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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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   3001. Hot Wheeling American Posted: May 25, 2020 at 10:07 PM (#5953461)
A remember to vote flip!
   3002. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: May 25, 2020 at 11:06 PM (#5953480)
David Morrow @_DavidMorrow
Man, the ‘99 Rockets really had Pippen, Hakeem and Barkley and lost in the first round. Wild.
   3003. Scott Lange Posted: May 25, 2020 at 11:15 PM (#5953484)
They were a combined 104 years old, and their best teammate by WS was Cuttino Mobley at 2.3, so not that wild.

   3004. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 25, 2020 at 11:55 PM (#5953496)
Barkley was coming off surgery, Pippen was coming off surgery, and there were all sorts of chemistry problems. Pippen didn't like standing around as the third option while first two options were low post guys who weren't kicking out to him. Pippen was happy to play second fiddle to Jordan, but his ego wouldn't allow him to be second to anyone else, not Kukoc, not Hakeem, not Barkley. He wouldn't shut up about how unhappy he was all season.

Plus, they were going up against Shaq's Lakers in that first round. I remember that first round, game 1. Rockets were up by two points with (and I had to check here) 28 seconds, and Barkley fouled Shaq on purpose. Shaq missed a free throw, giving the Rockets the ball and a 1-point lead with 28 seconds left. Pippen then gets stripped by Kobe and loses the ball. Kobe then gets himself fouled and makes two free throws and the Lakers win by 1. After the game, Pippen had the audacity to blame Barkley for fouling Shaq. HE was the one who had the ball AND the lead with 7 seconds left, HE was the one who lost the ball and the game, and he had the nerve to blame Chuck? Of course the Rockets lose that series. That was a Lakers team the year before they start their 3-peat. That team was just better.

It's #### like this that makes me look at Pippen sideways. He's always got hurt feelings, about his contract, or the play call, or something, and he's always got to find a way to make his unhappiness as disruptive as possible. If he hadn't had the great, great fortune of being Robin to Batman, he could easily have ended up being the evil version of Detlef Schrempf. He'd whine his way from one team to another, just another good player with a bad attitude, and certainly no plaque in the Hall of Fame.
   3005. spivey Posted: May 26, 2020 at 08:37 AM (#5953515)
There's no way you're putting up the numbers that Pippen did, especially if he was the primary initiator - which he would have been for many teams - and not making the HOF. Mitch Richmond made the HOF. That said, yes, I agree that Pippen is a complex character. It was wild to me when he said during The Last Dance he probably wouldn't do sitting out that last play any differently.
   3006. BaseballObscura Posted: May 26, 2020 at 08:44 AM (#5953516)
Here is my strategy for tomorrow's matchup with Dolf Lucky.

Russell 36
Duncan 36
Marion 36
Allen 30
Doncic 36

Cunningham - 24
Stoudamire - 12
Dumars - 18
Blaylock - 6
King - 6

When Dolf has the ball:
Duncan and Russell on court for 24 minutes together with either Russell and Duncan on court at all times 12 minutes each alone. Garnett and Duncan played against each other 52 times with Duncan's team winning 33 of those contests. The point being they played each other a lot and Duncan more than held his own. Duncan has enough athleticism to track Garnett further from the basket and enough size to not get dominated by Garnett. So I'll be trying to have Duncan on Garnett as much as I can, but Russell also has the athleticism and range to guard Garnett when Duncan sits.

Russell will shadow Gobert in the dunker's spot and the two will fight for position down low. Gobert is aspirationally Russell on defense, though is a better finisher at the rim. Russell will make every Gobert FGA into a battle.

Marion will play a lot and have the toughest assignment in guarding Harden, Marion has the size and quickness to shadow and harrass Harden and I think he is one of the few players capable of the assignment

Allen is back in the starting lineup after last series' experiment, I figure his defensive limitations are less of an issue in this matchup. He will shadow Stojakovic and try to use quickness and excellent hands to disrupt Stojakovic and stay in front of him and follow him around the perimeter.

Doncic will be on Kidd and use his long arms to harass Kidd.

The goal will be to neutralize Harden and try to force Dolf into the paint.

Cunningham is first off the bench to help in the fight against Harden and Dumars will be tasked with the assignment as well for short stints, while also guarding Kidd/Hornacek/Walker and Mookie will come into guard Kidd and Rivers.

I will have one of Duncan or Russell on the court at all times. Stoudamire will most likely be coming in to pair with Duncan, depending on who Dolf has out there, preferably when Garnett is off the court.

Dolf has good defensive rebounding, but I still think I have the edge in this, since everyone in my starting lineup is an excellent rebounder. I will be running a lot in transition thanks to the excellent passing of Russell and Duncan, and the finishing abilities of my wings and guards.

Defensive stopper lineup of Blaylock - Kidd, Dumars/Cunningham/Marion - Harden, Cunningham/Marion vs Stojakovic/Walker, Russell vs. Pettit/Mutombo/Gobert, Duncan vs. Garnett

When I have the ball:

I will run a lot of PnR with Doncic - Duncan - PnR and when Stoudamire is out there, I will be running a lot of Doncic/Blaylock - Stoudamire PnR

I wlll also run a lot of offense through Duncan down low and rely on his basketball IQ to pass out to the open man. My starting lineup has two great three point shooters (Allen, Marion) and another good three point shooter who can't be sagged off of in Doncic.

Allen and Marion will do a lot of cutting and movement without the ball to exploit the weaknesses of Harden and Stojakovic, both are threats from three, but also have elite finishing ability at the rim.

My team will run in transition a lot off of defensive rebounds and rely on finishing ability of Doncic, Allen, Cunningham, Marion, King et al.

Russell's passing will be big as well, since I will be relying on ball movement and the lackadaisical efforts of Harden/Stojakovic to create open shots.

King is the microwave off the bench and will primarily come in when Walker comes in.

Dumars and Blaylock will see time based on matchups and when I want to run a grindy halfcourt offense like I did in the last matchup.


Overall strategy:
Move without the ball, baskeball IQ of bigs to pass out of double teams and facilitate spacing as needed, transition game, exploit Dolf's defensive weaknesses and outrebound him.

On defense, make sure Harden doesn't beat you.
   3007. Dolf Lucky Posted: May 26, 2020 at 09:22 AM (#5953528)
Posting before reading the above...

Matchup: Dolf Lucky v. Baseball Obscura

Starting Lineup

PG Harden
SG Hornacek
SF Stojakovic
PF Garnett
C Gobert

Overview: This is a fascinating matchup, because in many ways the two teams are mirror images of one another. We both have centers who are excellent defenders and rebounders, but limited on offense (Gobert, Russell). We have versatile, tall, and elite power forwards (Garnett, Duncan). We have high usage lead guards who can get to the line, hit the three, and pass very well, despite not being “traditional” point guards (Harden, Doncic). And we have wings who are damn good shooters but who leave something to be desired on defense (Peja/Hornacek, Allen/King).

I think I have three slight advantages that should tip the scales in my favor:

1) Obscura’s best player (by way of draft position) is Bill Russell, and one of Russell’s best skills is defense…which has to be wasted somewhat by matching up against a low usage center.

2) Harden vs. Doncic. Both players are high efficiency and both players will get their points, especially when matched directly against each other. But: Harden’s numbers are better (higher ORTG, lower DRTG, and higher TS%), and he’s surrounded by lower usage players which should maximize his style of play (Gobert, Hornacek, Peja). Doncic’s teammates on Team Obscura tend to be higher usage players, which means someone somewhere is losing some numbers.

3) I have a very specific stylistic advantage that can be emphasized when the backups are on the floor. Namely, I have two players who are elite at getting to the line (Pettit ’59 shot 11 FT/36 at 76% and Walker ’72 shot 7.9 FT/36 at 85%). At some point, I’m assuming, they will be guarded by players who were foul-prone (King ’84 had 3.7 PF/36 and Cunningham ’73 had 3.4 PF/36) and we’ll plan to attack with prejudice when that happens.

Average WS/48 for a Dolf Lucky player: .231
Average WS/48 for a Baseball Obscura player: .212

When Dolf Lucky has the ball:
The #1 principle here is that Harden has the ball in his hands a ton. I don’t see anyone on Obscura’s team that can shut him down. We will run three basic plays:

• Harden iso
• Harden PnR with Garnett
• Harden PnR with Gobert

Possessions will generally end up in Harden making a defender look silly on a step-back 3, Harden driving the lane for a layup, lob, or a kick-out to Peja/Hornacek, or Garnett running a play out of the high post.

We’ll run off-ball screens for Peja/Hornacek to free them for threes.

Our bigs are good rebounders, their bigs are good rebounders. We’ll try to crash the boards with our bigs, with the others aggressively getting back on defense.

