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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 hashes out the rumpus Posted: August 06, 2020 at 06:04 PM | 4089 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bubbles, nba, off-topic

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   3801. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: October 16, 2020 at 04:52 PM (#5983402)
flip for the soundbite
   3802. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: October 16, 2020 at 05:14 PM (#5983403)
The first two decades of the 21st century were full of examples of men—think of Steve Jobs—who acquired a kind of paradoxically oracular authority as the leaders of hyper-rationalist fields. Something similar happened in sports. To many outside observers, “the data” became a type of secret knowledge, not really all that different from the “scout’s intuition” and “experience” that preceded it. It was understood to be more scientific; the narratives it generated were maybe somewhat less accessible, but this was a small price to pay, because it was newer and (presumably) better. And so the interpreters of the data were able to acquire a notoriety and an authority that were based less on rigorous understanding of their methods and more on the perceived ingenuity and prestige of their new code.

On the field, analytics and its various innovations were wildly successful without quite overturning our core understanding of sports. Teams that originated analytics-based innovations—Beane’s As, with their obsession with market inefficiencies and on-base percentage; Daryl Morey’s Rockets, with their obsession with 3-point shooting and free throws—tended to outperform expectations but not win championships. Later, teams deploying the same principles, but with more expensive and/or star-driven rosters (the Red Sox, the Golden State Warriors), would win titles. Advanced statistical analysis transformed the way we think about sports on many levels; on the other hand, there is no market inefficiency quite like having LeBron James.

   3803. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: October 16, 2020 at 06:16 PM (#5983410)

Derek Bodner @DerekBodnerNBA
The #sixers have added Dave Joerger as an assistant coach. What has he shown in his previous stops in Memphis and Sacramento? Where did those tenures go wrong? Thoughts from @rich_hofmann and myself: theathletic.com/2141579/2020/1…
   3804. smileyy Posted: October 16, 2020 at 07:44 PM (#5983419)
I, for one, would love to see a LeBron chase down block of Stephen A. Smith.
   3805. aberg Posted: October 16, 2020 at 11:06 PM (#5983446)
If you were making a top 10 ranking of players going into next season, how would you order them after the top 2? I assume most would start with:

1. LeBron
2. Giannis

But then the order gets really tricky. Maybe

3. Durant
4. Curry
5. Leonard
6. Doncic
7. Harden
8. Davis
9. Jokic
10. Lillard

3-8 could basically go in any order. It's very tricky.
   3806. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: October 16, 2020 at 11:33 PM (#5983448)
8. Davis
que?
3. Durant
4. Curry

i don't think you can rate either of them in the top 5 next year. they're over 30, coming off major injuries, playing with a bunch of new teammates (#wiggins, #kyrie). i doubt either of them will be "bad", but neither of them seem like a guarantee of returning to their peak production.
   3807. smileyy Posted: October 16, 2020 at 11:44 PM (#5983451)
Harden and Lillard are too high IMO. I'm not sure who I replace them with though.
   3808. smileyy Posted: October 16, 2020 at 11:48 PM (#5983453)
I'd move Doncic higher too.
   3809. aberg Posted: October 17, 2020 at 01:06 AM (#5983471)
Fair about the injuries. I'm probably assuming more health than is warranted. Regardless, filling out a top 5 leads to hard choices.
   3810. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 17, 2020 at 01:17 AM (#5983472)
Others to consider:

Gobert
Butler
Middleton
Tatum
Embiid
   3811. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: October 17, 2020 at 04:15 AM (#5983476)
Top 5 players: I agree with STIGGLES; Curry and Durant may be all the way back, but they may not. I would make the Top 5 based on value/certainty in 20-21 only: James, Antetokounmpo, Leonard, Davis, and Doncic. Looking only at the regular season, James would likely not be #1. But based on The Bubble Playoffs, I think it is reasonable to say that he is still the best player on Planet COVID, even though he will be 36 years old in about two months.
   3812. Moeball Posted: October 17, 2020 at 05:10 AM (#5983477)
Someone please educate me about drafts:
1) This year's draft class is viewed as weak, which is a break for the NBA as GSW have the #2 pick, yes? Imagine if the Ws had their talent level to go along with a high draft pick in a year with a loaded draft? That would be frightening. Makes me think back to the 80s when the Lakers were collecting rings yet still able to draft James Worthy and add him to an already star studded roster.
2) That being said, have there been any years that the draft looked weak, but certain players adapted to the NBA far better than anticipated and became major stars that went on to be key parts of championship teams? Are there any players in this year's draft that might surprise, or I guess a better question would be are there any potential draftees that you see as being especially good fits if they land with a specific team?
3) Do early projections for next year's draft indicate a significantly better class than this year? Is the Ws pick from Minnesota next year likely to be more valuable than their pick this year?
   3813. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 17, 2020 at 07:18 AM (#5983478)
Fair about the injuries. I'm probably assuming more health than is warranted.


Curry only had an injury to his non-shooting hand, no big deal. He will be 32, though. Also, I just learned that Curry was born in Akron.
   3814. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: October 17, 2020 at 09:08 AM (#5983482)
2) That being said, have there been any years that the draft looked weak, but certain players adapted to the NBA far better than anticipated and became major stars that went on to be key parts of championship teams? Are there any players in this year's draft that might surprise, or I guess a better question would be are there any potential draftees that you see as being especially good fits if they land with a specific team?
2013 was extremely weak; anthony bennett, cody zeller and alex len were top 5 picks, which could not be more damning.

but 2013 also had giannis, gobbert, oladipo, noel, okafor, mccollum and steven adams, and they are all high-level contributors.



2011 was artificially weak. kyrie was injured most of his freshman year; enes kanter got ###### over by his youth team, giving the NCAA an excuse to be petty; that meant 2 of the top 6 picks (jan vesely) had a much lower profile than they could have. the top 7 picks were rounded by two busts (biyombo and derrick williams) and two fringe-solid ish starters (tristian thompson and jonas valanciunas).

but 2011 also had james f. butler and kawhi leonard, plus kemba, klay and JIMMER.



