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Thursday, August 06, 2020

OT - NBA Bubble Thread

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, and hopefully none of them get caught leaving the bubble for strip club wings.

Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: August 06, 2020 at 06:04 PM | 3981 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bubbles, nba, off-topic

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   2501. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: September 16, 2020 at 12:40 AM (#5976845)
FWIW, Los Angeles ain't amazing right now. The air is thick as soup, and the soup is ash chowder.
sounds smoky.
   2502. Booey Posted: September 16, 2020 at 12:41 AM (#5976846)
#2497 - Yes, that comment didn't age well. However, hindsight is 20/20 and:

(A) Admit it, you're all just as surprised that Denver came back to win as I am. No one else thought they still had a shot when they went down 3-1 either.

(B) Impressive run or not, I still don't think the Nuggets are a true contender. Portland did the same thing last year as a 3rd seed with a good but not great record (53-29), beating the 2nd seed in game 7 to advance to a surprise WCF...before promptly getting swept by a Warriors team missing Kevin Durant. These types of surprise runs are fun, but they're not as uncommon as you might think, even in the generally more stacked Western Conference: (2019 Blazers, 2013 Grizzlies, 2010 Suns, 2009 Nuggets, 2007 Jazz, 2006 Suns, etc. I don't personally think any of those teams were true title contenders. YMMV.


But congrats to the Nuggets and their fans. Seriously. This is a fun team and I'd love to be wrong about them.
   2503. NJ in NY (Now with two kids!) Posted: September 16, 2020 at 12:53 AM (#5976847)
Booey, not to go all rr on you but sometimes it feels like you want small market teams to fail just to say “See, small markets can’t win.” This Nuggets run is nothing like last year’s Blazers. Last year the Blazers lucked their way into the WCF. The nuggets just beat a game Utah team and knocked off the season long presumptive title favorites. That’s a big ####### deal. The Blazers couldn’t even win one game against the Warriors. Not only that, Jokic and Murray are young and in their prime. MPJ has All Star potential. Will Barton hasn’t even played at all! If you’re a Nuggets fan you have a lot to be excited about.
   2504. Booey Posted: September 16, 2020 at 01:08 AM (#5976849)
See my last paragraph in 2502, NJ. I am glad the Nuggets won. I guarantee that I wouldn't have watched a minute of the potential all LA WCF. Now I probably will. And yes, it is a big deal that the Nuggets won, but it's still a 2nd round series, not a championship. If the Nuggets win the title, feel free to point it out and I will happily eat crow. It's the same as spivey's comment last page about how everyone who says teams without a top 5 player can't win are wrong; when I (and others) say that, we're talking about championships specifically. No one is saying that these teams can't win any series ever.

Also, I think calling the Clippers "presumptive title favorites" is going a bit far. They were one of 3 teams (Lakers, Bucks) who seemed to have roughly equal odds, and personally the Lakers have been my top guess the entire season.
   2505. Paul D(uda) Posted: September 16, 2020 at 07:19 AM (#5976852)
Despite everything that's happened, does anyone think anyone other than the Lakers are going to win? (I'll be cheering hard for the Nuggets, but don't see how the Lakers don't just waltz to a title now)
   2506. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 16, 2020 at 08:19 AM (#5976854)
I am less interested in the playoffs now that both the Bucks and Clippers are gone. Assuming it happens, a Celtics Lakers finals is like bad nostalgia. Oh well, both teams spit the bit big time.
   2507. Thok Posted: September 16, 2020 at 08:36 AM (#5976855)
Currently, my rooting interests are Denver > Boston >> Miami >>>>>>> LA.

I'm not a Jimmy Butler fan, and I think Boston has a generally more interesting core than Miami as well. But I don't expect others to agree with me (and I don't expect Denver to defeat Boston in the finals.)
   2508. spivey Posted: September 16, 2020 at 08:37 AM (#5976856)
Despite everything that's happened, does anyone think anyone other than the Lakers are going to win? (I'll be cheering hard for the Nuggets, but don't see how the Lakers don't just waltz to a title now)


I mean, the Lakers are the favorite over the Nuggets. But the Lakers aren't unbeatable. They're pretty thin on talent after their top 2 guys. I think that's more likely to be an issue vs. one of the East teams who have a number of defenders that I think can give LeBron and AD some level of difficulty.

