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Thursday, October 24, 2019

OT - NBA Thread, Start of the 2019-2020 Season

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, and we’re the only people that matter.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 24, 2019 at 02:42 PM | 1619 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, china, nba, off-topic

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   1101. Booey Posted: November 25, 2019 at 10:33 PM (#5903919)
Valiant effort by the Jazz in Milwaukee without Gobert (21 threes helped), but...Giannis.
   1102. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 26, 2019 at 01:06 AM (#5903934)
Fultz scored 16 more points than Embiid tonight.
I only now realized that wasn't because Fultz had a big game. Holy crap. How did that even happen?!
   1103. spivey Posted: November 26, 2019 at 08:48 AM (#5903956)
Utah had a team TS% of 65.4 (this is higher than Steph Curry's last 4 years) and still lost.

Giannis may not be the best player in the world, but for me, he is definitely the best regular season player in the world.

It seems like the top 6 in each conference are starting to shake out. I'm surprised Dallas is there, but Doncic has been a top 5 player this year.
   1104. Booey Posted: November 26, 2019 at 09:09 AM (#5903960)
Jazz really could've used Gobert last night. With shooting like that, all they needed was some interior defense so the Bucks wouldn't get a billion second chance and points in the paint, but...well, that's exactly what happened.

Rudy can't hurry back quick enough. Jazz on a brutal Eastern roadtrip that includes 4 of the top 6 seeds in the East (Bucks, Pacers, Raptors, Sixers). Good chance they'll be only slightly above .500 when it's over (but then the schedule gets easier to make up ground again).
   1105. jmurph Posted: November 26, 2019 at 10:12 AM (#5903981)
So Buddy Hield is not having a particularly great season so far, but here's his line in two games against Boston:

29/50 FG, 18/33 3pt, 76 total points
.580/.545 FG/3FG splits. .753 TS% on 33.5 USG.

He was ridiculous last night, single-handedly almost won the game for them. And it's not like Boston is lacking in decent perimeter defenders! But they couldn't do anything.
   1106. spivey Posted: November 26, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5903987)
The Kings have had a nice resurgence and if Bagley takes a leap this year they could still make the playoffs.
   1107. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: November 26, 2019 at 12:12 PM (#5904014)
I only now realized that wasn't because Fultz had a big game. Holy crap. How did that even happen?!

Good defense?
   1108. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: November 26, 2019 at 12:14 PM (#5904015)
[1105] Stevens needs to go back to the scheme from a couple years back that featured great defense on open 3's.
   1109. jmurph Posted: November 26, 2019 at 12:19 PM (#5904017)
[1105] Stevens needs to go back to the scheme from a couple years back that featured great defense on open 3's.

I regret to inform you they're still "good" at that.

EDIT: Haha literally 1st again (for Wide Open). The story that will not die.
   1110. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: November 26, 2019 at 12:48 PM (#5904022)
I just cannot get past how shitty the Bucks roster looks like when Giannis is ignored.
   1111. Rally Posted: November 26, 2019 at 12:54 PM (#5904024)
EDIT: Haha literally 1st again (for Wide Open). The story that will not die.


I wonder if it's a selection issue. Maybe they are so good at covering good 3 point shooters that they never leave them wide open (or do so much less than other teams). The only guys who get open 3's against them are people like Giannis, who aren't good at 3s. Just a theory.
   1112. SteveF Posted: November 26, 2019 at 01:03 PM (#5904030)
I think it's best to look at it like a reductio. Teams can't be better than other teams at defending open 3's almost definitionally. Thus if a large enough data set says a few teams are, then there's possibly something wrong with the data and the data cannot be trusted or taken at face value.

Further, it may be that teams are taking enough 3's (and contested 3's) these days that we're beginning to see teams have some impact on 3P%.
   1113. Fourth True Outcome Posted: November 26, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5904035)
I continue to think that part of this is about the encoding of shots. The distances are body-to-body, and "Open" is 4-6 feet distance with "Wide Open" as 6+ feet. This doesn't count arms, and I'm not sure where during a shot attempt that distance is measured. I would love to see how the Celtics and their Brad-Stevens-voodoo-defense does on "Wide Open" shots that still have a closeout attempt by a defender versus shots without any real closeout by a defender.
   1114. spivey Posted: November 26, 2019 at 01:29 PM (#5904036)
Didn't we take a look at this last year and the Boston 3pt% defense go back to Doc Rivers?

FWIW, the Clippers have pretty good 3pt% against statistics in the Doc Rivers era too. I imagine there's multiple things going on, but I'm pretty mistrustful of how many of these shots get classified based on my experience of attending games and then looking at the open shot stats afterwards.
   1115. SteveF Posted: November 26, 2019 at 01:31 PM (#5904037)
I continue to think that part of this is about the encoding of shots. The distances are body-to-body, and "Open" is 4-6 feet distance with "Wide Open" as 6+ feet. This doesn't count arms, and I'm not sure where during a shot attempt that distance is measured. I would love to see how the Celtics and their Brad-Stevens-voodoo-defense does on "Wide Open" shots that still have a closeout attempt by a defender versus shots without any real closeout by a defender.

Well, the counter here is simply Wyatt Earp. You've got 30 teams so there's going to be some normal distribution that will place teams at the high and low ends. Is a test for statistical significance a test of anything given the number of teams?