As noted above, our secondary philosophy on offense will be to drive, kick, and draw fouls. I haven’t been emphasizing Pettit’s or Walker’s ability to get to the line enough. Both are mid-range players who could get their own shot and could draw fouls at a high rate. When I’m in the half-court game and Harden isn’t running the point, I’m looking to slow the game down by getting to the line and getting the opposition in foul trouble.

When Baseball Obscura has the ball:
1) KG covers Duncan to start.

2) Which means that Gobert covers Russell.

3) HOWEVA. If Harden is getting exposed badly on defense, I have a couple of backup plans. First, Kidd will get plenty of playing time despite not being in the starting lineup. He’ll cover Doncic quite a bit. Alternative #2 is to play Pettit more, have him cover Russell (Pettit was just one inch shorter than Russell and while his defensive stats are non-existent, he notched nearly 15 rebounds per 36), have Gobert defend Duncan and put KG on Doncic. That would allow Kidd to cover Allen.

4) Without committing to playing a matchup zone, I will be looking to matching up defender strengths to Obscura’s style of play. If Duncan/Stoudemire/Russell are posting up more, Dikembe is my counter-weapon of choice. If pick and roll is the primary play from Obscura, then Garnett and Gobert make obvious defensive options against the play. Although all three big men are defensively versatile enough to not get burned either way.

5) To the extent that Obscura will be trying to crash the boards, I have three elite rebounders (Garnett, Gobert, Pettit), plus a really good rebounder in Mutombo. If Obscura is crashing and Kidd is in the game, we’re snatching boards and off to the races with Kidd.

Playing time goals:
PG: Kidd ‘03 (30) / Rivers ‘87 (6)
SG: Harden ’18 (36) / Hornacek ’96 (22)
SF: Stojakovic ‘04 (22) / Walker ‘72 (20)
PF: Garnett ’04 (36) / Pettit ‘59 (20)
C: Gobert ’19 (30) / Mutombo ’99 (18)

Who KG is taunting:
Baseball Obscura’s roster contains the one player who I would consider it to be an impossibility for KG to trash talk: Bill Russell. And while it’s funny to imagine, I think Russell would handle it stoically. And then the obvious option is The Big “I’m not any fun at all” Fundamental, but it’s been done. And since Duncan and Garnett played each other to a virtual stalemate stats-wise in their real-life matchups, I’m not sure KG’s taunts worked on the one big man who never once committed an actual foul in his entire career.
But if there were a 20 year old wunderkind with no playoff experience and who has only known this modern and genteel brand of NBA, might that pique KG’s attention? Doncic, you’re on notice.
   3008. tshipman Posted: May 26, 2020 at 10:49 AM (#5953544)
Baseball Obscura’s roster contains the one player who I would consider it to be an impossibility for KG to trash talk: Bill Russell. And while it’s funny to imagine, I think Russell would handle it stoically. And then the obvious option is The Big “I’m not any fun at all” Fundamental, but it’s been done. And since Duncan and Garnett played each other to a virtual stalemate stats-wise in their real-life matchups, I’m not sure KG’s taunts worked on the one big man who never once committed an actual foul in his entire career.
But if there were a 20 year old wunderkind with no playoff experience and who has only known this modern and genteel brand of NBA, might that pique KG’s attention? Doncic, you’re on notice.


First time I've disagreed with this feature. Doncic grew up in post-civil war Slovenia. I doubt KG gets to him.

To me, the obvious target is former teammate Ray Allen.
   3009. Booey Posted: May 26, 2020 at 11:39 AM (#5953558)
#3008 - Por que no los dos?

There's plenty of KG trash talk to go around.
   3010. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 26, 2020 at 11:45 AM (#5953560)
Doncic grew up in post-civil war Slovenia.


That's kind of like growing up in Civil War Oregon in the 1860s. If it were Bosnia, I'd grant you the point.
   3011. tshipman Posted: May 26, 2020 at 12:08 PM (#5953564)
Is KG going to learn Slovenian to trash talk him? That's what appears to have an impact.
   3012. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 26, 2020 at 01:39 PM (#5953579)
I think he would just talk about how Luka's mom is "nice."
   3013. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 26, 2020 at 01:51 PM (#5953585)
STIGGLES and Team Gianni stay alive with a resounding win, and eliminate Slivers and Team Shaq. It's surprising that a team with Shaq and Nash, Grant Hill and Karl Malone would go out early, but it was a matter of fit to me. Nash was a great shooter who got his points through the flow of the offense. He had another initiator and lots of paint muscle, but he wasn't going to be able to find his own shot. That foursome needed a swingman who was a real outside threat. As great as Havlicek was, his offensive game didn't mesh for me. That offense was, generally speaking, less than the sum of its parts, and it ran into a very bad matchup this game.
   3014. tshipman Posted: May 26, 2020 at 01:58 PM (#5953587)
Havlicek and Grant Hill really suffer in this format. They are both relatively inefficient, 2p focused scorers on offense and good team defenders on defense.

One observation that I have had was that I overweighted defense, particularly team defense, relative to the field. People seem to largely make judgments on outcomes independent of defensive contributions. Having the better defensive team is largely a waste of draft position. People value one on one defenders, but not team defense.
   3015. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 26, 2020 at 02:00 PM (#5953589)
So I was eliminated, which is fine -- I lasted longer than expected. I do have one question about a comment that was made on the matchup:

Still, I would favor the big/small combo until I came to the part of the write up where Slivers decided to write "elite shooters in Nash, Malone, and Hill." Nash has a good argument for best shooter ever, non-Curry division, but Malone and Hill were mediocre shooters (great *scorers*, but that's not the same thing).


I'll grant you Hill (though he was top-quartile in TS% in 1997, no slouch), but wasn't Malone #4 in TS% in 1993? Isn't that a great shooter? Am I missing something here? I am not up on the advanced stats, so perhaps I am interpreting that differently.
   3016. tshipman Posted: May 26, 2020 at 02:08 PM (#5953590)
True shooting incorporates FT shooting, so a relatively average FT shooter like Karl Malone who took a very high volume of FTs (he led the league) looks better by that metric.

Further, Karl was always very efficient at getting close to the rim, so his layup game (notably the finger-roll) boosts his overall percentages.

I think most people evaluate shooting as a skill independent of value-centric stats like True Shooting percentage. People tend to look at FT shooting as the most reliable indicator of shooting skill, paired with 3p shooting percentages. What you shoot on a layup is not the best indicator of what you shoot on a jump shot, in other words.

That said, Karl was a good shooter for his career, averaging .452 from long 2 range. He probably wasn't "elite", but not far off it for PF.
   3017. Booey Posted: May 26, 2020 at 02:39 PM (#5953601)
My initial reaction was SHOCK!!! that a team headlined by Shaq, Mailman, and Nash - one of my favorite trio's in this tourney - could possibly be swept out of the competition, but then I looked back and noticed that even with that stellar trio I love, I still voted against them in 2 of their 3 matches, which goes to show the depth of all of these teams.

Great drafting, everyone. IMO there's no unbeatable favorites and no clear doormats. Everyone can win - or lose - with the right (or wrong) match ups.
   3018. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: May 26, 2020 at 03:14 PM (#5953615)
Haven't sat down with the basketball yet, but I think this is a terrible matchup for KG's taunting. Luka is cocky as hell and a couple times when he's been trash talked he's really gone off. Allen is an impervious assassin, I don't think that works, and Marion and Cunningham are junkyard dogs.

I think Amare is the only ripe target, but that's 12 minutes.
   3019. tshipman Posted: May 26, 2020 at 03:19 PM (#5953617)
Btw: 3006 is short 6 minutes. I'm assuming it just goes to Ray Allen.
   3020. BaseballObscura Posted: May 26, 2020 at 03:35 PM (#5953625)
haha. Yes, give the six minutes to Allen
   3021. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 26, 2020 at 03:49 PM (#5953629)
I think Amare is the only ripe target, but that's 12 minutes.
STAT was 6'10, 245 pounds. Gotta go smaller.
   3022. DCA Posted: May 26, 2020 at 03:54 PM (#5953631)
3015-

Tyson Chandler led the league in TS% three years in a row.
   3023. tshipman Posted: May 26, 2020 at 03:57 PM (#5953632)
Maybe Joe Dumars?
   3024. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 26, 2020 at 04:05 PM (#5953634)
Shawn Marion always seemed more sensitive to me, but maybe it's because he has those soft eyes.
   3025. BaseballObscura Posted: May 26, 2020 at 04:20 PM (#5953639)
   3026. Dolf Lucky Posted: May 26, 2020 at 04:41 PM (#5953647)
   3027. JL72 Posted: May 26, 2020 at 05:11 PM (#5953659)
Maybe Joe Dumars?