2006 was another terrible year. that was draft where the NBA depleted the pool of eligible players by creating the "1-and-done" rule. even that year had a few random contributors like rajon rondo, kyle lowry, jj redick, millsap, okafor and pj tucker. brandon roy was also a perennial all-star before he was cursed by portland.


2000 was another historically awful draft class. marcus fizer, kenyon martin, stromile swift, mateen cleaves, chris mihm, joel przybllla, etan thomas, jamaal magloire. "it's a who's who of 'who cares?'"
   3815. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: October 17, 2020 at 09:12 AM (#5983485)
i'd say this year's draft class is most comparable to 2011. the perceived weakness isn't necessarily wrong, but it's exacerbated by the NCAA's aborted postseason. players like obi toppin and devin vasser didn't get a chance to have the kinds of breakout performances that would have given this draft class some additional helium.
   3816. SteveF Posted: October 17, 2020 at 10:49 AM (#5983498)
Have you looked at the guards yet, 57i66135? I was hoping to get your thoughts on Kira Lewis vs. Cole Anthony.
   3817. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 17, 2020 at 11:24 AM (#5983503)

but 2013 also had giannis, gobbert, oladipo, noel, okafor, mccollum and steven adams, and they are all high-level contributors.


Jahlil Okafor was drafted in 2015, and I'm not sure I'd call him a high-level contributor.
   3818. tshipman Posted: October 17, 2020 at 12:07 PM (#5983508)
Here's a good video on the subject by Ben Taylor (the backpicks guy).

His list was:
10. Jimmy Butler
9. Damian Lillard
8. Joel Embiid
7. Jokic
6. Doncic
5. Harden
4. Kawhi
3. Giannis
2. AD
1. LeBron

You'll note that he doesn't rank Curry or Durant because his list is about who was the best in 2020. I have a hard time ranking both players. I have a lot of injury concerns with Durant. I think Curry might struggle from a performance standpoint.
   3819. tshipman Posted: October 17, 2020 at 12:12 PM (#5983509)
It actually seems like there's a weird amount of uncertainty with the league's top stars, like there's about to be a changing of the guard. So many top guys are either old/injured (LeBron, Curry, Durant) or possibly flawed in the playoffs (Giannis, Harden, Lillard, Embiid).
   3820. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: October 17, 2020 at 12:17 PM (#5983511)
Have you looked at the guards yet, 57i66135? I was hoping to get your thoughts on Kira Lewis vs. Cole Anthony.
i did, but i'll take another look a bit later.

i remember that i wasn't a fan of anthony, but that could change on a second look. it seemed to me like he had a lot of trey burke to his game in that everything he did looked overly complicated and difficult, not unlike this sentence.
   3821. aberg Posted: October 17, 2020 at 01:54 PM (#5983519)
Even the next 10 is very complicated. There's a lot to like with guys like Mitchell, Murray, Bam, Tatum, but it's also a much smaller sample of star performance than guys like Beal, Towns, Embiid, George, Westbrook who have their own problems with things like health or team success. Gobert belongs in that group somewhere. Maybe Middleton, Booker, irving, brown, lowry, siakam, simmons, Paul, zion, morant...

You all convinced me I have too much credit to the injured guys. Here's my revision, trying to go through 20.

1. LeBron
2. Giannis
3. Leonard
4. Doncic
5. Curry
6. Davis
7. Durant
8. Harden
9. Jokic
10. Lillard
11. Butler
12. Gobert
13. Tatum
14. Embiid
15. Murray
16. Mitchell
17. George
18. Beal
19. Bam
20. Siakam

Here's a follow-up question- of guys not really discussed so far, who is most likely to be a lock for this type of list on a year or two? I'd have SGA high on that list. Maybe ayton.
   3822. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: October 17, 2020 at 02:26 PM (#5983523)
I have been catergorized as Curry "hater" in that I thought he was more of a top-10 NBA guy than a guy who had a legitimate argument as the top player in the NBA even during his MVP years. He is a small guard and I think there are limitation to how impactful a small guard can be. He's not a lockdown player defensively and someone whose endurance I question during extended playoff runs.

He's the greastest shooter in NBA history and he'd be great offensively no matter what but I think his impact was enhanced during his MVP seasons because of the system and the supporting cast the Warriors had.

The Warriors were 1-4 in games he played last year and he was a -43 in the 140 minutes he played last year. Small samples are small samples and that was never going to be a great team. I would have loved to see him play the entire years with Klay and Durant, and see if he could have made the playoffs. I don't think the Warriors would have been a playoff team last year even if Curry plays the next season.

Now, I am willing to concede that I might be wrong. For those who think Curry is a top-5 guy, what are the expectations for the Warriors in 2021 assuming a healthy 2021 season from Curry and Klay? I don't think the Warriors are legit title contenders but I also don't think Draymond is nearly as good a player as he was in 2015 and 2016.
   3823. aberg Posted: October 17, 2020 at 02:54 PM (#5983528)
If the warriors are mostly healthy, I put them in the group with Utah, Denver, and probably Dallas a small notch below the LA teams in the west. Call them a 4 seed. Part of that is decline from dray and Steph, and another part is the huge decline in the rest of their supporting cast from the days of iggy, Barnes, bogut, livingston, etc.
   3824. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: October 17, 2020 at 05:19 PM (#5983557)
who is most likely to be a lock for this type of list on a year or two
?

Zion Williamson, with the obvious health caveats. He had a 24.1 PER last year in 24 games.

Curry: I was in that Curry discussion; it was a couple of the hardcore GSW guys, and I guess Russlan, and the usual suspects. My hit is that Peak Curry was about as good on O as anyone has ever been, right there with Jordan and James, and a couple of others. On D, he is/was just another guy. I think he was definitely a top 2 or 3 guy during Golden State's Age of Ultron run, because in that context, I don't worry much about circumstantial advantages. In other contexts, though, sure.

