this roster was a dumpster fire before hinkie and while we're obviously not a contender yet, he's only been here for two years.

people like to joke about this being some never ending process, but compared to the cavaliers post-lebron rebuild, we're only at the point where they drafted dion waiters.
   2869. covelli chris p Posted: May 29, 2015 at 11:17 PM (#4967366)
your best guy probably needs to be better than Horford


i actually think horford is underrated a bit, and is good enough to be that guy. he's really great. he's long, athletic, with good instincts on D, has some nifty post moves, and can shoot a little. which centers would you pick over him at this point? he's one of the best at what is still by far the most important position.

i do think they need a little better guard play, and of course injuries and fatigue really hurt them. even before korver got dellavedova-ed, he was looking worn down.
   2870. rr Posted: May 29, 2015 at 11:30 PM (#4967372)
i actually think horford is underrated a bit, and is good enough to be that guy. he's really great
.

--

Maybe. I think the balanced model can work, but IMO you need several guys who are very good players that also have complementary skillsets. That is tough to put together.
   2871. tshipman Posted: May 29, 2015 at 11:31 PM (#4967373)
The NBA badly needs the middle way to work. A league is not healthy if it consists of only three types of teams: contenders with superstars, teams losing on purpose to get superstars, and a bunch of cute little hamster-jogging-in-wheel teams killing time before venturing onto one of the other two paths.


I guess what I would say to that would be, Who are the superstars on the Spurs last year?

They didn't have a top 10 NBA guy. There was no one they could give the ball to in the last two minutes and get buckets from. They played system basketball.
   2872. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: May 30, 2015 at 12:29 AM (#4967390)
There was no one they could give the ball to in the last two minutes and get buckets from.


Well, we don't know that for certain - only one of the games was close enough to find out.
   2873. Win Big Stein's Money Posted: May 30, 2015 at 12:41 AM (#4967391)
They didn't have a top 10 NBA guy.


By RPM they had not one but two top 10 guys. By WS/48 they they had a guy just finish at 11th and 4! guys in the top 25.
   2874. Squash Posted: May 30, 2015 at 02:06 AM (#4967399)
I guess what I would say to that would be, Who are the superstars on the Spurs last year?

They didn't have a top 10 NBA guy. There was no one they could give the ball to in the last two minutes and get buckets from. They played system basketball.


I think that speaks to rr's point - you can do it with a more balanced attack, but you need guys who are really really good and not just very good. I think you take last year's Duncan/Ginobili/Parker/Leonard over this year's Horford/Teague/Millsap/Korver without thinking twice.
   2875. Oriole Tragic didn't have the teams Lebron had Posted: May 30, 2015 at 05:42 AM (#4967410)
I have a pick coming up, but I'm away for much the weekend. I will make my pick no later than Monday, although I'd prefer to trade down.
   2876. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: May 30, 2015 at 07:40 AM (#4967413)

i actually think horford is underrated a bit, and is good enough to be that guy. he's really great. he's long, athletic, with good instincts on D, has some nifty post moves, and can shoot a little. which centers would you pick over him at this point? he's one of the best at what is still by far the most important position.


Horford can't score at will; when the Hawks really need a bucket they can't just toss Horford the ball and feel good about his chances of scoring one, defense be damned. That puts a cap on his value somewhere short of MVP-caliber guy. (Same is true of Kawhi, which is why he's not Scottie Pippen.)

With the Spurs, even ancient Tim Duncan, they would occasionally just toss him the ball and let him work in the post when they needed two points, and often as not he would get the two points. Being old he couldn't do it over and over, but in a pinch he could still take the ball and score.
   2877. JJ1986 Posted: May 30, 2015 at 09:04 AM (#4967420)
Weren't the Warriors pretty much a team stuck in the hamster wheel 2-3 years ago? They had Curry, but he wasn't a top 10 player; he made his first all NBA team in 2013-14. Their big additions since then have been a 2nd round draft pick who any team could have had and a 6th man who they got after missing Dwight Howard. They've gotten to be the best in the league by having improvement from their already very good players, not from adding or drafting a superstar.
   2878. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: May 30, 2015 at 10:37 AM (#4967433)
I'd suggest that they got to be the best in the league in large part because Curry went from "top 15-ish player" to "MVP".
   2879. Tin Angel Posted: May 30, 2015 at 12:04 PM (#4967459)
Their big additions since then have been a 2nd round draft pick who any team could have had and a 6th man who they got after missing Dwight Howard.