Dumars guarded Michael Jordan. I doubt KG's trash talking is that much better.
   3028. tshipman Posted: May 26, 2020 at 05:20 PM (#5953660)
Trash talk in the NBA is pretty overrated in general.

KG had to apologize for calling Charlie Villenueva a cancer. His only really memorable line is the honey nut cheerios one.

Best trash talk lines recently are:

1. "You thought you was Kobe."
2. "Just remember, the Mailman doesn't deliver on Sundays."
3. "I've been a part of some really adverse situations, and I just didn't believe that this was one of them."

Most NBA trash talk is just "b*tch-a*s n**ga" and some variation on that.
   3029. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: May 26, 2020 at 07:32 PM (#5953690)
KG had to apologize for calling Charlie Villenueva a cancer. His only really memorable line is the honey nut cheerios one.
no, he told villanueva that he "looks like a cancer patient", which is disparaging not only to cancer patients, which is pretty awful, but is made doubly insensitive, due to the fact that villanueva's hairlessness (eyebrows included) is the result of a disease, alopecia.

Most NBA trash talk is just "b*tch-a*s n**ga" and some variation on that.
joel embiid would like to rent some real estate in your medulla oblongata.
   3030. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: May 26, 2020 at 07:51 PM (#5953693)
My initial reaction was SHOCK!!! that a team headlined by Shaq, Mailman, and Nash - one of my favorite trio's in this tourney - could possibly be swept out of the competition, but then I looked back and noticed that even with that stellar trio I love, I still voted against them in 2 of their 3 matches, which goes to show the depth of all of these teams.
it seems to me that those three have negative synergy.

shaq wants the ball in the low post, which means slowing the pace down.
malone wants to spam pick and rolls, which would fit well alongside nash, except for the fact that it excludes shaq.
nash wants to get out and run, which also leaves shaq behind.
   3031. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 26, 2020 at 08:54 PM (#5953707)
My solution to all that: Pat Riley. He'd get it to work.

Kareem wanted the ball in the low post. Magic wanted to get out and run. A.C. Green wanted to spam pick and rolls.

   3032. spivey Posted: May 26, 2020 at 09:28 PM (#5953714)
I agree there is diminishing returns on having Nash and Shaq on the same team. It also seems like about the worst defense a team in this league could have, and agree on the lacking shooters part. Malone is a good midrange jumper, you will have to be a bit honest there, but ultimately if a team with Nash and Shaq are spamming Malone mid-rangers, you take it. I agree that Hill and Havlicek don't fit well in this kind of tournament.
   3033. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 26, 2020 at 09:39 PM (#5953719)
I think it would work just fine, if they had a shooter instead of Havlicek. To continue the Riley/Lakers analogy, this team had a Magic and Kareem, James Worthy and Green, and they need a Byron Scott, someone who can Nash can go to, and take advantage of all the open space away from the paint.
   3034. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 26, 2020 at 11:32 PM (#5953730)
I think it would work just fine, if they had a shooter instead of Havlicek.


Who available in Round 5 would you have taken instead? Spivey said the team needed defense, and Hondo was one of the best defenders of his era. Backpicks has him as the #32 player of all time, and "his game-level adjusted plus-minus is fantastic, suggesting that his moderate box score metrics, passing and physical defense translated into on-court value. "
As for Hill, a lot of folks said getting him in round 4 was a steal.

Not really arguing with you guys, just think this is an interesting conversation and am happy to keep it going.
   3035. tshipman Posted: May 26, 2020 at 11:52 PM (#5953732)
Spivey said the team needed defense, and Hondo was one of the best defenders of his era. Backpicks has him as the #32 player of all time, and "his game-level adjusted plus-minus is fantastic, suggesting that his moderate box score metrics, passing and physical defense translated into on-court value. "


The problem is that no one valued the team defense and passing that Havlicek brought. I struggled with it as well. I felt like team defense wasn't really rewarded, but I struggled to reward you because I projected Stiggles significantly ahead. I had to give you magic beans credit for Nash on offense and several other players on defense, and it was just too much to feel right.

Who available in Round 5 would you have taken instead?


With the benefit of hindsight, I would have probably taken someone like Khris Middleton, Eddie Jones or Brent Barry.

I also feel like I should have drafted differently, if it makes you feel better. Voters seem to value one on one scoring much more than I do (or the history of basketball does, I would argue).
   3036. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: May 27, 2020 at 01:04 AM (#5953739)
#12 STIGGLES 16, #5 SLIVERS 3
Stiggles stays alive in two-loss bracket; Slivers eliminated

Not a close game, as Stiggles' team dominated. Indeed, none of the three Slivers voters provided rationale, so the quotes will be all Stiggles -- and they center around Stiggles' defense being smothering. I'll just excerpt a few:

<< In this matchup, I'm going with Stiggles. Both of these squads are looking to attack the rim, but his roster is substantially better at defending the paint. He'll have 3 high-end rim protectors on the floor pretty much all the time ... whereas Slivers will only have 1 >>
<< I don’t think Nash can stay with Dame. I don’t see a ton of offense for Havlicek and Hill against Giannis and Leonard. >>
<< Slivers inability to really stretch the floor I think plays right into Stiggles strength on defense and allows him to get enough transition baskets to decide the series. >>
<< This is a perfect type of matchup for Stiggles. Yao can guard Shaq better than almost anyone, and Slivers doesn't have the backcourt ballhawks to take advantage of Stiggles lack of ballhandling. Stiggles wins this one relatively easily >>
<< Yao can at least stay in the game against Shaq, neutralizing Slivers biggest advantage. Team Stiggles has the much better defense >>

Stiggles moves on to face TShipman in another battle for life. With our first team eliminated, of the 13 teams remaining:

-- 4 remain in the winners' bracket
-- 4 are in the one-loss bracket
-- 5 are in the two-loss bracket

NEXT UP (due Wednesday 12 PM Eastern): Dolf Lucky vs BaseballObscura in the two-loss bracket.

   3037. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: May 27, 2020 at 01:07 AM (#5953741)
Who available in Round 5 would you have taken instead? Spivey said the team needed defense, and Hondo was one of the best defenders of his era. Backpicks has him as the #32 player of all time, and "his game-level adjusted plus-minus is fantastic, suggesting that his moderate box score metrics, passing and physical defense translated into on-court value. "
As for Hill, a lot of folks said getting him in round 4 was a steal.

Not really arguing with you guys, just think this is an interesting conversation and am happy to keep it going.
i think your team has the same class of problem that mine does: the best players don't obviously fit together.

given that voting tends to track with a person's first impression, that one is hard to shake.

I also feel like I should have drafted differently, if it makes you feel better. Voters seem to value one on one scoring much more than I do (or the history of basketball does, I would argue).
just out of curiosity, which matchups do you think were most effected by this?
   3038. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: May 27, 2020 at 01:13 AM (#5953742)
On Slivers' team and the teams in general, I tend to agree there are no weak links, though based on matchups I've seen some of these as not particularly close, and I'm still not sure how teams are going to beat LeBron and Jordan (and their supporting casts).

With many of these matchups, I find myself wondering "but... what if I'm sleeping on XXX" (maybe a player, maybe an action, maybe a team attribute). For Slivers' team that's definitely Shaq. Shaq '00 was a huge force, the game-breaking kind that could just singlehandedly win a game, and every time I'm like "but... isn't there a chance that Shaq will just destroy everyone, independent of any strategy or the other nine players on the court?" I voted against Slivers twice (the third game I missed voting for as my kid was being born) but both times Shaq really forced me to pause and think.

Of course, most of the times there's something like that on both teams, so you have to bite the bullet and make a tough choice. This has been a lot of fun as a voter and I think I'm enjoying it more not having a horse in the race.
   3039. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: May 27, 2020 at 01:31 AM (#5953743)
Barkley was coming off surgery, Pippen was coming off surgery, and there were all sorts of chemistry problems. Pippen didn't like standing around as the third option while first two options were low post guys who weren't kicking out to him. Pippen was happy to play second fiddle to Jordan, but his ego wouldn't allow him to be second to anyone else, not Kukoc, not Hakeem, not Barkley. He wouldn't shut up about how unhappy he was all season.
on a related note:

sb nation's beef history: barkley v. pippen
   3040. spivey Posted: May 27, 2020 at 08:40 AM (#5953758)
Who available in Round 5 would you have taken instead? Spivey said the team needed defense, and Hondo was one of the best defenders of his era. Backpicks has him as the #32 player of all time, and "his game-level adjusted plus-minus is fantastic, suggesting that his moderate box score metrics, passing and physical defense translated into on-court value. "
As for Hill, a lot of folks said getting him in round 4 was a steal.

Not really arguing with you guys, just think this is an interesting conversation and am happy to keep it going.