As an aside, the Nuggets have been outscored by 18 points in this playoffs. They were outscored by 21 vs the Jazz and only outscored the Clippers by 3. But they've had an insanely hard route to get here. I agree with NJ, comparing them to other teams like the Blazers is unfair. They beat one of the 3 big title contenders - and I am pretty sure most people both at the start of the year and the playoffs had the Clippers as a slight nod over the Bucks and Lakers.
   2509. NJ in NY (Now with two kids!) Posted: September 16, 2020 at 08:43 AM (#5976857)
I think either of the East teams can knock off the Lakers because both teams have defenders that will make LeBron work and the Lakers offense is a house of cards. I expect LA to beat Denver.
   2510. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 16, 2020 at 08:56 AM (#5976859)
a few thoughts, mostly bland:
- denver's making the wcf this year is a fluke. a fluke i was rooting for! but a fluke. teams don't get outscored in the playoffs yet keep advancing...
- i've been mildly bullish on them for their future and remain so. they have players that could make a leap forward (porter, for one) and shore up their holes. i bet they keep grant in fa who isn't a great player but his defensive presence could be key vs guys like lebron and leonard. also, playoff murray and jokic have been very different than the regular season version of those guys (in particular, murray's shooting and jokic's shooting and weight loss). if those are real jumps / they can retain a chunk of these gains -- this becomes a significantly better team than i expected.
- in general, we've got to remember that the bubble is a slightly skewed version of the regular nba, whether because of gyms, lack of travel and fans ... and off court distractions, the added stresses of being in a bubble. it by no means diminishes accomplishments here (no asterisks!) but does allow for additional explanations for things.
- this extends to the clippers, i think, who weren't operating at peak (obviously). that said, i do think having a "truer" point guard on the roster that isn't reggie jackson would benefit them.
- i struggle with assessing coaches and end up with different rankings than a lot of other people. i guess here that means 'rivers isn't as bad as he looked in this series or as good as his rep has been'?
- sidenote: first ever autograph i got as a kid was from doc. thanks doc!
- if i had to be a betting man, i'd pick lal to win the title, i guess, but i'm hardly confident. i don't like the half court offense or spacing. who's the best player left in the east - tatum? bam? butler? wide open year.
   2511. jmurph Posted: September 16, 2020 at 09:15 AM (#5976865)
- denver's making the wcf this year is a fluke. a fluke i was rooting for! but a fluke. teams don't get outscored in the playoffs yet keep advancing...

Yes. I sort of broadly agree with NJ's post above, but yes, coming back from 3-1 back to back is crazy. Also let's not forget they were better than Utah and had no business being down 3-1 to begin with.

This doesn't make it any less impressive or exciting!

   2512. giannis Posted: September 16, 2020 at 09:16 AM (#5976866)
213. giannis Posted: August 17, 2020 at 02:53 PM (#5970081)
LAL 4 - POR 3
LAC 4 - DAL 2
DEN 4 - UTA 0
HOU 4 - OKC 2

HOU 4 - LAL 3
DEN 4 - LAC 0

DEN 4 - HOU 0

MIL 4 - ORL 1
TOR 4 - BRK 2
BOS 4 - PHI 0
MIA 4 - IND 3 (I don't know anyone on either team)

MIL 4 - MIA 1
TOR 4 - BOS 2

MIL 4 - TOR 1

DEN 4 - MIL 0

Ok, so I missed a few things, but I still obviously believe the Nuggets are gonna sweep the Finals.
   2513. jmurph Posted: September 16, 2020 at 09:20 AM (#5976867)
I think either of the East teams can knock off the Lakers because both teams have defenders that will make LeBron work and the Lakers offense is a house of cards. I expect LA to beat Denver.

I agree with this in its entirety. I would probably favor Boston over the Lakers (though unfortunately for me and them, they've now dug themselves a hole just to get there), and I think Miami-Lakers would be very close to even. The concern for Miami would be having to play multiple big men, which does not look to my eye like their best lineup (I say that without looking at any lineup numbers, so could be wrong).

On a side note, I'm also willing to admit that Heat-Lakers is at least as good a narrative as Celtics-Lakers. The LeBron angle, the Riley angle, etc.
   2514. Paul d mobile Posted: September 16, 2020 at 09:28 AM (#5976868)
LeBron and Davis are the two best players left in the playoffs, correct?
   2515. giannis Posted: September 16, 2020 at 09:31 AM (#5976869)
Jokic and Murray are the two best players left in the playoffs. Murray is even Canadian, you have to give him big bonus points for overcoming that adversity.
   2516. giannis Posted: September 16, 2020 at 09:34 AM (#5976872)
In the playoff games we have been trying to win (ie, elimination games), the Nuggets are 6 and 0 with an average margin of victory of 10 points. Who else can match that?
   2517. NJ in NY (Now with two kids!) Posted: September 16, 2020 at 09:37 AM (#5976874)
LeBron and Davis are the two best players left in the playoffs, correct?

Jokic is definitely better than Davis. Davis vs Tatum, I would have to think about/research. I am (and always have been) lower on Davis than most.
   2518. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 16, 2020 at 09:39 AM (#5976875)
I also think Jokic is better than Davis. Part of that might be recency bias, part of that is that I rank Jokic as a better defender (in a team context) than many do.
   2519. jmurph Posted: September 16, 2020 at 09:40 AM (#5976876)
I think Davis and Jokic are close. I think having LeBron and Davis as the two best remaining is a defensible stance to take.
   2520. NJ in NY (Now with two kids!) Posted: September 16, 2020 at 09:43 AM (#5976879)
- denver's making the wcf this year is a fluke. a fluke i was rooting for! but a fluke. teams don't get outscored in the playoffs yet keep advancing...

This is technically true, but it seems clear something weird was going on with Denver those first few games of the Utah series. They weren't bad on the defensive end, they were worst team to ever pick up a basketball bad.

in general, we've got to remember that the bubble is a slightly skewed version of the regular nba, whether because of gyms, lack of travel and fans ... and off court distractions, the added stresses of being in a bubble. it by no means diminishes accomplishments here (no asterisks!) but does allow for additional explanations for things.

Denver was one of the teams I assumed would be most hurt by the bubble given the difficulties of winning in Denver.

sidenote: first ever autograph i got as a kid was from doc. thanks doc!

First autograph I got as a kid was Ahmad Rashad and I threw it away because why would I want the signature of "that announcer who is Michael Jordan's friend"?
   2521. jmurph Posted: September 16, 2020 at 09:45 AM (#5976881)
First autograph I got as a kid was Ahmad Rashad and I threw it away because why would I want the signature of "that announcer who is Michael Jordan's friend"?