You are also ignoring drafting Thompson and Barnes here. Trading Ellis for Bogut was also a key move.
   2880. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: May 30, 2015 at 01:11 PM (#4967479)
I'd suggest that they got to be the best in the league in large part because Curry went from "top 15-ish player" to "MVP".


Which was primarily a result of upgrading their offense from middle school level.
   2881. covelli chris p Posted: May 30, 2015 at 01:11 PM (#4967481)
they can't just toss Horford the ball and feel good about his chances of scoring one,


how many bigs that are also defensive anchors can you say that about? unibrow is just about it, right? boogie and pau aren't nearly the defenders that horford is. and horford is pretty good 1-on-1 in the post.

the hawks problem wasn't horford. it was the roster after him. teague's not that good and while korver can hit a shot, but isn't athletic enough to do his thing against playoff defenders. i'll give millsap a pass b/c of the injury, but he disappeared in the playoffs.
   2882. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: May 30, 2015 at 01:34 PM (#4967486)
teague's not that good and while korver can hit a shot, but isn't athletic enough to do his thing against playoff defenders.


This undersells both of them by a lot. They didn't play great this playoffs, but that doesn't mean they aren't both good-very good players.
   2883. covelli chris p Posted: May 30, 2015 at 02:07 PM (#4967498)
This undersells both of them by a lot. They didn't play great this playoffs, but that doesn't mean they aren't both good-very good players.


i agree that they are both very good players. is either one of them or millsap good enough to be the 2nd best player on a championship team? even if horford was a tick better, i don't think so.

the problem with korver is that to be a starting 2 guard and spot up shooter, you have to run a lot to get open. think reggie miller, ray allen, or rip hamilton running around screens for 30+ minutes a game. korver is a little bit bigger, which helps him get his shot off, but all that running takes its toll, especially since he's a bit bigger than those guys. as a 6th man, matched up against a mix of starters and reserves and a little fresher in the 4th quarter from playing slightly less minutes, his game would fit really nicely.

wrt, teague, he's a nice player, but upthread, folks were calling for guys that can get their own shot. teague is supposed to be that guy on this team, but he just isn't. in game 3, when the cavs pulled away, the hawk's offense was teague creating off the dribble. he was clearly overmatched and it was brutal to watch.
   2884. theboyqueen Posted: May 30, 2015 at 02:35 PM (#4967511)
how many bigs that are also defensive anchors can you say that about? unibrow is just about it, right? boogie and pau aren't nearly the defenders that horford is. and horford is pretty good 1-on-1 in the post.


How in the world did Boogie and Pau get lumped together like this? Boogie is one of the best defensive bigs in the league, surrounded by truly horrific defenders. Horford is not in his class.
   2885. covelli chris p Posted: May 30, 2015 at 02:41 PM (#4967515)
Boogie is one of the best defensive bigs in the league


is he? i don't see much of him, but i was under the impression that he was an indifferent defender.
   2886. Tin Angel Posted: May 30, 2015 at 03:18 PM (#4967531)
how many bigs that are also defensive anchors can you say that about? unibrow is just about it, right? boogie and pau aren't nearly the defenders that horford is.


You could add Duncan and Marc Gasol.
   2887. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: May 30, 2015 at 03:23 PM (#4967535)
i agree that they are both very good players. is either one of them or millsap good enough to be the 2nd best player on a championship team? even if horford was a tick better, i don't think so.


I think Teague is a very capable PG in the Tony Parker mold, whether TP was #2 or #3 on any of those championship teams is up to how you value defense.

wrt, teague, he's a nice player, but upthread, folks were calling for guys that can get their own shot. teague is supposed to be that guy on this team, but he just isn't. in game 3, when the cavs pulled away, the hawk's offense was teague creating off the dribble. he was clearly overmatched and it was brutal to watch.


It's one game. In the same game LeBron played pretty bad, but since he's the best player on the planet (and the Cavs only other creator on the team was out), he continued to shoot until he finally came through. Fortunately he got some timely rebounds from TT and a big lift from JR Swish, Shump, and Delly. LBJ finished with 37 pts shooting 14/37 fg 1/6 3p 8/10 ft. Teague ended with 30 pts shooting 9/23 3/8 3p 9/9 ft. Unfortunately for Teague, him and Millsap were the only credible scorers left on the court.
   2888. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: May 30, 2015 at 03:39 PM (#4967540)
Weren't the Warriors pretty much a team stuck in the hamster wheel 2-3 years ago? They had Curry, but he wasn't a top 10 player; he made his first all NBA team in 2013-14. Their big additions since then have been a 2nd round draft pick who any team could have had and a 6th man who they got after missing Dwight Howard. They've gotten to be the best in the league by having improvement from their already very good players, not from adding or drafting a superstar.


