The 2017-2018 season kicked off Tuesday with two highly anticipated matchups, but the play came second to the concern for Gordon Hayward who broke his tibia and dislocated his ankle 5 minutes into his first game as a Celtic. Two days later the news isn’t as bad as feared and after surgery he’s expected to make a full recovery and could possibly make it back for the playoffs.
Of note early on are players Jaylen Brown, Ben Simmons, Clint Capella, LaMarcus Aldridge, Hassan Whiteside, Wall n Beal, Mike Conley, Greek Freak, Tobias Harris and the Twin Towers of N’Orleans all having outstanding debuts. Boogie with 7 blocks!
On the other side was some unwatchable basketball from the likes of the Wolves and the Suns, each team appearing un-coached. Horrible offense. No plan.
Of special note if one game means anything, the Jazz brought a surprising full-team effort to stymie what should be a promising Nuggets team. Not the game Jokic wanted out of the gate, but just what the Jazz needed after losing Hayward to the Celtics earlier this summer.
543 thoughts on “
2017-2018 Regular Season”
I’m amazed by what I see in this video. To put in perspective, Olajuwon wasn’t close to having such a complete game so early in his career. There are probably 20 moments to freeze-frame this vid and say “wow – among the best ever” but I’ll pick just one. As outstanding as the footwork is, the kid has a knowledge of how to use his body unlike any big man his age except for the greats of the greats. I’m guessing Bill Russell would have been in this category early in his career. I don’t think Duncan was as poised (that’s saying a lot!). I know Shaq wasn’t. Maybe Wilt. Anyhow, check it out 58 seconds in. Very well defended I thought. Uncanny the way he positions his right foot and left shoulder.
I agree that Embiid has the potential to be great. His all-around game (shooting, dribbling, blocking, footwork, defense) may be as good as any center ever. Kareem, Wilt, and David Robinson had similar all-around games, but probably didn’t have the range on their shot like Embiid does. Russell, didn’t have a great offensive game, but his defense, footwork,and blocking may be the best of all time. Olajuwon and Duncan didn’t have the dribbling skills of Embiid nor the range on their shot. Shaq had no offense outside of five feet and could get beat on defense, but inside of five feet, there was no stopping his offense. Is there anyone else that should be a part of that conversation. If, and this is a big IF at this point, Embiid can stay healthy, he will be great and with longevity, could become one of the greatest centers of all time.
That says it all: “is there anyone else?” I guess Bill Walton should at least get a mention since, like Embiid, Kareem, Wilt and Olajuwon he did it all. Very agile as well. Unfortunately everyone coming before Hakeem didn’t know that “ballet” is the way to play the center position.
I watched the game last night and made a new observation about Embiid: smarter than I thought and I knew he was smart. Two things were very clear about his game last night:
1. He was first and foremost all about getting other teammates involved. Zero selfishness.
2. He wasn’t going all out. His movement to and around the basket looked “cautious”. Almost like it was clear that the policy early on this year is “if you want extended minutes then you can’t be mixing it up too much down low. and if you want to drive from the top then do so on a single defender and not into a crowd.”
Regarding that number 2. By the end of December I fully expect Embiid to be penetrating and kicking out. Can’t wait for the first time I see him penetrate, stop on a dime, fake the shot or kickout and then place a perfect mini-bounce pass to a cutting teammate. If both Embiid and Simmons are playing this type of game then Covington, Fultz and Saric could be unstoppable.
Draymond has got his work cut out for him in about 2 years!!
A few observations about the Warriors opening night loss:
1. Dubs had few preseason practices because of trip to China and short off-season. Kerr is still figuring out this year’s substitution patterns and played all 12 players in an effort to figure things out. The Rockets played like it was a playoff game, using only 3 bench players.
2. Iggy didn’t play in the game (Dubs being cautious, if it was a meaningful game, he would have played) and that was most evident when Green got hurt in 3rd quarter. Warriors defense, which was not at its best to begin with, really looked bad in 4th quarter.
3. Dubs still committing too many turnovers.
4. During Rockets 4th quarter comeback, Chris Paul was on bench. Don’t think D’Antoni has completely figured out how to play Paul and Harden together.
Despite the defensive problems and turnovers and working out the kinks of their substitution patterns, the Dubs were a millisecond from winning the game. If Durant gets ball out of his hand a microsecond earlier, it would be an entirely different conversation. Dubs lost first game last year (blown out by Spurs) and still won 67 games. Nobody is concerned about this loss.
DUBS: BEST TEAM EVER.I’m expecting a ridiculous night from Draymond any time now. 26 REBS. 12 STLS. 20 PTS, 10 ASSTS. Something like that. This should be his year. Time to dominate.
HA. I was planning to wait until December to see Embiid playing the point, but the kind of play I wanted to see happened last night. Can’t believe this is a 23 yr old.
3:08 in: EMBIID THE PENETRATE AND DISHER!
Adding to the list of notable play 3 days out of the gate …
Porzingas bulked up! Looks great. Griffin was unstoppable. DeAndre looked excellent. Westbrook and George impressed.
Lonzo – what I saw is a guy who should be getting 15 assists a night. Clearly needs some help from teammates. And he needs to be way more aggressive in he lane. Considering his debut came vs. Beverly I think he did fine.
Melo took too many shots. Unless he’s crashing the boards and getting put backs and fouled on the block there’s no reason for him to be taking so many 3s unless he’s making them consistently. He shot 30% 3FG last night. He shoots around 37% for his career. Assume this team gets him more open looks (quite possible) he could be above 40% which he has been during 2 or 3 seasons in his career. Now … is that his role in OKC? If it is they don’t even get the 4rd seed in the west. Dude is an OUTSTANDING short range jump shooter. He can also get his own shots as well as draw double teams. His efficiency skyrockets if he catches within 18 feet, fakes or passes or drives. For his entire career he stops and waits (a la Barkley, Malone, etc) until there is no passing lane. Instead, pull up and shoot or drive and dish. They say old dogs can’t learn new tricks. A 33 YEAR OLD DOG IS NOT OLD!!
So damn, the Greek Freak is looking like an early MVP candidate. Bucks need to get him some help though.
How about that ending to the T-Pups-Thunder game? Not sure that Wiggins called glass though.
How can the Suns fire their coach after 3 games? They are an extremely young team and were supposed to be bad. What was Suns management expecting?
Apparently Eric Bledsoe wants out of Phoenix badly and they are likely to accommodate him. Best landing spots for him?
1. As I mentioned above, Milwaukee needs help for the Greek Freak. Brogdon is their nominal PG right now and while he can score, he’s not much of a passer.
2. Denver Nuggets – Mudiay may not be the PG of the future that the Nuggets envisioned. Their signing of Millsap puts them in a win now mode.
3. LA Clippers – Teodosic has plantar fasciatis, so unclear when he will return. Williams & Beverly can play some PG, but both are more SG in play.
In terms of actual useful spots for Bledsoe, I think those are the best 3. Never count out the Cavs making a play for someone like him though. They would have to move a big contract (Thompson?) to make the deal work.
I watched Brogdon last night. Already twice the player that Bledsoe never was.
Mudiay could be fun for the Suns. The problem is that the Nuggets went through years of Lawson and his baggage and I don’t see much different in the case of Bledsoe. NOT a team player and no leadership abilities.
Bledsoe could work back in Clipper-land. IMO, he needs to be on a team where it’s obvious to everyone including himself that he will never be one of the top 2 or 3 guys. His strength is an ability to push the ball and penetrate. Unfortunately he’s below average at kicking it back out and way below average when it comes to finishing at the rim.
He is pretty scrappy though. I could see him as a backup to Westbrook for instance. Or John Wall. Wherever he has NO opportunity to ever think of himself as one of the best 2-3 players.
Cavs sure, but he’d never play much especially once I.T. gets back. A nice to have for them in the playoffs though.
League is heating up!! Used to be I would make a comment like this 10 days into the season and find at most 8 things to mention. This year I think it goes to 15 or so. Maybe 20. Instead of ranking based on significance to the league, I’ll just list based on what’s on my mind. The first is easy …
1. Devin Booker. I don’t get how this guy isn’t mentioned as often as any other top 12 or so player. He’s certainly earned his spot among the most intriguing players going forward – a list that includes Curry, LeBron, Westbrook, Embiid, Wall, Griffin … and on it goes. We should all be getting used to the type of performance from him last night: 11-19 FG 4-7 3FG 6 ASST 6 REBS. Consider this … his BAD PG is gone, he’s the best player on his team, the team has only one other “selfish” player in TJ Warren whose role is to score. Book will be the primary ball handler for most of this year and the Suns have a ton to prove and nothing to lose. Easily a MIP candidate. I can go on – WATCH THIS KID DEVELOP BEFORE YOUR EYES.
2. EMBIID. The process is happening. He has the right guy by his side i Ben Simmons. The duo of the future – easy to see should Embiid stay healthy. A very excellent combination those two.
3. Ben Simmons and Jayson Tatum. Whoever wins this ROY will be ROY of likely one of the top draft classes ever. That says a lot. Simmons is clearly an all-star already. Tatum should be but his quiet game won’t garner enough notice behind …
4. Kyrie – it’s all working out. It’s his team. I love his decision which I see now as an emotional (defensive?) reaction to LeBron. He got his feelings hurt. Well … this is a new generation. If you’re going to hurt someone’s feeling be prepared to pay for it BRON.
5. Boogie – saw him the other night. Absolutely WOW. And then last night he puts up a triple double. This is the perfect counterpart to LeBron should there be any way to get him there. Or more likely LeBron ending up wherever Boogie goes. Can’t even count the options. It almost doesn’t matter – just pick a team that has the assets to move around and start counting the days to a title. Booker, Boogie, LeBron … that’s ridiculous. Lillard, Boogie, LeBron. Smith, Nowitski, Boogie, LeBron. Kawhi, Boogie, LeBron. That last one beats the Warriors cuz you know there will be outside shooters speckled about on that team and defense to a man.
6. Pelicans. If Brow stays healthy this is a playoff team. While Jrue Holiday looks pretty bad, Jameer Nelson does not. I think I saw some outside shooting there as well the other night. Crushed the Cavs in the final quarter last night. The frickin West is frikin Stacked.
7. Blake Griffin. Or let’s make this the MVP category conversation. Who are the contestants early on? Too early I know and these things never last, but usually this list gets populated with guys that you know won’t be productive in April. Maybe not so this year … Greek Freak, Griffin, Westbrook, Boogie, Lillard, Embiid, Simmons, Wall, Beard. Would be stupid to leave out Dubs cuz we know they’ll be there … Steph and Durant.
8. Draymond. Just a hunch. I think this is going to be an amazing year for him. If the Dubs want him to be MVP then he’ll get close to it. Just get him the ball within 10 ft of the basket at the beginning of almost every possession and watch the offense unfold. And Green’s point total skyrocket. I’d love to see that. Dude should be averaging 22 pts a game IMO.
9. Aaron Gordon. JUST WOW. If they keep on winning this is an MVP candidate. Regardless he’s alone at the top of the MIP category. What an improvement!
10. Wolves. Horribly coached. I have no idea what goes on there wrt offensive … planning? It actually appears as if the players have been told that Teague isn’t one of the best 5 guys out there so “let’s not plan anything around him” or something like that. Teague. The PG. Good thinking. Or maybe the plan is no plan … just let the guys do what they want to do. Apparently that means giving your $147M not-even-a-top-8-SF-in-the-league carte blanche to do WHATEVER he wants offensively. It’s incredible to watch. It’s where the league was at from 1996-2004 or so. Jordan, Pippen, Iverson, Marbury … whatever those guys want to do it’s isolation ball up and down all night. But now it’s … Wiggins?? That is SOOO messed up.
I’ll stop it here because it’s early and there are stories waiting to unfold. The Bledsoe thing, Fultz shoulder, Lonzo’s shooting and the intriguingly talented young Lakers, OKC, Greek Freak’s dominance, CJ McCollum and Kawhi not here yet.
Early yet I know. But I remember making these same lists in past years and the guys mentioned were the good players on terrible teams like. Not many fit into that category above. Booker and … well not even sure Orlando is a bad team. We’re going to find out. Philly .. NOT a bad team if health cooperates. Sixers = Magic Johnson + Wilt Chamberlain. That’s something the league has never seen. Can’t wait!
Pistons and Avery Bradley deserve a shout-out here. Along with Orlando, Detroit is the big surprise this year 2 weeks in. Both are beating playoff teams. Both are doing it with some outstanding individual efforts. We can start looking for Bradley to shoot more – only 2 weeks in that looks like a gimme. Drummond seems to have woken up – also maybe a Bradley influence. I think that was partly the idea of adding an intense defender to the lineup like Bradley.
Tobias Harris looks like an all-star. Van Gundy goes to the top of the coaching heap at this point of the season. Frank Vogel for Orlando as well. Had to look that one up.
I’m giving it another week before singing the praises of Fournier who has been awesome alongside Gordon. Elfrid Payton has been out though. Should be VERY interesting to see how Payton is re-introduced to this lineup.
Ben Simmons – just wanted to repeat. Already a great player. Embiid already a great player. If they stay healthy the Warriors will lose their next championship to these guys.
Those are some great points. Detroit and Orlando are definitely the surprises so far. Pistons came to west coast and upset both the Clips and Dubs. The Magic have beaten the Cavs (in Cleveland) and Spurs already. Both teams will be interesting story lines going forward. I’d include the Pacers as a surprise too. Wasn’t expecting much after they traded George, but Oladipo is flourishing outside of Westbrook’s shadow and Turner and Sabonis Jr. are monsters on the boards.
It looks like the Warriors are starting to put things together. They’ve committed far too many turnovers early on which I think is because of their belief that they can do anything, so they make risky passes. They go for the spectacular which looks great when they connect, but results in many TOs. Opponents were shooting far more shots than the Dubs early on because of all the turnovers. Steve Kerr has been telling them to dial it back a bit and just make good passes and that resulted in them blowing out the Clips and Spurs on the road.
Not sure what is going on with the Cavs, but without Kyrie and with Love forced to play in the paint at center, they lack a true outside threat. Rose and Wade just can’t hit consistently enough from 3-pt range. LBJ can hit from beyond the arc, but I think most teams would be content to let him take those shots instead of causing havoc around the paint. The Cavs need IT to get healthy.
It’s easy to figure out the cause of the Spurs’ early problems. No Kawhi. LaMarcus has picked up some of the scoring slack, but the Spurs ain’t the same without Kawhi. Not sure how long he is going to be out, but they miss him badly.
two asides. phoenix related …
1. Termine & Johnson. Eddie Johnson with my by leaps and bounds by far the best NBA broadcaster ever Justin Termine. XM Sirius weekdays 1pm – 4pm i think. Worth the listen if you can. I call up from time to time, and did so this year on opening day. My question for both guys: “What is your take on Marcus Smart. I don’t get it – every prediction about the Celtics going forward starts with Kyrie and Hayward, then Horford then Tatum and Jaylen Brown come next. I understand why the fans want Brown to come into his own soon, but I saw Smart improve quite a bit last year and not sure why he appears to be discounted.”
Answer: Termine starts by say “Eddie doesn’t agree, but Smart is one of my top 3 favorite players – love the effort. Diving for balls. Eddie?”
What comes next I never expected. Johnson absolutely rips Smart to shreds. Does NOT like him. Has no faith in his ability to get better. Considers him to be just another inefficient player. Doesn’t care about anything else he brings. I’m just floored thinking “where in the hell did that come from”.
Ever since then Smart has sucked. Everything Eddie said looks dead on. I’m not sure why this guy hasn’t improved and now I’m wondering why they couldn’t have unloaded him to Detroit instead of Bradley. Maybe Detroit didn’t want him, but I’m positive someone else would. From this distance looks like Ainge may have screwed that up and that you were dead on. Brown looks pretty good. Smart will have no place when Hayward comes back.
2. The entire Bledsoe thing. I can go one forever with this one. I’ll try to rattle this off …
with Dragic ascending like a rocket circa 2012-13, Suns GM McDumbass goes out and signs Bledsoe. His first year the Suns record suffers. Bledsoe gets injured and Dragic looks great in Bledsoe’s absence. The next year Bledsoe comes back, Dragic moves to a new position (WTF???) and the Suns suck ass. Dragic quits. Isaiah Thomas, rented for that same previous year gets traded because of the logjam (huh??). The Morris Twins freak out and start whining and get traded. Last year Suns trade their second best player (Tucker) to Toronto – an awesome vet and perfect mentor for young guys learning to play hard. A HEADY COACHABLE DEFENSE FIRST ALL-AROUND TALENT. Ever since Bledsoe arrived the Suns have looked sorry. And yet McDumbass keeps feeding his ego keeping him believing that he’s an above average PG and the best player on the Suns.
FFW to today. McDumbass kicks him to the curb. Suns flourish. Suns COME TOGETHER finally. The young guys aren’t being stifled by a below average PG who drives the show because he thinks he’s a the best player on the team. Who’s fault is that?
Mike James has been a great story since Bledsoe was sent home. Booker is Booker and TJ Warren is now one of the best stories of the early season. What comes next?
Regardless of who is traded for Bledsoe, Suns will continue to develop EXCELLENT young talent. Chriss and Warren and James. I look for Chriss to show us something excellent soon. Why not yet? Because Booker and Warren and James are skyrocketing. Chriss should catch up at least somewhat soon.
Unfortuantely the Suns have no bench. Josh Jackson looks completely lost defensively. Definitely a project. A project with outrageous talent but may not be a factor in 17-18. Suns do NOT NEED a PG for Bledsoe. They need a bench. A scoring PF or C. Okafor would fit well I think. Stay tuned.
Looks like the Suns will trade Bledsoe to the Bucks for Greg Monroe and a 1st round pick. If so, that’s a great haul for the Suns for a guy who had completely burned his bridges in Phoenix. They get a center who can score and rebound and what is likely to be around a 1st round pick in the low 20s. On the Bucks end, I’m not sure if they start both Bledsoe and Brogdon or make Bledsoe their 6th man.
I take it back. This is a horrible deal for the Suns. The first round pick is heavily protected for the next 3 years.
In 2018, Suns only get pick if it falls between 11 and 16 (which seems unlikely).
In 2019, Suns only get pick if it falls between 4 and 16 (as Bucks get better this is also unlikely).
In 2020, the pick is protected at 1-7.
In 2021, the pick is unprotected.
Given these conditions, it seems unlikely that the Suns get the pick until 2020. Furthermore, the Suns get a 2nd round pick next year from the Bucks unless it falls between 48 and 60. If it does, the Suns don’t get that 2nd round pick at all. So basically, if the Bucks are an Eastern Conference playoff team over the next 2 years (top 12 or so overall), the Suns won’t get a 1st round pick until 2020 and likely won’t get the 2nd round pick at all. So WTF Suns?
Apparently, Bledsoe sought a trade before the season began (I guess he didn’t like sitting out the last month of last season despite being healthy while the Suns tanked for a better draft pick). If Suns traded him then, they likely would have gotten more that they are getting now after Bledsoe acted out and got suspended from the team.
There was a moment when Bledsoe’s trade value was excellent – for some reason I want to say it was in 2015 or during whatever stretch it was that he was healthy for every game and he looked good but specifically good and IMPROVING. I was so certain the Suns would trade him then. I waited and waited … I was still certain but it didn’t happen. Then this past year I was certain again. It just made no sense to have this guy on a team with Booker when Bledsoe seemed to think of himself as a number 1 option. Just so obviously wrong when you’re trying to bring young players along.
The Suns entire situation since they picked up Bledsoe was so badly mis-managed that the result is probably what they deserved: A completely devalued Bledsoe and ONE good draft pick in Booker (as it looks like Jackson might be at best a good defensive player only). I’m sure other franchises know all about the mis-management from the owner Sarver down to whoever had no clue how to deal with the Morris brothers. I’m not sure there’s really any way to be objective about Bledsoe’s worth. So yeah, his value stinks. I think Kidd will very quickly have buyers remorse – when he sees how bad Bledsoe is as a finisher. More importantly, when he sees that Bledsoe won’t know how to give up the ball to Freak as often as he should.
He’s just another selfish player in the mold of Marbury but no where near the talent.
Regarding Monroe, I think the Suns are trying to throw their hat in the Okafor trade ring. But here’s the thing – since Sarver and McDonough have been involved the plans just don’t work as expected. Something tells me that the Suns have badly gauged Monroe’s value. They think they’re going to trade him. That’s fine, but my guess is they end up with another bad draft pick and/or contract.
McDonough really just does not know what he’s doing because he doesn’t seem to know the game.
Back to this summer: Suns kept saying “absolutely not” when Josh Jackson’s name came up as a trade possibility for Kyrie. I was sure that was just posturing, but apparently it wasn’t.
I’m not sure Kyrie would have stayed in Phoenix when his contract ended but trading Jackson and Bledsoe for Kyrie was clearly the right thing to do if that’s what LeBron wanted. Again – McDonough’s ego mucked that up.
On the other hand, what wasn’t obvious about selecting D’Aaron Fox with that #4 pick? What wasn’t painfully clear about the FACT that Fox is already a better player than Bledsoe, that Bledsoe will NEVER be an all-star. When considering Fox’s upside there’s no comparison.
I honestly think McDonough is nothing but a fantasy league player who either does drugs that keep him feeling “at the top”, or he’s simply a narcissist that doesn’t need drugs. Whatever it is it’s gone on for years and yet he still has his job. Why?
This guy is also no McDontknow fan, but he puts most of the blame on Sarver. Not so sure that makes sense unless Sarver is driving all these decisions. I really doubt that. He may be driving financial decisions but McDonough would be an idiot if he’s leaving actual personnel decisions to Sarver. Idiotic because it’s clearly ruining McDonough’s career. No – the real BAD decisions are McDonough’s. Sarver’s biggest idiocy was in extending his contract.
Just a short entry noting an idiotic and extremely dangerous play. No call for this
I nominate Teague for most improved this year.
Good heat check for the Pels tonight. If these guys are getting to the playoffs they need to be excellent vs. good teams. No reason A.D. and Boogie can’t go for 60 pts and 32 rebs tonight. No reason for them to not each draw tons of fouls. Are these guys babies??
Horrible game from Boogie. His decisions gave them ZERO chance to win that game last night. 2-10 from 3 PT??? Idiot. Not a single one of those shots was needed. Pels had a very good chance at a win, but those ruined everything.
I’m not sure why, but Boogie apparently fancies himself as a 3-pt shooter now. In 12 games so far this year, he has jacked up 93 3-pt attempts, nearly twice as many as anyone else on the team. He’s only hit 30 of them for 32% shooting. Alvin Gentry was a highly regarded coach when he was Steve Kerr’s second in command during the Dubs’ first title run. He needs to get Boogie under control. If the Pelicans aren’t really in contention for a deep playoff run at trade deadline time, I could see them trading Boogie (he’s a free agent after the season).
Fun Bucks v Spurs game. Bucks are playing four PGs: Bledsoe, Dellavedova, Brogdon and Freak.
Jalen Rose just now with the comment “Bledsoe is now the second best player on the Bucks.”
It’s a bit early for that Jalen.
Brogdon is a better player than Bledsoe. Bledsoe can be pretty sloppy with his shooting. Haven’t seen anything like that from Brogdon who is already a more well rounded player than Bledsoe.
I saw some of the 2nd half of the Bucks game. It’ll be interesting to see what Jason Kidd can do with a team that has a lot of ball-handlers (hell, their PF had 6 assists tonight), since that is Kidd’s bailiwick. Hell, Bledsoe had 7 assists to lead the team. Bledsoe has always been a volume shooter with mediocre shooting percentages, but perhaps in Milwaukee with a legendary PG coaching him and a team built around the Greek Freak, he can be reined in and become more of an asset. You were the one that described Phoenix as dysfunctional, so its not a real surprise that Bledsoe had a me first attitude there. It’s only one game, but Bledsoe looked like a decent complementary player tonight. It remains to be seen whether he can be that kind of player, but sometimes a change of scenery can bring out the best in a player.
Well, 76ers aren’t in Warriors’ class yet, but they will be competing for championships in a few years. I like the way they play, they’ve got at least 2 superstars in Embiid and Simmons (maybe more if Fultz and Okafor prove they’re for real when they come back from their injuries) and they move the ball around really well. Give them a little experience and they are going to get really good.
Unfortunately Reddick is 33 and he’ll be 36 by the time they’re ready. We’ll see if he can keep moving off the ball with the same speed at 36, 37, 38. I sure hope so. Reggie was able to be effective until he was 39. Ray Allen 38. Richard Hamilton only got to 34 though. Maybe Devin Booker will bolt for the Sixers when his contract comes up;-)
I watched two games last night, or rather some of each. One stark contrast was the coaching where I noticed this: In the late 3rd or early fourth Dubs had a huge lead. I want to say 21 by this point. Each team subs and Sixers are without their Big Two now. Sixers ball and the first thing that happens is Reddick running like a bat out of hell to his 3PT spot and the team getting him the ball at that spot immediately. He missed the shot yet Kerr calls a timeout anyhow. Yes! This only makes sense. At the very least this sends a message to everyone on the Sixers that it’s not going to work and the strategy will be to wear you out and beat you down no matter what. Don’t even THINK we’re going to let you get momentum with your sharp shooter.
The other game – Wolves v Suns, same kind of thing happens but this time it’s Booker. Wolves have a tiny lead and it’s 3Q. Suns come down and whip the ball around nicely and Book ends up scoring. On the other end the Suns rebound and bring it back and another nice offensive possession leading to a score. Wolves come down and miss again, and then back with the Suns who score again with nice ball movement. NOW Thibs calls timeout. Suns are cruising on momentum now. Timeout was two plays too late.
Sometimes I think Thibs doesn’t care about wins or losses. Weird coach. He’s not very good, regardless of the defensive accolades. A lot of coaches preach defense.
You noticed something about Kerr that the local broadcasters have been pointing out for awhile. As soon as he notices something gone wrong, he calls a timeout and stomps it out right away. By wrong, I don’t mean a bad turnover (which the Dubs are prone to at times because they try for the great play), but somebody doing something fundamentally wrong (like not noticing that the Sixers were creating a play for Redick to get his 3-pt shot that you saw). I recall Kerr calling a timeout once within ten seconds of a game starting. Kerr does not save timeouts so that’s he got some at the end of the game or to stop the other team when they get hot. I recall hearing somewhere, maybe an interview with Kerr, that this is something he picked up from Popovich. Call the timeouts to fix problems on the court.
Eddie Johnson today proclaimed Aaron Gordon to be something really special. He said two things about Gordon:
1. Whoever worked with him to improve the form is amazing.
2. Gordon is now a pure shooter.
Wow. Is E.J. smokin something? The more I think about these statements of his the more I think maybe he was. On the other hand he IS one of the great shooters in the NBA. He sees something in Gordon that’s special.
I’m very very intrigued now. The last time any one player jumped forward wrt abilities and results was Jimmy Butler during the year he won MIP. And his was probably the most incredible improvement I’d ever seen.
If Gordon keeps up this pace on his long-distance shooting, that will be an impressive achievement. However, he is just 12 games into the season, so this could simply be a hot streak. He was 2 of 7 from 3-pt range tonight and 4 of 13 overall, so Dubs threw him off his game. I’ll need to see a bigger sample size to believe this is who Gordon is now. But it’ll be fun to watch.
So assume you watched the game tonight. Pretty much standard Dubs fare. Tight game in the first half, pull away for a double digit win in the second half. The Magic did cut a bigger lead down to 10 in the end, but the Dubs were playing the last guys on their bench then. Dubs at Celtics on Thursday, followed by Dubs at Sixers on Saturday. Both of those will be good games to watch.
Didn’t realize this until I heard an interview with him on the radio tonight, but Sixers coach Brett Brown spent 9 years as an assistant for Popovich before taking over the Sixers. So makes sense that Sixers are employing a motion offense and since Embiid has an even greater shooting range than Duncan, it could open up the floor even more than the Spurs used to do.
Also, while checking this out this evening, I discovered that the GM in Philly is Bryan Colangelo, he of the running Suns days and who also helped build a lot of today’s Raptors’ team. HIs first action in Philly was selecting Ben Simmons in the 2016 draft.
You probably already knew all this, but I haven’t been paying a lot of attention to Philly before now.
Bryan. Oh boy do I have stories …
First, his sister Kris wouldn’t leave me alone. All I had to do was propose to her anytime between 80 and 83 and I would have married into quite the NBA family. Bryan was a year behind me but we were doing Young Life (christian org) together. My best memory of Bryan was when he was sleeping on the bunk above me at a Christian retreat, he got up in the very middle of the night and started talking. I sat up in bed to see him in his underwear talking to himself and pacing around the room. Turns out he was a known sleepwalker. I mentioned all of it to him the next morning – no recollection of it but extremely embarrassed.
In truth a rather dull person and below average student.
Is it just me or is there something a-brewin with respect to parity in the league now? I know all the talk prior to the season was the opposite: stars deserting bad teams to land on good ones. But check out the numbers:
Aside from the Warriors for which parity has no meaning, the only teams that look to be en fuego are the Celtics and the Pistons. Houston lost a game at home last night to a Toronto team which isn’t supposed to be good enough. And the idea that Detroit can keep it going seems extremely unlikely.
Look at all the teams bunched up in the middle that shouldn’t be there:
One thing strikes me from the above list: not good news for the Pelicans who want that 8th seed. They’ll have very few nights off if the bottom teams continue to play well. Even the Suns appear to have something going lately.
