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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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   1301. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 05, 2019 at 09:38 PM (#5906116)
I think that, on average, NBA announcers are far more homerish than baseball or football guys. At this point, most franchises in the big sports have homer announcing teams, but NBA team announcers don't even bother to pretend to call things fairly.

Also, James Harden has some crazy range.
   1302. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: December 05, 2019 at 09:47 PM (#5906118)
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.


Yeahhhhhhhh, and I'm rooting for Toronto and against Houston, like every decent person. But it's still so bad.

That's probably Jack Amstrong.


Does he sound like he's doing a more extreme Tommy Heinsohn?
   1303. reech Posted: December 05, 2019 at 09:50 PM (#5906120)
The Knicks are now 4-18 , after losing to Denver by 37 points tonight-
they have Hawks, Bucks and Heat coming up

At best, they win 1 of the 3 and go 5 and 20-

Burn it all down

   1304. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: December 05, 2019 at 09:52 PM (#5906122)
I think that, on average, NBA announcers are far more homerish than baseball or football guys. At this point, most franchises in the big sports have homer announcing teams, but NBA team announcers don't even bother to pretend to call things fairly.


Despite their anger over Lebron's "disrespectful" behavior last night (I don't mind anyone celebrating but if he's on the court during action isn't that a tech or violation?), Jazz announcers tend not to be too homerish. They usually give opposing teams and players credit and point out when refs get calls right that go against Jazz or miss calls that go in the Jazz' favor. They're still biased in favor of the Jazz, but I think to a level that is appropriate for a team's broadcast.
   1305. . . . . . . Posted: December 05, 2019 at 09:53 PM (#5906123)
The Knicks didn’t just lose by 37, they lost by 37 at HOME.
   1306. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 05, 2019 at 10:41 PM (#5906135)
Harden had a bizarro stat line tonight: 23 points on 7-11 shooting, 6-6 FT, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 steals, 4 turnovers. Westbrook scored 19 points, went 7-27, missed all 6 from beyond the arc, 11 assists, 13 rebounds, 8 turnovers. The Rockets had 22 turnovers on the game. Watching the game, it felt like Toronto should have won this game, but Houston didn't seem to have any problems holding and extending their lead in the last six minutes.
   1307. Red Voodooin Posted: December 06, 2019 at 03:54 AM (#5906156)
The 76ers have lost 10 games in a row at Washington; their last victory in the nation's capital came on Nov. 1, 2013.

   1308. JC in DC Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:13 AM (#5906168)
So the Knicks are awful, and really we're at New Orleans Saints level, bag on the head wearing awful levels. But I did watch some of the game when it was "close," and I was struck by something people have said this year about Jokic: he seemed, how to put it, frustrated and out of sorts. He wasn't bad (how could anyone be bad against NY?), but he just seemed almost disengaged. Has there been any insight into what's going on with him?
   1309. jmurph Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:15 AM (#5906190)
So Westbrook has been pretty bad? That could be an all-time terrible trade. 3 firsts and pick swaps? 4 firsts? I’m a little unclear. Regardless, Paul is actually better anyway and on a shorter deal.
   1310. kubiwan Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:21 AM (#5906195)
Jokic: he seemed, how to put it, frustrated and out of sorts...Has there been any insight into what's going on with him?


My hunch is that he is just exhausted. Last year, he tied his career high for (regular-season) games played and barely set a new high for (regular-season) minutes played. His teams made the playoffs for the first time, so that added a month and 14 high-intensity, high-effort (40 minutes played per night!) games to the season. He then joined the Serbian national team, which, between warms-ups and the World Cup, played at least 14 games, and finished all of 2 weeks before training camps opened.

And his...ummm....less-than-Adonis physique might indicate he pays less attention to conditioning than he should.
   1311. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:22 AM (#5906197)
There is a belief among the Nuggets' fan base that Jokic is either a) saving himself for a long season; b) letting other players find their groove before he takes over; or c) is simply a basketball savant and knows what he's doing even if no one else does.
Jokic himself admitted after the Lakers game that he is in a slump, but couldn't say why.

Overall, the Nuggets offense is pretty dysfunctional. It's predicated on motion and no one is moving. And, when they don't hit their 3's, defenses just sag so it looks like 10 guys standing outside the Apple store waiting for it to open on Black Friday.

DEN has had a soft schedule, which helps their W-L, but they have a tendency to play harder against better teams. One hope is that better competition wakes up the entire roster and Jokic finds the sweet spot of playing more engaged but still including other players. (He's one of those few players who really would rather have a dozen assists than a dozen hoops.)
   1312. spivey Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:26 AM (#5906199)
Westbrook by most advanced stats is a replacement level player this year.

If Paul and Harden weren't going to play together, though, they were pretty tied. And I think there was some reason to think the gamble that Westbrook just had an off year last year was reasonable. But that gamble looks to have been wrong.

It's funny to look back just a few years and oh yeah, Westbrook really was one of the best players in the NBA.
   1313. puck Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:36 AM (#5906207)
or c) is simply a basketball savant and knows what he's doing even if no one else does.
Jokic himself admitted after the Lakers game that he is in a slump, but couldn't say why.


I assume a lot of this is fatigue. His shooting pct's are way down; presumably if he were saving himself for later he could still make jumpers (or "tippy-toers" as his shots go). I am not looking forward to him reporting to the national team immediately after the season for the Olympic qualifiers. If they play the way they did in the world cup they will thankfully not make the Olympics.

The Nuggets scored 129 vs the Knicks but Jokic was still not one of the 8 players w/10+ points. 4th game in 5 that he's been in single digits.

The problems you note with the Nugs' lack of movement can't be helping either.
   1314. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: December 06, 2019 at 02:46 PM (#5906322)
the worst homer I've heard, including Boston's announcers
I don't want to take too much time from the more interesting conversation about Jokic, but "announcers" really should be singular here: Mike Gorman, the Boston play-by-play guy, is far more measured than Tommy Heinsohn, and Brian Scalabrine, who has taken over color commentary on road games, is honestly pretty top-notch in terms of calling fouls fouls—and close enough to his playing/coaching career that he's comfortable pointing out the details that turn an otherwise good play into a foul call. Granted, it's the home booth that usually gets the NBATV call, and that still features an octogenarian ranting about foul calls like he was still pacing the sidelines as coach, but the times are a'changing—in this case, for the better.