I think this bears repeating. We often categorize players as static objects but there's a lot of variance in how they develop. Curry's development (clearly not a sure thing given where he was drafted) gave Golden State the superstar they needed. While you may not bet on them in isolation, that possibility exists for a lot of these middling teams, that one player will develop. To take one example, the Suns could easily see a leap from Bledsoe or a Morris or Len. Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Damian Lillard, we just don't really know who is going to make that next step. And the benefit of starting out mediocre is that if you do hit on one of these, you already have a decent supporting cast in place (compare the Pelicans who had no supporting cast for when Davis made the leap and consequently have pretty far to go to be a real contender, or look at the Kings with Cousins, depending on what you think of whether DMC is actually a superstar).

Randomness in how guys develop and age is a real thing.
   2889. covelli chris p Posted: May 30, 2015 at 03:58 PM (#4967552)
I think Teague is a very capable PG in the Tony Parker mold, whether TP was #2 or #3 on any of those championship teams is up to how you value defense.


sure. peak duncan was better than horford, of course, and manu, who i'd put ahead of parker, is exactly the type of player the hawks could really use.
   2890. Tin Angel Posted: May 30, 2015 at 08:13 PM (#4967616)
As a Warriors fan this is a bummer-

SportsCenter ‏@SportsCenter
BREAKING: Pelicans hire Warriors associate head coach Alvin Gentry as their new head coach.
   2891. rr Posted: May 30, 2015 at 08:23 PM (#4967620)
Gentry may do great in NO, but as I said when this came up the first time, nothing about Gentry's record as a head coach is especially impressive:

http://www.basketball-reference.com/coaches/gentral99c.html

He is very personable and articulate, player-friendly is kind of a thing right now, (Thibodeau got axed; the Skiles hire is mostly drawing sneers and/or shrugs) and Kerr has given Gentry a lot of credit for what has gone down in GSW. ESPN NBA guys love him--Lowe has sent out a giddy Tweet about it already. This may be the opportunity Gentry needs and he may kick ass with it, but at the same time, not everybody who has been/is associated with the Warriors or the Spurs is a genius. Ask Mike Brown. So we will see.

   2892. theboyqueen Posted: May 30, 2015 at 09:06 PM (#4967629)
NO needs much more help on defense than offense. I would have gone with Malone, but Gentry down there will be fun.
   2893. theboyqueen Posted: May 30, 2015 at 09:09 PM (#4967630)
If he's available, Gentry/NO should hire Malone as a defensive assistant. Then offer whatever it takes to get Cousins.
   2894. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: May 30, 2015 at 10:07 PM (#4967649)
It would take Anthony Davis. I don't know if entire rest of NO's roster plus two first round picks would be enough to get Cousins.
   2895. Quaker Posted: May 30, 2015 at 10:21 PM (#4967653)
Make your pick Aberg. Tired of waiting to make it official w/Pat Connaughton. lol
   2896. theboyqueen Posted: May 30, 2015 at 10:24 PM (#4967655)
Probably not, but Vlade Divac is the GM and Ranadive is the owner and Ryan Anderson is from Sacramento and Omer Asik is Turkish and rebounds even better than Hedo Turkoglu and there are probably a whole lot of leftover Tyreke Evans Kings jerseys just waiting to be brought out of storage...I sure as hell would be making the call anyway.
   2897. theboyqueen Posted: May 30, 2015 at 10:30 PM (#4967657)
Speaking of goofy Kings trades, Ziller just floated a Noah for #6, Stauskas, and stuff idea. I LOVE Noah, but I wouldn't trade the #6 for a year of Noah straight up, especially if WCS is available.
   2898. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 30, 2015 at 10:48 PM (#4967668)
is he? i don't see much of him, but i was under the impression that he was an indifferent defender.


His on/off court numbers were really good this year, but IIRC this is the first year that's the case. It's probably enough to conclude he's not a bad defender anymore (assuming he keeps trying), but I need to see a lot more to consider him a top defensive big.
   2899. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: May 30, 2015 at 11:11 PM (#4967679)
i'll give millsap a pass b/c of the injury, but he disappeared in the playoffs.


He may be headed for surgery on the shoulder.
   2900. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: May 30, 2015 at 11:14 PM (#4967682)
Qualitative assessments of boogie's d improved a ton this year as well
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