So, uh, 46 pts, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, and 7 blocks for Embiid tonight. Damn.
Just 2 years ago I was extolling the virtues of uni-brow, certain this was the modern swiss-army knife of the NBA. Grew up as a PG, could shoot outside. Coachable and heady. Big time rebounder and shot blocker. The versatility alone had me convinced Brow could become one of the all time greats by simply playing games and taking down one record after the other. All that was needed was consistent play and health.
The kind of greatness I assumed with Brow was steady-eddie greatness that we saw with Kareem and Duncan and now probably LeBron as well. Above average numbers almost every night out eventually adding up to something that others couldn’t match. I thought that would be the next ceiling for centers in the NBA. The follow up to Kareem.
In comparison Embiid is something very different. Not only is his skill/talent level better than Brow in almost every way (with possible exception of ball handling skills), the skills/talents are MUCH better in almost every way. And he’s only 23.
Gee, I wonder if the 76ers will be represented in the all-star game this season.
You’re right. Davis was looked at as the next big thing not so long ago. He was the top center in the league for a couple of years, but his talent has been wasted in New Orleans. I know the Pelicans wanted to implement a Dubs-style offense. That’s why they brought in Gentry. But I don’t think AD’s talent lends itself well to that kind of offense because he doesn’t pass much out of the block and can’t shoot from distance. Perhaps that’s why they brought in Boogie, since he is a much better passer and can shoot from distance–though not as well as he thinks. Maybe the Pelicans plan was to see if the twin towers approach works and, if not (spoiler alert…it hasn’t), trade AD for a big bounty and build a Dub-style team around Boogie.
Came home early from work today so I could watch Dubs-Celtics game. Heard two interesting stats on the radio pregame show that show how much the game has changed.
1. 20 years ago, the Iverson Sixers led the league in possessions per game averaging 95.per game. Today, the team that is last in possessions per game (the Grizz) average 97 per game. So the whole game is running much faster these days.
2. The record for team assists per game in a season is the Showtime Lakers with 31.4 per game. Right now, the Dubs are averaging 31.3 per game. The Showtime Lakers however had Magic with 12.6 assists per game, Cooper with another 5 per game, and no one else with more than about 3 per game. These Warriors don’t have one ball-dominant assist leader. There’s Curry at 6.7/gm, Green at 6.6/gm, KD at 5.2/gm, then Thompson, Iggy, and Livingston all between 2.5 and 3.3 per game. With Showtime, Magic was always setting up the play. With the Dubs, anybody could be setting up the play. Different styles, but same result. Assists, assists, assists.
responses to your points ..
#1 Game is better today. Big men CAN shoot. And spread the floor. And if you can shoot the 3, play the odds. If not, get players that can shoot long and then you can play the odds.
#2. Easy response. 2017 Warriors are significantly better than the Lakers.
I wasn’t arguing that the game is better or worse, just that it has evolved. I do like today’s game better than the defensive slog 20 years ago, but not ready to anoint these Dubs as better than the Showtime Lakers yet. Showtime won 5 titles in 9 years and lost in the finals 2 of the other years in that span, so went to 7 finals in 9 years. Dubs have won 2 of the last 3 finals, so they may get there. Showtime also had 2 top 10 all-time players (Magic & Kareem) and a bunch of other HoFers during that run (Haywood, Wilkes, McAdoo, Worthy), as well as bunch of very good, steady contributors (Cooper, Rambis, Scott, Green, Thompson, Nixon). I think the Dubs will prove themselves as good, if not better, in the end, but they’ve got a ways to go to prove that.
Ha. Regarding my response #2 above – I must have been in between a couple things and replied to a different topic. My response isn’t even in context. I’ll leave it there unedited just as a reminder to not do what I did, even though I have no idea what happened.
I’m surprised that the 80s Lakers led the league in assists. Very surprised. I would have guessed the 2000s Suns first, the 2010s Warriors second and those Lakers somewhere not too far behind.
I shouldn’t be too surprised though. Kareem was an outstanding passer. AC Green as well.
I should go back and watch them, because I didn’t think they were even as good a passing team as Bird’s Celtics. I’m still not sure they were – the stats could be due to them shooting the ball much sooner in the shot clock. Having Magic didn’t hurt either 😉
Regarding who was better, it’s so hard to compare because of Kareem. But I’ll stand my ground here and say that even with Kareem the current Dubs are a much better defensive team with a much better defensive bench. Offensively, it’s hard to give the 80s Lakers much of an edge if any – Dubs have 3 of the greatest shooters in the history of the game and 2 of the greatest scorers.
Clearly you disagree, but I see the 80s Celtics as better than those Lakers and as pointed out in earlier emails, the only team in history second to these Warriors.
After reflecting more, it’s not strange at all that the 80s Lakers are #1 in assists, because Magic wasn’t taking as many shots as Bird and Curry for instance. Check out these averages …
1980s Magic @ 12-14 FGA
1980s Bird @ 20-21 FGA
1990s KJ @ 12-14 FGA
2000s Nash @ 12-13 FGA
2010s Curry @ 17-18 FGA
And assuming that the 93 Suns are high on that list as well, that team had both KJ and Barkely who were shooting and passing.
What I don’t understand is how that 2000s Suns team isn’t above those 80s Lakers in assists. Thoughts?
Here are the stats for the 61-21 Suns in 2006-2007. Maybe you can tell me how the 80s Lakers out-assisted this team. Unless it’s as easy as just saying “anyone could throw the ball to Kareem whenever the wanted and bam. Assist!”
regarding that 2007 Suns team in the playoffs. it’s likely only only suns fans would know this: Stoudemire was great during that season but he reached a different level in the playoffs. He may have been easily the best player in the league at that point. Then he was suspended. One of the most unlikely turn of events.
He was money. And getting better. I’ve always wondered why David Stern didn’t make an exception. The Suns deserved that title. It was clearly the best thing for the league.I think his reasoning was childish – had to call it exactly the way it was called earlier. Well … ever consider that you made a mistake earlier and this was your chance to correct it?
Needs to be said just to remind the basketball world: 2007 Suns were better than the Spurs who won the championship 4-0 vs. Cavs. In 1993 it was suspected the Suns were the best team, but Jordan got in their way and they lost, rightfully so. In 2007 it was pretty damn clear which team was dominant. Firing on all cylinders. They were better than the Spurs and they deserved the championship.
Stern really screwed that up. I know people say it wasn’t Stern’s decision, but come on. He needed to approve it. Obviously his henchmen would advise to uphold the law. This was the exception to test his tenure. He made the wrong decision. That Suns team was incredible. Despite Shaq’s persistent whining, Nash was the best player in the league that year. Dirk won MVP, but Nash had a much larger influence on the actual WINNING. He was the obvious pre-cursor to Curry.
This is likely the only time you’ll ever notice me taking Trump’s side. Lavar should have been COMPLETELY SILENT on this issue. Whatever he’s thinking, this is a very shitty example of parenting.
With regard to why the 2006-07 Suns team didn’t get as many assists as the Showtime Lakers or today’s Dubs, in a word, Mike D’Antoni. The Suns offense was run and gun. IIRC, players not named Nash would frequently grab rebounds, push up court, and fire away. So you’d get a fair number of baskets without passes. The Dubs, even though they run a lot, are usually throwing some passes around before the shot goes up. I don’t know where to see this stat, but the Dubs’ announcers frequently talk about how the Dubs have a high passes per possession percentage. Warriors don’t run a whole lot of isolation plays and don’t have any black holes on offense. You’ll know better than I whether those Suns ran any isolation plays for Amare or plays where he would back down a defender. Those kinds of offensive possessions will bring down your assists totals.
Yep. Makes sense, and I suppose the 93 Suns were similar for the same reasons: everyone could score on that team and because of the ball handling skills to a man most players could get their own shots.
93 Suns – 99.8 possessions/game & 25.5 assts
Regarding Stoudemire in 2007, he really was starting to do it all: hitting the 18 footers as well as backing players down and for his size the only player other than Olajuwon who was twinkle-toeing it in the lane with huge success. Mostly he was incredibly quick and controlled for a guy that size.
vs. Spurs in the playoffs 2007:
Yeah, it’s a damn shame that Stoudemire suffered from knee problems. He should have been a Hall of Fame-caliber player, but lost way too much time and game to his injuries.
A.D. had to play 45 minutes last night after Boogie’s ejection. He went off and the Pels came back to win. Seems way too obvious to bring this up but I’ll do it anyhow: does Boogie have the ball in his hands so often because HE’S decided that’s the right way to play on this team? In other words, as well as those two appear to play together at times, could they be significantly better if the offense was flipped and the ball went through A.D. instead most of the time?
Is Boogie really that hard to talk to that both Gentry and A.D. just let him do what he wants? Like take all those 3s?
He was 0-5 from 3PT last night in 26 minutes. Wow.
I actually don’t mind some of Lavar’s stuff. But I wonder if Walton is coaching Lonzo or Magic. I’ve been thinking that often since the beginning of the season.
I think Walton would be a much more guiding influence than Magic. That’s why I think Magic is the one coaching him. Somehow it’s clear to me that Lonzo is being told by Magic to “be who you are and we’ll work on the aggression in the lane later”. That makes sense to me – even taking those threes makes sense. Not as many 3s as he takes, but 2-3 a game makes sense to me. Magic would know that even if they make the playoffs they won’t go far, so why not use the entire season to get his team ready to compete. That would include Lonzo becoming comfortable with the 3.
But I don’t see the 3s being a big deal because they have very little to do with Lonzo. Lonzo frickin rules bringing the ball down court. In my mind he is already the fastest NBA player I’ve seen bringing the ball across half court and getting the ball to the right guy as quickly as possible. I’m not even sure that’s an established NBA offense, but I kind of like it because it promotes passing by that second ball handler who could be any one of the perimeter guys. Promotes quick ball movement possibly. And since he doesn’t have the ball, Lonzo can roam. Right now he’s roaming around the arc. I’d like to see him cutting to get inside for the pass in the lane and getting fouled or dishing.
One thing I like a lot about Lonzo. He reminds me of Duncan and Grant Hill and Battier – cool and composed and refs really seem to like that. So get in the lane and draw fouls.
Shout out to whoever is really in charge in Philly (I say it’s Jerry, but if you want to say Bryan that’s fine). I can’t think of a better compliment to Simmons’ game than an explosive scoring guard with passing skills.
What a great choice to move up to the 1st spot. Whenever Fultz gets back healthy we’re going to see a very explosive team.
On the who’s coaching Lonzo question, remember that Luke got hired before Magic got brought on board. Luke knows that he wasn’t Magic’s pick and will want to stay on Magic’s good side. Magic said before the season that the Lakers wanted Lonzo to be Lonzo. Pretty sure that Luke got the hint. Luke originally got hired to bring the Dubs offense to La La Land, but the Lakers lost their two best shooters (Young and Russell) from last year, so not sure what the Lakers plan is now. However, with all the kids on the team, Magic may be content to what they can do this year before formulating a plan.
Great point. What I like about Walton is that he’s still learning and from the best. I see him as an extension of Magic and his dad. Two of the most “ball movement” guys in the history game. If Magic doesn’t want to coach (a wise decision IMO) he should have someone preaching his game. Unfortunately Kidd coaches for the Bucks and Stockton is … where is he anyhow?
I really like Bill’s kid. This is good and reminds me of Paul Westphall. Low stress. Laissez Faire. Let the cerebral stars figure it out and come together. In Westphall’s case it was KJ and Barkley. If the idea here is LeBron, Kuzma and Paul George this is a great team. If they can keep either Lonzo or Ingram it’s a winner. If they can keep all 5 this beats the Warriors faster than I predicted.
Just a note: I’ve never known a player like Kuzma. I’ve been thinking about this and don’t have a comparison. Clearly a shooter and a scorer. A competitor with a sense of urgency. Very quick decision maker. His rebounding is what sets him apart from every player I can think of. Durant is the closest I have.
Wilt vs. Russell – Here’s a great comparison and write up:
I had some time today so I started researching one thing: how NBA players across eras ranked NBA players. Some of it was eye opening but as one would guess there is no consensus. There is however enough mention of certain players by those that would know that it’s not hard to compile a list and leave it at that. The question: “Who is the best player of all time?” The results include only the following players listed without regard to exactly where each player fits in the ranking:
Out of these 9 players 4 players played in the 60s and early 70s. 44% of those considered the greatest of all time played in the 60s and 70s. Regardless of who and why, that’s an astounding percentage that I simply cannot ignore. I also have no idea what to do with it. even if we try to massage it a bit we get names like Kobe and Shaq but then you have West’s name pop up as well and we’re still over 40%.
It amazes me, but then so do Wilt’s stats and the anomaly of Bird+Magic entering the league in the same year.
Reading that comparison of Russell & Chamberlain, one thing really struck me. Both players were averaging over 20 rebounds per game routinely every year through the late 50s and early 60s. It got me thinking when the last time any player did that, so I looked it up. Turns out Wilt is the last player to have done it (in ’67-’68). Besides Russell (10 times) and Chamberlain (also 10 times), the only other players to have ever averaged 20 or more rebounds per game are Jerry Lucas (twice), Nate Thurmond and Bob Pettit (once each). What’s even more amazing is that every time this feat has been done (24 times overall) was between the 1958-59 and 1967-68 seasons. I’m thinking it must have something to do with the way the game was played then (plus having two really remarkable players), but I’m not sure what this difference in play was then that led to these rebounds feats.
I don’t think there’s any question that these two guys were so much better physically than the average big men in the game back then. Just like Shaq stands out above everyone else in the … wait for it … FORTY years since these guys stopped playing and THIRTY years since Kareem. They were incredibly mobile for their size.
Both were rebounding at around just under 20 a game even in their mid-thirties. One thing that’s very clear is the number of minutes played per game. In fact, that might be the biggest difference in the game then vs. later.
Shaq wasn’t close to those numbers. Rodman was however. Moses before that. Ben Wallace had some huge rebounding years. Puts Shaq in perspective I think. If he was to do the same thing during the time those guys played I’d expect his numbers to be a little higher during his reign. Yes, the changes in how the game was played made a huge difference (longer rebounds and fewer shots “bothered” near the basket) but I think there’s a lot more to it than that.
Here is an interesting link …
One question is why didn’t Kareem pull down 20 a night on average? He got close a couple times – averaged between 16 and 17 over the course of several years.
Check this out.
Kareem (24 yrs) 44.2 mins/gm 16.6 rebs
Wilt (35 yrs) 42.3 mins/gm 19.2 rebs
I’m spending a lot of time researching who the best players rank as their #1 all time best player. Going back to Cousy. Most, including Cousy, say it was Michael Jordan. Seems a bit obvious until you wonder why Cousy wouldn’t put Wilt in the same category. Why not have them share the #1 spot, and for that matter why not have a three or four way tie that included Kareem and Russell?
Cousy saw everyone play and he played against Wilt who lit up the Celtics often. Wilt didn’t have his best scoring nights vs. the Celtics, but he scored in the 30s and 40s on a continual basis. Cousy knew about the 50 ppg average and the 100 pt game. Cousy still picks Jordan. Russell was responsible for stopping Wilt enough to move the Celts past him over and over again. Cousy still picks Jordan.
I see only one way to take that: Cousy knows everything about the way the game changed and he chooses the best player of the 80s-90s era. To me that means he thinks the game was better later on. I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that he felt the competition was better later, and that includes the average talent.
Wasn’t expecting this quote. Hard to believe:
Kareem “I don’t recall ever being blocked by somebody who’s guarding me”.
Check it out at 2:00 in
He must mean one-on-one, because in this same video doesn’t wilt block him several times?
In context, I think Kareem meant nobody blocked his sky hook. However, even then he’s wrong because Wilt blocks 2 sky hooks (one from each hand) in the same possession in the video (along with a half-dozen blocks of other shots by Wilt). That’s also Wilt in his mid-30s vs. a mid-20s Kareem.
Watched the Dubs-Lakers game tonight. Warriors played poorly, lots of stupid turnovers and Curry’s hand injury clearly bothered his shot for the 1st 3 quarters. But KD and Curry turned it on when it mattered in the 4th quarter and overtime to win it.
This was the first time I’ve seen a whole game of these Lakers. Ball looked scared to shoot in the first half, but calmed down and hit some shots in the second half. Still he wasn’t much of a factor in this game. Brandon Ingram, on the other hand, looks like a beast. The Dubs couldn’t stop him going to the basket and he flashed some outside shooting as well. He plays good defense as well. One thing very clear about these Lakers is that they are very fast and quick. The Dubs ain’t a slow team, but the Lakers made them look that way at times. If they add a little more skill to that speed and quickness, they will be very dangerous.
Glad you saw the speed of the Lakers. Ball is actually a huge part of that – I’ve had to watch about 10 games to see what he does. A lot like Nash, he sort of wills a faster pace and it carries over when he’s not out there. If he’s out too long things start to fall apart a bit with Caldwell Pope thinking he’s a PG or Jordan Clarkson trying too hard.
It’s funny that I see myself becoming a Lakers fan (as well as a Dubs fan), because they were the biggest problem for the Suns. There’s some real animosity there. But I like all their moves including Ball. They seem primed for a Bron invasion. If George joins as well they have quite a team – Kuzma looks like a rookie Durant to me (but more willing to crash the boards) and you said exactly what I think about Ingram. From what I can see easily the most improved player this year. If LeBron moves to LA, I think they have one fairly large hole to fill though: who to match up vs. Draymond?
So rounding out the Wilt discussion, after watching video and hearing comments from guys that played with him it’s now a bit more clear who he was. Sometimes things ARE exactly as they seem. If I was to ask, who were the greatest physical specimens ever in the NBA the standouts seem obvious to me: Wilt, LeBron, Jordan, Westbrook. But there is an enormous difference between Wilt and these others. I think the other three had chips on their shoulders because they not only wanted rings but they wanted to prove they were the best. Wilt didn’t need to prove it – everyone KNEW he was the best. Everyone. I remember hearing his name all the time early 70s. I felt embarrassed to tell Philly fans that “all we have is Connie Hawkins” (I had cousins back east). Connie Hawkins was amazing! But everyone agreed – Wilt was simply the best.
I liken him to Barkley who was also one of the great NBA specimens all time. I think the biggest knock against Barkley wasn’t his defense, rather it was his consistency. When he took the court, if MJ wasn’t on it Barkley “knew” he was the most dominant and feared player out there. So he took plays off. He wasn’t an inspiring leader, and yet everyone knew he could take over the game whenever he wanted to. I think that’s what was going on with Wilt. Even though he played hard from what I can see, he didn’t play his hardest consistently. Not like Russell, Jordan, Magic, Bird, Kobe did. And now of course Westbrook.
He wasn’t one of these kinds of beasts. In addition to the above, my guess as to why: Wilt likely proved to himself early that every single time he played his best his team either won or his teammates weren’t good enough. That’s completely different from Magic and Bird and Michael and LeBron where even when they play(ed) their best and their teammates are/were great, they still lost because the opponent was even better for that game. Wilt could always walk away being certain he was the best. Those other guys needed to prove it continually.
Wow. T Mac expresses an extremely strong opinion regarding Melo. Sad that it’s come to this, but time to move on. No reason for George to be in OKC after April.
I never thought that troika would work in OKC. Paul George and Carmelo are essentially the same player. Here are their career stat averages:
Carmelo: 24.7 ppg/3.1 apg/6.6 rpg/1.1 spg/0.5 bpg/.813 FT%/.347 3-pt%
George: 18.2 ppg/3.2 apg/6.3 rpg/1.7 spg/0.4 bpg/.848 FT%/.372 3-pt%
Carmelo scores more, but George is a better long-range shooter. People say that George is a better defender, but that hasn’t translated into better rebounding, steals, and blocks than what Carmelo gets. People say that George is a better creator, but Carmelo gets just as many assists. So it really comes down to the eye test, what the stats aren’t revealing. Carmelo looks like a doofus on defense at times and can be a black hole on offense at times. I don’t know why George doesn’t have clearly better stats than Carmelo, but he looks like the better player when you watch them. In any event, the Thunder don’t need 3 guys on the court at the same time who all want to take the shot. Everybody on the Dubs wants to take the shot too, but all are almost always looking for somebody else who might have a better shot.
Unless the Thunder won a championship this year, which was always extremely unlikely, I always figured that George will be gone after this year is done.
Pretty redeeming to see your post about OKC. I held back from mentioning all the hype 2 months ago because I kept wondering what I was missing. Some good sportscasters were certain OKC was the second best team in the west. I doubted it, but didn’t care much because of the sportscasters. But then i heard two others say the same thing, and those two were guys I respected so I was thinking it was me that was missing something. It wasn’t about Melo – I know all about his game and knew exactly how that would go. It was George, and the expectations of how dramatically he would change the team. I figured I just didn’t know his game like some of these others.
So now I see the exact same Paul George that I saw in Indiana. A very good player. Certainly top 20 in the NBA but not sure how much better than 15-20. Seems like he would be a calming and steadying influence on Westbrook which would help a lot, but without scorers and heady players sprinkled around I didn’t see how the offense would come along.
It was a great idea. I think Westbrook and George might actually get it clicking soon even, and on both ends. But why that would mean any better than a 6th seed – I still think I’m missing something because these guys were so certain. I just can’t figure out what I’m missing with such a limited roster! I’m willing to give it til mid February though.
Don’t know if you watched the Dubs-Magic game tonight, but the Warriors put on a show. 46 assists, one shy of the team record. Ball movement was superb. Several great alley oops, including this one which was simply awesome.
After the game, even Green seemed amazed that Jordan Bell was able to make that shot as Green thought he overthrew the alley oop.
The thing about this game is that the Magic played pretty well. The Dubs were lights out with their shooting, but the Magic were shooting pretty damn well themselves. Apparently Kerr got on the Dubs about how sloppy they played in the last few games. They were a lot more focused tonight.
Hopefully there’s a bit more competition in the finals this year, so we can see more of McGee and Jordan.
This is clearly the last season for JaVale with the Dubs. They resigned after last year because they did not know yet what they had with Bell. Bell can definitely play the JaVale alley oop role on offense and provides better defense than McGee, all at a lower salary, so this is it for him on the Warriors.
Just your typical Dubs game tonight against the Pelicans. Down by 20 at the half, they run off the first 15 points of the 3rd quarter and go on to a 10-pt win. However, Durant got himself ejected for the 2nd time in 3 games and Curry rolled his ankle with a few minutes left in the game. Hopefully not serious, but it was cringe-worthy watching it.
Fitz and Barnett mentioned toward the end of the game (and again after the game) that no team has come from 20 or more behind at the half to win twice in one season on the road before the Dubs did tonight (previously did it when they played the Sixers in Philly). Dubs have come from 20-pt deficits to win 6 times this season.
Curry left the arena last night on crutches, but x-rays said his ankle was not broken. They are doing an MRI today. Reports are that his ankle was very swollen last night and he has already been ruled out for the Hornets game on Wednesday. I’m guessing he will miss some significant time, likely up to and including Christmas Day against the Cavs.
The only true PG on the roster other than Curry is Livingston. Not sure, given his injury history, you want to push him into a starting role where he’s getting 30 minutes a game. So maybe Patrick Macaw or Andre Iguodala will get put into the starting unit. We will also likely see a lot more of Draymond and KD pushing the ball up the floor. The Dubs will likely promote some PG from the Santa Cruz Warriors, just to have some back-up, but unlikely that player would play much.
OK. This sounds like fun time in the Bay. Why not take this opportunity to run much more of the offense through Draymond. Not at the top of the arc as they’ve been doing, but out on the high post where they get the ball to Durant so often? If it’s because Kerr doesn’t want to expose Green’s dribbling into the lane, why not let him work on that so he can penetrate into the center of the lane and dish or draw fouls?
Maybe Kerr doesn’t like his FT % when it comes to this type of play. 70% – below average. OK, what are all the ways that Green can distribute or score inside the 3 pt arc?
Maybe that 70% FT shooting is good enough if he’s drawing fouls on the right guys.
We’ll see tonight what Kerr cooks up. In addition to Curry, apparently Macaw is unable to go tonight as well and Draymond is questionable. The Dubs promoted PG Quinn Cook from Santa Cruz. With Macaw out as well, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cook in the starting unit so that Livingston can continue to come off the bench and only get 15-20 minutes. The Warriors don’t let Klay run the offense much, but maybe they will also see what he can do running things. Tonight though, I expect we’ll see a lot of KD running things and probably more KD isolation plays than normal.
I see it’s an ESPN game. I’ll be tuning in. If KD is healthy I’d expect him to dominate. Hopefully Green is good to go.
From Dubs radio pre-game shows:
Curry’s MRI showed no structural damage, so just a sprained ankle. He will be re-evaluated after two weeks. Given the way that the Dubs have been sitting players for any small injury, I would not be surprised if Curry doesn’t return to the floor until next year.
It was confirmed that Quinn Cook will start tonight in Curry’s place. How he does tonight will likely influence who the Warriors start for the rest of Curry’s presence. Livingston and Iggy will both likely play a few more minutes per game than normal.
Macaw is in the concussion protocol. That’s why he is out. Unclear how long that may last.
Draymond will be out tonight. He strained a shoulder ligament against the Pelicans. Jordan Bell will be starting in his place.
It will be on KD and Klay’s shoulders tonight.
Pretty much as expected. KD takes over. Triple double. 35-10-11 and 2 blocks. Klay adds 22. No other Warrior in double figures except Nick Young with 10. Dubs win by 14. However, Pachulia got hurt. Dubs could be seriously understaffed for Friday’s game with the Pistons.
Ridiculous. Easily the best team in the league even without Curry. Without Green and Curry they probably still win a title with those big youngn’s. Absurd.
Worth noting that Durant’s huge game came vs. a team with top defensive talent in Kidd-Gilchrist and Batum, both taking turns covering Durantula.
Watching the game, you could tell that KD had a take no prisoners attitude. We’ll see if Draymond is back on Friday so that KD doesn’t have to shoulder as much of the running the offense load, but it is clear that the Dubs are fine if he has to. I’m sure Durant remembers that the Warriors went 20-5 without him last year and he will want to show that the Dubs can do just as well without Curry this year.
You may have heard that the Sixers finally gave up on Jahlil Okafor today, trading him to the Nets. The full deal is:
Nets get: Okafor, Nik Stauskas, and 2nd rd pick
Sixers get: Trevor Booker
I think its a great trade for the Nets. They don’t lose much in getting rid of Booker, who is nothing more than an average PF who gets them about 10 ppg and 7 rpg. Clearly nothing special. In return they get Okafor, who was named to the all-rookie team just two years ago and averaged 17.5 ppg and 7 rpg that year, but now is stuck behind the other-worldly Embiid. Okafor has had some injury and attitude issues, so we’ll see if getting out of Philly gives him a new lease on life.
As for the Sixers, while its probably good that they got an attitude problem off their bench, is Booker really all they could get for him? Booker figures to back-up Covington and Saric in Philly, so won’t add much to the squad.
Agreed. Okafor is worth a lot possibly for the right team. Seems weird Philly couldn’t do better, but they may see a place for Booker. Isn’t he a bit of a workhorse? I can’t remember.
Meanwhile I’m watching Lonzo again, and seeing a lot of improvement. Shot still isn’t falling but his game is starting to resemble Kidd’s, because he’s messing things up for the defense in and out of the lane, with or without the ball. Lonzo can rebound just as well as Kidd which is pretty impressive.
If he can get an OK mid-range jumper going he’ll be pretty good.
Pistons made a game of it, but Warriors finished off the 6-0 road trip (first time in team history to have undefeated road trip of 6 games or more). Once again, KD was the dominant force on the court. No triple double tonight, but not far from it. 36 pts, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 blocks. Klay provided some 2nd half offense after a cold 1st half. Green kept throwing up really bad line-drive 3-pt attempts, but his 12 assists and 6 blocks made up for it.
The Pistons backcourt of Reggie Jackson and Avery Bradley is a pretty nice duo for shooting, but lousy for creating for others. Drummond is a monster on the board, but can’t hit shots to save his life. Fitz & Barnett mentioned during the game that Drummond has a lifetime FT% of less than 40% and it showed (4-10 from the line tonight). One of his FT attempts was wide left and didn’t hit the rim or net. The Pistons are tough defensively though and almost got back into it at the very end by forcing KD into a turnover with tough full court defense in the waning seconds.
By the way, this stat seems unreal. The Dubs not only lead the league in blocked shots, but they’ve got 64 more blocks than any other team through their first 26 games (that’s before tonight’s 15 blocks). How is that even possible?
I am speechless.
BTW, after the 15 blocks Friday night, the Dubs now have 70 more blocks than any other team. They’ve scored 167 more points than any other team, which isn’t surprising, and they’ve done it by racking up 126 more assists than all other teams. Meanwhile, the Dubs are fourth in the league in total rebounds, and third in steals. Their biggest problem is being third in the league in turnovers. The turnovers have likely led to the Dubs not getting as many shots as some other teams (7th in 3-pt shots attempted, 20th in 2-pt shots attempted), but they make up for it by leading the league in both 3-pt% and 2-pt%. If the Dubs cut back on turnovers, they will be nearly impossible to beat.
Shout out to Oladipo here. I saw Jimmy Butler do something similar to this 2-3 years ago, but his numbers weren’t quite this outrageous. It’s hard to know how this is happening. More opportunity sure, and in the right offense that highlights his skill set. But that’s nothing new for hundreds of players across decades of seasons. I’d be surprised if he can keep it up, because right now he’s playing like a top 10 talent.