I always wonder if that's an argument about method or threshold. Would a higher threshold for significance (like .1%) address the issue?

That said, even in the hard sciences testing for statistical significance is on the way out.
   1116. jmurph Posted: November 26, 2019 at 02:20 PM (#5904053)
Good piece on the surprisingly good (on offense) Wiz.
   1117. Booey Posted: November 26, 2019 at 02:36 PM (#5904061)
#1111 - That's what I suggested last year during that discussion but no one responded to it. I don't think it's unlikely at all that a team might be good at sticking close to good 3-pt shooters while deliberately ignoring bad ones. In fact, I know that happens because that's exactly how teams often defended the Jazz last year. Why did Snyder's offense have such a tougher time generating open 3's for Ingles and Korver than it did for Crowder and Rubio? Because opponents were letting the latter guys shoot on purpose while closely guarding the better shooters.
   1118. i hear there are a lot of dead animals in 57i66135 Posted: November 26, 2019 at 03:28 PM (#5904077)
Good piece on the surprisingly good (on offense) Wiz.
i haven't read it, but looking at the wiz's bk-ref page, a few thoughts:

-- rui hachimura is who we thought he is: a poor defensive volume scorer
-- they're getting very little offense out of their PGs, but at least bonga and brown are good defenders.
-- bertans and wagner are shooting the damn lights out.
-- if they can upgrade from bryant to someone who can actually anchor a defense (capela, WCS, noel, robinson, okafor, draymond, horford), they could actually take a leap forward.
-- ugh, john wall.
-- beal has eaten a ton of usage, without much (any) regression in efficiency. that's huge.
   1119. SteveF Posted: November 26, 2019 at 03:32 PM (#5904078)
i haven't read it, but looking at the wiz's bk-ref page, a few thoughts:

The Wiz also have the largest positive actual eFG% minus expected eFG% of any team in the league according to pbpstats.com. That comes with the caveat that their shot quality data isn't at the level of second spectrum, but it's the best that's publicly available.
   1120. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: November 26, 2019 at 04:45 PM (#5904105)
So, basically everything has gone right for the Wiz, and they are 5-9 against a pretty soft schedule, with their best win against Minnesota.
   1121. jmurph Posted: November 26, 2019 at 09:03 PM (#5904133)
Yes but they’re maybe/probably not the worst team in the league, which is a mild upset.
   1122. tshipman Posted: November 26, 2019 at 10:11 PM (#5904138)
I wonder if it's a selection issue. Maybe they are so good at covering good 3 point shooters that they never leave them wide open (or do so much less than other teams). The only guys who get open 3's against them are people like Giannis, who aren't good at 3s. Just a theory.


#1111 - That's what I suggested last year during that discussion but no one responded to it. I don't think it's unlikely at all that a team might be good at sticking close to good 3-pt shooters while deliberately ignoring bad ones. In fact, I know that happens because that's exactly how teams often defended the Jazz last year. Why did Snyder's offense have such a tougher time generating open 3's for Ingles and Korver than it did for Crowder and Rubio? Because opponents were letting the latter guys shoot on purpose while closely guarding the better shooters.


It was responded to, pretty extensively. It's kind of a not great take because every single ####### team in the NBA tries to take away good shooters. Even the worst teams know that you shouldn't leave Steph Curry open, and that you can live with Draymond chucking from the outside.

For the "stick to shooters" explanation to be a coherent rationale, you have to believe that someone on the Boston staff, who's been there since 2008 or whatever, is uniquely good at coaching that skill, and it's impossible for other NBA teams to replicate.
   1123. tshipman Posted: November 26, 2019 at 10:15 PM (#5904139)
I think it's best to look at it like a reductio. Teams can't be better than other teams at defending open 3's almost definitionally. Thus if a large enough data set says a few teams are, then there's possibly something wrong with the data and the data cannot be trusted or taken at face value.


This is the only rational take, IMO. That or just randomness.

The skill also goes away in the playoffs, FWIW.
   1124. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: November 26, 2019 at 10:31 PM (#5904141)
I had zero idea J.J. Barea was still in the league until I watched him drop a few quick baskets on the Clips just a few moments ago. He put up 10 points in 10 minutes (7 shots).
   1125. Booey Posted: November 26, 2019 at 11:13 PM (#5904148)
The idea that the same team is at or near the top of the league in a category year after year through sheer chance doesn't pass the smell test, IMO. What are the mathematical chances of that? Now, it's entirely possible that there's a different reason we haven't thought of, or yes, that there's a flaw in the data. But chalking it up to dumb luck doesn't make sense to me.
   1126. tshipman Posted: November 26, 2019 at 11:21 PM (#5904149)
The idea that the same team is at or near the top of the league in a category year after year through sheer chance doesn't pass the smell test, IMO. What are the mathematical chances of that? Now, it's entirely possible that there's a different reason we haven't thought of, or yes, that there's a flaw in the data. But chalking it up to dumb luck doesn't make sense to me.


It's not the same team. There are different coaches, different players, different everything.

Calling it the same team is silly: literally the only things in common are Danny Ainge and the uniforms.
   1127. CFBF's Overflowing Pathos Posted: November 26, 2019 at 11:26 PM (#5904151)
Something weird about The Garden?

#baselessspeculation
   1128. i hear there are a lot of dead animals in 57i66135 Posted: November 27, 2019 at 12:10 AM (#5904152)
Something weird about The Garden?