---

I got curious about Jokic, so I peeked at this stats. I'm curious to see how my opinion will shift upon watching him tonight, but a few cursory observations:
- his 3pt% is way down. By season, rounding to percentage point, he has shot 33, 32, 40, and 31 percent (in order); this year he's at 22%.
- in fact, his overall FG% is down 5% from the last two years, and he's shooting a career low from the line. Unsurprisingly, this adds up to his worst TS% yet (51%, well below his career norm of ≈60%)
- his AST% is 5-6% off last year, but in line with his career numbers; similar with his raw assists. Passing doesn't seem to be the issue here
- he's drawing about 1 fewer foul per game than the last few years
- opponent points in the paint and 2nd chance points are no worse, though, and his rebounding numbers are the same as ever. In fact, he has a career best defensive rating (not sure how strength of schedule plays into this so far)

From a naive look at his stats, it really just looks like a bad shooting slump. If exhaustion were the root cause, I'd expect his defense to suffer more than it has (although I didn't look at SOS, and it's still pretty early in the season; and a big, slow, positionally sound guy like Jokic might lose less on D than a guy like Pat Beverly or Avery Bradley).
   1315. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 06, 2019 at 03:02 PM (#5906325)
I am not looking forward to him reporting to the national team immediately after the season for the Olympic qualifiers. If they play the way they did in the world cup they will thankfully not make the Olympics.
I had no idea that was the case with him; hadn't even given that a thought. It makes total sense now why he might be run down. It reminds of when Yao Ming was doing his thing in China during the off-season. He used to joke that he couldn't wait for the NBA season to start so he could finally get some sleep.
   1316. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: December 06, 2019 at 03:45 PM (#5906348)
fizdale let go
   1317. calming him down with his 57i66135 Posted: December 06, 2019 at 04:01 PM (#5906357)
978. calming him down with his 57i66135 Posted: November 21, 2019 at 12:24 PM (#5902959)
the knicks are going to hire sam hinkie as GM.
   1318. SteveF Posted: December 06, 2019 at 04:17 PM (#5906360)
the knicks are going to hire sam hinkie as GM.

It's a good way to rebrand yourself away from the team accidentally tanking to the team purposefully tanking.
   1319. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: December 06, 2019 at 05:01 PM (#5906373)
First Fizdale, and now there's an article in the Athletic about how Beilein has completely lost Cavs players, chock full of anonymous quotes from... Cavs players. Even with the Rockets are falling short in most of the ways I expected, my vote for Mike Dan Tony as the first coach to fall is looking more and more foolish, even from a process-over-results perspective.
   1320. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: December 06, 2019 at 05:29 PM (#5906380)
@MettaWorld37
If the @nyknicks is available, I definitely want to head coach there. I will absolutely bring that street mentality to the garden. Red brick, hard nose, let’s get it popping. QB. This would be epic for all people like me. Straight from the jungles to win a title in NYC. Blaat
   1321. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: December 06, 2019 at 05:53 PM (#5906389)
Jokic hasn't just been missing almost 80% of this threes; the great majority of the misses are short. Bricks off the front of the rim. I don't know enough to know what that means.

I assume a lot of this is fatigue. His shooting pct's are way down; presumably if he were saving himself for later he could still make jumpers (or "tippy-toers" as his shots go). I am not looking forward to him reporting to the national team immediately after the season for the Olympic qualifiers. If they play the way they did in the world cup they will thankfully not make the Olympics.


Only the Nuggets are in a position to know how true this is. If he has a yet-undisclosed nagging injury (certainly possible) they should probably just give him a month off, if he can be persuaded to take one. They should be able to make the playoffs just fine with him playing ~65 games, but they're going to need him at full power in May to have any hope of going past the second round.

Even if it's just fatigue, they might be best off trumping up a minor injury and giving him a month off, actually. And doing every damn thing they can think of to persuade him to get in better shape.
   1322. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: December 06, 2019 at 05:58 PM (#5906390)
I want to be head coach of the Knicks, too. I'll fine the players $2,500 every time they jack a contested two-point jumper, $5,000 every time they stand around watching on defense, and send Kevin Knox's useless ass to the G League. He'll probably be back after I get fired amid a locker room mutiny in January, but that won't be my problem. I did my best!
   1323. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 06, 2019 at 06:04 PM (#5906393)
MWP is unquestionably the hero the Knicks deserve. Sign the contract.
   1324. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:58 PM (#5906428)
A couple of unfamiliar voices on ESPN calling Nuggets-Celtics. I don’t know who they are, but they know the league well and they haven’t used the game as a springboard to complain about a single thing; I love it.

I’m not used to Brown and Tatum both having big games the same game; I’d like to be, it is very fun.
   1325. PJ Martinez Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:05 PM (#5906433)
1324: The color guy tonight is Richard Jefferson, and I sincerely hope we hear a lot more of him on national broadcasts. He's good.

The end of the third quarter was probably the highlight of the Celtics season so far.
   1326. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:32 PM (#5906446)
The Bucks are good.
   1327. spivey Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:35 PM (#5906447)
MILWAUKEE WIT DAT VARIIIIIIAAAAAANCE
   1328. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:43 PM (#5906450)
Holy crap, I know it's only one game, but it's going to be hard to come out of this thinking that the Bucks aren't the favorites.
   1329. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:50 PM (#5906451)
Lost my lunch money on the Timberwolves tonight.

Before that gem the Thunder hit a technical free throw because someone's jersey was untucked.
   1330. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:53 PM (#5906454)
The end of regulation in the MIN/OKC game was absurd.

With 3.9 seconds left and the Wolfs up by two, BTF Thread Darling Jordan Bell gets fouled. He misses both free throws, only for Okogie to get the offensive rebound. After another foul, KAT is on the line, but he misses the first -- at this point there are 1.1 seconds left. Jordan Bell gets a delay of game for having his jersey untucked (!?!?), after the tech, Wolfs are up one and KAT has one free throw left with OKC out of timeouts. He makes it and then ... Steven Adams throws a beautiful full-court pass to Schroder for the game-tying layup.

