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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 | 1371 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, china, nba, off-topic

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   1201. Booey Posted: December 02, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5904874)
Flip
   1202. PJ Martinez Posted: December 02, 2019 at 01:15 PM (#5904876)
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.
This raises another question, which is why Philly has not been the second-best team in the East thus far. They have the sixth-best point differential in the conference, are sixth in the East according to Net Rating and fifth according to SRS. Have they had bad luck? Do they just need time to gel? Does their top talent make them a better playoff team than they are a regular season team?
   1203. Rally Posted: December 02, 2019 at 01:53 PM (#5904891)
I think Philly's problem is they just don't shoot well enough from deep. Embiid and Horford shoot well for centers, but they are not great shooters. Playing them together gives the team some advantages, like rebounding and shot blocking, but they don't shoot well enough to make up for also having a point guard who can't shoot.
   1204. Booey Posted: December 02, 2019 at 02:00 PM (#5904894)
#1203 - Yeah. They've got pretty much the same problem as last year's Jazz. The "Gobert/Favors/Rubio" problem, as experts have deemed it.
   1205. NJ in NY (Now with two kids!) Posted: December 02, 2019 at 02:02 PM (#5904896)
Philly has a glaring Ben Simmons sized weakness and Marc Gasol can contain Embiid. Toronto beating Philly in the postseason is not that hard to see happening. The Raptors also have Siakam and OG to throw at Giannis. There is a path for the Raptors to return to the Finals.

EDIT: I think Giannis' FT issues are overblown in the sense that we tend to look at it as wow this guy is a horrible FT shooter for a lead ballhandler, but compare him to Shaq and his FT shooting looks a lot better.
   1206. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: December 02, 2019 at 02:28 PM (#5904911)
The Pistons beat the Spurs 132-98, despite getting only 19 combined points from Drummond and Blake. Luke Kennard has been surprisingly playable this year.
   1207. spivey Posted: December 02, 2019 at 02:39 PM (#5904917)
re: 1205

Yes, there's an equally realistic shot they lose in the first round to Indiana.

I also think that if that happened, the story would mostly be the other teams underperforming more than Toronto being for real.
   1208. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: December 02, 2019 at 03:25 PM (#5904950)
I will be interested to see how the Barneys do when Lowry is back.
   1209. Rally Posted: December 02, 2019 at 03:38 PM (#5904956)
but compare him to Shaq and his FT shooting looks a lot better.


The list of people you can't say that about is pretty short.

   1210. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: December 02, 2019 at 03:38 PM (#5904957)
I actually wonder--a throwaway line in a Lowe column from a couple weeks ago got me thinking about this--if Philly might we well off if they traded Embiid for a king's ransom, got a legit scoring guard, and deployed Simmons in a Draymond-esque defend-everyone, switch-everything, distribute-on-offense 5 role.

The thing about Philly is, they have plenty of size/rebounding even without Embiid, brilliant as Embiid is at what he does. The team can stand to get faster; moving Simmons would send them in the wrong direction on that count. You can't use Simmons as the ball handler in the pick-and-roll, because everyone plays six feet off of Simmons and (again quoting Lowe) you can't set a pick on a defender who isn't there. But having Simmons set some picks for a dangerous scoring guard and then roll to the hoop... that could be interesting.

I'm just thinking out loud, but the fundamental theme is this: if your point guard can't shoot and won't shoot, then you need a new point guard. Simmons is too talented to just get rid of, so then you need to ponder: can he be valuable in a role other than point guard? (And, of course, can you persuade him to play such a role and not quarterheartedly mope his way through it?)
   1211. Rally Posted: December 02, 2019 at 03:38 PM (#5904958)
Compared to Muggsy Bougues, Spud Webb looks a lot taller.
   1212. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: December 02, 2019 at 03:43 PM (#5904961)
All of that said... if Philadelphia is bent on keeping Embiid, I still think Simmons for McCollum straight up likely makes both teams significantly better.
   1213. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: December 02, 2019 at 05:12 PM (#5905004)
While I approve of trolling stiggles, that seems a bit overboard.
   1214. DCA Posted: December 02, 2019 at 06:12 PM (#5905028)
Who says no?

SAS: Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris
PHI: DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marco Belinelli
   1215. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: December 03, 2019 at 10:03 AM (#5905150)
Decided to look at the odds today, and right now at 5Dimes the Clippers are +295 to win title, and Lakers are +300. So, roughly, there's like a 50% chance LA wins a title, and 50% chance for the rest of the country.

I THINK I'd go with LA at this point.
   1216. spivey Posted: December 03, 2019 at 10:47 AM (#5905174)
I'd take the field, but imo it's a bit unfair since there's a lot of juice in championship odds.

I've not seen the Lakers play really this year, but I'm skeptical how good they are. Getting the 1 or 2 seed will help a lot in each conference. It seems like each conference is only about 6 deep.
   1217. jmurph Posted: December 03, 2019 at 11:11 AM (#5905180)
Zach Kram @zachkram
Stat of the Day #43!

This season, 5 teams have already scored 150+ points in a non-overtime game. For context, that’s the same number as in the last *24 seasons* combined.
   1218. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: December 03, 2019 at 11:13 AM (#5905182)
I'd take the field, but imo it's a bit unfair since there's a lot of juice in championship odds.


You're right about this. I was being lazy.
   1219. Booey Posted: December 03, 2019 at 11:16 AM (#5905187)
#1215 - Sounds about right to me. I think I'd put the Lakers, Clippers, and Bucks at around 25% each, and everyone else combined at the last 25%. For a season that was supposed to be all about parity, I think a handful of clear favorites are already separating themselves.

- The Jazz aren't as good as I was hoping. I think they'll be better than they've looked as of late (hard not to be), but Conley and Ingles are looking old, the bench is weak, and Mitchell hasn't taken the leap they needed to move into true contender territory.