I agree Havlicek should absolutely be rated as a good defender. One good wing defender isn't going to undo below average defense at most positions, and some of the weakest rim protection in the league.

It's also worth noting that Backpicks and the like are evaluating players against their peers. Guys that were above average initiators get that value from Backpicks and advanced stats, but if they will only be the 4th or 5th best offensive option on their team will need to contribute offensively in other ways. I think Havlicek's on/off numbers and passing suggests he will be able to do a lot of that. But I don't see anything that suggests he'll be a good floor spacer. If I'm drafting Shaq in the first round, the first thing I'm thinking to myself is, I need shooters around him.

I also don't think Havlicek and Hill fit super well as your main 2 wing minute guys. Floor spacing is always going to be an issue if both of them are on the floor.
   3041. DCA Posted: May 27, 2020 at 08:44 AM (#5953759)
Who available in Round 5 would you have taken instead? Spivey said the team needed defense, and Hondo was one of the best defenders of his era. Backpicks has him as the #32 player of all time, and "his game-level adjusted plus-minus is fantastic, suggesting that his moderate box score metrics, passing and physical defense translated into on-court value. "

Hondo was a good value in R5. Similarly, Nash, Malone, and Hill were probably the best available at their respective draft slots. Only guy I wouldn't have preferred on value was Shaq (Wilt was better IMO) but that's still quite defensible.

I just think the fit is bad. I don't know that I would have done differently - just grab the talent and hope it plays - but in your case it doesn't play. I'd probably have grabbed a shooter instead of Hondo (Hondo fits great with Nash, but only with a real outside threat at one of the forward positions) or maybe a better third forward or second center, but I think the real mistakes were Rose/Wallace/Blake in rounds 6-8. Those guys all seem to be replacement level in this league while rotation-worthy wings were going off the board in those rounds. Even taking Hondo or a big in R5, you could have grabbed Middleton and Oladipo in 6/7 and been in a much better position with one of them on the court at all times (each 24 minutes, probably start Oladipo and stagger their PT). I like Sam Jones and Arizin, and apparently so do you based on usage, but the fact that your best bench guys are from R9 and R10 is telling.

I also probably would have passed on Nash in R2. You take Shaq in R1, you need to fit your pieces around Shaq, and Nash isn't a good fit with Shaq. Nash is better than Paul George (to give an example, I'm not necessarily saying that you should have taken George) but I think I'd rather have George and Terrell Brandon 95-96 (or another PG of that tier) than Nash/Hondo supporting Shaq.

Easy to say after the fact, I know. I have some similar issues to you (to a lesser extent, the fact that my PF can shoot from 3 point range really helps) and am not seeing the returns on taking the best talent (Mikan/Hawkins, who I saw as R1-2 and R3-4 talent, respectively) despite questionable fit when starting my bench.
   3042. Dolf Lucky Posted: May 27, 2020 at 09:16 AM (#5953761)
Does anyone else find a reconciliation problem with Shaq? It's obvious that he was the most physically imposing player in basketball history. And also obvious that his numbers are inner circle level.

But I think I kept picturing Shaq and all his physical dominance and then would go look at his numbers and be...a bit disappointed.

That's not at all a commentary on the decision to draft Shaq or how he was utilized in this tournament. Maybe more a reflection of the superman that I've mentally created O'Neal to be.
   3043. DCA Posted: May 27, 2020 at 09:38 AM (#5953763)
I don't re: Shaq. It's easy for me to prefer slightly less physically imposing guys who have a broader base of skills: Kareem, Wilt, Robinson. And I absolutely think that Shaq can be adequately defended by the better defensive bigs in this league. He'll get his, but he can't win a game on his own against this competition, and he's often not the best player on the floor.
   3044. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 27, 2020 at 10:06 AM (#5953764)
Shaq was amazing. But we are playing in a bizarro world where almost every team has a low post player that can at least hang with Shaq well enough. We don't have filler centers that are going to foul out right away causing massive problems late in the game. It is a bit like the playoff issue I have with Harden, his bit works amazingly well, but enough less well against the best competition (playoff series) that it is a perceptible drag.

As to the team defense discussions, I agree we are poorly accounting for team defense. The problem, well my problem, is these are teams that never existed. Players who never even met playing together. Massive talents used to being the best player on the court, sharing touches and defensive responsibility with other players just as talented as they are. Individual offense and defense are easier to project, easier to visualize, than team concept offense and defense. And defense is just plain harder to understand and quantify than offense to start with, so team defense gets the short end.
   3045. BaseballObscura Posted: May 27, 2020 at 10:08 AM (#5953766)
I think the biggest blind spot in this tournament/experiment has been evaluating high scoring guards and forwards who don't shoot threes. It feels like many voters, myself included, have trouble conceptualizing an effective offense that doesn't revolve around spacing and three point shooting. Conversely despite this, we all drafted multiple bigs and seemed to prioritize that even and that is hard to reconcile. A few elite old school bigs went undrafted, but everyone seemed to prioritize post play, perhaps for the very reason that everyone is prioritizing post play. Everyone needs a Wilt stopper, so we all drafted with that in mind.

But the challenge with this sort of draft is reconciling the fact that post play as it was once is pretty much dead in the current NBA and few teams have traditional bigs, who just pound in the low post. So, it feels like we all want our cake and eat it too. We all want spacing and tons of threes, but we also want dominant post play and I am not sure that such a mixture has ever existed in the NBA to any meaningful extent.

So that leaves this huge swath of elite players who aren't bigs, but don't shoot threes, as being undervalued or kind of ignored. The extent of the convo seems to be, if a guy doesn't shoot threes, he can't contribute efficient offensive in this tournament. It's been a challenge to evaluate for me and I wonder if it wouldn't have just been a better draft strategy to just emphasize 3 point shooting above all else?

It's been a fascinating though experiment at the very least and I learned who Bobby Jones was, so all in all I've enjoyed it.





   3046. DCA Posted: May 27, 2020 at 10:19 AM (#5953769)
I don't think we are poorly accounting for team defense (other than it's not a line in the box score and we may not agree about it). All-league level offense-only guys like Dantley are unrostered while lesser defense-only types like Wallace, McMillan, and Christie are playing non-minimum minutes.

EDIT: Dantley would definitely fit into BO's non-bigs who don't shoot threes category. Of course, so would Jordan and he went #2 overall and nobody questions his offense.

EDIT 2: A few people seem to be treating spacing and elite 3 point shooting as synonyms. I am not. Anybody who can hit threes at a minimally acceptable rate (say 35% at minimum volume or 30% with reasonable volume) can provide spacing. Those guys can probably all hit 40% from deep if left wide open. Which means they can't be left open, which means they provide spacing. Guys who shoot 40+% in real life will provide more efficient outside scoring, but not necessarily more spacing.
   3047. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 27, 2020 at 10:30 AM (#5953773)
but I think the real mistakes were Rose/Wallace/Blake in rounds 6-8. Those guys all seem to be replacement level in this league while rotation-worthy wings were going off the board in those rounds. Even taking Hondo or a big in R5, you could have grabbed Middleton and Oladipo in 6/7 and been in a much better position with one of them on the court at all times (each 24 minutes, probably start Oladipo and stagger their PT).


In my defense, I'll just point out that the draft was extended to ten rounds rather late, and the requirement to play everyone was instituted post-draft. My expectation was that the top 5 would play most of the minutes, as in most playoff series. I only changed my approach at the end as it was clear that the rules were slightly different than I had interpreted them.

I tend to feel you put your best five out there, and let them play. And my backups were chosen to imitate the player they are replacing as closely as possible. That appears to have been a fatal miscalculation -- folks really seem to like versatility. I'm more of a pick-your-style and beat 'em with that for 48 minutes guy.
   3048. DCA Posted: May 27, 2020 at 11:23 AM (#5953794)
And my backups were chosen to imitate the player they are replacing as closely as possible.

That works well only if your best 5 are a good fit together and your bench is replacing the starters 1 at a time (or maybe 2 at a time tops outside of garbage time). Otherwise, there's a distinct advantage to having the bench provide options not available in your starting 5.

With your team of really good pieces that don't fit together particularly well, having a second similar set is a mistake, you get the same fit issues, just at a lesser talent level. Especially since you could have gotten *better players* if you allowed more differentiation, improving the second unit's overall value and its synergy (as a unit and subbing in piecemeal for starters).

   3049. spivey Posted: May 27, 2020 at 11:28 AM (#5953798)
Are there foul drawing rates available on basketball-reference or somewhere else? I am skeptical of the idea that many of these centers can hang well enough with Shaq. At least going from my own memory of the Spurs, it wasn't unusual for Shaq to have Robinson and the backup stiff both in foul trouble, leading to Duncan having to get some of the minutes too. Of course, Shaq could have some games he'd get into foul trouble himself, because of offensive fouls.

