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Wednesday, April 08, 2020

OT – NBA CoronaThread 2020

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, and hopefully all of them survive these next few weeks.

BBTF Corona Draft Tournament Voting Page

BBTF Corona Tournament Brackets

BBTF Corona Draft and Rosters Page

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 08, 2020 at 04:54 AM | 3283 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nba, off-topic

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   1. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 08, 2020 at 06:10 AM (#5937501)
Using the draftordergenerator.com site, the CoronaDraft order will be:

Pick #
1 JJ1986
2 Willard Baseball
3 DCA
4 NJ
5 Slivers
6 Dolf Lucky
7 TShipman
8 Scott Lange
9 Winter's Night
10 JTSports
11 Hombre
12 STIGGLES
13 BaseballObscura
14 Harlond

Tship obviously cursed Harlond somehow. 1-14, then 14-1. Let's get started! Link to the spreadsheet is here.

JJ1986, you're on the clock. Any single season, post the pick here, and add it to the spreadsheet.
   2. JJ1986 Posted: April 08, 2020 at 07:09 AM (#5937503)
That's a nice surprise.

I'm going to pick 2012-13 LeBron narrowly over 2008-09 LeBron. What he did in the earlier season is really kind of spectacular, and his wing defense was certainly worse by 2013, but I think I want the peak season that also has the best shooting numbers of his career when I'm fitting him on a superteam. I also believe that James did have some playoff issues that he didn't overcome until the first championship year and I'm getting a peak playoff performance out of him.

Hopefully we'll be playing smaller with LeBron opening games at PF and maybe closing at center, so going with the stronger, later career player also helps there. And I do think the league quality was lower in the late aughts.

I didn't really consider any other player. I'm a huge Curry fan and might take him on a random team but he has weaknesses and is more easily neutralized. There's another player/season I think will be underrated and would have taken as high as fifth, but I can't reach for him here.
   3. Scott Lange Posted: April 08, 2020 at 09:46 AM (#5937528)
Are we allowed to trade picks/players?
   4. DCA Posted: April 08, 2020 at 10:35 AM (#5937538)
Can I recommended transposing the spreadsheet? So that rows are teams and columns are rounds. That way, I'll be able to see all the drafted players on one screen until most of the way through the draft (if not the whole thing).

But 14 columns is far too wide, I'll lose the one-screen view before the end of the first round the way it's currently set up.
   5. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 08, 2020 at 11:04 AM (#5937546)
JJ1986: Interesting that backpicks has 2013-2014 Lebron as his most valuable season, although his defensive peak is in 2010-2011.
   6. tshipman Posted: April 08, 2020 at 11:08 AM (#5937548)
Are we allowed to trade picks/players?


If so, I'll offer my second to move up to #2.
   7. Willard Baseball Posted: April 08, 2020 at 11:10 AM (#5937549)
Willard Baseball selects Michael Jordan (87-88 version). Most athletic player in league. Lead league in scoring, was Defensive player of the year, won MVP, won all-star game MVP and won the dunk contest.

He had a true shooting percentage of 60%, and only made 7 3s.

He had back-to-back 50+ point playoff games that year as well.
   8. tshipman Posted: April 08, 2020 at 11:37 AM (#5937556)
I would have taken MJ in 1990-1991. Interesting.
   9. Willard Baseball Posted: April 08, 2020 at 11:39 AM (#5937557)
I definitely looked at him then. He won 50 in 87/88 and was the only player on the team to shoot 50%. The second best player was Charles Oakley, who took 8 shots per game.

It was LeBron's finals team that had Jordan instead of LeBron and also as the best defensive player in the league.
   10. spivey Posted: April 08, 2020 at 11:57 AM (#5937562)
I also think I'd have taken MJ's 90-91. It's similar with LeBron too. Their physical peak was probably those earlier prime years, but there is something for understanding how to win a title, and both of them were a bit more efficient in that middle part of their career, which I think is a combination of just being smarter and being a better shooter. I used to be more of an early career Jordan fan.

Perhaps, to use the tship/BackPicks argument, early Jordan and LeBron may have been slightly better floor raisers of teams, because they were just undeniable and could carry any team to success. But in terms of having the best chance of winning a title with tons of other HOF level players, I'd take the slightly later versions.
   11. Scott Lange Posted: April 08, 2020 at 11:59 AM (#5937564)
Willard Baseball selects Michael Jordan (87-88 version) . . . won the dunk contest.

Joke's on you - I'm drafting the corrupt, crooked, cheating judges who handed him that title. Straight 50s for my players, no matter how inferior their performance!
   12. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 08, 2020 at 12:02 PM (#5937565)
No trades, just straight draft.
   13. tshipman Posted: April 08, 2020 at 12:10 PM (#5937571)
Perhaps, to use the tship/BackPicks argument, early Jordan and LeBron may have been slightly better floor raisers of teams, because they were just undeniable and could carry any team to success. But in terms of having the best chance of winning a title with tons of other HOF level players, I'd take the slightly later versions.


I look a lot more at the team offense as well. The earlier Jordan had less talent, but his slightly older self used the talent he had much better. The 91 Bulls were a #######'A offense (114.7 ORTG). Some of that is better talent, better system, but some of that is also Jordan taking a very small step back on usage.
   14. DCA Posted: April 08, 2020 at 12:16 PM (#5937573)
I think there’s probably a consensus that the top 4 seasons are Kareem, LeBron, Jordan, and Curry in some order. I think Kareem has the single greatest season in 71-72 but I also would have taken LeBron first and Jordan second (but the 95-96 version) because you can never have enough two way wings whereas there are diminishing returns to the second (and third, etc) big or small. I have long been of the Kareem > Jordan faction in GOAT discussions, though I think LeBron has now passed them both.