The Thunder run the Wolfs out of the gym in OT and come away with what has to be one of the most ridiculous wins this season.

edit: coke to 1329
   1331. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:59 PM (#5906458)
I think KAT tried missing that last FT, too, but made it.
   1332. PJ Martinez Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:33 PM (#5906465)
Holy crap, I know it's only one game, but it's going to be hard to come out of this thinking that the Bucks aren't the favorites.
The gap right now in net rating between the Bucks and the No. 2 team, the Lakers, is larger than the gap between the Lakers and the No. 11 team (the Sixers).
   1333. PJ Martinez Posted: December 07, 2019 at 12:01 AM (#5906467)
Speaking of the Bucks, this was fun.
   1334. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 07, 2019 at 12:30 AM (#5906468)
Did we know LeBron is leading the lig in assists? I certainly didn't.
   1335. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: December 07, 2019 at 12:31 AM (#5906469)
MIL/LAC: At the moment, there is a significant gap between Antetokounmpo and Leonard:

PER/TS/WS48/VORP

GA 33.9/.617/.308/2.6
KL 24.7/.536/.175/1.0

That is not including the game tonight.

Leonard is not really the Leonard of the last couple of years right now, and Antetokounmpo is playing more or less at peak Jordan/James level and seems to have improved a little from last year. He turned 25 tonight--right at his physical peak. If Leonard has taken a step back, and Antetokounmpo can play at close to this level in postseason, then, yes, Milwaukee is the favorite, even without the true #2 type guy.

Utah: As noted, Conley and Ingles are playing at replacement level, and Mitchell's PER is back below 20. Yes, the schedule has been tough, but they are 13th in SRS and after getting waxed by the Lakers, their PYTH is 11-11. I still really like that starting 5 on paper, but right now they are simply not performing.
   1336. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: December 07, 2019 at 12:32 AM (#5906470)
Did we know LeBron is leading the lig in assists? I certainly didn't.


Yes, I did--but I can see how you would not if you were not either a Lakers fan and/or a James fan.
   1337. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 07, 2019 at 12:32 AM (#5906471)
Btw, James is having an all-time "I'LL SHOW *YOU* WHO'S WASHED" season.
   1338. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: December 07, 2019 at 12:35 AM (#5906472)
Btw, James is having an all-time "I'LL SHOW *YOU* WHO'S WASHED" season


So far, and he was pretty vocal about saying he would do exactly that. Incidentally, the Lakers play Milwaukee later this month.
   1339. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 07, 2019 at 12:47 AM (#5906473)
Yes, I did--but I can see how you would not if you were not either a Lakers fan and/or a James fan.
I knew the Lakers were kicking ass and Ant was putting up monster lines, but not to the extent James has become a hardcore ball distributor. He's still getting his shots, but this is interesting: his FTr of .276 would be a career-worst.

But big picture: This is his first season playing alongside someone clearly better - and the team is about to be 20-3. That's a hell of an accomplishment for the two of them, figuring it out so quickly. Remember LBJ's first Miami season, when he and D-Wade would take turns running the offense and it looked unnatural?

The race between LA and the Bucks for the overall top seed should be fun.
   1340. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: December 07, 2019 at 01:18 AM (#5906475)
This is his first season playing alongside someone clearly better

Is Davis clearly better? I do think AD is better overall right now because he's arguably the best defensive player in the NBA but LeBron's still the Lakers' best offensive player IMO.

That's a hell of an accomplishment for the two of them, figuring it out so quickly.

AD's game complements LBJ's game much more than Wade's game did.

Btw, James is having an all-time "I'LL SHOW *YOU* WHO'S WASHED" season


LeBron's defense better this year no question but is his offense really all that different when you look at the numbers? I have to say, there's no way anybody but Giannis is winning the MVP if he remains healthy. They are winning a ton of games and Milwaukee has no second star.

Leonard's really not shooting well in his last 10 games, <40% from the field.

   1341. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: December 07, 2019 at 01:22 AM (#5906476)
Yes, James and Davis actually complement each other, unlike James and Wade, and to some extent Leonard and George. That only matters to a point--Jordan and Pippen overlapped some--but I think it does matter some, especially since James is old.

The point about James' O numbers is well-taken, but he does deserve a lot of credit on several levels right now. GM LeBron has its upside, and the Lakers are experiencing it big-time at the moment.
   1342. jmurph Posted: December 07, 2019 at 09:27 AM (#5906486)
rr: that your commitment to using last names extends to Giannis is genuinely impressive!
   1343. spivey Posted: December 07, 2019 at 10:32 AM (#5906493)
I still think Harden has a very compelling MVP case. I think Giannis is better, probably, but Harden is averaging almost 40 points/game on very good efficiency. That's absurd. Also, Doncic has the Mavericks at the 2 seed right now (and 4th in SRS).

People talk about Milwaukee's lack of a 2nd star, but Middleton and Bledsoe are better than anyone on either of those teams. And in fact, as good as Giannis is (I think he's a top 2 regular season player, with Harden - and a top 3 playoff player, with Kawhi and LeBron) - I think people are underrating their team.

A few takeaways from the game last night. I got to watch most of it, occasionally flipping back to watching the Nuggets/Boston game.

- On/Off is not everything, but for the season Giannis' on-court +/- is +16 and on-off is +6.7. That's very good, but also shows that this is a good team even when he's on the bench. I realize some of that is late game blowouts, end of quarter stuff when other team's stars are also resting, but the point is this team can and does extend leads when he's on the bench. It happened in the 3rd quarter last night when the game went from ~20-25 (so blow out, but possible to get back in it) to like +35. Indeed, Giannis had one of the worst +/-'s of the main guys last night.

- PG play and getting into your offense is big against the Clippers. With the wing defenders they have, plus Beverly at the point, you really can't afford imo to have a PG that is not comfortable dribbling the ball up the court against Beverly. Beverly was not dogging Bledsoe and Hill full court or at the half court stripe, which I think is important for if they meet in the Finals.

