The Smiley Smile Message Board

Non Smiley Smile Stuff => The Sandbox => Topic started by: the captain on July 13, 2014, 07:03:16 AM



Title: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on July 13, 2014, 07:03:16 AM
Pasted from the Record Room, where there was once a semi-thriving NBA discussion. Alas, it has gone quiet. Anybody?

Lebron has gone home to lead a talented young nucleus, and the star of my hometown Wolves, Kevin Love, is almost sure to join him soon if Minnesota can convince the Cavs to make #1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins the centerpiece of the trade package. (With all due respect to Anthony Bennett, whom I watched last night in his summer league debut and who looks far improved, you don't trade a top-10 player for a package centered on Anthony Bennett...) That is, unless Penick's Warriors let go of Klay Thompson. (Because Harrison Barnes, like Bennett, just isn't the centerpiece of a realistic Love trade.)

Chris Bosh is the new centerpiece for a retooling Miami team that is going to have to try to scare people with him, a breaking-down Dwyane Wade, Josh McRoberts, Shabazz Napier, a broken-down Danny Granger, and maybe Luol Deng if they can work it out. Ouch.

Houston, Boshless, is sad. The Lakers struck out on everyone of import. The Bulls are getting Nikola Mirotic, Pau Gasol, and hopefully a healthy Derrick Rose to compete for that #1 seed out east.

Summer league is underway and fun for, well, me. I love it. Where else can the likes of Nikoloz Tskitishvili be named MVP only to go on to as unremarkable an NBA career as one can possibly have? (I've seen more than half the teams, I'd say, and have plenty to say about plenty of prospects.)

The draft gave us our second consecutive Canadian #1 overall pick to Cleveland. Weird.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on July 13, 2014, 08:17:02 AM
Interesting that LeBron signed a 2 year contract, although that's because (I guess) the cap is supposed to go up due to TV money, so he can resign for even more money in 2 years.

The Love situation has been entertaining. One week he's going here, the next there. I'd like to see him play somewhere where it really matters (sorry, Cap). One thing's for sure, they have to move him. I'd give up Wiggins and some pieces for him.

If I was Pau, I'd have signed in San Antonio. The East is a lot weaker though; IF Rose comes back like old Rose, than I'd dare say Chicago is the team to beat, with either Washington (WTF!) and Indiana right below them.

I almost totally forgive LeBron for acting like an idiot 4 years ago.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on July 13, 2014, 08:32:03 AM
I'm ready for Love to be traded: once a player flat-out doesn't want to be somewhere, it's never for the best to keep him. A team can't succeed that way, as has been proven many times through the years. And actually, Love's occasional petulance has been a problem for me going back three seasons now, whether calling out teammates publicly only to try to take the high ground when called out on it, whining to refs, failing to get back on defense, etc. I love him as a player--he's not a complete player, but he is a great player--and can comfortably say he's the second-best Wolf ever. But he isn't the kind of guy who can lead a team to the playoffs anyway, so what's the harm at this point?

My main hope is that we don't get fleeced in a trade. I was OK with the idea of a Klay Thompson/David Lee centered trade (ideally with Harrison Barnes and a pick in the mix as well, and Kevin Martin joining Love for G.S.). I am OK with a Wiggins-Thompson centered deal, and could substitute out Thompson for Waiters and/or Bennett but would want picks, too. I haven't yet seen a tolerable Boston trade because all they have are picks, and we need somebody to contribute now and at least one potential star.

As for Chicago, they could be very, very interesting. Whether they are a title contender depends on Rose, of course. But they have not only added Gasol, either (who provides some much-needed Noah insurance). Doug McDermott is an almost historic scorer at the college level and should be able to contribute to that team offensively immediately, especially if Rose is explosive enough to draw defenses (and thus get him open). Nikola Mirotic is a 6-10 Montenegren (with Spanish passport) "stretch four" who can also step in and play right away. He's an NBA starting caliber player. And Tony Snell, last year's first-rounder, looked much improved last night in summer league. So it's a pretty strong team that has added the requisite offensive firepower. But you can't stress enough, DJ Augustin won't cut it if they want to contend. They make the playoffs without Rose, but they have no shot at winning it.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on July 13, 2014, 12:30:45 PM
Now, the Heat have signed Deng. In the East, I'd put Chicago, Indiana, Washington, Toronto, Cleveland, (not necessarily in that order), and then Miami. The East is horrible. Brooklyn isn't doing anything. Atlanta? Charlotte? And my Pistons. Ugh. Joe D is my favorite Piston of all time, but that doesn't mean he gets a pass for the last couple of years. Just ridiculous. I was hopeful at the beginning of last year, and then it took about a month to see that Josh Smith was a terrible signing. If they could get rid of him and sign Monroe, we'd be in good shape, I think. Oh, and if we would have actually had a first round pick this year.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on July 13, 2014, 12:45:31 PM
Detroit: the biggest issue there is that Josh Smith and Greg Monroe are the starting forwards, and neither can really space the floor. I mean, Smith can play out on the wing, but he doesn't shoot especially well from there--a problem compounded by his love for trying to show that he can shoot from there. Without three truly perimeter-oriented guys on the court, it's hard playing Monroe and Drummond together, and obviously to do well, that's what this Detroit roster has to do.

On the positive side, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope looks absolutely spectacular right now. In Orlando, he was really good. And I don't just mean in a statistics way, which summer league often often helps people do. I mean for real. He said in an interview his goal was to perform well while playing fundamentally sound basketball and the several games I watched, he did just that. Nothing fancy, he looked like he was following middle-school coaches' instructions: when going left, use your left; stay between your man and the ball; hold the ball in triple threat position; etc. He shot well, his handle is much improved ... I think he's a solid starting SG right now, and has star potential in a league currently lacking many good shooting guards.

I'm less optimistic about the point guard spot for Detroit, though. I just hate Brandon Jennings' game.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on July 13, 2014, 03:09:18 PM
I was sort of hoping that they were going to get Isaiah Thomas from Sacramento. Didn't work out, I guess.
I trust Van Gundy, though. At least with him being the coach and the president, there isn't going to be any differences in opinion between the 2 positions. He'll get who he wants to coach. And the East is so terrible, I don't think that an 8 seed is out of the question. He'll turn things around.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on July 13, 2014, 05:10:40 PM
I can't imagine a team winning with Isaiah Thomas (as opposed to Isiah Thomas) as its primary PG. He scores, for sure, but he's not what I'd call a real floor general.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on July 15, 2014, 02:04:26 PM
Rubio wants a 5 year max deal? You've gotta be kidding me.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on July 15, 2014, 02:13:01 PM
Rubio wants a 5 year max deal? You've gotta be kidding me.

Well so does everybody else on earth, don't they?  ;D But I don't think that's where he'll end up because nobody in the league will give him that. That said, while much of the press at least was down on him last year, I think he's fabulous and far, far more valuable than the average fan or writer might think. Yes, advanced metrics weren't kind to him, but I think those are just a part of any picture. I'm not so old-school as to discount them, but also not so caught up in The Big New Thing as to abandon my basketball eyes. There aren't five PGs in the league I'd rather have than Rubio, and I'm not saying that from an entertainment value standpoint. (If I were there might not be three.) His leadership skills, his work ethic, his size, his comprehension of basketball, all fabulous. His shooting is coming along, but more importantly, his understanding of how and when he can score has really grown, especially the latter half of last year.

If you said the Wolves could keep Love or keep Rubio, but not both, I'd keep Rubio. No question.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on July 18, 2014, 06:00:22 AM
Yesterday reports started coming out that the Cavs were willing to include Andrew Wiggins in a trade for Kevin Love after all. (Seems like it had to have been a ploy from the beginning: nobody could have believed the could get Love for the likes of a Bennett-Waiters package.) What is being reported now is Wiggins, Bennett, and a future first rounder. (I've heard a 2015 first rounder, but that doesn't meet league rules, as the Cavs dealt away their 2016 first rounder in the Tyler Zeller/Sergei Karasev deal that cleared their Lebron-cap space: teams are forbidden from dealing away consecutive first rounders. It's the "Ted Stepien" rule.)

Because I don't think Klay Thompson is available, this may be the best the Wolves can get. I'd like to see it expanded so we could unload Kevin Martin, but even as-is, I'd take it. Risky, but it's something.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on July 19, 2014, 03:18:40 AM
The Timberwolves have the advantage here (right now). Try and get Golden State and Cleveland to keep upping the ante. They *should* make out pretty good. Although it's another rebuilding phase, which it seems they're constantly in anyway.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on July 19, 2014, 06:40:40 AM
I'm not sure it will be a real rebuild, though obviously the eventual trade plays into how far we slip. But Pekovic is arguably the best offensive center in basketball, and Rubio is among the best floor generals and a good defender. Guys like Kevin Martin (if we keep him), Corey Brewer, and Chase Budinger are legitimate contributing wings. Gorgui Dieng really came on strong late last year and looks good this summer as the defensive complement to Pek. Muhammad is an unabashed gunner. And rookie Zach LaVine, we'll see... Talented and looking good this summer.

So what are we? A talented team lacking the real star at the top. With the exception of Detroit in '04, that means you aren't a championship contender ... but you can be a winning team. Charlotte, Atlanta, or (two years ago) Denver have been playoff teams in that situation. It isn't ideal, but it could be a LOT worse.

I'll put it this way: I'd take Minnesota's roster and situation over Detroit's (aside from your luck of being in the garbage conference, I'm jealous of that).


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on July 19, 2014, 12:45:30 PM
A little testy about your team, eh? I'd much rather take Detroit's history over Minnesota's Timberwolves history  ;)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on July 19, 2014, 12:58:29 PM
I'm a Philadelphia 76ers fan so needless to say it has been an interesting several months. GM Sam Hinkie has a plan, and I support it. As a fan you just have to be patient. Lately I've been watching the summer league games to see if Nerlens Noel can make it through a game without getting hurt. :police:


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on July 19, 2014, 03:13:42 PM
Mr. Verlander: Obviously Detroit's history is worlds beyond the Wolves'. I'm just saying in this particular case, there is a way to success.

SJS: Philly is a team I am so, so curious about. The concept of hoarding assets makes sense for a while, but at some point you have to cash in your chips and win some games, right? Noel is interesting, but still so, so thin, and so, so raw (offensively). I'm curious what he can do. Embiid is brilliant, but a year out and risky for his injuries. I LOVE Saric, but he's one, two, three years away from even joining the team, much less adjusting to American basketball. I wonder how a market like Philadephia will embrace the "be patient, we've got a plan" philosophy!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on July 22, 2014, 05:24:32 AM
The word on the street is that Josh Smith is going to remain a Piston. Which really is not surprising, because his contract is terrible. I was hoping that some poor GM would think 'you know, I bet WE could change him into our kind of player', and trade for him. So that's the writing on the wall for Greg Monroe I think, they can't keep both of those guys. I wish this mess would play out, so I can get an idea of what this team is going to look like.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on July 22, 2014, 05:29:26 AM
Smith ... such a tease. Almost everything about him is good individually, but somehow it doesn't ever fully come together.

I wonder what will happen with Monroe. His options are disappearing, assuming he truly wants a max deal (as has been reported). He's not what I'd call a max player, but obviously that means squat (especially in a summer when Gordon Hayward gets a max contract...).



Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on July 22, 2014, 11:39:18 AM
That has to be what's blocking Monroe signing anywhere-he wants too much. I'm surprised that there hasn't been much chatter about him; even around these parts, you aren't hearing a lot from 'teams that are interested'.  Although that's probably going to change, because he's the top remaining free agent.

I just saw something about Chicago entering the Love sweepstakes. I didn't see the details on it, but I'd be interested to see exactly what they have to offer. Off the top of my head I can't think of anything better than Wiggins; then again, I haven't paid close attention to them lately, except that they signed Gasol, and put the amnesty on Boozer.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on July 22, 2014, 12:37:25 PM
I've heard Phoenix is interested in Monroe. But no offer yet...

Yahoo has a story that the Cleveland deal is nearing completion, with the
Biggest sticking point is apparently either Cleveland acquiring expiring contracts to flesh out the deal (after Wiggins) and whether to expand the deal to include Barea and/or Martin.

Chicago seems like a long shot. A Gibson/Butler centered deal doesn't excite me, though Mirotic would help.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on July 23, 2014, 04:24:43 AM
Everybody knows that it's going to be Cleveland. I think that they're (Minnesota) trying to see if Cleveland will up their offer a bit by getting Chicago's name out there as another suitor. If you were Minnesota, there's no way you'd take what Chicago is offering over what Cleveland is. The only way Love doesn't end up in Cleveland is if suddenly GS gives up Thompson, which doesn't appear likely.

I've occasionally wondered; has Kevin Love ever listened to SMiLE?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on July 23, 2014, 06:57:34 AM
Cleveland has, as anticipated, acquired three non-guaranteed contracts--er, players  ;D--presumably to facilitate the Love trade. (John Lucas III, Malcolm Thomas and Erik Murphy) Seems the most likely course is Wiggins, Bennett, those three players, and one or more future 1st round picks for Love. Once Wiggins signs, the salaries work under the cap (though that would delay the actual trade a month--it could still be agreed to).

Minnesota is reportedly working hard to move Barea and Martin but Cleveland can't make that work and would require a third team for it. Not clear whether that can happen. At some point, you just pull the trigger.

As for Love and Smile, I don't know. I do recall while he was a high schooler playing in a showcase in Minnesota he was asked his favorite Beach Boys song and he named a Brian song that didn't include Mike, then made some comment like "Uncle Mike won't like that."


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on July 23, 2014, 07:04:56 AM

Minnesota is reportedly working hard to move Barea and Martin but Cleveland can't make that work and would require a third team for it. Not clear whether that can happen. At some point, you just pull the trigger.


Maybe I spoke too soon. This morning I've come across some rumors of Philadelphia--the ultimate broker with all their cap space--being interested in acquiring Cleveland's Dion Waiters. Philly also wants to move Thaddeus Young to shed his salary, knowing he is young enough to command a legit extension but not necessarily seeing him as part of their future, him being from the old regime. So a Barea (expiring) - Waiters - Young sequel to the Love trade could work once the Wolves waive the three aforementioned nonguaranteed contracts. I think.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on July 23, 2014, 01:06:11 PM
I've just read all sorts of scenarios; now the Nuggets are trying to get involved, which is news to me.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on July 23, 2014, 01:16:31 PM
And the Bulls' offer is said to include at least Gibson, McDermott, and Mirotic. The lattermost is the most interesting to me. I need to watch recent video: he has gotten some rave reviews ("best European since Nowitzki") and some harsh criticisms (disappears in big games, no killer spirit, just another skilled Euro).

Anything could happen, and I assume actual finalization is a month out regardless if we're going Cleveland or Chicago due to the rookies involved. Golden State could be immediate. Denver, unless they have some wild new idea in mind, seems inconceivable to me. Nothing they can offer is sufficient, so I assume recent mentions of them are as facilitators in a 3-way. (Afflalo, whom they indeed did acquire on draft day, had been mentioned as a key piece of the initial rumor with them along with their two picks.)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on July 23, 2014, 02:50:36 PM
The thing is, they just signed Gasol; so you'd have Gasol, Love and Noah. That's a lot of minutes to split up. And Chicago is a big defensive team, and Love ain't the best defender.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on July 23, 2014, 03:03:26 PM
Hey, helping Chicago win ain't my problem!

Honestly I'd take a Wiggins deal or a Thompson deal over any Chicago deal I've heard.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 02, 2014, 06:41:18 AM
Man, that injury to Paul George looked horrendous. Somebody posted it on their Facebook, and it was before I had even heard about it. All the title of the video said was 'Here's hoping Paul George recovers quickly!', and I thought oh, he must've turned an ankle or pulled a hamstring. I didn't realize that he turned the entire bottom half of his leg. Man, that was nasty.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 02, 2014, 06:57:21 AM
I haven't seen it yet, but I read about it first thing this morning. Horrible for USA Basketball, too, as NBA owners are sure to push against their player-investments participating in non-NBA (e.g. international) competition even more than some already do.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on August 02, 2014, 07:29:00 AM
How would you like to be an Indiana Pacers' fan right now? Losing Lance Stephenson and Paul George in a matter of days?

Yes, it was a freak injury that could've happened anytime, anywhere. It could've happened at home, falling off a ladder while changing a light bulb. But, the owners of professional sports franchises have to take a long look at having their "investments" participating in exhibitions. There is too much at stake....in many ways.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 02, 2014, 08:32:06 AM
If I were a Pacers' fan, I'd actually have looked at losing Stephenson as addition by subtraction. I'm just not sold on him as a dependable major part of a winning team. Talented, for sure, but by many accounts, pretty selfish and immature. His game went down the toilet (relatively speaking) once he wasn't named an All-Star. I also heard stories (and saw with my own eyes) some stat-hogging, like trying to beat out his own teammates for rebounds, passing for the assist but not necessarily the pass that leads to the pass that's the assist, etc. That's disheartening. So losing Stephenson, Turner, and Bynum, I see as a net gain.

However, losing George. It's just awful. While another good ball-handling, creative guard would have helped them, I thought the Pacers were looking good to rank again among the top few seeds in the East. Now it would take a near miracle: Hibbert has to return to form; they need a great performance out of Hill; and somebody has to step up as a wing.

SJS, regarding stars in international play, I definitely understand the risk. But on the other hand, America both loses interest in, and then chastises the participants of, international ball when we don't send our stars. Let's remember the late 80s, when interest was so low we couldn't even get our top college stars on a consistent basis--and we lost games. That was what led to the whole "Dream Team" concept in the first place. (That and a sense of fairness, in that every other country was sending pros while we were sending college kids.) I truly believe if we reverted to sending college kids, or maybe even our non-NBA pros (D-Leaguers, Americans playing abroad) as we did in the '89 (?) World Championships--the lockout season, whenever that was--the Americans would be soundly and regularly beaten. The game has grown abroad to the extent that we'd be beaten, and beaten badly.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on August 02, 2014, 09:10:34 AM
International play is unique, and I understand the patriotic aspect. I wasn't necessarily singling it out, but, yeah, I do include it "exhibition" events. I was mostly thinking about the NBA All-Star game, the NFL Pro Bowl, the NHL All-Star game, and, hell, guys could get hurt in the MLB Home Run Derby!

Of course there are provisions and limitations in all professional contracts such as maybe not being able to ride a motorcycle, or a jet ski, and not being able to play in pick-up basketball games and the like. But, man, if I was employing a player for millions and millions of dollars, and the financial (and other) success of the franchise depended on that player, I would be very concerned - holding my breath! - when my guy participated in these exhibitions. I can't name a lot of instances when a player went down, but I'm sure a list could be complied. I'm really aging myself but Ray Fosse comes to mind. :-[ Was it Mark Cuban who tried to keep one of his players from playing in the Olympics a couple of years ago? I wonder how many other owners secretly agreed with him?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 02, 2014, 09:19:17 AM
I brought up international play because last night's injury was a Team USA event in preparation for the Worlds.

Mark Cuban has been one of the more vocal opponents of letting his team's players play internationally. The Spurs recently showed concern about Manu Ginobili--who indeed ended up not being cleared (not sure by whom)--to play for Argentina in the Worlds. Quite a few owners, GMs, and coaches have spoken of the challenges of letting guys play. It is understandable, especially since the game has become such a huge moneymaker in the past 30 years or so.

Conversely, this is the first really serious injury I can recall happening during Team USA preparation or competition. I think in '92, John Stockton had a leg injury as well, but I can't recall is being anywhere near this serious--I'm sure he didn't miss regular-season time from it. There have been anecdotal observations about guys getting hurt the year after their international competition, but I have also seen a more formal, statistical study that showed that is an aberration, and the rates of injury are actually roughly the same as for those who don't play.

There is another side for owners to consider, though, as well: letting guys play internationally builds their brands around the world. Players gain exposure, and their teams benefit from it as well.

I think your mentions of the league-sponsored all-star type events are a little different in that those are organized by the leagues. It's the leagues themselves that insist on such things, as a way to rake in more cash. I'd think it's non-league exhibitions (or other competition) that owners really worry about: pro-am leagues, for example. And yet guys have always played in the offseasons, be it totally recreationally, in workout settings, or in organized competition. It's a tough thing, because you need to play to stay sharp and to improve, and the reality is that people get hurt sometimes while playing or preparing to play. I think it's just a fact of athletics.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 02, 2014, 01:47:10 PM
He's done for the season, which means Indiana is done.
Chicago and Cleveland (if they land Love, which I suppose is more of a 'when', than an 'if') are the top 2 easily, followed by Miami. I find Miami intriguing, just because it's going to be interesting if Wade is going to bounce back and be 'The Man' one more time, or if Bosh can still be the guy he was in Toronto. How's Deng gonna fit in? What's Haslem got left? He's been around forever; he played on the Florida team that my MSU Spartans beat in the National Championship game in 2000 (of which Mike Miller was also a part of).

I don't know what's going on with Greg Monroe. He really doesn't want to play with Josh Smith apparently, but it also looks like he thinks he's worth more than what everyone else does.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 02, 2014, 01:55:57 PM
I think Miami is in trouble this season. They're a playoff team--they are in the East, after all!--but not a title contender.

The good:
Chris Bosh is an NBA star. The way the team played in recent years didn't feature him, but a team can feature him and get good results. He's a 20-and-10 guy if you want him to be. Further, he is an impressive guy, intelligent by all accounts and I believe more likely to be a good leader now than he was in Toronto as a younger man.

Luol Deng is a versatile and very good NBA player. He is a borderline all-star, the kind of guy who may or may not make it any given year depending on what else is going on. He shoots, he defends, he's a locker-room guy.

Josh McRoberts is a really versatile player, and a facilitator. He is going to help get things done: good, bouncy athlete; really good passer; decent shooter.

The bad:
Most everything else, actually. I worry about Wade, a true warrior and all-time great whose body seems to be breaking down. Year after year, bunches of games missed and others ineffective. There are no fountains of youth, and the best aspect of his game was his recklessness. He never developed a dependable jumpshot; without that, he's not going to age gracefully.

Resigning Chris Andersen and Udonis Haslem may have showed loyalty but it strikes me as a bad idea basketball-wise. Again, both are aging, and in the case of Andersen, you're talking about a guy whose game is solely athleticism.  Danny Granger is another guy who, while not as old, is trying to come back from years of injuries. Shabazz Napier was just awful this summer, though obviously these things can take time.

To me, this team seems like it was built for the return of Lebron, which is ironic since several of the guys weren't signed until after Lebron was gone.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 03, 2014, 07:11:46 AM
In the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Wolves owner Glen Taylor finally acknowledged the obvious: Love will most likely be traded "August 23 or 24," which not-so-coincidentally is when the 30-day moratorium caused by the Cavs signing Wiggins ends.

Quote
The Timberwolves say now that they expect to trade disgruntled all-star Kevin Love and that a deal is expected Aug. 23 or Aug. 24.

"I'm saying it's most likely because Kevin has made it pretty clear that that's what he wants to do," Wolves owner Glen Taylor told the Pioneer Press.

http://www.twincities.com/timberwolves/ci_26265657/charley-walters-timberwolves-likely-trade-kevin-love-by


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on August 03, 2014, 07:36:00 AM
There is a headline on my computer homepage:

NBA Team Store Discontinues Andrew Wiggins Cavaliers Jerseys Online

Gee, Andrew, we hardly knew ya...:o :lol


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 03, 2014, 08:08:13 AM
Now it comes down to what, specifically, ends up being the trade (beyond the obvious core deal of Love to Cleveland and Wiggins to Minnesota).

My best guess is one of two options:

2-way trade:
Cleveland receives Kevin Love

Minnesota receives Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, salary cap filler (the guys just traded for: John Lucas III, Erik Murphy, and Malcolm Thomas, who will all be waived immediately), a 1st rounder, and some 2nd rounders.


3-way trade:
Cleveland receives Kevin Love and maybe some nonguaranteed contract player or future 2nd.

Minnesota receives Andrew Wiggins, Thaddeus Young (from Philly), Anthony Bennett, and some 2nd rounders.

Philadelphia receives a first-rounder (from Cleveland) and Kevin Martin.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 03, 2014, 12:45:02 PM
There is a headline on my computer homepage:

NBA Team Store Discontinues Andrew Wiggins Cavaliers Jerseys Online

Gee, Andrew, we hardly knew ya...:o :lol

I was just gonna say that I read that, too.  :)

Minnesota may actually end up coming ahead in the deal when it's all said and done.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on August 03, 2014, 01:01:41 PM
Philadelphia receives a first-rounder (from Cleveland) and Kevin Martin.

Just what the 76ers need....another first round draft pick! >:D

No, seriously, as much as the 76ers like Thaddeus Young, not only on the court but he's also a class guy, I think they'd take a No. 1 AND Kevin Martin. Martin is a little old for what Philadelphia is trying to do, but he could fill a role while the young guys grow. I think Kevin Martin might have some ties to Sam Hinkie when he was in Houston which could facilitate things.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 03, 2014, 01:47:07 PM
My thinking on that part of the deal was as follows:

 - Philly isn't going to want to extend Young (and thus commit that money).
 - Martin, while more expensive in guaranteed fashion, is at least a known contract: 3 years, about $21 million. While they would rather not include that kind of vet in their longer-term plans, I think he can a) give them DESPERATELY NEEDED help scoring from the wing spots while b) remaining some kind of trade asset in a couple years to a contender, once his contract is expiring.
 - To "do the favor" of taking Martin, they'd want (and get) the first rounder as cost of doing business.

I have to say, I like a Minnesota team of Rubio / Wiggins / Brewer / Young / Pekovic, with a bench of newly signed Mo Williams, Gorgui Dieng, Chase Budinger, Zach LaVine, Shabazz Muhammad, Alexey Shved (though rumors are he's likely to be moved by the season), and Glenn Robinson III.

And I love Philly's roster, too ... in two years! Because then it could be MCW / some wing / Dario Saric, Nerlens Noel, and Joel Embiid.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on August 03, 2014, 02:00:02 PM
My thinking on that part of the deal was as follows:

 - Philly isn't going to want to extend Young (and thus commit that money).
 - Martin, while more expensive in guaranteed fashion, is at least a known contract: 3 years, about $21 million. While they would rather not include that kind of vet in their longer-term plans, I think he can a) give them DESPERATELY NEEDED help scoring from the wing spots while b) remaining some kind of trade asset in a couple years to a contender, once his contract is expiring.
 - To "do the favor" of taking Martin, they'd want (and get) the first rounder as cost of doing business.

I have to say, I like a Minnesota team of Rubio / Wiggins / Brewer / Young / Pekovic, with a bench of newly signed Mo Williams, Gorgui Dieng, Chase Budinger, Zach LaVine, Shabazz Muhammad, Alexey Shved (though rumors are he's likely to be moved by the season), and Glenn Robinson III.