So without further adieu, team DCA chooses, with the third pick, 1971-72 Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
   15. tshipman Posted: April 08, 2020 at 12:17 PM (#5937574)
I would have taken Kareem #1 overall.
   16. Willard Baseball Posted: April 08, 2020 at 12:22 PM (#5937576)
I completely see your points on Jordan. Jordan took a step back in usage out of necessity...he had better players around him. To have the offensive load, and lead league in minutes, and be defensive MVP is just mind-blowing to me.
   17. tshipman Posted: April 08, 2020 at 12:28 PM (#5937578)
I mean, he almost certainly did not deserve the DPOY. Mark Eaton was the anchor of the best defense in the league and probably should have won comfortably.

Edit: and by the way, if that impresses you, take another look at Kareem in 71-72.
   18. Dolf Lucky Posted: April 08, 2020 at 12:30 PM (#5937579)
The tension with Jordan 88 is the 13% 3-point shooting percentage, albeit on minimal attempts.

And yet his TS% was 60%! No shooting range, but dominantly explosive...
   19. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 08, 2020 at 12:31 PM (#5937581)
Although a huge Kareem fan, backpicks (who has him #1 for his career) actually has his peak years a bit below some of the others, with his best year being 1977-78.
   20. Willard Baseball Posted: April 08, 2020 at 12:32 PM (#5937582)
It was also Jordan's highest PER of his career. The Bulls did lead the league in scoring defense, and Jordan lead the league in steals. Their other wing defender was Brad Sellers, they started defensive legend John Paxson at the point. The center was Dave Corzine. It was a bad defensive team outside of Jordan/Oakley and they lead the league in scoring defense.
   21. tshipman Posted: April 08, 2020 at 01:10 PM (#5937595)
Although a huge Kareem fan, backpicks (who has him #1 for his career) actually has his peak years a bit below some of the others, with his best year being 1977-78.


Backpicks considers the playoffs, where Kareem was better in 77 than in 72.
   22. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 08, 2020 at 01:11 PM (#5937596)
We are considering playoffs too, are we not?
   23. Scott Lange Posted: April 08, 2020 at 01:13 PM (#5937598)
Backpicks considers the playoffs, where Kareem was better in 77 than in 72.

Playoff performance is meaningful for our purposes, right? Maybe even more meaningful, since the idea is how they would compare against other teams made up of elite players? (Not a rhetorical question - has it been said, one way or the other?)

Coke to SdeB.
   24. tshipman Posted: April 08, 2020 at 01:14 PM (#5937599)
/shrug. Unclear? never stated by LAEHOA.
   25. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: April 08, 2020 at 01:19 PM (#5937600)
The tension with Jordan 88 is the 13% 3-point shooting percentage, albeit on minimal attempts.

And yet his TS% was 60%! No shooting range, but dominantly explosive...
I have never before heard a description of Michael Jordan that sounded quite so much like Russell Westbrook.
   26. Dolf Lucky Posted: April 08, 2020 at 01:22 PM (#5937601)
Haha by the end of this thread we'll be comparing MJ to Zach Lavine...
   27. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: April 08, 2020 at 01:27 PM (#5937603)
I'm basically talking to myself here, and I realize that (I also need the distraction for what is going to be an absolutely awful afternoon at work), but how in the world is this a positive:

Some of the early identified candidates — Miami’s Adam Simon and Indiana’s Chad Buchanan — have turned down the Bulls’ attempts to interview them. Michael Reinsdorf isn’t deterred from that, because it’s more likely Simon and Buchanan used the overtures to get raises from their current employers as opposed to not viewing the Bulls as a desirable option.

The Bulls also interviewed Utah Jazz executive Justin Zanik, who has Chicago ties, but the Jazz organization seems intent on keeping him.

Paxson has been involved in the implementation of the search and restructuring of the organization. He’s a favorite of Jerry Reinsdorf, having been a player on championship teams, a broadcaster and, now, as executive vice president.

Sources said Paxson will be as involved or uninvolved as the new head of basketball operations wants him to be, and it hasn’t been a deterrent in the search, given the awkward nature on its face.


I mean, this article is really about how Karnisovas is considered the overwhelming favorite to get the Bulls job - even though he hasn't interviewed and it sounds like every other candidate either doesn't want it or actually isn't available). Again, I have no problem with this guy if that's who it is. This still sounds all very ###### and backwards to me though, especially if these are things the Bulls are saying - hey, it's ok these ass't GMs didn't want to interview for the VP/Head of Ops position for us, they just used us for a raise in their current role which on paper is multiple levels below ours. Seriously, wtf??
   28. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: April 08, 2020 at 01:28 PM (#5937604)
1101. send the 57i66135 over with flamethrowers Posted: July 17, 2017 at 11:08 PM (#5495040)
I expect Simmons to have better offense than Odom. Like a better passing, maybe not quite as scoring Blake Griffin. But, Odom was a great defender. I don't know that Simmons projects to that. Does he?
there's a chance that he'll be really damn good. he's a very good rebounder, he gets a lot of steals, a decent amount of blocks and he might have the size, strength and athleticism to defend all 5 positions.
How many all-time top 10 guys do you project to be supplanted by current guys on the Sixers' roster, STIGGLES?
pippen is great and he won 6 titles, but he's not top 10 all time. it takes both gray and black ink to get in there.