- Matthews, DiVincenzo and Connaughton all got decent minutes getting to try their hand at guarding George and Leonard, and mostly didn't embarrass themselves. DiVincenzo and Connaughton are very, very athletic, and Connaughton is very strong. Both struggled more with Leonard, which makes sense because he gets Harden-level superstar calls and they're not as tall or savvy. DiVincenzo is also young. But these guys will need to play well not just against the Clippers but also will need to win their matchups some games against Toronto and Boston. This is also a nice development - Sterling Brown is end of bench fodder, and he played decent minutes last year in the playoffs due to Brogdon's injury. I think more of those are going away. Connaughton and DiVincenzo are also both excellent rebounders for guards, and are capable of doing multiple things on offense (not at a high level, but at an acceptable level). I like them both.

- Kawhi doesn't look right, but his understanding of the game and ability to disrupt plays with elite length and hand-eye coordination, and ability to get to his spots on the offensive end are still elite. The Clippers are still very dangerous, and the team that scares me the most.
   1344. spivey Posted: December 07, 2019 at 10:38 AM (#5906497)
I may have to mentally adjust what good per/36 numbers are these days since the pace in the NBA is ####### out of control, but every single player in the Bucks roster that's played this year is scoring over 10pts/36, and they have 10 guys with over 6.5reb/36.
   1345. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 07, 2019 at 10:39 AM (#5906498)

rr: that your commitment to using last names extends to Giannis is genuinely impressive!


I noticed this change on PTI, and though I don't know whether this was a directive from on high or not, I thought it was an overdue move. Using somebody's first name because their last name is 'too hard' is disrespectful.
   1346. Booey Posted: December 07, 2019 at 11:52 AM (#5906532)
#1345 - It's not (always) just that, though. For me, I often use first names when someone has an uncommon first name that won't be confused with anyone else - LeBron, Kobe, Shaq, Melo, Wilt, Kareem, etc. Giannis fits into this group. It really has little to do with the fact that his last name is long and hard to spell. Other players like Harden I'll usually refer to by their last name because their first name is too common (or might be confused with Lebron's last name).
   1347. jmurph Posted: December 07, 2019 at 11:54 AM (#5906534)
Totally disagree (unless he requested it for that reason, of course). LeBron has probably the easiest last name in sports, for example. Lots of other great players with unique or singular first names or nicknames have been known that way: Dirk, Shaq, Kobe, Steph, etc.

Edit: coke to booey
   1348. calming him down with his 57i66135 Posted: December 07, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5906536)
Btw, James is having an all-time "I'LL SHOW *YOU* WHO'S WASHED" season.
it's clearly just a dead cat bounce.
   1349. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 07, 2019 at 12:47 PM (#5906548)
LeBron has probably the easiest last name in sports, for example. Lots of other great players with unique or singular first names or nicknames have been known that way: Dirk, Shaq, Kobe, Steph, etc.


None of those are called by their first names because their last names are 'too hard', though, so they don't fit the criterion. I've heard announcers 'jokingly' mispronounce Antetokounmpo's last name too often to think it's endearing.

   1350. jmurph Posted: December 07, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5906560)
Well I certainly agree that mocking the man’s name is ridiculous.
   1351. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: December 07, 2019 at 01:25 PM (#5906562)
Last and first names: As Booey suggests, it is generally done with superfamous guys who have unusual first names and simple last ones, especially if the first name is easy to say and the last name is longer. Giannis Antetokounmpo obviously fits those criteria. Pretty much everybody calls/ed Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant Shaq and Kobe regardless of how they feel about them. It is also of course a sign of affection sometimes, as with nicknames, when it is done inside the fanbase. Booey for example often posts about Spida and Rudy while to me they are Mitchell and Gobert.

As to me individually, it is an idiosyncrasy based on personal exp. It is in part a little tribute to my Dad, with whom I still watch NBA games and who taught me how to play, and who calls everybody by their last names. Also, I have worked with many international students over the years, and always made a point of trying to learn how to pronounce and spell their names, no matter how long or difficult they were in American English. Finally, it is sort of a little self-reminder that these guys who play pro sports are not my friends and I don't know much about them.
   1352. Booey Posted: December 07, 2019 at 01:26 PM (#5906564)
I agree that deliberately mispronouncing someone's name is disrespectful, but I strongly believe that many people - including myself - would still call him Giannis even if his last name was Smith or Jones or something else easy to say. Giannis is a completely unique name in NBA history, so there's never going to be any confusion as to who you're talking about. Antetokounmpo actually isn't, since he has 2 brothers in the league (although yeah, they're not gonna work their way into every day NBA chatter quite as often).
   1353. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: December 07, 2019 at 01:44 PM (#5906570)
People talk about Milwaukee's lack of a 2nd star, but Middleton and Bledsoe are better than anyone on either of those teams. And in fact, as good as Giannis is (I think he's a top 2 regular season player, with Harden - and a top 3 playoff player, with Kawhi and LeBron) - I think people are underrating their team.


You and other people made similar comments last year, but when the money was on the table, Leonard outplayed Antetokounmpo and Milwaukee lost in 6. Toronto very nearly lost to the Embiid/Butler 76ers, then won the title in part because Golden State's star core was halved by injuries. History is pretty clear on this: most teams that won the NBA title had a second guy who was better than Middleton or Bledsoe. There are exceptions: 1994 Rockets, 2003 Spurs, 2011 Mavericks, and arguably the all-for-one Detroit and the somewhat forgotten 1970/1973 New York teams. But that is generally not how it works.

There are differences this time: Leonard is in the West, and may be slowing down a little, even though he is in his 20s. James is also in the West, and will be 35 years old when the playoffs start. Ben Simmons is not getting any better, and Antetokounmpo actually seems to be. So Milwaukee is well-positioned to be an exception team, but IMO it is not because they are steamrolling the East in the regular season. Last night's win was impressive, and as noted, Leonard and Antetokounmpo are not on the same level right now.
   1354. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: December 07, 2019 at 01:59 PM (#5906578)
Add: At the moment, I think Boston is probably the team in the East with the best chance to make trouble for Milwaukee. But I could see Philadelphia and/or Miami making a deal to improve their rosters. Toronto may be the best-run organization in the league, along with San Antonio, but I am not sold on their actual team as a contender.
   1355. spivey Posted: December 07, 2019 at 02:03 PM (#5906580)
You and other people made similar comments last year, but when the money was on the table, Leonard outplayed Antetokounmpo and Milwaukee lost in 6. Toronto very nearly lost to the Embiid/Butler 76ers, then won the title in part because Golden State's star core was halved by injuries. History is pretty clear on this: most teams that won the NBA title had a second guy who was better than Middleton or Bledsoe. There are exceptions: 1994 Rockets, 2003 Spurs, 2011 Mavericks, and arguably the all-for-one Detroit and the somewhat forgotten 1970/1973 New York teams. But that is generally not how it works.