Fair, but why WOULDN'T you want an autograph from that announcer who is OJ's friend?
   2522. PJ Martinez Posted: September 16, 2020 at 09:51 AM (#5976883)
this extends to the clippers, i think, who weren't operating at peak (obviously)
Sincere question: what are the bubble-specific factors that hurt the Clippers, specifically? I remember the Lou Williams thing, but he was back... is there other stuff?
   2523. giannis Posted: September 16, 2020 at 09:54 AM (#5976886)
Harrell missed all the bubble games because his grandmother was dying of COVID.
   2524. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 16, 2020 at 09:55 AM (#5976887)
but it seems clear something weird was going on with Denver those first few games of the Utah series. They weren't bad on the defensive end, they were worst team to ever pick up a basketball bad.
sure! but murray's not a 50% from three guy either.

i was agnostic on who the bubble would help or hurt. wondered how party dudes would fare there, tbh, but i don't necessarily know who they are.

ahmad rashad trivia: his name is, as i understand it, in honor of a mentor of his - rashad khalifa - whose son sammy would later play shortstop for the pirates.

   2525. giannis Posted: September 16, 2020 at 09:56 AM (#5976889)
Also, Shamet and Zubac caught COVID over the summer.
   2526. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: September 16, 2020 at 09:58 AM (#5976891)
I agree with this in its entirety. I would probably favor Boston over the Lakers (though unfortunately for me and them, they've now dug themselves a hole just to get there), and I think Miami-Lakers would be very close to even.

I really disagree with this. Lebron with a seriously awful supporting cast defeated a Celtic team with largely the same core. Davis is as good or better than anyone on the Celtics, and the rest of the supporting cast is better.

Sure, the core is a little older and more experienced and Tatum has developed into a star. But I don't see him or Brown or Smart really providing much resistance to LeBron, and asking Tatum to carry that load defensively and offensively is a big ask.
   2527. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: September 16, 2020 at 10:01 AM (#5976893)
This was one of the great nights I can remember in the NBA playoffs as a neutral.


Agreed....I am mostly a fan of players, and all of these stars are interesting and fun.

I would take AD over Jokic, but it's arguable and they are both great.

   2528. jmurph Posted: September 16, 2020 at 10:02 AM (#5976895)
I really disagree with this. Lebron with a seriously awful supporting cast defeated a Celtic team with largely the same core. Davis is as good or better than anyone on the Celtics, and the rest of the supporting cast is better.

Sure, the core is a little older and more experienced and Tatum has developed into a star. But I don't see him or Brown or Smart really providing much resistance to LeBron, and asking Tatum to carry that load defensively and offensively is a big ask.

Why are we reaching to history with different teams and players entirely? This year's Celtics team smoked this year's Lakers in Boston, and lost by 2 in LA. They match up just fine.

   2529. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 16, 2020 at 10:04 AM (#5976897)
bubble/clippers: harrell, after a 6moty season, left the bubble for three weeks to be with his grandmother as she died. iirc, he posted a message like "i'm not built for this" at the time - and was visibly heavier/less explosive when he returned. beverley had to leave the bubble for a family emergency. shamet got covid, arrived late. there was the williams thing. zubac got there late (he played fine, i thought). maybe more? (something with morris, iirc).
on the one hand, they had moments where they looked dominant and it's easy to find things to make excuses about or point to when you lose. but i don't think that constructing an argument in this particular case is that hard. their vaunted depth struggled / those same guys are people i just mentioned above and their starters apparently complained of exhaustion by the end.


(this of course leaves things like leonard's bad game 7 and paul george honestly looking bad during a lot of the playoffs.)
   2530. NJ in NY (Now with two kids!) Posted: September 16, 2020 at 10:07 AM (#5976898)
bubble/clippers: harrell, after a 6moty season, left the bubble for three weeks to be with his grandmother as she died. iirc, he posted a message like "i'm not built for this" at the time - and was visibly heavier/less explosive when he returned. beverley had to leave the bubble for a family emergency. shamet got covid, arrived late. there was the williams thing. zubac got there late (he played fine, i thought). maybe more? (something with morris, iirc).
on the one hand, they had moments where they looked dominant and it's easy to find things to make excuses about or point to when you lose. but i don't think that constructing an argument in this particular case is that hard.


I believe the entire Nugget team had COVID (remember the Bol Bol Era?!). They also did not have one of their two (or at worst, three) best players all series due to an injury suffered in the bubble.
   2531. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 16, 2020 at 10:09 AM (#5976900)
i loved the bol bol era!

right - you could make excuses like this for denver as well as they, say, lost to utah. my argument is less about the clippers and more that this is just a weird season.
   2532. spivey Posted: September 16, 2020 at 10:22 AM (#5976908)
Denver's defense looked way worse with Jokic out for the few minutes he was out with Plumlee in, which seems weird as Plumlee looks the part much more as a good defender. I've come around on Jokic being a better defender than many (including me, at one time) think. Not sure where him and AD line up. I think AD is less exploitable for any random opponent so imo is probably better as a #2, but Jokic may be a better #1.
   2533. giannis Posted: September 16, 2020 at 10:31 AM (#5976911)
Nikola Jokic is just the mirror image of Eric Hosmer. You look at Hosmer—a tall, lean, left-handed first baseman—and think “damn, he’s the prototype for a Gold Glove defender” and everyone decided he was great at defense even though he sucked.