#baselessspeculation
there's a dead spot on the rim.
   1129. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 27, 2019 at 12:25 AM (#5904153)
That, or leprechauns.
   1130. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: November 27, 2019 at 12:47 AM (#5904155)
Something weird about The Garden?

That's what I was thinking.

Every year in the NCAA tournament you see players lamenting that they can't hit shots because there's a lot more empty space behind the basket in these giant arenas and it messes with their depth perception or something. Maybe the Garden has a weird backdrop behind the basket. Some sort of optical illusion.
   1131. tshipman Posted: November 27, 2019 at 02:07 AM (#5904158)
The last time we talked about this, someone asked Pelton on twitter (he used to post here), and I think Pelton said the same phenomenon showed up on the road as well.
   1132. Fourth True Outcome Posted: November 27, 2019 at 12:06 PM (#5904203)
If it is all just luck, maybe that's what Red Auerbach meant when he told the Cs ownership group to hire Danny Ainge because he's just lucky.
   1133. smileyy Posted: November 27, 2019 at 10:14 PM (#5904293)
Every year I'm shocked and impressed that E'twuan Moore is still in the league and doing pretty damn well. Not bad for a 55th pick.
   1134. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: November 27, 2019 at 11:12 PM (#5904306)
LeBron looks really bad at the free throw line.
   1135. Tin Angel Posted: November 28, 2019 at 01:11 AM (#5904315)
The Bulls need to make the obvious move and bring back Scott Skiles.
   1136. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: November 28, 2019 at 01:29 AM (#5904316)
At 16-2, apparently Ant and LBJ didn’t need much time to figure #### out.

Right now, they look like the team to beat. At least until we get a bigger sample size from the Clips playing both Kawhi and PG13.
   1137. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: November 28, 2019 at 03:21 AM (#5904320)
1136,

Milwaukee is 15-3 and 1st in SRS. Clippers are second in SRS at 13-5 and George and Leonard have not played together much. The Lakers' schedule gets tougher next month. I still see MIL and LAC as the favorites.
   1138. i hear there are a lot of dead animals in 57i66135 Posted: November 28, 2019 at 01:03 PM (#5904364)
At 16-2, apparently Ant and LBJ didn’t need much time to figure #### out.

Right now, they look like the team to beat. At least until we get a bigger sample size from the Clips playing both Kawhi and PG13.
tobias HARRIS!!!
   1139. tshipman Posted: November 28, 2019 at 02:01 PM (#5904373)
Milwaukee is 15-3 and 1st in SRS. Clippers are second in SRS at 13-5 and George and Leonard have not played together much. The Lakers' schedule gets tougher next month. I still see MIL and LAC as the favorites.


This year is tough to figure out.

Milwaukee kind of got exposed last year as a bit of a regular season team, so that makes me discount their performance this year. Will Eric Bledsoe not turn into a bricklayer this postseason? Will they run into a team who has the guys to defend Giannis?

Clippers are weird in that they have two huge injury risks as their main guys, and Kawhi has been Monta-esque to start the season. They also prominently feature total one way players in Lou Will, Zubac and Harrell.

The Lakers are hard to figure because they don't make any sense. Anthony Davis has a -8 net on/off! LeBron is having one of his best years ever! Rajon Rondo is involved! They have like two guys who can shoot 3s! It's hard to see what this team's best lineup is, and Vogel doesn't seem to know. Their two most used line-ups are even and +2.7 on the season. Their best lineup by on/off is Bradley/Green/LeBron/Davis/Dwight, which kind of makes sense, but has played a grand total of 17 minutes (but is a monstrous +55).
   1140. SteveF Posted: November 28, 2019 at 02:41 PM (#5904376)
"Good" teams I expect to regress based on shot luck (for and against): Miami, Toronto, Denver.

The top of the East isn't as good as it has looked thus far, which should be pretty good news for Philly. Regression alone will probably propel Philly to the 2 seed.

   1141. PJ Martinez Posted: November 28, 2019 at 02:58 PM (#5904379)
Regression alone will probably propel Philly to the 2 seed.
Homer-ish counterpoint: Boston doesn't seem in line for any obvious regression, given their current shooting percentages and the eventual return (around Christmas) of Ganache Honeypot.
   1142. SteveF Posted: November 28, 2019 at 03:15 PM (#5904381)
Homer-ish counterpoint: Boston doesn't seem in line for any obvious regression, given their current shooting percentages and the eventual return (around Christmas) of Ganache Honeypot.

That's probably fair. I'm a Celtics fan too, so it's hard for me to see them objectively. Watching the games, I just wonder how much of their improvement is a temporary or permanent improvement in player skills (e.g. Brown's finishing).
   1143. tshipman Posted: November 28, 2019 at 03:56 PM (#5904387)
Homer-ish counterpoint: Boston doesn't seem in line for any obvious regression, given their current shooting percentages and the eventual return (around Christmas) of Ganache Honeypot.


Kemba is shooting close to a career high from 3.
Their turnover percentage is probably unsustainably low.
Robert Williams is not this good.
Enes Kanter is prominently involved.