Kawhi makes his debut tonight v Mavs. $100 says Durant is at Curry’s house tonight watching this one.
I didn’t see the game, but 13 points in 16 minutes for Kawhi (he was on a minutes limit). Not too bad. Spurs lost the game though to the Mavs, one of the worst teams in the league.
He’s a little heavier and was gassed pretty easily. His shot looked good though. It seemed clear he wasn’t supposed to go full speed. Looked like 75% speed for him.
Debate on sports talk radio this morning…how long does the Warriors dynasty last. Matt Steinmetz, long-time Dubs beat writer and host of the radio show, thinks it will be over faster than we think. He put the over-under at 1.5 years, so basically, he thinks it will be done after 2018-19 season. His reasoning was that the Dubs can’t continue to spend like they have so will likely lose one of their stars and you never know when injuries will hit.
However, I think the Warriors have lined themselves up well to keep the Big 4 long-term. Then all they need to do is find cheap productive parts around them and other veterans will line-up to be one of those cheap parts for a shot at the championship, as they have been doing already.
Right now, Curry is signed for 4 more seasons after this one. Draymond, Iggy, and Livingston are signed for 2 more seasons after this one. Klay is locked in for one more season after this one and KD has a player option for next season. Everyone else is either easily replaceable or on cheap young player deals. Iggy and Livingston likely either retire at end of current deals or re-sign for much less money. As a result, Dubs will easily be able to re-sign Draymond at that time even after re-signing KD and Klay to big contracts a year earlier. Guys like Looney, Macaw, and Bell will fill spots vacated by West, McGee, and Nick Young when they retire at low costs. And given their draft history, the Dubs will continue to find good, niche players for the system despite late draft spots. So I think the Dubs are well-positioned to keep their dynasty going at least through the end of Curry’s contract and perhaps longer than that.
FiveThirtyEight with some good info on the Dubs’ current almost historic rate of blocking shots…
Particularly interesting to me is the info about how often the Dubs block jumpers and 3-pt attempts. Just don’t see that much.
1.5 years? What idiot said that?! Matt Steinmetz. That’s someone that falls squarely into the category of a nobody in my book. Unless he has some hidden agenda. Whoever he his, he knows nothing about the history of the NBA, and the assumption that this team can’t work it out is ridiculous. Curry is the modern day Duncan – if any star is going to restructure his contract to allow KD to sign long term it’s Curry. Why am I so sure? BECAUSE OF THE AMOUNT OF MONEY STUPID!! Duncan giving up 35% of his salary per year meant about 6-7 million more for the Spurs. If Curry gives up 25% of his salary that’s frickin 9 million. And then the question is how much $$ does KD NEED? He moved to the perfect situation for his career and his family. Where the hell would he want to go? OKC, sure I can see that. When he’s 36 years old.
Where is Draymond going to go? Why would he go anywhere else to take more money? Come on now, the salaries are absurd – I don’t think greed for financial gain vs. winning keeps pace with those numbers. Green is in an awesome situation – if he isn’t happy THIS is the team to make him happy. What does this guy think are the chances of him taking the money and running? Guys like this Steinmetz remind me of the declining reporting at ESPN. I’m not sure what the qualifications are for sports reporting anymore. I just know it really sucks overall.
This one is way way too easy to answer …
Q1. Is the assumption that players are going to be hurt long term? Let’s say Durant is out next summer and the Rockets beat the Dubs in the conf finals, does that mean that Durant is less likely to be back the following two summers to go at it again? Same question for Curry.
Q2. Is there some statistic this guy is working into his favor regarding both Curry and Durant being out for the conf finals, the finals or both for more than one year in the next 5? How bout either of the other two?
Q3. If this guy is talking injuries, does he think injuries to the warriors are more likely than injuries to some other team(s)? Here’s one thing I’m guessing he is completely missing: the likelihood of the Warriors losing next summer if say … Curry is out all playoffs. Here’s the math he’s missing: A healthy Dubs team is over 90% likely to win it all next summer. A healthy Dubs team minus Curry is 75% likely to win it all next year. I think this guy may very well not be understanding that 75%.
Q4. If someone beats them in the next 3 years, HOW will they beat them?
Right now there is a tremendous amount of chatter about how good the Rockets’ defense is. I think people mean that the Rockets’ defense is much better than it was. The likelihood of the Rockets ending the season with stats showing them to have a top 5 defense is low, but let’s say that happens. Statistically that is (points allowed, steals, wins/losses). So they are now top 5. The problem there is that they still won’t be close to matching how the Warriors approach the game defensively: Much quicker feet. Much quicker rotations. No one like Harden who takes an enormous number of plays off from the defensive end. And then an entire bench devoted to the same thing. It’s not close and there’s no reason to think it will be any closer in 2019.
Cavaliers cannot beat the Warriors. way too many holes, especially defensively. At the Cavs’ best I.T. will be putting up 40 a night. That’s good news for Dubs fans – it means he’s on the court most of the game which means one less defender.
The 76ers are at least 2 years away from Eastern Conf finals. That means the earliest they could get there is summer 2019. The Celtics will have a huge head start by then and a much better bench. No reason to think the 76s will make the finals before 2020.
The Celtics are the only team besides Houston that can challenge the Dubs in 2018 playoffs. Even if Tatum shows he’s the new Paul Pierce (he actually looks better than Pierce right now which is incredible praise), how does the rest of that team match up talent wise vs. the Dubs. PG is a wash. Horford v Green is almost a wash – slight ad to Green (being very generous to Horford here). The Celtics can’t match Thomspon’s defense or his outside shooting. Tatum can try and might be less than 2 years away, but only offensively. Celts have no answers for Durant until Hayward comes back. Celts don’t have nearly the bench, and even if they get Hayward back and trade for A.D. all they’ve done is matched talent head to head vs. the Dubs. We’re talking playoffs 2019 here. What is the likelihood, barring injuries to either team that the Warriors will take a step back allowing the Celtics to run past them? Iguodala’s age is the only thing I come up with. The only thing (West’s role will be filled nicely once he retires soon). See my next point …
Q5. Why is there any assumption whatsoever that the Warriors won’t get BETTER? This is what kills me about this discussion. Year after year we’ve seen the following:
Curry’s defense has gotten better. Curry’s skills in the lane have gotten better.
Durant’s defense has and is getting better. He’s one of the greatest shot blockers in the entire league and is getting better. I’d love to see stats regarding shot blockers that play 90% of the game 15 feet or more from the basket.
The Warriors most potent offensive weapon is the ability to get Durant open shots. In Durant’s case, that means getting him the ball where he starts off with some space at almost any distance from the basket. Durant is IMPROVING his abilities to make more space from what he starts with. It’s amazing how open a guy can be when he’s not open. People thought Jordan was amazing at creating space for himself? And now Harden? They are and were. Durant creates space and is much taller, especially when he rises on the high % jumper.
Everything about Green’s game has gotten better. Everything. Why assume it won’t continue?
The Warriors team defense and bench defense has gotten better. It’s outstanding and as good as any starting team’s defense in the nba.
The Warriors make great draft choices and financial choices. They have players coming up (Bell and Looney), and a couple assets McGee (age 29) and Pachulia (age 33) (massively underrated in today’s game – can’t wait to see him go head to head vs. Clint Capela) that can fetch something if Dubs decide to trade either in 2018.
What’s incredible is that as anyone tries to break down the Warriors’ weaknesses they come down to two singular issues: David West has maybe 1 year left and Iggy will be 35 in 2019. Compare this the litany of issues every other contender will have in 2020 starting with their bench, their inexperience in the playoffs, new pieces that are finding new roles, and of course at BEST, other teams can only match the Warriors shooting. There are three exceptions to this however…
Q6. Where will LeBron be in 2019, do the Spurs have a big man in hiding that can shoot a high % at the rim and with volume, and who will the sixers place around Embiid to keep them in games by 2020?
LeBron: If he goes to the Lakers we have another outstanding team in the league. He’ll be 33-34 during the 2018-2019 season – in his case that probably means he’ll play his best playoff ball ever because he’ll know the urgency well. I think this means we’re going to see a lot of Bron posting up from here on out, and let’s not assume his outside FG % will get any worse. But even with teammates like Ball, Ingram, Kuzma and George what are their advantages vs. the Warriors? It will be playoffs 2020 before they’ll be able to match the Dubs teamwork on both sides, and even then how will their defense match up? It won’t. It can’t. It can come close, but only if a lot of hard working pieces are sprinkled about the main guys. I don’t see George as being anywhere close to the kind of guy they need to shore up the defensive holes they’ll have. Instead, I think it comes down to an unstoppable LeBron doing it all for 4 games in a 7 game playoff series. Sure he can do it, but it will have to be in 2020 when the Warriors are a better team then they are now.
Kawhi: I think he’s the best player in the NBA right now. Aldridge is playing better which is huge for them, but against the Warriors the only advantage that team can have is someone big that can score down low consistently. I don’t see that guy, and even if they trade for A.D. I don’t think that’s enough. Now if Pop loses his mind and trades for Boogie to setup alongside Aldridge AND if he can actually keep Boog from taking bad shots … yeah that’ll never happen.
Embiid: The Warriors have no chance of stopping a healthy 2020 Embiid. I’m already seeing how much refs love this guy – like they did Shaq. He pushes everyone all over the place, but he does it with style and grace. Refs tend to like that apparently. But 2020 isn’t far away with respect to bringing along the sixers defense. Even if it was much better, they still need to get by the Celtics who will have a better perimeter defense. Also, as good as Simmons is he has a long way to go on both ends of the court. No need to get into how far Fultz has to go.
I break it down like this if everyone is healthy on all teams:
2018 – Warriors have a 90% plus chance of winning.
2019 – Warriors have a 75% plus chance of winning.
2020 – Warriors have a 70% plus chance of winning.
2021 – too many unknowns, but is there any reason to think the Warriors won’t still be a contender? With the fastest feet, the best defensive bench, shooting among the best in the league and teamwork on both ends that are as good as any other teams? I see a lot of other teams trying to MATCH the Warriors in 2021. I don’t see which team is going to surpass them at their own game.
2022 – same as 2021. I put the chances of the Dubs winning in either of these years at 55% plus.
I’m sure I’m leaving out quite a bit here, but the one issue I see in particular is complacency. But there’s a cure for that even right now in 2017: Kawhi Leonard and the Houston Rockets. The entire Dubs organization is way too smart to not see the threats there. We’ve seen the Dubs weakness in two games since Durant joined. Game 3 vs. the Cavs last year and that first game vs. the Spurs. Some might think that statistic works against the Dubs. I think it works for them. If there’s any team that can respond quickly to adversity it’s this one. And probably the 86 Boston Celtics.
1.5 years left? My low number triples that, and I think it’s very low because the dynasty will be defined by the Dubs final championship with Curry and Durant both playing. Once they lose what are the chances they come back to win it the next year? I’ll put huge money on that bet. I fully expect 3 more championships from the dubs at LEAST. I think 4 is a more reasonable number. Whatever it is, the last one will come after they lose one which I don’t see happening until 2020. So what makes a dynasty? Let’s count em up:
2018 – Warriors win
2019 – Warriors win
2020 – Warriors lose
2021 – Warriors win
2022 – Warriors lose
2023 – Warriors win
This is what I’m expecting when Durant is 34 and Curry is 35. And the infectious defense, teamwork and drive are all at their peaks.
So my over under on a Dubs “dynasty”? 5 years, because there’s a good chance they win in 2022, Durant gets his 3rd finals MVP and is widely considered top 10 in the history of the NBA and then disband after losing in 2023 😉
Durant gets paid well once he’s with the Dubs for 3 years. Dude aint going nowhere, and Curry will be taking a cut to resign Draymond. It seems pretty obvious to me. Why not to a Bay Area sports writer?
To be fair, Steinmetz may not actually believe what he was saying, but was saying it to generate phone calls to his sportstalk radio show. Steinmetz has been covering the Dubs for years, so he must be able to see how the Warriors are handling their contracts so that they don’t lose any key pieces. The bigger point he was making was that teams in all Big 4 sports seem to crash or rise very quickly these days. Still, he probably would have been better off saying +/- 3 years than 1.5 with the Dubs. Even his talk show co-host laughed at him and said he would easily bet the over on that. The Dubs are one of, if not the most intelligent organization around, so they will find a way to keep this going even if there are any injury issues or a key piece that leaves.
He’s too close to it I think. Somehow he doesn’t see that not only are the warriors different as an organization from top to bottom, but he doesn’t see just how different they are. He’s putting too much faith in his own perspective on history in my opinion. That’s fine that I don’t understand the entirety of the context. What I do understand that like anybody in the media they need to watch their reputation. He’s going to be proven wrong and by a very wide margin.
To your point “The Dubs are one of, if not the most intelligent organization around”, I would add that the Bay Area is among the best places on the entire planet to make not just any living, but a very very nice living. Unless we’re talking about guys that might leave to find better chicks then why would anyone leave?
BTW, it’s this kind of useless crap from sports media that keeps me from reading articles and tuning into almost any shows except for the ones that include two or three guys at Sirius XM. Justin Termine and Tim Legler – consistently outstanding unbiased reporting. Joel Myers also tends to bring a lot, usually in response to callers.
There could be all kinds of reasons why a key piece might leave. Maybe it has always been Klay’s dream to play for the Lakers like his dad or maybe he quietly doesn’t like being the third wheel behind Steph and KD and wants to be the main superstar. Maybe Draymond wants to go back home to Michigan to play. I don’t think any of that is likely, but things happen in player’s lives that could change things for them. The Oakland A’s just picked up outfielder Stephen Piscotty from the St. Louis Cardinals in a trade because Piscotty is a Bay Area guy and his mother has ALS, so he requested a trade to the Bay Area to be closer to his mom.
In the unlikely event that the Dubs lose a key piece, I’d bet they have a variety of contingency plans they would go to, including having a young player on the roster ready to take over and/or signing another star in free agency.
I would agree that sportstalk radio includes a lot of crap, but one benefit of it here is hearing the local players interviewed regularly. I can’t stand Jim Rome’s show most of the time, but I do like his interviews with players and coaches. I don’t have Sirius XM, so I can’t listen to Termine and Legler (though Legler occasionally gets interviewed on the radio here).
Klay could leave and they’d be almost as good. You’ll notice I didn’t have much to say about him. Great player, but he’s the type of guy the Dubs would be able to replace albeit with lesser talent either offensively or defensively.
Green is the guy I worry about most. If he wins two more will he say “ok, I’ve done it. time to try something else?” I can see that, but I’m sure the entire organization is way ahead of me there. I can see Green going elsewhere, but I can’t see him surprising everyone and telling them one thing and then doing another leaving the team high and dry. He’s hard to replace, but it’s not like there’s going to be an enormous void left by his replacement. In any case, he’ll be 32 in 2022. He can stay as long as he wants and still go elsewhere and be in his prime barring injuries.
The Dubs may have their Green replacement already. Jordan Bell’s line tonight: 8 pts, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals. That looks a lot like a Draymond line. Bell is clearly not as good as a defender or shooter as Green…yet. Bell is only 25 games into his professional career. Draymond did very little his first 2 seasons before becoming the Draymond we know now. So Bell is ahead of the learning curve.
Meanwhile, tonight’s Dubs-Mavs game looked a lot like most other Dubs games. Tight game in the first half, Warriors blowout in the second half. Durant with 36 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 blocks. Klay goes 5 for 5 from 3-pt range and has 25 for the game. Just your average Dubs game.
Ha. I was about to write a similar comment, but when I looked at video of Bell I “think” i’m seeing a much smaller guy who wouldn’t be able to box out 250 lb PFs and Cs. Mostly, he seems like he wants to play more like a SF, but I know nothing beyond that.
Bell is a little on the light side now, but I’m betting the Warriors put some meat on him in the coming years. He’s two inches taller than Green. One thing I’ve noticed about Bell when he’s on the court is that when Warrior shots go up, he is one guy who looks to crash the boards. He’s already been on the end of several alley oop plays and he moves well without the ball. Obviously, he’s got a long way to go to match Green, but I like where he’s at already.
That should be “one thing I’ve noticed about Bell when he’s on the court…”
On espn.com warriors roster Bell is listed as 6’9″ 224 which I believe
Green is listed as 6’7″ 230. I’m not sure I believe the 230, but pretty damn impressive if it’s true.
Lakers took the Warriors to overtime again, but KD took over in OT to win it. He easily shook Lonzo Ball to put up the winning shot. Even then Ball blew through the Dubs defense and nearly tied it with a layup, but David West followed him to the basket and swatted his shot off the board. The Warriors shot like shit tonight and were missing Curry, Draymond, Zaza, and Livingston, but played good defense (another 10 blocks). KD had another near triple-double (36 pts, 8 assists, 11 rebounds).
On the Lakers end, why is Kuzma still coming off the bench? He looks like the best player on the team. The Dubs had a better plan against the Lakers speed this time, but Lakes were also showing that speed on defense and were really hassling Dub shooters. Ingram wasn’t as impressive as the last time they played, but Lakers were putting ball in his hands (not Lonzo’s) as time wound down at the end of quarters.
While I still dislike Kobe, the half-time ceremony retiring his jerseys was nice.
Every game I’ve watched had Kuzma starting, or so I thought. Looking at the box score, I bet the thinking goes like this: Kuzma is like a vet the way he’s ready to go. He’s like Durant or Ray Allen in that sense – he always looks warmed up. Nance Jr. hasn’t played much this year – maybe starting gives him and the team a shot in the arm. Ingram, unlike Kuzma seems to need warm-up time, and is getting better and better by the week. I see he had 5 fouls last night and still played 39 minutes. I see that Ingram and KCP and then Ball are the top minutes guys.
So maybe that’s the logic. IMO, KCP causes problems for them down the stretch and I often wonder if they’d be better off with him out a lot of the 3rd and 4th quarter. And then there’s this thought – when LeBron comes to town which is starting to seem more likely to me … no need for KCP or Randle.Hopefully they can hold onto Nance. Or for the Dubs sake hopefully not. In any case, it seems extremely clear to me that Ball and Kuzma are set in stone as Lakers and would fit perfectly alongside LeBron. Obviously Ingram would look nice there also, but by the end of the season (or even mid-season) his stock might be so high that Magic could go after another vet at that position. The easy route is clearly Paul George as a free agent alongside Ingram, but I have to wonder if that’s really the right move for the Lakers if they can trade for another great shooter who can defend. You say Klay is locked in for a few more years? Hope you’re right – a guy like that on that Lakers squad might seal their deal.
Oladipo. Maybe I should start another blog post. I’m not sure what’s going on in Pacer land but it’s a great story. He’s clearly a great player and deserves to be an All-Star starter.
Oladipo should be a cautionary tale for anybody who thinks Russell Westbrook is great. Kevin Durant has become a better, more complete player since leaving. Oladipo is a better player before and after leaving. Paul George looks less like a star since joining the Thunder. Carmelo too. Both can opt out at the end of the year. Gotta figure both will do so. Westbrook may be the most selfish player in the game today and it is hurting his team. When George and Carmelo are gone, what stars are going to want to go there? Teams have seen how successful the Spurs and Dubs have been with players who have bought in to the team first philosophy. So when the Thunder finally tire of Westbrook’s act, they will find no quality teams who may want him, so they will end up trading him to some lousy team that is desperate for a “star” player in order to put fans in the seats. At this point, it is hard to see any Westbrook-led team ever making it the NBA Finals again.
I agree and think what’s mainly needed is coaching. Here’s what I bet would work but only as an idea that Sam Presti (GM) might pay attention to: If Westbrook replaced Parker in San Antonio Westbrook becomes a much better player. Partly because of the other greats around him but also Pop. Maybe this is the only way and the only situation that would work, so if you’re Presti how do you duplicate some of that. I think it needs to start with a completely different type of coach. This is just a completey random comment, but what if Kobe Bryant was coaching OKC?
Or Jason Kidd.
Gotta think that the Spurs wouldn’t touch Russ as someone who doesn’t fit their system and not knowing if a 10-year vet like Westbrook could change this late in the game. Thunder may be looking for a new coach after this season. This is Donvan’s 3rd season as head coach. Year 1 with KD, they won 55 games and made a deep playoff run. Year 2, they won 47 games and were one and done in the playoffis. Year 3, they’ve got a .500 record thru 30 games despite adding George and Carmelo. They will probably make the playoffs because there is dreck below them in the Western Conference right now. But this downward trend doesn’t bode well for Donovan’s future.
So who might the Thunder bring in as head coach? Doubtful that the Bucks would allow Kidd to go or that Kidd would want to go given that he’s got the Greek Freak right now. Is there an available coach out there of sufficient stature and coaching ability to reign in Russ and make him a better team player? How’s this for out of the box…John Stockton. The Jazz nearly hired him several years ago. He’s been doing various low-level coaching gigs since retiring. Not sure why some NBA team hasn’t hired him already.
I disagree. I think POP would jump at Russ in a heartbeat, after they had a quick meeting to discuss just how much Russ wants to win a championship. ie become one of 3 or 4 options and that is IT. one of three or four. i think he’d say yes because they would destroy everyone.
You watched the game last night. How did Ingram get his points – driving straight up the middle? Was that on Pachulia and Bell?
Yeah, most of Ingram’s points came in the paint, either driving or receiving a pass inside. Mostly came on Bell and McGee. Zaza is still out.
very unhappy that kawhi isn’t playing tonight and i see no news about why.
kuzma going off!!
Kuzma 0TOs. Harden 6 TOs.
And the Bulls? What is going on this season? It’s like a different league – almost everything about it is better and consider this: I.T. and LaVine aren’t back yet, and Kawhi is barely back. And I’m probably missing a couple players as well. Try to make a short list of what’s great about this season – impossible. Here’s my stab at it – note that it’s almost impossible to prioritize …
Durant looks like a top 10 player all time. Defense!
Embiid is absurd. Way too early to count him among the greats of all time, but as a 2nd year player? Easily one of the very greatest. Top 5.
Ben Simmons – inconsistent and not exactly taking the league by storm, but his presence brings something very rare to the game. Something only Magic and LeBron had/have.
Kuzma – wow
Oladipo – the likelihood of his explosion in his … 5th year is it? Very hard to calculate. I think this is a first.
Rockets and about 10 other teams – D’Antoni, offense and defense and a whole lotta winning. It’s not just a new era with different rules, it’s a better game. I realize it would be hard to play this way with hand checking allowed, but it can happen. Look back at the 93 Suns. Not as bad defensively as people claim. Not great, and they were small for the times, but to get to the finals they needed to play good defense along the way.
Greek Freak, Porzingas, Ingram, Booker, Jokic – much young excellent talent!
Lonzo – regardless of anyone’s opinion he *is* a story and the Lakers *are* winning. He’s getting better by the week as are the Lakers. On both ends.
With the Rockets, it’s hard to see where the leap came from since they are middle of the road for a lot of team stats. Chris Paul is obviously a nice addition, but he’s missed about half of their games. I think their new defensive intensity comes from a few other additions, PJ Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute, and the continuing maturation of Clint Capela. Luc and PJ won’t give you a whole lot of offense, but when they come in with the second unit, they can provide a defensive spark. Capela is a double-double virtually every night and blocks a lot of shots. Last year’s Rockets’ team barely played defense and it doesn’t help when the star barely makes an effort on defense. I think bringing in Luc and PJ provided some veteran defensive leadership for the team to counteract Harden’s unwillingness to defend.
Main difference between Oladipo 2017 and Oladipo 2013-16 is that his 3-pt% has gone way up (.432 so far this year). Not sure what has raised his 3-pt game so much this year.
You’re right about a lot of great young talent in the league. It’s exciting to watch.
I think we saw the future of the Warriors tonight. With Zaza still out but Draymond returning, Kerr started Bell at center alongside Green, KD, Klay and Macaw (for Curry). Bell and Green on the court look really good together. Both are good around the basket on both ends of the court and both have good court vision and pass extremely well. Add Steph when he gets healthy and that will be a killer line-up.
I saw a lot of Green in Bell last night. You were right on there. Tell me about Bob Myers. I know nothing about him. Clearly an amazing person.
Warriors are all set. Better than I thought even, assuming Curry, Durant, Green and Bell are healthy for the playoffs. I says a lot that I didn’t include Klay, a number two guy on any other team. Warriors are the best even with Klay injured.
Regarding Houston – I haven’t watched much, but every time I see Capela I’m in awe. This is an excellent player and a huge advantage vs. just about every other team. I think this is Houston’s next most important player next to harden. I still don’t see enough, especially from the bench, to make it difficult on the Dubs in a playoff series. But I wouldn’t be too surprised to see them win 2 games. Home court will be key this year. Dubs need to start separating from the field soon IMO.
I keep forgetting to include Donovan Mitchell with the great new talent …
Embiid, Simmons, Booker, Mitchell, Kuzma, Ingram, Jokic, Greek Freak, Porzingas, Towns
I’m impressed by Luke Walton’s candor here
Watched a little of the Sixers-Knicks game this morning. Embiid vs. Porzingis will be a fascinating rivalry to watch over the next few years.
Also watched 1st 3 quarters of the Dubs-Cavs and listened to the 4th quarter while driving down to my Dad’s house. Cavs basically hounded KD and Klay and dared everyone else to shoot. It was Dubs defense that won it. They held Cavs to 30-something percent shooting percentage and KD had another 5 blocks including a significant one in crunch time. Draymond got a triple-double and I think I heard on the postgame that he set the Warrior career record for triple doubles today.
Warriors started Bell again even though Zaza could have played. Bell had another solid game including a highlight reel alley oop. After the game though, Kerr said Zaza would start the next game and he only started Bell today because of the match-up (Cavs were bringing Thompson off the bench and starting Love at C. Kerr said that going forward, the starter at center would depend on the match-up. I think he’s probably just placating his veteran center and that, as the year goes on, Bell will be seeing more and more time in the starting line-up.
Just wondering if you have thoughts on Bob Myers.
Forgot to comment about Myers. I don’t know a lot about him other than he used to be a player agent. However, the Warrior braintrust (including West at the time) apparently liked him a lot when they hired him in 2011. They originally intended him to apprentice under General Manager Larry Riley for a few years to learn the job, but then elevated him to GM after only a year. He was in charge of the 2012 draft where the Dubs got Draymond in the 2nd round (and Harrison Barnes in the 1st). He got rid of Mark Jackson after the Dubs best season in years and he hired Kerr to replace him, who took the Dubs even higher. He masterminded the KD signing by planning for it several years in advance. He keeps bringing in good vets for the bench who fit Steve Kerr’s plan perfectly. He’s already been twice named NBA Exec of the year. In the last two drafts, the Dubs had no picks and he made deals to buy draft picks from other teams that resulted in Patrick Macaw and Jordan Bell. Has Myers made a bad move yet? I can’t think of one off the top of my head. Partially this says a lot about the ability of the Warrior braintrust to find the best people. But clearly says a lot about Myers to go from agent to GM so seemingly effortlessly, though I’m guessing he has put in a ton of time learning.
A few other things I’ve been meaning to mention here. I’ll put different subjects in different posts.
First…I recently learned that the Greek Freak has 2 younger basketball playing brothers. Kostas Antetokounmpo is playing for the University of Dayton this year. He apparently was a dominant player in high, but missed much of his last of his school and his first year at Dayton because of injuries. As a result, Dayton is limiting his minutes this year, but he still looks pretty good. Here’s a video with some high school highlights in it.
And here’s a video with his highlights from his debut with Dayton.
He’s basically the same size as his brother. The huge wingspan will result in a large number of blocks and rebounds (the Dayton video shows him blocking a 3-pt attempt). He’s still quite raw, but could definitely see him growing into a player like his brother. The youngest brother, Alex is a sophomore in high school and is apparently the best shooter of the three. We might have three Greek Freaks in the NBA in five years or so. Giannis has an older brother Thanasis, who had a cup of coffee with the Knicks in 2016, but they didn’t keep him around and he is playing pro ball in Greece.
Next topic…the nominations for 2018 inductees to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame were announced. The top new candidates are:
The prominent holdover candidates who were not elected before are:
Frankly, I would put all 11 of those names in the Hall of Fame. The first five of the newcomers are no-brainers to me. Since the basketball Hall of Fame includes what you did in college as well as the pros, Rip Hamilton and Chris Webber are also no-brainers since Rip led UConn to a national championship and Webber led Michigan to 2 consecutive finals, albeit losing both times.
Tim Hardaway and Sidney Moncrief were not superstars, but were solid stars for lengthy careers. Moncrief was a 20+ ppg scorer who played excellent defense. Michael Jordan once said that he modeled his game on Moncrief. Hardaway may have been the 2nd best PG in the NBA in the 1990s (after Stockton and not counting Kidd/Nash who started in mid-90s) and helped resurrect the Warrior franchise under Don Nelson.
Mo Cheeks was the third best PG of the 1980s (after Magic and Isiah and not counting Stockton who started mid-80’s) and was one of the best players at creating steals of all time. He was the glue of the 76ers title team in 1983. Wallace is the toughest call to me because he was inept on offense. But he was a defensive maestro, blocking shots, making steals, and pulling rebounds. 4 times he was the defensive player of the year and he helped the Billups Pistons win a title. Basically, he was Dennis Rodman, but an even better defender and Rodman is in the Hall of Fame. So I would put him in.
In case you can’t see it, the post I made before the Hall of Fame post says it is awaiting moderation. Possibly because I included video links in it.
keep on me about this. i think i looked for it but alcohol may have been in the way .i’d like to get this resolved. what was the subject matter?