A few elite old school bigs went undrafted, but everyone seemed to prioritize post play, perhaps for the very reason that everyone is prioritizing post play. Everyone needs a Wilt stopper, so we all drafted with that in mind.

But the challenge with this sort of draft is reconciling the fact that post play as it was once is pretty much dead in the current NBA and few teams have traditional bigs, who just pound in the low post. So, it feels like we all want our cake and eat it too. We all want spacing and tons of threes, but we also want dominant post play and I am not sure that such a mixture has ever existed in the NBA to any meaningful extent.


The post-up has been deemed inefficient, but for the absolute best guys, they were still putting up very high TS% numbers. From an outsider's perspective, many of the all-time bigs are all-time great defenders, and the offense is just icing. I think rim protection will matter in this league even more than in real life today, with how capable every team is at getting to the rim.
   3050. Harlond Posted: May 27, 2020 at 11:29 AM (#5953801)
I apologize for not voting in the last two matchups. My admittedly inadequate excuse is that I had out-of-town appointments that kept me from the board.
   3051. spivey Posted: May 27, 2020 at 11:35 AM (#5953803)
EDIT 2: A few people seem to be treating spacing and elite 3 point shooting as synonyms. I am not. Anybody who can hit threes at a minimally acceptable rate (say 35% at minimum volume or 30% with reasonable volume) can provide spacing. Those guys can probably all hit 40% from deep if left wide open. Which means they can't be left open, which means they provide spacing. Guys who shoot 40+% in real life will provide more efficient outside scoring, but not necessarily more spacing.


I'm not sure I agree. Especially recently in the playoffs, we've seen more and more teams just dare those guys to take a bunch of shots.

That leads me to another point that's been brought up here, which is that it seems just assumed that the style of basketball would/should be the current style. From my perspective, that makes sense. It is by far the most advanced in terms of winning games. Looking at some of the scores in The Last Dance just sealed this thought for me. Tons of playoff games that were like 80-74. I know the game was more physical then, but the playoffs are still pretty physical now. I just don't think you can win against a team that's playing modern basketball completely inside the arc, unless you absolutely dominate the paint and FT line which is hard to do if that modern team still has 1 or 2 all-time great bigs.
   3052. tshipman Posted: May 27, 2020 at 11:38 AM (#5953804)
EDIT 2: A few people seem to be treating spacing and elite 3 point shooting as synonyms. I am not. Anybody who can hit threes at a minimally acceptable rate (say 35% at minimum volume or 30% with reasonable volume) can provide spacing. Those guys can probably all hit 40% from deep if left wide open. Which means they can't be left open, which means they provide spacing. Guys who shoot 40+% in real life will provide more efficient outside scoring, but not necessarily more spacing.


The problem with this view is that the level of offensive play is so high. You have to shoot a really high percentage to make a 3per worth more than a Shaq post up, for instance.

34% is just 1.02 points per shot.
Many teams are averaging 1.2 points per shot, so you really need to be hitting 40% to be a value-add in this tournament.
   3053. BaseballObscura Posted: May 27, 2020 at 11:51 AM (#5953810)
That leads me to another point that's been brought up here, which is that it seems just assumed that the style of basketball would/should be the current style. From my perspective, that makes sense. It is by far the most advanced in terms of winning games. Looking at some of the scores in The Last Dance just sealed this thought for me. Tons of playoff games that were like 80-74. I know the game was more physical then, but the playoffs are still pretty physical now. I just don't think you can win against a team that's playing modern basketball completely inside the arc, unless you absolutely dominate the paint and FT line which is hard to do if that modern team still has 1 or 2 all-time great bigs.


Watching Kawhi in the playoffs last year, it was pretty clear that his ability to create and make mid-range jump shots (both contested and uncontested) was a massive difference maker for the Raptors. It meant that when the team wasn't hitting three pointers (or was totally gun shy as in game 7 against the Sixers), they had someone who could score points at any point in the game on any possession. That is an incredibly valuable skill to have, particularly in a short series, where a few possessions can decide the outcome.

I think this tournament is full of players who have that capacity, but I think many voters (again myself included) have a bias towards high volume three point shooting as being the path to victory. It is certainly an optimal strategy, but it isn't the only one that can/will work, particularly in a short series.
   3054. DCA Posted: May 27, 2020 at 12:03 PM (#5953818)
Many teams are averaging 1.2 points per shot, so you really need to be hitting 40% to be a value-add in this tournament.

I agree, but I think a 34% three point shooter (in real life) could shoot 40% if unguarded. That 34% includes a lot of shots that are lower percentage than a clean look with no defender nearby.
   3055. Booey Posted: May 27, 2020 at 12:12 PM (#5953823)
I think elite mid range shooting is underrated and underutilized in the modern game. Granted, it generally shouldn't be your primary attack, but guys like Durant, Kawhi, and CP3 are/were MVP candidates in the modern era with a mid-range heavy offensive game, so it's still plenty effective if the right guys are taking them. Defenses will mostly just give you those shots nowadays, so it's a great way to break a scoring drought or just get a few buckets when you're not getting anything in the paint or from behind the line.
   3056. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 27, 2020 at 12:12 PM (#5953824)
I would be evaluating the teams differently if we were not playing modern basketball. But we are playing with the 3pt line and under modern officiating and rules.
   3057. Dolf Lucky Posted: May 27, 2020 at 12:25 PM (#5953831)
Welp
   3058. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 27, 2020 at 01:29 PM (#5953856)
####, missed my first vote. I was going to vote for BO, but hadn't written a rationale yet. Feels too much like a Tuesday for me.
   3059. tshipman Posted: May 27, 2020 at 01:41 PM (#5953859)
I agree, but I think a 34% three point shooter (in real life) could shoot 40% if unguarded. That 34% includes a lot of shots that are lower percentage than a clean look with no defender nearby.


I think it depends a lot on the player.

LeBron is a career 34% 3p shooter, and shoots about 38% on wide open looks (last two years).

James Harden is a career 36% 3p shooter, and this year shot 35.7% on "wide open" looks, and 35.6% on "open" looks.

Brad Beal is a career 38% 3p shooter (35% this year), and this year shot 41.8% on wide open 3s.

Russell Westbrook, the year he hit 34% of his threes, was at 37.7% on wide open shots.

Generally speaking, most players already take most 3s when open, so it's not that much of a difference.

   3060. DCA Posted: May 27, 2020 at 01:54 PM (#5953862)
Ok, so the 34% shooter would hit 38% unguarded. Not quite as good, but still enough to pay attention to. It's still a lot better than Karl Malone shooting 45% or Grant Hill shooting 40% from 16 feet.
   3061. jmurph Posted: May 27, 2020 at 01:55 PM (#5953863)
Ahahahaha:
The Knicks will soon begin the process of hiring a new head coach and Tom Thibodeau tops their wish list, The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Mike Vorkunov report.
   3062. BaseballObscura Posted: May 27, 2020 at 01:57 PM (#5953865)
I would be evaluating the teams differently if we were not playing modern basketball. But we are playing with the 3pt line and under modern officiating and rules.


Next tourney will be no three point line and six inch lane.
   3063. DCA Posted: May 27, 2020 at 02:01 PM (#5953867)
six inch lane.

Will players be allowed to straddle the lane?
   3064. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: May 27, 2020 at 02:41 PM (#5953879)
Who available in Round 5 would you have taken instead? Spivey said the team needed defense, and Hondo was one of the best defenders of his era. Backpicks has him as the #32 player of all time, and "his game-level adjusted plus-minus is fantastic, suggesting that his moderate box score metrics, passing and physical defense translated into on-court value. "
As for Hill, a lot of folks said getting him in round 4 was a steal.

I might not be the best person to answer this, since I'm pretty sure I voted for you twice and mostly just thought that your team matched up poorly against Stiggles. However, I think I'm part of the consensus in believing that it's very difficult to have a great offense with only 1 outside shooting threat on the floor, and that's especially true against a roster of elite rim protectors like a few of the teams in this tournament.

In your position, I don't think I would ever play all 3 of Nash/Havlicek/Hill together. I liked your starting lineup better with Arizin in Hondo's spot -- even though he's a worse defender, ball handler, and passer -- because he demands so much attention beyond the arc and because the Nash/Hill combo provides more than enough ball handling and passing. A lineup of two long-range snipers, two rim runners, and a dominant low post player is much more cohesive than a lineup of 1 sniper, three rim runners, and a dominant low post player. That extra interior scorer clutters things up for everyone by allowing the defense to really pack the paint. If you had Nash, Havlicek, and Hill staggered so there were 2 on the court at all times, plus a 3&D guy or elite shooter on the move, I think you'd be better off.