best case scenario, if embiid is david robinson, simmons is lebron, fultz is dwyane wade, saric is larry bird
and if the sixers win 10 of the next 12 titles, maybe two of them wind up in the top 10. probably not; playing together means they'd sacrifice a ton of black ink, but maybe.
1.5 out of 4 ain't bad.
   29. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: April 08, 2020 at 01:31 PM (#5937606)
I mean, this article is really about how Karnisovas is considered the overwhelming favorite to get the Bulls job - even though he hasn't interviewed and it sounds like every other candidate either doesn't want it or actually isn't available). Again, I have no problem with this guy if that's who it is. This still sounds all very ###### and backwards to me though, especially if these are things the Bulls are saying - hey, it's ok these ass't GMs didn't want to interview for the VP/Head of Ops position for us, they just used us for a raise in their current role which on paper is multiple levels below ours. Seriously, wtf??

just be thankful you haven't gotten to the brian colangelo stage. yet.
   30. tshipman Posted: April 08, 2020 at 01:32 PM (#5937607)
I guess Embiid is kind of like David Robinson.

He performs noticeably worse in the playoffs.
   31. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: April 08, 2020 at 01:32 PM (#5937608)
I have never before heard a description of Michael Jordan that sounded quite so much like Russell Westbrook.

You mean the guy with a career TS% of 53% and career high of 55.4%? I know that's not what you meant, but again, distracting myself so feel free to disregard and note I'm not actually arguing with you. MJ had 5 seasons (out of 15) where his TS% was lower than Russ's career high - his 2nd year when he only played in 18 games, the 17 game season he had after coming back from baseball, and his last 3 years (which include the 2 in DC that never actually happened).

The no range, of course, is overstated since it really just means no 3pts. MJ always had more range than Westbrook.
   32. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: April 08, 2020 at 01:33 PM (#5937609)
just be thankful you haven't gotten to the brian colangelo stage. yet.

If that's what it takes to finally finish off Doug Collins, I might accept it.
   33. JJ1986 Posted: April 08, 2020 at 02:24 PM (#5937623)
just be thankful you haven't gotten to the brian colangelo stage. yet.
Prescient.
   34. Harlond Posted: April 08, 2020 at 02:25 PM (#5937625)
Okay, Harlond picks last.
This is Patrick Ewing all over again. Damn that tshipman. I also blame Scott Lange for not pressing harder for the other draft order method.
   35. CFBF's Overflowing Pathos Posted: April 08, 2020 at 02:33 PM (#5937630)
I also blame Scott Lange for not pressing harder for the other draft order method.


He was a little busy fighting Thanos, you ingrate.
   36. tshipman Posted: April 08, 2020 at 02:36 PM (#5937632)
He was a little busy entering the Thanus, you ingrate.


FTFY.
   37. Scott Lange Posted: April 08, 2020 at 02:38 PM (#5937634)
He was a little busy fighting Thanos, you ingrate.

It's amazing - I literally never heard of Ant Man until a few years ago - now I get that from strangers like once a month. But it's actually easy to tell the difference - I'm the one with an "E" on the end of my name, and also the one who ages like a mortal human.
   38. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: April 08, 2020 at 02:45 PM (#5937638)
Prescient.
Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
The Bulls interviewed former 76ers president Bryan Colangelo for top basketball operations position, league sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium. Colangelo also has been lead executive in Toronto and Phoenix.
KC Johnson @KCJHoop
Former GM Danny Ferry interviewed for the Bulls lead executive position, per sources.
"donald sterling a frontrunner to be bulls' next team president"
   39. tshipman Posted: April 08, 2020 at 02:51 PM (#5937643)
Former GM Danny Ferry interviewed for the Bulls lead executive position, per sources.


Danny Ferry is a good guy overall. But he's not perfect. He's got some Irishman in him. And I don't say that in a bad way other than ... he has a pub out front that's beautiful and great but he may be drinking some of the kegs behind you.
   40. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: April 08, 2020 at 03:47 PM (#5937667)
In addition to Ferry and Colangelo, Bulls also interviewed ex-Hawks GM Wes Wilcox, per Woj. I am not opposed to retreads as a matter of principle, but in regards the everyone named here I much prefer the unknowns. Considering none of these 3 people who'd worked before came out until after it was publicly known the Bulls were getting turned down by people, I suspect these 3 - and any other to leak - are being done for the sake of optics (and/or negotiation).
   41. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 08, 2020 at 04:18 PM (#5937683)
We are considering playoffs too, are we not?
I mean, I wouldn't only because none of the guys getting drafted are chokers, but ultimately the voting will come down to the people following the thread. You can write about why you think their playoff value will matter, and perhaps that will sway voters come match-up time.

NJ is on the clock. Draft sheet is here.
   42. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: April 08, 2020 at 04:36 PM (#5937688)
In addition to Ferry and Colangelo, Bulls also interviewed ex-Hawks GM Wes Wilcox, per Woj. I am not opposed to retreads as a matter of principle, but in regards the everyone named here I much prefer the unknowns. Considering none of these 3 people who'd worked before came out until after it was publicly known the Bulls were getting turned down by people, I suspect these 3 - and any other to leak - are being done for the sake of optics (and/or negotiation).

it seems most likely to me that they just ran out of names on the rolodex and are flailing to find anyone that can plausibly fill the role.