OK. I think I fixed the problem. Look OK now?
Yep, it no longer says awaiting moderation. Assuming you can see my post about the Greek Freaks, then it worked.
By the way, got my first look at Donovan Mitchell last night in the Jazz game against the Dubs. If you look at his game stats, he looks like he was the Jazz leader for the game, but really, it was a very quiet game for him. To be fair, that is likely largely a result of the Dubs defense being able to concentrate on him with Gobert out. I may need to see him against some other teams to get a better feel for him. It was same old Dubs last night. Slow 1st half, blew them away in the second. KD continues to look like a possible defensive player of the year.
I’ve watched him – he’s the real deal. A star with more potential than Booker. Looks like the heir to the Curry throne to me. Not quite the shooter or playmaker, but twice the physical presence.
Utah is good this year. Maybe #4 team in the West even.
Hornets 111 Warriors 100
I watched this game. Barnett, like many of the Warriors, may need his eyesight checked, because what they apparently weren’t seeing was the blur resulting from a simply outstanding Hornet defensive effort. “They just don’t have the energy”. That’s right. It was true all 10 times he said it. Charlotte sucked it right out of them.
I really enjoyed watching that game because Charlotte’s effort was outstanding – it made ALL the difference. The first thing I noticed was how different Bell looked. Not the same guy I had seen in the previous games. The second thing I noticed was, with the exception of a frickin AMAZING player named Draymond Green, complacency was being wielded as a …. well it wasn’t a weapon. A wet noodle? Durant was mostly to blame, but Iggy most definitely as well. Kerr was probably just as much to blame as well.
Charlotte is a team constructed with defensive players, coaching and mindset. That was clear last night. I thought the same was true with the Warriors. No? Whatever answer you give there, I’m not sure it would explain all the awesome Charlotte ball movement near and around the basket. And the space around Howard which was voluminous at times.
“Turnovers . they got 32 points off our turnovers, 18 of them,” he said. “What’s discouraging is just so many of them feel careless and silly and pointless. Too many times we’re going for the home run assist. We’ve got to just make simple passes and plays.”
The league’s best third-quarter team, Golden State trailed 79-75 after the Hornets outscored them 26-22 in the third. Two nights earlier, the Warriors scored 42 third-quarter points to bury the Utah Jazz.
“We’re not going to do that every third quarter,” Kerr said. “We didn’t bring the juice.”
What Kerr didn’t mention is that “going for the home run assist” usually works against most other teams. I’m not even sure how often I saw such “home run” attempts last night. What I saw were active, speedy defensive players and long arms of MKG and Batum and Howard and a little guy named Walker who at times looked like 2 players out there.
Barnett will likely file this one away as a wake-up call for the Warriors, as if it was all about them sleep-walking through 48 minutes. That’s one way to spin it – with hope knowing that the Dubs won’t be sleepwalking come April. I guess that’s the half-full glass he’d like us to drink. The other glass is the one half-empty because there will be no more matchups against the Hornets this year and therefore few opportunities to fix their problems vs. top tier defenses. There are few teams that play defense as well. And maybe only one in the Spurs.
Barnett is probably satisfied that the Warriors split with the Hornets and beat them handily when they played early December. But that wasn’t the same Hornets team that showed last night.
Sorry, sick as a dog right now. You’re right that teams that can play suffocating defense like the Dubs give them problems. Boston beat them earlier this season with good defense. San Antonio has given them problems in the past with good defense. Of course, when the Dubs have Steph on the court, suffocating defense sometimes doesn’t matter since he can make impossible shots and he draws so much attention away from his teammates. Last night’s game showed what a difference having Steph on the court makes.
Dove-tailing on my above comments …
Durant’s intellect dissapointed in this game vs. Charlotte and has me wondering what Kerr would do in the playoffs if Steph was out. It seems obvious to me, but somehow not to Kerr – until now maybe. Just start Iggy at PG subbing in Macaw and Livingston to split the minutes 50-50. Refrain from putting pressure on Durant to make decisions he shouldn’t be making. Never allow several possessions in a row with Durant as the primary (i.e. 1st AND 2nd) decision/play maker. In fact, set it up so ALL pressure is off him. Start Iggy over Macaw to help Macaw set the tone and to learn from how Iggy makes the entry passes against … who knows … Capela? Aldridge/Gasol? Gobert? Tristan Thompson?
If Macaw is better starting that’s fine. But have Iggy run your show for as many minutes as he’s capable. Come on Kerr – if you’re not going to run the offense through Green at the high post (which I still don’t understand – why the heck not???), then run it though Iggy. In fact, why not do that now and use Curry the way Pop uses Parker just to get the team in rhythm.
Regarding running the offense through Green at the high post, I must be missing something. I definitely understand this isn’t one of your top ball handlers, but he’s still VERY good at it and so much better than almost every other big man in the league. Test it out, and test it out in volume. You’ve got your safety net back from injury now. And Bell shoring it up (mostly) around the basket. If you lose games trying it out for a few weeks fine, but it’s not like you’ll lose many of them.
Draymond is shooting 77% FT this year. Get him more practice to either stay there or get that % up a bit.
Evolve with this amazing talent. Figure out how to use him in ways that will keep him from leaving. There’s no reason for Green to think he can go to Detroit (for instance) and be as successful in the same role or, for that matter, ANY role he’s put in.
I hope you’re feeling better, or at least well enough for the amazing slate of games on today. Let me know if there’s a game you’re interested in that is available on league pass only. The Dubs/Mavs game should be enough – I’ll be watching. I haven’t seen D Smith play at all yet.
If Kawhi plays tonight their game at Sixers could be worth a glance. Also, I think Lonzo Ball is back from injury tonight. An injury that I actually don’t believe ever occurred – don’t be surprised to see his jumper looking completely different;-)
Marginally better. Thought I was on the mend yesterday and went to work, but feeling worse today. Basically, my stomach has been in turmoil for five days. Not liking this flu. Have to go to work for at least a little while today, but will likely come home early. I’ll have the Dubs-Dallas game on, but quite likely I will be snoozing off and on during the game.
You’re right about a great set of games today. The marquee match-up is clearly Cavs-Celtics, even without IT playing (he won’t play 2nd game in back-to-back for awhile). Spurs-Sixers, Pacers-Bucks, and Pistons-Heat should be good. As you mentioned, Thunder-Lakers should be interesting to see what Ball is like. And Rockets-Magic is worth checking into to see what Rockets are like without Harden.
And if we’re talking about the importance of games then maybe this Lakers-OKC matchup is extremely important. I keep forgetting to tell you that David Griffin is on Sirius-XM hoops radio daily – he talks about everything and there is little he won’t discuss. His answers are only as good as the questions though, and in most cases he seems to know less than you and me. But given the right questions ….
He has made it clear that he knows what type of guy Sam Presti is, and he sees no reason to think that Presti is going to mess around much as he nears the trade deadline on Feb 16. Griffin has even said something like “even if the Thunder go on a 10 game winning streak and are the hottest team in basketball right before the trade deadline, Presti is going to be much more interested in HOW they went on that tear rather than assuming it means things are finally working as planned and they’ll be ready for the playoffs”. Griffin seems to be stating very loudly that Presti is the kind of guy who won’t hesitate to make a big move or two possibly breaking up the team by deadline time.
I’m expecting some pretty ugly losses starting with tonight’s game. Lakers are going to be crazy fired up and should be knowing there’s no reason why they can’t win this game decisively. On the other hand, this idea that things are starting to come together for OKC is likely to be exactly what brings them back down. I think the cat is out of the bag: it’s about Westbrook and only Westbrook. If he can put together a lot of outrageously great performances in January then they can keep rolling. But I don’t see why he’d do that when the main goal is to retain George. So George needs to touch the ball a lot.
I don’t see any reason to think that Westbrook can maintain some kind of God-like pace when he’s constantly thinking he needs to step aside. It just doesn’t seem possible that doing that will produce excellent offense on a consistent basis.
Now check this out, 9 out of 14 of OKC’s January opponents are average or below average teams. What should be expected of them this month? Whatever is expected, think about the pressure involved. Especially if they lose to the Lakers tonight.
Ball has been ruled out of tonight’s game, so it won’t be as interesting.
I think Presti knows that Paul George is gone as a free agent after the season, pretty much regardless of how well the Thunder do. I think he’ll be looking to trade him before the deadline just to get something for him. Of course, who wants to trade for George if they believe he will leave as free agent at end of season? Perhaps the Lakers since that is where George wants to go. In fact, that may work better than just signing him as a free agent since they can clear out some unneeded salary in the trade. Maybe they could foist Luol Deng on the Thunder in such a deal if the Thunder want say Randle or Nance.
Dammit. (regarding Ball). I think he has a tremendous glue-guy influence on that team. They seem lost without him.
Right – I think it would be smart for Magic to trade Randle at least. Maybe Clarkson. Two very good players – I don’t see why Presti would pass up Randle. I really hope Nance doesn’t leave LA.
I’m sure Presti would be happy to get his hands on Randle. What he wouldn’t want is Deng’s 3-year, $18 mil per contract. So frankly, I can’t see him pulling that trigger. He might take Caldwell-Pope’s expiring 17 mil contract plus Randle.
Mavs played a little out of their minds tonight against the Dubs, but with Dennis Smith, Harrison Barnes, a lot of cap room, and a retired Nowitzki no longer needing to be played, I could see Cuban returning them to playoff form pretty quickly. They are a very quick team (w/o Dirk) who hounded the Dubs mercilessly.
I didn’t see enough of the Cavs-Celts to see how the Celtics pulled so far ahead in the 2nd half. I did see LBJ miss a couple of layups, the usual good Celtics defense, and Marcus Smart thinking he was a better 3-pt shooter than he actually is.
This morning’s sportsradio debate, based on the ending of last night’s Dubs-Mavs game.
Your team is down by 2 with 24 seconds left but with the ball. Your team brings the ball up court and gets the ball into the hands of team’s best player. The player sees an opening to the hoop for an easy game-tying lay-up. Should he:
A,. Take the lay-up even though it will leave 12 seconds for the other team? or
B. Milk the clock down to 2 or 3 seconds and take a shot then?
I think the answer is clear. If you saw the game, you know what happened. Does it make a difference if the other team is the Warriors? Rick Barry got interviewed during the show and was asked the question and he agreed with me on the clear answer. But interested to know your thoughts before I say what that is.
This is a question that sports radio people are entertaining? My question to those people wondering is, in all the games you’ve watched where that situation occurred did you ever hear anyone ask this question during or after the game? Did you ever see a situation where “an easy game-tying layup” gift-horse was left standing at the perimeter?
I’ll watch the play and return here after several drinks and likely in a much better mood.
Judging by the last sentence of your first paragraph, I know your answer, which is the same as mine. If you’ve got a chance to easily tie the game, you do it, no matter how much time is left and no matter who the opponent is. You don’t know what kind of shot you will get as time runs out so take the sure thing. Like you (and me), Rick Barry was incredulous that anyone would question that. One of the hosts (Matt Steinmetz) made the point, what if the Mavs were down 2 and the Dubs had the ball in that situation, but the Mavs stole it and went for a breakaway layup with 12 seconds left? Would you ask that player to stop and hold the ball until a few seconds were left? Of course not. The cohost kept saying that you can’t give the Warriors that much time to win the game because of how good they are.
I always wonder if sportstalk radio cohosts actually disagree on these questions or are just taking opposite sides to have something to talk about.
KD won’t be playing against the Rockets tonight. Apparently, he suffered a very minor injury in last night’s game. Dub practice this year is to sit players for any injury, no matter how minor.
While I’m downing the first drink, I’ll add more before continuing on to your and Barry’s thoughts (always most entertaining) …
First, I’m assuming Warriors have 5 men on the court. Second, I’ll assume either Curry, Thompson, Durant or Green are out there.
Rebounds. Steals. Turnovers. Fouls. The more time spent moving the ball the more likely are your chances to get a rebound, a steal or to be fouled and the more likely the other team turns it over.This is true even if the opposing team runs out the clock for THEIR last shot. If you set up top dribbling, not only do you miss out on the high % tying shot but you miss out on possibly setting up again with a rebound or a steal, an opponent turnover or after getting fouled.
The most Carlisle will assume is that Warriors are 60% likely to make their next shot. Not 70% or 80% – that’s just stupid. But not 30% or lower either. So Carlisle would be going off a 60% probability that the warriors’ next shot goes in. That’s a 40% chance that is does *not* go in. Why would Carlisle throw away his almost sure thing layup when he knows he still has a 40% chance of the last shot not going in? Especially when there is also the possibility of a steal or turnover or foul or rebound?
By the way, feeling better?
I read your reply. My response is that Steinmetz (isn’t this now becoming a dirty word on this forum?), does not know what 60% is. That’s 6 out of 10 apples leaving 4 apples.
Let’s say you know you can get 4 apples pretty easily but not 6 very easily *UNLESS* you overturn that apple cart. Now give yourself a 10% chance of “legally” turning over that cart. How many apples are you likely to get away with?
I say at least 4 1/2.
OK. New topic – in fact it’s one of my favorites these days wrt any subject not involving trump.
I hope you’re feeling better by the way.
How to get in touch with almost anyone you want? Somehow almost miraculously I can now contact Mark Cuban. Only if I have something meaningful, but if I do I can present it to him. That seems amazing to me.
But right now I want to contact Steve Kerr, not as anybody but as somebody (in the way Brando meant it). I want to present ideas for running offense through Dray at the high post and not the 3 pt line which he is doing.
But how to get Kerr’s ear so he’ll consider my stuff as worth reading?
Last point on Steinmetz (hopefully EVER) … Sure. Part of their job is arguing or inserting a different point of view, but the point is to do it WELL.
As my favorite NBA sports radio guy says “Just don’t suck”
You don’t need to think much about the “how to contact kerr” question. Let’s move on …
Presti seems like a smart guy, but maybe he should have a sounding board. I definitely understand the Harden trade, because I think it was obvious that you can’t have Harden and Westbrook on the same team. But I think Presti should have suffered through it for another year to make sure he got rid of the right guy.
So now you have Carmelo. A really interesting decision. I get it. Presti is gambling and I do get the gamble. But now your are stuck because the best player you will get for George is a guy (Randle) who plays the same position and has very similar attributes to Melo. And since you have a me-first alpha dog PG, how can it make sense to start another isolation me-first guy next to even a third isolation me-first guy?
Looks like Presti needs to orchestrate a trade. He’s stuck with Melo so he needs to get Clarkson for himself and move Randle somewhere, but for who?
There is excellent news here IMO: Westbrook was able to figure it out with George. So look for another George like player in return for Randle?
Sorry if you happen to read posts as I edit them. I’m more careless on the first commit because I know I can clean it up on the second (and sometimes third) edit. Maybe i should include something that says up top “still editing…”
I’ll try that.
By the way, Steinmetz was on our side of that debate. It was his cohost that was arguing the opposite (e.g., hang on to the ball until time was running out before taking shot so you don’t leave time on clock for Dubs). The other argument against that is if you don’t trust your defense against the Dubs with 12 seconds left on the clock, then how can you trust them with 5 minutes of OT.
I am feeling better thought still only working half days and still eating bland foods so as not to further upset my stomach. We had 4.4 quake in middle of night last night. Not what I need when I really need sleep right now.
ahh .. apologies to Steinmetz!
No KD for Dubs, no Harden for Rockets made for a less compelling, but still interesting game. Dubs started Iggy in KD’s place, likely to maintain the movement in the offense and that resulted in Iggy getting 8 assists. Rockets started Eric Gordon in Harden’s place and he did his best to put up as many shots as Harden and he ended with 30 pts. Draymond got a triple-double, Steph had 29 and Klay added 28. Even without KD, the Dubs had 6 blocks. The big surprise was Gerald Green, who the Rockets just signed off the street to fill Harden’s roster spot, going 8 for 15 from 3-pt range. Harden is likely to miss the next Dubs-Rockets tilt in 2 weeks, so we’re not going to get any good full-tilt preview of a possible playoff clash (Chris Paul missed the season opening game).
I thought I saw Green setting up the offense from the high post last night, but he looked so awkward there. Awkward or just told he doesn’t belong there so he looks to get rid of it immediately. I guess when the Dubs offense runs so well as is there’s no reason to mess with it, but I’m still not sure about that. There will be many nights when Green is the better ball handler than the opposing 3, 4 & 5. Like most of the Dubs, he’s so good at making that quick pass down low. Seems like a great way to pull his man out and while Bell frustrates down low and basically everyone else threatens any and every shot imaginable.
I get why it’s a risk to try new things when everything else works so well, but this might be the right time to try it out: while the Rockets are losing games. Again, the worst that can happen is the Dubs lose a couple games trying it out. Of course, they’ll win at least 3 in the process as well.
I also noticed that for some reason, Kerr didn’t really use Bell last night (only 6 minutes of action). I don’t know if that was for a match-up reason or some other reason. Instead, Kevon Looney got 15 minutes of action and played pretty well. So guess Kerr knows what he is doing.
Rumors are that McGee is unhappy with his playing time, though he is being the good soldier and not talking about it publicly. Dubs and Bucks are rumored to be talking about a McGee trade.
I’ve wondered about McGee. I am so incredibly impressed with many things I’ve seen since he came to the Warriors. I have to believe there’s a personality or drive or even an emotional issue.
Or .. sometimes things are exactly what they seem. I suppose it’s very possible that during practice McGee just doesn’t get things as quickly as Bell or Looney. If he’s out of sync with the team then … well he just can’t work with the team.
Side note on Swag – I never thought I’d see it from him. Never ever. He works squarely within the design of the offense. That is NOT the guy I thought I knew. I won’t say I’m impressed just yet, but if I *do* eventually say I’m impressed then it won’t be with Swaggy. It will be with whomever made the big decision to take a chance on him. No question that was taking a pretty big chance. Has anyone claimed sole responsibility for that decision?
Absolutely need to give another shout out to Kawhi here. When I see how he plays (or if you prefer “is implemented”), I’m amazed I don’t see many other attempts to play with the same patience and attention to high percentage offense. Not even in LeBron very often. In fact, I see it only in Ben Simmons and Stephen Curry. I used to see it in Nash and Wade. Notable that I never see it in Greek Freak which is strange considering who his coach is. Kyrie and Wall would be twice as effective if they just watched Kawhi.
I bet Lonzo figures it out before these other guys. Maybe I should say the Magic+Walton+Lonzo combo. I’m starting to realize this is a very excellent combination. Walton is a special coach IMO.
I haven’t heard anyone (Myers, Kerr, scout) claim responsibility for signing Young, but I know that anyone the Dubs signed would have been vetted on all levels before it occurred. So I’m sure everyone was on board with it. Young played with McGee in Washington and they are good buddies, so it’s possible that Young talked with JaVale and let it be known that he’d like to come to Oakland.
One thing I have read is that Young was a little dumbfounded in camp when Kerr and the Dubs stars were telling him to take more shots. Apparently he was trying to dial it back a bit to fit in. At the same time, Swaggy doesn’t take as many bad shots now, perhaps because he knows he doesn’t have to. Perhaps Swaggy has finally found the system that fits him.
Here’s what truly impressive about what the Dubs have done. Often, the first unit and the second unit of a team play different styles simply because the second unit isn’t as good as the first unit and can’t do what they do. On the Dubs, every man on the roster plays the same style, even if the subs aren’t as good as the stars. Thus, when one of the stars misses a game, someone on the second unit can fit right in with the first unit. The Dubs have found not only good subs, but ones that can fit into their system. You see it in their draft philosophy as well, since Bell and Macaw were perfect fits. It all makes for a much more cohesive whole.
“On the Dubs, every man on the roster plays the same style, even if the subs aren’t as good as the stars. Thus, when one of the stars misses a game, someone on the second unit can fit right in with the first unit. ”
there is some resemblance to the Spurs here. Subs are very good or even perfect at playing the same way. what doesn’t resemble the Spurs is the quality of talent on the bench with regard to well rounded smart players …
And I think the average dubs bench player bests the average spurs player in this regard as well.
So granted, almost every team is going to look bad against the Warriors, but the Clips just don’t look good. Even before they lost Griffin to a concussion, the Clips were awful. The only reason the score was close in the 1st half of today’s game is that the Dubs not named Curry were shooting awfully (Klay was 4-16 on the game). Lou Williams was the only one who seemed to do anything for them (why isn’t Doc starting him?). Nobody but Williams can shoot the 3, which makes defending the paint that much easier. I realize the Clips have a bunch of injuries, but that looks like a bad team getting worse.
As for the Dubs, what can you say about Steph that hasn’t already been said at this point? 45 points, 8 threes, 3 steals, and he didn’t even play the 4th quarter. He only recently came back after missing 11 games with the ankle injury and, if anything, he’s playing even better. The rest of the team, other than David West, didn’t look like they were awake yet on offense. for the early start. Draymond did have some good passes and a nice alley oop to McGee. They were awake on defense though.
I missed that line from Curry. Incredible.
I trust Magic won’t be swayed by this, but Lonzo’s dad essentially called for Luke Walton to be fired. LaVar said Luke is too young and has lost control of the Lakers and that the team doesn’t want to play for him anymore. While I trust Magic to ignore Lonzo’s idiot father, what I don’t know is if Lonzo can shut him out. If his dad is telling him that Luke is no good, can Lonzo ignore that and listen to Luke? Or does he sulk and pout and poison the team until Magic has no choice but to do something?
Lavar reminds me of Trump
Lonzo gave a less than convincing endorsement of Luke saying he’d play for any coach.
I’m sure Kerr got his whole team playing the same style philosophy from Pop (and the Dubs do have a better team for doing it, both in the starters and on the bench).
Apparently Kawhi has a tear in a shoulder ligament. He missed today’s game. Unclear how many more he might miss.
I believe that’s “just lonzo”. That’s his line that I always hear from him going back to June. Just wants to play and he’ll play for/with anybody. It’s a bit immature but dude is only 20.
I’m pretty worried that Kawhi is suffering from too many cortical steroid injections, or worse – other types of steroid injections. If that’s the case he may continue to get these kinds of tears.
I’m going to start moving my comments into reply sub-sections that show up just below the original comment(s). So you may see some comments moving around a bit.
Shout out to Thad Young. Was he ever on the Warriors? I think anyone who knows his game sees at least this: coachable and offensive minded. I’m surprised the Dubs, Spurs or Celts haven’t grabbed him. An excellent 2nd teamer.
Indiana is impressive. They might contend in the East behind Boston and Cleveland.
Good column by award-winning LA Times sports columnist Bill Plaschke on the Ball situation with the Lakers.
I’m not much of a Plaschke fan and this article reminds me why. I don’t think this is what Lonzo means at all, and I don’t like the way Plaschke assumes the meaning without explaining his assumptions.
Lonzo hasn’t changed anything since we started getting to know him. He is non-committal in general and there is no reason for me to think that his words aren’t perfectly fine with Magic and Walton. In fact, if I was advising a 20 year old who can’t seem to get away from all the distractions I’d tell them “if there is any chance the media will be involved with a controversial subject then say whatever you need to say to get away from it. Sometimes that means be non-committal.”
Since Lonzo has been like this since we started getting to know him I’d guess this is something he started doing awhile ago, and I wouldn’t be surprised that it was his father’s advice. Or his mother’s.
Luke doesn’t need to worry about any of this IMO, but Magic does. Magic has every reason to believe that staying in the LONZO BALL business is an excellent idea. The degree of improvement of this kid is awesome, and with an entire off-season to practice everything including his shooting I think Magic would be an idiot to get out of the Ball business.
One thing I remember about Plaschke on that ESPN show he was on (maybe he still is) – he makes things up. They all do, but I noticed that with him it seems to be a habit.
Plaschke: “He’s not a future cornerstone; that’s Brandon Ingram.”
Mohini: “Wrong. Watch the games and stop making things up.”
I think there’s a lot more to this issue than you think. Plaschke is not making up the fact that the Lakers have previously asked LaVar to cool it and he hasn’t. Luke admitted that he subbed Lonzo out of a game early recently because LaVar was talking too much crap from his seat. I’m guessing that was what lead to LaVar’s recent comments about Luke. LaVar has already said he expects to see LiAngelo in a Laker uniform next year. What happens when the Lakers don’t draft him?
Did the Lakers know what they were getting into when they drafted Lonzo? Perhaps, but Magic may have thought that his star persona would be enough to get LaVar to quiet down if he asked him to. Clearly, LaVar does not bow down to Magic though.
Lonzo has a chance to be really good, but you keep saying that his shooting will improve. I’ve seen nothing to suggest that will happen. His shooting technique needs to be totally revamped and there’s not many players who can do that at the professional level. Fortunately, Ball can do enough other things to make him a valuable asset, but I don’t think he will ever become a shooter that you have to worry about.
If you’re LeBron James, do you want to join the LaVar Ball circus next season? The more LaVar speaks out about the Lakers, the less likely I think LeBron will become a Laker.
Right now, Kyle Kuzma looks the a future cornerstone of the Lakers. He, by the way, had a strong defense of Luke after LaVar’s comments. Brandon Ingram also looks like a future cornerstone of the Lakers. Lonzo has a chance to be the 3rd cornerstone unless his Dad poisons him too much against Walton and the Lakers, which is what I see happening right now.
Apparently Luke was joking when he said he subbed Lonzo out early from a game because of LaVar talking crap. The initial report I read about that either didn’t get the joke or omitted the fact that it was a joke. Nonetheless, I see LaVar becoming a bigger problem for the Lakers.
There could be more to it than I realize. I definitely think it’s a huge deal – I think Lavar needs to be dealt with quickly and harshly. But I don’t think there’s any way to judge Lonzo right now.
Regarding shooting, players have vastly improved their shooting. Rubio has. It’s not great but if Lonzo can approach Rubios scoring he’ll be a better player than Rubio IMO.
Re: your comment about Kawhi and steroid injections, do you know any of the science on that? Are people who receive steroid injections more susceptible to ligament tears or other injuries? They were calling Kawhi’s injury today a separated shoulder. Don’t think that is the same thing as a partial shoulder ligament tear that they were calling it yesterday, but not completely sure.
“Are people who receive steroid injections more susceptible to ligament tears or other injuries?”. Yes, and I’m not sure why this isn’t common knowledge now. Sports docs and therapists know this, but as you might well know these people may not be involved enough in social media to get the word out. And they aren’t scientists in general. A lot of people who would know about this may not do a good job of expressing their thoughts publicly, or they may be too smart realizing the can of worms they may be opening. I think it’s just a matter of time that people find out about this problem.
I think it’s very likely that both Parker and Kawhi got injections in their thighs/hamstrings. I have no idea if the same is true of Kawhi’s shoulder. One thing to mention here: it’s likely that 50% of injuries to athletes are never reported. Once reported that athlete’s value plummets. Make me wonder if the Kings knew something about I.T.’s hip problem but never said anything and still aren’t saying anything.
If this should be common knowledge, then reporters have to do a better job getting this knowledge out. I was aware the steroids help you heal faster from injuries and if you abuse them (to build muscle mass, etc.) that can lead to injury. I was not aware that the more typical steroid injections that you hear athletes getting also led to ligament tears and other injuries. Seems like that kind of information should be widespread. If that is what is happening to Kawhi, it is hurting his career.
“cortical steroid injections” – for pain. not muscle growth and healing. I don’t think these are banned, but I could be wrong.
See, more stuff I don’t know about steroids. So, corticosteroids are not banned, but can cause ligament tears or other injuries? I would hope that players are well aware of these risks, but I would not count on team doctors telling them.
the nested comments are pretty inconvenient, eh? I guess we should go back to what was. great conversations regardless.
The nested comments make it easy to see what we are responding to, but it also means that we have to scroll around to see if a response was posted. So both more and less convenient.
Ha – I’m spelling this incorrectly. Dunkoff!
It’s corticosteroid – sorry!
i’ll continue all the rest of my comments down here at bottom. sorry to be a pain – scrolling up is way too much frickn work.
I doubt LeBron will want to play with Lavar around. I think Magic just needs to figure this out.
I think Magic is not only a great guy but he’s influential as hell in the world of basketball. Magic needs to just make it a priority and figure something out. Clearly sitting down with Lavar soon is key.’
“Right now, Kyle Kuzma looks the a future cornerstone of the Lakers. He, by the way, had a strong defense of Luke after LaVar’s comments. Brandon Ingram also looks like a future cornerstone of the Lakers. Lonzo has a chance to be the 3rd cornerstone unless his Dad poisons him too much against Walton and the Lakers, which is what I see happening right now.”
I think the Lakers are set on Kuzma. Retaining Ingram would be outstanding. But Kuzma is the guy moving forward. He’s a potential Durant. Likely he can’t be that great, but if he continues in the direction of Durant’s talent he’s a great player to build around.
What would you prefer? LeBron joins the lakers who look like this …
and who else? Nance Jr?
I’d want Jason Kidd paired with LeBron. Or Grant Hill. Or Steve Nash. Magic Johnson. I think Lonzo can get much closer to one of these guys than Ingram ever can.
Actually, with the way that LeBron dominates the ball, Lonzo may not want to be paired with him and, if it did happen, I could see LaVar complaining constantly about how LeBron is wrong for the Lakers.