Like I have said several times, I am sort of boring and pedantic in GOATs discussions, because I always want to know the parameters. One year? Starting a franchise? Joining an average team? Peak? Career? Drafting the guy at age 20 and having him for ten years? Trying to timeline? I think if Bill Simmons reboots his "Time Travel best-of-7 Series to Save The Human Race from the Aliens" thing one of the peak Curry years would make that 12-man.
   3825. tshipman Posted: October 17, 2020 at 05:28 PM (#5983561)
Here's a follow-up question- of guys not really discussed so far, who is most likely to be a lock for this type of list on a year or two? I'd have SGA high on that list. Maybe ayton.


Well, Simmons should probably be on that list now, since he's a better player than Murray or Brad Beal.

Other guys not really being discussed would be guys like Trae Young, Devin Booker or Towns, but that would be assuming that they got better than they are today.

There are also guys like Chris Paul or Kyle Lowry who are better today than half those guys, but I imagine you're projecting them to fall off.


Now, I am willing to concede that I might be wrong. For those who think Curry is a top-5 guy, what are the expectations for the Warriors in 2021 assuming a healthy 2021 season from Curry and Klay? I don't think the Warriors are legit title contenders but I also don't think Draymond is nearly as good a player as he was in 2015 and 2016.


Warriors are really hard to project for next year. Their offense was terrible, so they played a bunch of guys who were terrible defenders to try to make the offense less terrible. They also played 6 guys who were rookies. We also don't know what they're going to do in the offseason.

In 2019, Curry/Klay/Draymond were +14.6 in about 1200 minutes. That same troika was +3.2 in the playoffs. So if you split the difference and think that they're about +9 or thereabouts when those guys play together, that's kind of broadly similar to this year's Lakers, who finished at +5.8 net rating.

I think expecting the 2021 Warriors to have similar depth as the 2020 Lakers is reasonable, but maybe you think that their depth is significantly worse.

I think between a +4 and +7 net rating is a reasonable projection for a healthy Warriors team, which gets you to about 55-58 wins and kind of a soft contender.
   3826. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: October 17, 2020 at 07:03 PM (#5983581)
In 2019, Curry/Klay/Draymond were +14.6 in about 1200 minutes. That same troika was +3.2 in the playoffs. So if you split the difference and think that they're about +9 or thereabouts when those guys play together, that's kind of broadly similar to this year's Lakers, who finished at +5.8 net rating.

I think expecting the 2021 Warriors to have similar depth as the 2020 Lakers is reasonable, but maybe you think that their depth is significantly worse.

I think between a +4 and +7 net rating is a reasonable projection for a healthy Warriors team, which gets you to about 55-58 wins and kind of a soft contender.


About 90% of the minutes that these three played in 2019, Durant also played and they were a +15.8. In the 140 minutes they played without Durant, they were much more neutral (close to 1-2 with just some rough math in my head). Not a huge sample.

I sincerely doubt that the Warriors are anywhere close to a 55 win team next year. I'd say 45-47 is more realistic. I will say that if the Warrios do win 50+ games next year, I'll concede that Curry is better than I thought.
   3827. Rally Posted: October 17, 2020 at 07:41 PM (#5983585)
Curry/Thompson/Green was good enough to win 73 games a few years ago. Next 2 guys in minutes were Harrison Barnes and Iggy. Yeah, that’s 5 years ago and coming off of injury, but I would be surprised if they win less than 55.

It will be interesting to see if they play with the #2 pick or try and turn it into a veteran asset.
   3828. tshipman Posted: October 17, 2020 at 07:42 PM (#5983586)
About 90% of the minutes that these three played in 2019, Durant also played and they were a +15.8. In the 140 minutes they played without Durant, they were much more neutral (close to 1-2 with just some rough math in my head). Not a huge sample.


I think you're lowballing slightly.

Per nbawowy:
Just 140 minutes with Steph/Klay/Dray without Durant in the regular season, and they were at a 1.12 ppp on offense and 1.09 on defense. That's more like +3 for 100 possessions, and just looking at these lineups, they're pretty jank. Alfonzo McKinnie is prominently involved, and presumably Wiggins is an upgrade there.

I guess part of this is that I am evaluating Wiggins as a slight positive, and I gather that most people think he is a bad player.

Edit: I apologize, but I cannot link to the NBAwowy results because they are now behind a login wall.
   3829. NJ in NJ Posted: October 18, 2020 at 01:50 PM (#5983708)
If Curry, Klay and Dray are healthy I expect the Warriors to play at a 55 win level and be part of the title contending mix.
   3830. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: October 18, 2020 at 02:08 PM (#5983713)
If Curry, Klay and Dray are healthy I expect the Warriors to play at a 55 win level and be part of the title contending mix.

They won 57 games in 2020 with KD. I'd definitely take the under on 55.
   3831. spivey Posted: October 18, 2020 at 04:05 PM (#5983718)
I don't think the Warriors are good enough to not give a #### about the regular season. So I don't think they'll mail it in the same way they were doing in the regular season when they had KD. I think we'll see a team out to prove a point. I think they'll be closer to 50 wins, but I put them in the tier behind the two LA teams.

Not sure if Milwaukee is on their own tier level behind the two LA teams or in the mix with the Warriors, Toronto, Boston, and perhaps Miami. The Miami series was not great, Bob. Kind of depends what Milwaukee does between now and the start of the playoffs, I suppose. I really like Bledsoe as a regular season player, but I think it's time to move on from him.
   3832. tshipman Posted: October 18, 2020 at 04:14 PM (#5983719)
The Bucks next year are fascinating to me.

Do they try to make their team more playoffs-proof? Is Bledsoe gone? Does Giannis start to mail it in a bit on defense after winning back to back MVPs?

I could believe anything between 45 and 65 wins.
   3833. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: October 18, 2020 at 04:17 PM (#5983720)
The Bucks next year are fascinating to me.