And I love Philly's roster, too ... in two years! Because then it could be MCW / some wing / Dario Saric, Nerlens Noel, and Joel Embiid.

I agree with all your points. The 76ers might not win very many games this year, but they will be interesting to follow the next couple of years. I listen to a lot of Philly sports talk radio, and the feeling on Sam Hinkie is divided. People either love what he is doing and support his strategies, or they hate what he is doing and think it's/he's going to be a disaster! So far I like almost every move he's made.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 03, 2014, 02:07:26 PM
It definitely takes a big-picture view and some patience to get on board. The key will be, when he seemingly has what it takes to make "the big move" (which includes spending), will he do it? Because that is the difference between the "Houston approach" that he seems to be following and the "Clippers approach" that it could turn into if he just keeps swapping for younger (rookie scale) guys and future picks. Houston was on that same path, but then when the time came to spend on Harden and Howard, they did it. The Clippers--I'm talking 80s, early 90s--endlessly sucked, drafted fantastic talent, and then watched that talent leave at the earliest opportunity!



Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 04, 2014, 06:33:11 PM
Is the Love trade already done? Philly.com quotes ESPN's Brian Windhorst as saying that there is a handshake agreement already in place. Most interestingly, it has Anthony Bennett as part of the deal, but going to Philly (for Thaddeus Young), not to Minnesota. Very interested to see the eventual details.

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/sports/sixers/Former-number-one-pick-Anthony-Bennett-could-be-Philadelphia-bound-.html


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on August 05, 2014, 10:37:10 AM
I've been streaming sports radio 94 WIP in Philadelphia, and they are only saying that it's rumored. If it was a done deal, believe me, WIP would report it. They have a lot of sources. However, they ARE SAYING that what might be keeping things quiet and hush-hush is the 30-day rookie rule. Once Cleveland signed Wiggins to his rookie contract, the rules are imperative that NOTHING can be said or done for 30 days; I think there's about 20 days left.

Hey, if you want to give me a No. 1 draft pick AND Anthony Bennett for Thaddeus Young, I say "Where do I sign?" Again, I love Thad Young, but he ain't worth a No. 1 AND last year's overall No. 1, although admittedly, I haven't seen Bennett play much. Is he a prospect or a bust?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 05, 2014, 12:05:58 PM
Bennett was pretty bad last year, but to be fair he was behind the 8-ball with summer and early season injuries. That said, he's short for PF, prone to pudginess, and lacks the skill and quickness to be a SF so far. Prospect remains the word, but I don't expect him to have the career of a typical #1 overall pick.

I'm curious exactly what we're getting and giving at this point.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on August 05, 2014, 12:19:07 PM
Wiggins dunking the other day was impressive.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 05, 2014, 02:47:36 PM
He's a phenomenal athlete. That plus his pretty strong fundamentals on the defensive end make me think he's pretty certain to be at least a high-level, and maybe an elite, defender. Honestly, while his offensive game needs work, it seems like he could step in and be similar to Corey Brewer from Day One, which isn't a bad thing to be. When you consider his potential yet on offense--such as a really nice form on his jumpshot (something Brewer certainly does not have!) and a decent little post game for a wing--it's pretty exciting.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 06, 2014, 05:40:29 AM
One of our notoriously negative columnists wrote a whining piece for today's Star Tribune about the winners and losers in the proposed Love deal. I don't think it's that bad! Then he whines how the team will drop from mediocrity to the cellar.

Maybe I'm nuts but I think we lose very little in the W/L column, but gain plenty in potential improvement. Love didn't want to be here, whined incessantly, feuded with teammates, was petulant toward management, and--good a player as he is--couldn't lead a team to the playoffs. So losing him for a productive starter (Young), an uber-talented prospect (Wiggins), and at least one pick is bad how, exactly?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 06, 2014, 06:22:44 AM
One of our notoriously negative columnists wrote a whining piece for today's Star Tribune about the winners and losers in the proposed Love deal. I don't think it's that bad! Then he whines how the team will drop from mediocrity to the cellar.

Maybe I'm nuts but I think we lose very little in the W/L column, but gain plenty in potential improvement. Love didn't want to be here, whined incessantly, feuded with teammates, was petulant toward management, and--good a player as he is--couldn't lead a team to the playoffs. So losing him for a productive starter (Young), an uber-talented prospect (Wiggins), and at least one pick is bad how, exactly?

Because a lot of people feel that every team needs to have that 'star' to be successful. I don't agree with it, but people love 'big names'. Even columnists, who are supposed to know more than the common fan. A perfect example would be the Pistons who won the title in '04. They had a team of really good players, but none were 'big names', at the time.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 06, 2014, 07:03:31 AM
That's true. Good point. I'll admit it is rare for starless teams to win titles (Pistons notwithstanding), but plenty make the playoffs. And plenty of star-led teams miss the playoffs, as I can attest!

I'd rather see a democratic team that is a lower 4 seed than a star-centered team that misses out perennially. George Karl 'a post-Melo Denver teams or Atlanta are decent examples.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 06, 2014, 11:54:45 AM
Everybody falls into that trap, too. Even basketball people who've done the job for years feel like they have to make a 'big' move, although I suppose that also has something to do with making the fan base happy. Another Pistons example is when Joe Dumars (GM) went out and spent an insane amount of money on Charlie V and Ben Gordon. They were the 2 of the biggest names of that free agent class, and he had just gotten rid of Billups. He had to make a splashy move. People were pissed of course, because those guys weren't worth the money; however, they probably would've been more upset if Joe D hadn't spent any money at all.

It seems though, that usually when teams make a move for a big name, a lot of the time it doesn't work out. Look at that Lakers team that the Pistons beat; they added Malone and Payton. It didn't help their case that The Lakers were imploding, but still, they didn't do much for that team in terms of taking them over the top. The Lakers with Howard, also. If I was a Minnesota fan, I'd be more inclined to pay money to watch a team with Wiggins, Rubio and Young (if that's the case), than to pay money to watch everyone stand around while Love shoots it.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 06, 2014, 02:47:55 PM
This is not a widely held position even in Minnesota, but I'm fine being an outsider: the biggest benefit will be that our team leader will undoubtedly be Ricky Rubio. He is the best man for that job.

Rubio became something of a whipping boy for the national media last year. He won them over early in his career by working his ball-handling and passing magic, but eventually his poor shooting--and maybe especially poor finishing percentage at the rim--led to the barrage of hate. I understand how bad his shooting is (though it got a lot better later in the season, and his 3-point shooting actually isn't bad), and agree it has to get better.

However, he is a competitor and a leader. While Love would pout through fourth quarters in which he was still the featured player (leading us to losses), Rubio would cheer on his own backup, JJ Barea, who sometimes replaced him on the court when coach Adelman lost faith in Rubio's scoring ability. Imagine what Love would do if he were pulled during crunch time! The guy whines after every perceived no-call or slight to his superstardom. Rubio cheers on everybody, including the guy in his rightful spot. I love Rubio's demeanor on the court.

Further, he's a really good defender. He works hard at that end, which is inspiring. And obviously everybody knows about his passing. If the team can defend, rebound defensively, and outlet, Rubio will reward guys like Brewer, Wiggins, LaVine, etc, with easy baskets.

I don't want to pile on Love too much, because he is the second-best player in franchise history and was fun to watch. But Rubio leading a balanced, young team might really be a break-even in short-term wins, an improvement in longer-term wins, and a LOT of fun to watch.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 07, 2014, 09:12:11 AM
Love trade details. (I swear I care about the whole league, not just Wolves ... Bear with me, this is big for us!)

 https://sports.yahoo.com/news/sources--cavaliers-have-agreement-to-acquire-kevin-love--who-commits-to-staying-in-cleveland-054657392.html


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 07, 2014, 01:14:55 PM
Are you happy with that? I would've felt a little bit better if you would've ended up with Young. Although, I suppose they could still trade Bennett and whomever for Young. Of course, all of this is a roll of the dice; Bennett hasn't shown much, and Wiggins is up in the air at this point. Still, he could go on to be a beast. I bet Minnesota isn't done dealing yet.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on August 07, 2014, 01:25:49 PM
Are you happy with that? I would've felt a little bit better if you would've ended up with Young. Although, I suppose they could still trade Bennett and whomever for Young.

I hope you're right. As a 76ers fan, I really had my hopes up for Bennett and a No. 1 pick. And again, I like Thaddeus Young....but now I feel disappointed.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 07, 2014, 03:39:03 PM
Are you happy with that? I would've felt a little bit better if you would've ended up with Young. Although, I suppose they could still trade Bennett and whomever for Young.

I hope you're right. As a 76ers fan, I really had my hopes up for Bennett and a No. 1 pick. And again, I like Thaddeus Young....but now I feel disappointed.

Bennett cannot be dealt for a while if he is sent to Minnesota as part of this deal. It sounds like if Minnesota does a Thaddeus Young deal now, it would likely be for one or two of the guys we're trying to move (JJ Barea, Alexey Shved, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, each of which is expiring) as well as second-year wing Shabazz Muhammad and probably picks or cash to sweeten it.

Mr. Verlander, I am happy with the deal, yes. I would like more, of course. And statistically we're unlikely to match Love's production with his replacements, at least this year. But we weren't winning with him here, he didn't want to be here, he didn't get along with people, and he impeded our potential for improvement. I think this makes us more flexible while bringing in some legit young talent AND improving the culture tenfold. I like it.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 08, 2014, 05:41:28 AM
Philly Inquirer says a Young for Bennett/1st is indeed forthcoming. If so I think it must be part of main trade or I think (not positive) it is against rules.

Meanwhile CLE trying to get Denver 7-footer Timofey Mozgov. He'd be great for them, just what they need: adequate athlete but big guy, defends the post/rim, has a little post game too.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 08, 2014, 04:15:31 PM
Rubio/Wiggins/Young is a pretty good 'young 3' to build around. I think.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 08, 2014, 07:19:30 PM
You could do worse. Don't forget a 18-and-10 Pekovic, either.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on August 09, 2014, 05:47:44 AM
Sounds like the Wolves will a be an interesting team this year. How many wins, captain? ;)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 09, 2014, 07:45:25 AM
Sounds like the Wolves will a be an interesting team this year. How many wins, captain? ;)

It really depends on whether they go full-on rebuilding: do they feature the young guys like LaVine, Wiggins, etc., by trading or benching those serviceable vets like Brewer, Budinger, Martin? Or do they ease into it, splitting time?

Last year's team went 40-42, with the following issues:
 - Love drama (clashes with teammates, constant trade/unhappiness grumbling, etc.)
 - Pekovic, who averaged about 17 ppg and 9 rpg, missed 28 games from injury.
 - Budinger missed half the season (41 games) and was clearly not at peak condition when he played, coming off meniscus and ligament surgeries.
 - Martin--19 ppg--missed 14 games to injury.
 - Backup center Ronny Turiaf missed all but 31 games to injury.
 - Rubio, especially before the all-star break, shot inexplicably badly (even for him).

That is a long way of setting the stage. I'd say that if Rubio leads and shoots even mediocre (40 FG%, 35 3pt%), especially finishing at the tim, and we don't have substantial injury problems, the range is 41 wins if we really try to win games this year and make the rookies earn it, to 30 games if we lean on the young guys or have substantial injuries. So let's say 36 wins.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 09, 2014, 01:02:17 PM
I don't buy that this makes Cleveland the odds on favorite, either. IF Derrick Rose is healthy, I think they're the team to beat in the East. I think next year may be the year the Cavs are the best in the East; and even if Cleveland wins the East, I'm not sure that they could beat a team like San Antonio in 6 or 7 games.

And something else; I think Kevin Durant is going to end up leaving OKC when his contract is up.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 09, 2014, 01:35:11 PM
I think both Cleveland and Chicago, assuming a healthy and confident Rose, are the clear top two seeds out East. After that I'd say Indiana, then it's a crap shoot. Without a rim protector, I can't imagine Cleveland winning a title though.

Regarding Durant, I agree. I think he'll return to Washington, his hometown.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 09, 2014, 04:52:19 PM
He just signed that deal with Under Armour for something like 100 mill a year, and they're out of Maryland, I believe. Add that to the fact that I guess he makes no bones about the fact that he's a Wizards fan, it sort of adds up. He's gonna make 100 mil a year from UA. Not bad, eh?

I think Indiana's going in the tank, unless Hibert can be The Man. After the way he looked at the end of the year, I dont' know if he's able to do that.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 09, 2014, 05:05:44 PM
Durant's Under Armour deal is only about $30 million a year: 10 years, up to $325 million total. But yeah, crazy money.

As for Indiana, I must say ... DOH![/i]. I was just about to start typing how I felt they may have some nice addition by subtraction, losing rumored chemistry problems Stephenson, Turner, and Bynum. Then I remembered Paul George... So yeah, I take that back. There is a good chance they are at the low end of the playoffs or maybe even miss them in the unpredictable (and not that great) East.

Washington, on the other hand, is a team I forgot to mention. They have as good a chance as anyone as being in that 3-4 seed range, right along with Toronto. Though I'll say this now regarding Toronto: Kyle Lowry, having signed his contract, may not be the Lowry of last season. Still they do have a nice roster: Lowry and Vasquez at point, DeRozan and Ross on the wings, Johnson and Valanciunis inside, with some other nice backups and young talent to develop.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 10, 2014, 07:08:08 AM
Anybody have thoughts--Mr. Verlander, I suspect you will--on either of the two big-name restricted free agents who are still out there? Phoenix point guard Eric Bledsoe and Detroit power forward/center Greg Monroe are both still awaiting resolution. Both have refused their own teams' offers, reportedly wanting max deals. Neither has been made an offer by other teams, as teams reportedly widely believe Phoenix and Detroit would match any offers.

Bledsoe in particular seems like an insane situation. His team was already uniquely constructed, a two-point guard experiment with Bledsoe (until he got hurt) running alongside Goran Dragic. This offseason, the Suns signed Sacramento's point guard Isaiah Thomas and drafted Syracuse point guard Tyler Ennis. Neither of those guys can play off the ball, either. So we have four point guards, three of whom are already proven, rotation-to-starter-to-star level contributors at the NBA level. Bledsoe was also reportedly offended and angry at Phoenix's offer, a 4-year, $48 million deal. (I believe a max deal for Bledsoe would be nearer 5 years, $80 million.) But with most teams capped out, it seems like the only options are the qualifying tender from Phoenix ($3.7 million) that would leave him an unrestricted free agent next year, a sign-and-trade elsewhere, or taking that 4-year Phoenix offer.

How good to you think Bledsoe is, and what might happen? I know the Phoenix management has explained how they can keep all four PGs happy on that roster, but I can't imagine it working. And the fact it, there is no point in having an embarrassment of riches at one spot unless you're also well-covered in your other positions. This team started Channing Frye at PF and lost him; they started Gerald Green half the time and PJ Tucker every game. '86 Celtics they ain't.

Monroe is in an unusual situation, too. At first glance one could say he hasn't improved much since his second season (last year was his fourth), but in reality he has been awkwardly jammed into a lineup that first included fellow big Andre Drummond, then last year added Josh Smith, an awfully power-forwardish small forward. The reality is, especially without a good ball-movement culture or system, the team just couldn't space the floor and use its talented big trio to much success. (Can't stress enough, Brandon Jennings is a big part of that problem.)

So what does Monroe do? He seems settled in as a 16-and-9 guy on bad teams, reputation-wise. Those aren't max numbers, but his agents are smart enough to know that moderately productive bigs get paid, and he's only 24 years old. The agents aren't dumb for seeking max. This league's history is littered with Jon Koncaks, Jim McIlvaines, Ike Austins, and Travis Knights, to name just a few. Still, he has his flaws. In an era of stretch fours, he's a pretty traditional post player, capable at the high post, but certainly not as a face-up jump-shooter from deep. He doesn't defend the rim very well.

So at this late stage, who is looking to pay big money to a big who neither blocks shots nor hits 3s, the two most sought skills in a big these days? It might be too late. Teams that had the cash were either chasing major FAs (Houston, Cleveland, LAL), weren't good fits (Charlotte, with the similar Al Jefferson), or don't want to spend their money for tanking reasons (Philly). Atlanta has been mentioned occasionally but there certainly doesn't seem to be movement on that front.

Will we see Monroe and Bledsoe on 1-year tenders, pissed at their current teams and playing selfishly for big paydays next year? Will they accept their multiyear offers from their current teams?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 10, 2014, 10:16:36 AM
I read this morning that Indiana offered Phoenix Roy Hibbert, Chris Copeland, and cash for Goran Dragic. With Indiana down two playmaking wings (Stephenson and George), I can see why they'd covet Dragic. Plus, he would be a really good fit beside George Hill, as both can play either guard spot. Dragic is the far more dynamic playmaker and would energize the perimeter game. He would surely also thrive playing pick and roll / pick and pop with David West and Luis Scola.

Further, one can see why they'd be ready to unload Hibbert (or at least his contract). If you're paying max money for your Hibbert, you need him to show up and rebound and block shots. Sadly, he was woefully inconsistent in that respect last year.

However, the Pacers were apparently rebuffed. So it's all for naught.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 10, 2014, 02:41:58 PM
I guess it was reported that Detroit offered Monroe a 5 year, 60 million dollar deal. However, Monroe took the time-honored route of Twitter to deny that he was even offered that. Frankly, I'm baffled by the whole thing. I do think he would already be signed right now by Detroit if they would've been able to dump Josh Smith. Early on, it was rumored that Monroe wouldn't come back if Smith was still on the team; of course he denied it, but I'm starting to think that that indeed is the case. Why wouldn't he have just signed a one-year deal already, and try to make a splash next year? He isn't getting a multi-year deal from anyone, and I assume that his agent realizes that. I can only think that he doesn't want back because of Smith. And at this point, I don't see Detroit offering him max money. Unless you sign him and bring Smith off of the bench. How do you think he'd handle that? Probably not very well.
I think Bledsoe ends up signing a one year deal, and trying again next year.  I tell you, the NBA has really gotten out of control this year. Stan Van Gundy didn't help matters by giving Jody Meeks a 3 year, 19 million dollar contract, setting the tone. Unreal.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 10, 2014, 02:44:07 PM
I had forgotten, until today, about that Minnesota deal back in the day-the one where they had agreed to a deal with Joe Smith before they were legally allowed to. What were the specifics on that? They were talking about it on the radio, and it had slipped my mind.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 10, 2014, 04:52:46 PM
I had forgotten, until today, about that Minnesota deal back in the day-the one where they had agreed to a deal with Joe Smith before they were legally allowed to. What were the specifics on that? They were talking about it on the radio, and it had slipped my mind.

That's going back quite a ways, but this is what I recall. The Wolves wanted to sign Smith, but couldn't sign him to what both parties agreed was his market value due to cap restrictions. However, the "Bird rule" as it existed in those days only said you could pay your own free agents whatever amount you wanted, regardless of your cap position. So they agreed to a small-dollar, one-year deal with the (written!) verbal agreement that they would use the Bird rule to sign him to a bigger contract after that year. That was an old trick I recall Phoenix using quite a bit, guys signing small one-year deals, then extensions. Now the Bird rule has been changed to tie the amount you can pay your free agents to their experience and their time with your team.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on August 10, 2014, 05:20:58 PM
The Bulls resigned my favorite player on the team, Kirk Hinrich... ;D


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 11, 2014, 05:28:27 AM
A fine minor move, call it Rose insurance.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 11, 2014, 01:04:42 PM
Nothing like a written verbal agreement to mess things up!
Supposedly, the Pacers called Detroit and floated around the idea of a Monroe for Hibbert swap. Which makes absolutely no sense for Detroit, as it wouldn't solve their dilemma of having 3 big guys who can't space the floor. The bigger picture here is that obviously, the Pacers are looking at this year as a lost year, if they're looking to get rid of their (arguably) best player, who's a free agent after next year anyway.  Supposedly, they also called the Suns about Dragic.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 11, 2014, 02:55:47 PM
Wow, you're right that Hibbert on the Pistons makes even less sense than Monroe. At least the latter can play PF. Hibbert and Drummond are both pure centers.

I heard about--and liked, from their point of view--Dragic to Indiana. I think he's a really good player. Nobody was ever as high on him as me, but my reputation is sketchy because I have an inexplicably love for Euros in general, so my opinions get taken at like 65% by my friends... But he's really good! But while I can totally imagine Phoenix moving Dragic or Bledsoe, I can't imagine them doing it for Hibbert...

You know what, if I were Detroit, I'd be trying to do Monroe for Bledsoe or Dragic. That's what I'd be doing...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 12, 2014, 08:07:57 AM
Today, the rumor is Monroe is willing to take a one-year offer from Detroit.
I'm tired of the whole thing, really. Every day it's a new story. My guess is that they'll get him to sign a one year deal, and then spend the next year desperately trying to unload Smith. Probably not going to happen, although there's always the team that says 'Hey, maybe if WE get him, we can change him'. Which usually never works. My solution would be bring Smith off the bench, and tell him 'If you take a 3, your ass is gonna get pulled, and you're gonna sit on the bench'. I suppose that wouldn't go over well in a players league such as the NBA.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 12, 2014, 08:30:58 AM
Part of the issue is that SVG loves surrounding his post(s) with 3-pt threats though, so threatening Smith re 3s doesn't achieve that, either. And to bring your best paid player off the bench is rough.

Hopefully for their sake Detroit can move Smith for legit PG and/or 3-pt threat wing. Getting Monroe on a qualifying may be the best way to try and do that while retaining flexibility.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 12, 2014, 04:41:33 PM
Looks like Monroe's going to sign that offer sheet.

This year will be interesting; he's going to try to put up monster numbers. Josh Smith is going to shoot it every time he gets his hands on it. Brandon Jennings is going to make bad shot selections. Last time I checked, you only play with one ball.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on August 12, 2014, 04:58:23 PM
Teamwork! ;)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 12, 2014, 05:01:35 PM
Interesting, and wise for all involved.

Detroit will be looking to make moves, though, for sure. Up to and in the early half of the season. Time to define that team and build toward an identity. With SVG, we kind of can guess where he's going. You know, the sad thing is, Smith is almost a great Hedo Turkoglu guy, the one who can facilitate from the forward position and let a shot-happy PG (Jennings in the Jameer Nelson role) play off the ball. But unfortunately, Turkoglu was a good 3-pt shooter when he was at his best for SVG, while Smith is ... not.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 13, 2014, 08:19:28 AM
Teamwork! ;)

On this team?  :o

 ;D


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 13, 2014, 08:28:31 AM
This subject has cooled off, but I just want to put my 2 cents out here. Not to offend anybody, but just to perhaps open discussion a little bit.

Finally, the Clippers have been sold. There's no doubt in my mind that Donald Sterling is a terrible person. That's been known for years. His offenses have been well known by many, and have been reported years ago. Not just the racial bit either, he's a slumlord, and basically a snake. I mean, who brings their girlfriend to games, while his wife is somewhere else?

This is my problem with the whole 'uproar' that happened; why haven't people called out the players who have signed there, or Doc Rivers who signed there, knowing the kind of person Donald Sterling is? I mean, I knew he was a racist and a terrible owner years ago. These guys knew it, and they still signed there. In my eyes, the only thing that's different between a year ago, and now, is that they actually heard his voice say some of these things. Yet if you know he's this way, why sign there? It's almost like, 'we know you're a racist and an asshole, but as long as you don't say it out loud, I'll still work for you'. They were willing to take his money before. Now, they have to act outraged, because that's what the public wants. I'm tired of hearing about how Doc Rivers has to play the role of 'the healer' on this team. Doc's been around forever, he knew the score. That's what burns me about all of this.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 13, 2014, 10:19:21 AM
You have some solid points. And everyone did know Sterling was a racist, penny-pinching asshole. There's a reason no free agent re-signed there until Eric Piatkowski--actually two: players felt like they were escaping jail and wanted out; while Sterling was happy to suck, get lottery picks on lower salaries, and watch them bail for bigger contracts while he welcomed a new batch of prospects and collected league cash from tv deals and revenue sharing.

Here's where I might differ: the players and coaches only have so many opportunities to play and coach, and, asshole pig owner or not, the Clippers are one of those 30 opportunities. I think he was a power the less empowered tried to work around to pursue their (highly lucrative) dreams. When they saw a chance to help force change, they took it.

Frankly I relate somewhat. I'm employed by a firm I don't especially like which is itself owned by a company I loathe, which is mostly owned by a few people I fully despise. But I do what I do to get what I can, and if the chance to change things for the better arose, I'd take it. But I willingly, if unfortunately, still show up, do the work, and collect the checks.

The Clips aren't angels or heroes, they're just like anyone else, people, compromising.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 13, 2014, 12:57:31 PM
I agree that some players had to do it, because of their options. However, Chris Paul re-upped after he was traded there. Doc Rivers knew the score. That's the part that rankles me, nobody wants to get on those guys. But then again, who in the media is really going to do that? Somebody who wants to get fired, mostly.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 13, 2014, 01:18:50 PM
Yeah, I get what you're saying. I just think everyone, including Doc and Paul, is out to do the best he can for himself and his family. Then when they saw leverage, they used it.

Thinking about Sterling in general is just depressing. Even in his court appearances recently...what a miserable f***.

Slow time for bball this month, draft over, free agency fireworks mostly over, the Worlds and training camps a ways off. I need action!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 13, 2014, 02:24:31 PM
I know that he's a terrible guy, however I also am pretty sure that he has some form of dementia. That's been debated, and I'm pretty sure he has something wrong. One minute he was telling his wife how much he loved her in court, the next he was calling her an animal. Odd.

You know, the Cavs and Heat play on Christmas Day, which is sure to be a ratings blow-out. I think the NBA blew it though, by having them also team up in the pre-season in Brazil. I get why they're doing it, to get 'The Brand' out there, and I think it's only like the 3rd time an NBA game has been played there. I think it would be a lot more exciting if they would've met for the first time for the Christmas game.

Yeah, this time of year, football is starting to heat up. In 2 1/2 weeks I'll be in Spartan Stadium, watching MSU defend their Big Ten title! Anyone else (Captain, because there's only like 2 other people that I think even read these posts) into football?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 13, 2014, 03:41:31 PM
I like football but my attention has really waned in recent years. Honestly, while I seem uber-geeky about basketball, I'm probably at about 35% geekiness in comparison to my prime. Football was never quite the same for me, but has taken a similarly or greater dive. Basketball, I'll watch anybody. Football, it's just Vikings, Gophers, and sometimes Notre Dame.

The Gophers are going to be fun this year. The schedule is really tough (rated something like 22nd most difficult in the nation), but the talent is really getting better and it seems like a program you can begin to depend on. Coach Kill's predecessor, Tim Brewster, was just a huckster. Horrible. Some decent recruiting, though a lot of the best guys didn't ever get eligible or were kicked out of the program and/or school. Kill keeps pulling in under-the-radar-to-decent recruits, but they improve. That's a huge key to college football, especially in a program that isn't going to ever attract large numbers of true blue-chippers: coaching kids up. Glen Mason (Gophers coach in the late 90s to the mid-00s) was pretty good about it, too. Brewster was just the worse. And it didn't help that we had new coordinators every single year. Adam Weber, a former QB, had five different offensive coordinators in his five years, if I'm not mistaken. Just pathetic. Coach Kill is doing a great job.



Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on August 13, 2014, 04:18:14 PM
Let me get this out of the way. I believe Sterling is a racist, a jerk, a bully, and I'm glad he out out of the NBA. However, there are three thing about this saga that bother me a lot.

First, the dementia issue. I don't think this was addressed enough in the proceedings. SOMEBODY, SOME DOCTOR examined Sterling and his/her findings were that Sterling suffers from dementia. To the best of my knowledge, there were never any hearings to determine if this was true or not. But, what if it was true? Wouldn't Sterling medically and legally be seen as incompetent, which would have, in effect, made him NOT responsible for his recent actions and proclamations?

Second, in conjunction with Sterling's proclamations, I have a problem with something that somebody says behind the privacy of their home being used against them. Here is a man that basically had his business taken away from him because of something he uttered at the kitchen table, which wasn't supposed to made public. Again I think it was Mark Cuban who said that the NBA is creating "a slippery slope." Professional owners beware and be careful of what you say, even if it is said in the privacy of your own home. I guarantee it won't be long before another owner from some sport utters something racist. We'll see what happens to him.

Which brings me to the last - and most disturbing - point. Just to repeat I don't like Sterling and I think he is a racist. But this whole deal reeks of money and hypocrisy. The NBA knew for over 30 years that Sterling was a racist. From some other things Sterling said and did, public things, the NBA would've had a strong case to remove Sterling a few times in the past. Why now? $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ It took the NBA to begin losing money, or the threat of losing large sums of money, which prompted them to act. Sponsors of the Clippers - and the NBA - were pressuring Silver to remove Sterling or they would pull their sponsorships. Also, the players were about to start a mutiny, and jeopardizing the remainder of the NBA playoffs, which also would've resulted in the loss of large sums of money. The NBA was going to take a big PR hit. It was only then - after 30+ years of similar behavior by Sterling - did the NBA decide to remove Sterling. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ and hypocrisy.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 13, 2014, 04:30:51 PM
I think I probably agree with all of that, except the part about his competence: there were hearings that included that and he was indeed ruled incompetent. I think the point there wasn't whether he was responsible for racist remarks, but rather that by being mentally incompetent, he was no longer capable of running the team and thus his wife had control (and was able to sell).

But as both of you said, the world--or at least anyone paying attention--knew who and what Sterling was for years. Decades. The remarks in 2014 were not shocking. The reaction was what was shocking.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on August 13, 2014, 04:43:50 PM
I think I probably agree with all of that, except the part about his competence: there were hearings that included that and he was indeed ruled incompetent. I think the point there wasn't whether he was responsible for racist remarks, but rather that by being mentally incompetent, he was no longer capable of running the team and thus his wife had control (and was able to sell).

Thanks for the clarification on that. But I also wonder how/why that ruling didn't carry over as to whether he could LEGALLY be responsible for saying the things he said - which ultimately were used against him.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 13, 2014, 05:29:53 PM
I think I probably agree with all of that, except the part about his competence: there were hearings that included that and he was indeed ruled incompetent. I think the point there wasn't whether he was responsible for racist remarks, but rather that by being mentally incompetent, he was no longer capable of running the team and thus his wife had control (and was able to sell).

Thanks for the clarification on that. But I also wonder how/why that ruling didn't carry over as to whether he could LEGALLY be responsible for saying the things he said - which ultimately were used against him.

I don't think there is any "legally responsible for what he said" involved. There is no responsibility to be proved or disproved, as that wasn't what caused the team's sale. Basically, this is what I understand as having happened:

1. Sterling's prostitute (sorry, but seriously...) releases racist remarks.
2. Media, league, world go nuts and want him to sell. League makes its somewhat questionable (legally) fines and orders him to sell.
3. He won't sell.
4. Hugely embarrassed (for so, so many reasons by this time...) wife hopes he may decide to sell and talks to potential buyer, Steve Ballmer.
5. Ballmer agrees to buy an insane $2 billion ... but Sterling won't cede.
6. Wife thinks she knows how to make him sell and get out of controversy: mental stability clause of ownership agreement.
7. While furor over racist remarks goes on, the wholly separate process about his mental stability (and thus legal right to prevent sale of team) continues.
8. He is ruled mentally unstable, and thus not competent to block sale of team.

In other words, from a purely legal/procedural standpoint, the racist remarks aren't why he sold the team. His court-proven mental incompetence--admittedly tested in the first place because of the remarks, but with those remarks otherwise irrelevant in this context--is why he had to let his wife sell the team.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 14, 2014, 01:31:20 PM
And also, it was the golden opportunity for the NBA to get rid of him. Even if you ignore the fact that he's a hardcore racist, he wasn't a very good owner, as Captain pointed out earlier. They've wanted him out for years, and this was the perfect setup.

One thing I was always interested in, was his threat to take the NBA to court, and start airing out the dirty laundry. If you think that Sterling is the only owner who's done ridiculously terrible sh*t, you'd probably be wrong.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 14, 2014, 01:42:19 PM
I'd like to see Coach Kill succeed. He's had what, something like 3 seizures in the last year? Man. They have a decent defense, too. That Big Ten schedule though, wow. Those last 3 games are killer!

I used to get worked up about recruiting rankings, like how many 5-star guys do we have. I've come to realize that it doesn't always matter, if you can't coach. Perfect example is our hated rival, University Of Michigan. They get top classes every year, and in the last few years haven't been very good. Since Mark Dantonio has been here, we get average classes, but our teams have been pretty damn good. A lot of is also due to the D coach, Pat Narduzzi. There's a difference in the program now, though. The team expects to win, instead of trying not to lose. Hiring Dantonio is the best move the Athletic Department has made since hiring Izzo.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: halblaineisgood on August 14, 2014, 01:57:14 PM
.



Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on August 14, 2014, 02:15:53 PM
Hal , you should go to some games and meet up with the captain.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Moon Dawg on August 14, 2014, 02:50:27 PM
I like football but my attention has really waned in recent years. Honestly, while I seem uber-geeky about basketball, I'm probably at about 35% geekiness in comparison to my prime. Football was never quite the same for me, but has taken a similarly or greater dive. Basketball, I'll watch anybody. Football, it's just Vikings, Gophers, and sometimes Notre Dame.

The Gophers are going to be fun this year. The schedule is really tough (rated something like 22nd most difficult in the nation), but the talent is really getting better and it seems like a program you can begin to depend on. Coach Kill's predecessor, Tim Brewster, was just a huckster. Horrible. Some decent recruiting, though a lot of the best guys didn't ever get eligible or were kicked out of the program and/or school. Kill keeps pulling in under-the-radar-to-decent recruits, but they improve. That's a huge key to college football, especially in a program that isn't going to ever attract large numbers of true blue-chippers: coaching kids up. Glen Mason (Gophers coach in the late 90s to the mid-00s) was pretty good about it, too. Brewster was just the worse. And it didn't help that we had new coordinators every single year. Adam Weber, a former QB, had five different offensive coordinators in his five years, if I'm not mistaken. Just pathetic. Coach Kill is doing a great job.




 The Gophers host Ohio State 11/15/14.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 14, 2014, 03:36:18 PM
I like football but my attention has really waned in recent years. Honestly, while I seem uber-geeky about basketball, I'm probably at about 35% geekiness in comparison to my prime. Football was never quite the same for me, but has taken a similarly or greater dive. Basketball, I'll watch anybody. Football, it's just Vikings, Gophers, and sometimes Notre Dame.

The Gophers are going to be fun this year. The schedule is really tough (rated something like 22nd most difficult in the nation), but the talent is really getting better and it seems like a program you can begin to depend on. Coach Kill's predecessor, Tim Brewster, was just a huckster. Horrible. Some decent recruiting, though a lot of the best guys didn't ever get eligible or were kicked out of the program and/or school. Kill keeps pulling in under-the-radar-to-decent recruits, but they improve. That's a huge key to college football, especially in a program that isn't going to ever attract large numbers of true blue-chippers: coaching kids up. Glen Mason (Gophers coach in the late 90s to the mid-00s) was pretty good about it, too. Brewster was just the worse. And it didn't help that we had new coordinators every single year. Adam Weber, a former QB, had five different offensive coordinators in his five years, if I'm not mistaken. Just pathetic. Coach Kill is doing a great job.




 The Gophers host Ohio State 11/15/14.

And sadly, that is not likely to be a good example of the Gophers' improvement: our talent can't come close to the Buckeyes. Home game or not, I'm sure we'll lose by double-digits. And quite possibly by 20+.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: halblaineisgood on August 14, 2014, 08:25:36 PM
.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: halblaineisgood on August 14, 2014, 10:56:04 PM
.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 15, 2014, 05:39:51 AM
Ha! It's almost true, too...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 16, 2014, 06:33:33 PM
Team USA v Brazil in an exhibition in Chicago to warm up for the Worlds. Lot of nba guys for Brazil, but not really a coherent or fluid team.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 17, 2014, 06:35:16 AM
I wasn't thrilled by Team USA's performance last night, but I understand it must be a tough position to be in: first game against organized competition and--after training camp--suddenly no Paul George or, more importantly, Kevin Durant, who was intended to be the featured offensive player. They added Rudy Gay.

Anyway, they looked somewhat disjointed. Only 16 assists on 32 field goals, with James Harden in particular making a lot of what struck me as selfish plays, steamrolling toward the hoops come hell or high water. That said, he also had a team-high 5 assists, and he did get to the FT line 11 times (and hit all 11). So it isn't that he wasn't valuable.

Anthony Davis of the Pelicans was spectacular. He has to be one of the 10 best players in the world. Didn't take long--what, is he going into his third NBA season? Amazing. 21 years old.

Brazil had a lot of talent: NBA players Nene of Washington, Anderson Varejao of Cleveland, Tiago Splitter of San Antonio, Leandro Barbosa of Phoenix (free agent now); former NBA players Alex Garcia of San Antonio and New Orleans and Marcus Vincius of New Orleans; and potential future NBA players Raul Neto (rights held by Utah) and Marcelos Huertas, who is an older free agent but is quite good. So that's roughly eight guys with NBA connections or serious aspirations--no pushovers. But their guards especially really struggled as they tried to defend the U.S. guards, and honestly they had a hard time with U.S. pressure, too.

But while the Americans forced 16 turnovers, they committed 20, not because of Brazilian pressure so much as sloppy play in efforts to "hit home runs." I expect the U.S. team to play more fundamentally and seriously as the games start counting, saving the Globetrotters schtick for blowouts.

Up next is a game in New York against the Dominican Republic, which while obviously not a world power ranked at 26 by FIBA, is actually a program on the rise. They are coached by former Pitt star and longtime John Calipari assistant (Memphis and Kentucky) before taking the South Florida job this past March. Antigua has done a nice job getting Americans with Dominican ties--not uncommon in New York, for example--onto the roster. Among them are NBA vet Francisco Garcia, former Pitt guard Ronald Ramon, former Kentucky center/forward Elroy Vargas, St. John's forward Orlando Sanchez, and incoming freshman star center-forward Karl Towns Jr. This isn't anything near as talented as the US--or even as Brazil, for example--but it's a very much improved roster than what the Dominicans have had in the past. (It should also be a boon to Sanchez in recruiting, giving him ties to young players of Dominican descent in the U16s, U17s, U18s, etc., helping him build relationships and bring guys to South Florida.)

Then there are two more friendlies before the real games start. I think the two remaining exhibitions after the Dominicans are Finland and Slovenia.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 17, 2014, 11:07:46 AM
Speaking of Harden, there's been a lot of chatter this summer about he and Dwight Howard, and none of it has been good. I think that they're gonna have a lot of pressure on them this year. If they don't do well (even in a loaded Western Conference), they're going to hear about it. Over and over. I think for the most part people don't like Howard anyway; I know that personally, I can't stand the guy after all of the BS he pulled going back to Orlando. I don't think Houston is ever going to win anything with those guys as the 'cornerstones'.

I just saw that Shawn Marion is going to sign with Cleveland.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 17, 2014, 11:28:25 AM
Houston seems likely to regress, and while I know people like to mock McHale as a coach, I think the issue is more in the front office. Daryl Morey didn't do McHale any favors this offseason.

The Rockets lost Omer Asik, Jeremy Lin, and Chandler Parsons. That's 30-something points, 17 rebounds or so, more than 8 assists ... and that's just stats, which are obviously misleading (because a player's stats aren't just tied to that player, but to the role itself--for example, a 10 ppg scorer sent to a worse team and put into a feature role may become a 20 ppg scorer without improving at all). On the non-stat issue, you've got one of your three good defenders--Asik--gone, leaving you with only about two decent defenders (Howard and Beverly) among returnees. You've lost your only legitimate offensive point guard in Lin. And Parson truly was a do-it-all, hitting 3s, creating for others, something of a mismatch for everyone.

In return, the major additions are Trevor Ariza and draftees Clint Capela and Nick Johnson. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Ariza's great season--especially late season--were a contract year aberration. Call me a skeptic but after a few decades watching the NBA, one can see these things coming. He's a fine player, but he's an inconsistent role player in his 30s, so his athleticism will decline and hurt his defensive abilities. So you're paying an aging guy 2/3 of what you could have paid your early 20s model... great idera.

Capela is miles away from contributing from what I can see.

Johnson has moxie and some nice athleticism, but he has "reserve" written all over him, in no small part because he's a 6-2 or so off guard. Hopefully for him, the presence of ball-dominant, playmaking Harden will make that less of a problem, allowing him to work more off the ball and try to defend PGs.

But really, Harden is a matador defender (at best) and a stat-chaser. He hasn't always been, but it has gotten ugly in Houston. I had a lot of good will toward him from high school through OKC, but it's mostly gone. (Kind of like my feelings for Kevin Love, actually.) He's not the little [player] I once knew, ooh oooh oooh oooh.

So this team that is supposed to be built off of ball movement and the 3-point shot might struggle, as they have gotten worse in the shooting department, worse in the passing department (meaning it is harder to locate and get the ball to shooters), possibly questionable in the chemistry department, and worse in the defensive department, meaning it will be harder for them to get out and run.



Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 17, 2014, 12:44:26 PM
I don't think McHale is a bad coach; I just think that Harden is (like you said) all about the stats, and Howard isn't the type of guy who can be a leader. Personally, I think it says a lot when Chris Bosh declined to play there.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 17, 2014, 12:56:20 PM
I don't think McHale is a bad coach; I just think that Harden is (like you said) all about the stats, and Howard isn't the type of guy who can be a leader. Personally, I think it says a lot when Chris Bosh declined to play there.

True, especially when you consider that Bosh is a Texan. He would have been a perfect fit, basketball-wise, an underrated defender who covers a lot of ground, a very good shooter inside of 3 (and not bad from 3), a much-improved leader since his time with the Raptors. But he stayed in what is almost definitely a worse situation, basketball-wise. Of course he also got paid...

It's their backcourt I worry about the most: one guy can't score, one guy won't defend.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 19, 2014, 03:14:30 PM
I like football but my attention has really waned in recent years. Honestly, while I seem uber-geeky about basketball, I'm probably at about 35% geekiness in comparison to my prime. Football was never quite the same for me, but has taken a similarly or greater dive. Basketball, I'll watch anybody. Football, it's just Vikings, Gophers, and sometimes Notre Dame.

The Gophers are going to be fun this year. The schedule is really tough (rated something like 22nd most difficult in the nation), but the talent is really getting better and it seems like a program you can begin to depend on. Coach Kill's predecessor, Tim Brewster, was just a huckster. Horrible. Some decent recruiting, though a lot of the best guys didn't ever get eligible or were kicked out of the program and/or school. Kill keeps pulling in under-the-radar-to-decent recruits, but they improve. That's a huge key to college football, especially in a program that isn't going to ever attract large numbers of true blue-chippers: coaching kids up. Glen Mason (Gophers coach in the late 90s to the mid-00s) was pretty good about it, too. Brewster was just the worse. And it didn't help that we had new coordinators every single year. Adam Weber, a former QB, had five different offensive coordinators in his five years, if I'm not mistaken. Just pathetic. Coach Kill is doing a great job.




 The Gophers host Ohio State 11/15/14.

And sadly, that is not likely to be a good example of the Gophers' improvement: our talent can't come close to the Buckeyes. Home game or not, I'm sure we'll lose by double-digits. And quite possibly by 20+.

If you're an Ohio State fan, Moondawg, my sympathies: I just read that Braxton Miller is out for the season after a shoulder injury sustained in practice. He's a phenomenal player. I'm sure the Buckeyes will be more than adequate regardless, but it hurts somewhat, and obviously you never want to see anyone get hurt, much less someone so spectacular.

(Not quite the right thread, but we really can't sustain a college football thread, I assume)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Moon Dawg on August 19, 2014, 05:11:23 PM
 Sad news. Very sorry that Braxton Miller is losing his senior year. The injury dates back to the Orange Bowl on Jan 1 -he had surgery in the offseason. No guarantees in this life. I'm sure the backup will do a solid job.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 19, 2014, 06:57:23 PM
Pretty interesting story in the Washington Post about the restricted free agency of Greg Monroe.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/sports/wp/2014/08/18/greg-monroe-maximizing-limited-leverage-with-detroit-pistons/


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 20, 2014, 04:03:53 AM
Sad news. Very sorry that Braxton Miller is losing his senior year. The injury dates back to the Orange Bowl on Jan 1 -he had surgery in the offseason. No guarantees in this life. I'm sure the backup will do a solid job.

I never like to see a kid, no matter who he plays for, get hurt and have to sit out an entire year. I feel bad for him. I'm an MSU fan, so from the football perspective, it helps us out a lot, I think. Unless the other kid steps in and is even better, which is a real possibility.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 20, 2014, 04:08:20 AM
Looks like he's gonna drag this thing out until the last possible minute. By the tone of that article, it sounds like he doesn't want to stay, no matter what Detroit does. Before, it always kind of sounded like he was unhappy because of Smith. Now it sounds like he just wants to get out.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 20, 2014, 03:31:20 PM
Team USA v Dominican Republic begins in about half an hour and airs (I think) on NBA TV, for those interested. Pretty sure I have that, so I'll be tuning in.

Oh, and lest I go TOO long without mentioning it, we're three days away from the Love trade being technically possible, as Aug. 23 is the date when Andrew Wiggins can be dealt.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 21, 2014, 04:23:32 PM
Sorry, obligatory Love post because I read something new today--a few writers were tossing out what they were calling new info. Not sure it's really new, maybe just slightly more solidified rumor?

Basically, the gist is that Anthony Bennett isn't going to Philly but Thaddeus Young almost certainly still is going to Minnesota. Here's how it's purportedly shaking out:

to Cleveland: Kevin Love
to Minnesota: Andrew Wiggins, Thaddeus Young, Anthony Bennett
to Philadelphia: 1st round pick (Miami's via Cleveland), Alexey Shved, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

I'd like to get a pick in Minnesota, too, but I guess we'll see how it works out. I would be pretty happy with this trade as-is, though frankly I'd like to hang on to Shved. He had a rough year last year because Adelman seemed insistent to put him in the worst possible situations, but he was quite good as a rookie. I don't know if having Kirilenko around was the difference or what, but he was a different guy. He could do very well in Philly if he gets playing time and they don't treat him as a spot-up shooter (as Adelman did at times, and which he certainly is not). He's very good with the ball in his hands both shooting, creating, or passing, is a better athlete than you'd guess, and can hit 3s...just not always and not as a catch-and-shoot guy.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 22, 2014, 05:55:18 AM
The above trade, plus a $4 million trade exception to Minn, is being reported as the final deal that will go through and be announced tomorrow.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 22, 2014, 12:45:09 PM
As far as Team USA goes (or actually, news that has come out of practices), if I was a Chicago fan, I'd be worried about Rose. His legs hurt, which I guess is normal because this is the most work they've gotten in a year. Still, you have to get out there and stretch them out. It's gonna hurt for a while, I imagine. Man, that whole franchise's future rests on those knees. There's a good chance that we've seen his best days.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 22, 2014, 02:58:03 PM
I think it was Jalen Rose who predicted--before Team USA training camp--that while Rose would go through camp and look good (and prove he's back), he would be cut or back out to preserve his knees. I am increasingly thinking that's the case. He really looked great against Brazil, not just dominant against inferior competition but athletic the way we remember him. So I think he's still got it .. .the question is how fragile he'll be. Unless he REALLY wants to play with Team USA for whatever reason, he should do what he has to do to protect himself.

As for Chicago, it's definitely interesting. That is a very good team without him. With him they're a legit contender from the East. Aaron Brooks can be disruptive and score points, and Kirk Hinrich is a solid all-around player and quite good defender. But Derrick Rose is an MVP. It's obviously an entirely different universe with Rose running the show.

That said, I don't feel THAT bad for Chicago fans. I mean, they're a good team regardless. I'm a fucking Timberwolves fan!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on August 22, 2014, 03:12:02 PM
Believe me, I don't care to see Chicago succeed. I first got into NBA with the Bad Boys Pistons teams, and those epic Eastern Conference finals games with Chicago. It was terrible, because year after year you could just see Chicago coming closer to being the best team in basketball. I remember thinking 'Next year, this team is probably going to beat us in the playoffs next year',  and they didn't just beat us, they swept us.

 I could never understand how people who claimed to be Pistons fans would wear Air Jordans and talk about how great he was; 'Well, I don't like the Bulls, but I like Jordan'. Really? f*** him and f*** you! I almost cried when Isiah led the Pistons off the floor without shaking hands with the Bulls; it was classless and petty, but it was OUR classless and petty.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 22, 2014, 03:18:41 PM
Team USA v Puerto Rico at 6 pm CT tonight on ESPN2.

Puerto Rico is a middle-of-the-pack looking team, though there are some very good players. Puerto Rico has traditionally been a bombs-away style team, really focused on their backcourt though historically with solid play from the center spot, usually the esteemed Jose Ortiz.

This year the point guards are JJ Barea (Wolves), Carlos Arroyo (numerous NBA and Euro teams), and David Huertas (U of Florida and Ole Miss, international pro). Those guys, AD Vassallo (Va Tech), Renaldo Balkman (Knicks 1st rounder, other NBA teams), Ricky Sanchez (signed with Memphis under Calipari but didn't play there), and then Daniel Santiago seem to be the best players, talent-wise. There are fewer good guards than historically, so it will be interesting to see their style of play. I am guessing a lot of Barea and Arroyo pick and rolls with Santiago,  with Vassallo spotted up and Balkman as a really good garbage man.

Then tomorrow, we're to expect cuts to get to the final roster. Should be fun. Once the Love trade happens, does he suddenly return to the team? What happens with Rose? Even if he makes it, do they keep an extra PG as insurance? Should be fun.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 23, 2014, 06:39:26 AM
Team USA made some relatively surprising cuts, sending home guard Damien Lillard and wings Kyle Korver, Chandler Parsons, and Gordon Hayward.

The final roster is:

Guards: Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, Steph Curry,
Wings: James Harden, Klay Thompson, Demar DeRozan, Rudy Gay
Bigs: Anthony Davis, Kenneth Faried, Mason Plumlee, Boogie Cousins, Andre Drummond

The decision to keep all the bigs was somewhat surprising to me. I hadn't expected it or read / heard any hints that it was coming. The common assumption seemed to be that either Cousins or Drummond was going home, and maybe both.

The move seems to show how seriously the USA takes Spain, which features a starting frontline of Pau and Marc Gasol and brings off the bench Serge Ibaka and Victor Claver. That's a lot of mostly high level NBA firepower with size. They can also play European vet pro Felipe Reyes at the PF, who is no pushover. I think that Team USA realizes a few typically questionable calls from FIBA refs could really hurt their chances to beat Spain, and so they got some foul insurance. I'll bet Drummond and Cousins are the 11th and 12th men on this team, not getting off the bench much at all. But when the biggest threat, Spain, is the opponent, we'll be ready to go at them with size.

One thing I should add: previous teams often kept a deep bench player who could be considered a shooting specialist. I think this roster shows they believe their top-line players are more dependable jump shooters than some past rosters could bring. Irving, Curry, Harden, and Thompson are all going to be major-minutes guys at the PG, SG, and SF spots, and all can really, dependably shoot the ball. Then of course DeRozan and Gay can regularly hit shots as well.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on August 23, 2014, 08:53:06 AM
Well, Sports Radio 94.1 WIP in Philadelphia has been reporting the Thaddeus Young deal on their updates. The thought of Anthony Bennett in Philly was intriguing, but I guess this deal isn't that bad. I admit that I don't know the two players who the 76ers acquired. The reports are that Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, in addition to being the backup center, will serve as an unofficial "mentor" to Joel Embiid. And, Alexey Shved is supposed to back up Michael Carter Williams, but the two of them could share time together with Williams at the 2. Of course the big acquisition for Sam Hinkie is ANOTHER No. 1 pick, and apparently the draft will be deep next year. So, 2015 will be the third straight year that the 76ers had/have two No. 1 picks! :o


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 23, 2014, 10:00:54 AM
I can help a little on your new players and give a few too-early thoughts on next year's draft.

Alexey Shved is the better of the two players you're getting. He's about 6-5, 6-6, and plays both guard spots. He was a very good young player in Russia for their powerhouse team, CSKA Moscow, where in his final season there ('11-'12) he was one of four players to average double figures (10.6 across all phases, joining Nenad Krstic at 14.2, Andrei Kirilenko at 14.1, and Milos Teodosic at 10.2). More impressively, he sot 49.3 3pt% and averaged 3 apg (in international play, assists are not handed out unless they directly lead to a basket--typically without any dribbles or moves by the recipient, so 3 apg is more like 5-6 in an NBA context). The summer before his first NBA season, he had an exceptional 2012 Olympics (over 11 ppg and about 6 apg, while turning it over less than once a game).

He had a tough season last year in Minnesota, where coach Adelman clearly soured on him. The issue seemed to me that he was often forced to be a corner spot-up shooter, just running the baseline. He's a far better player creating than just catch-and-shooting. The season before, he had some stretches where injuries forced him to play a lot, and for almost the first half of the season, he was a double-digit scorer getting 4-5 apg. He had a particularly great December 2012. He showed off surprising athleticism--contrary to the Euro stereotypes--and was very creative on offense. In short, I think he's a legitimate NBA player who may do well on a talent-starved Philly backcourt if given a chance.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is known as a defender, but honestly last year he didn't show me much in that respect. Worse, he was just horrific on offense, neither able to shoot jumpers, play in the post, or dribble to penetrate and create. It was actually kind of embarrassing. Making it worse for Minnesotans was that we traded away mercurial former #2 overall pick Derrick Williams--admittedly something we had to do, just not for a guy who seemed totally inadequate as an NBA player. By all accounts he's a great guy, a good citizen. He "discovered" Embiid and already has a great relationship there, so I have no doubt that is the only reason Philly would even consider keeping him around.