And, of course, they give up a ton of threes and get lucky on the %.
   1144. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: November 28, 2019 at 04:27 PM (#5904393)
1139--

Interesting takes and facts. As noted by one of my fans on BBTF Team Green, I am a simple guy. The Lakers record is a little inflated because:

1. James has decided not to "load manage" as of now.
2. The schedule has been pretty easy.
3. They have caught a few breaks in close games.

They are a very good team, but I think James is a little old/they are a player short of being favorites. My personal "likelihood of hanging a banner in 2020" rankings as of today:


1. LAC
2. MIL
3. LAL
4. UTA
5. HOU
6. PHI
7. DEN
8. BOS

Don't think Dallas is there yet, and less sold on Miami and Toronto than on Boston.

Happy Thanksgiving to the thread.

   1145. i hear there are a lot of dead animals in 57i66135 Posted: November 28, 2019 at 05:29 PM (#5904403)
My personal "likelihood of hanging a banner in 2020" rankings as of today:


1. LAC
2. MIL
3. LAL
4. UTA
5. HOU
6. PHI
7. DEN
8. BOS
can't wait.
   1146. Booey Posted: November 28, 2019 at 06:01 PM (#5904407)
#1145 - Can't tell if that was sarcasm, but both their games against each other were really good and went down to the wire. Their game in Utah did last year, too. It would be an entertaining matchup.

(But no, I don't think it's likely, either. Unless Conley can consistently become Memphis Conley, I wouldn't place the Jazz as high as 4th)
   1147. SteveF Posted: November 28, 2019 at 06:11 PM (#5904409)
can't wait.

I'm sure Adam Silver is sacrificing children to Tlaloc in the hopes that Embiid learns to pass out of a double team.
   1148. tshipman Posted: November 28, 2019 at 07:00 PM (#5904417)
Interesting takes and facts. As noted by one of my fans on BBTF Team Green, I am a simple guy. The Lakers record is a little inflated because:

1. James has decided not to "load manage" as of now.
2. The schedule has been pretty easy.
3. They have caught a few breaks in close games.


This is all true. I think the Lakers happen to have some upside because their top two lineups are significantly worse than their average. That means that (in theory) if they change the line-ups, they have the potential to play better than they have to this point.

But!
There's no guarantee that Vogel does change lineups. And there's no guarantee that those small sample results hold up in a larger sample. However, it really does seem like in the 2019-2020 season, Dwight at the 5 and Davis at the 4, LeBron at at the 3 is a great start to your team. I will just call out that I did not believe that was true at the beginning of the season.
   1149. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: November 28, 2019 at 08:45 PM (#5904423)
Say my Depressing Detroit decided they wanted to let Griffin our of purgatory and offer him to any and all comers, hes on the trade market. What do you think his trade value would be?

Salary is 34M this year, 37M next year, 39M player option year after that.

Sorry if this is an obnoxious survey but I have my thoughts, the 3 or 4 other Pistons fans left have differing thoughts, and not sure who is right so figured I'd ask the experts.
   1150. Booey Posted: November 28, 2019 at 09:24 PM (#5904429)
Griffin's got to have negative trade value at this point. I can't imagine who'd want to take on that contract for an injury prone player on the wrong side of his prime, who hasn't even been that good this season (in limited games).

Are the Knicks still collecting power forwards?
   1151. Tin Angel Posted: November 28, 2019 at 10:23 PM (#5904431)
Salary is 34M this year, 37M next year, 39M player option year after that.


Wow, Griffin will make more than Mike Trout next year.
   1152. PJ Martinez Posted: November 28, 2019 at 10:30 PM (#5904433)
Kemba is shooting close to a career high from 3.
Sure, but the team overall is 21st in the league in three-point percentage. I think they can sustain that.

(They're seventh in three-point percentage against. They could certainly end up lower than that, though, as has been much discussed, it'd be the first time in a long time.)
   1153. i hear there are a lot of dead animals in 57i66135 Posted: November 28, 2019 at 10:34 PM (#5904434)
Say my Depressing Detroit decided they wanted to let Griffin our of purgatory and offer him to any and all comers, hes on the trade market. What do you think his trade value would be?

Salary is 34M this year, 37M next year, 39M player option year after that.

Sorry if this is an obnoxious survey but I have my thoughts, the 3 or 4 other Pistons fans left have differing thoughts, and not sure who is right so figured I'd ask the experts.
i'd take him for tharris.
   1154. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: November 28, 2019 at 11:57 PM (#5904442)
If Kevin Love was worth two former #1 overall picks, Blake Griffin has positive trade value. It's harder to find a match salary wise in season though. But I'd expect him to be tradable. Maybe Dallas for Porzingis, filler, and a pick or two? Or the Celtics (not sure how to make the money work)?
   1155. stevegamer Posted: November 29, 2019 at 01:48 AM (#5904445)
Charlotte could be all over Griffin. They have expiring bad contracts, at least one non-expiring big contract, and some younger guys who play the same position as each other.
   1156. DCA Posted: November 29, 2019 at 01:44 PM (#5904456)
I was thinking Detroit might be the place that Paul ends up. They're already paying Griffin and Drummond for the next 2-3 years, might as well give it your best shot in that window.

Add draft considerations to adjust as needed.
   1157. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: November 29, 2019 at 01:55 PM (#5904458)
I expect Portland might be willing to roll the dice on Blake.
   1158. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 29, 2019 at 02:47 PM (#5904465)
I was thinking Detroit might be the place that Paul ends up. They're already paying Griffin and Drummond for the next 2-3 years, might as well give it your best shot in that window.
I'm sure Paul and Blake will be so thrilled to be playing with each other again, he said, in a deadpan voice.