Do they try to make their team more playoffs-proof? Is Bledsoe gone? Does Giannis start to mail it in a bit on defense after winning back to back MVPs?

I could believe anything between 45 and 65 wins.

it could also be a "for who, for what" season from giannis, given his impending free agency next summer.
   3834. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: October 19, 2020 at 12:40 AM (#5983857)
Milwaukee: Chris Paulo ofc came up at a Lakers site; presumably, Paul would like to come here, but it is very hard to see how it happens. Paul will be 36 next May, is owed 41M for this year, and has a 44.2M PLAYER option for 21/22. Even so, I think it might make sense for Milwaukee to acquire him. I didn't see any playoff games until the Finals, but I did look at the basic metrics, and saw that Middleton and Bledsoe had Bubble Playoff PERs of 13.5, and 12.6, respectively. I was wrong about Budenholzer's ability to have an impact in Milwaukee, but I am sticking to my Bledsoe/Middleton skepticism, and I think you can make a good argument (and I am sure many have) that Milwaukee and Antetokounmpo are where Cleveland and James were heading into 2010.

Golden State: I think it reasonable to expect that they will make postseason; I think everything beyond that is up in the air.
   3835. NJ in NJ Posted: October 19, 2020 at 08:53 AM (#5983873)
[3834] I logged on to defend Khris Middleton's playoff chops and...the numbers don't support me. Take away the 7 game series against the Celtics in '18 and Middleton is a career 40% FG guy in the playoffs. He doesn't shoot enough 3s or draw enough fouls (like say a Kyle Lowry) to make that stand up either.
   3836. spivey Posted: October 19, 2020 at 09:06 AM (#5983875)
I think it's pretty bad analytics to just wipe away a large part of an already small sample size, especially when it runs counter to the point you want to make. Middleton had an insane 7 game series where someone scores 25ppg on 71.9 TS%, and many of the shots are not assisted. Middleton was outstanding in the Boston series the following year, too. At the end of the day, his playoff TS% is .556, which is solid to good, but not elite. I think that captures his playoff resume well. His playoff on/off numbers are very good. His assisted shots numbers are really low in the playoffs (39% for 2s, 78% for 3s). He's kind of the default guy who has to shoot when Giannis is struggling or end of the shot clock stuff (I think, willing to be told my observation is off here if someone has the stats). He's often spending a lot of time both covering the other team's best player and being covered by them.

I don't think Middleton is a top 10 player, and so he's worse than the normal #2 on a title winner. But he's exactly the kind of player you'd want to pair with Giannis. To me, the problem with their team in the playoffs is they need two Middletons, not zero.
   3837. jmurph Posted: October 19, 2020 at 09:47 AM (#5983878)
I think Middleton is overpaid, and I used to strongly believe that overpaying guys like him pretty much killed you, but now I think you can absolutely live with that. Someone has to get that contract slot, and obviously you'd prefer that to be another top 8 player like LeBron has with Davis or Curry had with Durant, but that's pretty rare, historically. So you can live with it being a All Star/fringe All Star type of guy as long as the rest of the rotation is sorted.

And overall I agree with spivey. Middleton needs to be better in the playoffs, sure, but he's like problem number 7 on the list of things to fix for Milwaukee.
   3838. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 19, 2020 at 10:06 AM (#5983882)
Until FA/trades start, I'm hesitant to make any serious prediction on which teams will or won't contend next year. OTOH, I'm perfectly happy making a bold prediction about FA/trades: a current Bull will be traded to a team and will play a big role in that team contending next year - I don't know which Bull or which team, but I can feel it in my bones.
   3839. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: October 19, 2020 at 10:39 AM (#5983888)
3) Do early projections for next year's draft indicate a significantly better class than this year? Is the Ws pick from Minnesota next year likely to be more valuable than their pick this year?

Yes to the first question. At this point at least, next year's draft is considered to be particularly strong. Cade Cunningham is perceived to be a tier above anyone in this class, and depending on who you talk to, there are up to a handful of prospects that would be favored to go #1 this year.

As for the value of the picks, it depends. That Wolves pick is protected for slots 1-3 so it might not convey until 2022. And even though it seems nearly certain Wolves won't make the playoffs next year, that pick could easily land in the 7-10 range given how tightly the lesser teams tend to be bunched, which could make it significantly less valuable than if it landed at 4 or 5.
   3840. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 19, 2020 at 10:54 AM (#5983891)
I think that the Warriors, with Wiggins -- Andrew Wiggins -- as maybe their third best player have an out of the playoffs downside risk that's kind of high?
   3841. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 19, 2020 at 11:01 AM (#5983892)
Something is going to be pretty wrong with GS if Wiggins is their 3rd best player.
   3842. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 19, 2020 at 11:04 AM (#5983893)
Really? Like, I can easily see Green continuing to fade to the point where it happens.
   3843. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 19, 2020 at 11:06 AM (#5983894)
I guess the idea would be that you can move the #2 pick for a player better than Wiggins. That's fair.
   3844. jmurph Posted: October 19, 2020 at 11:16 AM (#5983895)
I think that the Warriors, with Wiggins -- Andrew Wiggins -- as maybe their third best player have an out of the playoffs downside risk that's kind of high?

I agree, I'm a huge believer in Curry and Kerr but I think they absolutely have a downside risk of just barely fighting for 8th if they don't make some moves. The rotation outside of their best starters is baaaaaaaaaaaad. But I suspect they'll make those moves and be fine.
   3845. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 19, 2020 at 11:29 AM (#5983898)
Really? Like, I can easily see Green continuing to fade to the point where it happens.

Right. If Wiggins is better than Green, they're ######. I don't think that'll be the case this year - I'm willing to cut Green a little slack for last year considering the rest of the team.

I guess the idea would be that you can move the #2 pick for a player better than Wiggins. That's fair.

Also that. So yeah, if both of these go wrong for them and they don't do anything else, they're in trouble for the playoffs.