Who was the second best player on Toronto? I don't know that Siakam or Lowry were better than Middleton or Bledsoe last year, though in that series they were. But Middleton was a monster the series before against Boston.

I don't disagree with the general point, of course - I'd love Khris Middleton to be Paul George. But he's not. Though I think I did see a stat that Middleton was a top 5/10 player in the NBA last year in iso situations and is an elite shooter, which is very much what you need next to Giannis. I think the fit makes up for some of Middleton lacking the pure star talent.

Milwaukee's stats in the playoffs last year were elite. I think Pelton said they had the second best point differential in NBA history for a team that didn't make the Finals.

To me, Milwaukee lost that series because Kawhi outplayed Giannis, Giannis struggled from the line, and Toronto's role players - Van Vleet in particular - outshot Milwaukee's role players from 3, despite them having pretty similar 3pt stats during the regular season, and Toronto just won the close games which imo has some inherent luck to it.
   1356. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: December 07, 2019 at 02:10 PM (#5906583)
Who was the second best player on Toronto?


They were an exception team, too, for the reasons I stated. Remember they were 90-90 in G7 with Stiggles' Guys when Leonard made a 23-footer from the corner, falling out of bounds, not squared up, that bounced in off the backboard, to end the series. Then they beat another one-star team, then Durant and Thompson got hurt, and they took advantage of all of those things and earned their banner.

Milwaukee as noted is positioned to be another exception to the general rule. But as I said several months ago, if they don't win it this time, Horst will probably go looking for his Doc Holliday to go with Wyatt Antetokounmpo, especially since if they do lose, it could well be to the Leonard/George Clippers or the James/Davis Lakers.
   1357. Booey Posted: December 07, 2019 at 02:15 PM (#5906589)
The points about Milwaukee are valid, but I also don't think there's another team in the East this year as good as Toronto was last year. Philly or Boston upsetting the Bucks in the ECF this season would be a bigger upset than the Raptors doing it last year, IMO.
   1358. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: December 07, 2019 at 02:27 PM (#5906592)
1357--

Yep, could be, and that is why I have been pretty yappy about saying that I think Milwaukee will be in the Finals this time, and was saying that in preseason, based on how the gameboard looks now. But that can change. I may be underrating Boston. I overrated them last year, so I may need to re-think my "Kyrie Irving is really good" position.
   1359. PJ Martinez Posted: December 07, 2019 at 04:00 PM (#5906608)
To oversimplify a bit: no team won more than 60 games last season. (Milwaukee won exactly 60.) Toronto was a 58-win team, Golden State was a 57-win team.

So far, Milwaukee is playing like a team that wins 65-plus — i.e., a juggernaut. All the teams that have had similar point differentials this far into a season in the past have gone on to win the title, with the exception of the 73-win Warriors. If they keep this up, the Bucks will go into the playoffs as the kind of Great NBA Team that last season simply didn't feature. They may still be vulnerable, of course.
   1360. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: December 07, 2019 at 05:00 PM (#5906624)
Interesting stats for Jazz:

David Locke
@Lockedonsports
·
26m
Best non paint 2 pointer shooters in NBA (50 attpts for season)
1. D'Angelo Russell 60%
2. Evan Fournier 53%
3. Bryn Forbes 53%
4. Chris Paul 52%
5. Malcom Brogdon 50.7%
6. Donovan Mitchell 50.6%
7. Dennis Schroder 50%
8. Tyler Herro 48.6%
9. CJ McCollum 48%
10. Horford


David Locke
@Lockedonsports
·
17m
Donovan Mitchell has taken 128 non-restricted area 2 point shots. Most in the NBA (Trae Young next at 112). Donovan is making 34.4%. Of the top 50 in attempts of non-restricted area 2 only Kemba Walker, Ben Simmons, Kristaps Porzingis and Bojan Bogdanovic are shooting <34.4%


Basically Donovan should take his mid-range jumpers when the defense gives them to him and should almost never ever shoot any floaters, both of which also agree with the eye test.
   1361. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: December 07, 2019 at 06:17 PM (#5906638)

So far, Milwaukee is playing like a team that wins 65-plus — i.e., a juggernaut. All the teams that have had similar point differentials this far into a season in the past have gone on to win the title, with the exception of the 73-win Warriors. If they keep this up, the Bucks will go into the playoffs as the kind of Great NBA Team that last season simply didn't feature. They may still be vulnerable, of course.


I think they are vulnerable in a short series against any team that can slow down Antetokounmpo a little and/or has two guys who are notably/a bit better than Bledsoe and Middleton. That team may not exist this year. I recognize that some of their power metrics are even better right now than they were last year, but there were plenty of posts to this effect about them last year as well. Point differential and SRS are key metrics, but all metrics are contextual, and the fact that they can crush teams like Charlotte and New York by 40 does not necessarily make me think more of their chances against the LA teams or maybe a couple of others. Last night's Clippers game tells us something about where those two teams are this minute, but they might not be in that place if they meet in the Finals.

That said, I started this by saying that if Leonard has slipped, and Antetokounmpo can play near this level in May and June, then Milwaukee should be the favorite, and I had them as the favorite in the East during training camp.
   1362. calming him down with his 57i66135 Posted: December 07, 2019 at 07:13 PM (#5906649)
trade machine: who says no?