For another wing, I'd propose Eddie Jones 2000 or Michael Cooper 1987. I took Eddie Jones in the shadow draft and was surprised no one drafted Cooper: DPOY, #2 in made 3s, top-10 in 3PT%, and an excellent facilitator (4.5 AST to 1.2 TOV), who also played better in the postseason. If your non-Nash lineup had Hondo, Jones/Cooper, Hill, and Ben Wallace, you could really smother some teams defensively.
   3065. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 27, 2020 at 03:01 PM (#5953888)
In your position, I don't think I would ever play all 3 of Nash/Havlicek/Hill together. I liked your starting lineup better with Arizin in Hondo's spot -- even though he's a worse defender, ball handler, and passer -- because he demands so much attention beyond the arc and because the Nash/Hill combo provides more than enough ball handling and passing.
Just to chime in, if that had happened, I would have totally bought it. I don't know how dangerous Arizin would be beyond the arc but he would have definitely been in the "dangerous enough to matter" gray area.

I feel like Grant Hill was done dirty. The guy was absolutely incredible before his injury, the offensive player Pippen thought he was. (I'm really taking a lot of cheap shots at Scottie, aren't I?) What he needed in this tournament was a second wing to kick out to after he beat his man — and he could definitely beat his man — and Arizin could have been that guy. I wrote in my rationale that THAT particular team was less than the sum of its parts, because they had four guys who were effective 15-feet and in, and just one guy who was dangerous from the arc. Giving Hill and Nash that second guy would have opened up the offense for Shaq and Malone, and made Hill doubly dangerous as a creator.
   3066. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 27, 2020 at 03:45 PM (#5953906)
the offensive player Pippen thought he was. (I'm really taking a lot of cheap shots at Scottie, aren't I?)

Yeah, that is a bit of a cheap shot. Career and season picked for this draft show pretty similar overall numbers, and that's only talking offensively even (Pip was much better defensively). They did it slightly differently, but I don't see a clearly superior offensive player there.

---

As for the larger discussion, I tried to consider the seasonal context as much as possible, even if "spacing" today means something different than even 10 years ago. For Malone in particular, he has to get some credit for being a plus mid-range guy and in the context of his era the Jazz were a plus offensive team. He's what, the 3rd offensive option on his team? So teams would help off him or Hill on Shaq and they're going to get open shots. Now, this matchup against stiggles was obviously tough for them, but in the last one (like I said in my write up), I just thought Shaq/Malone were too much physically for Kareem/Love and would definitely cave that defense from the inside. YMMV, of course. Not to name names, but there's even someone on this thread that didn't agree with this statement from DCA: "Of course, so would Jordan and he went #2 overall and nobody questions his offense."
   3067. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: May 27, 2020 at 04:04 PM (#5953911)
I feel like Grant Hill was done dirty. The guy was absolutely incredible before his injury, the offensive player Pippen thought he was. (I'm really taking a lot of cheap shots at Scottie, aren't I?) What he needed in this tournament was a second wing to kick out to after he beat his man — and he could definitely beat his man — and Arizin could have been that guy. I wrote in my rationale that THAT particular team was less than the sum of its parts, because they had four guys who were effective 15-feet and in, and just one guy who was dangerous from the arc. Giving Hill and Nash that second guy would have opened up the offense for Shaq and Malone, and made Hill doubly dangerous as a creator.

nash doesn't take a lot of shots, but he is pretty ball-dominant.
malone required a specific offense to maximize his skillset.
shaq's usage was over 30%.


there just isn't room for hill to make an offensive impact through all of that. he's a sub-15% usage role player in that environment.
I also probably would have passed on Nash in R2. You take Shaq in R1, you need to fit your pieces around Shaq, and Nash isn't a good fit with Shaq. Nash is better than Paul George (to give an example, I'm not necessarily saying that you should have taken George) but I think I'd rather have George and Terrell Brandon 95-96 (or another PG of that tier) than Nash/Hondo supporting Shaq.
i think shaq + nash is a reasonable start. i won't say it's good because that defense is going to be a dumpster, but it's an interesting pair of talents to put together.

where it went "wrong", imo, is with malone. he was good/great value at that point in the draft, but those 3 pieces just don't fit together, imo.


ray allen or manu ginobili would have been a more synergistic 3rd pick. at that point, "plan A" would be to run and gun, and "plan B" would be to dump the ball into shaq. then you can start filling in the edges around that gameplan.
   3068. tshipman Posted: May 27, 2020 at 04:14 PM (#5953914)
Disagree, STIGGLES.

We saw Nash + post player big: that was Nowitzki and Nash in Dallas and Shaq and Nash in Phoenix. It was less efficient than plan A, just spam PnR.

To me, if I start with Shaq, pick 2-4 is focusing on guys who can shoot. Shaq was so much better, like every big, when he had shooting around him to prevent the defense from collapsing.

So in round 2, maybe that's Paul George, Draymond or Dirk. In Round 3, maybe that's Klay or Ray Allen. In round 4, maybe that's Al Horford or Terry Porter.

I also think that maybe Steve Nash was not a great pick in general in round 2. People aren't giving guys like Nash or Magic credit for leading great offenses. If you don't think that Nash makes your team significantly better on offense just by rolling the ball out there, then all he becomes is a defensive liability.
   3069. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: May 27, 2020 at 04:31 PM (#5953921)
To me, if I start with Shaq, pick 2-4 is focusing on guys who can shoot. Shaq was so much better, like every big, when he had shooting around him to prevent the defense from collapsing.
nash was an elite shooter, though.
I also think that maybe Steve Nash was not a great pick in general in round 2.
i went into this draft with the gameplan of not drafting PGs or Cs very highly. i thought those positions were deep enough that prioritizing them was not important.

and so it would be disingenuous for me to disagree with you here...but i want to.


i think both nash and shaq are reasonable build-around options for this environment, but it's probably also reasonable to question whether they fit together as a pair. as in, you could build a team around shaq; you could be a team around nash; but you may not be able to build a top tier team around both shaq and nash.
   3070. NJ in NY (Now with two kids!) Posted: May 27, 2020 at 04:40 PM (#5953923)
I feel like Grant Hill was done dirty. The guy was absolutely incredible before his injury, the offensive player Pippen thought he was. (I'm really taking a lot of cheap shots at Scottie, aren't I?) What he needed in this tournament was a second wing to kick out to after he beat his man — and he could definitely beat his man

The angriest I got in the draft process was when I missed out on Hill who I had ticketed for my roster that round.
   3071. tshipman Posted: May 27, 2020 at 04:40 PM (#5953924)
nash was an elite shooter, though.


By percentage, but not by volume. Nash never hit 5 attempts per 36 in his prime. In his best year for attempts, he was 44th in the NBA.

i think both nash and shaq are reasonable build-around options for this environment,


I should be more clear.

I think that Nash is a reasonable build around option: I built around a very similar player in Magic.

However, with the benefit of hindsight, there are a number of voters who don't believe that players like Magic or Nash drive extra efficient offense and prefer the isolation scorers. I disagree with those voters, but there are enough to make building around those players sub-optimal.
   3072. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: May 27, 2020 at 04:41 PM (#5953925)
The angriest I got in the draft process was when I missed out on Hill who I had ticketed for my roster that round.
i felt the same way when i missed out on ben simmons.


giannis/kawhi/kirilenko/simmons would have been one hell of a start.
   3073. NJ in NY (Now with two kids!) Posted: May 27, 2020 at 04:42 PM (#5953926)
Not to name names, but there's even someone on this thread that didn't agree with this statement from DCA: "Of course, so would Jordan and he went #2 overall and nobody questions his offense."

Is this a reference to when I astutely pointed out that we are overvaluing Jordan in this context?
   3074. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: May 27, 2020 at 05:06 PM (#5953930)
since i think i'm in this next matchup:


writeup against [insert name here]:

starters:
damien lillard ('20):          30 MPG
kawhi leonard ('
16):           36 
giannis antetokounmpo 
('19):   36 
andrei kirilenko ('
04):        30
yao ming 
('09):                30

bench:
shawn kemp ('
94):              24
kyrie irving 
('19):            24
brent barry ('
02):             12
gerald wallace 
('06):          12
drazen petrovic ('
93):          



plan A:
shut down your best guy.

plan B:
shut down your next best guy. and the one after that.

plan C:
giannis goes freak on your ass.

plan D:
bombs away with lillard and kyrie (and drazen, barry and kawhi)


when my team has the ball:
i'm throwing maximum freakishness at the wall for this rock fight.

giannis is 6'13" with insane athleticism and ballhandling ability; yao is 7'6", with nimble feet and great shooting touch. try to stop them.

lillard and kyrie can create space and get their shot off against anyone 1 v 1. try to stop them.

kawhi (45% 3P%), drazen (44% 3P%) and brent barry (42% 3P%) are waiting for kickouts in the short corner. try to stop them.

kemp, kirilenko and gerald wallace are springy, mf'ing agents of chaos. try to stop them.


when [insert name here] has the ball:
your perimeter ballhandlers will have the longest two weeks of their lives.
your low post threats will be attacked by double teams coming from every direction.
your shooters will be seeing ghosts after this horde of 6'10+" monstars closes out on them from half-way across the court all series long.