This is kinda my point in 3838 though; it's too early to worry about this until we know what that roster will look like.
   3846. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 19, 2020 at 11:34 AM (#5983899)
This is kinda my point in 3838 though; it's too early to worry about this until we know what that roster will look like.

Oh, sure, go ahead and be reasonable.
   3847. tshipman Posted: October 19, 2020 at 12:10 PM (#5983903)
I think all the disappointment about Wiggins sort of distracts from his actual talent level.

Wiggins is an above average starter. He's exactly the kind of guy who is typically the 4th best player on a contender.
   3848. jmurph Posted: October 19, 2020 at 12:17 PM (#5983904)
Wiggins is an above average starter.

On actual performance to date? I have to file a request to show your work on this one! It's totally possible that my sense of the average starter is off, for instance. But if you ask me what he's been good at, to date, I would say nothing, and mean that literally.
   3849. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 19, 2020 at 12:17 PM (#5983905)
Low efficiency scoring? Staying healthy?
   3850. tshipman Posted: October 19, 2020 at 12:20 PM (#5983906)
On actual performance to date? I have to file a request to show your work on this one! It's totally possible that my sense of the average starter is off, for instance. But if you ask me what he's been good at, to date, I would say nothing, and mean that literally.


Wiggins has had a positive +/- every year since his rookie year.
   3851. jmurph Posted: October 19, 2020 at 12:22 PM (#5983907)
Wiggins has had a positive +/- every year since his rookie year.

Okay, but on truly horrific teams with no bench. When he's on the court they're a minus, despite sharing all those minutes with their only good player in Towns.
   3852. jmurph Posted: October 19, 2020 at 12:24 PM (#5983909)
His actual individual output is just across the board bad, and I guess I can't write that off because he was better than Shabazz Muhammad or whichever other terrible Wolves player came off the bench.
   3853. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 19, 2020 at 12:33 PM (#5983912)
I am not a sophisticated viewer of basketball, but I have watched a lot of Wiggins' minutes, and basically, ugh.
   3854. jmurph Posted: October 19, 2020 at 12:34 PM (#5983915)
He's a dreadful rebounder, an unwilling passer, a terrible defender, an inefficient scorer, doesn't even shoot free throws well!

I'm still, perhaps insanely, a believer that the talent is in there, god help me.
   3855. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 19, 2020 at 12:36 PM (#5983916)
His hands are terrible, too. Just awful.
   3856. tshipman Posted: October 19, 2020 at 12:43 PM (#5983918)
Okay, but on truly horrific teams with no bench. When he's on the court they're a minus, despite sharing all those minutes with their only good player in Towns.


The 4th best player on the Lakers this year was probably KCP. Wiggins is comparable to KCP.
The 4th best player on the Raptors last year was probably Danny Green or Marc Gasol. Wiggins is pretty comparable there.

Wiggins is good at a lot of non-obvious things. He's low turnover, low fouls. Decent offensive rebounder for a guard.

He's a bad defender, and he's a mediocre efficiency scorer, but he's not a bad player.
   3857. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 19, 2020 at 12:53 PM (#5983920)
He's a bad defender, and he's a mediocre efficiency scorer, but he's not a bad player.

I can accept this intellectually, I guess, but it will always be a fact that I will have a hard time with.
   3858. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 19, 2020 at 12:54 PM (#5983921)
If he were making like 9MM/yr I would feel differently, of course, or if the Wolves hadn't ###### everything up since [checks notes] Garnett was traded.
   3859. jmurph Posted: October 19, 2020 at 12:54 PM (#5983922)
Those guys can shoot and can be put in positions where they can succeed playing a specific role. Wiggins has shown no ability to be even an average shooter for a wing, to date, despite his willingness to take alllllll the shots. KCP and Green have also shown way more defensively than he has at this point in his career. I just don't see it, watching him or looking at his numbers.
   3860. tshipman Posted: October 19, 2020 at 01:14 PM (#5983924)
Those guys can shoot and can be put in positions where they can succeed playing a specific role. Wiggins has shown no ability to be even an average shooter for a wing, to date, despite his willingness to take alllllll the shots. KCP and Green have also shown way more defensively than he has at this point in his career. I just don't see it, watching him or looking at his numbers.


Wiggins for his career is at 41% from the corners.

KCP is at 40.2%
Danny Green is at 42%.

So much of player performance for guys who aren't LeBron is just context, coaching and effort. Next year will be a big one for Wiggins to see if he can thrive in a better ecosystem with better coaching and a smaller role.
   3861. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: October 19, 2020 at 01:14 PM (#5983925)
I don't think Middleton is a top 10 player, and so he's worse than the normal #2 on a title winner


Middleton needs to be better in the playoffs, sure,


Middleton's playoff PERs and TSs:

14-15 12.7, .482
15-16 12.8, .496
17-18 22.5, .719
18-19 14.7, .567
19-20 13.5, .507

   3862. jmurph Posted: October 19, 2020 at 01:20 PM (#5983927)
Wiggins for his career is at 41% from the corners.

KCP is at 40.2%
Danny Green is at 42%.

I'm going to stop thinking about Wiggins momentarily, but yes, when you can actually guard people or contribute in other ways, then standing in the corner and hitting threes at a decent rate makes you a decent player or even better. He hasn't done those other things yet. (EDIT: I gave too much credit for this point, Wiggins doesn't even take corner 3s. 15% of his threes, compared to over 35+% for Green.)

So much of player performance for guys who aren't LeBron is just context, coaching and effort. Next year will be a big one for Wiggins to see if he can thrive in a better ecosystem with better coaching and a smaller role.