As for the pick, my understanding is that it is protected, and so most likely it is going to be in the 17-22 range (per ESPN Chad Ford). Basically that means that it depends on who comes out for the draft as far as whether it is an elite type prospect, or a more developed, predictable, but limited-upside guy. Next year there are several potentially very good international prospects (Mario Hezonjia, Kristaps Porzingis, Marc Garcia, Ilmane Diop) and several very good freshmen (Jahlil Okafor, Karl Towns, Emmanuel Mudiay, Stanley Johnson, Kelly Oubre, Myles Turner, Cliff Alexander, Justise Winslow, Tyus Jones). So basically, the entire lottery could be freshmen and international. The difference between them all coming out, some coming out, or (hahaha!) none coming out is immense. My guess is most of them come out as long as the NBA hasn't changed its eligibility rules--which is possible--and you are in the market for someone like Kansas' Wayne Seldon, Arkansas' Bobby Portis, Arizona's Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, etc. In other words, a very good college sophomore or junior.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on August 24, 2014, 08:54:21 AM
Thanks for the scouting report. It was also reported on 94.1 WIP that the two new acquisitions from Minnesota are also on the last years of their contracts, which I'm sure played a part in the deal, knowing Mr. Hinkie... ;)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 24, 2014, 09:15:18 AM
Exactly right. Mbah a Moute is at around $5.5 million and Shved is around $3 million, if I recall. Of course, Young was on the last (guaranteed--player option) year of his, too, so it wasn't a real money-saver. However, it did allow them to add a pick and probably perform worse (thus getting a higher pick next year) without adding salary. And that is right up Hinkie's alley.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on August 25, 2014, 03:07:33 PM
ARGH.

So, the Wolves and Ricky Rubio's agents have apparently been semi-quietly discussing his inevitable next contract. Wolves offered a 4-year, $48 million deal, which is what Kyle Lowry signed for, for example. I believe Steph Curry also signed for around the same thing, which is a remarkable bargain. Eric Bledsoe was offered, and refused, that same offer. Rubio's camp wants a 5-year, full max deal (as does Bledsoe).

So ... speaking of ... today in a few outlets it was casually floated by Minnesota press that one possible option could be a Phoenix sign-and-trade that gets Bledsoe his full, 5-year max and sends him to Minnesota for a deal centered on Rubio, though presumably including somewhere in the $7+ million ballpark to equal out salaries. I have no idea why Phoenix would do this, unless it intends to cave to Rubio's demands, or thinks he'll sign there for less, or doesn't care if he walks. But man, we just got done with one massive trade and now we have a new rumor? COME ON, LET OUR TEAM GO A WHILE!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on September 01, 2014, 12:28:28 PM
Both Bledsoe and Monroe are waiting until the last minute, apparently.
Kevin Durant, who everybody had signing with Under Armor, left the altar at the last minute and signed with Nike again. That blows my 'Durant to DC' theory, as I thought it would make sense for him to sign with a 'local' company (UA is based in MD).


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on September 02, 2014, 06:04:07 AM
The Nike thing wasn't his choice: they had the right to match any offer. (Kind of an endorsement-deal version of restricted free agency.)

He's still going to Washinton, I'll bet.

The Worlds have been fun. Turke played a hell of a game against USA Sunday. For nearly 3 quarters it was scary, shades of Greece '06.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on September 02, 2014, 06:53:02 AM
The Nike thing wasn't his choice: they had the right to match any offer. (Kind of an endorsement-deal version of restricted free agency.)


Obviously, I missed that along the way! I don't usually pay attention to who signs where, and for how much; this had just got my attention because it fit into my 'Durant To DC' theory.
Honestly, I hate the whole shoe deal thing, anyway. The amount of money paid out is beyond obscene. I always say, these guys talk about 'helping the community' and whatever; how about asking Nike to sell a 15 dollar pair of shoes? I remember when Stephen Marbury signed a deal with someone (I think it was And1), to sell a 20 dollar pair of kicks. I mean, they weren't in high demand (because they weren't Nike or Adidas), but at least the guy made an effort (probably one of the only unselfish things he ever did).


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on September 02, 2014, 08:56:04 AM
The amount of money in and around sports definitely seems obscene. And the players frankly are the least problematic part: the owners and sponsor bring in far more, or they wouldn't pay so much out. In the end it nearly all boils down to our eyes to advertisers. And it says a lot about who we are that we put that much $ into games but cry when confronted with potential costs for social good.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on September 02, 2014, 11:07:54 AM
The amount of money in and around sports definitely seems obscene. And the players frankly are the least problematic part: the owners and sponsor bring in far more, or they wouldn't pay so much out. In the end it nearly all boils down to our eyes to advertisers. And it says a lot about who we are that we put that much $ into games but cry when confronted with potential costs for social good.

You aren't kidding! I cry every year about how much things go up at college football games, and yet every year I keep buying season tickets. So who's really the idiots here-the Universities for raising prices and expecting fans to pay 5 bucks for a 20 oz. pop? Or is it people like me, who continue to fork out the dough?

I use to get upset about the amount of money these guys made, and then one time I was listening to Jim Rome, of all people (not a fan); he said 'look, these huge contracts don't bother me, because the people paying them are millionaires who treat these teams like toys, and nobody is forcing them to pay these guys anything'. And he's pretty much right.

I guess I look at it like, when is enough, enough? Did Kobe really need that 2 year, however-million dollar contract? Why not take the absolute minimum, and have a better team?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on September 22, 2014, 08:08:20 PM
Been neglecting the topic for a while. I'm sure everyone has felt the absence in their lives...

Spain losing early in the elimination round was a surprise in the World Cup, though it gave us the fun of watching France and Serbia. (I, a longtime fan of former-Yugoslavian ball, enjoyed the latter.) And the US won. Whoopee.

NBA-wise, the news is that the Wolves have offered the Suns' restricted free agent PG Eric Bledsoe the full max (4 years, $63 million) deal he wants. To which I respond ... uh, what? First, the Wolves are over the cap, so technically speaking, they most certainly have not--because they cannot--offered any such thing. It would have to be a sign-and-trade.  But second, one must consider what the Wolves would be thinking in any such thing, and whether the Suns would be interested.

The Wolves are reportedly balking at Ricky Rubio's agents asking a similar max deal. So is Bledsoe (who can't stay healthy) a better option? Further, can one keep both, or would it mean the end of Rubio in Minnesota? Would the Suns want Rubio, in that they have Goran Dragic, newly signed Isaiah Thomas, and newly drafted Tyler Ennis, especially considering he's in the same RFA boat next year? If the Wolves kept both, what's the trade bait? Pekovic? Thad Young + trade exception? Some combo of Brewer/Budinger/Bennett?  Not Kevin Martin!?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on September 23, 2014, 10:33:14 AM
I noticed that there hasn't been anything going on here, although I chalked it up to just being the boring part of the off-season. I figured that talk would heat up here shortly as training camp and pre-season starts rolling.

In other news:  Greg Monroe got arrested for DUI, and pissed on himself while getting booked in.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on September 23, 2014, 10:56:02 AM
And in the "you can't make this stuff up" category, the great Darko Milicic has decided to become a kick boxer.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on September 23, 2014, 05:04:49 PM
People always bring Darko up as the big snafu of Dumars' tenure as GM. I don't blame him for that, though. Just about every GM at the time, if they had that pick, would've taken him. His stock was through the roof.

Off topic here, but because you're a Minnesota guy, Captain-what's the consensus among Viking fans regarding Peterson? I know that there's laws that have to be followed, and investigations have to take place, but I'd cut him as fast as I could. I cannot tolerate people who beat kids. Especially ones that are barely out of their toddler years.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on September 23, 2014, 05:18:24 PM
Regarding Darko:
We had him here in Minnesota for a while as well, and contrary to popular opinion, I actually think that was a good move by then-GM David Kahn. He was here for about $5 million a year, which realistically is backup center money. Darko produced sufficient stats to earn that money. And you know what? While he was here I saw--often--exactly why Dumars picked him, Chad Ford worshipped him, and so many other scouts and GMs loved him. His overall production is nothing remotely like what his talent suggests it should have been. While he was here, I saw a 7-1 guy with relatively quick feet, with an understanding of the game, and with a real skill set. He would hedge on pick-and-roll defense like no center we've ever had here. He also got great position and was a very clever passer.

His shortcomings? Confidence, first and foremost. If he was into a game, he was into it. If not, not. In that respect, he reminded me of his fellow Serb and fellow former Wolf Marko Jaric. Both were guys who produced more when it seemed the team loved and needed them. Both produced better when put in situations where they had to. (Darko was great on the Serbian national team as a focal point; Jaric won European championships as a point guard.) And he was injury prone. It wasn't clear whether he was truly injured, or just soft. But teammates--Kevin Love most of all--clearly resented him. And for a 7-1 guy, he had a tendency to little tricky flip shots around the hoop when you'd want him to just dunk the fucking thing. Those little flips would often miss, beginning a downward spiral of confidence.

Regarding Peterson:
The opinions here seem surprisingly consistent: disapproval. I know nationwide there are a lot of people supporting him, and supporting that kind of physical discipline, but I think in this semi-liberal, northern state, even though a certain amount of spanking is common, very, very few people approve of anything resembling what he has flat-out admitted to doing. It's not that he spanked a kid: he shoved leaves into a 4-year-old's mouth, whipped him with a branch until he scarred the kid's body, and threatened to punch him in the face if he told anyone. That is not a spanking (which reasonable people can presumably disagree about); it is OBVIOUSLY child abuse. I am tired of Peterson being described as a "good, Christian man" again and again. The guy has 6 kids by 6 women; he has been arrested for violence in a strip club; he has this issue; etc. At a certain point, your media-friendliness and articulate, personable nature can't overrule the facts.

I love watching an explosive running back more than anything else in football. My favorite memories are old Notre Dame teams when Rocket Ismail would be placed in the backfield, or Ricky Watters, or Reggie Brooks and Jerome Bettis; or of old Vikings like Herschel Walker, Robert Smith, Michael Bennett. That's my favorite part of football. So I've loved--LOVED--watching Adrian Peterson. But he should be cut and probably be sent to jail. And the Vikings waffling and obviously corporate-dollar driven "come to jesus" moment is pathetic. I felt dirty watching them at all last week, having debated just giving up on the pros and focusing on the Gophers. (Who completed one pass last week in a victory. Go team!)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on September 24, 2014, 11:04:48 AM
Yeah, he's a scum bag. And more than likely, Jerry Jones will probably sign him if the Vikings cut him; there was a report out (from an ESPN story, that I read) where Peterson called Jones and talked about how he'd love to play for him someday.
I wish that for once, they'd send a message in this league, and not sign him once he's cut. Every team preaches the same old PC bullshit, but it's all about the money, and it makes me sick. And yet I still watch.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on September 24, 2014, 11:09:55 AM
I just read something that's actually a neat idea; apparently, Mark Cuban had a contest where the fans could submit ideas for alternate jerseys, and the winner would have his design put on actual jerseys that they'll wear this year. I saw a picture of them, and they actually aren't that bad. They remind me of those old nugget uniforms from the 80's, except with the Mavs colors.

I actually lilke those Nuggets jerseys. They remind me of 80's video games. A nice Alex English throwback?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on September 24, 2014, 02:50:48 PM
I'd get me a Fat Lever one!

Regarding the Minnesotans' reaction to Peterson, I may have spoken too soon. This morning I made the huge mistake of reading the comments of a story on the team--the one cesspool of stupidity worse than message boards--and was surprised by how many morons were calling for his immediate reinstatement, blaming the media for making too big a deal about it, and basically writing like the cavemen they are (all with bad grammar, spelling, and punctuation, I should add).

Truly, the only surprising thing is that I was surprised. I should expect less of people. Especially online.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on September 24, 2014, 04:33:53 PM
I've always said, just when I think that maybe humanity isn't so bad, I'll read Facebook comments on a news story, and realize that there are a lot of ignorant people in the world-sometimes, it really is unbelievable how stupid people are.

Pistons signed Hasheem Thabeet to a non-guaranteed contract, which means (of course you know) that he's only on the training camp roster. I can't really see him cracking the rotation unless someone gets hurt. Hard to believe that he was the #2 overall pick.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on September 24, 2014, 04:48:11 PM
#2 is a cursed pick:

2012 - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Not bad at all, but certainly not producing at the level expected. No offense to speak of.
2011 - Derrick Williams. This one feels personal. (Highest Wolves-drafted player ever. Ouch. Usually we mess up in the 4-7 range...)
2010 - Evan Turner. Some good stats on Philly, but that was Philly, who makes the Wolves look talented. I liked him in college, but he's not cutting it.
2009 - Hasheem Thabeet.
2008 - Michael Beasley. Another former Wolf, people! When his GM was fined for discussing his private info (weed violation), he came to the guy's defense, admitting his habit. Ah, Mike.
2005 - Marvin Williams. Not a bust, but #2? Ahead of Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Danny Granger, David Lee, etc.? (This draft did suck though.)
2003 - DARKO!
2002 - Jay Williams. Unfortunate circumstances, but he didn't produce.
2000 - Stromile Swift. STRO! (Uber-athlete. Not good at basketball. AKA a typical LSU player.)




Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on September 24, 2014, 07:26:28 PM
Eric Bledsoe signed a big-money deal with Phoenix, ending the soap opera (and confusion on the Wolves front): something like 5 years, $70 million. Yowsers. Quite a lot for a guy with exactly one season averaging over 10 ppg. (Though his talent is obvious.) It leaves a shockingly crowded backcourt, with Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe, Isaiah Thomas, Archie Goodwin, Tyler Ennis, and most likely Zoran Dragic. That's not even counting the likes of Gerald Green or PJ Tucker, both wings. I know the coach is an ex-guard, but even so, wow. Something has to give. That's my opinion. Someone is being shopped. Nobody will be happy in this situation.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on September 27, 2014, 04:59:00 PM
Mr. Verlander, I'm thinking you're more Mich. St. than Michigan, but just in case ... IN YOUR FACE. Gophers over Wolverines in Ann Arbor? Wow. A week after looking like a good running team with no passing game to speak of, and thus an easy team to stop in the Big Ten, the return of QB Mitch Leidner (and a confident and relatively accurate version of him at that) really not only complemented the brilliance of RB David Cobb, but added a spark. And that defense really did a job on the more talented Michigan crew. Poor Shane Morris.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on September 27, 2014, 05:15:30 PM
And, in a blockbuster deal, the Philadelphia 76ers acquired Keith Bogans and a 2018 - yes, 2018 - 2nd round pick from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for the 76ers 2015 second round projected pick. Bogans is 34, was literally sent home last year by Danny Ainge, sent to a rebuilding team? I'm scratching my head over this one.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on September 27, 2014, 05:20:44 PM
Asset collection. they get a pick for taking Bogans. (The outbound pick is protected--I'd bet HEAVILY--and only included because trade rules require you send something, at least on paper. I'm thinking Bogans's deal isn't guaranteed but even if it is, unless I'm mistaken Philly is still below the salary floor.

But you're right that they have no interest in him as a player.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on September 29, 2014, 05:12:20 PM
Per Minneapolis Star Tribune Wolves beat writer Jerry Zgoda, Wolves SG Kevin Martin said, "I didn't know Kevin Love got traded until yesterday."

Why do I suspect Mr. Martin is having some fun with the media!? I'm just quoting a twitter feed quoted by hoopshype, so it's a bit removed. Maybe context will clear it up...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on October 01, 2014, 11:00:42 AM
#2 is a cursed pick:

2010 - Evan Turner. Some good stats on Philly, but that was Philly, who makes the Wolves look talented. I liked him in college, but he's not cutting it.

...and now he's a Boston Celtic



Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 01, 2014, 01:34:15 PM
True, but at only about $3 mil a year. One expects a #2 pick to be negotiating a second deal worth 4 or 5 times that, not to mention longer term than the 2 years he got from the Celts.

Philly had interesting news: #32 pick KJ McDaniels apparently passed up a multiyear deal with guarantees for the right to be a free agent after this season. Normally a 2nd rounder would shoot for stability but on a team as bad as philly is likely
To be, good production could earn him a nice payday.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on October 01, 2014, 02:29:59 PM
Per Minneapolis Star Tribune Wolves beat writer Jerry Zgoda, Wolves SG Kevin Martin said, "I didn't know Kevin Love got traded until yesterday."

Why do I suspect Mr. Martin is having some fun with the media!? I'm just quoting a twitter feed quoted by hoopshype, so it's a bit removed. Maybe context will clear it up...

I imagine that those guys got pretty sick of listening to that Love crap every day all summer. For some reason, I don't think that Love left many good friends behind in Minnesota. Martin's just trying to imply (I think) that he couldn't care less what Love did or didn't do. I like it.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 01, 2014, 06:03:17 PM
Per Minneapolis Star Tribune Wolves beat writer Jerry Zgoda, Wolves SG Kevin Martin said, "I didn't know Kevin Love got traded until yesterday."

Why do I suspect Mr. Martin is having some fun with the media!? I'm just quoting a twitter feed quoted by hoopshype, so it's a bit removed. Maybe context will clear it up...

I imagine that those guys got pretty sick of listening to that Love crap every day all summer. For some reason, I don't think that Love left many good friends behind in Minnesota. Martin's just trying to imply (I think) that he couldn't care less what Love did or didn't do. I like it.

I think you're 100% correct. Rubio had a few quotes over the late summer that led me to believe something similar. Basically, you're with us or shut the f*** up and leave. Quit blaming us for our joint lack of success.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on October 02, 2014, 02:55:53 PM
Philly had interesting news: #32 pick KJ McDaniels apparently passed up a multiyear deal with guarantees for the right to be a free agent after this season. Normally a 2nd rounder would shoot for stability but on a team as bad as philly is likely
To be, good production could earn him a nice payday.

I wasn't thinking too much about about KJ McDaniels until you posted this. So, I'm listening to 94WIP Radio in Philadelphia and 76ers coach Brett Brown comes on. He said that KJ McDaniels is competing for the STARTING 2guard position, and he can see McDaniels being with the 76ers for the next 10 years! :o I'm starting to get excited about this season. At the very least it will be interesting.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 02, 2014, 04:46:08 PM
Philly had interesting news: #32 pick KJ McDaniels apparently passed up a multiyear deal with guarantees for the right to be a free agent after this season. Normally a 2nd rounder would shoot for stability but on a team as bad as philly is likely
To be, good production could earn him a nice payday.

I wasn't thinking too much about about KJ McDaniels until you posted this. So, I'm listening to 94WIP Radio in Philadelphia and 76ers coach Brett Brown comes on. He said that KJ McDaniels is competing for the STARTING 2guard position, and he can see McDaniels being with the 76ers for the next 10 years! :o I'm starting to get excited about this season. At the very least it will be interesting.

While I don't recall seeing him in college, I saw McDaniels a little in the summer league. Granted, that's not always the best predictor--MVPs Nikoloz Tskitishvili and Josh Selby, anyone?--I did like what I saw. He is very athletic and was just wild running around the court, showing a level of hustle uncommon in summer league games. He isn't offensively skilled, but he's athletic and tenacious. On a team with so little talent, and even less of it (proportionately) on the wings, I could absolutely imagine him starting and producing numbers beyond what he probably would elsewhere.

The only downside (and this is the Minnesota-sports pessimist in me talking) is that with an out after this year, he could leverage that to a bigger and better deal elsewhere. More optimistically, though, he might look around and realize that being on a team with MCW, Alexey Shved (OK, just seeing if you're paying attention), Dario Saric, Nerlens Noel, and Joel Embiid isnt' the worst place for a young wing to come up.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 07, 2014, 04:53:57 PM
All right, the season is (kind of) underway and I'm going to catch Det v Chi. Im excited to see Mirotic and McDermott especially, but also to see what Van Gundy's system is going to look like with that roster.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 07, 2014, 05:15:33 PM
6 assists in the first 7 baskets for B Jennings. Does he finally get it? If so, look out. He's always had talent.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on October 08, 2014, 04:28:01 PM
6 assists in the first 7 baskets for B Jennings. Does he finally get it? If so, look out. He's always had talent.

I'd say...probably not.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on October 08, 2014, 07:01:20 PM
Caught some of the 76ers vs. Hornets game tonight. The best player on the floor for the 76ers was....Alexey Shved! He was really setting up his teammates with some passes that had the crowd "oohing and ahhing". Based on just this one game, I can see him backing up Michael Carter-Williams and getting some significant minutes; I was trying to observe his defense, though; didn't see enough. Nerlens Noel looked good physically; he was keeping up with the speed of the game and he wasn't being pushed around; his offensive game/skills still needs a lot of work. Brett Brown is starting Noel at forward with Henry Sims at center. Speaking of centers, Joel Embiid has been sitting on the bench - in a suit - very frustrating; they haven't officially ruled him out for the season but I think it's still a long shot that he sees any action this year, like Noel of last year. Oh, and KJ McDaniels was making some impressive dunks! Interesting evening.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 10, 2014, 06:11:26 AM
76ers @ Wolves tonight for a preseason clash between two of the worst teams in the league! But hey, it's of interest to SJS and me.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on October 11, 2014, 04:23:28 AM
The 'big deal' the last 2 days has been how Bosh and Wade have made 'surprising' comments about LeBron, with Wade talking about how last season 'wasn't fun', and Bosh saying that Kevin Love is going to have to change his game.

I don't get how any of this is really a big deal. Of course Love is going to have to change his game; he (like Bosh) is coming from a place where he was THE man. On the Cavs, he's probably 3rd in line, behind 'Bron and Irving. It was the same way with Bosh in Toronto.

And I thought everyone kind of knew that it wasn't very much fun in Miami; to be under that much scrutiny all of the time, and to have every word you say taken apart, to try and find secret meanings in all of it-the whole time that team was together was ridiculous, the amount of attention that it got.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 11, 2014, 06:21:17 AM
Love will obviously have to change his game: agreed. But I think Love is the second-best player on the Cavs, not Irving. However, with Irving and James as the primary ball-handlers, he's going to be getting what he is given (or takes off the boards).

I had a great time watching the Wolves/Sixers last night. Anthony Bennett is transformed: slimmed down (but really strong...really strong--huge shoulders), active, energetic, and surprisingly smart on the court. I had no idea. He reminded me of pre-injury Larry Johnson. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that's who he is or will become. But that was the kind of game he played last night.) And both rookie wings, Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine, are miraculously athletic. It was a lot of fun.

As for the 76ers, that might have been the least talented roster I've ever seen in an NBA game. Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, Jerami Grant, and Hollis Thompson were all out with various injuries, and of course Dario Saric is in Turkey this year. When the likes of Henry Sims, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and Brandon Davies aren't just on your roster--questionable enough!--but starting? Yikes. I know, it's preseason. But wow. I still think KJ McDaniels is a stud, though, and Casper Ware deserves that roster spot.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on October 11, 2014, 10:13:38 AM
Larry Johnson...now that's a name I've not heard in a long, long time.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 11, 2014, 10:21:49 AM
Most unjustly forgotten superstar in the semi-recent era.

Superstar? Yes. The tragic back injuries derailed what would have been a hall of fame career. "Grandmama" was a legendary college player whose game seamlessly translated to the pros. I remember the doubt about a 6-7 (ahem..,6-5 tops) PF making it, even in the prime of Charles Barkleys career. But pre-injury, he was explosive, intuitive. He scored, rebounded, passed.

That Charlotte team--him, Zo, Kendall Gill--could've been something.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on October 11, 2014, 03:34:33 PM
He and Zo couldn't co-exist. That should've been a powerhouse team, much like the Nets team with Derrick Coleman and Kenny Anderson. Coleman's problem is that once he got that money, he lost interest.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 11, 2014, 04:12:09 PM
That NJN team was one of the poster-children of what was wrong with the NBA from the latter day golden era (when Jordan had arrived and really begun winning, but Magic and Larry were still around, etc.), through that weak period of the mid 90s through the Lebron era. Derrick Coleman--whom I loved, basketball-wise, as I am a big Syracuse fan and he was fantastically talented and productive--famously gave coach Butch Beard a season's worth of fines for not following the team's dress code ahead of time. Hard not to take that as insubordination... Chris Morris and Benoit Benjamin were both famous malcontents. Morris's incidents included removing the tape from an injured hand during a game so he couldn't be put back in, practicing with his shoes untied, and writing "It's Time" and "To Say Goodbye" on his shoes during games his last year in NJ... Benjamin was among the most talented underachievers ever.

And yet Anderson was right on the edge of really high level play for a while there. Coleman was there, too. Drazen Petrovic's career really took off there before he unfortunately died, having become a legitimate all-star caliber player. You're definitely right, that team was a shame.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on October 11, 2014, 04:54:38 PM
As for the 76ers, that might have been the least talented roster I've ever seen in an NBA game. Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, Jerami Grant, and Hollis Thompson were all out with various injuries, and of course Dario Saric is in Turkey this year. When the likes of Henry Sims, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and Brandon Davies aren't just on your roster--questionable enough!--but starting? Yikes. I know, it's preseason. But wow. I still think KJ McDaniels is a stud, though, and Casper Ware deserves that roster spot.

I scoured the TV channels including three Comcast affiliates and nobody was televising the game! I can't disagree with you regarding the talent level on the 76ers, which is why I keep using the word "interesting" in describing this upcoming year. ;D

"Patience" is a another word and I'm trying real hard. We'll see if I have any left by February!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 11, 2014, 05:59:22 PM
As a wolves fan since their 89-90 inception, I feel uniquely qualified to comment on talentless rosters, too!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on October 25, 2014, 03:01:23 AM
For the three of us who participate in this subject;

I just received the NBA preview of SI in the mail. They have Detroit at 11 in the East, while Philadelphia comes in last. Minnesota comes in at 15.

Their prediction for the Finals is Spurs over Bulls, which kind of surprised me. I thought for sure they'd go with Cleveland in the Finals.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 25, 2014, 08:12:06 AM
Wolves finished off their preseason with a win, a comeback over Chicago. JJ Barea had a big role in the 4th quarter comeback, leading to the local press to speculate he may end up on the final roster yet. (See, we have 16 guaranteed or partially guaranteed contracts, and teams are allowed 15. Rookie wing Glenn Robinson III has the sole partially guaranteed deal--about $200k guaranteed--and is stuck behind a glut of wings (Wiggins, Brewer, Budinger, Martin, Muhammad, and Hummel), so he seems like an obvious cut. However, he is a Flip pick, he has great upside, and Mo Williams was brought in by Flip to play ahead of Barea (brought in pre-Flip) to back up Rubio. So the signs had been that Barea might be that odd man out.