-- any shoddy passes will be intercepted.
-- any half-assed dribbling or playmaking or ball movement or player movement will grind your offense to a halt.
-- any weak ass #### whatsoever will be severely punished.


if you cannot match my team's physicality and intensity: you've got *no* chance.

even if you can match that physicality: you're only 50/50 (*at best*) to keep with my offense.
   3075. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 27, 2020 at 05:08 PM (#5953931)
Just to chime in, if that had happened, I would have totally bought it. I don't know how dangerous Arizin would be beyond the arc but he would have definitely been in the "dangerous enough to matter" gray area.


I tried that in game 2, with no better results. Not complaining, but I tried.
   3076. tshipman Posted: May 27, 2020 at 05:21 PM (#5953934)
Minutes
Magic Johnson   36
Scottie Pippen  36
Bill Walton     30
Dennis Rodman   36
Terry Porter    36
Rasheed Wallace 18
Khris Middleton 24
Gordon Hayward  6
Alvin Robertson 12
Byron Scott     6 


Strategy write-up:
I have kind of stopped caring, so this will be brief.

Run on the break, get efficient offense. (I don't know why I even bother including this line anymore.)
Guard Kawhi and Giannis with Pippen and Rodman. Guarding Giannis with a premier defender has a proven ability to reduce his efficiency.
Stash Magic on Kirilenko.

I have better rebounding, and generate more turnovers (not that it matters).
My guys played better in the playoffs, his guys mostly did not.
   3077. Dolf Lucky Posted: May 27, 2020 at 05:24 PM (#5953937)
To put a bow on my team's exit:

1) I am retroactively selecting Flip Saunders as my coach for this tournament.

2) Congrats to Baseball Obscura for evading the early exit.

3) I didn't expect to win the tournament, but I also didn't expect to be skunked. I think my team fits together generally well and I know that from an advanced metric perspective, my team matches up very well against the field. So...the question is this: what would a winning strategy involving James Harden look like?
   3078. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: May 27, 2020 at 05:44 PM (#5953945)
3) I didn't expect to win the tournament, but I also didn't expect to be skunked. I think my team fits together generally well and I know that from an advanced metric perspective, my team matches up very well against the field. So...the question is this: what would a winning strategy involving James Harden look like?

your first two picks (harden and KG) are very synergistic, but then you just kind of bleed value everywhere else.

you went hard on specialized skillsets (gobert, peja and kidd) early in the draft and missed out on more offensively versatile players (allen, hill, manu, towns, stockton, billups) that could have rounded out your team's offensive strategy.


the difference between gobert and tyson chandler is a lot smaller than the difference between peja and manu ginobili.
   3079. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: May 27, 2020 at 05:55 PM (#5953947)
as for what a winning strategy would look like with james harden:


garnett is fine.
manu instead of gobbert, to add another high-level wing creator.
billups instead of kidd, to up your shotmaking.

throw in tyson chandler, who somehow went undrafted (in case gobbert doesn't fall to round 5/6/7).

add in a few iguodala/marion/middleton/havershams/turkoglu/prince types to add some versatility.

take an 0-guard late in the draft to heat things up off the bench. maybe isaiah thomas (2017) or kyle lowry (also 2017).


that gets you to something like:

billups / harden / manu / kg / chandler

lowry, middleton, tayshaun, mutombo.



...which, as i look at it, still has to overcome some pretty significant defensive issues.
   3080. spivey Posted: May 27, 2020 at 06:17 PM (#5953951)
I don't think there was ever a chance of a James Harden led team winning or even doing super well in this league. I'm not saying that's entirely justified. But it at least partially is, his playoff efficiency just isn't great for the usage you're giving him and what you're giving back on defense. If it was going to do well, I think you'd need a team of high efficiency bombers who can do some secondary creation. Essentially the players that stiggles outlined. The best of those (Ginobili, Allen, Miller, Klay) went pretty high. But some guys didn't. Middleton and Oladipo are talked about a fair amount, but Hayward is another one. A lot of teams I think could use a Hayward right now. Of course these guys mostly are weak defenders when compared to the rest of the league.
   3081. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 27, 2020 at 06:18 PM (#5953952)
NJ in NY (Now with two kids!) Posted: May 27, 2020 at 04:42 PM (#5953926)

[ Ignored Comment ]


Better :)

---

After Harden/KG, Paul George would have been a perfect fit but he's already gone. Too early for Jimmy Butler there, but I like him as a wing on that team...I'm not a fan of the Billups/Harden/Manu group, either Manu or Billups is fine but not both. Other guys on the wing in the next couple of round that could work (though all for different reasons) are Rick Barry, Brandon Roy, Ray Allen, Hondo...the Middleton suggestion makes a ton of sense. Gary Payton would be a good fit with Harden. I kinda like the idea of Walton being picked instead of Gobert and even that makes a huge difference if the rest of the draft were the same (well, not picking Gobert 3rd would help too).

I don't think there was ever a chance of a James Harden led team winning or even doing super well in this league.

Yeah. My snark answer to the original question would have been "TBD". Instead of Harden in round 2, KG/Dirk would have been a fascinating duo to build around.
   3082. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 27, 2020 at 06:23 PM (#5953953)
There's a lot of really gimmicky suggestions/ideas in here about the NBA coming back (Zach Lowe). Oddly enough, I think the really simple format the NHL is doing* makes a ton more sense than just about any of those ideas - can't believe I'm actually suggesting that the NHL has a good idea though. Also, Disney is opening up in mid-June so not sure how that one hub in Orlando would really work now.

*24 teams, top 4 seeds in each conference playing round robin to determine 1-4 seeding and bottom 8 in each conference playing standard bracket in a best of 5 series (5v12, 6v11, etc). They haven't said exactly what the next rounds will look like (matchups and the "normal" first two rounds could be best of 5 instead of 7, but the conference championships and Stanley Cup Final are still best of 7). Also sounds like they're looking for 2 hub cities.
   3083. Booey Posted: May 27, 2020 at 06:43 PM (#5953959)
If they're going to bother finishing up the season, honestly I think the best approach would be the simplest one; just jump straight to the postseason and take the current standings as-is. If teams need a few practice games after a 3 or 4 month layoff, just have the 16 playoff teams play a few exhibition games against each other (similar to preseason games) before the actual games that count start.

There's no need to call back lottery teams and put more players at risk just for a few meaningless schedule filler type games. This goes for the sub .500 teams on the playoff bubble too (POR, SAS, NOP, etc) that might ##### if the current standings are upheld; sorry, but your records aren't playoff worthy anyway. There's no 2008 Warriors (48-34), 2014 Suns (48-34), or 2018 Nuggets (46-36) amongst the bunch that's getting shafted by the format. Do you really want to risk your health and play just for a shot at 4 lopsided games against the Lakers or Bucks? Let it go.
   3084. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 27, 2020 at 06:44 PM (#5953960)
By percentage, but not by volume. Nash never hit 5 attempts per 36 in his prime. In his best year for attempts, he was 44th in the NBA.
This is why I think iso penetrators are getting short shrift. Nash was a deadly shot and arguably the greatest PnR point guard in league history, but he wasn't going to create his own space. Also, he had the ball in his hands all the time, so I question his ability to find space moving without the ball. Having Grant Hill as a running mate is great because Hill can do what Nash can't, create his own paint penetration, and I know that Hill can drive and dish with the best of them... but I don't know that Nash will be able to find that open space for Hill to dish to. That's why I've been saying that this squad needed a shooter. In retrospect, I think the pick to get would have been Chris Mullin, absolute deadly volume shooter who knew how to get to empty space. If Mullin's out there, no team would dare leave him alone, which means one less double on Shaq, one less helper to run at Malone, one less guy to jump Nash's and Hill's passing lanes.
   3085. tshipman Posted: May 27, 2020 at 06:48 PM (#5953963)
This is why I think iso penetrators are getting short shrift.