Jokic is fat and can’t run or jump or grow a beard, so all you so-called experts just assume he’s bad at D. Fools!
   2534. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 16, 2020 at 10:38 AM (#5976914)
2532/spivey - agree

man, i do not know what i think about mason plumlee. weird player. i'll probably eventually ramble about him in an entry like the following in a month or two...
   2535. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 16, 2020 at 10:38 AM (#5976915)
one of my favorite (not one of the best) free agents this offseason is toronto c/f chris boucher. he's probably not more than an energy of the bench guy, but he has an interesting mix of skills/attributes.

tiny for a big (listed as small as 6-9 200 in some corners), but his standing reach is that of an average sized 5 and he runs the floor like a 3. offensively, he only shoots from two spots - by the hoop (45% of his career attempts, 64%) or from three (41% of shots, 32%). that three point percentage is too low for a stretch big and it's not because he just took up from distance either - he shot 32% in 18-19 in the g on 7 attempts per game (when he was also that league's best player) but the form looks good and i have irrational hope that he can push it up a few points. (he's also 79% from the line in the nba). as for the mid range, he doesn't take them and doesn't hit them - under 35% on twos beyond _three_ feet. not a playmaker at all. not a good screener either, in part because of his weak frame. you just want him to shoot and space, finish at the rim, and hit the boards. he has posted higher usage rates than you might expect from this type of player (which is a good thing, imo) - just over 20 thus far and scoring a point every other minute.
oh, i mentioned boards - he's good at the boards (gets about one every 3 minutes). he's good at help defense too - with his springness and long arms knocking shots back (averaged over 4 a game in his g league mvp year) and generally high energy levels leading to consistent good marks on that end. while being the former best defender in the g will not correspond to any such honors in the big league, i think you can use him in ways similar to a kleber or theis, which is really nice to have nowadays. he's not as polished or strong as they are and this leads to fouls - i don't see him ever being more than a 7th man accordingly. did post good advanced metrics.

he's also really old for his lack of experience - turns 28 next year - but with more room to improve than most his age given said inexperience.

so - solid points, good boards and blocks, theoretic spacing, restricted to a bench role - what's that worth? i'm not sure, honestly. he's a restricted free agent in a year where teams will be poor so we might not find out, but it's possible that toronto (which didn't feature him or rondae hollis-jefferson in their playoff rotation) will let him go as part of an effort to retain fvv while not bleeding money.
   2536. Paul d mobile Posted: September 16, 2020 at 10:59 AM (#5976924)
Boucher's also Canadian, so it's possible Toronto might have an advantage in re-signing him.

Although it's also probable the the Raptors are calling every east coast NHL team without an NBA team in the city to see if the Raptors can share the arena with them next year.
   2537. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 16, 2020 at 11:03 AM (#5976925)
good point on nationality. iirc, part of his back story was that he was once homeless whilst leaving in montreal (after estrangement from his parents)

the buffalo raptors, here we come! alert marc stein.
---
whoa. maya moore just married the guy she left basketball to help free from prison?
   2538. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: September 16, 2020 at 12:23 PM (#5976952)
playoff murray and jokic have been very different than the regular season version of those guys (in particular, murray's shooting and jokic's shooting and weight loss). if those are real jumps / they can retain a chunk of these gains

You're contradicting yourself here - I don't think you want Jokic to retain his chunk.
   2539. puck Posted: September 16, 2020 at 12:38 PM (#5976958)
My 2centrs on the Nuggets. Fans here are obviously thrilled. It's not been an easy go for the Nuggets...it's mostly a Broncos town, with the other teams picking up fans depending on how they are doing. Too bad Covid, etc.

It's a fun team to root for as they are fairly "talent challenged" defensively and offensively...even w/Murray going crazy in the playoffs, he's not really a great one on one guy as he doesn't seem to have that explosiveness/ability to get separation. But the team seem unselfish and gets a lot out of their talent. And as folks have noted, they are young and have grown together, which is gratifying to see.

Edit: I'm still flabbergasted at the Clippers' 2nd halves in games 5-7.
   2540. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: September 16, 2020 at 12:45 PM (#5976959)
I agree that this is a weird season and I think it's hard to draw any conclusions going forward from the bubble. It's obviously such a different mental experience (though, I have to say, Kawhi is probably the single person I'd expect most to relatively thrive in social isolation), various players experiencing COVID, it wasn't clear if the season would resume and likely a bunch of people out of shape, no fans, no travel, plenty of other differences. As a fan I love that it's happening (I actually have come to prefer the ebb and flow of playoff series with no homecourt), and no asterisk on the title, but I'm not sure how much predictive value it has going forward (I'm not ready to anoint anyone a choker or having taken a leap because of what happens in here).
   2541. aberg Posted: September 16, 2020 at 01:14 PM (#5976969)
A few stray WCF thoughts

-Every year, people talk about Denver's home court advantage and how the thin air probably inflates their regular season record a bit. This postseason, they get no advantage and do better than they have in a long time.

-One benefit of having Jokic is that it will probably encourage the Lakers to keep Howard/Javale on the floor most of the time. LAL's offense got a lot better when they used a shooter (usually Markieef [funny that Denver now has to matchup with him after a series against Marcus]) in that spot, but I doubt Davis will want to guard Jokic.