He's got a Napoleon complex, so frankly I do hope we find a way to move Barea. He's got value ... I just don't care to see a 5'9" SG in a PG's body try to prove he's the best scorer on the floor when, even in the moments when it's true, that doesn't help a team win. You're not winning many games with Barea leading you in scoring.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 25, 2014, 08:14:54 AM
As for predictions, I think a mostly healthy Wolves team could finish ahead of LAL and Utah in the West. And of course depending on what teams suffer what injuries, that could even change further.

The east is so tough to pick...except Philly. Worst team in the league. By far.

Detroit could be a playoff team, they could be among the worst teams. New coach, new system, several new players. We'll see. There is some legitimate talent.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on October 25, 2014, 08:20:04 AM
Captain, what do you think about the recent news stories about NBA players avoiding signing with the lakers because of Kobe? I personally think Kobe's ego is a pain to deal with these days. He is still a good player but not the guy who put 81 points on the raptors anymore.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 25, 2014, 08:30:33 AM
I think it's tough to lump individuals' situations into one storyline. Kobe is difficult, no doubt. And maybe some people--ahem, Dwight Howard--chose to leave or not join in the first place largely because of Kobe. But plenty of aspects of that story have already been publicly challenged as demonstrably inaccurate. Ramon Sessions was one guy they said left because of Kobe and he publicly said he actually was trying to sign a long-term deal there, and they didn't keep him. I think plenty of not-quite-max guys who would be offered long-term deals to live in LA and play for one of the two or three most storied franchises in the game would absolutely take it, even if it meant putting up with Kobe for another year or so.

To your final point, he is definitely not prime Kobe anymore. That's no knock on him, just the reality of the body. Jordan wasn't Jordan near the end, either. And trying to prove he was in Washington hurt that franchise. It would be best for the Lakers, and Kobe's dignity, if he would accept that he's a (very good, very smart, very skilled) complementary player now. But that's easy for me to say. I doubt Kobe's worried about what I think about his dignity.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on October 26, 2014, 05:00:59 AM
I can't stand him, never really could. I tried to like him for a while, he just makes it impossible. I enjoyed watching him play, although I can't stand the Lakers either, so I would always hope that he did some hot stuff on the court, yet the Lakers would lose the game.

I used to love Shaq, too. Back years ago, right after Orlando joined the league, I loved them because they had Scott Skiles and Sam Vincent (Michigan State!) on the team. Back then, there was no internet to order things, so I would get upset that I could never find Orlando gear to wear. It was hard to like a team so terrible too, although Skiles had a record 30 assists in one game. I also love Shaq as a college player, he was unstoppable. So, it was beyond my wildest dreams that my favorite team would end up with a dominant player like him, who everyone knew was going to be the best center in the game within a couple of years.

Then, once he got in the league, it seemed that all he did was talk about how great he was. Once they got Penny Hardaway (trading away Chris Webber, University Of Michigan Bum, and possible nightmare scenario for myself) then his ego took over, and he wanted to play somewhere where he was going to be the Man. So he went to LA, where Karma sent him Kobe Bryant.  Once he started winning there, I really despised him, and his ego talk really seemed to take off, and he was like that pretty much for his entire career.

Everyone talks about how funny he is, and what a good guy he is, I just can't stand him. Long story over.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 26, 2014, 06:08:54 AM
Shaq gets on my nerves, too. As a player--especially in his college and early pro years--he was phenomenal. One of the few guys to whom I can think of no obvious predecessor or successor. Before he got bulky as he aged, he was absolutely unique in terms of combining size, speed, and strength. He was athletic like David Robinson in that he could run and jump, but he had so much power. Early Shaq was an absolute freak of nature. (Lebron is the other guy who I think of as almost entirely unique.)

Those early Orlando teams always mattered more than they should have to me because the Magic entered the league the same year as the Wolves, so it was like a measuring stick thing. The big difference early on was that the Wolves hired Bill Musselman, who wanted to win every game no matter what. So in Year 2, we squeaked 29 wins out of a really bad team, but it meant leaning on guys like Tony Campbell, Ty Corbin, and Sam Mitchell for absurd minutes and not developing younger guys. After that, Musselman was fired, reportedly for not playing then-rookie Gerald Glass. (Glass, a small forward out of Ole Miss, was undersized in terms of height and oversized in terms of belly and butt, a sort of Mark Aguirre style guy.) Glass was out of the league within a year or two (I know he spent some Pistons time, Verlander...on the bench.) and Muss went on to S. Alabama, whom he led to the tourney, I believe. Fabulous, if very quirky, coach. He passed away about 15 years ago.

Orlando then started its absurd lottery luck while we always picked lower than our record would suggest. Every stinking year. Shaq, Mourning ... Laettner. Chris Webber, Shawn Bradley (then considered can't-miss), Penny Hardaway, Jamal Mashburn ... JR Rider. Glenn Robinson, Jason Kidd, Grant Hill ... Donyell Marshall. It was only in 1995, when McHale and Saunders were in charge, that we gambled and won with the #5 pick, that "6-foot-12" scrawny high school center who became our Hall of Fame small forward, Kevin Garnett.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 26, 2014, 10:54:14 AM
Not quite NBA yet, so I was excited to see a euroleague game on NBA tv today! (Beats the hell out of the Vikings...) Bayern Munich v Panathinaikos. The latter has one of my all-time favorite non-NBA point guards, Dimitris Diamantidis, who dismantled
The USA in the ... 06 Worlds? I think that was when.

Munich has a promising young point in Vasije Micic, who is considered a future NBA guy. Former NBA guys Julian Wright, Esteban Batista, and Antonis Fotsis are in the game, as well as a few other good players.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 26, 2014, 11:36:54 AM
Loving the Euroleague game! Munich's wing Nihad Dedovic reminds me of Alexey Shved, a rangy combo type who can really get moving. And Jiri "George" Zidek, of NCAA champion UCLA ('95) fame, is the color commentator.

Some other possibly recognizable names to some: Iowa State's Lucca Staiger, Maryland's James Gist, Western Kentucky's AJ Slaughter, Penn State's Jan Jagla, and Santa Clara's John Bryant.

As for that Vikes-Bucs game, an exciting 3-0 at half...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on October 26, 2014, 02:13:13 PM
I had a passing interest in the Timberwolves before they even played a game, because the Pistons broke my soul when they had to let Mahorn go in the expansion draft. I still remember the headline in the Detroit Free Press: 'From Bad To Sad: Mahorn gone in draft'. To this day it pisses me off. I even remember that back in the day, they had T-shirts with players on them, like cartoon characters with cute sayings  (mine was Laimbeer: Chairman Of The Boards'). I can't remember what his said, but there was one that had Mahorn in a Timberwolves uniform. That's a collectors item, considering he didn't play a second there.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 26, 2014, 02:38:18 PM
True. We ended up dealing him to Philly for Scotty Brooks. In our first meeting with Mahorn as a 76er, he fouled out of the game. I can still hear then-Wolves announcer Kevin Harlan's voice gleefully yelling, "Rick Mahorn, get your big butt out of here!"


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on October 28, 2014, 01:52:54 PM
Ok, so here's my prediction (too early? Yep. This is for fun. Or just for me to be able to come back someday and say 'See, I told you so!').

IF Derrick Rose is healthy, the Bulls will make it to the finals, and lose in 5 games to the Spurs.
IF Derrick Rose isn't healthy, Cleveland will make it to the finals, and lose in 7 games to the Spurs.

Either way, I just realized; I don't think that Derrick Rose will ever get a ring, unless he goes somewhere else later on in his career. I think this is his only year. After this year, Cleveland takes the East (and maybe the League) over. There's way too much talent, and LeBron knows how to win now; the only question mark is how the other 2 of the New Big Three will handle the pressure. They'll go deep this year, and next year is the beginning of a dynasty.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 28, 2014, 03:07:03 PM
The fruitless, pointless art of predictions! Yes!!

I'll say this, partly to stir it up but partly because I believe it.

The Eastern conference champion will win the title by beating someone other than San Antonio. WHOAAAA, heresy! Let me explain.

Being burned on the "Spurs are too old" argument doesn't mean it won't inevitably become true (as long as their core features their aging stars). That has been, for the past two or three years, the common refrain: I picked [anyone else] because I figured San Antonio were too old this year. I'm not making that mistake again." But the thing is, Duncan IS still getting older. So are Ginobilli and Parker (and Diaw). Yes, Leonard seems like a star on the rise, but he is also in a contract dispute, where he apparently wants max. (Maxes are not a part of San Antonio's philosophy...) And the vaunted depth is great to get wins through the regular season when nobody cares, or to flesh things out around the stars in the playoffs. But what if those stars aren't stars anymore in the playoffs? I don't mean what if Parker plays badly, or Ginobilli, or Duncan, or Diaw. I mean several of them at once. Even all? At some point, it happens. Realistically that might not be this year: they might win it all yet again. They play beautiful basketball. I'm almost hoping for them to win. But honestly this might be the year I pick against them.

You might say "ok, what about the rest of the West," i'd say that while the rest of the Western conference is good top to bottom, I think they fall below those two best Eastern teams. OKC lacks Durant for a good chunk of the season, which hurts their seeding (most likely). Westbrook might struggle to rescind control once KD returns. Their center spot is still a joke if Perkins gets substantial minutes. Their off-guard spot is weak/shallow. Despite a reputation as great drafters, they just don't have much depth. Guys like Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones, Grant Jerrett, Mitch McGary ... we'll see. Reggie Jackson has improved, but he's still so similar to Westbrook, it's a challenge to have them out there together.

Chicago and Cleveland, the two best Eastern conference teams are--potentially--really good. Like even if San Antonio holds it together, either of these teams could realistically win the title. If Derrick Rose is healthy and 80% of his former self, they are a Finals-caliber team. Their offensive shortcomings are dramatically reduced even just by Gasol, Mirotic, Aaron Brooks, and McDermott. You've got continued improvement from Butler, Gibson, and Snell. And obviously Rose and Noah are just perfect for Thibs these days. Chicago is potentially a great team, dominant defensively and pretty good offensively. Cleveland, assuming they can protect the rim, could be astounding. I would worry about Irving, Waiters, and Love in the attitude department, but with Lebron there, the fact is that it will not matter (because he won't let it). Lebron has the power to either convert them (most likely) or get them shipped out. He just won't accept pouting at any serious level. Their issue is Love is not long and is floorbound, and they have nothing in the middle to complement him.

So more specifically who wins it?

Healthy Derrick Rose: Chicago over Clippers in 5 games.
Injured Derrick Rose: Cleveland over Clippers in 7 games.




Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 28, 2014, 04:23:33 PM
THe OKC starting five opening night per TNT will be Westbrook, ANDRE ROBERSON, PERRY JONES, Ibaka, and Steven Adams. Yowsers.

Dallas v San Antonio is on tnt with Orlando v New Orleans on NBA tv. I'll focus on the latter, but let me be clear, I'm so psyched! I really love basketball. (Maybe you didn't notice.)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 28, 2014, 05:14:05 PM
Kemba Walker just f***ed the Wolves by signing a 4-year, $48 mil extension. Rubio was reportedly close to 4/$52, but this sounds like a monkey wrench. All due respect to Kemba and his scoring prowess, but he's no rubio.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on October 29, 2014, 03:30:32 AM
I feel bad for Julius Randle. 14 minutes into his NBA debut, and he breaks his leg. As if the Lakers weren't already going to be bad enough.

I admit, I picked the Spurs because I've been picking against them for a few years now, and I decided that I wouldn't do it again. I don't see OKC going to the Finals, and I'm not a Clippers fan. Nothing against them personally (actually, I'm not a Griffin fan. Not because of his play, but because...I don't know why. I just don't like him. Does that make sense?). So Spurs. Or Mavs. I'd like to see Dirk get another one.




Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 29, 2014, 05:39:18 AM
I'm not at all a Clippers fan. Some of the least likable players in the league!

I didn't watch the late game and hadn't heard about Randle. That's horrible for him and the team.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 29, 2014, 06:00:42 PM
Wolves v Pistons tomorrow night!? What's up, Verlander...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on October 30, 2014, 03:10:55 AM
Battle of the best! The best of the bottom feeding teams, that is.

I have no idea how the game went last night, as I had a touch of stomach flu and went to bed pretty early. Looking at the roundup this morning, some things stick out: Jennings with only four points in 20 minutes, and didn't take many shots; Drummond fouled out with about 3 minutes left in the game; Smith made almost half of his shots and ended up with 25 points, 5 boards and 3 assists, although he took two 3's, one of them very early in the shot clock (Surprise!), and DJ Augustin had 15 points, 6 assists. Not bad for his debut.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 30, 2014, 06:22:48 AM
The wolves--who played without possible leading scorer Kevin Martin--were predictably up and down against a good Memphis team. Post defense was an expected problem, and after 57 or something points from Gasol and Randolph, I'd say that hypothesis held up to the experiment.

But Muhammad had a nice game off the bench, Mo Williams was 10x better than Barea, and Wiggins had his moments. It'll be interesting.

And SJS, I caught some of Philly too. Ouch. But...LEXEY!! 18 and 5 or something.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on October 30, 2014, 07:17:14 AM
I watched the 76ers/Pacers game. Indiana didn't play well; a lot of turnovers and sloppy passes. The 76ers were actually up by 10 pints in the first half. Hibbert played very well; he appeared motivated. The 76ers had no answers for him.

Nerlens Noel played a lot of minutes. Again, he was athletic enough; he was active and blocked some shots and hustled on defense. But, he has NO offense game. He makes awkward drives and takes off-balance shots. Also, he also can't make free throws. I like his attitude and he plays hard but he doesn't look like a No. 1 -5 overall pick...yet. The 76ers played hard the whole game, but they have no offense, no "snipers". Most of their points are on fast breaks or follow ups around the basket. Alexey Shved! He almost single handedly kept the 76ers in the game. He made some nice outside shots which will probably get him more minutes; his shooting is needed. He also distributes the ball well. He was struggling on defense, had 4-5 fouls in about a quarter.

Michael Carter Williams is due back in about a week to 10 days. And, they showed some footage of Paul George at a recent practice, shooting around! George was on the bench. He wants to come back this year. I hope not...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on October 30, 2014, 11:29:54 AM
Jennings was surprised that he only played for half of the game- "first time it's ever happened in my career", he said today-and already people are talking about a PG controversy. I wouldn't go that far, although I would say that hopefully Van Gundy is gonna be the type of coach who isn't worried about sitting someone down when they stink it up, or when they do the exact opposite of what he tells them to do.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 30, 2014, 11:35:16 AM
I'd read and heard before the season began that Van Gundy might give Jennings a short leash, and that was why Augustin was brought in.

Jennings is either lying or forgetful, though. Check his stas with Lottomatica Roma between HS and the NBA. 19 mpg, alongside/behind Allan Ray, Sani Becirovic, Ibrahim Jaaber, etc.

Also fun fact: his current Pistons teammate Luigi Datome was on that Rome team. Small world.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on October 30, 2014, 12:15:00 PM
Then I get this update on my phone literally 15 minutes ago, from Team Stream: 'Kenneth Faried credits Nuggets' win over Pistons to Josh Smith's FG attempts: "He shot them out of the game".

Aye.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 30, 2014, 12:20:45 PM
That's the magic I hope for tonight! Bombs away from him and Jennings...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 30, 2014, 04:05:10 PM
OK, so here are some things I think will be most interesting in tonight's Detroit v Minnesota game. (And yes, I know this game is interesting to nobody but Wolves and Pistons fans ... but this thread comprises approx. 66.7% Wolves and Pistons fans.)

Point Guards! Remember draft night 2009? The #5 pick, the polarizing but uber-sexy Spaniard, Ricky Rubio. Arguably the best (and certainly one of the best) point guards from the 2008 high school class, the California-to-Oak Hill phenom who went pro rather than to college, Brandon Jennings? #10. Behind two true PGs (Rubio and fellow Wolves draftee Jonny Flynn) and two combo guards (Tyreke Evans and Steph Curry). You might remember that Jennings was furious. Most of his rage was aimed at the guy he played against in Europe, Rubio. He said Rubio is overrated. (He also talked sh*t about the guy ahead of him on that Milwaukee depth chart, consummate pro Luke Ridnour.) I don't know if Rubio has grievances against Jennings, but the reverse is true. Plus these guys are polar opposites on the court. Jennings has been a loser who gets numbers. He aggravates coaches and teammates, looks to score despite horrible shooting numbers, and has that old Stephon Marbury style of passing only when he's going to get an assist. Rubio is a winner (yes, yes, I know he's on an awful team) who doesn't really get the great stats. He is flashy, yes, but it's good flash. Teammates love him. He loves them, cheering heartily even when he was benched in 4th quarters for Barea last year. He defends. He runs the sets. He's aggressive defensively. I just love him. Anyway, this is a fun matchup.

Shooting Guards! Obviously the Wolves have a lot invested in Andrew Wiggins, and I do expect a better game than last night's mediocre, foul-plagued debut. (Not that I expect him to consistently perform well this season. Just better than last night.) But I really expect great things from Kentavious Caldwell Pope, and he really struggled from the floor on opening night. I expect him to REALLY come out strong, but he is facing a great defender in Wiggins. These are two really good, young prospects and both are solid basketball players. Not overly showy, no bad attitudes. KCP was actually widely considered to be Flip's #1 priority in the 2012 draft; his selection by Detroit caused us to trade out and get the Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng picks.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 30, 2014, 04:15:50 PM
Cleveland is insane. Pregame concert by Kendrick Lamarr, are you kidding?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on October 30, 2014, 04:43:04 PM
Cleveland is insane. Pregame concert by Kendrick Lamarr, are you kidding?

ESPN had a one and a half hour pre-game show! Many of the Cleveland businesses (other than the restaurants, bars, and hotels) were either closed or not doing much work today because workers either called off or were goofing off!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on October 30, 2014, 04:43:58 PM
Is the king on a throne in the arena?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 30, 2014, 04:46:49 PM
It's going to be hard for me not to focus on Cleveland: a Lebron's debut, Loves debut, I'm a huge Blatt fan (remember, I geek out over international ball maybe most of all, so I'm very familiar)... But y'know, wolves v Pistons, that's serious playoff implications! (Right? Right?)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on October 30, 2014, 04:49:44 PM
Its opening day of basketball! ;D

Hope springs eternal.....


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 30, 2014, 04:53:46 PM
Sadly I have too many years as a wolves fan to be that optimistic. I love them forever, and like the direction, but I'm guessing 32-36 wins. In the west? That's 13-15th. Oh well, next year...???


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on October 30, 2014, 04:57:39 PM
It will be interesting to see the wolves without the Kevin Love ego-trip. Will Rubio turn into the next Pistol Pete maravich? :P


I got my Bulls as well!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 30, 2014, 05:07:51 PM
Rubio/pistol? Never, because Pistol was a phenomenal shooter. Rubio's best possible outcome is passable, a trend line like Jason Kidd.

You're lucky: Chicago is the best or second best team in the east...and league?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on October 30, 2014, 05:10:34 PM
Chicago vs. Cleveland for the east.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 30, 2014, 05:25:52 PM
Jennings has shoved Rubio in the back twice in the first 3.5 minutes. Fucking punk. I'd hope Pek would punch him out except we need Pek. maybe Hummel will do it...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on October 30, 2014, 05:39:42 PM
Sign Lattrell Sprewell to do it so he can feed his family.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 30, 2014, 06:37:13 PM
After the Jennings T, may I add, FUCKING CLOWN.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 31, 2014, 05:31:48 AM
The other day I mentioned how rough OKC was looking fue in large part to injuries... Last night, Russell Westbrook broke his right hand. Hello, Sebastian Telfair. Ouch.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on October 31, 2014, 12:33:45 PM
Today, Jennings says 'He (DJ Augustin) should start and I'll be the backup', in response to hearing that Van Gundy said that Augustin has been the better point guard the last two games.  Yep, it's gonna be a long season.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 31, 2014, 12:40:06 PM
I read SVG's criticism of the starters (minus KCP). Ouch. Called them quitters etc.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on October 31, 2014, 12:49:13 PM
Detroit is really going to have a season in hell.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 31, 2014, 01:01:17 PM
There is real talent there. You just worry about:

- Jennings' attitude. Shoot- or pass-first? Lead or pout?

- Frontcourt logjam. C and PF have 96 minutes total. Drummond, Monroe and Smith warrant about 110 minutes at those spots...to say nothing about their challenges meshing.

- Smith thinks the previous bullet is moot, as he fancies himself a wing. He'd be right, if he had any shot selection to speak of.

- Did I mention Jennings' attitude?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on October 31, 2014, 01:34:49 PM
Even if they have a shitty season, at least it appears (at this time) that SVG isn't gonna put up with guys' bullshit. You don't want to play the right way, sit down.

I'd almost be willing to deal with Jennings bullshit if they'd find a way to get rid of Smith. If he could just learn to not shoot the f'n ball every time he has it! I just don't understand how he can look at his stats and think that he can continue to shoot it like he does. I like the pieces that we went out and got this year better than I like most of the guys that were already there; give me Augustin and Butler any day over Jennings and Smith.

So anyway...Cleveland loses the game last night to a bad Knicks team. At first, it surprised me, as I was sure Cleveland would run them out of the gym. Then I started thinking that there were probably a lot of nerves there; Lebron didn't actually play that well, and the rest of the team has to learn that every night, the other team is going to play their asses off.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 31, 2014, 01:39:50 PM
Yeah Cleveland is going to be fine. Like 55-62 wins kind of fine.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on October 31, 2014, 03:56:16 PM
Captain, You didn't mention that Vanilla Ice wowed 'em during the halftime show last night in Minnesota! :o :-D


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on October 31, 2014, 04:53:02 PM
What!? I didn't watch during halftime. Was Vanilla Ice really there??

Because I'm really that big of a geek (and what can I say, getting old & not that big a fan of parties) I'm settling in for Cavs-Bulls tonight in lieu of Halloween festivities.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on November 01, 2014, 03:51:29 AM
Sebastian Telfair? As in SI cover boy? Starbury's cousin? Next big thing? I didn't even know he was still in the league.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on November 01, 2014, 05:24:22 AM
The one and only. He has bounced around a lot but basically been in the league throughout the past decade. And you know what? He's actually turned into a good backup point. Can't shoot a bit, but he's really quick, defends well (esp for a little guard), gets the offense going, passes well. But it hasn't been anything like the hype projected.

The hype machines are never fair, especially when dealing with kids.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on November 01, 2014, 03:51:34 PM
Anymore, the hype is out of control. It seems if a kid is a high school stud, you hear all sorts of 'experts' saying that 'if they still allowed kids to go the the league right out of high school, this kid would be a lottery pick'. I'm already hearing it with that Okafor kid at Duke. Remember how Jabari was going to dominate? He still might, but he hasn't had an explosive start.

I remember 4 kids being on the cover of SI; Lebron, Telfair, Jabari, and Felipe Lopez. Only Lebron has lived up to that hype (Jabari might, don't get me wrong!). There's a part of me that thinks it's a sin to put a young kid like that on the cover. All of that pressure.

We had a guy play at Michigan State, Kelvin Torbert. The next big thing. Could've went to the NBA as a lottery pick (they were still doing it back then). He came in, everyone figured for only a year, and he was going to be gone. And the poor kid struggled. Really nice kid, wasn't a trouble maker, had his head on straight. It just didn't work out. For four years everyone waited for him to finally just explode and dominate, and it didn't happen.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on November 01, 2014, 04:10:01 PM
This is actually an issue I've spent a TON of time on. For what? Geekdom, I guess. I think it was just irrationally interesting to me, both with the high school to college, and then the college to NBA transitions.

The hype has been exploding over the past 20 years in particular, but it does go back a while. I recall Felipe Lopez in the mid 90s or so being one HUGE example. He was one of the first "next Jordan" guys I recall. He might have been on the cover of SI and he was absolutely on the cover of many college preview magazines. Well, Lopez struggled early because he couldn't really shoot. He got better and eventually made the NBA (playing for the Wolves for a bit), but was never more than a role player.

Still, you can take that and say it's two steps removed, right? Lopez was a freakishly good HS player and a mediocre NBA player, but he was still a great collegian before it was done, right?

Yes.

Then your example of Torbert (whom I remember well, being focused on B10 more than other leagues because of my location) is a HS to college, but still, that's the lower level. Let's go to the college to NBA level. That's where we should know better because we've had more time to evaluate prospects.

Still HUGELY problematic. Not quite a crap shoot, but not as much better as you'd think. This topic interests me because people are always so infatuated with draft picks, with prospects. Our current example in Minnesota is the complaints about trading Miami's 1st rounder to Philly for Thad Young. We're hearing in the national and local media how stupid that was, how the pick is better than Young.

Exfuckingscuse me? Thad Young is a career 13.5 and 5.5 player. This year, on an atrocious Wolves team where he starts, I'd bet he is likely to be closer to 17 and 8.

That Miami pick is most likely going to land somewhere between 14 and 20 (as they could be so bad as to barely miss the playoffs, or maybe make it as a lower seed). So let's take a BEST CASE scenario and say it is 14. I did a little analysis in 2009 or so of the drafts between 1991 and 2004 (allowing me at least 5 years of history for each player), documenting everyone's stats and then looking at averages by draft position, as well. The #14 pick as of that time was likely to be a career 7.7 ppg, 3 rpg, 1.5 apg player. His best season was, on average, 10.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg, and 2.2 apg. That's the average of the 14th picks' BEST seasons in that range. Want to look a little more position-specific? Here are the power forwards taken with the 13th, 14th, and 15th picks during the time of that analysis.

13th
Eric Williams, Providence
Mo Taylor, Michigan
Troy Murphy, Notre Dame
Kris Humphries, Minnesota

14th
Anthony Avent, Seton Hall
Doug Edwards, Florida State
Al Jefferson, (no college)

15th
Chris Gatling, Old Dominion
Cliff Rozier, Louisville
Alan Henderson, Indiana
Kirk Haston, Indiana

Of those guys, one is undoubtedly better than Young: Al Jefferson, who has been a great PF/C on some awful, awful teams. Then a few guys (Gatling, Humphries, Taylor, Williams) were at least legitimate NBA players, though none was even a legitimate, perennial starter.

Let's think about who the Wolves would likely get with the #14 pick in 2015, and consider the likelihood that player would be better than the in-the-bank 15 and 5 Young has averaged in his career. The odds are ... bad. Really bad. Really, really bad.

We get excited over hype. Sometimes it's McDonalds All Americans and their transitions to college. Other times it's college or international players and their transitions to the pros via the draft. But the reality is, there are huge numbers of players who never live up to anything near their comparisons, to their hype.

They say one in the hand is worth two in the bush. The h(y)(o)pe business doesn't want you to believe it. In sports, believe it.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on November 01, 2014, 06:38:28 PM
Bulls, even without Rose tonight, are predictably applying a beat-down in Minnesota. The game isn't even as close as it looks, as they've been liberal with minutes to Mirotic, Snell, and Brooks.