Definitely agree with all of this, though.
   3863. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: October 19, 2020 at 01:39 PM (#5983928)
wiggins is a poor man's harrison barnes. that's not a complement.
   3864. Rally Posted: October 19, 2020 at 02:08 PM (#5983936)
I haven't kept up on actual trade rumors but kind of assume Wiggins doesn't play another game for the rebuild death star. I expect it to look like:

#2 overall pick, + Wiggins and his matching contract for some superstar player who is actually worth the money. Maybe Bradley Beal?
   3865. spivey Posted: October 19, 2020 at 02:24 PM (#5983940)
Put me on the side that Wiggins is a replacement level chucker. I guess he has a place in this league as a deeper bench microwave type. But that's it for me. Can't shoot well, can't pass, can't defend, doesn't rebound well. Lakers and LeBron teams in general tend to have very weak/specific supporting casts, but even still I think Green, KCP, and Dwight are better.

Looking at some other contending teams, like Toronto from last year, and the Warriors dynasty, I'm not sure he's better than like the 10th guy. I 100% take Normal Powell over Wiggins, for reference. And going farther back, the late era Spurs are better all the way down to the end of their bench, and the Kobe/Gasol Lakers were definitely above-Wiggins level for most of their key spots.
   3866. jmurph Posted: October 19, 2020 at 02:36 PM (#5983941)
Maybe Bradley Beal?

My assumption is the Wiz have to try to at least see what Wall and Beal look like now that, and everyone hold on for this one, Wall is supposedly (I know, I know) healthy.
   3867. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 19, 2020 at 02:39 PM (#5983942)
Straight up for Al Horford?
   3868. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: October 19, 2020 at 02:47 PM (#5983943)
It is hard to find someplace for Wiggins. Man.
   3869. jmurph Posted: October 19, 2020 at 03:59 PM (#5983955)
I don't see the point in trading Wiggins now. I have to think the idea is to have him put together a solid stretch in their system alongside great teammates and do something then?
   3870. aberg Posted: October 19, 2020 at 04:15 PM (#5983959)
#2 overall pick, + Wiggins and his matching contract for some superstar player who is actually worth the money. Maybe Bradley Beal?


We have a pretty good idea of what Wiggins and a high pick are worth, and it's DLo Russell.

It is hard to find someplace for Wiggins. Man.


You're just saying that because he's bad and really expensive.
   3871. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 19, 2020 at 04:25 PM (#5983961)
So much of player performance for guys who aren't LeBron is just context, coaching and effort. Next year will be a big one for Wiggins to see if he can thrive in a better ecosystem with better coaching and a smaller role.
I'll be the one guy to agree with TShip on this... sort of. Wiggins' actual production is trash as a first option, but his toolbox makes him overqualified for a #4. Take away his ball-handing and creation responsibilities, make him a corner shooter and transition finisher, and make defense his first priority. Having ring-wearing uberdogs like Curry, Klay, and Draymond there means an established pecking order, so for him to live any sort of basketball life, he has to fit in with them. If that happens, he could really pay off.

With a player LIKE Wiggins, I think that can happen. That said, I don't think that actually happens. KCP is valuable to a team like the Lakers because he knows who he is and who his team needs him to be. Wiggins has never seemed to care what anyone else thinks about his game, and he's the most distractable, apathetic defender I can remember seeing since Stromile Swift. On top of that, the Warriors are cutting him big dog checks. If I were GSW, I'd want to find out if I can make it work, since I'm so invested, and I'd want to keep that pick because I'd need affordable talent. (GSW is on the hook for almost $100 million dollars to Wiggins, Klay, and Greene in 2023. Yikes.)
   3872. aberg Posted: October 19, 2020 at 04:40 PM (#5983963)
Wiggins by RPM

20- -1.19 (.46 O, -1.64 D)
19- -0.88 (-.94, .06)
18- -0.17 (-.43, .26)
17- -2.20 (-.3, -1.9)
16- 0.69 !!! (-.07, .76)
15- -2.35 (-1.25, -1.1)

In no way do those stats reflect an above-average, average, or acceptable starter. He's low turnover because he's a bad passer and doesn't try to pass. If he doesn't shoot, he doesn't contribute anything. His shot selection improved slightly, but even with lots and lots of coaching on shot selection, it's still not good. He has played six full seasons without significant injury. It's hard to imagine there's a lot of untapped potential there. He has played on bad teams and with all-stars without much difference in his performance. He has had hardass coaches and relaxed coaches without producing consistent effort.

I think the most damning thing might be that very smart, very optimistic Jim Peterson, who watched pretty much every minute he ever played, essentially gave up on him well before he was finally traded.
   3873. aberg Posted: October 19, 2020 at 04:42 PM (#5983964)
his toolbox makes him overqualified for a #4


Like Hombre alluded to, that was essentially his job with Butler, Towns, Teague, and others, and he had one of his worst seasons.
   3874. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: October 19, 2020 at 04:57 PM (#5983966)
I listened to a lot of NBA podcasts over the weekend, where I heard both an argument as to who was better Hield or Duncan Robinson (hosts were split here) and a trade idea I pitched upthread (Nets dumping Prince to save money). I felt heard...
---
How good is Wiggins is a tough one, as we all know - and I'm reminded of comments I made about Hield. Wiggins can sort do a lot of things which doesn't mean that he should. It's really hard to get a guy to not do things if he thinks he can do them.*

I see no reason why we think he's suddenly going to become a good shooter. He's shot 68% from the line over the last three years and hit a third of his (total) threes. Anybody remember how I speculated that you could maybe turn Hassan Whiteside into a near-passable three point shooter with some work (and luck)? (Enough that you couldn't ignore him, anyway.) Part of that was based on his percentages on twos taken away from the basket ... Wiggins has hit a lower percentage (on a lot more attempts) than Whiteside from 3-10, 10-15, 16+... there's not evidence that you could just get him to push some of his long twos into threes / that he's got much grow room as an outside shooter, apart from get him to take more corner threes and less from other spots. The goal, from my perspective, would be to get him to average efficiency overall by shooting less - full stop. That's still not a good player, given his other foibles.

I actually see more hope for him on defense, where he still has some tools and he flashed solid stock numbers in his small sample in GS. Still, though, I'm hoping to get him to average. He's not a terrible passer/ballhandler (imo) as well, just not an asset. Not a penetrator or someone who draws fouls.