CLE: gorsokghj hayesnof
BOS: kevin love
   1363. spivey Posted: December 07, 2019 at 07:42 PM (#5906655)
With how good Hayward looked at the beginning of this season, I don't think there's any way they're trading him unless they get a superstar back. And that makes sense to me. A world where Boston is a contender this year and probably next is one where Hayward is their best player or is traded for a top 10 player.
   1364. jmurph Posted: December 07, 2019 at 07:55 PM (#5906659)
Would unquestionably prefer Hayward on a short deal than Love on his.
   1365. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 07, 2019 at 08:12 PM (#5906665)
Would unquestionably prefer Hayward on a short deal than Love on his.
Who is this "Hayward"? I think you're referring to Genedict Humberbatch.
   1366. Fourth True Outcome Posted: December 07, 2019 at 08:25 PM (#5906670)
I've been meaning to post for a while about, however good they are, this year's Celtics team seems like the most platonic Brad Stevens-y team he's had. Everyone is disciplined and high effort on defense, and everyone is similarly willing to make the right pass and keep the ball moving on offense. No one looks off the hot hand or a good cut to find their own shot, and if you trap any of Kemba/Tatum/Haythresher they’ll gladly pass to get the 4-on-3. It's unclear how well the defense will stand up in the playoffs (or against Embiid) and how good a four-headed offense is in place of a superduperstar, but it's been a ton of fun to watch, especially after last year's mess.

(To be clear, that is much more of a shot at the ball-stopping of Marcus Morris and Scary Terry, who took 20 of the team's shot every game, than it is a dig at Kyrie who, lockerroom and Bucks series aside, was great last season.)

Losing Horford and Baynes hurt the defense in absolute terms, but it also unlocked Stevens' ability to focus on making his defensive scheme as fast, long, and switchy as possible.
   1367. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: December 07, 2019 at 09:00 PM (#5906681)
Is someone going to trade for Kevin Love?
   1368. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 07, 2019 at 10:02 PM (#5906697)
Mavs put another curbstomping on a hapless foe. I'm all for these because it means more Boban, who had 15 on 6-7 shooting and 16 boards in 23 minutes tonight.
   1369. PJ Martinez Posted: December 07, 2019 at 10:35 PM (#5906707)
They won by 46?! My goodness.

Edit: Apparently this is the first day in NBA history two teams won by 45+ (the other being Philly, over Cleveland, by 47).
   1370. PJ Martinez Posted: December 07, 2019 at 11:34 PM (#5906726)
"James Harden went 3-17 from 3-point range tonight. Harden now has 10 career games in which he’s missed at least 14 3-pointers, twice as many as all other players in NBA history combined."
   1371. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: December 08, 2019 at 02:38 AM (#5906740)
I think they are vulnerable in a short series against any team that can slow down Antetokounmpo a little and/or has two guys who are notably/a bit better than Bledsoe and Middleton.
This is, in a nutshell, the roadmap for Boston to get through the East. Smart has fared surprisingly well against Giannis by working maniacally before the entry pass, getting under his center of gravity, and setting up for charges on a hair trigger (for all the flopping jokes, he draws legitimate charges by the barrel: the man reads the moves of opposing players faster than anyone I’ve ever watched), with Brown and Highfaluting* able to switch in to give him different looks.

Granted, it’s possible no one can slow Giannis this year: LeBron has done in some excellent teams that way, and this year, Giannis is at that level. And anyway, if Middleton remains literally the best shooter in history against Boston, it’s all irrelevant: a team can win a series by winning the second- through eighth-best-player matchups, but there aren’t many examples of teams who gave up the best TWO players and winning. rr’s razor and all**. I expect more from the Celtics than most, but it’s not exactly hard to envision Milwaukee winning.

* Tatum’s length and foot speed might make him better in this matchup, despite his lack of strength; but I’m getting into the weeds when the details aren’t that important. Giannis has at least one decisive advantage over everyone alive, so the only viable strategy would seem to be carrying as many only-partially-overmatched players as possible so he at least has to switch things up.

** I was too swamped with diapers to clarify earlier, but I do hope it’s clear I keep referencing the “just count the stars” method because I think it’s legitimately useful and not to be a smartass.
   1372. jmurph Posted: December 08, 2019 at 10:03 AM (#5906767)
1370: Acknowledging that he takes a lot of difficult shots and has all the scoring responsibilities, Harden is... not actually a great shooter? Kind of a weirdly underdiscussed thing.

I assume he’s better on catch and shoot, he just doesn’t get those opportunities.
   1373. NJ in NY (Now with two kids!) Posted: December 08, 2019 at 12:32 PM (#5906816)
Acknowledging that he takes a lot of difficult shots and has all the scoring responsibilities, Harden is... not actually a great shooter?

Agreed. Part of why I'm open to "he's not as great as his numbers indicate" criticism of him is because a greater percentage of his game just feels like math maximization. If other players played in organizations that were as dedicated to the same pricniples, they might be able to replicate some of what he's done (though the foul drawing is his).

Sidenote, it's insane to me that LeBron is sporting the lowest free throw rate of his entire career. Is there research on whether it is normal for free throw rate to go down this much as a player ages?
   1374. Booey Posted: December 08, 2019 at 12:58 PM (#5906822)
Harden's scoring is somewhat similar to Westbrook's triple doubles; other players could match it (not a lot, but a few) if they tried as hard to do it as Beard and Russ do.

Don't get me wrong; Harden is a great player and Westbrook used to be also, but there's no denying that they're stat padders, IMO. They put up historic numbers in large part because they play for teams that revolve their entire offense around letting these guys get their stats.
   1375. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: December 08, 2019 at 01:03 PM (#5906823)
1371 BOS/MIL:

I looked up the series stats from last year. Smart only played in 2 of the 5 games, and did not play at all in the first one, which was the only one Boston won, 112-90. He played in the last two, which Boston lost by 12 and 25, respectively, posting an ORTG of 64 and a DRTG of 107. Antetokounmpo's season TS was .644, and it was .620 in the Boston series. His ORTG/DRTG was 117/95 for the season, and 121/97 for the series.

Boston was 10th in ORTG and 7th in DRTG last year; this year, they are 8th and 5th so far. They are playing at a slightly slower pace, which seems counterintuitive with Irving and Horford gone.