Kyle Goon @kylegoon
Rob Pelinka, on a conference call, acknowledged a report that Lakers executives were being asked to take a salary deferral. On cost-cutting measures: "I would be in support of anything that keeps people, allows people to keep their jobs in really hard times"
Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck
We have reached peak COVID-19 absurdity — a few thoughts on Bryan Colangelo getting another crack at a front office job https://www.phillyvoice.com/report-former-sixers-gm-bryan-colangelo-interviews-bulls-front-office-job/
Marc J. Spears @MarcJSpearsESPN
Bulls here is a list of qualified black assistant GMs in a league 75% black: Chicago's own Michael Finley, Marc Eversely, Mark Hughes, Gerald Madkins, Milt Newton, Jeff Peterson, Troy Weaver, Bryson Graham, Joe Branch & Malik Rose. BTW, Newton also former GM with top-record Bucks
fwiw, i'd also throw in shane battier and grant hill. any hire is going to be a risk, and i'm generally pretty willing to trust anyone who is as smart and connected as they are.

for reference, this is what i said when the sixers hired elton brand:
339. send the 57i66135 over with flamethrowers Posted: September 18, 2018 at 10:47 PM (#5747095)
Why can't Elton Brand be a good choice? Been around bball all his life, Duke guy, been in the 76er organization for a while, right?
consensus opinion is that the sixers ownership has no ####### clue about what they're doing. they do not deserve any benefit of the doubt.

however, as you point out, elton brand does deserve that benefit. he's been around this team for a decade, going from star to role player to babysitter to assistant coach to management. sixers ownership valued continuity over all other characteristics, and considering the other potential options, the least you can say about brand is that he:
A: isn't brett brown (that would have been a disaster)
B: isn't a colangeli (that was a disaster)
C: wasn't handpicked by adam silver (#### you, dave)
D: (for what it's worth) he's not a "hinkie" guy either (satisfying the 2% of sixers fans who are not 57i66135)

he will not get any honeymoon period because the expectations for the next 10 months are off the charts, but he should get a pretty fair chance because none of the sixers' stakeholders (star players, minority owners, hinkie supporters, hinkie haters) are out for his head from day one.

oh, and there's this:
Thank you very much, for reminding me of the reason why I left Duke. People like you can not and will not ever understand my situation. I’m sure daddy worked very hard to send your rich self to college. While real people struggle. I would also like to extend an invitation for you not to waste your or my time ever agin. Never being considered a part of your posh group of yuppies really hurts me to the heart. Yeah, right. Because I don’t care about you or your alumni.

Sincerely,

Elton Brand #42 NBA
   43. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: April 08, 2020 at 04:39 PM (#5937690)
also:
393. send the 57i66135 over with flamethrowers Posted: September 19, 2018 at 04:42 PM (#5747634)
trade machine: who says no?

PHI: jimmy butler, KAT
MIN: ben simmons, wilson chandler, jerryd bayless
394. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: September 19, 2018 at 05:07 PM (#5747653)
Honestly, Philly I think.
395. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: September 19, 2018 at 05:11 PM (#5747659)
Honestly, Philly I think.
It would be hilarious for Butler, though.
   44. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: April 08, 2020 at 05:47 PM (#5937716)
NJ is on the clock. Draft sheet is here.
FWIW, since only 140 players will be picked in total, you shouldn't need to go more than 25 deep at any given position.

getting deep in the weeds can be fun, but this pool is shallow enough that it's not entirely necessary.
   45. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: April 08, 2020 at 08:14 PM (#5937732)
I'm not in the draft (hard to commit time these days), but I'd love to be a voter on who wins matchups or whatever else format you're using.
   46. Harlond Posted: April 08, 2020 at 09:03 PM (#5937737)
Just out of curiosity, what sort of handicap do you think the person picking last should get?
   47. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: April 08, 2020 at 10:19 PM (#5937744)
Just out of curiosity, what sort of handicap do you think the person picking last should get?
too easy.
   48. NJ in NY (Now with two kids!) Posted: April 08, 2020 at 10:44 PM (#5937747)
Sorry for the delay (new job and wfh with two kids). Catching up on thread and will make my pick shortly.
   49. NJ in NY (Now with two kids!) Posted: April 08, 2020 at 10:56 PM (#5937748)
'16 Steph Curry. I'm confident that he is the single most destructive offensive force in the history of the league. 45% on an incredibly difficult array of 3s. Still in his athletic prime and could finish at the rim against bigger defenders. Ballhandling skills to get to his spot. The amount of defensive attention required to shut him down will open everything up for the rest of my offense. He's giving me less on the defensive end than the guys drafted ahead of him, but I'll accept that for the otherworldly offensive contributions. There were 5 other guys I contemplated at his spot, curious to see where they get drafted.
   50. tshipman Posted: April 08, 2020 at 11:48 PM (#5937757)
Sorry for the delay (new job and wfh with two kids). Catching up on thread and will make my pick shortly.


Solidarity, brother.
   51. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 09, 2020 at 01:57 AM (#5937764)
Sorry for the delay
This thread ain't going nowhere, just like most of the rest of us. Take all the time you need.

I'm not in the draft (hard to commit time these days), but I'd love to be a voter on who wins matchups or whatever else format you're using.
Everyone in OT-NBA can be a voter, and can get deep into explaining why they vote the way they do. It's a great way to waste an hour of time doing something fun for a change.