Regardless, if I’m right about Lonzo, his 2018-19 version won’t be anywhere near as good as his 2019-20 version, and I’m not sure if LeBron wants to wait for it. I like Lonzo a lot (as you can tell), but it’s the future Lonzo I’m banking on and if any of the distractions slow down his progress then I may be off by a year. In any case, like Kidd I don’t think there needs to be so much focus on his shot as long as he shoots less and only good shots. If Kidd played today we’d be saying something similar. Yes, Kidd was a much better shooter than Lonzo – I expect Lonzo to figure out ways of being more effective even if it means he only shoots layups.
In any case, I think Ingram has a heck of a way to go to become a “cornerstone” of any franchise. In comparison to Kuzma he’s not nearly as smart, not as willing to pass (though he’s getting much better at this), and no where near as good at crashing the boards. I think of Ingram as a James Worthy. A good third option for a Championship team.
I am certain that athletes, if they know about risks of corticosteroids, they don’t know anything close to the full story. I think docs who administer them think they can “play around with” dosages so there is not much damage.
I’ll do some research on this soon. Right now my main source is my sports med ortho doc and PA – when I mentioned Kawhi’s tear last May and Parker’s before that it was their first guess. In fact, they may not have qualified it as corticosteroids ONLY, but it did seem like an easy guess for them when they heard “quad tear” or “quad ligament tear”.
“Actually, with the way that LeBron dominates the ball, Lonzo may not want to be paired with him.”
I completely disagree with this, but then that must be obvious or I wouldn’t have the opinion I have. The main reason – Lonzo doesn’t dominate the ball just like Kidd wouldn’t have to dominate the ball if he played today. Yes, if you put Kidd on a team with LeBron, Kidd would have the ball a lot but if that handle means that 10 secs into the clock passing lanes are opened and kidd’s defender is shaken then I think LeBron can live with that. It’s similar to the Kawhi argument I’ve made a few times – if the offense can play 5 on 4 then that’s a hell of an offense. It’s also the argument for why I think Kawhi is one of the greatest players ever (when healthy). As good as Kidd was, Kawhi’s shooting puts him way up the ladder from Kidd.
In any case, I’m not ignoring the Lavar factor. I think something will change though. Other than Trump, there are reasons why people like Lavar fade. Something evolutionary or biological or both. Unfortunately it may take longer than I hope.
Mrs. Ball just needs to step up here. She needs to get public I’m afraid, even if it takes the media to put her out there.
I’ll just go back to the way it was with comments added at bottom. Easier to include (i.e. copy/paste) the quote here rather than scroll way up. I think.
ESPN Article today: “Can Miami get red-hot again without making a big move?”
I agree it’s the right question. Dragic is at his best, Whiteside is maturing somewhat and they have some assets. I believe now is the time to make some moves but for who or what?
Seems obvious, but just as I missed Curry’s 45 pt performance maybe you missed Lonzo’s line from 12/22 vs Warriors? I’d hardly say there’s no reason to think his shooting won’t improve. I think there are many reasons to think that it WILL improve. So many that I won’t list here.
I’m not sure who’s telling him to take 3s though. This new conviction that PGs need to shoot threes is just stupid – there is no reasonable statistical argument supporting it. There’s just NBA people who know basketball. Not math and not statistics. The same reason why it took 60 years to realize that if you have 2 or more guys on your team that can shoot 3s then shoot more 3s!!
Lonzo’s 12/22 game against the Warriors is a spectacular display of his shooting issues. He went 5 of 6 from 3-pt range while only 1 of 4 from the line. On the season, he is shooting under .300 from the 3-pt line and under .500 from the free throw line. Even poor shooters will occasionally have good shooting games. That game should not convince Lonzo to take more 3s. You compared Lonzo above to Jason Kidd. That should absolutely be what Lonzo aspires to. Right now he matches up well with Kidd’s rookie season, except that he will blow away Kidd’s number of 3s attempted. If Lonzo dials back the long-range shooting and continues to penetrate, dish, and rebound well, he will be a better player. He should, of course, continue to work on his shooting and maybe he’ll get better. His funky motion makes me think it won’t happen for him, but one never knows. Kidd did become a better 3-pt shooter later in his career. Right now though, Lonzo hurts his team by taking too many 3s.
“Even poor shooters will occasionally have good shooting games.”
I agree that this one game means very little. I disagree that even poor shooters can go 5/6 3FG. I know that I am absolutely a better shooter than Lonzo, at least my 45 year old self was better than 20 year old Lonzo. I have shot thousands of 3s. One day I hit 6 in a row. Uncontested and after tons and tons of warmup. Of all those thousands of attempts though I averaged under 25% uncontested. He went 5/6 in an NBA game. I don’t think anyone should be ignoring the 5/6 shooting on that night. An outlier data point, yes, but IMO not one that should be filed away as irrelevant.
I’m glad to see you think he has potential to get better. Things are so much different these days. So many experts want to say that his shot won’t change. I’d actually make a very strong argument for why it will. I think his entire off season in 2018 will be changing that shot. I would bet on it if I had takers.
Back to Magic. Perspective Perspective Perspective…
We think of these guys as the best in NBA management (management of whatever, even if it’s the US team)
Pop (a manager regardless of his title)
But consider what Magic has done is so little time…
1. Garnered interest from Paul George and Lebron James
2. Drafted Kuzma
3. Ridded himself of the detritus of immature/bad influences of Swaggy and Russell
3. Got Ingram headed to a MIP second place behind Oladipo (regardless of how much Magic was involved, this is a nice feather in his cap)
4. Is winning games playing the right style with incredibly young players.
5. Decided to stick with Luke Walton who looks like the real deal to me.
Not huge accomplishments, but I’m making the point that things have come together for Magic already in ways that don’t happen every year for even the great managers. If he did make a mistake by drafting Lonzo, that mistake certainly didn’t hurt the Lakers. For one, there are a lot of teams that would love having Lonzo Ball running their offense. There are a lot of reasons to think Lonzo can become one of the better rebounding defending PGs in the league. How many teams don’t want that? In fact, consider that Rondo was at one point in time the BEST player in the NBA and that was right before he got a broken … what was it a broken shoulder? He was simply the best player period and he couldn’t shoot at all.
With regard to your list of Magic’s accomplishments:
1. Can’t give him credit for Paul George’s interest. George was saying he wanted to be a Laker long before Magic got there.
2. Actually he didn’t draft Kuzma, directly at least. The Nets drafted Kuzma and then traded him and Lopez for Russell and Mozgov. Magic deserves a LOT of credit for that deal. Dumps 3 years of ridiculous Mozgov salary for 1 year of Lopez’s and get Kuzma while getting rid of Russell. Magic fleeced the Nets.
3. Swaggy P was a free agent, so Magic didn’t have to do anything other than not resign him. Russell-see #2.
4. Whatever Magic and Luke and the Laker coaching staff have done to get Ingram to live up to the hype was fantastic. As you said, don’t know how much Magic was involved, but definitely gets credit for it.
5. Lakers are 13-27, so not really winning games yet, but are playing a good style and the young players will only get better.
6. Magic is no dummy. Luke was schooled by Kerr. Magic wants that magic.
Overall, Magic is looking really good running the Lake show so far. Until they start winning, we won’t know for sure if his moves are working.
Understood that some and not all of the above were directly Magic’s decisions. But the same could be said for some of the “great decisions” made by any of the other guys.
Magic could have made many different decisions. For instance going after someone like Josh Jackson which would make no sense if you are looking to welcome George to L.A.
I consider Kuzma to be Magic’s man.
He could have re-signed Swagg.
Regarding style of play, I like what I see even when they lose.
Magic is certainly no dummy. In fact, imagine Phil Jackson sitting back while Lavar spews his garbage over everything. Or maybe even Steve Kerr? Or Pop. I think any of these guys wouldn’t be able to keep their cool as Magic is doing. If you say “that’s why they wouldn’t have drafted Lonzo” my reply is “then their lack of flexibility loses them a potentially great opportunity”.
We’re going to see what happens next. In my opinion the great news wrt Magic-Lavar is that there really is no urgency to get it all fixed right away. Plenty of time to sit down and discuss with Lavar and I think they will. Over and Over again most likely.
By the way, I’m hoping one day someone “accidentally” pricks Lavars finger and draws blood for a drug test. I wouldn’t be surprised to find opioids or benzos or both. Even in small amounts some people can go sky high, especially if they “learn” to take their meds on an empty stomach.
The Thunder’s hopes of keeping George may have disappeared after last night. This time they can’t claim to play down to lesser opponents. And George had 4 Tos during 5-14 FG effort.
The Wolves should be considered the one team in the West that the Thunder must beat.The Thunder have to be going after that #4 spot in the West or there’s really no reason to keep this experiment going.
What an insane draft class this was. It’s unfortunate that Simmons is considered a rookie. The rest of the class has at least 4 guys that would likelybe rookie of the year in many other years (like last year for instance when Brogdon won it).
This is the way I would order it right now, but it’s changing ..
With Markkanen coming up FAST.
The #1 pick hasn’t even played much. I believe he’d likely be up there as well. It’s looking like one of the great draft classes. Not as good as the 1984 draft with Hakeem, Michael, Barkley, Stockton, Thorpe and Willis. Still it’s looking like one of the great drafts.
Cavs are IN TROUBLE! Getting crushed by the Raptors. No matter how you spin this it’s NOT GOOD for LeBron et al.
I’m having a pretty hard time looking at I.T.’s stats tonight. I’m almost convinced he’s done. The hip must be pretty painful. I don’t know how the I.T. that I remember could have this kind of horrible line.
Bad news I’m afraid.
Who doesn’t like Pop? Check this out …
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was asked what helped to bring about LaMarcus Aldridge’s resurgence: “When he said, ‘I want to be traded.’ It’s as simple as that. I said, ‘Woah, nobody’s ever said that to me before.’ It’s my 20-whatever year, and nobody’s ever said that like, ‘I’m not enjoying this. I’m not confident. I’m not sure you want me here. I want to be traded.'”
Popovich was asked if that conversation took place after the season. “Yes, yes. I thought that’s already been public? So, we had some dinners and meetings and laughed. I was very candid with him. I told him, ‘I’d be happy to trade you. You get me a talent like Kevin Durant, and I’ll drive you to the airport. I’ll pack your bags. And I will drive you there, get you on the plane, and get you seated.’ He laughed you know, that kind of thing. I said, ‘But short of that, I’m your best buddy because you’re here for another year, and you ain’t going nowhere. Because we’re not gonna get for you talent-wise what we would want. So, let’s figure this thing out.’ And we did. That’s what we came to. As discussions went on, it became apparent to me that it really was me. He’s been playing in the league for nine years. I’m not going to turn him into some other player. I could do some things defensively or rebounding-wise. But on offense, I was going to move him everywhere. That was just silly on my part. Total overcoaching. So, we took care of it, and he’s been fantastic.”
Good thing too because Pop really need LaMarcus right now with the on-going Kawhi injury situation. Lakers took it to the Spurs in the 4th quarter last night. Brandon Ingram showed all kinds of shooting range. The KCP to Nance Jr. alley-oop may be the alley-oop of the year. Obviously, these aren’t the Spurs we’re used to, but the Lakers are playing really well this week.
Re: Cavs in trouble. Yeah, the integration of IT isn’t working so far. Their biggest problem is, as it always has been, defense. LeBron can play good D when he wants to, but they are poorly lacking on the defensive end. Crowder provides some D as does Shumpert when he’s in the game, but Love, Smith, Rose, Wade, IT, Green, Korver, et al. are fairly worthless when it comes to defense and you see teams really trying to take advantage of that. The numbers are striking when you compare them to the Warriors. Dubs have more than twice as many blocks per game, over a steal more per game, and three more rebounds per game. Offensively, the Cavs can put some points on the board, but defensively they allow almost as many points per game as they score per game. That does not bode well for the Cavs.
Big surprise to see Kawhi starting tonight – doubt that can happen if he has a tear in a shoulder ligament!
I hope you were able to watch the Dubs-Raptors game tonight. The Warriors played a nearly perfect first half, scoring 81 points and building a 27 point lead. The Raptors played an almost as perfect second half, scoring 71 point and cutting the Dubs’ lead to as low as one point before the Dubs put it away in the end. Raptors were really impressive, particularly without Lowry tonight. DeRozan was incredible. Raptors look like a team to be reckoned with come playoff time.
Dubs game last night against the Bucks was also good. Defensively, the Bucks were crowding the Dubs around the 3-pt line, so Dubs kept driving the paint. On the flip side, since the Bucks are a poor 3-pt shooting team, the Dubs were doubling inside and daring them to shoot from long range. Except for the 3rd quarter when the Bucks hit their long-range shots, that strategy worked.
Going into the 5-game tough road trip (Bucks, Raptors, Cavs, Bulls, Rockets), I thought the Dubs might be lucky to win 3 of them. But with wins in the first, arguably toughest 2 games, I could see the Dubs sweeping this road trip.
Been busy so will respond later, but will take time for another Kawhi post here. To me it’s clear this is the biggest news in the NBA. Every game he’s played has resulted in outstanding results per minute played. His last game was obviously brilliant. Kawhi is just Kawhi – one of the greatest all around and smartest players ever and his team responds by winning. With Kawhi on the floor we have 4 maybe 5 excellent teams in the league this year which I think it pretty damn impressive. Not just good teams but excellent teams. When’s the last time that was the case? I’m not even sure the Cavs qualify but I’m putting them in there. And considering how the 76ers are playing now … no, they aren’t an excellent team but how far are they away from it really? Less than 2 years now? Hard to believe but I’m starting to wonder.
If Kawhi can stay healthy, I’d agree. But after playing against the Nuggets three days ago (and playing well), he missed yesterday’s game and the Spurs lost to the Hawks, one of the worst teams in the league. Spurs called it “injury management” for why Kawhi sat. Not sure what that means…Spurs being extra cautious or Kawhi’s left shoulder not feeling good after the Nuggets game.
Here’s an interesting debate if you are the Cleveland Cavaliers. It seems obvious to pretty much everyone that the Cavs won’t be able to beat the Warriors in the NBA Finals and, may have trouble even getting to the Finals with some improved teams (Celtics, Raptors, Bucks, 76ers, Heat) in the East. Cavs have, because of the Kyrie trade, the Nets 1st round draft pick, which currently would be the 7th or 8th pick unless they get lucky in the draft lottery or the Nets lose a lot more games and get a higher pick. Should the Cavs use that pick as a trade chip to bring in a big talent before the trade deadline next month or keep the pick in case LeBron walks after the year? Apparently LeBron won’t give the Cavs any indication of whether he’ll stay or go after the season, so Cavs braintrust has to make this decision without knowing LBJ’s plans.
Cavs definitely need another good piece to have a shot at the championship, but if I’m them, I hold on to that draft pick. Even another good player is not necessarily enough to overcome the Dubs, so why waste the pick given the tough road this year. If LBJ stays, the draft pick may become a good piece to make a run next year. If LBJ goes, the draft pick may become the next player you build the team around. So I’m keeping the pick.
So following up on what I said about “if” Kawhi can stay healthy…Spurs reported today that Kawhi is out indefinitely because of the lingering quad problem (not the shoulder issue reported recently). The quad problem is officially called right quadriceps tendinopathy. The Spurs also said that Kawhi has made progress in recovering, but that they thought it best to just shut him down again. I’m guessing that Kawhi won’t be a factor this year at all.
I looked up tendinopathy, which is described as a disease of the tendin. The cause of tendinopathy has not yet been determined, although stress to the tendin could be a causal factor. Steroid injections are used to treat tendinopathy in the short term, so you were right that Kawhi has been receiving steroid injections. However, the long term effectiveness of steroids isn’t known. There are a number of other treatments that can be used, but it seems that there is no fool proof treatment. Based on all this, I am concerned that Kawhi’s career could be in jeopardy or that, even once he returns, he may not be the same player he was.
going back to your dubs-rapts and dubs-bucks game comments …
This is great for the game – this level of talent. everyone gets better from it including the Warriors. If they can sustain this it really propels them in prep for playoffs which should mean even better basketball than last year.
regarding Kawhi, I’m suspicious about the whole shoulder thing. He looked too good for someone having shoulder issues. I don’t buy it – Pop is just resting him because Pop can do whatever he wants.
I have no idea what Cleveland should do, except to say that I’ve been listening to David Griffin and if anyone would know he would. Most likely he did and got fired for it somehow. If I was LeBron seeing Paul George move, Kyrie move, Boogie and/or AD moving. And of course Durant last year … let’s just say I wouldn’t ignore all that “freedom” that they have and that maybe I want as well.
Yep. Just saw this Kawhi news. Not good at all.
Actually … I’m not giving up yet. In fact I fully and completely retract …
isn’t that a John Cleese quote?
Check out this video …
That involved his last play. So can we get real now? Pop learned what he wanted to learn: his is the second best team in the league when Kawhi has had 5 or more games under his belt. So just keep him warm and get him ready for that last stretch. Meanwhile the rest of the team gets even better. Meanwhile LaMarcus takes more shots which is awesome. Anderson and Murry get huge minutes.
Only downside is Manu may have to play more minutes. Maybe not, and if that’s the gamble then Pop wins here. He won’t get home court ad vs warriors and that’s really all he should care about. With this team and Kawhi they beat the Rockets. They easily steamroll the Wolves even without Kawhi,
I don’t think this is Pop just playing it safe. You know that Kawhi would be on the court if he can. I think Kawhi is worse off than they are letting on.
Dubs tonight…no Draymond, no Iggy, no problem. Steph & Klay went off for 68 points between them and they held the Bulls to just 12 points in the 3rd quarter. However, Jordan Bell sprained his ankle on the first Bulls possession of the game and had to be wheeled off the court in a wheelchair. On the Bulls side, Kris Dunn had a very scary crash near the end of the game where he dunked the ball and got caught up on the rim a bit causing his legs to go up so that he literally landed on his chin. There looked to a really shattered tooth of his on the court afterwards. Despite the win, the troubling thing for the Warriors is their continuing inability to put together a full game. Still too many sloppy turnovers and defensive lapses. It really seems that the Dubs know all they need to do is turn on the jets for one quarter to win, so they cruise through the other quarters a little lackadaisically.
But what does “worse” mean regarding Kawhi? Does it mean painful? Again, look at that video and tell me if something tore or popped. Obviously not. More than likely he’s in pain. So were Wes Unseld, Rondo, and an endless number of other guys when they were at their best. The issue, it seems to me, is if he’s in pain now is there a greater likelihood of something tearing or popping? So just sit him until the team needs him later. I realize that a very likely scenario could be he plays one game in the playoffs and something tears or pops. I’m guessing this is the exact problem they’re addressing with him now. Most likely with steroids.
Best Center since Russel and Wilt ..
I don’t see how there can be an argument. Embiid is better than Hakeem – that’s easy for me to see now. His only competition is Shaq and Shaq couldn’t run an offense. Embiid can.
Bill Walton got hurt. Even if he hadn’t he wasn’t this good at this age.
Big news out of Charlotte. Hornets are looking to trade Kemba. Wow.
Suns have many assets that could work here. Wolves also. Cavs can give up that pick and I.T. Lakers could chuck Lonzo, but I actually like Lonzo better than Kemba. Magic may disagree there. Chicago might be looking for someone like Kemba in place of Dunn and Mirotic for instance.
Michael Jordan is going to have to come to the realization that he is the wrong guy to build a team. Hornets have way too many bad contracts and that appears to be the only reason that Walker is on the market. If you want him, you’ll have to take one or more of the bad contracts on the team to get him. That probably counts out the Cavs as they don’t have the cap room to absorb Walker and a bad contract. Lakers could do it by sending back an expiring big contract (KCP?) along with a young player that the Hornets may want. I could actually see the Lakers playing Lonzo and Walker together in the backcourt. Suns and Bulls could easily pull this off as they are well under the salar cap.
Here’s an idea. Sixers trade Redick (expiring contract) and Fultz for Walker and Batum. Sixers then play Walker and Simmons together in the backcourt and have Batum anchor their second unit. Hornets then have Fultz to build around and Redick’s salary comes off the books after the season. The ESPN Trade Machine says that trade works.
How about the Wolves? They gain a ton with Kemba at PG and lose very little shipping off that enormous Wiggins contract as well as Teague. Batum would be so much more valuable to help Towns learn defense. Butler, Kemba and Batum – a great defensive presence. Batum is 29.
Suns seem like an obvious choice as well. Kemba _ Booker instantly becomes a top 5 backcourt in the NBA.
I’m not sure I see how Kemba and Simmons can work together in Philly. Simmons will always be PG so Kemba is … actually nevermind. I think it’s fine since Kembas unselfish and smart.
Quick note on our Kawhi discussion above. It was reported today that Fentanyl also killed Tom Petty. Two huge deaths attributed to it, which likely means a whole lot more deaths of people we’ve never heard of. If Kawhi is getting Fentanyl, I hope it is always doctor administered and not self-administered, which is how Prince & Petty accidentally overdosed.
Oh boy. That would suck. There is absolutely NO ROOM in professional sports for opioids, except for maybe early in the off season. This worries me though. I never considered it at all which is dumb of me. I am strongly convinced that many legislators (including judges) across the nation are “hooked” because I can’t see any reason for why they wouldn’t be. It’s so easy to get access and then to try to manage it. Same thing with any group of ultra successful people: actors, rock stars, CEOs and other corp execs. I would never say that “most” are hooked or are “experimenting”, but I have no doubt that many are and they are mixing alcohol with it. Crazy habit which leads to alcohol use early in the day EACH day. But to consider a professional athlete doing this? I never considered it, and yet it is likely true for some.
A quick comment about Kawhi: there is probably no reason for Kawhi to take Fentanyl and he has probably never taken it. The kind of pain involved with him would be easily addressed with Hydrocodone or Oxycodone, and that’s mainly so he can get good sleep. I doubt he takes anything for the pain during the day. Unless he’s hooked that is, but that guy doesn’t seem to fit as someone who would do this.
I have no idea what opoid painkillers get used. So hopefully you are correct about Kawhi.
I’m assuming you’ve heard of the new All-Star format this year. Top vote-getters in each conference are going to pick squads. Top vote-getters were James and Curry. Apparently James will get first pick and then it will snake like our GOAT draft. Full All-Star squads haven’t been named yet, but “starters” have been named. Besides James & Curry, they are:
Looking at this group, is there anyway that LeBron doesn’t take KD with the first pick in the All-Star draft? It gives him a great defender and shooter and keeps him away from Curry who would definitely take KD with one of the next two picks if LBJ doesn’t. If LeBron takes KD, I’m guessing Steph takes the Greak Freak and AD with his two picks. Should be interesting to see the results of this draft.
Depends on his friendships I guess. Most likley LeBron takes the best player. But that could also be Embiid. I’m actually not sure who’s better between those two.
He could take Kyrie. They know how to play together.
Pretty sure that with the way Irving asked out of Cleveland that there’s no way LeBron picks him.
No doubt this will get interesting. I believe that LeBron is fully responsible for Kyrie’s departure. No I can’t prove it, but I can easily see this scenario as Curry and LeBron pick teams. I realize we were talking about the first pick, so I’m extending the conversation. But I think both guys pick according to what they feel will contribute most to winning the game …
Something like this. What a dis if LeBron doesn’t pick Kyrie here. Really looks bad for LeBron in my opinion. I think he’ll be a man and pick Kyrie, especially because it’s the obvious choice if he wants to win.
Meanwhile, I’m getting into a heated battle with Suns fans that are against picking up Kemba because “he’s essentially the same thing as Bledsoe”. There are a lot of guys saying this and attacking me – likely because they have the numbers. This is one of the big reasons I left the Phoenix area – I get into these kinds of idiotic discussions often whereas in the Bay Area I’d have to work hard to find a lot of people ganging up for such a ridiculous cause. It’s the whole strength in numbers thing that leads to heavy Fox news watching and well … any kind of mindless religious following.
I just posted this. I’m sure this is about to heat up. No doubt these idiots have no idea that the Suns are currently doing whatever they can to grab Kemba. How that’s not obvious is just well … idiotic.
I can’t believe that guy said that there is no real difference between Kemba and Bledsoe. LOL!
On the All-Star draft, it is going to be a snake, so the order would be: L, C, C, L, L., C, C, etc. I’m guessing:
C: Greek Freak
C: Anthony Davis
So yes, LBJ is forced into picking Kyrie under this scenario. I’m guessing they’ll be forced to choose starters before picking any back-ups. Curry won’t need to pick Kyrie because he doesn’t need another PG. I could also see Curry taking Harden instead of AD, knowing that he’ll likely have 2 of AD, Embiid, and Cousins available to him when he picks again.
Oooohhh. Embiid at the #5 spot? Wanna bet on that?!
I think he’s such a sentimental favorite in every way that he’s a safe pick. Everyone will understand if he goes as high as 2. But I agree that Durant should be 1. That would look like a dis from LeBron, and besides … why would leBron allow him to be paired up with Curry!
A Balboa morning coffee and muffin says Curry takes Embiid at #2.
I was just listening to talk about the Jazz and their options as trade deadline approaches. I forgot about the short Rubio contract – apparently he’s very movable. I’m starting to think of this Kemba news as something that may shake out as a 3 team deal, simply because of the numbers of great guards in the league right now. One thing worth considering is this: Pop needs a replacement for Parker. Kemba fits perfectly. Rubio fits well, but clearly not perfectly. I wonder if Pop will look at this as an opportunity to pull a fairly large trigger while moving Paddy Mills elsewhere. Meanwhile Suns have the Monroe contract. From one angle this all looks like a mess but I wonder about that for teams trying to tank and move contracts around. Teams like the Suns and now Charlotte. It’s worth taking a good hard look at the Suns and what they have. I’m not sure who would be untouchable there other than Booker. It’s tempting to say TJ Warren is untouchable but his trade value must be skyrocketing right now. Chriss could have a good home elsewhere. Alex Len also, but I’d hate to see him leave. Tyson Chandler may have seen his last days as a Sun. Seems like this is the time for the Suns to make a big move knowing that they’ll get a good pick in the upcoming draft.
We will never know how the All-Star draft goes because they are doing it in secret so that the last pick doesn’t know he was picked last. I would not be surprised if Embiid goes as high as 2 or 3, but I’m thinking Curry does not need a center with Embiid’s all-around skills and may prefer the best option around the net, which I think is probably Davis. But when we see what the teams look like after the draft, we may get some idea of how it went.
Have the Spurs ever made a big trade? I can’t remember one off the top of my head. Spurs are well over the cap and most players are on multi-year deals, so it may be tough for them to get in on Kemba. I’m guessing the Hornets will want a #1 pick back in any deal, so we’ll see who’s willing to give one up and take on one of the Hornets’ bad contracts in order to get Kemba.
Sucks that the spurs are over the cap with Kawhi ailing. Regarding trades, wasn’t Kawhi the result of the George Hill trade? Maybe not.
Yeah, Kawhi was part of a draft day trade where Indiana drafted him and traded him with 2 lightly regarded players for George Hill. I don’t really consider that a big trade because nobody knew what Kawhi would become then and, in fact, he didn’t do a whole lot in his first 3 years in the league. Have the Spurs ever traded for a player who was already considered really good or great?
So while neither story offers any concrete evidence, both ESPN and SI.com are reporting that there is a rift between Kawhi and the Spurs organization with Kawhi acting “cold” and “distant” toward the Spurs and the Spurs unhappy with the way that Kawhi’s rehab is going. I’m guessing these reports are from anonymous sources since nobody is on record in these stories. The Spurs predictably denied the reports. I wonder what is going on in San Antonio.
Damn, the Bucks fired Jason Kidd. I know they have underachieved a bit, but they are still a likely playoff team. Apparently Antetokounmpo is unhappy about this and tried to save Kidd’s job.
Not sure who the Bucks get to replace Kidd (an assistant is taking over temporarily). As for Kidd, I’d like to see him get an assistant coaching spot with Pop or Kerr to get him prepped for his next head coaching gig.
I must be having browser issues. I’ve posted at least 2 comments here and I get errors. trying again now and will hopefully add more later.
I haven’t had any posting issues and haven’t seen any posts by you for a few days before your browser issues post.
Re: the Kawhi situation, CBS interviewed an athletic trainer about Kawhi’s injury and I learned a good deal about it. Also, the trainer seems to agree with you that the Spurs are just being overly cautious with Kawhi.
I’ve posted at least 5 comments in the last 4 days. I’m using another browser that sometimes completely kills/wipes out the comments when I post. each time it happens i don’t have time to write the thing all over again.
Ouch. But it works using the browser you just posted with? You might also try copying what you write before you post it, so that if the browser erases it, you can just paste what you wrote into a new comment.
Not sure what’s up, but it’s related to me being in a hurry everytime. Let’s try this again ..
Three of those posts were about Kawhi of course. I don’t see any likelihood of Kawhi both outwardly showing frustration that will get back to pop, and calling out teammates that are quite good. The problem with the Spurs is Kawhi and I can’t imagine he doesn’t know that.
Now, is he upset with the medical staff? Maybe, but not sure what that has to do with everything else. This whole thing smells of Pop just having fun with the media.
Getting rid of Kidd makes sense to me. I think he’s probably too much for that organization. Too opinionated and hard headed. I’m guessing he’s been excellent for Freak while he’s been there, but now it might be time for new blood. I’m also wondering what Kidd’s expectations were for Bledsoe vs. those of the rest of the org. Kidd may have screwed up there. Unfortunate, because I thought the great thing about Bledsoe on the Bucks was that Kidd might be able to help out with the questionable decision making. Now that Kidd’s gone though … I predict Bledsoe becomes a problem.