Not someone I want on my team; I'd also take (to use spivey's example) Norman Powell, terms aside.




* That sentence actually says a lot about how I evaluate basketball players. On the flipside, I like some variants of these types when they're young (Wiggins isn't old yet! but I mean like too young to drink without getting carded) because you can dream on them getting 10% better at everything.
   3875. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: October 19, 2020 at 05:16 PM (#5983968)
Straight up for Al Horford?
in.
   3876. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 19, 2020 at 06:46 PM (#5983971)
Where did Wiggins go wrong? Folks here in the Fall 2014 threads were gushing over him.
   3877. Fourth True Outcome Posted: October 19, 2020 at 07:02 PM (#5983974)
I'm not sure Wiggins went wrong so much as never went right. He came into the league with all the tools you could want, a 6'8" wing who was really athletic and could score, but he hasn't really developed meaningfully. He's still a low-percentage scorer who brings little else to the table offensively and despite having the tools to be a good defender has never done so with any consistency. He's still 25 and has the same tools, but as aberg points out he's been the same guy in varying circumstances, so it's hard to picture things clicking for him now if they haven't yet.
   3878. aberg Posted: October 19, 2020 at 07:10 PM (#5983975)
Where did Wiggins go wrong? Folks here in the Fall 2014 threads were gushing over him.


Short version- unfulfilled potential.

He wasn't all that productive in his one year at Kansas, but between his physical ability and the flashes he showed, it was pretty easy to project him to be something like Tracy McGrady.

He was just an ok shooter, but he had good form, decent range for his age, and could shoot over any defender with his height and hops. It wasn't hard to imagine him developing a really good face-up game with range out to three. That didn't happen.

He was just a decent defender, but he was so quick, long, and wiry that he looked probable to become a good to great defender. He never bulked up or learned the complexities of NBA team defenses. He's ok on-ball, bad otherwise.

His biggest selling point was his athletic profile- lanky like Durant with exceptional speed and one of the best verticals anyone had seen in years. He can do those things in a gym, but never figured out how to translate them into efficient basketball skills.

He came off as polite and quiet, which many thought made him coachable. It turns out that his nonchalance skews more toward indifference and has definitely been a barrier to improvement.

Like Der K said a few posts ago, Wiggins can do SO MANY things on a basketball court, he just never accepted the difference between the things that are useful for him to do and the things that are useless or damaging to the team.
   3879. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: October 19, 2020 at 07:37 PM (#5983979)
Short version- unfulfilled potential.

it's the reason why bad teams stay bad.


   3880. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: October 19, 2020 at 08:32 PM (#5983981)
i doubt this will be the last story we hear about blame pointing from houston, but it's definitely one of them:
And after that series, it was Fertitta who, according to MacMahon, pushed for the 2019 blockbuster that sent out Chris Paul—the All-Star point guard who teamed with Harden on the 65-17 Rockets team that had the KD-era Warriors facing elimination before a strained right hamstring changed everything—in favor of Russell Westbrook.

“That trade was made because Tilman Fertitta wanted it made—he thought Chris Paul’s contract was the worst that he’d ever seen, in business or sports—and because James Harden wanted it made,” MacMahon told Lowe on Thursday. “Once Westbrook became available, they saw an opportunity that Harden and Fertitta wanted to pounce on, and they pounced on that.”

   3881. JJ1986 Posted: October 19, 2020 at 09:03 PM (#5983982)
I like Morey and dislike Fertitta, but it is weaksauce for Daryl to have his friends in the media blame the owner for a move he made.
   3882. NJ in NJ Posted: October 19, 2020 at 09:14 PM (#5983983)
I like Morey and dislike Fertitta, but it is weaksauce for Daryl to have his friends in the media blame the owner for a move he made.

Is there anything in Daryl Morey's track record/public statements that indicates this is a move he would have ever made of his own volition?
   3883. puck Posted: October 19, 2020 at 09:26 PM (#5983984)
Does Wiggins have a bad rep in terms of work ethic, "agreeability" (buy in with a team scheme, etc.)? It's sad if he's never improved after coming into the league that young.

He's kind of what I had in mind when I asked who was the basketball version of a Bill Buckner, except I wonder if anyone thinks Wiggins is that good. 6 year starter and only 15 win shares. His best stat seems to be his scoring average but career it's under 20. Maybe someone out there sees the quickness and thinks he's better than he is, but those fans read stat sheets too and see other guys scoring more.
   3884. tshipman Posted: October 19, 2020 at 09:39 PM (#5983986)
Is there anything in Daryl Morey's track record/public statements that indicates this is a move he would have ever made of his own volition?


This is like the Cashman whispering from 10 years ago, where any good move was Cashman and any bad move was the Steinbrenners.

Edit: to be substantive, yeah, there's a lot to indicate that Daryl Morey prioritizes "stars." I mean, the original Chris Paul trade is a good template for the Westbrook one.
   3885. NJ in NJ Posted: October 19, 2020 at 09:54 PM (#5983987)
[3884] As a Yankee fan, the thought of that pushback crossed my mind as I typed post. Regardless, if you told me Daryl dealt the exact items he gave up in the Westbrook deal in order to get Paul George (to name another guy that got dealt for a bunch of stuff last summer), I would buy that as a Daryl move. The idea that a guy who likes the type of offense/player skillsets Daryl does would independently come to the conclusion that Westbrook is the answer seems...unlikely.
   3886. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: October 19, 2020 at 10:04 PM (#5983988)
getting back to this:
Have you looked at the guards yet, 57i66135? I was hoping to get your thoughts on Kira Lewis vs. Cole Anthony.

i'd take kira lewis 100%.

lewis has the burst to beat guys clean off the dribble; anthony doesn't. lewis's burst isn't quite at deaaron fox's level, but he's not too far below that. anthony's burst, otoh, is below average. lewis's arms are longer, and he looks like he'll be a more disruptive NBA defender.

one of the questions i like to think about when i watch video is "do i like watching this guy play?" i really like watching lewis play; i'm pretty indifferent about anthony.


one of the other things i'm also starting to branch out into is to find pre and/or post game interviews, based on the observation that players who last in the NBA tend to be extraordinarily intelligent. i'd say anthony has an edge there, but lewis doesn't raise any red flags.
   3887. smileyy Posted: October 19, 2020 at 11:01 PM (#5983991)
Remember when Business Insider called Andrew Wiggins the next LeBron James?