- Houston and Denver look like the same teams they were last year, which were 2nd round teams.

- Dallas is fun but not ready yet.

- I'm not sold on the hot starts for Toronto and Miami

- Philly has stalled and has some clear weaknesses we talked about that seem likely to limit their ceiling

- Boston is better than last year but still clearly below Milwaukee. They're missing the megastar generally needed for true contention

- Indiana is Indiana, once again. Always good, always missing the MVP candidate needed to truly compete for a title. They're basically Boston Jr.

Edit: obvious caveat of course that the season is still early(ish) and injuries and other events will still shake things up in unexpected ways
   1220. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: December 03, 2019 at 01:05 PM (#5905247)
Agree with a lot of 1219.

East Champion: I saw Milwaukee as the pretty clear fave in the East because Antetokounmpo is in his physical prime, still ascending, and James and Leonard are out of the East. So far, Boston is a little better than I thought and Philadelphia is a little worse. WRT Toronto, I sometimes underestimate player development and coaching, so I could see them in the ECF maybe. Miami is a team to look for over the next 24 months, in that Riley is old-school and will be looking to get another star to go with Butler, and even with all the obstacles, Riley might pull it off.

LA teams/West: The Lakers have the toughest schedule in the league in December, according to people who analyze such things, so their record will even out. The issues with them are still James' age and whether they can pick up one more useful guy. The issue with the Clippers is Leonard's health. So far, Denver and Houston look a little better than I thought, and Utah looks a little worse. Dallas is also better than I thought, since I did not see Doncic rolling up these kinds of numbers on O this fast. MIL/LAC is still the obvious pick IMO.

Philadelphia roster: I would not be looking to move either Embiid or Simmons. But as was known in preseason, they do have kind of a weird, although talented, core for this moment.

   1221. jmurph Posted: December 03, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5905258)
Denver is really well-positioned to make moves, more than the other contenders. Not that I have any idea what those moves would be, or if they'll make them, but they should have options.
   1222. . . . . . . Posted: December 03, 2019 at 01:37 PM (#5905267)
The Knicks are remarkably bad. I don't think they have any hits out of any of the first rounders on their roster. The combination of ineptitude and lack of player development is such a comprehensive disaster.
   1223. Rally Posted: December 03, 2019 at 01:39 PM (#5905269)
I've not seen the Lakers play really this year, but I'm skeptical how good they are.


Lakers are tough to beat if they have James and Davis on the court for 35 minutes each. We'll see how many games that will last. Lebron has been durable most of his career, but missed 27 last year and is 35. Davis has missed 15-20 games on average for his career. The key will be to keep them fresh so they can give you 35 minutes per night at 100% health when playoff time starts.
   1224. jmurph Posted: December 03, 2019 at 02:03 PM (#5905282)
The Knicks are remarkably bad. I don't think they have any hits out of any of the first rounders on their roster. The combination of ineptitude and lack of player development is such a comprehensive disaster.

Speaking of them, I was looking through the offseason thread for something earlier and discovered that many people were way too positive about the Knicks summer moves. Weird to read in retrospect.
   1225. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: December 03, 2019 at 03:06 PM (#5905315)
The Bulls are also incredibly disappointing. I think their off-season moves were fine, though none have really worked - both Sato and Thad have been bad so far. White, like most rookie guards, has been incredibly streaky and pretty bad on defense. Markannen and Lavine have taken a step back and/or not improved in ways they should be considering where they are in their career. Porter was bad, then hurt, maybe not in that order. Boylen is a ####### moron, and doesn't know what he's doing and just seems to be making everything worse (somehow they're 12 in DRtg, so not everything). Dunn has been better than expected, but expectations were practically non-existent for him. WCJ is the lone real bright spot.

I think I'm most disappointed in Markannen. It might be best for his long term development to go somewhere else that can figure out a better way to use him. I'm not giving up on him, I just don't trust this team to get him to his potential.
   1226. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: December 03, 2019 at 03:11 PM (#5905318)
- The Jazz aren't as good as I was hoping. I think they'll be better than they've looked as of late (hard not to be), but Conley and Ingles are looking old, the bench is weak, and Mitchell hasn't taken the leap they needed to move into true contender territory.


Did you hear Locke today point out that Mitchell and Conley are tied for most floaters this season? Insane. With Conley maybe his athleticism has declined a bit, but with Mitchell there's no reason he shouldn't be going to the rim more. Hopefully they can get him straightened out and stick to playing smarter like he did earlier.

Also, even with my low expectations for Jeff Green, he's managed to disappoint. Really hoping that they could get someone like the Morris brother who is on the Knicks or maybe even Thad Young. They could also use a better backup PG than Mudiay.

On the plus side, last night was the first time I thought Ingles looked like himself this season. They really should also just consider letting him basically be the PG on the bench units again.
   1227. Booey Posted: December 03, 2019 at 04:04 PM (#5905340)
#1226 - The floater has always been a big shot in Conley's arsenal, so I'm not too disappointed that he's still taking lots of them, even though it's frustrating that they aren't falling for some reason.

Mitchell though has never been good at floaters. Unless the shot clock is about to expire, there's no excuse for him to ever take those. It's almost an automatic miss. Based on games I've seen, I'd guess his career percentage on floaters is in the 10% range. It's especially stupid considering that he has a pretty good short pull up jumper he could be doing instead if he feels the need to be forcing shots in that range.
   1228. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: December 03, 2019 at 04:17 PM (#5905347)
Can't quantify how much it matters, but I think the Lakers' hot start combined with the bottom of the West playoff picture being completely non-threatening means they'll be able to coast a bit and keep some miles off of LeBron and Davis heading into the playoffs.