Scary moment: mid-air collision between Butler and Thad Young that seemed to knock Thad out momentarily and seems to have him out of the game. That's 20+ points.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on November 01, 2014, 06:43:22 PM
Right when I say that, Wiggins and Bennett lead a run that gets us within 2... (I'm still not optimistic for this one. Energized, hopeful, not optimistic.)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on November 01, 2014, 07:47:13 PM
Hell of a game decided by a rookie mistake, though there were some bad calls and some sloppy non-finishes around the rim that didn't help.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on November 03, 2014, 04:34:09 PM
No Wolves til Wednesday but enjoying the season this first week.

Anybody have strong feelings or thoughts on the young season?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on November 03, 2014, 07:33:15 PM
No Wolves til Wednesday but enjoying the season this first week.

Anybody have strong feelings or thoughts on the young season?

I've been enjoying the season so far, too. I don't have any earth-shattering observations, but a lot of questions.

- It took Lebron James and The Big Three awhile before they really jelled and consistently dominated in Miami. I'm wondering how long it will take for James-Love-Irving to do the same. Will they play together well enough to win a championship...this year?

- Can Derrick Rose stay healthy for an entire season, and, if he does, can Chicago win it all this year?

- I watched the Knicks beat the Cavaliers in the first game of the year. How long will it take Phil Jackson to spin his magic with the Knicks? Immediately? One year? Two years? More?

- Can Oklahoma stay alive long enough until Durant and Westbrook return? If they can make the playoffs, will the rest/time off actually help Durant and Westbrook in the long run? They log a lot of minutes and play hard...

- A lot of people are picking the Clippers to make a strong run for a championship this year. Wouldn't it be ironic - and poetic justice - if after 30+ years of mostly losing and not even sniffing a championship under the ownership of Donald Sterling, that in the first year of a Sterling-less regime, the Clippers would win it all! :o


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on November 08, 2014, 08:31:24 AM
I just read that Dion Waiters stayed back in the locker room for the National anthem last night, due to his religion. f*** him. If you don't like the American way, give back the American dollars you've collected, you bum.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on November 08, 2014, 09:25:21 AM
I don't have strong feelings about that, actually. Similar thing happened about 20 years ago with Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf/Chris Jackson (one of the best scorers I've ever seen). I don't think public displays of pomp, ceremony, allegiance, and nationalism necessarily ARE the "American way," in fact. (I don't even believe there is AN American way.) I do dislike Waiters for basketball reasons though. Breaks my heart to do it, as I'm a diehard 'Cuse fan.

On basketball, Rubio suffered what looked like a brutal ankle sprain in Orlando and took the wind out of the Wolves' sails. Speculation is that he might miss a few weeks, though the prognosis isn't public yet. Mo Williams and Zach LaVine, good luck.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on November 08, 2014, 09:28:24 AM
Ha. For what it's worth, Waiters is tweeting the whole story about him skipping the anthem for religious reason "is a damn lie," that people should confirm rumors before printing, and shouldn't believe everything they read. Much ado about nothing, it seems.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on November 08, 2014, 01:30:42 PM
On basketball, Rubio suffered what looked like a brutal ankle sprain in Orlando and took the wind out of the Wolves' sails. Speculation is that he might miss a few weeks, though the prognosis isn't public yet. Mo Williams and Zach LaVine, good luck.

I am hearing Rubio will be in a walking boot for 2 weeks and could miss 2 months. Ouch.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on November 08, 2014, 04:36:11 PM
Surprising word that LaVine will start in Miami over Mo Williams tonight. Interesting idea, perhaps made more possible because of the Heat's relatively mediocre PGs of Norris Cole, Mario Chalmers and Shabazz Napier.

Interesting note on the start: after this, LaVine will have started the same number of NBA games as he did college games. In his one year at UCLA, he started only once... (Part of my dislike for him around the draft was that he seemed more of a workout wonder than productive player. Tonight I hope I'm wrong.)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on November 16, 2014, 08:20:02 AM
Since losing Rubio to injury a week or so ago, things have been rough (to say the least). We've been rolling with Zach LaVine at the point, who is doing about as well as an athletically gifted but woefully underqualified replacement rookie teenage point guard can do... The best thing is, he's playing within the team concept as opposed to just running wild. But with Rubio, the Wolves were in every game no matter how overmatched. He defended, he passed, he ran, and he led. Without? Not so much.

Losing Thad Young, who is taking time off following the death of a family member, isn't helping.

And last night, Nikola Pekovic was limited to 12 minutes because of pain in his foot. That's a recurring issue that led the Wolves to ask him to take the summer off, to get newly created shoes specially designed for him, and to limit his minutes to basically splitting time with Gorgui Dieng. Here we are, 10 or so games in, with all that caution for naught: he's hurt regardless. I've said for a year or two, he might just become our Arvydas Sabonis. Sabonis was one of the greatest big men in the history of the game, but sadly by the time he got to Portland, injuries meant he had to play something like 20 minutes or less a night. He was wildly effective ... just not for long. Pek is nowhere near as good as Sabonis, but as a pure post scorer, he is one of the best in the game. I think we might be stuck with a 10 ppg, 18 mpg Pekovic.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on November 16, 2014, 03:13:00 PM
I remember hearing about Sabonis for years. You could tell that in his prime, he was a beast.

Hey, at least nobody on our teams are slapping themselves, like Lance Stephenson last night. That guy's a joke.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on November 23, 2014, 01:18:25 PM
This season has been pretty shitty so far for Detroit. They haven't really been blown out that much, they just can't seem to make the baskets in crunch time. Drummond hasn't looked as good as I thought he would, either. I don't expect this team to improve until they can move Smith or Jennings. They aren't the type of players who are going to change in order to make the team better.

I'm tired of Cleveland already. Is Love going to leave? Why isn't LeBron taking games over? Is Waiters a 'team' guy? Is the coach allowed to be a coach, or is LeBron really the coach? Who gives a sh*t?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on November 23, 2014, 02:26:00 PM
It's rough here, too. While the start was encouraging--even losses were well fought early--we're not anywhere near deep enough to survive being down four starters... At least Wiggins is being forcefed.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on December 03, 2014, 10:53:23 AM
Not much to say when your respective team blows. The Pistons are barely a step above Philly at this point. After last night's loss to the woeful Lakers, Van Gundy said that the team is 'messed up', and has 'dilemmas'. The team has no hustle. There's no type of offensive consistency, and they don't play defense. I'm pretty sure that Van Gundy is wondering why he took this mess at this point. The Lakers have the league's worst defense, and the Pistons shot 37 percent against it.  They're off to their worst start in franchise history. I think that Philly will get their first win against us. Just a terrible, and at this point, unfixable mess.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 03, 2014, 04:02:42 PM
Tonight, just an hour or so from now, the colossal showdown the whole league has been waiting for goes down: Philly at Minnesota!

Making things worse than usual, I understand Philly is missing Tony Wroten, who had played well (or at least put up numbers) in MCW's absence. Minnesota remains without starters Nikola Pekovic, Kevin Martin, and Ricky Rubio and has had several guys out or seriously limited with stomach flu, but hopefully the talent differential matters tonight. Because even with our starters out and as bad as we are, there is no denying the talent differential: Philly's roster is really, really bad. At least the Wolves can throw out there proven guys like Mo Williams, ex-76er Thad Young, and to a lesser extent Corey Brewer and Chase Budinger, plus up-and-coming sorts like Andrew Wiggins, Gorgui Dieng, Anthony Bennett, Shabazz Muhammad, and Zach LaVine.

At least the Wolves and 76ers are still playing hard. I'll take that over what I've seen from Detroit!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on December 03, 2014, 04:20:56 PM
At this point, my only interest in the NBA is seeing how former MSU players do. Like Draymond Green, high energy guy for the Warriors. Came home last week and had a career game against Detroit. I like that. Draymond Green is one of the best players the program ever had, which is funny considering he never intended to go there in the first place. He comes back quite often too; I've seen him quite a few times at MSU football games.

As a matter of fact, probably 3 years ago (probably more!) I saw Zach Randolph. There's one side of the stadium that you can go to where all the old guys come back to watch games and take elevators up to the suites, and if you want to see somebody (Mateen Cleaves is one that you see quite often), you go over there. So I go up to him and shake his hand and tell him that I'd love to see him in a Piston uniform. A month later he resigned with Memphis.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on December 03, 2014, 04:30:58 PM
And to top things off, the best player in next year's draft is probably the Okafor kid from Duke. Detroit doesn't need anymore bigs! So if they get the number 1 pick, they can't even draft the best guy in the draft.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on December 03, 2014, 04:55:50 PM
And to top things off, the best player in next year's draft is probably the Okafor kid from Duke. Detroit doesn't need anymore bigs! So if they get the number 1 pick, they can't even draft the best guy in the draft.

After drafting Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid in back to back years, the 76ers are in a similar situation. But Okafor is gonna be hard to pass up...Well, I gotta go. The Game Of The Week - Philadelphia at Minnesota is about to begin.  :lol


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 03, 2014, 05:10:59 PM
I think if they get #1--which remember, very often doesn't happen for the team with the worst record--they will take Okafor and figure out the rest later. Though Emmanuel Mudiay is pretty fantastic, and while MCW is good, he's not at that same elite level.

As for watching the hometown alums, we've had too few around here lately to matter much. The Tubby Smith era turned out to produce fewer NBA pros than the Dan Monson era, go figure! But I do keep an eye on Minnesotans (even who didn't go to the U...remember, we don't put out a ton of D1 guys, so it is easier to follow them than in Michigan). So we have Jon Leuer (Wisconsin) at Memphis, Kris Humphries (Minnesota) at Washington, Cole Aldrich (Kansas) at New York, Nate Wolters (SDSU) at Milwaukee...there are a couple others, but not many.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 03, 2014, 05:31:34 PM
Not liking this start! Philly taking it to MN on our court? Henry Sims looking like an all star...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 03, 2014, 05:33:38 PM
Wolves putting on a clinic in how not to run fast breaks! Bad passes, bad spacing...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 03, 2014, 07:40:52 PM
That honestly might have been the worst Wolves game I've ever seen. We were talking about effort a few posts back? Well the Wolves had little to none for most of the night. Terrible shooting. Terrible ball control. Terrible everything.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on December 03, 2014, 08:17:02 PM
That honestly might have been the worst Wolves game I've ever seen. We were talking about effort a few posts back? Well the Wolves had little to none for most of the night. Terrible shooting. Terrible ball control. Terrible everything.

Yeah, that was the only way the 76ers were gonna win; they needed a lot of help from the other team. I'm happy for the 76ers and particularly Brett Brown because they avoided the record book. They seem to be good guys who work hard. However, effort has been about the only bright spot for the team so far this season...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 04, 2014, 05:45:17 AM
If agree with all of that.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on December 07, 2014, 11:32:13 AM
Guess who the 3 worst teams in the league are? Detroit, Philly, and Minnesota. It's like fate or something.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 07, 2014, 12:39:54 PM
Guess who the 3 worst teams in the league are? Detroit, Philly, and Minnesota. It's like fate or something.

Painful. The Wolves had been ahead of Detroit and Philly as well as LAL, Utah, and New York, but unfortunately having been without their four best players, and still without their three best, it's just not going well. The past few games, we have literally had one point guard (a teenage rookie, Zach LaVine, who to make matters worse is really a combo at best) and one center (second-year Gorgui Dieng). Our other two PGs and other two Cs are both hurt.

Corey Brewer at point guard is not a recipe for success. It's terrifying.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on December 07, 2014, 02:03:42 PM
You look at the schedule and you think, 'There isn't anybody on here that I think we can beat'. Literally, I'd be happy with a 15 win season right now.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 07, 2014, 02:41:44 PM
The only thing that's nice on the Wolves' side is that at least the youngsters are being thrown into the mix and we get to find out how they respond. In fact, here are my early-season youngster evaluations.

Zach LaVine: I like him more than I thought I would based on what I saw of him in college. I was angry on draft night, in fact. But his athleticism is really special, and he has a nice jumpshot. That said, he reminds me of a baby deer, so thin and frail-looking. (That said, he's our one guard who hasn't gotten hurt, so...) His decision-making on offense can be atrocious and his defense is pretty bad. He is not a real point guard, by any means. He says one of his role models is Jamal Crawford--they are both from the Seattle area--and frankly I can see him as having that kind of game eventually, but as a more athletic version. It wouldn't surprise me if he ends up more SG than PG though.

Andrew Wiggins: So much more polished than LaVine, he really is a smooth offensive player and a solid defender. He has the potential to be great. On offense, that means tightening up his handle and improving on that in-between game, as well as doing a better job finishing (which will come with strength). On defense, it means just learning. That will come.

Shabazz Muhammad: He's the local darling because he has been scoring points during this injury-riddled streak that has been keeping Martin, Williams, and Young out at various stretches. He's admittedly 100 mph and aggressive, particularly driving or crashing the offensive boards. But he is such a mediocre shooter, bad handler and passer, bad defender... And while he gets fouled a lot, he misses a lot of free throws, which is tough for someone whose game is built around aggressiveness. He has the look of an instant-offense kind of bench player to me. That said, he got something like 20 pts in 20 minutes last night.

Anthony Bennett: So much better than last year, it's not even funny. But while I love his midrange jumpshot, unfortunately so does he. He doesn't want to go down low, he doesn't really battle the way you'd want. Instead, he gets a lot of kick-outs or pops on pick situations, putting up 15-18 footers. That's fine, but you'd like your PF to be on the glass, too, which he can't do as the shooter from that distance. He also doesn't pass very well. He has had some better-than-expected defensive moments, surprising for a shorter PF.

Gorgui Dieng: He had such a strong end to last season and, statistically, is right up there again. Double doubles are no strangers to him. But sometimes he looks completely lost and makes absurd decisions. I don't know his pre-Louisville history but he's something like 24 or 25 already (in his second year out of college), so you'd want more know-how from someone that old. However, he is really athletic, is a good defender with serious shot-blocking potential...basically he is the opposite of Pekovic. Put them together and you have the best center ever!

The latter three of those five, I struggle to imagine them becoming stars--even like second-fiddle or third-fiddle type stars. Starters, maybe. But they all seem like they'll be good bench players or the kind of starter you're not afraid to replace with a draft pick or free agent.

Wiggins and LaVine, I can imagine more, especially Wiggins.

I didn't review Glenn Robinson III because he doesn't play much. Great athlete, though.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on December 08, 2014, 05:35:46 PM
Detroit had a chance to beat OKC last night; Josh Smith took a 3 for the win. What do you think happened? Riigghhtt...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 08, 2014, 07:42:51 PM
Wolves hosted GS Warriors. Yeah...

Score doesn't show what a blowout it was. Warriors shot poorly. Wolves were abominable on both ends. But LaVine's and Wiggins' potential make it worth watching. I really can't wait for Rubio, Pek, and Martin to return.

Or at least Mo Williams and Ronny Turiaf... One more moment of Corey Brewer at PG is one too many.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 12, 2014, 07:34:58 AM
PHILADELPHIA WINS ... the award for first trade of the year among our three crappy home teams. They acquire (former Wolf) Andrei Kirilenko--whom I suspect will never report for duty--and some picks in exchange for Brandon Davies. Monumental! The whole landscape of the league is changed forever!

My guess is that the other two of our teams will be doing some moves before long as well. My money is on Corey Brewer going to Houston for a trade exception and a 2nd rounder. Other vets could easily also be moved, though I think Brewer's relatively small contract and high-energy style plus good attitude makes him the most likely. Over the course of the year? I wouldn't be shocked if the Wolves tried to move Brewer, Budinger, Turiaf, Pekovic, Young...everybody but Rubio, Wiggins, LaVine, Bennett, Dieng.

Detroit has it tougher: can't move Monroe because of his restricted-tender; can't move Smith (at least for much) because he's Josh Fucking Smith; don't want to move Drummond or KCP, probably; Jennings would be hard to get value for...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on December 12, 2014, 11:33:36 AM
Yep. This team is f**cked.

It's funny that the Nets traded Kirilenko. Last year there was the big uproar that him signing there was some sort of Russian conspiracy.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 12, 2014, 11:46:09 AM
It seems new coach Lionel Hollins isn't a big fan of AK-47 at this late stage of his career. Kirilenko had several DNP-CDs a while ago and right after both sides confirmed a one-on-one conversation, the trade rumors began and Kirilenko took a leave of absence to "tend to personal matters."

I was a HUGE Kirilenko fan and love him in Minnesota ... when healthy, which was almost never. The sad reality is that his back is just messed up, and that rarely if ever seems to heal up, especially on older and bigger guys. He's a 15-year-vet (or thereabouts) and is almost 6-10. He's not ever going to be valuable like he was before, especially since his game is based on insane athleticism and mobility, not (for example) spot-up shooting. If he were a stretch 4, he'd still be very valuable.

My guess is that Brooklyn hoped they were getting a healthier product than his time in Minnesota showed. Let's be honest, veterans on bad teams often sit out with injuries that magically disappear when they're in better situations. But in this case, it seems he really just is often injured.

Too bad. As I said, great player when healthy. The ideal--yep, I said it, ideal--complementary player. GREAT defender at virtually every position (when he was younger), good rebounder, very good passer, moves really well without the ball, blocks shots, wonderful chemistry guy. Not much of a shooter, that was his only shortcoming in healthier days.

I can honestly say I thought the Wolves would have been a legit playoff team had they been healthier when they were trotting out Rubio, Ridnour, Kirilenko, Love, Pekovic, plus Brandon Roy, Josh Howard, Dante Cunningham, JJ Barea, Chase Budinger, etc. But Roy played 5 games, Howard played 11, Love played 18, Budinger played 23, Rubio played 57, Pekovic 62, Kirilenko 64...you get it.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on December 12, 2014, 03:45:50 PM
PHILADELPHIA WINS ... the award for first trade of the year among our three crappy home teams. They acquire (former Wolf) Andrei Kirilenko--whom I suspect will never report for duty--and some picks in exchange for Brandon Davies. Monumental! The whole landscape of the league is changed forever!

What? Another win for the 76ers? That would be three in a little over a week. ;D

Yeah, I read that Kirilenko wants to stay home with his pregnant wife until February and that the 76ers will probably waive him. We'll see. But, the 76ers also received a No. 2 draft pick, and did you see what year it was for? 2020! I don't think I've ever seen a "transaction" that far in advance - 5 years from now!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 12, 2014, 04:55:03 PM
And now, ladies and gents, the Wolves (still minus would-be starters Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin, and Nikola Pekovic, as well as backup PG Mo Williams and backup C Ronny Turiaf) will host the newly healthy OKC Thunder. I anticipate ... miserable failure. The win the other night was great. I don't anticipate another one. But hey, you never know.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on December 13, 2014, 07:22:17 AM
Jodie Meeks made his debut last night, and Detroit won. He didn't do much according to the stats, but he did allow Van Gundy to use the rotation like he wanted for once, and Meeks' arrival did seem to improve ball movement. He's also very active off of the ball, kind of like Hamilton was during the Pistons run a few years back. Hopefully, things will improve somewhat. At least get a 2 or 3 game winning streak going to give them some confidence. And a willing trade partner to take Smith.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 13, 2014, 07:58:09 AM
Jodie Meeks made his debut last night, and Detroit won. He didn't do much according to the stats, but he did allow Van Gundy to use the rotation like he wanted for once, and Meeks' arrival did seem to improve ball movement. He's also very active off of the ball, kind of like Hamilton was during the Pistons run a few years back. Hopefully, things will improve somewhat. At least get a 2 or 3 game winning streak going to give them some confidence. And a willing trade partner to take Smith.

While I thought they overpaid him, I can imagine how Meeks would be essential for what SVG wants to do. They just don't have enough shooters, and Meeks is undoubtedly that. (That's actually why I am surprised to see, night after night, DNP-CDs for Luigi Datome. Is he that bad otherwise that as good a shooter as he is, he can't get on the floor?) I know Jennings and Smith want to be those shooters, but let's get serious.

Ideally now you can have Jennings playing pick and roll with Monroe (who can also pop or take a handoff and deliver from the high post), with options to kick to Meeks or KCP spotted up, and with Drummond available for a drop-off pass from Jennings, for a high-low pass from Monroe, or to clean the glass. (Smith could substitute for Monroe in this kind of action.)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on December 13, 2014, 08:04:34 AM
Captain, the wolves should let you coach the team. Like that horrible woopie Goldberg movie.... ;D


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 13, 2014, 08:13:25 AM
Oh, I think Flip knows a thing or two more than I do. Plus, with that young and fundamentally challenged team, I'd prematurely age. And with the aging I'm doing on regular time, I don't need that. (The paycheck would be nice, though.)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on December 14, 2014, 02:50:33 AM
Detroit wins again! The team is finally playing as a whole! It's like they all share the same brain! They're about to begin a historic winning streak the likes of which have never been seen! They're unstoppable!

Or, they got lucky and played a Sacramento team that was missing Cousins. Yeah, I think it's that.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 14, 2014, 07:05:23 AM
Have you made peace with the fact that Greg Monroe is leaving after this season? There is no way he's happy coming off the bench behind Josh Smith!

Wolves host LA Lakers tonight. That is a legit chance for a win, though nowhere near a sure thing. (So such thing as a sure thing for Minny.) It would really help if at least Mo Williams would return, as the broken record in me reiterates how wholly inappropriate it is to have Corey Brewer ever play a minute at PG, much less some 10-15 as backup PG. But hopefully the Lakers' own woes, plus recent trend of Kobe at PG, might make that a little better for us.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on December 14, 2014, 09:24:31 AM
So I'm watching the 76ers vs. Memphis Grizzlies last night, and Philadelphia is LEADING 95-78 with about 7 minutes to play in the 4th quarter - and I fell asleep - only to wake up during the post game show to find out the 76ers lost 120-115 in overtime.  >:(


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on December 15, 2014, 04:47:58 PM
They can trade Monroe now, and I guess he's open to going anywhere. That's how unhappy he is. Also, Jennings and Smith are on the block. Actually, probably everyone except Drummond is up for grabs, if anyone is dumb enough to do it.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 15, 2014, 04:51:39 PM
Yeah, I just read up on it. He can be traded with his permission if he waives Bird rights. (Seems kind of unlikely that will all happen, as Bird rights are what gives the team he is with--Detroit, for now, but conceivably the team he is dealt to--the right to pay more than all other suitors.)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 16, 2014, 04:30:53 PM
Mo Williams may return for the Wolves tonight. I don't believe in a god, but just to be safe, please God!! Zach LaVine has been better than expected in a tough situation as the lone PG (tough gig for a teenage rookie combo guard), but reinforcements are needed!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 20, 2014, 06:57:45 AM
Well the Wolves' most expected trade finally went down: Corey Brewer, versatile defender, locker room influence, and undeniable energy guy with the limited offensive game, has been moved to Houston, which--if there was ever any doubt after the starters' injuries--set in stone that this is a rebuilding season dedicated to giving youngsters minutes. Injured Ronny Turiaf was also sent out, though he won't play this year for anyone. The Wolves get young shooting guard Troy Daniels, a 3-pt specialist, a couple future 2nd rounders, and cash. Houston also got (former Wolf) Alexey Shved from Philly as part of the transaction.

Second-year guard/forward Shabazz Muhammad, who has been scoring a ton in limited minutes, will start as the team's other wing alongside Andrew Wiggins.

It will be interesting to see whether the Wolves sign another big, as we're still down to just one center (second-year center Gorgui Dieng). We have former UConn forward-center Jeff Adrien on an emergency player exception contract, but a decision is coming due soon. We either have to sign him for real or let him go and look for a free agent or another trade. You just can't have only one big...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on December 20, 2014, 08:35:55 AM
Alexey Shved, we hardly knew ya...In his short time with the 76ers, Shved might've been my favorite player. He missed a couple of games with an injury, but whenever he came in the game, he distributed the ball - better than Michael Carter Williams IMO - made some outside shots, and helped the fast break. The team just seemed to "pick up" when he came in. I realized that Alexey would never be a starter, but he is young and I thought he could've served a role off the bench for years to come. I hate to see him go.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 20, 2014, 09:20:16 AM
Alexey Shved, we hardly knew ya...In his short time with the 76ers, Shved might've been my favorite player. He missed a couple of games with an injury, but whenever he came in the game, he distributed the ball - better than Michael Carter Williams IMO - made some outside shots, and helped the fast break. The team just seemed to "pick up" when he came in. I realized that Alexey would never be a starter, but he is young and I thought he could've served a role off the bench for years to come. I hate to see him go.

I'm glad to read that, because it makes me feel less crazy. The media here, and many fans, were very, very down on Shved. But I had seen him with the Russian NT as well as in his games here and thought that while he definitely had flaws (a bit weak, tendency to take off-balance, hard shots, and of course the injuries), he was a good player. Not a star, or a future star, but a good player. Now I suspect he'll go the route of several other good, but not great, foreign players and head back overseas once his contract, and his NBA experiment, is over. (A couple other examples were JC Navarro of Spain and Vasilis Spanoulis of Greece, both of whom were very solid but just didn't quite get the teams or roles that fit, and returned to Europe to stardom despite being absolutely NBA level talents.)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 22, 2014, 09:34:48 AM
Pistons waive Josh Smith! That's an expensive decision...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on December 23, 2014, 03:39:51 AM
Pistons waive Josh Smith! That's an expensive decision...

Think about how bad it must've been, if that's what they decided was best for the team. Pay a guy to just go away. We'll see if it pays off on the court. It at least can give one hope for a week or two!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 24, 2014, 08:32:01 AM
The press isn't looking kindly on the Smith-waiving. Eating salary, getting literally nothing in return. Lots of blame going to SVG's combo role, posed as coach SVG having disproportionate influence on GM SVG.

On a Wolves note, really strong game from Wiggins against Cleveland last night, mostly against Lebron. If he'd show 80% of that fire every night, he'd be an 18 ppg, 46% rookie coasting into ROY instead on a 12 ppg, 39% disappointing guy who might stumble into ROY by default.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on December 24, 2014, 10:05:58 AM
The press isn't looking kindly on the Smith-waiving. Eating salary, getting literally nothing in return. Lots of blame going to SVG's combo role, posed as coach SVG having disproportionate influence on GM SVG.

On a Wolves note, really strong game from Wiggins against Cleveland last night, mostly against Lebron. If he'd show 80% of that fire every night, he'd be an 18 ppg, 46% rookie coasting into ROY instead on a 12 ppg, 39% disappointing guy who might stumble into ROY by default.

I'm sure that if SVG could go back now, he'd trade Smith to Sacramento for whatever players they were willing to give up. I think that he (SVG) wanted to give it a shot first, to see if he could make it work. Obviously, a costly mistake, although I guess at least he made the right decision in the end.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 24, 2014, 10:27:40 AM
The press isn't looking kindly on the Smith-waiving. Eating salary, getting literally nothing in return. Lots of blame going to SVG's combo role, posed as coach SVG having disproportionate influence on GM SVG.