-Porter has looked, not good, but at least less abysmal on defense the last several games. Some of that is probably Denver's scheme at isolating him as much as possible and limiting his minutes/exposure to avoid being the key to the other team's whole offensive approach. I think there's also a very quick learning curve for him given his recent history. Not only is he young, the last time he played a full season was for Nathan Hale HS (my school district!) in 2016/2017. His last full season started during the Obama presidency! He missed most of 17/18 at Missouri with his back injury, he missed his rookie year of 18/19 with the second surgery on his back, and he barely played this year until the trade deadline when they shipped out Beasley. No wonder he looked lost.

-I was struck but the fun parallels to the 09 playoffs. The Lakers, led by their grizzled star at the back end of his prime (Kobe) were supposed to have a showdown with the ascendent MVP from the East (Lebron and Cleveland) and had to play a surging Denver team in the conference finals to get there. Meanwhile, the east favorite lost to an upstart team from Florida led by a defensively elite center (Orlando, Dwight), who eventually made to the Finals to upset the matchup of two generational MVPs.

This year, the Lakers are the Lakers and they still have to play Denver on the way to the Finals, where they won't play the reigning, young MVP (Giannis, Milwaukee), but now Lebron and Dwight have both moved to the LAL side of this analog. If Miami beats Boston with Bam in the Dwight role, it will get even weirder. We never did get Kobe-Lebron. Not sure if we'll ever get Lebron-Giannis. Also, the Lakers had to beat Melo on the way to the Finals in both seasons.
   2542. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 16, 2020 at 01:29 PM (#5976974)
2538 - heh, moses.
2540 - i was listening to one of the nate duncan shows yesterday and someone said leonard was their playoff mvp at that point. he had a bad game 7 but otherwise wasn't the problem.
2541 - think you're right about the lakers wanting a big on jokic. that helps with avoiding fouls on ad, if nothing else. also, nice analogy with '09.
   2543. I am going to be Frank Posted: September 16, 2020 at 01:31 PM (#5976976)
Although it's also probable the the Raptors are calling every east coast NHL team without an NBA team in the city to see if the Raptors can share the arena with them next year.

They could play in Newark. Buffalo would be closer to Toronto, but that doesn’t matter as much obviously. There’s Nassau coliseum and t
Where the whalers used to play. I’d imagine the players would have a say and Newark is close to the city.
   2544. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: September 16, 2020 at 02:20 PM (#5976986)

Why are we reaching to history with different teams and players entirely? This year's Celtics team smoked this year's Lakers in Boston, and lost by 2 in LA. They match up just fine.


Playoffs are a different animal.
   2545. tshipman Posted: September 16, 2020 at 02:26 PM (#5976987)
-One benefit of having Jokic is that it will probably encourage the Lakers to keep Howard/Javale on the floor most of the time. LAL's offense got a lot better when they used a shooter (usually Markieef [funny that Denver now has to matchup with him after a series against Marcus]) in that spot, but I doubt Davis will want to guard Jokic.

2541 - think you're right about the lakers wanting a big on jokic. that helps with avoiding fouls on ad, if nothing else. also, nice analogy with '09.


It's not clear to me whether this is an advantage for the Lakers or Denver. The best Laker lineups on the season typically featured a center. I think AD can handle Jokic for brief stretches, and allowing the Lakers to soak up minutes with Howard/McGee are typically to their benefit.

The Lakers are much weaker at guard, so the more minutes that you can spend running out JaVale or Dwight are minutes you don't have to find someone besides KCP, Danny Green or Caruso to play guards.
   2546. aberg Posted: September 16, 2020 at 02:55 PM (#5976996)
It's not clear to me whether this is an advantage for the Lakers or Denver


Yes, that's a fair point. LAL's offense is certainly freer flowing with the extra shooter on the floor, but having multiple big, good defenders to put on Jokic is also valuable. It might ultimately depend on just how much Javale and Howard can slow him down.
   2547. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 16, 2020 at 03:03 PM (#5977002)
oh yeah, tship, i think it might help the lakers. not that i'm sure.
   2548. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 16, 2020 at 04:05 PM (#5977023)
all nba
1st team: giannis, lebron, harden, davis, doncic
2nd: leonard, jokic, dame, paul, siakim
3rd: tatum, butler, gobert, simmons, westbrook

this means simmons' salary goes up by 12%, gobert's super max eligibility ia helped (which he shouldn't get but utah is a market that struggles in fa), and - most interestingly to me - siakam's extension also goes up by 12% in value ... which matters for the fvv plan.
   2549. giannis Posted: September 16, 2020 at 04:07 PM (#5977025)
Just saw the end of regulation of the Heat-Celtics game. Have the refs not received a memo stating "Marcus Smart will always flop to the floor on out of bounds plays when his team is losing late, do not call a foul"? He does it ALL THE TIME! Look he just did it a week ago did no one watch that game?
   2550. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 16, 2020 at 04:15 PM (#5977029)
on gobert: i meant, should not get in a vacuum, but utah understandably might prioritize keeping homegrown guys
   2551. jmurph Posted: September 16, 2020 at 04:25 PM (#5977034)
WESTBROOK. Jesus.
   2552. jmurph Posted: September 16, 2020 at 04:27 PM (#5977035)
Siakam 2nd team is... ambitious. That's a "wow Toronto really surprised us" pick.
   2553. jmurph Posted: September 16, 2020 at 04:32 PM (#5977037)
The NBA needs to fix the position thing:
Fred Katz @FredKatz
How in the world does Khris Middleton get 82 points (compared to 61 for Simmons and 56 for Westbrook) but not make All-NBA when those two do? What is this? A presidential election?
   2554. tshipman Posted: September 16, 2020 at 04:33 PM (#5977038)
Westbrook being third team while there is also another PG on the team is just ... so absurd.