Also, if they do have a playoff series with the Clippers, is it going to be something like 3 or 4 games of Lakers home crowds and 3 or 4 games of essentially neutral site crowds?
   1229. billyshears Posted: December 03, 2019 at 04:49 PM (#5905358)
Speaking of them, I was looking through the offseason thread for something earlier and discovered that many people were way too positive about the Knicks summer moves. Weird to read in retrospect.


The Knicks are such a shitshow. I dramatically underestimated the extent to which bad (abysmal) roster construction makes the team less than the sum of their parts. Most of their "good" players can't ever be good at the same time because they all play the same position. Because of that, generally 3 of the players on the floor are playing out of their best position. The young players that the Knicks are supposed to be developing are either playing out of position, not getting minutes or having their roles limited. And everybody ends up frustrated because they don't really get to do what they want to do or are good at. I think you could look at the Knicks overall talent level and think they would be an ordinarily bad 28 - 30 win team. But the remarkably ill-fitting roster makes them worst in the league bad.
   1230. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 03, 2019 at 05:06 PM (#5905361)
White, like most rookie guards, has been incredibly streaky and pretty bad on defense. Markannen and Lavine have taken a step back and/or not improved in ways they should be considering where they are in their career. Porter was bad, then hurt, maybe not in that order. Boylen is a ####### moron, and doesn't know what he's doing and just seems to be making everything worse (somehow they're 12 in DRtg, so not everything). Dunn has been better than expected, but expectations were practically non-existent for him. WCJ is the lone real bright spot.


The Bulls are like the Browns of the NBA. If they had just an average coach instead of a guy transported here from 1975, who knows how good they could be.
   1231. . . . . . . Posted: December 03, 2019 at 05:40 PM (#5905376)
The Knicks are such a shitshow. I dramatically underestimated the extent to which bad (abysmal) roster construction makes the team less than the sum of their parts. Most of their "good" players can't ever be good at the same time because they all play the same position. Because of that, generally 3 of the players on the floor are playing out of their best position. The young players that the Knicks are supposed to be developing are either playing out of position, not getting minutes or having their roles limited. And everybody ends up frustrated because they don't really get to do what they want to do or are good at. I think you could look at the Knicks overall talent level and think they would be an ordinarily bad 28 - 30 win team. But the remarkably ill-fitting roster makes them worst in the league bad.


Aside from generating bad results, the square-peg-round-hole roster is screwing up all the young guys. It can't be good for Barrett to have this kind of usage without the efficiency to justify it; Frank shows flashes but he's not going to be what they want him to be and they keep just mashing him into that role rather than focusing on what he can do well. And Knox is just awful and a bust.
   1232. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: December 03, 2019 at 08:47 PM (#5905415)
Also, if they do have a playoff series with the Clippers, is it going to be something like 3 or 4 games of Lakers home crowds and 3 or 4 games of essentially neutral site crowds?


Yes, probably, albeit a loud neutral site.
   1233. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: December 03, 2019 at 08:50 PM (#5905417)
New York: Have not seen them yet. I don't recall people here being overly optimistic, although since it was seemingly way off, it was probably me. I have never been a big Julius Randle fan, and I can see why he took the $, but he would probably be doing better almost anywhere else. I assume that New York will trade Morris to a good team.
   1234. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: December 03, 2019 at 08:55 PM (#5905418)
Not actually watching it, but this Wizards defense is on another level of awful. Getting shredded by Vuc-less Magic. (EDIT - Know they lost their center today, too.)
   1235. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: December 03, 2019 at 10:36 PM (#5905425)
The Joker does not really seem to be making an impact on this game.
   1236. PJ Martinez Posted: December 03, 2019 at 10:37 PM (#5905426)
Miami is now the only visiting team that has won in Milwaukee and the only visiting team that has won in Toronto. Tomorrow they get a chance to be the only visiting team to have won so far in Boston, though it'll be on the second night of a road back-to-back (with the first night having gone into overtime).
   1237. puck Posted: December 03, 2019 at 10:57 PM (#5905429)
The Joker does not really seem to be making an impact on this game.

Sounds like the Nuggets' season in a nutshell. Weird season so far.
   1238. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 04, 2019 at 02:06 AM (#5905437)
For those who missed it, super weird HOU-SAS game. Harden had a dunk that the net carried back up and fooled the refs into calling it a miss, the game ended up going to 2OT with the decisive play being a Harden charge. Harden finished with 50 points on 11-38 from the field, and Russ went 7-30. Bryn Forbes and Lonnie Walker IV had absurd shooting nights, combining for 20-31 including 9-13 from three. This is what it takes for this year's Spurs to win a game against a decent team.
   1239. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: December 04, 2019 at 02:28 AM (#5905438)
@mellentuck
harden missing 16 threes and shooting 24 free throws while russ triple-doubles in a loss the rockets are considering protesting is all of the reasons everyone hates the rockets at once
   1240. jmurph Posted: December 04, 2019 at 09:23 AM (#5905457)
Zach Kram @zachkram
Stat of the Day #44!

There have been 25 games in NBA regular-season history in which a player recorded 15+ 3-point attempts and 15+ free throw attempts.

James Harden has 19 of them. Nobody else has more than 1.

Harden also has the only two 20 3PA/20 FTA games.
   1241. JC in DC Posted: December 04, 2019 at 09:38 AM (#5905466)
Aside from generating bad results, the square-peg-round-hole roster is screwing up all the young guys. It can't be good for Barrett to have this kind of usage without the efficiency to justify it; Frank shows flashes but he's not going to be what they want him to be and they keep just mashing him into that role rather than focusing on what he can do well. And Knox is just awful and a bust.