On a Wolves note, really strong game from Wiggins against Cleveland last night, mostly against Lebron. If he'd show 80% of that fire every night, he'd be an 18 ppg, 46% rookie coasting into ROY instead on a 12 ppg, 39% disappointing guy who might stumble into ROY by default.

I'm sure that if SVG could go back now, he'd trade Smith to Sacramento for whatever players they were willing to give up. I think that he (SVG) wanted to give it a shot first, to see if he could make it work. Obviously, a costly mistake, although I guess at least he made the right decision in the end.

I think the challenge with a Sac trade was that they were asking for picks, and SVG (pretty wisely) wasn't interested in giving up assets just to give up a (somewhat) productive malcontent. It was the outbound cost to do business, rather than the returned benefits (which I think were nil, just bad contracts or bad players). Tough position. He definitely would have been in better shape before the season began, before anyone saw how badly it was going to work. But of course, as you said, that is also exactly what SVG wanted to figure out first hand, which is admirable. Because there are absolutely examples of "bad guys" turning it around in a different situation.

I am really curious as to what happens with Monroe next offseason, though. This opens up a starting spot for him, but he's more C than PF in a modern NBA, and he's still not the centerpiece of the franchise. Plus he seems to feel slighted by the lack of contract getting done last summer. So I think he's out of there regardless. Someone will (over-)pay him. (Hello, NY Knicks or LA Lakers!) Hopefully Detroit will do the smart thing and continue rebuilding more toward the SVG-Orlando model, with a team that can better space the floor and let Drummond do what he theoretically could and should do on offense, which is dominate the glass and dunk.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 24, 2014, 11:02:24 AM
Pistons trade! OK, it's not a blockbuster, but I really like this trade for the Pistons. It's exactly what I was talking about in my last post.

Anthony Tolliver, whom I saw a lot when he was a Timberwolf, is a great fit for this roster as a stretch PF. He's somewhat athletic, quick enough to defend some SFs and big enough to occasionally switch over to centers. And most importantly for this Pistons team, he can shoot 3s. He's not a knockdown guy, but he is a streaky guy whose streaks can go on for games. He's also well known as a high character guy, great in the locker room, and very smart.

I like Tony Mitchell's potential, but that is all he has ever been. He was a high recruit who only ever was able to get to N Texas to play for a variety of issues. Super athletic, but without much in the way of actual basketball production. He might fit Phoenix's style better, with multiple point guards who could in theory get him the ball if he fills the lanes.

Phoenix saved money on the trade.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on December 24, 2014, 11:46:29 AM
It seems like everybody in the league played for Minnesota at least once.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 24, 2014, 12:09:51 PM
I was thinking that while watching cleveland last night (Love and Mike Miller).

Atl: none
Bos: none
Bkn: KG
Cha: Al Jefferson
Chi: none but we owned Mirotic's rights
CLE: love, miller, Lou Amundson
Dal: JJ Barea
Den: Randy foye
Det: Tolliver
GS: none
Hou: Corey Brewer, Alexey Shved
Ind: none
LAC: none
LAL: Wayne Ellington, Wes Johnson
Mem: Kosta Koufos (and the rights to nick calathes and Beno udrih at times)
Mil: oJ Mayo (for a day)
NO: Dante Cunningham
NY: none (but cole Aldrich is from here)
OkC: none
Orl: Luke Ridnour
Philly: Mbah a Moute, Ronny Turiaf, Andrei Kirilenko
Pho: Gerald Green
Por: none, but we signed Batum as RFA to his current deal
Sac: Ryan Hollins, Derrick Williams, Ramon Sessions
SA: none
Tor: Greg Stiemsma
Utah: none
Wash: Martel Webster


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 24, 2014, 12:11:22 PM
I should add that OKC and Sacramento are coached by ex-Wolves players and Toronto, Washington, and Houston are coached by ex-Wolves coaches.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on December 28, 2014, 04:10:19 PM
The Pistons destroyed Cleveland tonight. In Cleveland. They took 31 3 point attempts, and made 17 of them. That's 2 for 2 now that Smith is gone. Coincidence?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 28, 2014, 06:06:41 PM
Not to diminish what smith has done and can do, he was such a horrible fit. I'm sure the removal of that distraction, plus addition of Meeks, is behind it. Even from a non-basketball perspective, having some closure must be a boost.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on December 29, 2014, 04:50:23 PM
I guess that I never realized what a problem he was in the locker room. I just thought that most of his bad press was because of the way that he played (thinking that he's a superstar, when clearly he isn't). Now that he's gone, I've heard a number of different things about him being a bad teammate. He also said that he now has a 'chip on his shoulder'. f*** him.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 29, 2014, 05:57:04 PM
Interesting. I haven't seen any of that about him necessarily having been bad in the locker room or as a teammate. I mean, one assumes things at a certain point, but sometimes that's just more bad fit than bad person. I'm going to keep my eyes open for more on it, though, that's for sure.

Detroit is (financial consequences notwithstanding) certainly better off though.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on December 31, 2014, 04:05:58 AM
Detroit is now 3 for 3 in games since Smith was booted. Last night, Jodie Meeks had 34 points on 9 for 11 shooting behind the arc, with 20 points coming in the 2nd quarter. Andre Drummond is starting to look like a beast. The next 2 games are at New York and Sacramento at home, 2 very winnable games.

Are the Pistons really a good team? Probably not. They still have a lot of work to do. Out of the last 3 wins, 2 of those teams are also teams that stink (Indiana and Orlando), and 1 against the Cavs who are probably about to send their coach packing. It isn't like they just beat 3 teams from the West. Still, it's nice to see that they probably won't go down as a historically bad team, just a regular bad one.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 31, 2014, 05:35:36 AM
The Pistons definitely aren't objectively good, but they weren't really supposed to be anywhere near as bad as they looked those first months of the season, either. Remember, there was a lot of talk that they'd be in the hunt for a low playoff seed in the East. I think it seems like they are back on that kind of track again. It's pretty unlikely they can make up that ground they lost (and, assuming they have their 2015 1st rounder, it might be wise not to try), but even playing decent basketball and missing the playoffs the rest of the way might do them a lot of good. It might show Jennings, Drummond, KCP, etc., that playing the way SVG wants them to can work, giving them a head start for next year.

Wolves dropped another one last night, in Utah. Rubio, Martin and Pekovic are all still out.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on December 31, 2014, 06:28:37 AM
I'd like to see them play better, although getting that Okafor kid from Duke would be pretty nice. I don't know much about next year's draft, so I'm not sure whether there's anyone out there worth tanking for. Everyone supposedly 'tanked' last year because the draft was supposed to be mind-blowingly incredible, and a lot of those 'can't miss' guys haven't done much yet.

Jodi Meeks almost set the Pistons record for 3 pointers last night with 9 made. The record is 10, by none other than Joe Dumars, against-you guessed it!-Minnesota.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 31, 2014, 07:08:22 AM
A few things: tanking in general, this year's rookies, and next year's draft prospects.

Tanking (in general). I think it is, to some extent, a valid course of action in certain circumstances and with proper expectations. What circumstances? For example, a team like Detroit this year could have given Josh Smith 35 mpg. Caron Butler, same thing. They could have tried to minimize Drummond's minutes, saying he isn't polished yet (which is true). They might have won a couple more games and either just barely made or missed the playoffs. Odds are, that team ends up with a bad record, a pick between 12-16, and still no real hope for the future. Conversely, you can play your younger guys with the understanding that you're probably going to lose a few more games and are not going to make the playoffs, and your pick is in the 4-8 range (with better odds for landing a top 3 pick in the lottery). For me, that isn't tanking for a player. Very, very rarely would it make sense to tank for a specific player, for this reason: you have no reasonable assurance of getting him. And tanking doesn't have to mean pulling a Philly, and totally dismantling your team to be devoid of NBA talent altogether. That's not a good idea, in my opinion. You can be more competitive on the court and still be bad enough to build your team.

This year's rookies, aka "was it worth it?" I think this year's rookie class has a LOT of promise. It's always important to keep in mind the reality of history with this sort of thing. The odds of multiple rookies coming out as immediate all-stars are very, very low. In fact, I can't recall any such instance. The vaunted 2003 draft class, easily the best in recent NBA history, had precisely ZERO all-stars that first year. King James was not an all-star, and neither was Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Darko Milicic (that one's for you, Verlander!), Carmelo Anthony, or any of the others. While we're used to being sick of our rookies long before they arrive in the league thanks to the hype they start getting by the time they're in their mid-teens, the truth is that most rookies--even those who go on to good or great things--are average or worse as rookies.

True, only two are averaging double-digits in scoring (Andrew Wiggins at about 13 and Jabari Parker ending up at 12.5 before getting hurt). But Wiggins is actually around 16 ppg the past 10 games, and I wouldn't be surprised to see his average keep going up. It's obvious to anyone watching that he's getting far better, far more aggressive. Parker is out of course, but his average was lower than you'd think because Kidd plays a TON of people a ton of minutes: 12 guys average 13 or more minutes per game! So yeah, he gets his 12.5, but it's on 49% shooting while he's splitting time with Ersan Ilyasova, Khris Middleton, Jared Dudley, and Johnny O'Bryant. In short, for these and other guys, there are a lot of reasons to explain the mediocre results, whether major transitions, a particular fixable flaw, logjams, team priorities, etc.

Then moving down the list of rookies, I still have pretty high expectations or hopes for a lot of guys. I don't see a superstar, but I could imagine one or more all-star appearances or at least a long career as a starter from any of this group: Nikola Mirotic, Zack LaVine, Elfrid Payton, Marcus Smart, Dante Exum. I can still imagine very good careers for Gary Harris, Jusuf Nurkic, KJ McDaniels, Nerlens Noel, Doub McDermott, Kostas Papanikolau, James Ennis, Nick Johnson, Kyle Anderson, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood, PJ Hairston ... just to name some. If something close to that many guys ends up being long-time players, with even just a few as occasional all-stars, that is a good class. That's what history would tell us.

2015 Draft Class. It's impossible to say ahead of time because we're not sure who is coming out, but it looks good. Really good. Probably not quite as good as 2014, but pretty close, actually. It's an especially deep class of post players (mostly PFs), with freshmen Jahlil Okafor of Duke; Karl Towns and Trey Lyles of Kentucky; Kevon Looney of UCLA; Cliff Alexander of Kansas; Jacob Poeltl of Utah; and Myles Turner of Texas. Then sophomores Dakari Johnson and Marcus Lee of Kentucky; Bobby Portis of Arkansas; Chris Walker of Florida. Then juniors Willie Cauley-Stein of Kentucky (if you're counting, that is five Kentucky post players who could be first rounders in a single year. Not players. Post players.) and Montrezl Harrell of Louisville. And then senior Frank Kaminsky of Wisconsin. Oh, then also Latvian Kristaps Porzingis and Turkish Egemen Guven. That's just post players. I know you think you don't need any, but since Greg Monroe is leaving... (let's not kid ourselves) you could use a PF! You'd want a shooter, so of that batch, Towns, Lyles, and Kaminsky make a lot of sense as guys who could theoretically play with Drummond.

Besides that, there are guys like Emmanuel Mudiay at PG, D'Angelo Russell at combo guard, Mario Hezonjia and Stanley Johnson at wing, etc. It's a good class. There's no Michael Jordan, no Lebron James, but plenty of good players.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on December 31, 2014, 11:56:36 AM
Holy sh*t. Do you google these facts, or are they swimming in your head? Maybe you could be the next GM of the Timberwolves. Kinda like that cat down in Houston that everyone talks about, isn't it Daryl Morey? One of those stats guys? Your press conferences would be incredible; you'd without a doubt be the first GM to do one wearing a 'Pet Sounds' T-shirt.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 31, 2014, 12:16:40 PM
Holy sh*t. Do you google these facts, or are they swimming in your head? Maybe you could be the next GM of the Timberwolves. Kinda like that cat down in Houston that everyone talks about, isn't it Daryl Morey? One of those stats guys? Your press conferences would be incredible; you'd without a doubt be the first GM to do one wearing a 'Pet Sounds' T-shirt.

My main points, I always know. The specifics, I look up. (So for example, I know roughly what a guy averages or averaged, or have ideas about who was in what draft class and what happened, etc., but I'll double check to make sure I'm not wrong, or to get the exact numbers, and so on.)

The difference between me and a Daryl Morey--other than millions of dollars a year!--is that I don't believe in analytics to run a basketball team. I think stats are useful and you can gain insights from them, but there is also a certain amount of feel and art to basketball. Production isn't mechanical, there are people involved. So the exact same skill set and physical ability in two people would, in my opinion, result in dramatically different outcomes/careers.

Examples? How about the fact that there were two universally acclaimed big men in the HS class of 1993, Rasheed Wallace out of Simon Gratz in Philly and Rashard Griffith out of King in Chicago. If anything, Griffith was higher regarded. He was the far better offensive player and was a couple inches taller. Now let's think back at how it turned out for them... Or how about 2003, with Lebron James and his near-coequal, Lenny Cooke? Remember Lenny Cooke? (Didn't think so.) The list is almost endless, and I know it! That's why I am different than Daryl Morey!

That said, I would totally wear BBs t-shirts to press conferences. And speaking of press conferences, I used to cover the Gophers and Wolves in my college and just post-college days. My favorite one ever was when Indiana visited the Gophers in the since-vacated Final Four season of 1996-97. Everyone in the local press was badgering opposing coaches for quotes about Bobby Jackson, our All-Conference and I think All-American that year. (They were all working all year on the inevitable end of year stories about the greatness of our star.) Bobby Knight was still at Indiana and wasn't in the mood to sing the praises of our little 6-1 combo guard, great as he is. I believe just to prove a point and be contrarian, when asked about him, Knight responded "if there were one guy on that team I'd want on my team, it would be John Thomas."

Now, John Thomas was good, a 6-9 senior banger. Local kid from Roosevelt HS, a role player who knew and filled his role. That year I think he averaged about 9 ppg and 7 rpg. Hardly the answer you'd expect.

The reporter who asked the question followed up. "Why?"

"Because I know a hell of a lot more about basketball than you do," Knight responded sharply, as he left the room...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on December 31, 2014, 01:33:27 PM
Wasn't that the best team in Gophers history? Or pretty close to it? I remember them, obviously because I'm a Big Ten guy. That was the Clem Haskins era. Actually, I remember a couple of years after that, the school got busted for academic fraud. It had to have been 1998? I remember because a bunch of guys got suspended from playing in the tournament, and it broke my bracket.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 31, 2014, 01:53:00 PM
It was definitely one of the best teams in Gophers history. Bill Musselman had some great teams in the '70s and Jim Dutcher had some good ones in the 70s and 80s. Sadly, pretty much every good Gophers team in history has been erased from various scandals.

The academic scandal that ended the Clem Haskins era happened just before the 1999 NCAA Tournament (98-99 season), and left the Gophers facing Gonzaga without several key players. (Ironically, we then hired Gonzaga's coach, Dan Monson.)

The Final Four team was fantastic, though.

PG - Eric Harris, a NYC guy from St. Raymond's in the Bronx, really, really tough on defense and debuted that year a nice new jumper from about 15 feet. Went from a footnote to a key player.
SG - Bobby Jackson, a freak at 6-1, rebounding in the 5-7 rpg range, getting 4 apg or so, plus his 16 ppg or whatever it was. Not a real shooter, but just inspirational...
SF - Sam Jacobson. Hometown kid from the St. Paul suburbs, a 6-6 athletic wing who could hit the 3.
PF - Courtney James, a hulk of a man at 6-8, would have made the NBA but was booted from the team after beating his girlfriend after that season...
C - John Thomas, aforementioned.

So that's three future NBA players (Jackson, Thomas, Jacobson).

Bench included future NBA player Quincy Lewis at a wing, future cup-of-coffee NBA player Trevor Winter as backup center, nice little shooter Charles Thomas at SG, rebounding specialist and funny guy Miles Tarver. It was a team that defended like crazy both inside and out, but also could get out and score points. There were some great wins that year.



Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on December 31, 2014, 02:24:05 PM
And of course, Dan Monson's father, Don, was an assistant under Jud Heathcote at MSU. Dan Monson might've had more success if he didn't have the sanctions to deal with.



Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 31, 2014, 02:34:17 PM
Right on all counts. Don became something of a fixture here once Dan was hired. And Dan has gone on to some good success with Long Beach St. He had a rough time here and got criticized, maybe sometimes unfairly. He was actually a pretty good recruiter in his time here, having brought in two of the four (I think, off the top of my head) McDonald's All-Americans the program ever had. He brought in Kris Humphries (Hopkins) and Rick Rickert (Duluth East). The other two were Joel Przybilla (Monticello) and Jim Petersen (St. Louis Park). And yes, that means we've never landed an out-of-state McDonald's All-American. And in fact we've lost about five or six in-state ones (Khalid El-Amin to UConn, Cole Aldrich to Kansas, Rashad Vaughn to UNLV, Reid Travis to Stanford, and Tyus Jones to Duke).

Monson had a really talented early 00s team that could/should have done better. But honestly, his most talented team went down the toilet for chemistry reasons purportedly caused by Kris Humphries ... or more accurately, his dad, who reportedly was trying to run the team. Humphries came to a good team and had a statistically great season while the team was just AWFUL. He was a lottery pick and the team was decimated. After that, Monson struggled to find a balance between recruiting talent and chemistry. I think he erred on the latter, thanks in large part to one less talented but overachieving team that focused on Vincent Grier, a versatile JuCo wing. From then on, the talent was just terrible.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on December 31, 2014, 03:21:09 PM
Totally irrelevant to anything we've been discussing, but I just learned there is an upcoming documentary on my favorite--OK, favorite isn't quite the right word, but neither is it quite the wrong word--basketball player ever, Lloyd "Swee' Pea" Daniels, the 6-7 NYC playground legend, once the next Magic Johnson, the man whose crack-house arrest kept him from being a part of the great late 80s and early 90s UNLV teams (OK, that an obvious academic ineligibility), the guy who somehow got to the NBA anyway, the guy who tried to impress his JuCo tutor by showing her how well he could read ... as he held up two books at once (somehow thinking that was impressive, "reading" two books simultaneously).

I'm so excited. And I just can't hide it. I'm about to lose control, and I think I like it.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/646463363/the-legend-of-swee-pea


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 01, 2015, 07:32:15 AM
Josh Smith update. So, remember that 39% FG and 24% 3pt he had going in Detroit? Through four games with Houston, he's at 34% FG and 16.6% 3pt. You'd think by playing off James Harden and Dwight Howard, he would be able to pick his spots and thus shoot a high percentage. I haven't seen a Houston game since the signing, but apparently that is not the case for Mr. Smith.

Tonight the Wolves face Sacramento. DeMarcus Cousins was ejected last night for a scuffle with rookie PG Marcus Smart. I haven't seen anything as to further suspension or anything, but it sure would be nice if he were absent tonight.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 01, 2015, 11:24:47 AM
He had a big first game with Houston, and then hasn't done anything. I think part of it is that he's just getting older, and he doesn't have the hops that he used to. And the fact that he just plain sucks at shooting the ball anywhere from beyond 5 feet.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 01, 2015, 02:12:13 PM
Nothing to do with basketball, but if you get the chance to watch highlights, watch the ones from the Cotton Bowl- Michigan State Vs. Baylor. Unbelievable. I about puked 3 times.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 01, 2015, 02:17:58 PM
I caught a few bits of the game before the Gophers v Missouri bowl game began. That started great, ended horribly. Totally outclassed in the second half, unfortunately. Some dumb mistakes, some bad luck.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 03, 2015, 08:09:37 AM
Detroit is now 3 for 3 in games since Smith was booted. Last night, Jodie Meeks had 34 points on 9 for 11 shooting behind the arc, with 20 points coming in the 2nd quarter. Andre Drummond is starting to look like a beast. The next 2 games are at New York and Sacramento at home, 2 very winnable games.

Are the Pistons really a good team? Probably not. They still have a lot of work to do. Out of the last 3 wins, 2 of those teams are also teams that stink (Indiana and Orlando), and 1 against the Cavs who are probably about to send their coach packing. It isn't like they just beat 3 teams from the West. Still, it's nice to see that they probably won't go down as a historically bad team, just a regular bad one.

4-0 since the trade. So jealous. Brewer for Daniels has had no such effect... But Kevin Martin could be back within a week, with Rubio and Pekovic expected back by mid-month. 45 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists more per game? Can't hurt...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 03, 2015, 01:07:41 PM
You can't stop the Detroit Pistons, you can only hope to contain them.

Seriously, it isn't like they've really played anybody. New York is horrible. The difference is, you can tell that they're having fun out there. Jodi Meeks has been a huge difference maker.

Minnesota almost won against Sacramento the other night, didn't they? I thought I remembered seeing that it was a pretty close game.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 03, 2015, 03:33:02 PM
Yeah they've had their moments, but 10 straight losses is 10 straight losses. Tonight is Utah (in Mpls, I believe). We'll see.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 04, 2015, 04:11:35 AM
Trey Burke had a pretty good game-28 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists.

Looks like Minnesota had Wiggins and Mo Williams doing the work. Zach LaVine had only 2 assists and turned it over 3 times. Ouch. You can't help but think that this team would be about 3-5 wins better with their full rotation in action.

I haven't paid much attention to Utah; I was surprised to see Dante Exum come off of the bench, especially as much hype as he got leading up to the draft.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 04, 2015, 05:50:57 AM
I don't think Exum has started a game all season. Fact is, while he's a dynamite prospect, he is nowhere near ready. The thing to keep in mind is, for all his talent, before coming to the NBA, he was playing Australian high school basketball. Forget Spanish league, college, or even smaller pro leagues. Australian HS. It will take him a while to build the strength while also fine-tuning his skills.

Burke destroyed the Wolves, as he always does. I don't know what it is.

LaVine is actually really comparable to Exum (though a better shooter), with the problem being he doesn't have the luxury of playing no-to-few minutes a game anymore. While he isn't competent to be playing significant minutes at the NBA PG position, fact is we just need him to. I like him more now than I did on draft night. Far more. But it sure will be nice having him play smaller handfuls of minutes, rather than starting...

Speaking of those win totals if we had our starters, I honestly think five more wins would be on the low end of things. Rubio in particular changes things so dramatically, and he was playing really, really well this year. He impacts the defense with his tremendous ball-pressure and leadership, and on offense he just keeps things moving along. The team has been clueless on both ends without him. Then Martin, that's 20 ppg and the team's best 3-pt threat by far. Pekovic? While he had a slow start, he's among the best two or three offensive post players in the league and is simply immovable. Not to mention,m him and Dieng can share center minutes and give you two diverse styles, both effective, all game long. Conversely, Pekovic's (and Turiaf's, before the trade) absence means Jeff Adrien, Robbie Hummel, or Anthony Bennett has to fill some 10-20 minutes per game at center. Ouch.

I was very, very disappointed in that game last night. Utah was on the tail end of a back-to-back, on our home court, and somehow we were the ones lacking energy. That's something you don't see if Rubio is on the floor.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 04, 2015, 11:56:53 AM
Sort of off the topic a bit, I was saddened to see that Stuart Scott passed away. Damn shame, and at a pretty young age.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 04, 2015, 12:33:08 PM
Yes, I know he's been on and off air over recent years with some form of cancer. That's (obviously) what took him. But hey, I believe the stat is something like 40% of people will be diagnosed with some cancer, sometime. So I guess that's how it goes...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 05, 2015, 10:47:37 AM
Apparently, if Detroit had gotten rid of Smith before the season began, they'd be undefeated! They have a couple of big games coming up, San Antonio and Dallas. That should be a good indicator.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 05, 2015, 12:08:39 PM
Whereas I expect Denver to top the wolves tonight by, oh, 15-20. Just because it's been that kind of season since Rubio went down.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mikie on January 05, 2015, 12:59:59 PM
How 'bout them Golden State Warriors, eh?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 05, 2015, 02:09:49 PM
How 'bout them Golden State Warriors, eh?

They're my 2nd favorite team, because of Draymond Green. He's playing himself into a mighty fine contract. I don't know why they don't hang his number up in the Breslin Center rafters right now.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 05, 2015, 04:01:00 PM
I don't know why they don't hang his number up in the Breslin Center rafters right now.

Gotta give it a little room to breathe, you don't want to seem desperate! He'll be up there eventually.

Golden State is by no means the perfect team, but goshdarn is it fun to watch them play basketball. And they have a real shot. I do wish Andrew Bogut could stay healthy. David Lee, too.

Of course being a Minnesotan, I can't help but think about how it might have gone had we gotten Klay Thompson, David Lee, and something else for Kevin Love and Kevin Martin, as had been in consideration at least for some segment of summer. In hindsight, we'd probably have just had an injured Lee (and so been stuck with ... nobody, really, as our other PFs were gotten in that Cleveland trade) and an unhappy Thompson. Would have been a little bit poetic, in that his dad Mychal was a star here in the late '70s in college. But oh well.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 05, 2015, 05:48:41 PM
SJS, watch out: the Knicks look to be chasing that #1 pick with gusto! Reports have them moving JR Smith and Iman Shumpert to Cle as part of a 3-way that lands them Alex Kirk, Lou Amundson and Lance Thomas, all of whom have nonguaranteed deals and will be waived. To make room to complete the deal they will waive Samuel Dalembert.

That's 3 proven (though admittedly imperfect...) players moved for literally nothing.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on January 05, 2015, 06:34:02 PM
SJS, watch out: the Knicks look to be chasing that #1 pick with gusto! Reports have them moving JR Smith and Iman Shumpert to Cle as part of a 3-way that lands them Alex Kirk, Lou Amundson and Lance Thomas, all of whom have nonguaranteed deals and will be waived. To make room to complete the deal they will waive Samuel Dalembert.

That's 3 proven (though admittedly imperfect...) players moved for literally nothing.

And, the 76ers just beat the Cavaliers...without Lebron James and Kyrie Irving. :o


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 06, 2015, 03:21:41 AM
Something's wrong with Cleveland, and it's more than just those guys learning to play together.

Why would anyone trade for JR Smith? That's like trading for Josh Smith.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 06, 2015, 05:53:15 AM
Something else occurred to me from the NY angle: not long ago, there were rumors of the Knicks and Melo parting. The rumors were squashed. But IN THEORY, such a trade would almost be a Melo-for-many deal, as there aren't many guys around that $ and most aren't available.

Could this be less a future cap space + tank move and more setting the stage for a trade like the opposite of the one that got him there (Mozgov, Gallinari, Felton, Chandler). Might we see him shipped for a handful of younger, less talented but potential-laden guys?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 06, 2015, 07:45:55 AM
You may be on to something. The Knicks are absolutely brutal this year, and I can't imagine Phil Jackson sitting around twiddling his thumbs, just hoping things get better.