Remember about a year later when 538 said he wasn't even the next James Posey?

Edit: Entries three through five here are pretty hilarous.
   3888. jmurph Posted: October 20, 2020 at 09:18 AM (#5984001)
Edit: Entries three through five here are pretty hilarous.

Oh my god.

(You will, quite literally, not believe number five!)
   3889. JJ1986 Posted: October 20, 2020 at 09:36 AM (#5984002)
Is there anything in Daryl Morey's track record/public statements that indicates this is a move he would have ever made of his own volition?
I kind of don't care whether he wanted to make the move or not; he did make it and it's part of his track record. There are plenty of bad moves that he had to make because of Fertitta, but he was still the GM and I don't think it's fair to pick out a few moves and absolve him of responsibility because he didn't want to make them. I don't think everyone would be crediting Tilman and James if the move worked and the Rockets won the title. Secondly and more importantly, he negotiated a terrible deal. On top of Paul for Westbrook, he gave up draft picks to take on the worse contract.
   3890. JJ1986 Posted: October 20, 2020 at 09:38 AM (#5984003)
When Wiggins was drafted, I was worried that he couldn't shoot well enough to be a shooter or run an offense well enough to be a lead-guy. I wrote that he was in danger of only being Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, because I did thing Wiggins's athleticism would make him a good defender.
   3891. Rally Posted: October 20, 2020 at 09:55 AM (#5984005)
That trade was made because Tilman Fertitta wanted it made—he thought Chris Paul’s contract was the worst that he’d ever seen, in business or sports


Oh yeah? Wait till you get a look at Westbrook's!
   3892. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: October 20, 2020 at 09:59 AM (#5984007)
I remember not liking Wiggins coming out of school and trying to talk myself into why he'd be better than I thought he might. In part, this was because he represented a type of player I tended to undervalue at the time, well-regarded, inefficient wings. Regardless, I thought he'd guard people better than this.

Bit surprised that stiggles hasn't yet posted quotes on our thoughts on him yet.
   3893. NJ in NJ Posted: October 20, 2020 at 10:14 AM (#5984013)
I was all in on Wiggins as a HSer and just told myself all the glaring red flags in college could be ignored. I think part of the issue was that that draft was seen as Wiggins vs Jabari and in my Jabari was a certain bust and I found it puzzling people were placing them on the same level.
   3894. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: October 20, 2020 at 10:26 AM (#5984015)
(looks at 2014 draft)
Okay, Embiid was my favorite guy that year, I feel okay about that - and I really liked Marcus Smart and ... Dante Exum. Eh.
   3895. spivey Posted: October 20, 2020 at 10:26 AM (#5984016)
Maybe this is hot take, maybe it isn't, but to me Jabari and Wiggins failed for somewhat similar reasons. Which is work ethic/desire to get better.

There's so much growth usually needed to go from rookie to all-star and then again from all-star to to superstar, that there's always going to be some error. But Wiggins and Jabari really both seem to have no interest really committing to learn the art of being a good (or passable) defender.

I've come to feel like this is probably the single biggest predictor in development. Of course, we're so far removed as fans, that we often can't evaluate it, at least not until a pretty big pattern has emerged.
   3896. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: October 20, 2020 at 10:45 AM (#5984020)
I listened to a lot of NBA podcasts over the weekend, where I heard both an argument as to who was better Hield or Duncan Robinson (hosts were split here) and a trade idea I pitched upthread (Nets dumping Prince to save money). I felt heard...

Der-K, what was the podcast discussing Hield and Robinson? I'd be interested in hearing what they have to say.
   3897. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: October 20, 2020 at 11:22 AM (#5984031)
It was Game Theory's Pacific division offseason preview (Vecenie, talking with Leroux - sidenote, I'd never listened to the show before, but am now subscribed), the Sacramento preview.

Both hosts agreed that Hield has a negative value contract - Vecenie thought Hield was worth 4/65 (I think), while Leroux wasn't convinced that Hield was starter quality. They then pivoted to a brief comparison with Robinson before going back to Hield proper and how would a swap for Horford work.

They hit many of the same points we did here.
   3898. tshipman Posted: October 20, 2020 at 11:26 AM (#5984033)
Maybe this is hot take, maybe it isn't, but to me Jabari and Wiggins failed for somewhat similar reasons. Which is work ethic/desire to get better.

There's so much growth usually needed to go from rookie to all-star and then again from all-star to to superstar, that there's always going to be some error. But Wiggins and Jabari really both seem to have no interest really committing to learn the art of being a good (or passable) defender.

I've come to feel like this is probably the single biggest predictor in development. Of course, we're so far removed as fans, that we often can't evaluate it, at least not until a pretty big pattern has emerged.


Front offices suck at it, too, with way more information.

I think it's just really hard to tell. You give a 19 year old something they've been working for their entire life and you validate their crazy beliefs and then you tell them they have to work a lot harder? A lot of them are going to struggle.

LeBron is probably the hardest working, smartest superstar in ages. It took him until ... 2011? For him to really commit to working and evolving his game.
   3899. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: October 20, 2020 at 11:39 AM (#5984038)
I don't have much to add to tship here other than - not only are they being told they have to work a lot harder, you're saying it to people who generally already feel they're working really hard (and often are!) and who have often been the best at this thing that they do.
Tricky stuff.
   3900. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: October 20, 2020 at 12:23 PM (#5984043)
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