I don't think any Knicks player can be fairly judged. The situation is so bleak that player talent and development is impossible to distinguish. I'm pretty sure your judgment of Knox is right, but even Robinson looks bad this year. This was why KP was right to get out: there is no future on this team, and if you're young, you might be irreparably damaged. I'm not blaming this all on Fizdale; it's partly roster construction in the way you and others mentioned. But the whole thing is so rotten, top down, you couldn't possibly tell who's good and who's not, and by the time they've "developed" they'll just look rotten. It's as bleak as it's ever been. I honestly don't know what to do beyond calling a guy I know who paints houses.
   1242. . . . . . . Posted: December 04, 2019 at 10:16 AM (#5905483)
It's as bleak as it's ever been.


This.
   1243. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: December 04, 2019 at 10:42 AM (#5905492)
I realize I was wrong but I didn't think the Knicks offseason was THAT crazy. I'm probably biased in favor of a few guys as they are former Pistons. They tried adding two shooters in Ellington and Bullock, and Bullock hasn't played at all, and Ellington has been absolutely terrible. I also sort of felt "why not take a flyer on Elfrid Payton?" and he's only played the first few games. Imagine the goal was to be not a total shitshow by signing pros on short contracts, but the pros they signed all played the same position, and the ones that don't have been total busts or completely injured. But maybe this wouldn't look so nightmarish, though obviously still not good, if they had Payton and Bullock?

Offseason aside, though, feels like getting NOTHING right in the draft/development arena for this long, picking that high, seems amazing.
   1244. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 04, 2019 at 11:58 AM (#5905551)
But maybe this wouldn't look so nightmarish, though obviously still not good, if they had Payton and Bullock?


I think this is literally what's in the dictionary under "grasping at straws".
   1245. spivey Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:50 PM (#5905587)
I haven't watched the Knicks, but looking at basketball-reference, it seems like they just don't have much scoring talent, on top of not having a cohesive roster. Their 2pt fg% is 45.4 and FT% is 67.4. Those are both last in the NBA. Some of that will regress, but it doesn't seem like a team that would have much spacing, almost anyone capable of consistently beating their man, anyone capable of making tough shots, or anyone capable of creating for others.

Even Payton, who I think would be the best at the last point, is pretty mediocre for a PG.

The best scorers who have been around a while (Morris and Randle) both seem to be shooting a worse percentage at the rim and a lower percentage. I imagine that's a combination of scheme and also just some finishing you could probably hope will get better. But looking at their team, I could envision a scenario where way more of their shots at the rim are challenged than they would have been on their last teams.
   1246. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 04, 2019 at 01:03 PM (#5905596)
I guess Reggie Bullock is good enough to singlehandedly take a team from "nightmarish" to the level above that. Not sure about Payton.

Offseason aside, though, feels like getting NOTHING right in the draft/development arena for this long, picking that high, seems amazing.

They got Porzingis!

The next pick in that draft was Mario "the European Kevin Knox" Hezonja. They could have taken Stanley Johnson or Emanuel Mudiay.
   1247. calming him down with his 57i66135 Posted: December 04, 2019 at 01:36 PM (#5905610)
Speaking of them, I was looking through the offseason thread for something earlier and discovered that many people were way too positive about the Knicks summer moves. Weird to read in retrospect.
i'm probably walking into something here, but who exactly was talking positively about the knicks' offseason, once it concluded?

they gave a ton of money to 4 players who shouldn't be on the court at the same time (randle, morris, portis, gibson), who play the same position as their best young player (robinson), and who aren't even top 50/top 70 players right now. randle and portis are at least in their theoretical primes, but signing both of them was clearly unnecessary, as was signing gibson. then they have smith, knox and barrett, who are very high-risk prospects.


trade machine: who says no?

PHI: marvin williams, julius randle, jordan clarkson
NYK: nic batum, zhaire smith
CHO: tharris
CLE: biyombo, taj gibson
   1248. jmurph Posted: December 04, 2019 at 01:52 PM (#5905615)
i'm probably walking into something here, but who exactly was talking positively about the knicks' offseason, once it concluded?

I don't want to name and shame (I am wrong a lot, for the record!) but here's some selectively edited quotes from the summer:
I’m fine with what the Knicks did.
Randall and Gibson are fine, short-term signings. Part of being the Knicks under Dolan is reasonably having every move over-scrutinized and judged irrational.
There's plenty of space and minutes for Robinson, Gibson, and Randle to share.
The Knicks moves are uninspriring, but fine.
Reassuringly solid/sane offseason by the Knicks thus far.

I'll stop there. It was honestly a lot of people!
   1249. TFTIO is building his own mealworm farm Posted: December 04, 2019 at 01:59 PM (#5905617)
PHI: marvin williams, julius randle, jordan clarkson
NYK: nic batum, zhaire smith
CHO: tharris
CLE: biyombo, taj gibson

Those deck chairs aren't going to rearrange themselves!
   1250. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: December 04, 2019 at 02:09 PM (#5905620)
The Knicks moves are uninspriring, but fine.

I was wrong, of course, but I wouldn't say "uninspiring, but fine" is positive.

I'm much more disappointed in my Bulls optimism. Because I should know better.
   1251. jmurph Posted: December 04, 2019 at 02:13 PM (#5905621)
I'm much more disappointed in my Bulls optimism. Because I should know better.

I'm reasonably sure I picked them to make the playoffs. Not looking great!
   1252. jmurph Posted: December 04, 2019 at 02:16 PM (#5905624)
I always feel mildly guilty doing this (except to stiggles, of course) so I just want to note my initial comment was only this:
Speaking of them, I was looking through the offseason thread for something earlier and discovered that many people were way too positive about the Knicks summer moves. Weird to read in retrospect.

I honestly just found it surprising, I didn't remember people responding in that way at the time. Not trying to mock anyone too much!
   1253. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 04, 2019 at 02:17 PM (#5905625)
People saw the Knicks signings as short-term improvements that didn't help in the long run.