The Nets are now 6-2 without Kyrie.
   1159. DCA Posted: November 29, 2019 at 03:43 PM (#5904487)
The question is probably whether they hate losing or each other more.

Here's a three-way that makes some sense. Many picks to NOP.
   1160. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: November 29, 2019 at 03:47 PM (#5904489)
[1159] As the BTF Magic POBO, I will basically accept any trade where we get Jrue Holiday, so count Orlando in.
   1161. Booey Posted: November 29, 2019 at 10:54 PM (#5904512)
I love Bogdanovic. Gotta be one of the most underrated signings of the summer.

#betterthantobiasharris@halfthecost

(sorry Stigs)
   1162. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: November 29, 2019 at 11:26 PM (#5904513)
Thanks for the Griffin feedback. I've been leaning towards negative/neutral trade value at this point. The price tag just feels too high for the limited upside/unlimited injury risk. Sort of leads me towards being agnostic to the current front office, when most Pistons fans hate them. Griffin/Drummond/Jackson were all big deals on the books when they took over and there's been so little value out of the draft this past decade it just seems like there's not much that can be done.

Got to watch the Pistons drop another game to the Hornets tonight so that was fun/par for the decade. PJ Washington looks good for Charlotte. There must be value in getting guys like that in the draft even if they aren't the #1 type to take you over the top.
   1163. i hear there are a lot of dead animals in 57i66135 Posted: November 29, 2019 at 11:39 PM (#5904515)
I love Bogdanovic. Gotta be one of the most underrated signings of the summer.

#betterthantobiasharris@halfthecost

(sorry Stigs)
no need to apologize; i completely agree.
   1164. Booey Posted: November 30, 2019 at 12:28 AM (#5904517)
That Doncic kid might have a future in this league...
   1165. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: November 30, 2019 at 01:38 AM (#5904519)

Bill Oram

@billoram
The previous 8 instances of the Lakers posting a 14-win month came in six separate seasons: 1961-62, 1962-63, 1971-72, 1985-86, 1990-91, 1990-2000.

If you know your Lakers history, you know all those seasons ended either with a title or the Lakers not losing until the Finals.


Luka Doncic has played 90 career games.

He already has more career 40-point, 10-assist games (3) than Magic Johnson or Steve Nash (2).

He’s got the same number as Stephen Curry, Chris Paul and Tracy McGrady among others.

-Micah Adams


Dallas plays the Lakers in LA Sunday afternoon. Here is the sched through Christmas:

12/1 DAL
12/3 @ DEN
12/4 @ UTA
12/6 @ POR
12/8 MIN
12/11 TO 12/19@
ORL MIA ATL IND MIL
12/22 DEN
12/25 LAC
   1166. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: November 30, 2019 at 10:01 AM (#5904529)
Jim Boylen: “We have to keep playing the way we’re playing. The wins will come.”

Reporter: “What makes you think the wins will come?”

Boylen: “If you build it, they will come. You ever seen that movie?”


####### imbecile.
   1167. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: November 30, 2019 at 10:46 AM (#5904534)
Since November 3rd, Kawhi has played in 9 games while missing 5. He has shot 39.3% from the field, and 26% from 3. Just a shooting slump or is he injured? How concerning is it that he's not playing that well despite a lot of rest? Is his injury a chronic one that will never really heal and just be managed?
   1168. tshipman Posted: November 30, 2019 at 04:17 PM (#5904578)
Issues with metrics:

The new 538 Raptor seems to have interesting defensive evaluations.

In addition to some usual suspects being the top players (Rudy Gobert, Jimmy Butler), 538 lists Montrezl Harrell as the third best defender in the NBA.

This is a slightly niche opinion, as Harrell is regularly regarded as one of the worst defenders in the NBA. His team is worse with him on the floor on defense. What appears to be happening is that Harrell plays a ton with Lou Williams, who is an awful defender, so Harrell is getting some kind of bonus there. Seems weird.
   1169. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: November 30, 2019 at 06:26 PM (#5904601)
#1145 - Can't tell if that was sarcasm, but both their games against each other were really good and went down to the wire. Their game in Utah did last year, too. It would be an entertaining matchup.


He's trolling you, just like he was trolling me when he bagged on the Lakers for needing OT to dispatch the hapless Mavericks in Dallas. It would be entertaining on the floor but would obviously cause a lot of GERD at ABC/Disney/CapCom. I think ABC would be cool with Milwaukee, but they would likely prefer either Philadelphia or Boston.

Leonard: I have not been following him much. I will see what he looks like during the Christmas game. Others may have opinions; I had been assuming that he was just coasting, since the team is good anyway.

Griffin: I could see OKC thinking about it, if they think that they cannot move Paul, and if they think those guys could function together (which might be impossible). Also maybe Miami. One funny possibility: Griffin and Paul both have three years on their deals, and the salaries are close, so they could in theory be traded for each other.

   1170. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: November 30, 2019 at 07:18 PM (#5904606)
I don't think it's fair to say Lou Williams is an awful defender. He might be awful at playing defense, but he's never tried it so we really can't say for sure.
   1171. smileyy Posted: November 30, 2019 at 10:11 PM (#5904645)
Harden with 60 pts and a +50 (last I checked)
   1172. tshipman Posted: November 30, 2019 at 10:49 PM (#5904652)
Speaking of guys who don't play defense: what do people think about Trae Young?