And yeah, I'm dealing with all sorts of depression brought on by the constant presence of existential dread, so this is very therapeutic for me. I hope it serves similar purpose for everyone else here.
   52. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: April 09, 2020 at 02:20 AM (#5937766)
And yeah, I'm dealing with all sorts of depression brought on by the constant presence of existential dread
well, this is a day that ends in 'y', so that's understandable.
   53. Starring RMc as Bradley Scotchman Posted: April 09, 2020 at 09:27 AM (#5937795)
I'm so old, I remember when they still played basketball in April...!
   54. BaseballObscura Posted: April 09, 2020 at 09:49 AM (#5937800)
I'm very interested to see who will be kicking around at the 13th spot. Backpicks top 40 all-time list has some fine players in that range, though I am a bit surprised to see David Robinson ranked so highly. How do we gauge someone like the Admiral, whose peak MVP calibre years ended with pretty underwhelming playoff performances? He won two titles, but only late in his career when he was alongside Tim Duncan. Karl Malone and Robinson feel like two of the hardest to suss out if we are giving playoff performance in a selected year significant weight, which I think I am one to do. But I am curious how others are perceiving that dilemma.

It's kind of a non-issue for the higher picks, but starts to really stand out later on. Am I to assume that picking David Robinson's outstanding 1993-94 season also includes a guaranteed first round tank job? Conversely, Raptors fan me would give extra weight to Kawhi's playoff performance last year, while his rest-filled regular season discounts his overall value somewhat.
   55. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 09, 2020 at 11:23 AM (#5937817)
As usual, I preface my pick with the comment that I don't really know what I'm doing. Be gentle.

One of the precepts I am using when making my pick is that I need to be able to defend my players' abilities when it comes to the matchups. So the easier it is to do that, the less pressure there is on me. In other words, George Mikan might have the third most Win Shares ever in a season for his 1950-51 season (true, look it up), but do I want to be the one defending him matching up against Wilt or Kareem? No, no I do not.

The first five picks taken don't really surprise me, so I'm in the position I anticipated. The easy choice here is Wilt. He is in my top 3 for career value all-time. Pick your season: 60-61, 63-64, his best season by Win Shares, or maybe 66-67, where he reaches his best TS% and which Backpicks has as his greatest season. However, let's remember rule #1. Someone is going to be taking Russell somewhere, and do I really want to be the one arguing Wilt is better? No, no I do not.

So I will be slightly idiosyncratic and pick Shaquille O'Neill, 1999-2000. A force of nature, Shaq's WS/48 that season is one of the best ever (most of the players above him have already been selected). He was both an offensive and defensive god that year, with a 9.3 BPM, 9.0 VORP, and a shiny 30.6 PER. He is one of the best in the scale-adjusted +/- that Backpicks uses. Again, in each category some players have some seasons a bit higher, but few show excellence across that many categories. He also showed he could work with a variety of other talent and integrate well with them, something Wilt always had an issue with. Plus, he was spectacular in the playoffs that year.

Backpicks championship odds calculator has Shaq with a 30% chance to win a title on a random team that season; only Jordan has any seasons higher than that. Throw who you will at him and watch them foul out.

Do I need to update the spreadsheet or is that being handled by LAEHOA?
   56. spivey Posted: April 09, 2020 at 11:31 AM (#5937821)
Robinson's place in history is quite controversial, even among stats geeks. Frankly, I think Garnett has the same problem. His best playoff years don't line up super well with his best regular season years, they were more inefficient in the playoffs, and while excellent players who could still get you 20+ points, they couldn't single handledly carry your offense in the playoffs.

I think throwing out 82 games because of 4 games of playoff stats would be overkill, but I'll leverage such judgement when the rankings are done. Hell, one of Garnett and Robinsons best years - Garnett in particular - they didn't even make the playoffs.
   57. spivey Posted: April 09, 2020 at 11:43 AM (#5937827)
The top 5 were basically what I expected, in some order. I think this is where it will get interesting.
   58. tshipman Posted: April 09, 2020 at 12:08 PM (#5937845)
I was really hoping that Shaq would drop to 7. I think he's an excellent pick.

The only way to defend Shaq that season was to sag off the inbounds passer to front the pass. Once he caught the ball, it was over. One of the most efficient half-court offense players ever. Phenomenal in the playoffs.

Now, on defense, you'll have to contend with the fact that Shaq was really not very good in the pick and roll. This got worse as he got older, but frankly, he was never good and was mostly lucky that it wasn't a big part of the league at that time. He gave poor effort and had bad instincts in the PnR--Curry going up against a Shaq PnR, for instance, is a 50% 3p shot every time down the court.
   59. DCA Posted: April 09, 2020 at 12:38 PM (#5937857)
Shaq was the first surprise for me. Was expecting Wilt. Top four went in order exactly as predicted.
   60. tshipman Posted: April 09, 2020 at 12:42 PM (#5937860)
I would have taken Shaq 2000 as high as 3rd (Kareem, MJ) and would have seriously thought about taking him second.

The big surprise for me in this exercise was how high LeBron went.
   61. Scott Lange Posted: April 09, 2020 at 12:50 PM (#5937862)
Shaq was #3 on my board. Good pick!

Curry is the one pick I wouldn't have made so far. I understand it, but I can't have a sieve as my first all-time pick.

Sitting at #8, I don't see anyone left who feels like a steal, but I also see three guys I'm perfectly comfortable taking, so there's little downside. So... do what you will, 6 & 7!
   62. Dolf Lucky Posted: April 09, 2020 at 01:03 PM (#5937866)
I am selecting Kevin Garnett from the 03-04 season.