The opposite of when a team trades all their prospects to win now and people say "Uh-oh, they're mortgaging their future. Bad idea." Then you put that team in the "bad" category forgetting that they're not going to be bad until later.

But.... they were not even short-term improvements.
   1254. jmurph Posted: December 04, 2019 at 02:27 PM (#5905634)
People saw the Knicks signings as short-term improvements that didn't help in the long run.

I think what was clear, though, is that they would also harm the long run. You can't just sign 9 PF veterans on short-term deals, playing for their next deals, and expect that to be good for the only young talent they already had. It was a bad idea.
   1255. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: December 04, 2019 at 02:48 PM (#5905643)
#1238: here is a quote from the crew chief:

"As to could the play have been reviewed, it is a reviewable matter, but you have a window of 30 seconds to challenge the play during that timeout that he had and while they were protesting the call, trying to get clarification of it, that window passed. So therefore, it elapsed, and they were not able to do it."

My gosh, are challenge systems dumb.
   1256. calming him down with his 57i66135 Posted: December 04, 2019 at 07:49 PM (#5905736)
I always feel mildly guilty doing this (except to stiggles, of course) so I just want to note my initial comment was only this:
go for it; i'm game.

from the link in [1248]:
i still think GSW is 50/50 to just make the playoffs this year. if curry goes down, they have no scoring whatsoever.

i wouldn't sleep on LAC, either. they always manage to land good players on great contracts.

i think DEN is really underrated. their depth (and HCA) is a big separator in the regular season.

BRK should be in the conversation, too. they're going to be able to run alot of teams off the floor when they're hitting 3s.

MIA needs to be in the discussion. winslow/butler/johnson is going to give them a ferocious defense.


i also think the sixers are deeper than last year. they already retained mike scott who is/was their 6th man; i think they still have bird rights on tj mcconnell. and personally, i'm a huge fan of matisse thybulle, and i'll be shocked if he isn't a contributor from day one. add in some growth from jonah bolden and zhaire smith, and there's a good chance they're already 9 or 10 deep with guys who can contribute on both ends*. if they can add a veteran wing for the bench (james ennis; maybe LRMAM; maybe rondae), plus a 4th big (KOQ; maybe markieff; maybe zaza), and a better backup PG than tj mcconnell (shane larkin; maybe trey burke; maybe austin rivers), that's a much more well-rounded team than entering last season, or coming out of the deadline (when they didn't have enough time to gel on the court).
on the plus side, this is the 4th different team that elton brand has put together in less than 10 months as the sixers' GM. if this one doesn't work, it probably won't be too long before he gets the 5th iteration going.
...oh, and i did have a ktake on the knicks, ktoo:
i get that this isn't the best outcome for them, but they have robinson, barrett, knox, two or three high lottery picks in the next two years, and no guaranteed salary going into the 2021-22 offseason. as a fallback position, this is actually a pretty good outcome.
   1257. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: December 04, 2019 at 11:10 PM (#5905784)
The Jazz are...not good. The Lakers are...very good. #analysis
   1258. PJ Martinez Posted: December 05, 2019 at 12:07 AM (#5905796)
After this string of blowouts, the Bucks have won thirteen in a row and have a point differential just shy of thirteen, more than a quarter of the way through the season. They might be really really good.
   1259. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 05, 2019 at 01:56 AM (#5905807)
Dwight Howard is now shooting 50% (1-2) from 3-point range this season.
   1260. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: December 05, 2019 at 02:03 AM (#5905808)
Just two weeks after the Blazers waived Pau Gasol, coach Terry Stotts told reporters that the former All-Star big man will rejoin the team -- as an assistant coach.

Gasol, who was unable to successfully recover from left foot surgery, did not play for Portland after signing a one-year deal with the Blazers in July. He will not, however, fade into retirement, but instead will take an active role for an 8-13 Blazers team seeking to right the ship after a rough start to the season. Stotts added that Gasol's coaching role, which will begin when he returns from Spain, was planned as soon as he was waived on Nov. 20.
   1261. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: December 05, 2019 at 02:31 AM (#5905809)
Miami/Philadelphia--Worth noting that Miami has Jimmy Butler and Philadelphia doesn't.

Old Thread--shipman and I were both talking up Utah; shipman picked them as #1 seed in West. I made my usual meandering observations.
   1262. calming him down with his 57i66135 Posted: December 05, 2019 at 03:23 AM (#5905810)
This raises another question, which is why Philly has not been the second-best team in the East thus far. They have the sixth-best point differential in the conference, are sixth in the East according to Net Rating and fifth according to SRS. Have they had bad luck? Do they just need time to gel? Does their top talent make them a better playoff team than they are a regular season team?
PHI started the season with 9 of 13 games on the road, and they had a stretch where they lost 5 of 7, most of them close, most of them being outshot at the FT line, most of them turning the ball over a shitton of times.

their only loss outside of that stretch was the one where embiid scored 0 PTS vs. TOR.

PHI started the season 5-0; then they went 2-5; now they've won 8 of 9. they've beaten BOS, MIA, IND and UTA, but they haven't played MIL, LAL, LAC or HOU, and they lost to TOR.

they're 10-0 at home; 10-2 vs. the east.


and that's despite not actually playing very well, yet.


i'd say the start has been a bit lackluster, but only because they chose to keep tobias harris instead of jimmy butler ... for some reason.
   1263. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: December 05, 2019 at 08:00 AM (#5905812)
i'd say the start has been a bit lackluster, but only because they chose to keep tobias harris instead of jimmy butler ... for some reason.