Funny comments I’ve been reading about Kuzma the past 3 weeks (at least). Stuff like this I see today on ESPN … “Kyle Kuzma is evolving into more than just a hot scorer”
I think what’s evolving is the coverage by sports “experts” who are now watching the lakers for reasons not related to Ball. Kuzma was a multi-dimensional player right out of the gate. Smart guy constantly moving who makes a good pass most of the time, great passes some of the time and crashes the boards consistently and effectively. Good defender. Great teammate. The first time I saw him play I never thought just “scorer”.
Houston looked great vs. Warriors the other night. Paul is going to be a handful. They are better than the Cavs have ever been. REALLY good that the Warriors got caught in it first hand and early enough in the season. Assuming the Dubs and Rockets stay healthy, we’re about to see amazing hoops come May-June. Dubs have the challenge they needed to get to another level. This year the dial goes to 11;-)
Some team will come along and pay for Wiggins. Why would the Wolves get rid of him? Let us count the reasons ..
1. huge contract means something huge in return
2. Two or three players for one. AKA BENCH STRENGTH
3. Wiggs upside is oustanding offensively, but he’ll never be a playmaker of even a great 3 pt shooter. A trade could involve a playmaker off the bench, a 3 pt shooter and …
4. YOUTH. Get more youth. A draft pick for instance.
I’m throwing out the idiot Suns GM McDumbass as someone who could be just stupid enough to ship Warren, Canaan and their upcoming pick + $$ for Wiggins. What does the trade machine say? What does the trade machine say about all the possible permutations involving Warren, Jackson, Suns pick, Canaan, Bender (great frickin player just ripe enough to be on schedule for the suns fucking up and shipping him off), Kemba Walker, Batum, Kidd-Gilchrist.
Something can happen here with either Wiggins or Warren or Bender ending up in Charlotte for instance.My guess is that Jordan would only be satisfied with Wiggins. Perfect. Off he goes to the shitty team he deserves.
I could not make any three team deal between the Hornets, Suns, and T-Pups work because of cap issues. I did get a Hornets-Suns trade to work where Suns take Kemba and Batum and the Hornets get Warren, Monroe (expiring contract), and Dudley (2-yr deal). I think the Hornets would also want a 1st round pick as part of the deal, perhaps lottery-protected.
Houston did look good the other night against the Dubs and that probably is good for the Dubs. I’ve mentioned before that the Warriors have been playing a little complacently, particularly in the first halves of games. They know they are better than any other team, so they don’t play at the top of their game and just figure that they’ll work hard for one quarter (typically the 3rd after Kerr yells at them at halftime) and still win the game and, even if they lose, they are still going to be the top seed in the West. I’ve seen very few “complete” games by the Dubs this year. They should have destroyed the Knicks a few days ago, but let them hang around for a half before they kicked it up a notch. It can be frustrating to watch sometimes, but my guess is that come playoff time, they’ll be working hard for whole games.
The results of LBJ and Steph’s All-Star draft are here:
Team LeBron: starters: LBJ, KD, AD, Kyrie, DMC
Reserves: PG-Westbrook, Wall; SG-Beal, Oladipo; PF-Porzingis, Love, C-Aldridge
Team Steph: starters: Steph, Greek Freak, Harden, DeRozan, Embiid
Reserves: PG-Lillard, Lowry; SG-Klay, Butler; PF-Green; C-Towns, Horford
So Big (LeBron’s team) vs. Small (Steph’s team among the starters). I’m not sure how Steph’s team handles Kyrie and 4 guys who are 6’8″, 6’9″, 6’10”, and 6’11”. Embiid and the Greek Freak will have their hands full and either Steph or Harden is going to have to guard somebody a good 4 inches or more taller than them. Of course, there is usually no defense played in the All-Star game anyway.
This is great! Reminiscent of Shaq’s first All Star game. That was the last time a great center of all time started in his first All Star game. Embid will be severely challenged by LeBron’s squad. I wonder how polite Boogie will be here. They weren’t that polite to Shaq during that first game.
I think this is just outstanding. Great decision and should be more than just fun entertainment. A lot of pride on the line this year I think.
Regarding Curry’s team … doesn’t a lot of it depend on how many minutes he gets? I say play Curry and Harden 48 minutes each. Anything to make Chris Paul look bad (worse?).
Good point about the lack of full games for the Warriors. I’ve only seen the Warriors vulnerable 4 times (twice vs. OKC, and twice vs. the Cavs). Each time they appeared disoriented in the 4th Q. I wonder how much of that is due to them almost never being in this position.
I think anything that helps the Warriors stay focused in the 4th, and especially when rattled, is a good thing.
Case in Point: Underdogs are *much better* at staying focused and driven late in games. The effect of more frequent responses to fear perhaps?
It seems like Jordan is operating in his Phil Jackson mode – dangling Kemba out there to see where the phone calls lead. He says he wants an all-star (I assume he means all-star talent), but I doubt he wants one over the age of say … 25. He’s incredibly limited right there, especially if he wants to move Kemba before the trade deadline.
So, there’s no scenario where Kemba ends up with the Wolves and Wiggins in Charlotte? The word is out that Minnesota will have trouble signing Butler soon. I think we can insert just about any good player’s name in the place of Butler, meaning that say the Wolves can’t re-sign Butler then who ARE they signing to take Butler’s place? The wolves need more bodies not less. Crawford isn’t getting any younger. Teague won’t last forever.
Just from the standpoint of logic alone why would anyone mess with Butler’s success up there? You *need* to resign him, right?
T-Wolves have some time to sell themselves to Butler because he’s signed through next season (with a player option for the year after that). The big problem for them is that they’ve got Dieng signed for $15 million plus for the next three seasons after this, Teague for $19 million next season, and Taj Gibson for $14 million. They’ve already resigned Wiggins to a long-term contract, so he jumps to the $25 million plus level beginning next year. The result of all this is that they are WAY over the cap and that’s before they need to re-up Towns, who is likely to be very unhappy if the team simply exercises its $7 million option for next year instead of signing him to a long-term contract. The T-Wolves would likely love to move Dieng, but nobody is going to take that contract, so that leaves Teague and Gibson as possible trade chips, but even those contracts will be hard to move. Even if they decided to move Wiggins, he has not yet shown himself to be a franchise player yet as he does little other than score. Would some other team really want his contract?
So the T-Wolves have spent themselves into a corner. I’m sure Butler looks at that situation and sees that the team won’t be able to bring in anyone to help him win a championship there. So he needs to decide if the current roster can get that done because if the team signs Towns & Butler long-term, they won’t be able to bring in anyone else to help.
By the way, even though they lost by 13, the T-Wolves showed some resiliency last night against the Dubs. The Dubs were raining 3s (21 in the game) and KD had a triple-double. Yet, every time the Dubs pulled out to a double-digit lead, the T-Wolves fought back to make the game close again. This was good for the Dubs too because a lot of teams simply give up when the Dubs play like this. They need more teams like the T-Wolves (and Sixers and Celtics in games earlier this season) to keep fighting when the Dubs open up big leads. It forces the Dubs to stay focused.
DeMarcus Cousins tore his Achilles tonight. Out for the rest of the season. Really sucks for him because he is a free agent after the season. That will likely affect the contract he can command. Gotta imagine that not too many teams will give him a long-term contract until they see how well he plays after the injury. So he may need to sign a one-year deal to prove himself. Puts him out of LBJ’s All-Star team too. I’m guessing Paul George takes over Cousins spot in the All-Star game.
I was right about Paul George taking Boogie’s All-Star spot.
You were right, and I know the conventional wisdom says that Chris Paul hasn’t played enough games. On the other hand, if there was a single season where Chris Paul was deserving of all the years he *has* been an all star this is the one. That’s how good he’s been. As a staunch Chris Paul doubter I’m here to say that this is an exception.
Paul George is also doing more than I expected. However, what I see from George is what *was* expected of him this year. Chris Paul is doing something way beyond what was expected. In particular, Chris Paul is currently looking like the *only* threat the the Warriors.
Proof that Van Gundy is firmly in charge there?
This is the kind of thing that I’ve been waiting for and for years. This is gambling 101. This is playing the stock market 201. This is what you do when you have assets worth value-assessing.
I’m guessing there are 25 teams in the NBA that want Bradley. Exactly the point!
I came here to post the same thing. Yep, Van Gundy is going all in. The Pistons are sitting in the 9th spot in the East, so they better improve enough to make the playoffs.
On the Clippers end, they’ve apparently decided finally to rebuild. They are apparently also shopping Jordan and Williams. Figure them both to be gone before the All-Star game. I’m wondering if Doc Rivers will finish out the season. He’s gone at the end of the season if not before then. Bradley & Harris are nice pieces, but they may be gone by the time the Clips are good enough to compete again.
Harris? Huge mistake for Detroit to deal Harris. I don’t see that happening.
Sorry, I thought your link was to the big trade. The Clippers have traded Blake Griffin and two end of bench types to the Pistons for Bradley, Harris, Marjanovic, a 1st round pick (top 4 protected), and a 2nd round pick.
One other possibility for what the Clips are doing is to create cap space to make a run at LBJ at the end of the season.
Idiotic. Griffin can’t stay healthy. Even if he could why trade a guy like Harris, another great player in Bradley and a pick for Griffin? Clipps made out like bandits. No idea what Detroit is thinking here.
Agreed. Clips made out better on this deal. Plus, Clips just resigned Griffin to a 5 year contract last summer. He makes $29 million this year and salaries rise each year ending up at $39 million in year 5. The Pistons already got Drummond on a 4-year deal, $105 million deal, Reggie Jackson on a 3-year, $51 dollar deal, and some dude named Jon Leuer on a 3-year, $30 million deal. So Pistons will have little salary flexibility in coming years and a team led by Blake, Drummond, and Jackson won’t scare anyone.
Bradley is a free agent after this season and Harris’ contract is up after next season. So Clips have some flexibility to go after big names if they want.
John Wall out 6-8 weeks after surgery on his knee. Wall has not looked like himself this year, so maybe this explains it.
More movement with the trade deadline looming. The Bulls have sent Nikola Mirotic to the Pelicans for Omer Asik and a 1st round pick. Looks like the Pelicans got a replacement for Boogie, albeit not nearly as good.
Nice move by the Bulls and Pels. Actually, really nice move by the Pels as they now have acquired an excellent missing piece once Boogie returns whenever that is.
Bulls have made it quite clear all season that they intended to tank, and Mirotic pretty much rendered that impossible. He is clearly either an all-star or just South of that. Now they get an extra pick and start to lose more games as intended;-)
Dragic should get the All Star nod in my extra-humble opinion.
Actually, it looks like the Bulls-Pels trade isn’t quite done yet. I guess since Mirotic’s contract has a team option for next season, he must approve trade and he’s withholding approval unless the Pelicans pick up the option. I’m sure it’ll get worked out some way.
Apparently the powers that be disagree with you that Dragic should replace Wall on the All-Star team. They chose Andre Drummond instead. Both the All-Star injuries, Boogie and Wall, happened to players on LeBron’s team. The rest of his team may wish to be careful.
Another All-Star goes down! LeBron’s team took another hit as Kevin Love broke a finger and is expected to be out 6-8 weeks. Maybe Dragic will get his All-Star spot, but I’m guessing Ben Simmons or Bradley Beal is more likely.
Simmons is more deserving, but Dragic is having a better year than Simmons regardless. Beal over Dragic would be a joke.
I just the suggestion put forth that Lou Williams takes Love’s spot. He’s certainly as deserving as anyone else, but is he eligible coming from the West?
I don’t think so despite the new All-Star team game format this year. Boogie was replaced by a Western Conference player and Wall was replaced by an Eastern Conference player. So I suspect an Eastern Conference replacement for Love.
So apparently LBJ told somebody that if the Warriors come calling this off-season, he would listen. Now, everyone is abuzz about the possibility of the LeBron joining the Dubs. There’s a qualifier for this though. The Dubs would have to clear cap room to sign LeBron. And that would mean getting rid of one or two of the Big 4, which is not going to happen. Either that or LBJ signs for the veteran minimum, which is also not going to happen. So all the attention this story is getting is ridiculous.
That being said, here’s a (sign and) trade that would work: Dubs get LeBron. Cavs get Draymond, Iggy, and Patrick McCaw. Draymond is the most expendable of the Dubs big 4 in this situation because LeBron can do what he does and the Dubs have Jordan Bell, a Draymond-type player in the making. Still, this will NEVER happen.
Sure it won’t;-)
So, a sign and trade would have to happen when? Within the next two weeks?
Might be stating the obvious, but it’s not clear how much LeBron improves the Warriors, even if he is dealt for something like Klay, Looney and Bell (just random players chosen to make a point) …
the team flows SO well. The offense is predicated on getting into a great offensive rhythm and staying there for 10 minutes at a time. then resting then doing it again. with lebron on the team I’m not sure that flow gets better.
defensively they get better, sure. and maybe by a lot. so … back to the names above. yes, lebron makes it a better team defensively I think. Now if you remove draymond and the others you mention in your sign and trade … if there’s an improvement it’s hard to say what it will be. lebron can be draymond in around the basket defensively if he bangs around down there, but I’m not sure that improves the Dubs defensively. Now, with Lebron down there instead of Dray on offense … well hell yeah the offense is unstoppable. But is LeBron going to play PF and run the offense out of the low post? I think he’d have to agree to that.
Yeah, I saw the Dragic was named as Love’s replacement. Nice reward for the great season he has led the Heat to.
Honestly, I’m not sure the Dubs would be really interested in adding LeBron. Yes, he probably does make the offense a little better, but they don’t really need that as they have the best offense in the league already. If the Dubs lose either Klay or Draymond in order to get LeBron, it will make them a little bit worse defensively and it will hurt the team chemistry they have built up. Also, LeBron apparently did NOT take a meeting with the Warriors when he was leaving Miami, so I don’t know if the Dubs will hold that against him now.
I was wrong about a sign and trade deal. Apparently that won’t work because of the way that affects the salary cap. In order for a trade to work, LeBron would have to opt in on his current contract for next year and then get traded. That’s how the Chris Paul to Rockets deal worked last year.
Ah.. i keep forgetting he has to opt out. By “and then get traded” do you mean the opting out and trade would need to happen in the next 2 weeks? If he opts out in June he isn’t a free agent?
LeBron can opt out at end of season, which he is expected to do (KD will also likely opt out of his contract at end of season, but only to resign with the Dubs at a higher amount). All trade scenarios I mentioned above are for after the season. However, for a trade with the Dubs to work, LeBron will have to opt in to the last year of his contract and then get traded.
Regarding Lonzo Ball’s long absence. I’m guessing nothing is wrong with him physically. He’s working on changing that shot most likely. Meanwhile keeping him out means a couple things ..
1. Randle plays big minutes and his trade value skyrockets.
2. Lakers lose more games ensuring a better draft pick.
We’ll see. I find it a little hard to believe that they’ve been able to keep that a secret if that’s what’s happening. Something like that would have leaked out.
Watched the Sixers-Heat game last night. Philly starters looked really impressive in the 3rd quarter building up a big lead. However, Miami’s bench looked just as impressive nearly coming all the way back in the 4th. They did it despite the Sixers starters coming back in the game (Miami left Dragic, Whiteside, and co. on the bench during the comeback). Miami may be ahead of the Sixers in the standings, but Philly looked like the better team overall. Philly really shut down Dragic and Whiteside. Embiid blocked and altered a lot of shots. Simmons looked like a far better All-Star choice than Dragic.
No question Simmons is the better talent and by far, but that’s obvious even when comparing his talent with all but maybe 5 PGs in the history of the NBA. Simmons has not been consistent at all though, and only very recently am I seeing the team results being much more consistently related to his performance. It’s hard to put him in the all star game with such up and downs prior to maybe the last week or three. Dragic is a much better shooter and finisher has been a much more consistent factor in Miami’s success.
Regarding Lonzo, I think the hardest part would be keeping a secret like that from Lavar without him blabbing it all over the place. For that reason you’re probably right, but I don’t buy that Lonzo can’t play and play a lot right now. That shot needs to change – seems like now is the time to at least get in good with some shooting gurus.
At what point of the following game did Lonzo hurt the knee so badly he “couldn’t walk” the next day? Bunch of B.S.
Question: why do there seem to be fewer reports of hamstring injuries post-Steve Nash? That used to be a common injury on every team. Hmmm…
OK, so here’s the kind of thing I’ve been worrying about after Brogdon ended up with the exact same issue as Parker and Kawhi. And Boogie gets a strange Achilles tear. In general, treatment would go something like this:
1. A player complains of severe muscle soreness. Probably no different than what I felt a million times after pushing it extremely hard on the bike when I was (much) younger. Could be a quad. Could be a hamstring.
2. The team doc decides a good preventative measure will be to inject the area with “something” to strengthen the slightly torn muscle fibers. My sister says treaments can include oral antibiotics and other “things” to follow them up. Those things don’t need to be steroids.
3. player gets some rest, maybe just a few days. meanwhile the muscle fibers get incredibly strong. New fibers. INFLEXIBLE fibers.
4. Now you have incredibly strong muscle fibers in the EXACT area where they tore earlier. That could be a big problem. The fibers are too strong and not stretching. Not only won’t they tear, they won’t flex. The result? Tendons rupture.
Check this out:
From the article above:
“Exposure to corticosteroids, both systemic and with local application, has been reported to be a common antecedent of ATR (achilles tendon rupture) and is thought to increase risk of rupture through tendon atrophy and weakening.”
I seriously doubt corticosteroids are causing issues for Achilles injuries only.
Much like the doctor that blew the whistle on the NFL concussion-brain injury connection, some doctor needs to investigate and post findings about how injury treatment may be leading to worse injuries.
I had a quick discussion with my sister (doctor. a very SCIENTIFIC doctor) and she quickly pointed to the drug treatments in the link above. We talked about whether I’d be doing something “reckless” by trying to set the wheels in motion nationally. It wouldn’t be hard to do at all – Frank Isola in the morning with Scalabrini. Each of these guys are approachable. But here’s who is really approachable … Tim Legler, Joel Myers and David Griffin. Really smart guys, and obviously Griffin is just one step down from the Colangelo family in terms of influence. I could be on the phone with him today if I want.
The idea is to get the right people thinking about the issue. What would be the harm if I’m right OR wrong? The first thing I’d be doing is putting medical staffs on the defensive trying to disprove it. A *very* difficult task because here is my point …
There is SOME evidence that there COULD be a link between treatments and these tears/ruptures. That evidence is not conclusive, but the statistics are numbers that don’t separate the professional athlete pool from the general population pool. Consider the many differences:
1. NBA players often will be back to almost full time 100% activity within a week or two from or during the treatment
2. NBA players are big dudes with big muscle groups that *may* get higher doses of these “treatments”
3. NBA players go all out for minutes at a time and sometimes back to back
4. NBA players often are incredibly quick and strong which, for huge bodies means a LOT of force on tendons.
I’m thinking it may not be irresponsible at all if it means my next favorite player goes to get a 2nd and 3rd opinion before his career ends. Keeping my fingers crossed on Kawhi.
By the way, if there is anything to this in relation to Brogdon, he would make for an excellent study. In the very short period of time he’s been in the league what kind of treatment(s) did he get? Did he get any “treatments” in college?
I think it would be the responsible thing to do. You’d have to couch it by noting that there is currently insufficient evidence, but that a scientific study must be done. You’re right that athletes are not the general population, so we need statistics that are specific to athletes receiving these treatments. It should really be an NBA sponsored study, but the NBA (and other professional leagues or the NCAA) is not going to want to draw attention to the fact that team doctors may be doing harm to the athletes. Maybe the Player’s Association would get behind a study.
ESPN is reporting that the Lakers may not go after LBJ, George, Cousins this summer and instead wait for the 2019 off-season, which could include Kawhi, Klay, and Butler. Apparently the thinking is that their young core needs another year of seasoning before they truly become an attractive free agent destination. In other words, they don’t think they can get LBJ and George this summer because they will want to go somewhere (or stay in George’s case) that can immediately make them a title contender. Cousins is a less attractive option now because they won’t know how well he will recover from his injury. ESPN also says that because the Lakers will have a lot of cap room, they may be willing to take on some other team’s expiring bad contract this summer if they get some attractive draft choices with it. Waiting for summer 2019 also means that they will be in a better position to off-load Luol Deng’s bad contract then as he will be approaching the last year of it that summer. It sounds like a smart plan to me, but if, for instance, George comes to them this summer and says “I want to be a Laker”, will they turn him down?
On the Warriors trade front, they’ve apparently checked in on the Clippers fire sale, apparently about Avery Bradley specifically. I have a better idea for them. Trade Nick Young and JaVale McGee (both expiring contracts) and a 1st round pick (really no better than a 2nd round pick given where the Dubs draft) to the Clips for Lou Williams, who is also on an expiring contract so the Clips must know that he will leave them at the end of the season. The trade machine says this deal works. Lou Williams has been a Warrior killer for awhile, so might as well bring him on board and let him run with the 2nd unit. On the Clippers side, Nick Young is a lesser Williams, McGee gives them a serviceable center when they inevitably trade Jordan, and the draft pick helps them with their rebuilding. Of course, the world would scream if the Dubs picked up Williams.
Avery Bradley is on the Clipps now? Part of the Griffin trade?
Yeah. It was Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovich, a 2018 1st round pick (top 4 protected), and a 2019 2nd round pick for Griffin, Brice Johnson, and Willie Reed.
Clips are shopping both Williams and DeAndre Jordan. Apparently, Wizards, Bucks, Blazers, and Cavs have shown interest in Jordan, though it may be tough for the Cavs to do a deal. For Williams, 76ers, Celtics, T-Wolves, and Thunder have apparently inquired.
Other players who are rumored to be traded before the deadline on Thursday include Tyreke Evans, George Hill, Rodney Hood, Joe Harris, Evan Fournier, and Courtney Lee. Apparently the Jazz have told teams that everyone except for Gobert, Mitchell, and Ingles is available.
The LeBron curse is real. Kristaps Porzingis tore his ACL and is out for the year. He’s the 4th guy on LeBron’s All-Star squad to suffer an injury since getting picked by LeBron for his team.
Weird to see a lanky guy like that tear an ACL. I always figured those guys had such long, flexible tendons that they’d be hard to snap. Hopefully it was just a partial tear which isn’t really a bad thing at all. I’m too skittish to watch the video to see what happened. Do you know how it happened?
By the way, I don’t think any of these ACL tears are related to anything we’ve been discussing related to quad tendon tears. The “big thing” that happened in the NBA that changed wrt ACL tears is Derrick Rose’s style of play. He took Iverson’s style and in my opinion went too far with that amazingly crazy jump stop pogo move in the lane. It was just a matter of time. LaVine played a similar style and look what happened there. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it again with him. REALLY hope not – he’s easily a top 20 player in the league soon otherwise. I’m trying to think of other guys that are able to do these amazingly quick direction changes. This new kid in Utah Mitchell. Hopefully not too quick for his own good. Crossing my fingers. Isaiah Thomas is an easy call if his hip heals. Maybe too quick.
Westbook: it would be a miracle if he didn’t tear his eventually as well.
I saw the video of Porzingis. He simply went up for a shot and then came down on his leg awkwardly. It really didn’t look like much, but Porzingis immediately grabbed his knee and was clearly in a lot of pain.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed the prevalence this year of what the broadcasters have termed the Euro-step. It’s where the player is driving to the basket and after he picks up the dribble, his second step is angled off to the side instead of straight forward. I’m guessing European players made the move popular, hence Euro-step. However, with all the momentum of the drive in one direction, only to step out in another direction, I wonder if this puts too much force on the knee or leg.
Regarding the Euro step, if it doesn’t break it strengthens. That’s what I’ve always believed and I’ve never seen anyone tear an ACL euro-stepping. ACLs tear because they (almost) instantaneously peak at some limit/threshold of elongation. They’re perfectly fine stretching until they aren’t. The problem with that tendon in particular is the length – VERY short. There isn’t enough length for it to stretch so when the limit is reached it snaps.
That’s why I said this about Porzingas. What you described is how I tore mine. I’m now really surprised that this is how he tore his. That’s weird for lack of a better word.
OK. New topic: Tanking ….
I’m going to use the Suns and Booker as an example here. Just to start the discussion.
We all know how the Sixers tanked. They simply put a bunch of low priced talent on their team, got rid of the potential (i.e. Carter-Williams) and prepared for the big long slide. That’s one way to do it. Weird, but somehow it worked.
There’s no way at all for me to say the Suns are tanking. I’m not implying they are. But if they were tanking, it’s harder to do with this group. There is some excellent talent here. But consider this hypothetical discussion and give me your response ..
GM: Book. You’re the best. But we have an outstanding chance at an unbelievable player that can put the Suns straight into the Championship conversation within 5 years.
Booker: I just want to play. I don’t want to fake anything.
GM: There’s no way you can win a championship on your own. Our absolute best chance at success and YOUR success is a very high draft pick in the upcoming draft. After 2018 the draft changes. This is the last year we can almost ensure a top pick by losing games.
Booker: Dammit. No!
Booker: But. Hmmmm …
I’ll side with I.T. on this one …
Did tonight’s game convince you the Suns are tanking? They only lost by 48 points. There was a time in the 3rd quarter where the Spurs had more than double the points the Suns had.
Damn, the Cavs have totally just remade their roster. There was the IT and Frye and their 1st round pick to the Lakers for Clarkson and Nance that we already discussed.
Then, the Cavs sent Derrick Rose and Jae Crowder to the Jazz and Iman Shupert to the Kings and got back George Hill and Rodney Hood.
On top of all that, the Cavs are apparently sending Wade back to the Heat. Not sure yet what they are getting for him.
I guess this makes the Cavs new starting five:
PG – George Hill
SG – Rodney Hood
SF – LBJ
PF – Nance (until Love comes back)
C – Thompson
6th man – Clarkson
Booker’s recent play convinced me. It didn’t make sense. Then he sat last night;-)
Apparently Cavs getting a heavily protected 2nd round pick for Wade. So essentially they are giving him away to dump his salary.
I think I’m really surprised by only one thing out of all this: Magic let Nance Jr. go. That tells me that LeBron really really wanted him and that was what the trade was all about. I think it’s brilliant. This seems to be all orchestrated by LeBron to me. It’s too smart otherwise. Too too smart. Just awesome pieces.
I’d start Clarkson over Hill or start them both but we’ll see. Hood and Nance are your spark plugs, and should be the cornerstones of one of the leagues best second units along with JR Smith and Korver. Nance and Hood change everything -the only thing this team needs now is a guy like PJ Tucker to show all the other bigs how it’s done. I expect this team back in the finals this year. Incredible.
Soooo happy to see Shumpert go. That never worked well outside of a couple games in a row. That was a big LeBron move there.
less than an hour to go, right? about that? What about Tyreke Evans? Headed to OKC maybe?
“The Boston Celtics are finalising a deal to send Marcus smart, and a future 2020 second round pick to Memphis in exchange for Tyreke Evans. League source tells Espn”
This from Woj
Whooaa!!! Check this out …
“The Cleveland cavaliers are finalising a trade to send Kevin Love, Cedi Osman, and the Brooklyn nets 2018 first round pick to New Orleans in exchange for Anthony Davis. League source tells ESPN”
“La clippers will send DeAndre Jordan to Toronto in exchange for Jonas Valanciunas, Delon wright and a future second round pick. League source tells Espn”
Frak! Let’s see if those happen. If Cavs pull that off, it will make them a great team.
Mudiay to the Knicks, who send Doug McDermott to Dallas, who send Devin Harris to the Nuggets.
A.D. + Nance Jr. + Tristan Thomas. That’s a fantastic front court.
I think I can make sense of some of this by making a simple point: since teams don’t know where LeBron might go and since *some* of them (Lakers, Pels, Jazz) may feel they had no chance at him anyhow then maybe these teams are ok with LeBron building his superteam knowing that LeBron may only have 3 or 4 more years left at this level. Meanwhile those 3 teams re-build with ultra young talent (assuming the Pels make more moves – they obviously need to asap) seeing their future competition as the Sixers, Suns, Celtics, Kings, Wolves, Bucks, Nuggets, Bulls, Pacers
Other teams are going to have to start with an outlook even further out: Clips, Mavs, again we’ll see about the Pels and maybe the Hornets.
But a lot of teams now appear to be stuck in Limbo – I don’t see how the timeline works for these teams:
Pistons, Blazers, Nuggets, Spurs, Heat, Wizards
Some teams just look bad going forward, mainly because he front offices seem to be clueless: Magic, Knicks, Nets, Hawks
Hawks – just a huge question mark. Who the hell knows what’s going to happen there next.
Warriors, Houston, OKC, Toronto – these are the best of times and for a few more years to come. Doesn’t even matter what happens after that. Not the time to focus on such things that’s for sure.
Suns got Elfrid Payton from the Magic for a 2nd round pick. We’re past the trade deadline now, though if there were any last minute deals, it might take a little more time for them to get reported.
That makes sense for the Suns who are obviously not going after a PG in the upcoming draft and don’t need Trae Young ( who they already have in Booker +/-). I’m sure Marvin Bagley is what they’re hoping for. After that Jaren Jackson, then the big kid from Arizona.
Deandre Jordan deal is confirmed as dead. No go.
We’re over an hour past the trade deadline now, so it looks like none of the other rumored deals happened. Still quite the day in Cleveland.
ESPN names their winners and losers from today’s trade deadline wildfire:
Also, if the Kings buy out Joe Johnson, who they got in the 3-team deal with Cavs and Jazz, reports are the Dubs are the early favorite to sign him.