Three primary reasons:

1) Backpicks lists KG's 04 season as the highest scaled APM on record. That obviously ignores a good deal of NBA history and if someone were to suggest that a Chamberlain/Mikan/Erving/Robertson season is better...I'm going to have to be comfortable with the ambiguity. For the record, KG was 24/14/5 (very rare combo) that year and had the best DBPM number in the league. In the playoffs, he went 24/15/5 and might have led the Wolves to a title, had Sam Cassell not injured his hip doing the big balls dance.

2) I have no idea who will be available for me in rounds 2-10, but I know that it will be nearly impossible to draft a team that is incompatible with KG. He's maybe the best passing big man in NBA history (depending on how you classify Bird) and to call him an elite off-ball defender does injustice to the word elite. He'll be able to competently defend 75% of the players selected in this draft. In short, I have no restrictions on how to draft in the future to try to fit around Garnett. His weakness (at this level) is that he's not a dominant scorer. I suspect I'll be able to surround him with shooters...

3) He's my favorite player of all time. Nothing is impossible, what's up with the shirt, this one's for 'Sota, I don't do business with snakes.
   63. JJ1986 Posted: April 09, 2020 at 01:14 PM (#5937873)
KG '04 was the season I had 5th. I think he fits really well in this kind of exercise.
   64. tshipman Posted: April 09, 2020 at 01:16 PM (#5937874)
####, I was going to take KG.

Who I am considering: Magic '87, Hakeem '94, David Robinson '94, Wilt '67, Duncan '03.
   65. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 09, 2020 at 01:50 PM (#5937896)
The first two rounds will be loaded, but I think there's a clear top cluster, and we all more or less know who they are. None of them are going to last until my pick.
   66. tshipman Posted: April 09, 2020 at 01:52 PM (#5937897)
With the seventh pick, I am taking Magic Johnson in 1986-1987.

What I'm looking for with my first round pick is an identity. I want to know how the rest of my team needs to play in order to pick guys who fit together.

Magic in 1987 didn't just define a style of play, he transformed it. The fast break had always been a part of the game, but Magic made it Showtime in 1987. The Lakers set the record of offensive rating at 115, and Magic was the straw that stirred the drink. Incredibly, the offense got *better* in the playoffs, peaking at a 119.9 ORTG en route to a championship.

Magic was both a floor raiser and a ceiling lifter. In 1987, he averaged his highest usage ever--leading the Lakers in shot attempts for the first time. He took James Worthy to the Hall of Fame and extended Kareem's career 5 years. Like today's heliocentric players, Magic simplified the game for everyone around him. Play defense, run the floor like a ############, and always be ready for the ball. Magic is the first of these all time players whose signature play wasn't a shot. While Magic didn't create the no-look pass, he weaponized it. SI estimated that he averaged two no-look assists per game in 1987. As a kid growing up in LA in the late 80's and early 90's, Magic was personally responsible for approximately 75% of my turnovers on the playground.

Magic was also an underrated defender, particularly at this point in his career. Pat Riley used his height as a weapon for the Lakers, often using a half-court trap with Magic that opposing PGs couldn't see over. Magic was an excellent rebounder, particularly for the position, and the Lakers finished 7th in DRTG in 1987.

My team is going to use the '87 Lakers as a blueprint. We're going to play fast, defend hard, and space the floor. It's Showtime.
   67. Scott Lange Posted: April 09, 2020 at 01:58 PM (#5937899)
The first two rounds will be loaded, but I think there's a clear top cluster, and we all more or less know who they are. None of them are going to last until my pick.

Seems like a good reason to avoid a pure snake draft if you ask me... or at least "randomly" give yourself an early pick. What kind of corrupt commissioner are you, anyway?
   68. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 09, 2020 at 02:26 PM (#5937921)
No, the tricky thing would be to go through the first round, then have the commish say: now that we've identified the top tier, we're starting over, with this change: none of the players just selected can be chosen in the real draft.
   69. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 09, 2020 at 02:34 PM (#5937924)
I'm not gonna do that, but THAT WOULD BE AMAZING.
   70. Scott Lange Posted: April 09, 2020 at 02:55 PM (#5937933)
I grew up in the 90's as a fan of the Chicago Cubs first, followed by the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Falcons. It's fair to say I grew quite comfortable with disappointment. One day in junior high, I was watching a random NBA game featuring the San Antonio Spurs and their rookie center, David Robinson. He led them to a huge lead, and I thought "this guy can play, and he's a good military man - I'm gonna root for the Spurs!" They promptly collapsed, and my second life as a Spurs fan was sealed.

And so it was that I found myself on the frustrating end of countless arguments about David Robinson's place in history. "He was a great scorer," I'd say. But "Olajuwon," they'd say. "He was a great defender," I'd say. But "Olajuwon," they'd say. "He was the most athletic player in the league," I'd say. But "Olajuwon," they'd say.

And so, it is with a grim sense of resignation mixed with chagrin that I am compelled to select 1992-93 Hakeem Olajuwon with the 8th pick. He was a monster in traditional stats, averaging 26 points and 13 boards while leading the league with 4.2 blocks per game (far ahead of an in-his-prime Dikembe Mutumbo at 3.5.) He added 1.8 steals per game, leading all bigs (as he often did through his career). His footwork is legendary and his shotmaking was unparalleled for a big. 1993 was also the year his playmaking took a huge step forward, as his assist-rate shot up to 15.8 while his turnover percentage stayed below his career average at just 12.4. And nobody's going to derail our offense with Hack-A-Hakeem - he made 78% from the line.