I think the reason is he (Butler) didn't want to be there.
   1264. PJ Martinez Posted: December 05, 2019 at 08:54 AM (#5905820)
that's despite not actually playing very well, yet
This is sort of the heart of my question. Is there some explanation we can point to (unexpectedly low shooting percentages, e.g., or players adjusting to new teammates in some specific way) for why they haven't played very well—that is, relative to expectations—so far? Glancing at the numbers, what jumps out first is slight under-performance by Simmons and Harris, which seems echoed by the descriptions of the team that I've read—but I haven't watched them yet very much.
   1265. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: December 05, 2019 at 08:59 AM (#5905822)
Dwight Howard is now shooting 50% (1-2) from 3-point range this season.


Andre Drummond is jealous.

Teams projected to beat their over/under win total for the year by the most right now, using basketball-reference for the total and 538 for the projection:

Dallas 53 projected/40.5 preseason
Toronto 58 projected/46.5 preseason
Phoenix 40 projected/29.5 preseason
OKC 39 projected/32.5 preseason
Lakers 56 projected/50.5 preseason
Miami 49 projected/43.5 preseason

Sad teams

Golden State 25 projected/47.5 preseason
San Antonio 27 projected/46.5 preseason
New York 18 projected/26.5 preseason
Portland 39 projected/46.5 preseason
Chicago 28 projected/33.5 preseason
Detroit 32 projected/37.5 preseason

They mostly feel like they should've been obvious, but I know that's hindsight talking.
   1266. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: December 05, 2019 at 09:06 AM (#5905823)
Thybulle question: he’s a disruptive, potentially game changing defender who likely will continue to be a solid three point shooter. Great! That’s a highly praised combo. When will he be able to do anything else and what will it be? Bad rebounder, doesn’t create for others, bad from two, real low usage, he doesn’t bring anything else to the table.
   1267. spivey Posted: December 05, 2019 at 10:50 AM (#5905866)
I've not watched Philly much but I assume he can probably improve his playmaking a bit as he gets older, which most young guards tend to. His rebounding was pretty bad in college, though his ORB rate seems fine for a SG. Part of me wonders if his poor defensive rebounding has to do with how he plays defense and where he is/what he does when shots go up? Just spitballing there, but when you consider the results he's getting with steals and blocks, I'd be reticent to try to get him to crash the glass more.

If he doesn't really improve what would he be? Well, I know it's lazy to say Danny Green, and Danny Green may be the premier 3&D wing of this generation so it's unfair to just expect every good defender with a semi-promising shot to become that, but... Danny Green? (Probably more disruptive defensively and less of a shooter, but close enough.)
   1268. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: December 05, 2019 at 11:00 AM (#5905870)
Agree on Green, that's been my hope for him (and I really liked Green coming out of the draft) but Green, imo, had more other close to NBA skills than Thybulle does. Like, MT's maybe a G league guy if he has average d and 3s. Maybe.
(This is not hating on Thybulle, who I love to watch - it's just impressive how little else he's even average at. Or below average but not bad.)
   1269. Manny Coon Posted: December 05, 2019 at 11:07 AM (#5905871)
Bruce Bowen was a guy that could make threes and defend and was pretty much bad at everything else.
   1270. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: December 05, 2019 at 11:09 AM (#5905872)
Is Thybulle above-average at injurious cheap shots?
   1271. calming him down with his 57i66135 Posted: December 05, 2019 at 11:33 AM (#5905883)
Thybulle question: he’s a disruptive, potentially game changing defender who likely will continue to be a solid three point shooter. Great! That’s a highly praised combo. When will he be able to do anything else and what will it be? Bad rebounder, doesn’t create for others, bad from two, real low usage, he doesn’t bring anything else to the table.

his rebounding doesn't matter as long as the sixers have simmons.
most rookies tend to struggle at scoring in the paint; i think he's not unlikely to improve at that in the next few years.
he does have some instincts for playmaking, so that's an area where he may be able to improve in the future.

If he doesn't really improve what would he be? Well, I know it's lazy to say Danny Green, and Danny Green may be the premier 3&D wing of this generation so it's unfair to just expect every good defender with a semi-promising shot to become that, but... Danny Green? (Probably more disruptive defensively and less of a shooter, but close enough.)

nah, he's a completely different style of defender than danny green.

i'd say he's a bit like shawn marion. he's not the same caliber of athlete as marion, but he's a terror as a weak-side defender, and his ability to recover after playing himself out of position makes me think of marion as a comp. marion was better as a one-on-one defender, but thybulle, again, has time to hone his instincts there.

i don't think bowen or tony allen or shane battier are good comps for thybulle. artest and iguodala might be worth bringing up.
   1272. DCA Posted: December 05, 2019 at 12:22 PM (#5905917)
Haven't watched Thybulle. Doug Christie came to mind statistically as a best-case outcome. Is that supported by the eye test?
   1273. jmurph Posted: December 05, 2019 at 12:25 PM (#5905919)
This is sort of the heart of my question. Is there some explanation we can point to (unexpectedly low shooting percentages, e.g., or players adjusting to new teammates in some specific way) for why they haven't played very well—that is, relative to expectations—so far? Glancing at the numbers, what jumps out first is slight under-performance by Simmons and Harris, which seems echoed by the descriptions of the team that I've read—but I haven't watched them yet very much.

Their offense isn't good and there's no reason to think it will be good barring a fairly significant trade. As of a couple games ago they had the worst 4th quarter offensive efficiency in the NBA.*

Because they don't employ guards. This was extremely easy to anticipate.

EDIT: It's now .1 ahead of Charlotte for 29th.
   1274. calming him down with his 57i66135 Posted: December 05, 2019 at 12:59 PM (#5905942)
trade machine: who says no?