So, I think it speaks very well of Stevens that the team is doing this well on O without Irving and Horford, and now without Hayward, although Walker leads the guys who have played a lot in PER, WS48 and VORP. But I don't see a lot of evidence that Boston is ready to make noise against Milwaukee in a best-of-7. I spent all of last year saying that Boston and Philadelphia would be very tough outs for Milwaukee and Toronto, and I was dead wrong on Boston. So I am the "show me" camp on that question now.
   1376. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: December 08, 2019 at 01:33 PM (#5906829)
Also, as an add: while I think Stevens has shown he is a good coach, IMO it is just as easy to look at Boston and see Stevens as a minor factor: Walker replaced Irving more or less. Brown and Tatum were high lottery picks and are still in their early 20s so are improving organically. Hayward was doing well because it took his body time to recover and he needed his timing back, etc. Horford is a nice player, but not a guy whose loss is going to kill you, and Ainge is good at working the roster. So I think it is just as easy to focus on Ainge's positives as on Stevens's in looking at Boston still having a good team on the floor post-Irving, although I think both Stevens and Ainge are a bit overhyped because they run Boston (Stevens in particular--Ainge did put together the 2008-10 teams in Boston).
   1377. PJ Martinez Posted: December 08, 2019 at 03:08 PM (#5906841)
Apparently Hayward might be back as soon as tomorrow, against Cleveland.
   1378. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 08, 2019 at 05:13 PM (#5906856)
On Harden, I actually looked at this last year. My hypothesis was similar to yours, that he's not that good a shooter and it's just the fouls. Specifically I had two hypotheses:

1) He's not that good a shooter -- if you look at wide open or open 3's maybe his percentage is not that good, and
2) The fouls artificially inflate his 3P% since he gets credit for a make if a shot goes in when he's fouled, but not a miss if it doesn't.

However both of these were wrong. He actually looks pretty elite if you compare his shooting percentages by how open he is (especially when you consider he creates most of his own shots), and the second effect is negligible. I didn't write it up (probably should have) but from my recollection he's actually a very good shooter.

On Giannis, the key feature of this season and last is the same: shooting 64 percent on 15 twos a game, which is just nuts. You have to design a defense to try to contain his freakish ability of being able to explode into the paint and dunk over people. The teams I'd bet on to have the best chance to do this are ones with good defensive gameplan builders -- like when the Spurs stopped Harden cold in 2017. It'd be an interesting test for coaches like Stevens, Spoelstra, Carlisle, Vogel (whose defenses were always very good), and maybe Rivers or Brown could do it. I wonder if Thibs is available for consulting work.
   1379. Fourth True Outcome Posted: December 08, 2019 at 06:17 PM (#5906866)
while I think Stevens has shown he is a good coach, IMO it is just as easy to look at Boston and see Stevens as a minor factor

Oh, I totally agree with both parts of this, if that wasn't clear. Brown and Tatum are improving organically, and that is only aided by replacing Morris and Rozier with a cast of rookies who don't demand as many shots. I think Stevens' system matters more on offense than defense; I tend to think any good system helps a team's worse players get good shots, but the bulk of the real lifting and shot creation is always going to get done by a team's best offensive players, and that's going to be what determines the team's ceiling.

On a different note, I saw someone on twitter recently say that the court makes Nets home games look like they're played in Pleasantville and I can't stop thinking about it.
   1380. spivey Posted: December 08, 2019 at 07:16 PM (#5906871)
I really like Boston's team and I think there's ways things could break where they end up in the Finals, but as I see it none of their 3 wings can guard Giannis, none of them seem dynamic enough to torch Milwaukee's non-Giannis guys, and well if they do, then just put Giannis on 'em. But Milwaukee gives up a lot of 3s and I do think that always leaves them at least a bit vulnerable to 3 point variance.

I also generally subscribe to the theory that once you get past the first round fodder, the margins are smaller than many acknowledge.
   1381. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: December 09, 2019 at 02:27 AM (#5906958)
none of their 3 wings can guard Giannis, none of them seem dynamic enough to torch Milwaukee's non-Giannis guys, and well if they do, then just put Giannis on 'em.
And if more than one does? The Bucks only have the one Giannis, and I can talk myself into any of the three outplaying DiVincenzo or Connaughton. You may be right, though; I'll grant upfront that I'm indulging in motivated reasoning here, and as long as the Cs keep playing well, I'll continue to do so. At least until we have a bit more observational data on those matchups, anyway.

And I was being serious about Marcus Smart guarding Giannis earlier: he did a legitimately excellent job with that matchup in the USA-Greece game; and when the Celtics beat the Bucks earlier this year, he guarded Giannis for more possessions than any other Celtic, in which time he gave up one (1) field goal. The size mismatch looks gimmicky, but Smart has been consistently effective guarding much bigger players all season.
   1382. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: December 09, 2019 at 09:15 AM (#5906986)
Davis and James last night:

82 points, on 32/59 from the floor, 19 AST/6 TO 12/12 FTA, and 6/10 on 3s (James was 6/8). The team starts a 5-game trip now: ORL, MIA, ATL, IND, with the trip ending 12.19 in Milwaukee.
   1383. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: December 09, 2019 at 10:05 AM (#5907009)
Potential MIL/BOS matchup: It would be interesting to see data on how many playoff series have been won by the team with the best guy statistically, both for the season itself and in the series. I have been the yappiest guy on here about Milwaukee not having the "true #2 guy" but it is not like they are Antetokounmpo and junk, either. So I see them as pretty solid favorites in the East, although I think Boston and Philly might be tough outs. Best-of-7 with one of the LA teams with the obvious health caveat about those teams' Dynamic Duos..not sure. And ofc things could look much different in May and June than they do now.

To go back to Utah for a minute: I very much thought they had a chance to combine the good players at every position/elite Team D model that is my other way of looking at things when I am not counting superstars on my fingers by torchlight in my cave. So far it has not happened. Maybe Boston is that team, not Utah. I have watched almost no non-LAL games due to serious work and personal stuff, but over vacation I will for sure watch Utah to see what's up. I saw the first LAL/UTAH game but not the second.
   1384. DCA Posted: December 09, 2019 at 10:17 AM (#5907014)
On Harden, I actually looked at this last year. My hypothesis was similar to yours, that he's not that good a shooter and it's just the fouls. Specifically I had two hypotheses:

1) He's not that good a shooter -- if you look at wide open or open 3's maybe his percentage is not that good, and
2) The fouls artificially inflate his 3P% since he gets credit for a make if a shot goes in when he's fouled, but not a miss if it doesn't.