What? Teams built around ISO penetrators are the most successful teams in the tournament. How are they getting short shrift?
   3086. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 27, 2020 at 06:51 PM (#5953964)
STIGGLES:
you went hard on specialized skillsets (gobert, peja and kidd) early in the draft and missed out on more offensively versatile players (allen, hill, manu, towns, stockton, billups) that could have rounded out your team's offensive strategy.
TShip:
People aren't giving guys like Nash or Magic credit for leading great offenses.
STIGGLES nails it here. All the teams are OP on both sides of the ball, so you have to be able to go to a great Plan B when they take away your best guy. That's why I'm leery of the singular driver on offense in this tourney, whether it's Magic or Nash or whomever. The quickness and defensive smarts on the floor is overwhelming, and there's a ton of interior defense, so if teams don't have at least two guys who can direct traffic, I start questioning the the fluidity of their offense.
   3087. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 27, 2020 at 06:58 PM (#5953966)
What? Teams built around ISO penetrators are the most successful teams in the tournament. How are they getting short shrift?
I dunno. Two of the four undefeateds are, not surprisingly, built around Lebron and Jordan and a bunch of gazelles, but the other two are built around Hakeem+West and Robinson+Oscar. The two teams that have gone out so far their offenses around a singular talent. I think that's what voters aren't liking.

(Also, I think a lot of it is a matter of good/bad luck in match-ups.)
   3088. tshipman Posted: May 27, 2020 at 07:00 PM (#5953967)
STIGGLES nails it here. All the teams are OP on both sides of the ball, so you have to be able to go to a great Plan B when they take away your best guy. That's why I'm leery of the singular driver on offense in this tourney, whether it's Magic or Nash or whomever. The quickness and defensive smarts on the floor is overwhelming, and there's a ton of interior defense, so if teams don't have at least two guys who can direct traffic, I start questioning the the fluidity of their offense.


But you're overweighting one on one scoring. The most efficient offenses in NBA history aren't built by putting a bunch of one on one scorers together. That just leads to "your turn, my turn" offense.

The most efficient offensive teams are the ones that are built around one primary creator who makes everyone else better. Nash and Magic led the most efficient offenses in the NBA some ridiculous percentage of the time they were in the NBA. That's not an accident.

LeBron is one of the most talented one on one scorers in NBA history. He has guided his team to the top offense in the NBA exactly zero times. Magic did it 7 out of 12 seasons. It wasn't because the Lakers could dump it down to 40 year old Kareem.
   3089. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 27, 2020 at 07:13 PM (#5953970)
But you're overweighting one on one scoring. The most efficient offenses in NBA history aren't built by putting a bunch of one on one scorers together. That just leads to "your turn, my turn" offense.
I think we're talking past each other. These iso slashers aren't just trying to go to the rim on every possession. A guy like Grant Hill is a terrific passer, as are many of the iso slashers in the tournament. Their ability to get into to the second level of defenses forces opponents to either concede or shift, and the ensuing passes create the good opportunities. I'm not actually dumb; I'm not arguing that everything should be a 1-on-1 fest. I'm just saying the guys who can both penetrate AND pass do best in this tourney, and teams that have multiples of that guy do best.

Magic and Nash are unquestionably great. I've called Nash the greatest PnR PG in league history multiple times here, and I still think Peak Magic is the greatest player of all time. Neither of them had to play teams like these.
   3090. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: May 27, 2020 at 07:45 PM (#5953975)
Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds
Pandemic updates: -- NBA still deciding a lot of stuff. -- I haven't worn pants in 78 days.
   3091. tshipman Posted: May 27, 2020 at 08:41 PM (#5953987)
I think we're talking past each other. These iso slashers aren't just trying to go to the rim on every possession. A guy like Grant Hill is a terrific passer, as are many of the iso slashers in the tournament. Their ability to get into to the second level of defenses forces opponents to either concede or shift, and the ensuing passes create the good opportunities. I'm not actually dumb; I'm not arguing that everything should be a 1-on-1 fest. I'm just saying the guys who can both penetrate AND pass do best in this tourney, and teams that have multiples of that guy do best.


I guess I'm curious what you think went wrong with the LeBron/Wade Heat and why they weren't the greatest offense of all time.
   3092. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 27, 2020 at 09:09 PM (#5953993)
I guess I'm curious what you think went wrong with the LeBron/Wade Heat and why they weren't the greatest offense of all time.
Because a 32-year-old Wade kicking out to Chris Bosh and a 38-year-old Ray Allen isn't what fairy tales are made of, and it turns out that Dirk and Tim Duncan are pretty good, too.

Besides, this tournament doesn't exist in the same environment as the real world. They're not comparable.
   3093. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: May 28, 2020 at 12:29 AM (#5954024)
I guess I'm curious what you think went wrong with the LeBron/Wade Heat and why they weren't the greatest offense of all time.

the heatles played most games at half-speed. they had more talent than (nearly) everyone else, but they didn't care about anything that happened in the regular season.

   3094. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: May 28, 2020 at 01:43 AM (#5954034)
#13 BASEBALLOBSCURA 10, #6 DOLF LUCKY 5
BO stays alive in two-loss bracket; Lucky eliminated

This game mostly came down to what you thought of James Harden. The Dolf Lucky voters felt that Harden would thrive in this matchup while the BO voters didn't see it that way. By a two-to-one margin, the Harden skeptics outnumbered the Harden boosters, so we won't have to put up with his bullshit antics anymore.

Quotes from BO voters:
<< I have a harder than usual time seeing how either team plays (not that they can't, but I have difficultly visualizing it). Going with BO, as I think his talent is significantly better. >>
<< [T]he strategy of running Harden iso and PnR against Marion and arguably the top 2 interior defenders of all-time seems sub-optimal. >>
<< This seems like the worst possible environment for Harden, and I think the notable drops in his RL playoff efficiency and effectiveness would get worse in this tournament. >>
<< I think both offenses work, but because of the relative defensive weakness of Harden and Peja, I think BO's offense works that little bit better >>
<< I think I like Dolf's offense better, but ultimately I'm slightly dinging Harden and Garnett for not being as efficient offensively in the playoffs >>
<< Close match, where BaseballObscura pulled slightly ahead on defense enough to offset Dolf's advantages at the FT line. >>

Quotes from Lucky voters:
<< I think Lucky's right that nobody on BO can really guard Harden's bag of tricks >>
<< Harden is basically a more efficient version of Luka, and no one is better than the Beard at getting his own shots (and drawing cheap fouls). >>
<< Harden finally has a match up where he can use his skills to the maximum (including drawing buckets of bullshit fouls) >>
<< I basically agree with Dolf that he's got a bit more talent and he can generally guard BO's players but BO can't really guard Harden >>

DOLF LUCKY EPITAPH:
Lucky's team, led by Kevin Garnett and James Harden, went 0-3, losing 20-7 to JJ, 13-4 to tshipman, and now 10-5 to BaseballObscura. Ultimately, I can't help but wonder if voters' dislike of Harden's aesthetics (including my own) played a bit of a part in the voting; a defense anchored by Kevin Garnett and an offense anchored by James Harden both seem pretty good. Ultimately, though, it seems like voters were also unimpressed by the depth, with a number of one-way players like Gobert and Mutombo on defense, and Stojakovic and Hornacek on offense, not really lighting the voters' pants on fires. But also, someone has to lose these games!

Lucky's biggest supporters: Booey, Dandy Little Glove Man, JJ1986, and Scott Lange all voted twice for his team. If it were up to them, he'd certainly still be around in the one-loss bracket.
Lucky's biggest skeptics: FancyPantsHandle, jmurph, DCA, Hombre and Harlond all cast three votes against his team.

Next up: STIGGLES versus tshipman in the two-loss bracket. Votes due Friday noon ET.
   3095. jmurph Posted: May 28, 2020 at 09:09 AM (#5954053)
Next up: STIGGLES versus tshipman in the two-loss bracket. Votes due Friday noon ET.

This isn't active for me yet (still listed as tship vs TBD). Anyone else?
   3096. spivey Posted: May 28, 2020 at 09:41 AM (#5954059)
Same as 3095.
   3097. DCA Posted: May 28, 2020 at 10:05 AM (#5954063)
I'm also seeing that. BO vs NJ on Monday also needs to be updated.
   3098. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 28, 2020 at 11:39 AM (#5954104)
In retrospect, I think the pick to get would have been Chris Mullin, absolute deadly volume shooter who knew how to get to empty space. If Mullin's out there, no team would dare leave him alone, which means one less double on Shaq, one less helper to run at Malone, one less guy to jump Nash's and Hill's passing lanes.


I did try to get Allen, so at least I have that going for me. Mullin -- I love Mullin, but my gut feeling at the time was that the electorate would see him as a slow, old-timey white guy.
   3099. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 28, 2020 at 01:12 PM (#5954130)
Is Chris Mullin really old timey? The man was on the Dream Team! I'm really starting to feel my age. In a couple of years, I'm going to be 50, and the Dream Team will be 30 years gone. That's so depressing.
   3100. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 28, 2020 at 04:03 PM (#5954189)
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