Guys who didn't make any team who are better than about half those guys:

Bam Adebayo
Khris Middleton
Trae Young
Kemba
Kyle Lowry
Paul George
Brad Beal
Booker
Donovan Mitchell

Not a good year for All NBA voting.
   2555. jmurph Posted: September 16, 2020 at 04:35 PM (#5977039)
Not a good year for All NBA voting.

I read that Drummond got a 2nd team vote.
   2556. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 16, 2020 at 04:36 PM (#5977040)
the siakam and westbrook ones are what caught my eye as well, though westbrook wasn't a surprise. dude was a 27/8/7 shooting 47% from the field this year. he was 13th in rpm. (insert other advanced stats here)
he was a f'n pumpkin in the playoffs but he had a great stretch at one point in the regular season. he wouldn't get my vote, but that fell into reasonable people can disagree territory for me.

siakam though - that's terrible. (and totally agree w/ jmurph)
   2557. tshipman Posted: September 16, 2020 at 04:37 PM (#5977041)
Wait, they didn't put Embiid on an All NBA team????
   2558. aberg Posted: September 16, 2020 at 04:40 PM (#5977044)
Did seeding games count for All-NBA?
   2559. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 16, 2020 at 04:47 PM (#5977045)
nope!
   2560. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 16, 2020 at 04:50 PM (#5977046)
missing the cut but receiving votes (in order of voting points): middleton, embiid, bam, lowry, trae, mitchell, george, ingram, kemba, booker, drummond, towns, lopez, lavine
both middleton (as mentioned above) and embiid out-pointed simmons and russ.
   2561. jmurph Posted: September 16, 2020 at 04:51 PM (#5977047)
So I think that (not counting seeding games) was defensible prior to the games, but it turns out most teams showed up ready to play hard.

Center is a mess. There's 5 guys that deserve it, basically: Davis (seems to be the center on the 1st team?), Jokic, Gobert, Embiid, Bam.
   2562. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 16, 2020 at 05:04 PM (#5977050)
rumor: nets offering dinwiddie, j.allen, musa, and a protected 1st for jrue
   2563. tshipman Posted: September 16, 2020 at 05:07 PM (#5977052)
Center is a mess. There's 5 guys that deserve it, basically: Davis (seems to be the center on the 1st team?), Jokic, Gobert, Embiid, Bam.


I don't think Gobert deserved it this year.

You could have put Bam and AD as PFs if you wanted to this year. I think both of them were better than Siakam, Simmons or Westbrook.
   2564. Booey Posted: September 16, 2020 at 05:34 PM (#5977058)
I'm guessing the 17 games played difference between Gobert and Embiid played a role. Plus team record; if the Sixers had 2 All NBA players and the Jazz didn't have any, how did Utah finish with a better record?

(Not necessarily making that argument, just saying that I could see some voters thinking along those lines)
   2565. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: September 16, 2020 at 05:59 PM (#5977062)
The NBA needs to fix the position thing:
Middleton was counted as a forward, not a guard (he received votes at both, but he got more votes and played his minutes at forward); he had significantly fewer points than the 3rd team forwards Butler (147) and Tatum (153).

The All-NBA forwards were Giannis, LeBron, Siakam, Leonard, Butler, and Tatum, most of whom are closer positional peers than Westbrook and Simmons. Unless your proposed solution is to ignore positions altogether and operate purely off of voting totals. Which is a more interesting and legitimate proposition than fitting Middleton into the existing schema as a guard.

Purely by voting totals, this year's hypothetical positionless All-NBA teams would be:
FIRST TEAM
---------
Giannis 500
LeBron 500
Harden 474
Davis 455
Doncic 416

SECOND TEAM
---------
Kawhi 372
Jokic 311
Lillard 284
CP3 199
Siakam 168

THIRD TEAM
---------
Tatum 153
Butler 147
Gobert 110
Middleton 82
Embiid 79

SORRY BUT THANKS FOR PLAYING
---------
Simmons 61
Westbrook 56
Beal 32
Lowry 26
Bam 26
Trae 13
Mitchell 10
Ingram 5
Kemba 4
Drummond 3
Towns 2
BroLo 1