However both of these were wrong.


There's an easier answer too. He's a career 86% free throw shooter, in about as large a sample size as it's possible to have. That's not Bird/Curry/Nash/Price level elite, but it's pretty good.

For #2, I think that's true of most guys, but Harden takes a bunch of "bad" shots in an attempt to draw fouls. That might not actually be bad if they have a 50/50 chance of drawing a foul even they are very low percentage to actually go in.
   1385. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: December 09, 2019 at 10:32 AM (#5907019)
Early in Kings-Mavs last night, the Kings mugged Luka around the rim a couple times and the refs didn't call it, and he flipped his ####. For several possessions he was out of control, ignoring his teammates, bombing and missing stepback threes and driving wildly to the hoop, screaming at the refs repeatedly until they finally T'd him up. Carlisle took him out for a good long breather and he settled down a bit after that, but still, if I'm coaching a competing team, I'm watching that first quarter and thinking... hmmmmm.

The refs were of course only too happy to continue letting the Kings repeatedly foul the guy who's annoying them. I hope Carlisle is sharp enough to have a sit-down with his young star today and explain to him that putting yourself on officials' shitlist is only going to frustrate you and hurt the team.

IMO the Mavs very well may have won the game had Luka not been at war with the officials all night.
   1386. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: December 09, 2019 at 11:11 AM (#5907036)
Bulls blew another game that should have won last night, this time in Miami. The more I watch them, the more obvious it is that Boylen is their biggest problem.
   1387. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: December 09, 2019 at 11:13 AM (#5907037)
Over GarPax? Maybe their biggest symptom?
   1388. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: December 09, 2019 at 11:31 AM (#5907046)
Well, Jerry is the biggest problem, then GarPax, then Boylen. I just meant the main reason this current group of players isn't .500 or so.
   1389. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: December 09, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5907061)
Fair and yes.
   1390. PJ Martinez Posted: December 09, 2019 at 12:35 PM (#5907080)
A look at how early-season scheduling has affected the Jazz, Sixers, Raptors, and other teams. The rough implications, according to the author: the Jazz's struggles are at least partly understandable, the Sixers have semi-bungled what should have been an opportunity to pad their record, and the Raptors appear to be very good.
   1391. calming him down with his 57i66135 Posted: December 09, 2019 at 02:01 PM (#5907135)
the Sixers have semi-bungled what should have been an opportunity to pad their record
alternatively:
the sixers are 3-1 against MIL, MIA, TOR and BOS.

BOS is 3-1
TOR is 1-4
MIL is 1-2
MIA is 2-2
   1392. jmurph Posted: December 09, 2019 at 02:05 PM (#5907138)
alternatively:
the sixers are 3-1 against MIL, MIA, TOR and BOS.

Yeah I think the Sixers are not as good as most expected and also remain a very difficult matchup against all of the other good teams in the East.

I have no idea how those things shake out when the playoffs roll around.
   1393. aberg Posted: December 09, 2019 at 02:54 PM (#5907163)
To go back to Utah for a minute: I very much thought they had a chance to combine the good players at every position/elite Team D model that is my other way of looking at things when I am not counting superstars on my fingers by torchlight in my cave. So far it has not happened. Maybe Boston is that team, not Utah. I have watched almost no non-LAL games due to serious work and personal stuff, but over vacation I will for sure watch Utah to see what's up. I saw the first LAL/UTAH game but not the second.


Utah's bench has been awful. Ingles has been way off all year and should get better based on track record. The rest of the bench is bad in predictable ways. More Ed Davis should help a bit. They should also be at the front of the line for a wing scorer for the second unit. Conley has been bad at getting to the basket and making shots when he does get there. His on/off numbers are still solid, but they'll need that to come around to hit their potential.
   1394. spivey Posted: December 09, 2019 at 04:26 PM (#5907236)
If Ingles and Conley play like they did last year, I think Utah's a fringe contender. If they don't, they ain't. I hope they do, though, because I like that group of players.
   1395. If on a winter's night a traveling violation Posted: December 09, 2019 at 07:53 PM (#5907302)
Jaylen Brown's improved handle has really opened up his game; while last season his dribble was vulnerable, you just cannot start a point guard against him now (not Darius Garland, anyway; I suppose that's a rather weaker claim).
   1396. jmurph Posted: December 09, 2019 at 09:16 PM (#5907317)
Tristan Thompson has been dominating the Celtics on the glass through like 9 different roster incarnations. If I only watched him against Boston I’d think he was a hall of famer.

Also Kevin Love appears to actively hate his teammates.
   1397. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: December 09, 2019 at 11:11 PM (#5907343)
Conley is still out with a tight hamstring but...the Jazz are down 20 at home in the 4th against the Thunder. Who have no Galinari and are on the 2nd of a BTB. Even with the Jazz having a tough schedule so far, I have zero optimism at this point that they're any better than the last few seasons. The offense just does not have any connectivity against even somewhat cromulent defenses, and so after a bit Donovan gets frustrated and reverts to hero ball because nothing else is working anyway. And the defense has fallen off too.
   1398. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 09, 2019 at 11:42 PM (#5907346)
Also Kevin Love appears to actively hate his teammates.


Kevin Love has got to be just like really sad right now. Stuck on a hopeless team, surrounded by young guys who don't defend or pass, with a coach who seems to be out of his depth and losing the locker room, embarking upon another Cleveland winter. Especially when compared to the halcyon days when he got to play with the most fun teammate on the planet, it doesn't seem like a pleasant existence, mountains of greenbacks notwithstanding.
   1399. spivey Posted: December 10, 2019 at 08:41 AM (#5907363)
I don't feel bad for Love. He won a ring, made several Finals teams, and then got a contract that he immediately was not worthy of. In fact, that contract made no sense to me at the time. Was that a "Thank you"? Or was it just trying to keep some face from the title winning team?

Anyways, Love had to have been smart enough to know nobody else was going to offer that, and that this team was going to suck. I'm not sure Love gets paid more than 10-15 mil on the free market right now.
   1400. jmurph Posted: December 10, 2019 at 09:25 AM (#5907376)
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