He's averaging an efficient 28/4/8 on 58.5% true shooting.

His team is a remarkable +16 on offense when he's on the court, and an equally remarkable -15 on defense.

1. Would you want him on your team now, in 5 years?
2. How would you approach team building with him?
3. What is his upside? (MVP, All-NBA, All-star)
4. How likely is he to win a championship?
   1173. Booey Posted: December 01, 2019 at 12:36 AM (#5904667)
Trae Young kind of reminds me of Devin Booker. Hard to say at this point whether they'd have All Star potential on a playoff team, or if they're always destined to just put up points on a lottery team without actually contributing to wins. My guess is that both should be 2nd or 3rd options rather than #1 guys.
   1174. i hear there are a lot of dead animals in 57i66135 Posted: December 01, 2019 at 01:06 AM (#5904669)
Speaking of guys who don't play defense: what do people think about Trae Young?

He's averaging an efficient 28/4/8 on 58.5% true shooting.

His team is a remarkable +16 on offense when he's on the court, and an equally remarkable -15 on defense.

1. Would you want him on your team now, in 5 years?
2. How would you approach team building with him?
3. What is his upside? (MVP, All-NBA, All-star)
4. How likely is he to win a championship?
1: yes. yes.
2: 7SOL.
3: a half-step short of an MVP contender.
4: 13.7%
   1175. i hear there are a lot of dead animals in 57i66135 Posted: December 01, 2019 at 01:07 AM (#5904670)
1: yes. yes.
2: 7SOL.
3: a half-step short of an MVP contender.
4: 13.7%
oh, check that. i missed a rounding error; 14.2%.
   1176. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: December 01, 2019 at 11:13 AM (#5904682)
Young sort of reminds me of Iverson, minus the cultural and personality flashpoints. IMO you would need low-usage D-first wings who can spot up, and a serious rim protector around him.
   1177. spivey Posted: December 01, 2019 at 04:07 PM (#5904707)
Trae Young:

1. Yes, yes
2. Right now he's just a squad player because he sucks defensively, but ultimately you'd want to surround him with guys like Gobert and PG3. Of course, there aren't many guys like those, and they fit with basically every star. But I'd want a rim protector, and a wing that can also initiate a bit. I actually think swapping Trae Young for Ben Simmons makes Philly better/more dangerous now, though I'd say Ben Simmons is better than Trae Young now. But yeah, a team like Philly that has enough length to make up for a lack of size/length at Young's spot.
3. All-star-ish. I think his defense/rebounding are going to be too poor to ever really be MVP level.
4. I don't know how to answer this, but I think it's unlikely you will win a championship with him as your best player. But I think you will be able to win a championship with him as one of your best players, and one of your two main offensive initiators.
   1178. spivey Posted: December 01, 2019 at 04:10 PM (#5904708)
Probably a hot take:

I think I may be more concerned with Giannis' free throw shooting than Bledsoe's 3pt shooting in the playoffs.
   1179. tshipman Posted: December 01, 2019 at 04:13 PM (#5904709)
2. Right now he's just a squad player because he sucks defensively, but ultimately you'd want to surround him with guys like Gobert and PG3.


I don't know if he's available, but I'd be making calls about Draymond if I were running the Hawks.
   1180. Booey Posted: December 01, 2019 at 06:16 PM (#5904717)
If the Hawks need a rim protector, the Thunder might be willing to part with Aquaman for the right price.
   1181. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: December 01, 2019 at 06:37 PM (#5904722)
3. All-star-ish. I think his defense/rebounding are going to be too poor to ever really be MVP level.


Agreed, though he also reminds me of a higher scoring Steve Nash, so maybe he could win an MVP or two anyway even if he never is close to deserving one.
   1182. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: December 01, 2019 at 06:58 PM (#5904728)
The Raptors have more than doubled the Jazz up with under 4 to play in the 2nd. Conley is getting to the rim at a career low rate and also finishing at a career low rate, and has just not looked close to himself all season. I want to believe it's just a slow start adjusting to a new team, but I'm pretty worried he's simply lost a step (same with Ingles).

And Donovan started the season so much better at taking fewer dumb shots, getting to the FT line more, and that just completely disappeared. He's taking more stupid floaters and midrange shots than ever again, and if he can't cut that out with so much more offensive talent and spacers around him I don't think he will.
   1183. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: December 01, 2019 at 07:19 PM (#5904729)
Good god, Raptors, what are the hell?
   1184. PJ Martinez Posted: December 01, 2019 at 09:42 PM (#5904737)
Staying on that theme, how good are the Raptors? SRS and Net Rating currently have them as the second best team in the league, behind Milwaukee and ahead of the Lakers and Mavericks. How plausible is that? And, while we're at it, are the Mavericks a top five team, too?
   1185. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: December 01, 2019 at 09:49 PM (#5904739)
Also, the Barneys are doing this without Lowry. It's really impressive.
   1186. tshipman Posted: December 01, 2019 at 10:02 PM (#5904740)
Staying on that theme, how good are the Raptors? SRS and Net Rating currently have them as the second best team in the league, behind Milwaukee and ahead of the Lakers and Mavericks. How plausible is that?