Other than Middleton/Embiid over Simmons/Westbrook, there's no change at all.
   2566. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: September 16, 2020 at 06:00 PM (#5977063)
I'm guessing the 17 games played difference between Gobert and Embiid played a role. Plus team record; if the Sixers had 2 All NBA players and the Jazz didn't have any, how did Utah finish with a better record?
300MM for horford and tharris, plus a coach who got fired. that's how it happens.
   2567. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: September 16, 2020 at 06:02 PM (#5977064)
BroLo 1
well deserved. giannis couldn't even be a starter in the NBA if it wasn't for him.
   2568. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 16, 2020 at 06:08 PM (#5977066)
well deserved. giannis couldn't even be a starter in the NBA if it wasn't for him.
Ersan didn't even get a vote. Injustica.gif.
   2569. tshipman Posted: September 16, 2020 at 06:16 PM (#5977067)
Yes, because what we've learned in the playoffs is that Giannis is unstoppable and totally not dependent on the team around him.
   2570. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 16, 2020 at 07:33 PM (#5977076)
These playoffs have made me feel better about the way I voted in the CoronaTournament. I generally went hard against teams that didn't have good overall passing skills. The Bucks and Clips going out the way they did feels like affirmation.
   2571. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 16, 2020 at 09:23 PM (#5977102)
Oh, the new draft date is locked in as 11/18.
   2572. smileyy Posted: September 16, 2020 at 10:19 PM (#5977109)
There's no NBA or WNBA tonight. WTF am I supposed to do?
   2573. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 16, 2020 at 10:50 PM (#5977111)
How dare you. The Angels play tonight.
   2574. smileyy Posted: September 16, 2020 at 11:11 PM (#5977116)
You'd think my presence on this site would imply a like of baseball, but no.
   2575. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: September 16, 2020 at 11:19 PM (#5977118)
How dare you. The Angels play tonight.


Maybe he's looking for major league sports.
   2576. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 17, 2020 at 01:52 AM (#5977136)
Ow. That landed.
   2577. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 17, 2020 at 02:42 AM (#5977137)
The Reddit LA Clippers forum was amazing today:
r/LAClippers is a subreddit dedicated to the discussion of Clipper ships, a type of mid-19th-century merchant sailing vessel, designed for speed.
From the Welcome thread:
What it do baby? Welcome to r/LAClippers. We are a forum dedicated to Clipper ships, a 19th century merchant sailing vessel (quite possibly the coolest ship). Due to a huge spike in interest recently, please follow the guidelines below.

There are a lot of great pictures of clipper ships in the comments.
   2578. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: September 17, 2020 at 08:24 AM (#5977140)
Shouts to whoever voted Andre Drummond All-NBA!
   2579. NJ in NY (Now with two kids!) Posted: September 17, 2020 at 08:26 AM (#5977141)
538 Title Odds:

Celtics 44%
Heat 27%
Lakers 16%
Nuggets 13%
   2580. spivey Posted: September 17, 2020 at 08:49 AM (#5977145)
When the 538 odds are *so* much different from Vegas odds, I kind of just want the 538 people to put their money where their mouth is.

Vegas odds are wildly different (below from Vegasinsider)

Lakers -200
Miami +400
Boston +550
Denver +900

I think the Lakers odds are a bit too strong here, but this looks much closer to correct to me.
   2581. DCA Posted: September 17, 2020 at 09:24 AM (#5977147)
Lakers odds are a lot too strong. That's really the main difference between 538 and Vegas, and I think they are both equally wrong. Lakers should be a slight favorite, not overwhelming (Vegas) or underdogs (538).

Actually, Miami probably has the best odds, courtesy of a game in hand over Boston, but I'd probably have it something like like 35-30-25-10 LA-Bos-Mia-Den before both conference finals started.
   2582. NJ in NY (Now with two kids!) Posted: September 17, 2020 at 09:31 AM (#5977148)
Reading over the 538 methodology, I think part of what's going on is that their model is based on RAPTOR player forecasts and they are likely hugely regressing LeBron's numbers. He's accrued 2x the WAR they projected for him at the start of the season. Still not clear to me what the system loves about the Celtics so much though.
   2583. jmurph Posted: September 17, 2020 at 10:23 AM (#5977152)
So the implication then is that the team down 0-1 is still the heavy favorite in the ECF according to 538? This is not supported by the anxiety I feel today.
   2584. PJ Martinez Posted: September 17, 2020 at 10:29 AM (#5977154)
Yeah, the 538 thing is screwy. I'd say that the Lakers are strong favorites against Denver, and then clear (i.e., slightly less than strong) favorites against whoever comes out of the East. That can change, and people can obviously disagree, but I feel pretty confident that it is the consensus view, and for good reason.
   2585. puck Posted: September 17, 2020 at 10:40 AM (#5977157)
So the implication then is that the team down 0-1 is still the heavy favorite in the ECF according to 538? This is not supported by the anxiety I feel today.


Before game 1, 538 gave the Celtics 75% to make the finals, the Heat 25%. Now it is 55% Celtics.
   2586. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 17, 2020 at 10:57 AM (#5977168)
Still not clear to me what the system loves about the Celtics so much though.


The ELO ratings had the Raptors as hands-down the best team in the NBA, and the 76ers as #4, and the Celtics dispatched them both. I know that just pushes the question down to the next level...
   2587. NJ in NY (Now with two kids!) Posted: September 17, 2020 at 11:17 AM (#5977171)
The ELO ratings had the Raptors as hands-down the best team in the NBA, and the 76ers as #4, and the Celtics dispatched them both. I know that just pushes the question down to the next level...

The RAPTOR based forecast did not have the Raptors (heh) that high. It did think highly of the 76ers IIRC. 538 has both the ELO version and the RAPTOR version on their website. The ELO model has it:

Celtics 34% (44% RAPTOR)
Lakers 31% (16%)
Heat 26% (27%)
Nuggets 9% (13%)
   2588. tshipman Posted: September 17, 2020 at 11:40 AM (#5977179)
Yeah, the 538 thing is screwy. I'd say that the Lakers are strong favorites against Denver, and then clear (i.e., slightly less than strong) favorites against whoever comes out of the East. That can change, and people can obviously disagree, but I feel pretty confident that it is the consensus view, and for good reason.


Yup.