PHI: chris paul
CHO: tharris, nerlens noel
OKC: blake griffin, zhaire smith
DET: marvin williams, nic batum
   1275. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: December 05, 2019 at 01:05 PM (#5905947)
Thing I either never knew or forgot: Bowen was a career 39.3% shooter from three on over 2000 attempts -- but only 57.5% from the line? Anyway, Thybulle has a higher ceiling as a playmaker but also maybe lower as a rebounder, for a few reasons. Also, Bowen was quite a bit better as a collegian on O than Thybulle, who was a 9/3/2 his last year in school in 31 minutes a game.

Thybulle is definitely a different type of defender than Green, for good and ill. (More disruptive, but also more exploitable - I think) I'm guessing that you're only mentioning defensive comps, stiggles, as he has little in common with somoe of those dudes on offense.

Christie is a pretty different type of player than Thybulle, on O and D, imo.


   1276. tshipman Posted: December 05, 2019 at 02:34 PM (#5905985)
Old Thread--shipman and I were both talking up Utah; shipman picked them as #1 seed in West. I made my usual meandering observations.


I was way off on Utah. I didn't see Jingles falling apart--the Jazz really got jingled on that extension. I also thought Conley would be a sizeable upgrade when paired with a great roll man--I didn't consider that perhaps Gasol's pop game was helping him get space for his drives. I saw a team with a great regular season defense that made upgrades at their biggest positions of need on offense. Whoops ...

At least I was making fun of the people who were saying that the Knicks fit issues didn't matter.
   1277. tshipman Posted: December 05, 2019 at 02:39 PM (#5905987)
If he doesn't really improve what would he be? Well, I know it's lazy to say Danny Green, and Danny Green may be the premier 3&D wing of this generation so it's unfair to just expect every good defender with a semi-promising shot to become that, but... Danny Green? (Probably more disruptive defensively and less of a shooter, but close enough.)


There are two weird things about Thybulle:

The terrible rebounding--what's up with that?
The terrible finishing--what's up with that?

His other athleticism numbers are good, so it's surprising that he's such a bad 2p finisher and rebounder.

Side note: the Sixers have an absolutely ridiculous 83.5% DRB rate while being below average at EFG% allowed. Surely at some point that's indicative that they are over-emphasizing rebounding on defense.
   1278. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: December 05, 2019 at 02:59 PM (#5905994)
Giannis being brutally efficient. 35 points in 27 minutes. 29 points/15 boards in 22 minutes. 26 points in 19 minutes. And not to pile on but that Knick team showed absolutely no defensive effort against Milwaukee. Even if they hate the leadership, their teammates, whatever you have to be a professional, right? That was completely embarrassing.
   1279. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: December 05, 2019 at 03:02 PM (#5905995)
One year ago, the Jazz were 10-12, and ended up winning 50 games (granted, last year they had that weird schedule in which 16 of their first 24 games were road games).
   1280. jmurph Posted: December 05, 2019 at 03:29 PM (#5906006)
One year ago, the Jazz were 10-12, and ended up winning 50 games (granted, last year they had that weird schedule in which 16 of their first 24 games were road games).

They've had a tough schedule so far this year, too- 4th toughest, by BBRef's numbers.

I've seen a lot of people making comparisons to last year's Celtics: not in the specifics (chemistry/fit issues, lack of development, etc.) but just in the general "why isn't this working better?" thing.
   1281. Booey Posted: December 05, 2019 at 03:40 PM (#5906012)
Utah's schedule has been tough and it eases up quite a bit this month and next. I do still expect them to win around 50 games and finish 5th or 6th in the West.

That said, that's still disappointing because that's exactly where they were the last 3 seasons. This was supposed to be the year they entered true contender status.
   1282. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: December 05, 2019 at 04:00 PM (#5906020)
Jordan Poole being brutally inefficient. 32.5% eFG on 226 field goal attempts. Poole currently holds the worst mark with over 200 attempts since Sidney Lowe 30 years ago. And not to pile on but shooting efficiency is at an all-time high. The last 5 years have been the top 5 years for eFG% in league history. Limiting it to this season, the next closest player with 200+ attempts is RJ Barrett, at 43.3%. The gap between Poole and Barrett is larger than the gap between Barrett and an average shooter, and almost exactly the same as the gap between Barrett and LeBron.
   1283. Booey Posted: December 05, 2019 at 04:15 PM (#5906029)
As for why it's not working, I don't know why their defense suddenly stopped functioning the past half dozen games, but other than that I think the problem is mostly just that two key players who were supposed to be good - Conley and Ingles - simply aren't.
   1284. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: December 05, 2019 at 04:19 PM (#5906033)
Anyone else watching Bucks games? Because for the past week or so the team seems to have been trying out different combos and if the opposition gets within 8 points or so Giannis does his thing and the lead is back to 14 and then it's back to experimenting. Or is this my imagination?

   1285. tshipman Posted: December 05, 2019 at 04:27 PM (#5906040)
Utah's schedule has been tough and it eases up quite a bit this month and next. I do still expect them to win around 50 games and finish 5th or 6th in the West.

That said, that's still disappointing because that's exactly where they were the last 3 seasons. This was supposed to be the year they entered true contender status.


They just lost to the Lakers who were on the second half of a Road/Road B2B. They not just lost, but lost by almost 30. It seems like something is pretty wrong.
   1286. Booey Posted: December 05, 2019 at 04:52 PM (#5906058)
1285 - Yeah, their defense has gone away entirely the past 2 weeks and I have no idea why. I was meaning more on the season in general.

Their 1-5 record in the last 6 games would be understandable considering the losses were road games against the Bucks, Pacers, Raptors, and Sixers, and then the home game against the Lakers...except that they didn't just lose those games, they got killed in all of them except Milwaukee. Their defense on the season was still good until then though, so I don't think it's just a matter of switching up their personnel from last year. Something else is going on lately.