I’m not sure JJ helps the Dubs at this point of the season. Maybe he matches up well with Paul George. I’m not sure about his defense v. LeBron. If he’s good at those two things then maybe he’s a worthy addition?
JJ would supposedly be all about giving some shooting help to the second unit because Iggy and Macaw aren’t getting it done this year and Casspi seems afraid to take the 3. Only Nick Young has done any damage from the 3-pt line for the second unit. The problem is that JJ isn’t any better than Iggy and Macaw as a shooter these days and offers next to nothing defensively. If the Dubs sign him and he takes minutes away from Iggy and Macaw and Young, the Dubs will be worse off.
That whole thing you wrote there? That sounds really bad. They shouldn’t sign JJ for this reason, but rather for his defense.
I’ve been thinking more about the starting lineup for the Cavs. Not as easy as I thought.
Lebron, Love and who else???
It’s an interesting question, because I think it’s more about what second unit that *includes* Lebron works best?
I’d like to see LeBron, Hood, Nance Jr and Love on the court at the same time. But I don’t know who that 5th guy should be. What completes this 4 person lineup? The good news is they now have a lot of guys that can work to complete it. They probably have two guys. From what I saw of Osman the other night, I’m not sure Clarkson is better. I doubt Hill is better, but I could be wrong in terms of defense.
I’d like to see Jeff Green start along with Love and Thompson. George Hill + LeBron makes sense to me as starters.
That way Green isn’t part of this new second unit. I don’t think he belongs. Lebron, Hood, Clarkson, Nance, and keep Love in. When LeBron goes out in comes Korver. When Love goes out in comes ??? Oooooh. There’s a question. Do you go small by bringing Hill or Osman back in?
I think the Cavs have a size issue now that Frye is gone, don’t they? Or does Thompson start playing huge minutes?
With Kevin Love out for awhile, we won’t see what the Cavs true line-up will be for awhile. Thompson and the rookie Zizic, who has barely played so far, are the only true centers on the roster. I think Lue will be more inclined to start Hill over Clarkson because he seems to like the grizzled veterans (which makes me worried that he might continue to start Smith over Hood). Until Love gets back, I think the starting line-up will be Hill, Hood, James, Nance, and Thompson. However, I think Thompson comes out early for Clarkson, with Nance acting as center (like Draymond in the Dubs’ Hampton 5 line-up). I don’t think the Cavs have a size problem with Frye gone because they’ve got a lot of 6’8″ and 6’9″ guys on the squad and I’m guessing Zizic gets a lot more time now with Frye gone.
Dubs ended up blowing out the Mavs tonight, but the blow-out didn’t start until late in the 3rd quarter. What I’ve noticed from all of the Dubs’ opponents recently is that they are daring Draymond to shoot, particularly longer shots. The Mavs took this to an extreme tonight, “allowing” Draymond to take 17 shots tonight (compared to 15-13-12 for Klay-KD-Curry). Draymond can’t let himself get sucked into taking so many shots. He’s only hitting 30% of his 3s, so its no wonder that other teams would like him to take those shots instead of KD (.415), Klay (.450) and Curry (.417).
Draymond also picked up another technical tonight. I believe he is 2 technicals away from getting suspended for a game whenever he gets one. That could be a problem in the playoffs. Warriors can’t afford to be without Draymond and his defensive energy and ability to create on offense.
At one point in the game, Casspi “broke” his defender’s legs with the defender literally falling down. Casspi was alone at the three point line and the Dubs had a sizable lead at the time. He’s alone at the 3-point line, he should be taking that 3. That’s what the Dubs encourage their good shooters to do. Casspi has even hit 50% of his 3s this season, but has only taken 18 of them. Sure enough, he passed up the wide open 3 to pass the ball and the possession ended with McGee missing a bad shot. Something has happened to Casspi’s confidence to shoot and I’m not sure what he needs to do to get it back.
I wasn’t “going there” with Zizic simply because I don’t know how much faith LeBron will have in him at this point when they badly need a winning. Zizic played an average of 1.0 min/gm last month and about 4 min/gm in December. Especially with Love out, I think that may mostly mean more minutes for Thompson, who played only a couple of 30 min games so far – looks like he averaged around 24-25 mins/gm in Jan. We’ll see about Zizic soon I guess.
Regardless, they obviously need love back. He’s expected to be out until Mar 30th. That’s really bad news.
Regarding Dray’s techs, what is the rule for the playoffs? Do his techs during the season influence how many he gets before a suspension in the playoffs?
Back to Kawhi and this interview here (which I think you already read) …
I’m more inclined to stay with my original thoughts and say that Pop feels it’s best to sit him as long as the Spurs can maintain a top 5 spot in the conference and appear to be in no danger of a quick slide out of that range. Again, I say that because the way both the team and Kawhi responded during his few games back looked remarkable to me. Very quick adjustments back to the way they were, and that was without him at even 90%.
Pop appears willing to take the chance that when he brings Kawhi back there will be a 5-10 game stretch during which they ascend back to where they were a year ago. I think he’s right based on what I saw, which was the same amazing team and Kawhi I was expecting.
The main question might be more about just how bad the quad feels going into the playoffs rather than whether there is any discomfort at all. The article tends to go in the direction of “any discomfort in that area is really bad news”. Stating that “they want him 100%” is just stating the obvious. The reality is that Pop knows that’s unlikely for any player toward the end of the season. I think Pop is just being smart and keeping him out because it doesn’t matter much – there’s no reason to try and chase home court advantage for the conference finals so try to stay in that 3rd or 4th spot.
I fully expect an excellent Kawhi by first week of April. Maybe with some soreness, but keeping him out for that reason seems dumb.
Re: the technical foul rule…I believe once a player gets to 16 techs, he gets suspended for a game. The number of techs a player has during the season carries over into the postseason. That’s what happened to Draymond in the finals 2 years ago. He got his 16th tech in the finals (when LeBron knocked him down and stood over him and Draymond threw a punch at LBJ’s groin area) and got suspended for a game. That fueled the Cavs comeback in that series.
Good word “fueled”. Glad you didn’t write “resulted in”, as I hear so often from Warriors fans. The Dubs still had just as good a chance to win that series as they did prior to that. Instead, they were outclassed in the final quarter of their season and scored only 13 points. If Dray had something to do with that, it was no more consequential than anything that led to any of the Cav’s losses.
A thousand things lead to a championship. The timing of that one was bad leading fans to place the loss on that and Bogut’s injury. That’s all that was – the convenience of timing allowing the fans to easily place the blame on those as causes. Instead, LeBron and Kyrie and the Cavs defense during that final quarter are why the Dubs lost that one.
Curry was also playing hurt in that series, but yes, the Cavs earned it down the stretch of that finals. Green was back for games 6 and 7 after the suspension for game 5, so Dubs had 2 chances with him back to win the series and failed to do so.
There’s no way to know how Curry’s health compared to the combined health of say, Love or Thompson or anyone else on the other side. Again, Curry and Green are going to get all this attention (as well as Bogut) because the Warriors lost. If they won fans wouldn’t continue to discuss it for years. If the Cavs lost I’m sure their fans would have something similar to complain about.
What is great from my point of view is that over those two years each team won once. I don’t care which year went to which team. They each deserved a championship IMO.
Back to the Sun’s draft pick – I guess I’m not so sure anymore. What would a Trae Young and Booker backcourt look like? I can’t say they’d be as good as Curry-Thompson, because Thompson’s defense is so good and Booker’s is not. But what if Young’s defense was excellent? I don’t know if it can be, but that’s a big hmmmm
OK Arnold. I’m going to write what I REALLY mean …
Curry is easily one of the top 20 players of all time.
Warriors pre-Durant were one of the top 5 or 6 teams of all time IMO.
But LeBron was one of the very greatest of all time the first two years in the finals v Warriors. Second to Jordan only I think during those two years. So .. the very idea that the Warriors were likely to win TWO in a row v. LeBron is improbable to me. That the Warriors could win even 1 out of those 2 … well Love and Kyrie weren’t playing but I think the Dubs were more likely to win that second if the Cavs won the first as I think they should have.
so there. that’s my take.
This comment needs to happen even though it may be implied by earlier comments …
Pop and Aldridge had an issue earlier this season. I’m assuming a big part of that regarded not only the amount of touches Aldridge was getting but the amount of plays directed toward his ability to get his shot off. And that means with volume.
Pop came around. He admitted it. Aldridge is healthy as a horse. Get him shots. And do it in volume.
Can Kawhi come back and realize that the highest % offense the Spurs have to offer is often Aldridge’s shot?
I think Kawhi is one of the smartest guys to ever play the game and I know Pop knows that. So that’s what I think is going to happen when Kawhi gets back. Aldridge, should he remain healthy, will get his shots and I fully expect Kawhi, Manu et. al. to feed him with volume.
I am certain Kawhi can fit his game in with Aldridge when he gets healthy. Kawhi is one of the smartest players around.
Re: your text comment earlier about IT going off in his debut for the Lakers. One of the worst things that could happen for the Lakers is for IT to be great for the rest of this season and the Lakers thinking they need to keep him. They were willing to make that trade because IT is an expiring contract and they were creating salary room for free agents this summer. IT plays the same position as Lonzo, who may never be the shooter that IT is, but he dishes, rebounds, and plays defense a lot better than IT ever will. Lakers should not pay out big money for a guy who will essentially be their back-up PG and does little other than score.
I just want to see him do well and end up somewhere in the same situation that he had in Boston. I think he could have that same role on any team, except for the contract part apparently.
You know much more about the money situation than I do – I think I tend to avoid that topic even. If Magic finds that IT is working well alongside Lonzo, you don’t think IT could be offered something short term (3 years max)? Or do you think IT wouldn’t go for that and Magic just wouldn’t offer knowing he might insult IT?
Let’s say IT is “back” for the rest of this season and plays like he did last night with 31 minutes off the bench, 22 points and 6 assists (I’ll forgive the 6 tos in his first game). Unless IT starts a bunch of griping again about needing to be a starter (IMO that shit needs to stop – be a pro and take responsibility for the position you’re in), what does the Laker’s lineup look like once Lonzo is back?
PF? (Randle for now, and maybe for quite some time. *really* playing well!)
OK. This is interesting: box score shows Kuzma listed at PF. That’s an entire discussion in itself and maybe is the key to how IT fits in, but all depends on matchups right? How many opponents have a PF that Kuzma can guard for more than 16-18 minutes at a time? Maybe that all depends on how the Lakers are running. Maybe Kuzma has the advantage regardless, much like Durant would if he played most of his minutes at PF. Not sure about this, anyhow ..
The way Ingram is playing I think you want him out there a lot, because he just seems to get better and better. How do IT and Ingram do together? It doesn’t exactly seem like good match, but if IT is creating off the dribble like he can, but looking for Ingram much of the time then maybe it works. I think Lonzo works in any lineup, just like Kidd worked in any lineup so I don’t think the IT-Lonzo pairing is bad at all.
So yeah, after writing all that what if IT and Ingram show some good chemistry? And what if Lakers can land George this summer? Isn’t there a way to give George a 5 year deal and IT a 3 year deal? Or does the IT deal need to be 2 years so you can pay Lonzo and Kuzma in 2 years from now?
What the Lakers want this summer is LBJ and George. They cannot get both if they sign IT. If they only get one, then sure they can sign IT. IT may fit in fine with the Lakers offensively, but defensively, he is a liability. The Lakers want to play defense like the Warriors, so there is a lot of switching going on. Steph Curry at 6’3″ will have issues if switched onto a big player. Imagine IT at 5’9″ having to guard bigger players after a switch? He has problems now guarding smaller players (who are still bigger than him). Also, if IT is on the Lakers, there is no way that LeBron comes there. I am certain the Cavs traded him because LBJ doesn’t like him.
The chances of getting LBJ for anyone went to about 10% or less this summer. For the Lakers it went to about 0%.
Why would he leave a situation with those players and the Brooklyn pick for a team of 1st and 2nd year players? That Brooklyn pick and Love might just be able to get them Anthony Davis or something similar.
I don’t see any way LeBron goes to the Lakers now. It seemed more likely before because he had close to nothing going on in Cleveland. That’s all changed now IMO. Of course that all depends on how they do for the rest of the season. Barring injuries I don’t see any more drama issues for the Cavs. Clarkson is going to fix a lot of things. The new guy Osman already has started things in that direction. Hood and Nance give them a chance to be in any game even if they’re down 20 in the 3rd quarter. They’re younger and better defensively. Everything has changed. Throw in that Brooklyn pick and LeBron has to be giddy. I see him doing everything he can to get this team pumped up.
This has to be a great signing for the sixers. How can this vet who has all this experience be without a team? Why didn’t the Warriors pick him up for instance. I’d rather have him than Joe Johnson.
great game for the cavs today. more notable than the balanced scoring was JR’s game. Looks like he’s pretty fired up. He gets to be a starter and a “Big Man” relative to the incoming pups. anyhow, great game for JR.
The rumors here were that the Warriors were in the mix for Belinelli, but he chose the Sixers. As for Johnson, word is that he will be signing with Houston, not the Dubs. I’m fine with that.
I think whether or not LBJ leaves Cleveland this summer has less to do with the quality of the Cavs’ team than it does with the James-Dan Gilbert fractured relationship. I still see most of the moves as the Cavs preparing for life without LeBron. If they truly wanted to make him happy enough to stay, they would have traded Brooklyn’s draft pick for someone that is truly a game changer (Anthony Davis or DeAndre Jordan for instance). Apparently, the Cavs nearly had a deal in place to get Jordan, but decided they didn’t want to trade the Nets’ pick, so they made the Lakers deal instead. I’d put the chances of LBJ leaving Cleveland at still better than 50%.
OK. Well, we don’t know LeBron so this one goes 50-50 in neither your favor nor mine. But I really really like the Cav’s new team and have a hard time believing LeBron doesn’t as well. Where else can he go and fit in within 4-6 months to have just as much of a shot at a title? Seriously, where else? List it …
Toronto. Yes, but what do they give up and does that make them better than Cleveland now?
Spurs. Yes. If Kawhi is healthy then yes. This beats the Warriors and is the best team of all time. But what do the Spurs give up to clear cap space?
New Orleans. That’s such a huge risk because of Boogie. I don’t see LeBron doing that to himself.
Minneapolis? Now THERE’S a question. Sure if they get rid of that Wiggins contract. But will LeBron feel like Towns can play the kind of defense needed to get it done next year?
Houston. How do all those guys share the ball. No way.
Sixers. They don’t want him and would never get rid of Simmons for LeBron.
Jazz. No proof they’re that good yet. He’d be taking a big chance going there.
Lakers. This seems like the best option for him, especially with George on the team. But will the Lakers be better next year than the Cavs? really unlikely. Why wouldn’t LeBron just wait it out another year and maybe sign with the Lakers in 2019?
I like this. Let me add some cap info.
Toronto: way over the salary cap, so they’d have to move expensive Ibaka, Valanciunas and maybe CJ Miles contracts in order to possibly afford LBJ. Doubtful they can do that.
Spurs: they’ll be pretty close to salary cap assuming Danny Green & Rudy Gay exercise their player options. They’d have to move Gasol, Green, & Gay and let Tony Parker walk/retire in order to afford LBJ. Probably also unlikely.
Pelicans: they’ll be close to cap before having to resign Boogie, who as you noted is a question mark. They’d have to move Jrue Holliday (26 mil a year???) and nobody is going to want his contract. I think we can safely rule them out
T-Wolves: they are way over the cap and they are going to have to pay Towns pretty soon. They’d have to move probably 2 or 3 of Wiggins, Dieng, Teague, and Gibson to sign LBJ. Don’t think it can be done.
Rockets: they present an interesting case. They’ll be about $20 million under the cap, but Paul and Capela will be free agents. If they can unload Ryan Anderson contract ($20 mil a year), the could sign LBJ and go over the cap to sign Paul and Capela. They are a possibility if LBJ isn’t afraid of playing with ball hogs.
Sixers: not sure why you think they have to get rid of Simmons. They’ll be about 30 million under the cap. In order to sign LBJ to a max contract, they merely to have unload someone like Jarryd Bayless and they’ll have plenty of money to do so. They are a real possibility if they want him (why would they not?).
Jazz: they’ll have about $11 million or so of cap room, so they’d have to dump some salaries (Rubio and Burks) and let Derrick Favors walk unless they have his Bird rights. They also, as you said, aren’t good enough for LBJ to be interested.
Lakers: have a ton of cap room to sign both LBJ and George and good young players in Kuzma, Ingram, and Ball. Gotta be one of the favorites.
I checked some other teams that LBJ might feel are talented enough to be interested in (Wizards, Bucks, Heat, Clippers Trail Blazers), but none of them will have cap room and probably would have to move too many players to make it work.
As for the Cavs themselves, they will be hugely over the salary cap, but of course, can sign LBJ to any amount as they hold his Bird rights. Also, LeBron could opt in on his player option for next year and just stay there under his current contract. I’m unclear if the Cavs got Rodney Hood’s Bird rights with the trade. If not, he’ll be gone since he is a free agent and the team will have no room to sign him unless there is an exemption available that he’d be willing to sign for. In any event, I don’t see a lot of stars on the Cavs other than LBJ. Just a bunch of good players. They looked good last night against the Celtics, but I’m not convinced yet that they are the team to beat in the East. However, I’d probably put the Cavs and Lakers as the favorites with the Rockets and Sixers as the secondary possibilities.
To your comment about not seeing a lot of stars on the Cavs, I guess my main point is I feel this team should be better than the one 2 years the Cavs won it. I don’t think the star power thing matters. And I’d wait it out before deciding that Hood isn’t a star. I don’t think he is, but let’s wait and see on him.
Nance *is* a star for what he does already at his age. Truly a freak of nature. Not a well rounded game and may not ever be an all-star, but let’s wait on that one as well.
The main thing they lose from that team is kyrie’s ability to penetrate and finish. What they gain seems so much more to me: crazy athleticism at the rim in nance, better shooting, better bench.
Better perimeter defense with Hill now.
I’m not so sure that their penetrate and dish game isn’t better as well. Clarkson and Osman do a great job here. I have no idea where Osman came from. Awesome pickup – looks a bit like Dellavedova in a much bigger package. That’s huge.
Your Rockets comment scares the heck out of me. Jesus. It would make the whole K.D. to Golden State thing look like a joke.
Nothing gets by Daryl Morey. OR LeBron James. If it’s possible I’m sure both these guys are thinking about it. The thing is that Harden might actually be the better passer of the three, so what exactly is LeBron’s role on that team? Point Forward from the high post and get Harden slashing like crazy. That’s fine but all those outside shots Harden takes off the dribble : a lot of those go away. Another thing that goes away is the constant threat of the spot up threes from Ariza etc. Hmmm….maybe not.
I’d need to look at video of how PJ Tucker fits in with that team. Tucker plays a *lot* like LeBron but doesn’t initiate offense. So what if you had Tucker in the high post on almost every half court possession, and the ball started there?
I don’t know. One thing that’s certain though, they’d be a better running team. Scary.
Here’s my self-serving attempt to steal other people’s thunder …
if the Pels keep winning like this, A.D. may go right up there next to Harden as MVP front runner. And he may get there very quickly. Impressive as hell.
Assume you’re preparing for my Sun’s draft day fervor. We saw what happened in San Antonio the year Duncan was drafted. I don’t see that kind of improvement since the league is so much better now, but Phoenix really does need just that one piece to start beating a lot of teams.
Suns are 1-9 in their last 10. 1 away from that final spot. Looks like they’ve got competition from Dallas, Memphis and Brooklyn though. A lot of tankers this year. And the Kings who are in last place.
The good news is that the Suns don’t need Trae Young.
I didn’t see the Cavs Celts game on Sunday, but I just now watched youtube highlights. That wasn’t just a good effort, or being fired up. That was excellent ball and player movement getting the Celtics constantly on their heels. Somehow the Celtics weren’t staying with Clarkson which I don’t get at all – why would that be?
I’ve never seen Nance play such a passing role. I don’t think that game was just a welcome-to-the-Cavs-adrenaline game. Even if Smith and Clarkson and Hill were missing their 3s that looked like a domination.
Just now seeing that Elfrid Payton did all that in 31 minutes. Just a single sample, but he’s got my attention.
Not sure why Bender went 1-6 though – that shouldn’t happen. Not sure if that’s happened all season.
Guessing by your comment that you didn’t see the game. Payton did the bulk of his damage in the first half. I think he was 8-for-8 at one point in time including a couple of 3-pointers. Suns sat Booker again, but Dubs had Draymond on the bench.
Kerr used the interesting tactic of having certain players run the timeouts. He started with Iggy, then David West, and then Draymond for most of the 2nd half. The players running the timeouts were diagramming plays and telling others what things they should be doing, while Kerr and the coaches stood off to the side. Apparently, he had the players run practice earlier too. Afterwards, Kerr said the players were tired of hearing his voice, so he gave them the responsibility for the game so they’d be more invested in it. I would say it worked, but they were playing the Suns, so the outcome of the game wasn’t really in doubt.
Patrick Macaw recently requested that he be sent to the D-League so he could get more game reps to get his rhythm back. It looked like it worked as he looked really good last night.
Smart, all the way around. Still not sure how Bender did so badly in 30 minutes with Dray out. Possible Payton has no clue who he is and didn’t realize Bender should be #2 option with Booker out.
In case you don’t know his game. Probably the most under-rated if not unknown player in the NBA …
Cavs v OKC tonight on TNT. BIG GAME!
I wonder if Kerr thought hard enough about what he did there. Does he really want to start a trend? Does he REALLY want LeBron taking over coaching mid-finals? Doubt it, but something tells me Lue is going to do this soon as well.
Actually Lue said today that he can’t do it because everybody already thinks the LeBron is coaching the team, so if he hands the clipboard to LeBron, that would only confirm what everybody thinks.
I heard about Lavar Ball’s latest comments yesterday. The correct Laker move, as Jalen said in that clip, is to completely ignore him. Lonzo should issue some statement about being glad he is a Laker or something to that effect, but I don’t know if he’s willing to do so. Actually, what he should really do is drop his father as his agent and sign with a real agent, but that ain’t gonna happen. At the rate Lavar is going, you gotta wonder if any team will want to draft LeMelo and LiAngelo when they are eligible. Frankly it would serve Lavar well if none of his sons were in the NBA and all were forced to play overseas. However, Lonzo looks good enough to be and stay in the NBA, so that won’t happen either.
Cavs-Thunder is good, but T-Wolves-Rockets may be better game tonight. Unfortunately, that game doesn’t appear to be on TV here tonight.
As for Bender, part of his problem may have been the Dubs realizing that he would be a major option with Booker out and concentrating their defense on him. That also may have allowed Payton some room to operate. Payton several times blew by his defender to the rim for an easy lay-up as the Dubs big defenders followed Bender outside. Dubs made some adjustments at halftime and played better defense on Payton in the 2nd half.
Lavar needs a blood test. I’m guessing Vicodin. A lot of it mixed with caffeine. For his kids sake I hope that’s the case. Otherwise we’re watching a sociopath live daily. Weird dude.
Good point about Dubs D vs. Bender. And Payton.
I wonder what the Vegas odds are on Lue giving in and handing over the clipboard. I’d put $100 on LeBron coaxing him into it regardless.
Cavs are good. Different team. The Warriors need to pay attention to what’s going on with Clarkson in particular. Curry can’t guard him.
This comment you cite from Lue: ” ..he can’t do it because everybody already thinks the LeBron is coaching the team, so if he hands the clipboard to LeBron, that would only confirm what everybody thinks.”
Is he a child? That can’t be a serious comment. Who the hell cares what everybody thinks. I’m sure he was just joking. If it’s something that proves to help the Dubs then everyone needs to start doing it. Maybe Rockets, Celtics and Spurs will be next. I can easily see D’Antoni and Pop trying this out soon.
OK. I’m sure you’re getting close to saturation by all my Cavs blathering, but I can’t help mention something more. Just recently – this year only actually ever since the Kyrie thing – there’s been all this chatter about players maybe not wanting to play with LeBron. Any comments like that a year ago this time were quickly silenced as just dumb. With the exception of maybe Durant I don’t think there was any player that wouldn’t want to play with him. We didn’t know about Kyrie then, and it’s not entirely clear if Kyrie felt that way 1 year ago (but he probably did). Anyhow, I’ve been hearing about this a lot this year – how it’s almost a given that players don’t want to be LeBron’s ‘boys’ or in Kyrie’s case ‘the kid’.
What a bunch of bullshit. Yeah, maybe some of the alpha dogs wouldn’t give up their egos to do it: Durant, Harden, Westbrook, Kyrie. But really, who else isn’t going to absolutely love having LeBron lead their team? Even Lillard who is as alpha as they get wanted LeBron on his team.
The last two games we see the reality. Clarkson, Hill, Nance, Hood, JR Smith, Korver … these guys are loving playing the orchestra for their maestro. It’s so obvious that this is why this will work going forward. Everyone is excited about the ceiling that he brings.
Just to get your response I’ll put this out there now that Iggy had the clipboard: why not tell the Warriors that Iggy is in charge and have him play the LeBron role on this team when he’s out there? Get the ball in his hands on every possession that isn’t a fast break. Get excited about playing to his strengths: his decision making on and off the ball.
I agree with Kerr. Something had to change because they weren’t getting fired up and got sick of his voice. Put the team in Iggy’s hands. Maybe even bring Iggy in and out more often. Not more minutes total, just use timeouts to move him in and out.
regarding Simmons and how LeBron could fit financially in Philly …
That can’t work because Simmons is their LeBron. I can see it working in 4 years from now when LeBron becomes the second option, but until then Simmons runs the show and needs to keep running the show. He needs constant reps and needs to work on that 14 foot jumper.
Imagine LeBron being traded to the 84 Lakers to play alongside Magic and Kareem. That’s Magic’s team 100%. No way LeBron could do what he does there. He’d have to play a supporting role. Simmons has something similar going in Philly.
Shout out to the Pacers. I’ve been ignoring them – didn’t realize they’re still playing well.
Possible destination for LeBron o’ cap-space wise one? LeBron + Oladipo + Sabonis + Turner. Not quite as good as what the Cavs have now, except there you have two bona-fide stars and your best players are young.
Aside from cap space, any idea if they have draft picks worth mentioning?
Shout out to the Jazz. 10-0 in last 10. Here’s what you wrote earlier:
Jazz: they’ll have about $11 million or so of cap room, so they’d have to dump some salaries (Rubio and Burks) and let Derrick Favors walk unless they have his Bird rights. They also, as you said, aren’t good enough for LBJ to be interested.
I did say that. Are we dead wrong? They’d have to retain Favors somehow, or bring in someone just like him since he’s a big part of why that team does well.
Re the Pacers and LeBron. Pacers will sit about 8-10 million under the cap for next year. If they dump the $10 million contracts for Jefferson and Collison and don’t exercise their option on Stephenson, they may have enough room to sign LBJ. Also, Thad Young has a player option, so if he opts out, they could let him go and then only have to dump Jefferson or Collison (preferably Jefferson since he is unnecessary with Sabonis and Turner on the squad). Pacers have their own 1st round pick this year, which they might have to give up if trying to unload, say, Jefferson’s contract. I’d say it’s a possibility, but the Pacers have never struck me as a team to go after a major free agent.
As for Jazz and LeBron, can you see LBJ being interested in going to SLC? Jazz also don’t strike me as a team that would go after LBJ.
You may be right about Philly not going after LBJ because Simmons runs the show there, but I’d have to think they’d at least take a look at the possibility. Adding LBJ makes them an instant title contender and I’d have to think that even if he’s handling the ball a little less, Simmons is going to be happy with all the open looks and open lanes to the basket he would get with defenses focused on LBJ and Embiid. Also, could you imagine the Sixers putting a line-up of LBJ, Embiid, Simmons, Covington, and Saric on the floor together? Nobody smaller than 6’9″ with some terrific passers, and several good long distance shooters. That would be a frightening line-up to face.
As for the Cavs, I think you hit on why things have suddenly clicked for them. They brought in no alpha dogs in the recent trades while getting rid of two (Thomas & Wade). And although they kept Love, he seems to have accepted the fact that he can’t be alpha dog on this team. So now, LBJ is the only alpha dog left with a bunch of good beta dogs around him that are content being just that. That puts this team squarely on LeBron’s shoulders. The new look Cavs have looked good for 2 games, but I need to see it shake out for awhile longer before figuring out if they are a championship caliber team. Right now I’m guessing that the Dubs or Rockets still waste them in the Finals if the Cavs can get there.
Bill Walton – always fun. “How can you POSSIBLY top this? COME ON!”
I almost glanced past the sixers win last night over the Heat. Until I saw that Embiid didn’t play and they were down by 23 at the half.
I’m listening to your LeBron to Sixers argument. I don’t know. In some ways’ of course they’d look at it if it was available, but I see two other problems. Embiiid isn’t the most gazelle like floor runner. That wouldn’t be a huge deal, but in big games you want him out there for big minutes. So that’s a potential weakness to what LeBron brings. The other issue is what happens when LeBron feeds Simmons for one great wide open shot after the other? Simmons needs to make not only his 12-14 footers but extend that range to at least 20. I’m not sure LeBron is going to a team where that option is taken away from him.
Now, if Simmons starts shooting well ….