So the implication then is that the team down 0-1 is still the heavy favorite in the ECF according to 538? This is not supported by the anxiety I feel today.


538 had the Celtics as something like 75/25 favorites against the Heat. So losing one game just pushed them to 60/40 favorites. I think that's pretty questionable. I didn't feel like the outcome of game 1 was particularly fluky. Miami got a bit lucky with 3s, but not ridiculously so, and Boston's 3p% was lowered by a few desperate heaves at the end of the game.

Reading over the 538 methodology, I think part of what's going on is that their model is based on RAPTOR player forecasts and they are likely hugely regressing LeBron's numbers. He's accrued 2x the WAR they projected for him at the start of the season. Still not clear to me what the system loves about the Celtics so much though.


538 has some ... interesting ideas about player evaluation where they think that Kemba Walker and LeBron James are of equivalent value, and the 6th best player on the Lakers is Jared Dudley.
   2589. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: September 17, 2020 at 11:44 AM (#5977185)
Any system that has the WC at 29% to win the title, is not one grounded in objective reality.
   2590. jmurph Posted: September 17, 2020 at 12:03 PM (#5977196)
Their individual player stuff has been very bad since they launched it.
   2591. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 17, 2020 at 12:06 PM (#5977197)
538 has some ... interesting ideas about player evaluation where they think that Kemba Walker and LeBron James are of equivalent value, and the 6th best player on the Lakers is Jared Dudley.

They have James as worth 14.4 WAR, which is third in the league behind Harden and Kawhi, (+7.8 on a rate basis) and Kemba at 8.6 WAR, which was 14th (+4.9).

The Lakers WAR leaderboard, per RAPTOR: James 14.4, Davis 12.7, Green 5.5, Caruso 4.1, McGee 3.4, Howard 2.3, KCP 1.7, Bradley 1.2, Kuzma 1.0, Dudley 0.5, THT 0.1, Kostas 0.0, Cacok 0.0, Morris -0.1, Walters -0.1, Rondo -0.3, Cook -0.5, JR -0.9
On a rate basis (min 500 min): James 7.8, Davis 7.0, Caruso 2.9, Green 2.7, McGee 2.7, Howard 0.4, Bradley -0.8, KCP -1.1, Kuzma -1.7, Morris -2.8, Rondo -3.3, Cook -4.5

Mind you, I certainly don't disagree that RAPTOR says some weird and wrong stuff.
   2592. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 17, 2020 at 12:08 PM (#5977198)
I wish there was a better uber-stat than we have now. RPM is my favorite, but it has a lot of weird outliers too (I think because off/on data is noisy) and their shocking inability to maintain a functioning database for representing history is ... somehow still shocking.
   2593. tshipman Posted: September 17, 2020 at 12:13 PM (#5977200)
I have been thinking about this for the last 15 minutes and I am completely baffled how you could rate LeBron and Kemba Walker as having equivalent value.

I cannot figure it out.

edit: @Der-K, I am talking about in their Raptor projections. They say that LeBron projects to a +6.5, the same as Kemba.
   2594. NJ in NY (Now with two kids!) Posted: September 17, 2020 at 12:16 PM (#5977201)
They have James as worth 14.4 WAR, which is third in the league behind Harden and Kawhi, (+7.8 on a rate basis) and Kemba at 8.6 WAR, which was 14th (+4.9).

LeBron was projected at 8.0 WAR and Kemba was projected at 10.7 WAR for this season.

EDIT: On a rate basis, Kemba was +4.8 and LeBron was +3.8
   2595. tshipman Posted: September 17, 2020 at 12:19 PM (#5977204)
So they must just be extremely attached to their pre-season prior, and age as a regression factor.

Which, I mean, okay, I guess, but that just makes you look extremely stupid when your projections sort of defy reality.
   2596. jmurph Posted: September 17, 2020 at 12:21 PM (#5977205)
I wish there was a better uber-stat than we have now.

Me too, but I think taking a look at RPM, BPM, and VORP, and Win Shares, and doing some kind of mental blending generally produces useful results.

Speaking of this, has anyone spent any time with the new adjusted shooting stuff on BBRef's player pages? I honestly hadn't even noticed it until recently.
   2597. spivey Posted: September 17, 2020 at 12:49 PM (#5977208)
Speaking of this, has anyone spent any time with the new adjusted shooting stuff on BBRef's player pages? I honestly hadn't even noticed it until recently.


I've not done analytics with it or anything, but it was how I appreciated how much the league average TS% has increased in the last few years.
   2598. puck Posted: September 17, 2020 at 01:08 PM (#5977220)
So they must just be extremely attached to their pre-season prior, and age as a regression factor.

Which, I mean, okay, I guess, but that just makes you look extremely stupid when your projections sort of defy reality.


Shouldn't they correct for that at this point of the seasion though? I am thinking of pythag discussions in MLB, where if a team brings a better real record than pythag record to the end of the session, there's supposed to be evidence that you have to factor in the real record at that point...maybe not completely throw out the underlying numbers, but still.
   2599. PJ Martinez Posted: September 17, 2020 at 01:15 PM (#5977225)
Total speculation, but I wonder if the team at 538 needs Nate Silver's approval before altering the projection system's algorithms or whatever (this is not my area of expertise) and if he's too focused on the election to give it any attention.
   2600. NJ in NY (Now with two kids!) Posted: September 17, 2020 at 01:34 PM (#5977232)
Flip.
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