If they can't pick it up against mostly bad teams over the next couple weeks though, they're probably screwed.
   1287. SteveF Posted: December 05, 2019 at 04:55 PM (#5906061)
Utah can't guard an elite scoring wing. They could win 60 games in the regular season and I'd still predict them going no further than the second round of the playoffs.
I actually felt better about them when they were 11-13 last year than I do this year.

The Sixers are going to have to win by being the best defensive team in the NBA. I worry about how they are going to score in a half-court playoff game in the 4th quarter when Embiid is busy puking up his lungs. I still like them more than any other team in the East outside of Milwaukee, though Milwaukee has it's own playoff nightmare scenarios as others have pointed out before (and the architect of that nightmare could well be Philly).
   1288. Booey Posted: December 05, 2019 at 05:13 PM (#5906071)
Tship - To clarify, I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm just trying to say (poorly) that while their defense has been the obvious issue as of late, it was good earlier in the year, so I'm not sure yet that it's a permanent problem. Conley and Ingles suddenly aging like the bad guy at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade has been an issue all season, so it's one that seems more likely to continue.
   1289. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: December 05, 2019 at 07:28 PM (#5906096)

Utah's schedule has been tough and it eases up quite a bit this month and next. I do still expect them to win around 50 games and finish 5th or 6th in the West.

That said, that's still disappointing because that's exactly where they were the last 3 seasons. This was supposed to be the year they entered true contender status.


Yup, and I could even see them finishing as high as third if Conley gets even to like 85-90% of last season, but that's not good enough anymore. Like you I'm not super worried about the defense. I think if they get the offensive fixed the defense will follow -- a lot of the problems are from too many liveball turnovers and too many missed shots leading to transition, though they've also been bad on halfcourt defense the last 5 or so games too.

As bad as Conley has been and as worried I am that he's declined, I would actually like to see him running the offense more even when Donovan is in. Maybe it would help Conley feel more comfortable and I the offense would be better with Donovan being the second guy breaking down an offense in the halfcourt rather than the first more often.

Utah can't guard an elite scoring wing. They could win 60 games in the regular season and I'd still predict them going no further than the second round of the playoffs.


This is a legit issue even if everything on the roster fixes itself. Lowe has suggested Covington but I have no idea if he'd be available especially for what Jazz have to trade. They really need a 3/4 better than Jeff Green, which should not be hard.
   1290. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 05, 2019 at 07:41 PM (#5906100)
It's just incredible how many times and for how many teams Jeff Green has popped up in sentences like that.
   1291. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: December 05, 2019 at 07:55 PM (#5906102)
I think I convinced myself that they didn't need much from him, just some ok bench minutes. That was way too optimistic.
   1292. calming him down with his 57i66135 Posted: December 05, 2019 at 08:01 PM (#5906103)
There are two weird things about Thybulle:

The terrible rebounding--what's up with that?
The terrible finishing--what's up with that?

His other athleticism numbers are good, so it's surprising that he's such a bad 2p finisher and rebounder.
the terrible rebounding: it's just not what he does. he guards like a demented mule until the shot goes up, and he just kind of relaxes for a second when the shot goes up. again, this isn't an issue for the sixers because everyone else on the court is 6'11.

the terrible finishing: it's probably just typical rookie struggles, combined with a small sample size.

anyway, thybulle just dumped off two beautiful assists on back to back possessions, so that's fun.
Thybulle is definitely a different type of defender than Green, for good and ill. (More disruptive, but also more exploitable - I think) I'm guessing that you're only mentioning defensive comps, stiggles, as he has little in common with somoe of those dudes on offense.
yeah, i was talking about thybulle's defensive style/impact, rather than his overall and/or offensive style/impact.
Side note: the Sixers have an absolutely ridiculous 83.5% DRB rate while being below average at EFG% allowed. Surely at some point that's indicative that they are over-emphasizing rebounding on defense.
a chunk of that is probably just from a lack of familiarity. aside from embiid and simmons, anyone in the rotation has been a sixer for 10 months or less.
   1293. Tin Angel Posted: December 05, 2019 at 08:31 PM (#5906106)
a chunk of that is probably just from a lack of familiarity. aside from embiid and simmons, anyone in the rotation has been a sixer for 10 months or less.


Don't know if it's been mentioned, but they should have kept Butler.
   1294. Booey Posted: December 05, 2019 at 08:35 PM (#5906107)
To go back to the point about Utah's schedule for a sec, 17 of their next 22 games are against teams with losing records, and two of the "winning" 5 are the Nets and Wolves, who are just barely .500. The Jazz have a good opportunity to right their wrongs. Whether they actually take advantage of that remains to be seen, of course.
   1295. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: December 05, 2019 at 09:11 PM (#5906110)
I'm not sure who the Toronto announcers are, but one of them is the worst homer I've heard, including Boston's announcers.
   1296. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 05, 2019 at 09:15 PM (#5906111)
I'm not sure who the Toronto announcers are, but one of them is the worst homer I've heard, including Boston's announcers.
Ha! I actually switched from the Houston feed because they were too homer. Toronto's television team is much worse. Now just watching with the sound off.
   1297. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 05, 2019 at 09:21 PM (#5906112)
Embiid closing in on a triple-double: 23 points, 21 rebounds, 8 turnovers. The Sixers have 21 TOs with two minutes left and 7 points to make up.
   1298. spivey Posted: December 05, 2019 at 09:23 PM (#5906113)
Milwaukee is shooting .581 from 2 this year. New York is shooting .454.
   1299. jmurph Posted: December 05, 2019 at 09:30 PM (#5906114)
Toronto’s broadcast team is incredibly bad, agreed. I don’t know what that guy thinks he’s going for.
   1300. RJ in TO Posted: December 05, 2019 at 09:38 PM (#5906115)
I'm not sure who the Toronto announcers are, but one of them is the worst homer I've heard, including Boston's announcers.

That's probably Jack Amstrong.
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