Defensively, he was a juggernaut both on- and off-ball. He was quicker than any other big and stronger than most. Critically, he elevated his game against elite competition. Yes, he famously got the best of Robinson in 1995, but his dominance against top players went far broader and deeper than that outlier event. Opposing all-stars at his position fared worse against him than against any other modern player. I am extremely confident of his ability to translate against the styles and talents he'll be facing. And he's extremely durable too - playing 39.5 MPG while appearing in all 82 for the fourth time in his career.

If I have a reservation, it's his shooting percentage. At just .529 from the floor (.577 true shooting), it stands out as one potential weakness. But I'm willing to bet that number will rise as I surround him with talent that surpasses the Otis Thorpes and Scott Brookses of the world. So, Olajuwon it is. Winter's Night is on the clock!
   71. tshipman Posted: April 09, 2020 at 03:25 PM (#5937950)
Can you say why you chose 1993 over 1994?

I thought about Hakeem (and honestly, probably should have picked him), but I would have taken the next year. I'm curious to hear your thinking.
   72. Scott Lange Posted: April 09, 2020 at 03:33 PM (#5937960)
I can't honestly say I have any subjective knowledge of his '93 vs '94, so I'm strictly looking at stats. PER, Win Shares, and VORP all favor '93, and not by completely trivial margins (all by 10% or so.) 1993 has an ORating of 114 (!) to 1994's 109 (though '94 leads in DRating 96 to 95). His '94 playoff run probably looks stronger, but it's close ('93 playoffs actually lead in WS/48) and the '93 sample size is only 12 games. All in all, the balance points to 1993 for me, playoff success notwithstanding.
   73. Scott Lange Posted: April 09, 2020 at 03:57 PM (#5937977)
Not that it matters, but that was supposed to say I grew up in the 80s. I experienced the bitter reality of early adulthood in the 90s.
   74. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: April 09, 2020 at 04:30 PM (#5937994)
I would like to say for the record: damn you all and your good picks. I was hoping for Garnett, Shaq, or Hakeem, since it seems like the top big men would go immediately after the GOAT contenders. I'll have my selection in sometime today, but no guarantees when.
   75. tshipman Posted: April 09, 2020 at 06:05 PM (#5938032)
I think Hakeem is probably the best peak defensive player of all time (maybe him or KG or Draymond). Why I didn't end up taking him: if I take Hakeem, am I prioritizing taking more defenders to build an all time great defense? Or am I taking bad defenders because I trust Hakeem to clean it up?

I didn't know the answer to that.
   76. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: April 09, 2020 at 06:15 PM (#5938037)
Robinson's place in history is quite controversial, even among stats geeks. Frankly, I think Garnett has the same problem. His best playoff years don't line up super well with his best regular season years, they were more inefficient in the playoffs, and while excellent players who could still get you 20+ points, they couldn't single handledly carry your offense in the playoffs.

I think throwing out 82 games because of 4 games of playoff stats would be overkill, but I'll leverage such judgement when the rankings are done. Hell, one of Garnett and Robinsons best years - Garnett in particular - they didn't even make the playoffs.

the problem for robinson in this context is that he's not a build around (like shaq or magic); he's not positionally versatile (like lebron or magic); he doesn't bring any one on one matchup advantages (like curry or magic).

he's obviously a great player (and i'm probably going to wind up picking him at #12 anyway; i'm ~65% sure i will not pick anyone under 6'10" before round 8 or 9), but in this context, robinson is not likely to stand out in a good way.


on a related note: who ya got:

mike conley - klay thompson - tayshaun prince - karl malone - david robinson

vs.

russell westbrook - reggie miller - matt barnes - draymond green - joel embiid
   77. Scott Lange Posted: April 09, 2020 at 06:21 PM (#5938038)
Why I didn't end up taking him: if I take Hakeem, am I prioritizing taking more defenders to build an all time great defense? Or am I taking bad defenders because I trust Hakeem to clean it up?

I didn't know the answer to that.

The fact that either choice would work is why you should have taken him. :-)
   78. DCA Posted: April 09, 2020 at 06:29 PM (#5938043)
Re 76. It’s a pretty easy call for me to take team Admiral over team Embiid there. I’m not saying team A is better at every position, but I’m not saying they aren’t. What I will say is that Robinson and Mailman are the only two inner circle all time greats of the 10 and team A has both of them.
   79. Scott Lange Posted: April 09, 2020 at 06:32 PM (#5938044)
Klay is closer to being the third best player on the court than he is to being the second best player on his team. Not a good sign for Team B.
   80. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: April 09, 2020 at 06:37 PM (#5938045)
With the 9th pick, I'm taking Kevin Durant, 2013-14. 32/game on 63.5% TS, 29.8 PER, league MVP, incredible versatility. You could argue he had a better shooting season the year before, but I prefer his MVP season's shot distribution. By the numbers you can argue that his best seasons from efficiency and defensive standpoints came in Oakland, but I personally believe that's more about role and team context than a meaningful change in skillset.

JTSports is on the clock.
   81. tshipman Posted: April 09, 2020 at 06:45 PM (#5938053)
his best seasons from efficiency and defensive standpoints came in Oakland, but I personally believe that's more about role and team context than a meaningful change in skillset.


I dunno, is giving a #### a meaningful change in skillset?