I think not that plausible. That rating is coming from some serious blowouts of bad teams (Chicago twice and the Knicks). They've lost to basically every good team they've played besides the Lakers.

The defense is for real, but the offense isn't, and it's built off the #1 3p% in the NBA from a bunch of guys who don't have the history. OG Anunoby is at 48% on 4 3s per game. Lowry is at 43%. Siakam is at 38%, all those guys are significantly above their history.

And, while we're at it, are the Mavericks a top five team, too?


The Mavericks are easier for me to believe. They're basically a great bench team + Luka. Since I am a believer in Luka, I find it easy to believe that he's been great. The bench was great last year, also.
   1187. Booey Posted: December 01, 2019 at 10:23 PM (#5904744)
Isn't the Mavs SRS also inflated by those two 40+ pt wins vs the Warriors and Cavs?
   1188. Booey Posted: December 01, 2019 at 10:35 PM (#5904746)
And Toronto is 3-4 against teams with winning records (beat Lakers, Sixers, and Jazz; lost to Celtics, Bucks, Clippers, and Mavs). That's not horrible.
   1189. RJ in TO Posted: December 01, 2019 at 10:41 PM (#5904747)
Aren't the 76ers also a good team, as are the Jazz?

The Raptors have four losses this year, against the Celtics (on the road), the Bucks (on the road), the Clippers (on the road), and the Mavs (on the road), and for two of those four losses they were without Lowry and Ibaka. With the NBA home winning percentage being ~60%, is it that unexpected that a theoretically second best team in the league by SRS and Net Rating could lose four of five on the road against other top tier teams?

Please note, I also don't think the Raptors are the second best team in the league, although I'm still very, very pleased with their performance to date.
   1190. tshipman Posted: December 02, 2019 at 12:20 AM (#5904758)
is it that unexpected that a theoretically second best team in the league by SRS and Net Rating could lose four of five on the road against other top tier teams?


Yes.

Toronto's SRS is 8.29. That's equivalent to the Bucks last year, the 65 win Rockets, or the Kawhi Spurs.

Those teams all had significantly better records against good teams, even on the road. Teams like that typically only lose against good performances from good teams, second nights on back to backs, or awful shooting nights.

The Bucks last year, for example, went 4-0 against Toronto, Golden State and Houston on the road (who I thought were the best teams last year). For sake of completeness, they went 1-1 against Boston, and 2-0 against Denver and Philadelphia.

Edit: the Raptors play in a dogshit conference and have had a pretty weak schedule. They're a decent team who has had good luck on both sides of the 3p line. They will probably finish the year with an SRS of about 4.
   1191. stevegamer Posted: December 02, 2019 at 04:02 AM (#5904762)
On the Trae Young questions:

1. Would you want him on your team now, in 5 years?
- Yes to both. I'm an 76ers fan who hated Hinkie's plan, for the record.

2. How would you approach team building with him?
- You'll want much of what you'd want on any team for forwards & centers. I think you'll definitely want to pair him with a SG who can defend. He could also be very good as primary offense on a second or staggered unit.

3. What is his upside? (MVP, All-NBA, All-star)
- I'd say All-NBA. I'm unsure how how his defensive effort is, but I suspect it cannot be worse than a recent MVP who is also basically a score-first PG.

4. How likely is he to win a championship?
- Above average likelihood compared to all players who are around for a while, as he should certainly be good enough to be at least a 2nd or 3rd banana.
   1192. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:19 AM (#5904775)
Donovan Mitchell is a great player to have on a rookie contract, but he's going to get a max contract in a couple years and I sure wouldn't want my team to be the one giving it to him. In his favor, he does try on defense, which separates him from a lot of score-first, score-second guards. But he's still got a lot of work to do to get to, say, Kemba's level, and by the end of Year 3 most guys are about as good as they'll ever be.
   1193. spivey Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:51 AM (#5904785)
Mitchell - I don't agree players stagnate at end of year 3. Kemba, to use your example, was pretty mediocre at the end of year 3. His shooting may not improve, but I expect Mitchell's play making for others to improve. Also it's the beginning of year 3, not the end. Either way, I think he's a pretty comfortable max guy, especially the first mini-max.

--

Toronto - I think they're good, but I don't think they're a real title contender. They remind me a bit of, well, the Raptors before Kawhi. Or Indiana or the Celtics of a couple of years ago. Good players across the line, but lacking star power. I think they could maybe challenge one of the top teams in a series, but I don't think they can beat Philly/Milwaukee/Western Conf Champ 3 series in a row.

I think their 3 point shooting is way over its head, on both sides. There's no reason to think this is a 40% 3pt shooting team like they've been so far. They're also among the top 5 in 3pt% allowed, 2pt% allowed, and FT% allowed. There's probably a lot of luck there.
   1194. jmurph Posted: December 02, 2019 at 10:27 AM (#5904799)
I'd happily give Mitchell the max. I guess there's definitely a chance he doesn't end up earning it, but if you're not maxing homegrown guys like that I don't really know that you're even trying to win.

That said, related to him and the Trae Young conversation too: this isn't something I have any numbers for, but I suspect that giving young guys like them insane USG straight out of the gate is not beneficial. Young's shot selection is just trash, for instance, and I don't know how you really pull back on that kind of thing as the team acquires more talent.