OK. You don’t think LeBron and Utah mix well. I’d agree history *might* be in your favor here, but then they took a chance at Joe Johnson and played him for quite some time. JJ is one of *the* most selfish people that ever came through Phoenix and was likely the main reason for the Nets dive to irrelevance. I don’t see why the Jazz wouldn’t go after LeBron lickety split – Mitchell is the real deal. I think he’ll get co-rook of the year. A guy like that paired with LeBron and that supporting cast? That’s better than the Cavs I think.
I don’t know Arnold. We’ll see how both LeBron and the Jazz are about winning championships. If he doesn’t like what he has now, the Jazz might be a perfect fit.
Portland wouldn’t be so bad for him either;-)
You’ve probably been waiting for this, so I won’t prolong the suspense: I still say the Dubs win 3 more in the next 5 years. I’m just not as confident about it anymore. I don’t think it has anything to do with the arguments put forth way up above here (some radio talk show you listened to?). I think it’s simply a matter of two things:
1. MORE talent than I realized in the league and it keeps coming. Look at Donovan Mitchell. That kid looks like he’s ready to win one now. Kuzma. AD is now an MVP candidate. Teams like the Nuggets are stacked with talent – maybe one piece away from something huge (LeBron to Denver? wow).
2. Not just the coaches, but now the players know how to play. Finally. They’re catching on to the D’Antoni way. It used to be a very rare thing to see a player like Grant Hill come straight out of college and understand how to get everyone involved even though he’s way better than anyone around him. That’s completely changed. Maybe some credit goes to LeBron here. Prior to him, the thinking was probably that this style of play couldn’t be duplicated unless you had a Magic or a Kidd, or unless you were taking a chance on a guy like Tony Kukoc to run your team. Makes me wonder if LeBron watched much Kukoc when he was a kid?
So take a team like the Jazz for instance. They already know how to play. All of them. They play exactly the way LeBron plays which was how Hayward played there. Insert LeBron and I think the main thing that changes is the win column.
The Warriors have a nice head start and they have KD. KD is getting better. That’s two advantages. When they plateau who’s going to be there to take them to that 7th game?
I can read your mind Arnold: “Houston if LeBron goes there”
I don’t think LeBron is going to be worried about Simmons inability to shoot from distance. He has played with Shumpert for years and he can’t shoot. As long as the Sixers have other shooters on the floor (Saric, Covington, Belinelli if they keep him), LeBron will be fine. Simmons runs the floor and cuts to the basket really well, so he’ll give LeBron another type of option besides the shooters from distance. And Simmons’ ability to drive and dish will result in a few easy shots for LeBron.
Ultimately, LeBron will go wherever he thinks he will have the best chance to win a championship. I think the Rockets and Sixers are probably his best bets of the teams that could reasonably fit him in under the cap. If LeBron was really smart, he do what KD did and sign for less than what he’s worth, so that the team could have a decent bench in addition to the stars.
And yes, I’m less confident in the Dubs ability to keep this run going for the next several years. Yes, other teams are better and there are some really good young players in the league right now. However, the fact that other teams, good and bad, keep outscoring them in the first quarter of games is worrisome. The Dubs play lackadaisically too much. I’ve heard comments that the Dubs are basically bored with the regular season. Maybe so, but bad habits can be hard to break. I’d like to think they will “turn it on” come playoff time, but I’ve seen little to suggest that they can turn it on for a full game of late.
With the loss last night, Houston is now in 1st place in the West and owns the tiebreaker against the Warriors, so the West finals will likely feature the Rockets with home court advantage. The Dubs haven’t had to deal with that in the last 3 years.
I still think the Dubs win another championship this year, but I’m glad I don’t bet on these things.
Somehow I don’t see the Dubs losing more games. Definitely not any more games like the one last night v Portland. It’ll be neck and neck but I think foolish for the Dubs to give up home court to Houston. Last year I think the main difference between the Dubs and the Cavs was the physical conditioning going into the finals. If they’re going to get back to that they need to start playing 48 minutes and (hopefully) win more games in the process.
Regarding LeBron on the Sixers – if they’re loaded with enough shooters and slashers and heady passers and defenders I agree LeBron shouldn’t pass this up. But they aren’t even close to that yet.
I completely agree that Simmons would be great for setting up LeBron with his shot and that’s huge. Those two running the floor and ramming it down opponents throats is huge. At this point I don’t think it’s enough to lure LeBron there though. Are you thinking the end of the 2019 season for that move? That makes more sense to me.
By the way, Emeka Okafor appears to be energizing the Pelicans. They have a great defender in Jrue Holiday and now a good shooter in Mirotic. Do the Pels have any chance at grabbing LeBron?
Dubs have already given up home court advantage to the Rockets. They’ll need to win 2 more games than the Rockets down the stretch to take it back. They way the Rockets have been winning games, that is looking hard to do.
Sixers & LeBron together would be better with more shooters, but if LeBron signed with the Sixers this off-season, you gotta figure that the Kyle Korvers of the world will follow him for a shot at a title. They followed him to Miami and Cleveland. They will follow him to Philly as well if he goes there.
I didn’t even realize that the Pelicans had lured Okafor out of retirement to replace Boogie. Gotta imagine he goes right back into retirement at the end of the season. As noted in my salary cap post above, the Pelicans will be right at the salary cap amount for next year, so they’d have to clear 30 million or so to get LBJ. So that would likely mean moving Holiday’s big ($26 mill) salary and some others. Then after they signed LBJ, they could resign Boogie and go over the salary cap to do so since they have his Bird rights. Still fun to think of an AD, Boogie & King James front court.
Saw Ben Simmons on ESPN First Take this morning. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him interviewed before. Good, humble, nice kid. Didn’t make any excuses for his poor shooting and was all about working hard to get even better. It is, of course, quite possible that this was an act he puts on publicly, but he seemed genuine. Definitely seemed like the type of player you can root for.
Good comments A. No idea Simmons could ever be described as humble – I think this says a lot. Aussies sure are genuine through and through for the most part.
Thanks for the Pelican $$ update. Isn’t this team partly owned by the NBA? How did they screw this up so badly? That team had no business signing anyone but AD and Boogie to big contracts. Even if they thought Jrue was great, that salary would be something for a guy like Jrue on a team that’s ready to win NOW. Similar issue in Minnesota with Wiggins. The word is out: they completely blew it. He’s playing as if nothing has changed. His game has shown NO improvement from last year. He’s sitting on the bench during crucial moments. What an incredible screw up. OK, so here’s a question that I think is stupid so I haven’t asked: assume the Wolves owner is so wealthy that $100M is nothing to him. Is there any scenario where they say “we can’t trade him and we admit the contract was a mistake, so we’ll buy him out in order to sign someone cheaper and better”?
I would need more info on how the buy out system works, but as I recall, you really only see where a player is in the last year of his contract, so the team is only buying out the rest of that last season. Wiggins has a lot of years left at big money on his contract. If he gets bought out, I think that salary still counts against the T-Wolves.
The Sirius NBA broadcast yesterday was by far the best sports show I’ve ever heard. TV or radio. By far the best, largely because everyone is being candid. Kevin Love, Embiid, Durant, Curry, Oladipo, Lowry. I had no idea Lowry is a brain – maybe the smartest pro athlete I’ve heard right up there with Battier, Montana and Gretsky. Didn’t know that!
Amin Alhassen came on. Wow. Just wow. This is the most pig-headed arrogant person in sports coverage but you cannot deny his amazing wealth of knowledge and detailed opinion. He’s an ass no doubt, but as I’ve said the only other guy than Termine that I pay much attention to. Yesterday you had both these guys together. Absolutely no question Alhassen was trying to upstage Termine. For the first time I was amazed at how Termine kept it to himself. That guy is making it big. By far the absolute best in the business I’ve ever heard.
I really should just get you my username and password. What the hell – here it is…
you probably need to download a “player”
The channel is called SiriusXM NBA Radio
An all star game isn’t much to write about, but what I love is watching Klay and K.D. – those guys don’t mess around. Killer attitudes even in a game like that. One of the many reasons I’ll favor the Dubs in this year’s finals.
I was in Monterey over the weekend to see a friend and family, so didn’t see any of the All Star game or activities.
However, I do like that, on this morning’s sports talk radio, they discussed the All Stars actually playing defense in the All Star game this year. This in a game where the final score was 148-145.
It was much much more than just playing defense. There was an NBA game happening out there for at least the last 5 minutes. Westbrook and LeBron were setting the tone.
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, I heard on the radio today that the Warriors have one of the easiest schedules down the stretch and the Rocket have one of the hardest. So I looked it up.
Golden State Warriors: 24 games left. 11 against teams with losing records (including 3 against Suns, 2 against Hawks, 2 against Kings, and 1 each against Nets and Knicks, all terrible teams); and 13 games against teams with winning records (but 4 are against teams currently sitting 8-10 in the Western Conference).
Houston: 25 games left. 7 against teams with losing records (including 1 each against Suns, Kings, Hawks, and Mavericks), and 18 games against teams with winning records (including games 2 against T-Wolves, 2 against Spurs, 2 against Thunder, and 1 each against Celtics, Bucks, Raptors, and Wizards).
This makes it much more likely that Dubs will end up with top seed in the West, but as good as the Rockets have been playing, I do not count them out of the top seed.
One thing worth considering: will D’Antoni continue to play Paul big minutes from now until the playoffs? Somehow I doubt it – that guy is so injury prone. For that reason I’ll favor the Dubs for home court.
here’s a new name: Luka Doncic. ESPN now saying potential #1 draft pick. Not sure how much stock I put in their list though. They have Ayton at #2 which I really doubt. Trae Young at #7. That’s wrong.
Yeah, the last SI Mock Draft had Ayton #1 and Doncic #2. Then had the Suns picking Texas center, Mohamed Bamba at #3 before Bagley goes #4 to the Mavs.
They’ve got Trae Young going #6 to the Magic. Apparently there is some concern about his defense because of his slight frame, but Curry is fine despite a similar frame and Young’s game is the closest thing to Curry in this draft.
Doncic is a 6’8″ point guard, but I don’t know how good a shooter he is. However, Ben Simmons makes do without being a great shooter, so the idea of a tall PG is pretty appealing.
I still like Bagley more than Ayton, but Ayton’s size makes him more of a prototypical center. Ayton also has some outside shooting skills, so teams may be looking at him as an Embiid type. Bagley is more of an inside player, but is 6’10” and not polished defensively yet, so perhaps teams are concerned about how to use him. He is an athletic freak though. I’m sure some team will find a way to make use of his talent. The Texas center Bamba is apparently a Ben Wallace type, great defensively, limited offensively. Maybe that makes sense with a Suns team with the Payton/Booker backcourt.
I assume you’ve heard about the story of the long-time culture of sexual harassment and assault within the Mavericks front office. If not, you should read it.
As you’ll see in the story, Cuban professed ignorance of the problem until very recently and has fired a couple of the offenders. However, the problem has been going on for over 20 years, since before Cuban bought the team. I find it very hard to believe that a hands-on owner like Cuban didn’t know anything. In fact, it would not surprise me to learn that Cuban orchestrated Terdema Ussery’s (former CEO and team president) resignation to go to Under Armour a couple of years ago because of the allegations against him. Kudos to Under Armour by the way, for figuring out that Ussery was a pig within a couple of months and getting rid of him.
So if Cuban knew about this unsavory culture in his front offices, can the NBA take action against him? If so, what kind of action would they take. Does he get suspended like Major League Baseball did with Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott when she made racist comments? Can they force him out as an owner? I think something has to happen. The NBA has to do something to Cuban for allowing this culture to exist on his team.
Pop said today that he would be really surprised if Kawhi plays again this season. Not sure if he’s being truthful or trying to put one over on future opponents to make them think they don’t have to prepare for Kawhi.
Regarding what the league can do about Cuban, he needs to be accused of something first, right? My guess is that he sits down with Silver and have the truth come out there. Silver can decide what to do, starting with the question “what’s good for the league?”.
I have a hard time believing that associating Cuban with a sex scandal is good for anybody. Might be best for Silver and Cuban to come up with a story that exonerates Cuban. I can see a press conference going just like this ..
Silver: “I sat down with Mark for quite some time. He told me what happened and explained his position and why he did what he did and didn’t do what he didn’t do. I’m satisfied that Mark is 100% free of complicity and we now consider any case against Mark Cuban to be closed”.
That might work, except…Cuban has already admitted that he made a mistake with the Mavs.com writer that beat up two of his girlfriends, saying that he was personally responsible for keeping him on board. On the one hand, I give props to Cuban for not ducking responsibility. On the other hand, I now think Silver has to act. And I still think that’s its impossible that Cuban knew nothing about Ussery sexually harassing and assaulting female employees, especially when it was apparently well-known throughout the organization.
Reading all kinds of interesting NBA stuff this morning. Let me stick with the Mavericks situation first. Watch Rachel Nichols on ESPN’s The Jump yesterday talking about the Mavs. It is spot on.
BTW, is there a way to embed video on this board like on other boards? Seems like it would be a useful function.
Next up, the ongoing Kawhi-Spurs situation…
Apparently, Kawhi has been medically cleared by doctors to return to the court, but has elected not to.
I feel like we are seeing Kawhi’s end days in San Antonio. There is another year left on his contract (and a player option for the year after that), but unless the Spurs and Kawhi are punking us all, it really seems like the relationship between the two is broken.
And finally…there is apparently a very serious proposal going around the NBA for a play-in tournament for the 8th playoff seed.
The proposal involves the 7th through 10th seeds in a conference. The 7th and 8th seed would play each other to determine who will be the 7th seed, while the 9th and 10th seeds play each other for the right to play the loser of the 7th vs. 8th battle for the 8th seed in the playoffs. The proposal might have to be adjusted a bit if the NBA adopts a 1 through 16 playoff seeding format that ignores conferences, but apparently is being seriously discussed.
I kind of like the idea. Baseball, the NCAA tournament, and to a lesser extent, football, have all already adopted such an idea. It means more teams are fighting for the playoffs down the stretch, which could make for better games in late March and April. So I’m down with this idea getting adopted.
While I’m at it, heard about this on the radio while in the car going to get lunch and looked it up this afternoon. Western conference standings after Golden State & Houston:
So basically, 2 games separate the 3rd through 9th seeds in the West if you look at the loss column and another 2 games behind them are the Jazz who have won 11 games in a row. The last two months of the regular season are going to be pretty wild in the West and any of these teams could end up getting knocked out of the playoffs and the seeding could go through huge fluctuations.
I think from Kawhi’s POV, the Spurs docs may have fucked up his career so he wants them to own up to it somehow. a huge fat contract might take care of the problem. since he’s injured … Spurs are the ONLY team that would pay him anything close to max right now.
If they fucked him up somehow I think they should give him what he wants.
More on Kawhi – I’ve been listening to a bunch of B.S. all over the radio and internet. Yesterday I listened to Eddie Johnson throw out all kinds of absolute junk as he said this and that and completely threw Kawhi under the bus with un-founded claims like “now teams know he has a low threshold of pain” and “some players are just quirky this way, and sometimes you don’t know it until they get a few years under their belt”. As if 6 years isn’t more than a few.
An alternate explanation makes WAY more sense to me than crap like this. The alternate starts with assuming that this whole thing is the result of Kawhi taking the HIGH road, which in this case means he’s staying tight-lipped under immense pressure to explain what’s “really” going on. It’s the thing that makes the most sense to me, because we have two or three facts glaring at us …
1. Kawhi is mostly at odds with the Spurs medical staff. No one said anything about Kawhi having an issue with Pop or vice versa. The big announcement yesterday was that the Spurs’ *medical staff* has cleared Kawhi. But Kawhi hasn’t been *with* the Spurs medical staff. He went to New York for another opinion and from what I’ve heard his person physician. Apparently he also went there to rehab/workout and the Players Association facility. Eddie Johnson did say one thing that was eye-opening: “how does THAT look to the Spurs organization?”. Meaning that for some reason Kawhi took a chance at ruffling feathers. Why would he do that?
2.Kawhi isn’t saying ANYTHING. First, that tells you that all these theories putting Kawhi at fault for anything are baseless. This is a guy who never calls attention to himself. Only plays and acts like a champ. Does everything you ask him to do, and is as much a team oriented player as ANY PLAYER EVER. He’s also a smart guy. I’ve never heard him say anything stupid or selfish. He’s smart enough to realize that Pop has meant EVERYTHING for his career.
3. Since Kawhi appears to be acting out of character, what’s more likely: that he’s all of a sudden this selfish kid who can’t stand pain and wants to single-handedly take down an entire organization? Or that he’s being advised by people that are making a ton of sense to him. And that right now this week when the news is out, he is constantly on the phone with those people trying to figure out what’s best here.
“Hindsight is 20-20”. I think this story is going to unfold in such a way where we all say “of course – it had to be something like that”. Based on everything I’ve ever seen or heard about and from Kawhi, it seems unlikely that this will go on much longer. This is a class act. His team has 23 games remaining in the regular season. The question for him and his people is “do I put the Spurs org in a position where they are more likely to lose out on home court in the first round?”
I think that’s the same question as “how long will it take to get Kawhi back into playing shape?” Ten games isn’t enough. Fifteen games is probably the minimum. I’d expect an announcement from Kawhi himself anytime in the next 10 days that makes it clear what the plan is going forward. I also expect Pop to be the class act HE is and come out with information that exonerates Kawhi. Because right now Kawhi’s reputation is suffering for reasons that likely (my guess) have nothing to do with him.
I’m not done;-)
You’re Pop for a day. You get at least 10 questions daily face to face with media, and probably another 100 via phone calls, social media etc etc. The longer you leave it at “we don’t know when he’s coming back” the more people ask you if there’s any news. However, if you say (even if in veiled form) “It’s in Kawhi’s camp now”, you at least quiet the chatter a bit. We know Pop doesn’t have much patience for this kind of media crap. His team is in trouble, so his mood probably sucks. He’s going to lessen his media load. He did that by throwing the ball to Kawhi. Since Pop probably knows Kawhi as well as anyone, I won’t even speculate why he thinks that was a good idea but I assume it’s because he knows Kawhi’s man enough to handle it.
Back to Cuban. I doubt Cuban’s admission will change much other than the fine amount. Silver can still say he sat down with Cuban and is 100% convinced that Cuban’s only mistake was not calling attention to this earlier hoping it could be dealt with “in-house”. Mark realizes he made a mistake and I’m satisfied with that.
OK, so the organization needs to be fined heavily. How much is too much? $10 million? $50 million? I’m not sure these numbers make any difference to anyone.
You may be right that the size of the fine is all that is at stake. The Mavericks have hired two former federal prosecutors to investigate the situation, though the independence of their investigation may become an issue since they are being paid by the Mavs to investigate the Mavs. Might be better if the NBA was hiring the investigators. In any event, the only thing that might lead to something other than a large fine is the investigation finding that Cuban knew of Ussery’s sexual harassment and assault of female employees and covered it up. If that happens, I could see Cuban being suspended and/or the team losing a draft pick.
The NBA set up a hotline for team employees to call with information about these kinds of issues. That’s a start, but the NBA will likely need to do more to show that its male-dominated industry is doing something to protect female employees on teams.
It gets to the point where it’s 100% the legal question of precedent, right? Even if Silver knows Cuban was in good faith trying to deal with something to keep it quiet rather than cover up any of his own wrong doing (this seems most likely to me), who knows what the next owner will be held liable for. I guess that’s the only reason it might be a good idea to suspend Cuban. And the only way I see that going well is if Cuban himself presents an outstanding video mea culpa to the sports world. Since that’s what he’s good at that’s what I expect him to do.
Was listening to both Fran Fraschilla and David Griffin yesterday. They say Doncic is *not* a PG. They agreed the best comparison was a mix of Ginobili and Gordon Hayward. If true, that’s pretty damn excellent. Very close to Grant Hill territory. Maybe Grant Hill without the hops?
Jemele Hill’s take on the Mavs situation:
She’s advocating a fine, suspension, and loss of draft picks based on what we already know. While that seems excessive to me, we are men and I’m not sure we will ever fully understand how sexual harassment affects women. We can be empathetic, but we haven’t lived our whole lives dealing with it. In this #MeToo era, I can certainly see the NBA taking hard action against Cuban.
I agree, but even if I didn’t it doesn’t matter. Silver may have to act as if HE agrees regardless. Still, I think a lot may come down to how Cuban publicly deals with this. One way to start is to have that investigation NOT be something related to the Mavs. Maybe Cuban can pay the NBA to be able to conduct their own investigation? Or does that raise red flags that Cuban is still paying for his own investigation?
I guess Silver can be quick with a heavy fine right now based on Cuban’s words, and use that money to investigate. Or is that also legally “sketchy”?
Back to Kawhi. While he’s got another year (and a player option year after that) on his contract, he is eligible to be re-signed by the Spurs to a max contract after this season. I’m trying to figure out how the current situation is going to affect that. Would the Spurs be willing to give him a max contract if they are uncertain of his health? Will Kawhi be willing to re-sign with the Spurs when his contract is up in 2019 if they don’t give him a max contract this off-season?
There’s a couple of different ways you can read Pop’s statement about not expecting Kawhi back this season. He could be trying to shame Kawhi into returning. Or he could be telling Kawhi, “I support you in your issues with our doctors, so take as long as you need to get well.” After 25 years of the Spurs having famously good-natured stars (Admiral, Duncan, Parker, Ginobili), it is a little weird to see the Spurs having these kinds of issues.
More bad news for the Mavericks, though this won’t cost them anything. It was reported today that the college basketball payment scandal that broke last September (and resulted in Rick Pitino getting fired by Louisville) includes a number of other schools and players, all through agent Andy Miller’s ASM Sports agency. One of the players that received the most money was Dennis Smith, Jr., the Mavs rookie, who got $43,000. Markelle Fultz and Kyle Kuzma apparently got $10,000. A lot of big-time college basketball programs are implicated, though it is unclear if they knew the players were getting paid. Here’s a good rundown of what’s going on:
Ahh .. just read your Pop supportive of Kawhi take. Yep. That’s definitely a possibility.
Not sure why he wouldn’t just say it outright, but I suppose there may be good reasons.
Fun vid of KD and Westbrook
KD and Dubs got the best of Russ and the Thunder tonight. It was close for 2 and a half quarters and then Carmelo and KD got into a beef. After that KD went off, then the whole team went off. One concern, both Draymond (15th) and KD (12th) got technicals. One more by Draymond and he gets a suspension. The Warriors will probably appeal the technical tonight and it could get overturned (they appeared to give him a T for taunting, when it looked like he was firing up the crowd). Regardless, Draymond is likely to eventually get to a suspension for his technicals. Hopefully, he can avoid that in the playoffs. I would like for KD to avoid technicals the rest of the way so that he has a technical cushion going into the playoffs.
The difference in the game tonight was the Warriors’ defense. Even when the game was close, the Warriors were holding the Thunder to less than 35% shooting. The game ended with the Thunder only shooting at a 32% clip and only 9 of 34 from the 3 point line. You could tell that the Warriors had increased their defensive intensity for this game. When the Warriors play defense like this, it is almost impossible to beat them.
I don’t know if you saw the play, but surely you’ve heard that Russ Westbrook claims Zaza intentionally fell on him during the game. If you watch the play, I think Russ is right. It looks like Zaza throws himself to the ground on top of Russ. Fortunately, Westbrook wasn’t hurt on the play, but Zaza might get a fine or suspension out of this, though nothing was actually called on the play.
I saw most of the game. I noted in the 2nd quarter the same that was true the last two games vs. OKC – they move faster and with outstanding control in contrast to the warriors. Because the Dubs looked so calm about it even at the end of the 2nd I knew they had a plan for the 3rd quarter. I was surprised they didn’t come out like gang busters though, but eventually picked up the pace to match OKC mid way through the 3rd.
Clearly the awesome defense leads to great offense and it all results in confidence and the will to keep it going at the *right* pace that they’re known for – just like old times;-)
Well it appears the Warriors have dodged two bullets coming out of the Thunder game. Draymond got his technical rescinded as I suggested above could happen. So he’s back to being two technicals away from getting suspended.
Also, it is being reported that Zaza will not be disciplined for the play where he fell on Westbrook. I guess the NBA believed him when he said that Nick Young’s foot inadvertently knocked him down. While Young’s foot does catch Zaza on the back of his knee, it looks like incidental contact that would not be enough to bring Zaza down. However, Zaza is a clumsy guy, so I guess it is possible.
Some injury news today. Reports out of San Antonio are that Kawhi is looking to come back to the court in March. I hope that is real and not just a way for Kawhi to deflect questions for awhile.
Butler had surgery for the meniscus tear in his knee. I guess that’s not as bad as an ACL or MCL tear, but with how tight things are between 3rd and 10th place in the West and Butler out for much, if not all, of the rest of the season, the T-Wolves could be on the outside come playoff time.
Nice to know the Dubs don’t have to face even *more* adversity;-)
The Kawhi thing is such a saga. I stand by what I said – the plan has been that he needs at least 15 games to get back. So that will be the date after which it’s too late. That means the latest date of his comeback (barring something unavoidably *real* this time), is Tuesday March 13th vs. Orlando.
The night before this is a Houston game;-) I don’t see Pop letting Kawhi go all out as he’ll try to do in that game. Maybe a few minutes here or there.
Not sure if you’ve noticed but Lonzo’s shot is different. He’s bringing it from below more than from the side now. It looks like he gets off the shot more vertically than before. That’s what I’ve seen in two of his games so far.
I haven’t seen a Laker game since Ball has come back yet. However, I did find this video on YouTube of Lonzo and Isaiah at practice. Its 10 minutes of them shooting 3s from around the arc.
Ball’s shooting motion is still clunky and still looks like it is coming from the side, though maybe not as much as before (the shots where Lonzo is directly in front of the camera are where you can best see it). Somebody needs to make a side by side video of Ball from earlier in the season and now to see how much, if at all, it has changed. The difference between Lonzo and Isaiah is very striking though. Isaiah has silky smooth shooting motion (and is money from the corners).
It’s different – he’s bringing it from below more than the side. What strange to me is how inconsistent his release point is – it’s all over the place. sometimes around his forehead and sometimes around his ear. it seems obvious that no one is putting pressure on him or they’d be trying to get that release more consistent.
I’m wondering how much longer before JR Smith is relegated to the bench. He’s not helping this change of the guard, and there are at least 3 other guys who could start in his place.
Re: Lonzo’s shot, it’s incredible how much crap there is on youtube. more than i already knew about that is. so I gave up looking for a good vid, but there is this one that although it doesn’t make my point it shows the old form that looks a little better now. At least in the video you showed, he was squared up to the hoop more and not bringing the ball way over from his left side before the release …
He’s not bringing it from the side *as much* I mean. And no, he’s not squared up perfectly – but a lot of guys don’t.
SI agrees with you that LeBron is not a good fit in Philly with Simmons…
They give pretty much the same reason you gave. The transcript at the link above is from a podcast which I did not listen to, so don’t know if they talk more about on the podcast.
i listened to it and didn’t hear it. fun show though!
The ever changing Western Conference standings (after Houston and Golden State):
3. Portland (37-26)
4. New Orleans (36-26)
5. Minnesota (38-28)
6. San Antonio (36-27)
7. OKC (37-28)
8. Denver (35-28)
9. LA Clippers (33-28)
10. Utah (33-30)
If season ended today. Dubs would play OKC in the first round and the winner of Portland/San Antonio in the second round. However, these standings seem to be changing daily.
By the way, nice job by the Suns losing to the Hawks tonight. If you want the best chance at the top pick, you need to lose the other worst teams in the league. Memphis currently has the worst record in the league, but the Suns are on their tail and have two more losses than the Grizz.
Easy prediction: if the Spurs lose tonight Kawhi is back before next Tuesday. If fact, if they lose tonight vs. Memphis with Aldridge in the lineup I’d expect Kawhi back this Thurs vs. the Dubs. Extremely limited minutes. But I’m not sure Aldridge will play tonight.
You can probably guess this, but I’ll state it anyhow: even if the Suns get the first draft pick I can see them easily screwing it up. As an example, the entire drama starting with picking up Bledsoe while Dragic was doing *quite well thank you* – that might have been another peek into the idiocy of McDonough and his man crush on speedy scoring PGs. So yeah, I’m worried the Suns will keep their blinders on and go after Trae Young instead of shoring up a glaring need at PF – need a mobile scoring and defending player there. Very worried that they might screw this up.
Larry Nance Jr. started tonight and at the beginning of the 3rd has 12 rebs and 20 pts off of 9-12 shooting. I’m expecting a lot more of this – no idea why this wasn’t a weekly happening in L.A.
Funky shot or not, Lonzo has been shooting the 3-ball extremely well (17 for 29) since returning from his injury. So maybe you’re right that he’s adjusted his shot slightly with a little less side to side movement. Until Portland shut him down a bit last night, he was looking like a star, leading the team to 5 straight wins (including beating the Heat and Spurs). It took a big comeback and Lillard going off in the 4th quarter last night for the Blazers to win.
As for Nance, after losing 4 of 7, it appears that the Cavs decided to shake up their rotation, starting Nance and Hood. Nance started at center as the Cavs went small from the outset. It was only against the Pistons, so we’ll see if it works on the upcoming road trip, which starts out with the Nuggets, Clippers, and Lakers. When Love gets back, the starting line-up needs to be C-Love, PF-Nance, SF-LeBron, SG-Hood, and PG-Hill.
that’s one heck of a starting lineup!
Yeah, that’s not a bad starting line-up. However, the main guys off the bench then are Clarkson, Korver, Smith, Thompson, and Osman. Not very daunting. Of course, come playoff time, the starters minutes go up, so it may not matter much.