***

Interesting pick. I think there are like 4 guys I would have taken ahead of Durant here. I was expecting Durant to be in the second round. I'm mildly shocked that Durant went before Wilt, for example.
   82. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: April 09, 2020 at 06:52 PM (#5938056)
I think there are like 4 guys I would have taken ahead of Durant here
There were several I considered, but I decided to snag one of the greatest scoring seasons in history for a guy who fits the team I want to build even if it was arguably a reach. Two hours ago, I was pretty sure I was going to take Tim Duncan.
   83. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 09, 2020 at 06:55 PM (#5938059)
Yeah, I'm starting to wonder if people mistakenly think Wilt was already picked by someone. :-)
   84. BaseballObscura Posted: April 09, 2020 at 07:04 PM (#5938061)
I gotta say, I'm enjoying tshipman's sassy, informed commentary. Though I am afraid of getting dunked on (metaphorically) by him after my pick (still undecided, really dependent on who is left at 13 spot).
   85. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: April 09, 2020 at 07:17 PM (#5938065)
More to the point, one of the greatest scoring seasons that would gracefully fit in with other dominant perimeter players. I think I land further than most on the fit side of the "fit vs raw talent" spectrum.
   86. Harlond Posted: April 09, 2020 at 07:40 PM (#5938069)
As someone with the 14th pick, I resent all of you pointing out who should have been taken.
   87. tshipman Posted: April 09, 2020 at 07:44 PM (#5938070)
I gotta say, I'm enjoying tshipman's sassy, informed commentary. Though I am afraid of getting dunked on (metaphorically) by him after my pick (still undecided, really dependent on who is left at 13 spot).


I'm not trying to be mean. sorry if it comes across that way.

More to the point, one of the greatest scoring seasons that would gracefully fit in with other dominant perimeter players. I think I land further than most on the fit side of the "fit vs raw talent" spectrum.


I think in an all-time tournament, I don't worry about fit in the first round. Like, I don't care how MJ or Kareem fit with other players. I can find guys who fit with MJ. I can't find guys who replicate what MJ brings to the table.

This thinking is heavily informed by the heliocentric article in the Atlantic. The biggest mistake in team building prior to analytics was the hedging that teams did. The great teams kind of figured out fit organically. Jordan dominated the ball, and Pippen did the dirty work. Rodman was great with the Bulls because he just wanted to rebound. People talk about this model with initiating wings because LeBron has kind of ruled the league, but there's no reason why it can't be applied to bigs as well.

Like, watch some clips of Shaq at his peak. Look at how badly guys sag off of the entry passers. If you spaced the floor like a modern team, I think bigs like Kareem or Shaq would be just as capable of nearly infinite usage. This was the insight that really powered Hakeem's Rockets to two NBA finals. The Rockets were the first team to put 4 shooters around a pivot in 1994, and they didn't really even take 3s--they led the league at just 15 per game, but that was 2 more per game than any other team.

To me, the really interesting question is how do you find 3 guys who can shoot and put on the court at all times around your star you took in the first round? How we all answer that is, I think, the challenge with team building.
   88. DCA Posted: April 09, 2020 at 07:53 PM (#5938072)
We are drafting just 140 all time seasons. All of our teams are going to be stocked with shooters. There’s no scarcity of 3 & D & something else players in this setup.
   89. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: April 09, 2020 at 08:01 PM (#5938073)
It's not that I disagree with any of your examples, tship, it's that all of MJ, Kareem, Shaq, and LeBron were selected before the 9th pick.
   90. Dolf Lucky Posted: April 09, 2020 at 08:02 PM (#5938074)
Are ABA seasons in scope?
   91. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 09, 2020 at 08:15 PM (#5938077)
Yes.
   92. BaseballObscura Posted: April 09, 2020 at 08:19 PM (#5938078)
Les Selvage's 1967-68 is underrated.
   93. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: April 09, 2020 at 08:27 PM (#5938080)
how about CBA? starbury's got some doozies.
   94. spivey Posted: April 09, 2020 at 08:28 PM (#5938081)
I don’t know if anyone tried to do VORP in this looking specifically at top 140 guys vs normal, but I think the value of Durant over the average wing who is getting minutes may be at, say, the Admiral vs a random big who will be on the court. There are just so many good bigs and you’ll only be playing like 3/team. But the conversation is the fun part of this.

As a Spurs fan, I’m terribly biased on Robinson. But I think his peak is better than Duncan.
   95. Willard Baseball Posted: April 09, 2020 at 08:28 PM (#5938082)
If we are going overseas I would have taken Jimmer!!! over MJ.
   96. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 09, 2020 at 08:28 PM (#5938083)

This thinking is heavily informed by the heliocentric article in the Atlantic.


Isn't that just Parcells' planet theory, reskinned?
   97. Jtsports01 Posted: April 09, 2020 at 08:31 PM (#5938085)
with the tenth pick I will take Larry Bird 1986. 25.8/9.8/6.8 with 2 steals a game, with 50/40/90 efficiency. In the playoffs averaged 26/9/8 with 61.5TS%. To quote Backpicks "all-time level passing is perhaps the most additive and scalable skill in basketball" and Bird "was the greatest touch for touch passer in NBA history."

Some of the guys remaining may have better advanced stats but I don't think any of them will pair better with other elite players.





   98. tshipman Posted: April 09, 2020 at 08:43 PM (#5938087)
Isn't that just Parcells' planet theory, reskinned?


I don't really think so. Parcells' statement was all about how only some guys have the tools. The heliocentric philosophy is more about skill and leaning into your star's skillset.

Are ABA seasons in scope?


I'm assuming this is about Dr. J in 75-76.
   99. JJ1986 Posted: April 09, 2020 at 08:57 PM (#5938089)
It's going to be funny if Wilt gets picked after Joel Embiid.
   100. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: April 09, 2020 at 09:35 PM (#5938101)
It's going to be funny if joel embiid gets picked after Joe smith.
FTFY
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