   1195. JJ1986 Posted: December 02, 2019 at 10:41 AM (#5904804)
by the end of Year 3 most guys are about as good as they'll ever be.
What is this based on?
   1196. Booey Posted: December 02, 2019 at 11:51 AM (#5904815)
I think there's plenty of guys who take longer than 3 years to develop into full blown superstars; Kawhi, PG-13, etc. Hell, how long did Kyle Lowry take? Just focusing on homegrown Jazz wings, Gobbledygook Humpenscrump wasn't even a borderline star until his 5th year and wasn't an actual All Star until his 7th.

I have been frustrated lately with Mitchell's regression to bad habits WRT shot selection, but I'm still more confident that a player can learn good shot selection than I am that they can learn how to shoot period, if that was the issue (see Simmons, Ben). So I'm still not worried about Mitchell overall. And I think it's an absolute no brainer that the Jazz should max him as soon as possible. The odds that he develops into a perennial MVP candidate - however rare - are still better than the odds that they can find or develop that type of player elsewhere to spend their money on instead.
   1197. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: December 02, 2019 at 11:56 AM (#5904816)
OK, let me do a quick-and-dirty sanity check on my blithe assertion here. I'll stick to scoring guards from the past 20 years or so, to keep it as relevant to Mitchell as possible. I'm just picking names as they occur to me and checking their PER and WS.

Kemba: 18.8/4.8 in Year 2, then stepped back a bit in Years 3 and 4 (had a couple injuries, looks like), went to 20.8/9.9 in Year 5, age 25.

Damian Lillard: 20.7/10.6 in Year 3; 24.1/10.4 in Year 4; 25.2/12.6 in Year 5, age 26, which was his best season.

James Harden: Didn't become JAMES HARDEN until he joined Houston in Year 4, of course, but his real leap into superduperstardom came in Year 6, age 25.

Kyrie Irving: Same player Year 3 as Year 1, then improved in Year 4 (which is when LeBron joined the team). He's been constantly up and down with all the injuries, but his career year was in Year 7, age 25 (his first year in Boston).

Jrue Holiday: Jrue's career has been more erratic than I thought, but he peaked/plateaued in Year 6, age 24.

Dwyane Wade: Year 3 (the '06 title season) was his career year, and he sustained something near that level for ten more years.

Gilbert Arenas: Flamed out after 6 years, but he hit his peak in Years 4-6, ages 23-25.

Tony Parker: Also an erratic career, but his "about as good as he'd ever be" point was Year 5, age 23.

Monta Ellis: His career year was Year 3, age 22, but he got hurt in Year 4 so I'm not sure he's a fair example.

DeMar DeRozan: Made a sudden leap in Year 5, age 24, and has maintained that level since.

John Wall: Peaked in Year 3, age 22, plateaued there for three years, then had his career year in Year 7, age 26, whereupon his knee imploded.

-------------------

I intended to look at 20 guys, but I think there's already sufficient evidence to convict me of being wrong. The normal "about as good as he'll ever be" point (for scoring guards, at least) is pretty clearly around year 5, around age 24-25.

I admit I'm still deeply skeptical that Mitchell can be the best or even second-best guy on a title team, but there is certainly still reason for optimism that he'll significantly improve. He is pretty much on track with where guys like Kyrie and Kemba were at this point in their careers.
   1198. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: December 02, 2019 at 12:17 PM (#5904830)
The Bucks last year, for example, went 4-0 against Toronto, Golden State and Houston on the road (who I thought were the best teams last year). For sake of completeness, they went 1-1 against Boston, and 2-0 against Denver and Philadelphia.

The Bucks also went 0-5 on the road against Western Conference playoff teams not mentioned above. No team had a road record better than 27-14 last year, so even the very best teams tend to have mediocre to poor road records against contenders. The Raptors being 1-4 on the road against top competition doesn't tell us anything more about them than their overall record does.
   1199. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 02, 2019 at 12:46 PM (#5904853)
The team that always comes to mind for me that lost to really good teams but beat everyone else is the 2013-14 Spurs. I distinctly remember noticing this halfway through the season and wondering what would happen. The other teams that won 54+ games that year were the Pacers, Heat, Thunder, Blazers, and Rockets and as of 45 games into the season, the Spurs were 1-11 versus those teams and 32-1 against everyone else, which is just mindboggling.

That team ended up beating Portland 4-1, OKC 4-2, and Miami 4-1 to win the title (while struggling against the Mavs in the first round).

I'm not sure if a systematic study has been done (Der-K?), but that's an extreme data point that suggests that weakness against good teams is at the very least not deterministic on that sample size.

Re: Toronto, before the season their long-shot at championship contention would have seemed to rely on a parlay like 3 of the following 4:

* Siakam making a leap to a top-five player in the league
* FVV and Anunoby blossoming into secondary or tertiary stars
* Gasol and Lowry remaining excellent
* Nurse actually being a way better coach than Casey and having that be a big part of what the improvement last year was about

There is some evidence for all of these but the third one, but I don't think Siakam is quite at that level yet. It's certainly worth keeping an eye on though.
   1200. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 02, 2019 at 12:57 PM (#5904860)
The Washington Wizards, after giving up 150 to the Clippers last night, are allowing 122.7 points per game. They have allowed 113 or more points in their last 12 games.
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