Steve Kerr made the right career move when he snubbed NY for Golden State, that's for sure!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 07, 2015, 03:04:18 AM
Pistons beat San Antonio! A last second steal and layup gets the win. It may have been by 1 point, but a W is a W. The team really seems to be having fun playing, for once. I think that, more than anything, has contributed to this win streak (well, and getting rid of somebody who took like 40 percent of the shots).


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 07, 2015, 05:38:15 AM
I'm jealous. But that is awesome for you. It's so fun to watch a competitive team, and some wins? That's better yet. The turnaround is startling.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 07, 2015, 01:45:16 PM
It is head scratching, for sure. I think it is proof, though, that Josh Smith wasn't just a problem on the basketball court.

I don't know if you watch Pardon The Interruption, with Kornheiser and Wilbon; it's about the only thing I watch on ESPN anymore, and I don't like it as much as I used to. At any rate, Wilbon knows a lot of NBA guys, and when Smith got let go, they were discussing it. Wilbon made mention of the fact that he was told by more than one NBA 'superstar' that they wouldn't want Josh Smith on their team, and that it was the general feeling of guys around the league.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 07, 2015, 06:09:33 PM
It is head scratching, for sure. I think it is proof, though, that Josh Smith wasn't just a problem on the basketball court.
You could say the exact opposite. You could say that in pure basketball terms, Smith was a problem. He shot in the 30s from the floor as a 6-9 or 6-10 combo forward and he was one of the most prolific shooters on the team. That is a purely on-court problem, and it was a real one. Often, I think chemistry problems are more on-court than off-court, and we just want to make the problems somehow translate into bad people.

That said, pure speculation. I have no idea. He may be the biggest asshole there is. But really, off the court, what evidence of that do we have? The issues seem like they can be contained to the court, if you ask me.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 08, 2015, 01:38:38 AM
Besides the fact that Pistons beat writers occasionally mentioned his 'dour locker room presence', I guess we have no 'real' evidence.

At any rate, it doesn't matter. The guy is mucking up Houston now. As for the motor-city madmen, they had a stretch of 3 tough games-San Antonio, Dallas, and Atlanta. The SA game was a buzzer beater; last night, they beat Dallas quite 'comfortably', I suppose you could say. Monroe had 27 pts, 18 boards, 6 assists.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 08, 2015, 04:42:23 PM
Besides the fact that Pistons beat writers occasionally mentioned his 'dour locker room presence', I guess we have no 'real' evidence.

At any rate, it doesn't matter. The guy is mucking up Houston now. As for the motor-city madmen, they had a stretch of 3 tough games-San Antonio, Dallas, and Atlanta. The SA game was a buzzer beater; last night, they beat Dallas quite 'comfortably', I suppose you could say. Monroe had 27 pts, 18 boards, 6 assists.

On topic, this afternoon I had an NBA podcast on--ESPN's NBA Lockdown--and they discussed Josh Smith. One of the reporters (I forget her name) said she knows Smith and that he's actually a really nice guy, but that he also plays up or down to his situation. The better the team, the better he plays, and vice versa. The more you expect, the more you get. Thought I'd pass that along as it relates to our conversation.

That said, a couple people (I think Jeff Goodman was one) also called him a low-IQ player. And whatever the one who likes him said, fact is he was something of a chucker in Atlanta, too, even in the good years. That doesn't refute the "good guy" assertion, but it definitely does refute the "plays up to or down to the situation" one.

Oddly, I am almost interested in tonight's TNT game, Houston v NY. I get to see Smith in that situation for myself (as well as some Rockets I enjoy watching, like the Greek rookie, Patrick Beverly, Donatas Motiejunas, and my dearly departed Corey Brewer!) and I get to see the train wreck that is the Knicks. On that team, it's all about watching Minnesota native Cole Aldrich, who has been playing pretty well lately.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 08, 2015, 05:35:16 PM
Knicks starters: Pablo Prigioni, Jose Calderon, Tim Hardaway Jr., Jason Smith, and Cole Aldrich. First two off the bench, Quincy Acy and Travis Wear.

Um.....ahahaha ha!!!!!!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 08, 2015, 06:00:54 PM
Wolves, after a week or two of speculation on the subject, signed Serbian center Miroslav Raduljica. He had been with Milwaukee and I think LAC in previous seasons, but I got to see him with his national team at the Worlds last summer.

Not a major signing, obviously, but it helps. He's like a 2nd rate Pekovic, big (7 foot) and strong with a really good post game. Just knows how to play post basketball on both ends. We had been using 6-9 Jeff Adrien, whom we waived to make room, at backup center. Adrien was energetic, but undersized and not that skilled.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 09, 2015, 01:52:29 AM
Another couple of weeks, and then everybody will be back though, right?

It will take a bit for everyone to get used to playing with each other; that said, it's better to watch a team lose playing the 'right' way, then to see them play like sh*t and lose. I have a feeling when Minnesota's got everyone back, they'll play the 'right' way a lot more than they do now.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 09, 2015, 09:50:41 AM
Definitely. The guys who are out now will have a huge impact. The team wouldn't have been a playoff contender regardless, but I do believe it could have been something approaching .500 on the season with great health and good luck. Maybe, say, a 35 win team (instead of being on pace for 15 or whatever).

That said, I want to be clear that I don't think we seem to have selfish guys on the team, or anything like that. Their inability to "play the right way" is mostly just inexperience and/or lack of talent.

The biggest exception in my mind, from my perspective, is Thaddeus Young. Again, seems like a great person by all accounts, but his game is befuddling at this point. He is extremely athletic, he has great size and length, and he has all the individual skills and traits (shooting, ball handling, passing, etc). But for some reason, he's maddeningly inconsistent in both style and results. He might be aggressive, he might be passive. He might crash the boards, but more often not. He can dribble, but takes that to mean he should grab defensive boards and lead the break, ending up with a terrible pass to someone badly spaced for a turnover. He could in theory be a great defender, but he's far, far worse than Kevin Love was in that regard.

I really can't explain it. Maybe he should have gone to school longer. Maybe the constant changes in systems and coaches in Philly hurt. Maybe--and I am not saying this is true, just one of many theoretical possibilities--he isn't capable of absorbing and acting on the information he's given via coaches. Whatever the reason or reasons, this prototypical NBA player seems to produce decent-to-good stats without playing good basketball. It's remarkable. I never really noticed it before this year, as I'd only seen him intermittently, a game here and a game there. Watching him daily drives me nuts. I hope he opts out of his deal after this year, as he can, and we try to figure out a new solution.

Unfortunately, that actually reminds me of the second-most frustrating guy, Anthony Bennett, our other PF! He is younger so hopefully it still can sink in. But his issue is, he loves the jumpshot, especially from 15-19 feet. And he's a good shooter, or at least a streaky one. The thing is, he uses that shot as his first, second, third option, very rarely even driving. He sets a pick and it's pick and pop, rarely roll. He almost never seems to post up. And worse, when his jumper isn't falling, his whole game suffers: rebounding, defense, everything. It's not uncommon for younger guys' offense to dictate their effort and defense, but you have to get over that.

Anyway, Rubio, Martin, and Pekovic would help a TON.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 09, 2015, 11:44:10 AM
Many basketball players have a strange mindset. No matter what they hear from coaches, or what the stats say, they're going to do what they want.

Take the whipping boy of late, Josh Smith. Last year, he said (and I had to look this up to make 100 percent sure what he said, because it was so ridiculous): ďI just play basketball, Iím a basketball player. People try to throw statistics in there. Iím not one to look at where I am on the court (when I shoot). Iím confident in each and every play I make. I donít think about it. I just play and play with confidence.Ē

I mean, really? He isn't the only one, though. There are plenty of guys who think that they're, say, a scorer, when they shoot 30 percent from the field and 15 percent from behind the arc, and everybody else knows that they're anything BUT a scorer. The league is full of guys like that.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 09, 2015, 03:59:33 PM
Great point. And in a weird one, a natural belief from the players. Part of becoming good enough to make the pros (or college, for that matter) is confidence in your ability. It matters A LOT that you are confident in your game. I won't pretend to make accurate scientific stats, but I would guess that a player who is a 6 out of 10 can play at an 8 out of 10 level based on confidence, and vice versa. Think about the dramatic fall of former NBA swingman Nick Anderson, who had a really nice career. He missed some key free throws in a playoff game and literally was never the same player. It wasn't injuries, it was mindset. Darko Milicic, I still believe, was an NBA All-Star hampered by the psyche of an adolescent. (Marko Jaric was along the same lines, but not quite so physically gifted as Milicic.) Confidence matters A LOT.

The result of this confidence is an unnatural belief in oneself. You would never believe the percentages of college--AND HIGH SCHOOL--players who honestly believe they'll be NBA players. I have known high school kids who didn't start for their mediocre high school programs but honestly believed they would end up in the NBA. You're a 6'1" power forward who averages 4.5 ppg...you're not making the NBA. But the reality is, kids think it. And if they think it, what do you think the kids who actually DO have the talent think?

Usually, they are absurdly confident in themselves. And that leads to delusion.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 09, 2015, 04:30:41 PM
Yep, Anderson missed those free throws in the Finals against Houston. Game 1, I believe.

And, these guys have been surrounded by people who have done nothing but tell them how great they are, probably since they've been about 14 years old. Good luck getting through to somebody like that.

I remember many years ago, an analyst made a comment that really was spot on; he said that even the last guy off of the bench on an NBA team was the best player on his high school team. The league is all guys who at some point in their lives were more than likely the best player on their team. It's gotta be hard to come down from that high, and realize your weaknesses.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 09, 2015, 05:00:31 PM

And, these guys have been surrounded by people who have done nothing but tell them how great they are, probably since they've been about 14 years old. Good luck getting through to somebody like that.

True. But it isn't even all bad. Again, that confidence works as a benefit to get you to where you are if you're that player. It isn't just the hangers-on trying to get something from you once you're rich. It's the thing that helps put you over the top to get you that good. You learn to trust yourself, your confidence. Not easy to turn off.

I remember many years ago, an analyst made a comment that really was spot on; he said that even the last guy off of the bench on an NBA team was the best player on his high school team. The league is all guys who at some point in their lives were more than likely the best player on their team. It's gotta be hard to come down from that high, and realize your weaknesses.

Very, very true. Simple math. The NBA has 390-450 players at any given time. Let's just say 450 for convenience of discussion. It is very safe to say they aren't the BEST 450 players in the world: there is always wiggle room on that based on players deciding to be a leading man overseas rather than a 15th man in the NBA; players from overseas preferring to stay where they are comfortable and maybe even making more money rather than coming over; guys making it over others on teams based on relationships with coaches or front office; and even just the numbers game of who needs what when and where. But let's be generous say there are 650 guys at any given time who are good enough to be NBA players.

There are 350 or so D1 college basketball programs, each of which can have 12 scholarship players. That's 4,200 players who were given college basketball scholarships competing for one of those precious spots, not including the thousands of players overseas also competing for those same spots.

But even those, say, 10,000 guys either playing D1 or pro ball overseas already "made the cut" by getting out of their high school or junior programs to earn that spot. It's an infinitesimal percentage of players who actually makes the NBA (or even that top 650 number that says you're in the mix for an NBA spot). What that means is, those guys were almost always not just the best player on their teams, but on the court at any given time. Better than anyone on either team every time out. In high school, they were the best players in their conferences. In their states.

Look at the McDonalds All America rosters over time. That's the best 20-24 players each year. Sure, the best NBA players were pretty much all in that game ... but the converse is not true. Players in those games pretty regularly do NOT make it to the NBA. Many aren't even college stars. Statistically speaking, nobody makes it. Nobody.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 10, 2015, 02:38:50 PM
Quick non-NBA whining: the Gophers are 0-4 in the Big Ten, and this in a year when many media outlets were saying they may rise to be a second-tier conference program (i.e., upper third of the league, NCAA Tourney team). But we've seen one (redshirted) player booted from the program for some unreported conduct, a key rotation wing player suspended indefinitely after being arrested for beating up his girlfriend, and a promising freshman transfer out after only a handful of games. Making matters worse, our assumed scoring leader, senior guard Andre Hollins, has been terrible in conference play, shooting somewhere around 30% or less.

It's not a good year to be a Minnesota sports fan. The Gopher football team improved, but other than that, man, it hurts.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 10, 2015, 05:01:25 PM
OK, it's the NBA, so we can't wallow in last night's loss: another game tonight.

And it's San Antonio. Damnit. Oh well, miracles happen. Fingers crossed. Maybe they'll sit everyone.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 11, 2015, 02:14:03 AM
OK, it's the NBA, so we can't wallow in last night's loss: another game tonight.

And it's San Antonio. Damnit. Oh well, miracles happen. Fingers crossed. Maybe they'll sit everyone.

It could happen! You know how Popovich like to sit his guys every few games, and to be honest, a game against Minnesota isn't that big of a deal.

I thought that Minnesota was going to take a big jump this year. After coming off of the success they had last year winning the NIT, they seemed to be a team on the rise. They still may get it together, Walker may be the best center in the Big Ten not named Kaminsky. Pitino has shown that he can coach, and Hollins will 'probably' get it together. You're right though, Minnesota hasn't had a very good year, sports wise. After Adrian Peterson, it all went downhill!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 11, 2015, 05:26:30 AM
The Spurs were without Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili, and Marco Belinelli. They still lept out to and then nursed a roughly 15-point lead the whole game long. Austin Daye--largely "guarded" by Thad Young--had a season-high 23 or so points, and those small, quick guards of theirs (Parker, Patty Mills, Cory Joseph) had their way wit Mo Williams and Zach LaVine.

What was really obvious about the Wolves was how bad their help defense is. Daye had a move where he got past his guy just behind the 3-pt line anfd made a straight-line drive to the rim. Two defenders were somewhat nearby, one on each side of the lane near the low block, and neither even took a step toward him to stop him, or even put up a hand. That is the biggest challenge: just terrible defense. I am guessing the issue isn't lack of effort so much as it is uncertainty over assignments. Help defense (and help for helper) is schemed. If both guys think the other guy is getting it...

Anyway, it was a good game from Wiggins and Dieng, and a decent offensive game from LaVine. And Martin is apparently FINALLY getting closer, which gives us a 20 ppg guy who is dangerous from 3. We need it so badly...

As for the Gophers, I don't know if it's the losses of personnel, bad chemistry, or just overrated talent. But it hasn't been pretty. They've been in games, more or less, but just can't win.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on January 11, 2015, 06:37:17 AM
The 76ers are on fire! And they better NOT trade Tony Wroten for a couple of 2019 draft picks. ::)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 11, 2015, 06:53:12 AM
The rumors make it seem he's been something of a hot commodity lately. Of course that may just be based on 29 other GMs assuming Hinkie wants to deal away everybody with any hint of NBA potential...

Have you kept up on the Kirilenko story? I read this week that the trade was made with a handshake agreement that the Sixers would waive him, as is often the case when an established player is dealt to a tanking or otherwise terrible team, but that the 76ers then told him he had to report (which obviously he has yet to do, all these weeks later). Notwithstanding the ethics of rules-skirting with handshake agreements (which we can safely assume happen all the time), a quote from an anonymous front office person from another team is what struck me: "Doesn't [Hinkie] realize he's going to have to keep dealing with these same people every day?"

That's my attitude whenever fans complain about placating this or that agent, other team, or "doing right by" a player. It's a small, small world. If you renege on an agreement, or do something generally assholeish, that's one out of 29 other teams that blacklists you. Or one out of [however many--and it isn't many] power-agencies who will never, ever steer a player your way in free agency.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on January 11, 2015, 09:16:31 AM
I heard/read the same things you wrote about Kirilenko. And, based on the 76ers current front office, I didn't doubt them. However, during last night's broadcast, 76ers play-by-play announcer, Marc Zumoff, who I think has some credibility, reported that 76ers coach Brett Brown "met and had breakfast with Kirirlenko" shortly after the trade and discussed Kirilenko's role with the team, mentoring some of the young players, GOING FORWARD. But, hey, who knows...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 12, 2015, 04:12:31 PM
Wolves get the news that yet another player is out hurt: Second-year "power guard" Shabazz Muhammad is out at least two weeks with a strained oblique. After two weeks, he'll be re-evaluated. Muhammad averaged under 4 ppg in his rookie season, but is at 13.7 ppg and 4 rpg this year. As a starter, which he has been since Kevin Martin got hurt, he has been at 15.6 ppg and 4.9 rpg (13 games).

He's not the greatest player, but he is an aggressive, strong wing who attacks the hoop and the offensive glass. He's a work in progress pretty much all over the court, but he has been a godsend to this struggling Wolves team. Next man up: Chase Budinger or Robbie Hummel, I suppose...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 13, 2015, 08:35:36 AM
Pistons win again, beating the Raptors by 3. I've never quite seen a team be so absolutely horrible, and then suddenly look like a legitimate team that teams have to bring their A game to beat. Pretty weird.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 13, 2015, 09:27:32 AM
I am so jealous! But happy for you.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 13, 2015, 04:21:06 PM
Sucks about Muhammad. I'd actually forgotten about him, because last I knew he was in the D-league. They talked about him being the number 1 pick in the draft when he went to UCLA, and then he became sort of a head case (or just a teenager who was used to being The Man and getting his way all of the time). Looks like he's turned himself around, at least on the court.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 13, 2015, 04:29:13 PM
Baz has surprised me in interviews: one of the most well spoken and insightful athletes you'll hear. But there were definitely issues at UCLA, some on-court and I suspect some mental. Last year he had the issue of playing for a veterans' coach in Adelman. But this summer he lost a ton of weight (he's sculpted now) and really goes after it. The commentators say he's become a team leader. I love seeing and hearing that stuff.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 13, 2015, 04:34:13 PM
Baz has surprised me in interviews: one of the most well spoken and insightful athletes you'll hear. But there were definitely issues at UCLA, some on-court and I suspect some mental. Last year he had the issue of playing for a veterans' coach in Adelman. But this summer he lost a ton of weight (he's sculpted now) and really goes after it. The commentators say he's become a team leader. I love seeing and hearing that stuff.

So what you're saying is, he's going to become one of the league's rising stars, and then end up leaving when he becomes a free agent?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 13, 2015, 04:38:47 PM
Baz has surprised me in interviews: one of the most well spoken and insightful athletes you'll hear. But there were definitely issues at UCLA, some on-court and I suspect some mental. Last year he had the issue of playing for a veterans' coach in Adelman. But this summer he lost a ton of weight (he's sculpted now) and really goes after it. The commentators say he's become a team leader. I love seeing and hearing that stuff.

So what you're saying is, he's going to become one of the league's rising stars, and then end up leaving when he becomes a free agent?

 :lol Maybe--par for the course--but I hope not. Seriously, what I imagine his best-case, realistic future to be is that of a good-scoring power wing off the bench on a good team. That's about where he seems likely to end up. He's 22 or something despite being only a 1-and-done and second-year pro. (He was old for his class.) Not that he can't develop, as he is proving now. But to become a substantially better passer, defender, ball-handler, and decision-maker? Seems unlikely. But I can easily imagine him as a 6th man of the year type guy, a 15 ppg player whose strength, athleticism, and pure will can help him out-quick SFs and overpower SGs.

Now what that means about whether he stays or goes, who knows? That kind of player usually chases a starting job and a contract (and understandably so). So I guess the idea is, be a 20 ppg Wolf or a 14 ppg Clipper. (It's still weird for me using them as an example of a good team, growing up through their awful years.)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 13, 2015, 04:49:47 PM

[/quote]
 or a 14 ppg Clipper. (It's still weird for me using them as an example of a good team, growing up through their awful years.)
[/quote]

I still don't think that they're that great. Good, but could you see them beating GS, SA, or Dallas to get to the Finals?

I know what you mean, though. It's like saying that the Raptors are good. Toronto had that small window with Vince Carter where they were about to be the team of the East, and then kaput.

Oddly enough, when the Pistons had their Bad Boys run, one of the teams that I remember (and it may not have really been this way, it may have just been the way that I associated certain things) I would always be worried about was Milwaukee. Rickey Pierce, Larry Krystkowiak, Jack Sikma. Del Harris coaching. Those ugly green uniforms. They were like Boston West or something. I hated them.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 14, 2015, 04:37:01 PM
I hated those Bucks teams--though they were definitely consistently good (but not great). The whole team seemed to be 6-9 to 7-0 white guys with midrange games, though! Not only the ones you mentioned, but Danny Schayes, Randy Breuer, Paul Mokeski (that's two Minnesotans in a row, btw), Fred Roberts, Frank Kornet, Brad Lohaus, Frank Brickowski ... I mean, those guys--the ones you mentioned and the ones I mentioned--were all on the team within a span of a couple years!

Last night the Wolves ended their streak behind a 52-point Mo Williams road game at Indiana. And me? I missed all but the first quarter and a half, unexpectedly pulled out for dinner and a drink with a friend who was in town. I mean, socializing is great, but damnit, can't I watch the rare wins?



Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 15, 2015, 01:53:02 AM
Don't worry-it will probably be shown again on a local sports channel as an 'Instant Classic'!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 18, 2015, 06:27:07 AM
Two wins in three (road) games from the Wolves, despite none of the injured guys returning yet. Still lacking Rubio, Pekovic, Martin, and Muhammad, last night the Wolves topped Denver in an untelevised game. Bignight--31 points--from Wiggins, who seems to have really begun figuring out how to be an impact NBA player. After averaging about 12 ppg and shooting in the 38% range over the first couple dozen games, he has averaged more than 20 ppg on better than 50% shooting the past 15 or so. It's extremely comforting to know that, at the very least, our Love trade won't end up an unmitigated disaster. Whatever Thad Young or his salary slot ends up as, however mediocre Anthony Bennett turns out to be, Wiggins looks like a solid starter at worst, and maybe even some level of star.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 18, 2015, 12:14:46 PM
Cleveland probably wishes that they still had Wiggins, and the T'Wolves still had Love.

It's amazing what a couple of wins can do for a team, though-not to mention the fans. Now you believe again! 'Hell, we may just win 5 more games this year!'


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 21, 2015, 05:24:34 PM
Pek returns!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 22, 2015, 02:08:24 PM
Um, didn't seem to help much  :o


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 22, 2015, 04:22:49 PM
It was nice to have him back. 14 and 4, I think, in a limited bench role. We'll be much better with him, and with Martin (who could be back any day). To have your backups go from the likes of Raduljica, Budinger, and LaVine to Dieng, Muhammad, and Mo Williams? Yes please.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 23, 2015, 04:32:01 AM
Whens Rubio back? I thought it was going to be the middle of January?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on January 23, 2015, 05:34:37 AM
It has been a slow road with Rubio! The injury occurred on Nov 7, I think. But in addition to bad sprain, Flip said he tore some things in there. He's finally in full practices now and will be back when there's no pain or swelling. I'd guess 1-2 more weeks minimum.

The other side of it is, they just signed him to that $55 mil extension. They're not going to risk further damage now in an already lost season.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on January 25, 2015, 02:02:19 AM
It appears that Jennings suffered a torn achillies' tendon. See you next year, playoffs.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on February 11, 2015, 03:14:30 AM
Captain, where ya been? Your guys beat my guys the other night, and I thought you'd be here to rub it in.
You just got a good player in Payne! I might start paying attention to the 'Wolves now.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on February 17, 2016, 04:34:07 PM
Yes, yes, the '14-'15 season is long gone, but I'm afraid to start a new thread of the thread police may arrest me. And then I might be waterboarded. And I'm kind of a softie, so...

Why resurrect this thread, you ask? (You asked. Don't kid yourselves.) Because tomorrow is the trade deadline, the second-best holiday of the year (after the NBA draft, of course). I'm kind of excited because there are rumors surrounding plenty of high-quality players: Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Jeff Teague, Al Horford, Hassan Whiteside, Ryan Anderson, Mike Conley, Michael Carter-Williams, Alec Burks, Trey Burke, whichever bratty Morris is left in Phoenix, just to name a few. Obviously, the way the NBA works, most of these guys don't move ... but a few will, and some others not yet rumored will, too.

The Timberwolves seem unlikely to do anything other than a peripheral move: Kevin Martin if someone will take him, Shabazz Muhammad if someone offers something of legit value that complements the existing team.

Detroit (paging Mr. Verlander) made a really interesting move already in acquiring Tobias Harris for (expiring) Brandon Jennings and (expendable) Ersan Ilyasova. I'm not a huge Harris fan, but he came into the league so young, he underperformed early. He was a selfish jack of all / master of no trades, but he's increasingly good. Like, not just statistically, but really good. If he can become consistent on his 3s, he's an almost ideal SVG PF. (I say almost because he can't pass the ball a la Hedo Turkoglu, the point forward of those old Magic teams.)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on February 18, 2016, 02:38:24 PM
Well that was a boring trade deadline.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on February 20, 2016, 05:05:05 PM
The NBA thread has returned!

I swear I read the other day that the Wolves were shopping Rubio around. However, this year's trades all ended up being BS. The only one that I thought for sure would happen was Howard getting dealt out of Houston. Also, I'm going to admit right now that I'm happy about how bad Houston is. I can't stand either of those guys (Hardin, Howard). I used to really like Howard in Orlando, and then he turned into a guy who was only worried about his 'brand'. And Hardin comes off as the type of teammate that nobody would want. Selfish, and only interested in his own stats.

Once Detroit figures out exactly where all of the pieces go, I think they're going to be really good. As in, top half of the East. Which for them would be really good.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on February 21, 2016, 06:49:48 AM
I think the Rubio stuff was more rumors than anything. One total speculation piece was in the NY Daily News and mentioned Rubio, then suddenly rumors pieces all over were saying it, but all linking back to that one (speculative) piece. Wolves' GM Milt Newton said he took, but didn't place, calls. I think it's unlikely: Rubio is actually hugely important in this season's best moments. While he's still shooting pretty poorly, his plus/minus is amazing. Basically, when he's not on the floor, we're always getting killed; when he's on, we're competitive. There was a good detail of his advanced analytics in a local blog lately showing how he's really having a great season in a lot of ways. (Last night, 16 assists, 1 turnover.) Plus he has a really good contract, just over $10 million a year. That will be really cheap as the cap blows up this summer.

Detroit had a great deadline. I loved the moves. So glad they didn't trade for the other Morris clown. The sleeper might be Motiejunas: if he gets healthy, he's a serious starting PF candidate, even over Harris. (Or Harris could move to SF.)



Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on March 25, 2016, 04:37:23 PM
Let's pretend this thread is '15-'16, OK?

Smile Brian: I have nothing against Kevin Love, actually. He's a team player, too. Not a good defender, no. But not as bad as he's painted, either. He was in the unfortunate situation of being here in the Kahn regime, which was based on a (FULLY NECESSARY) financial revolution and some horrific gambles, be they rookies (Jonny Flynn) or young vets (Darko, Beaz, etc.). Kevin Love is being wasted on Cleveland, and I feel bad for him. i hope he goes to Boston, where he'd be the key player in a REALLY good team.

SurferDownUnder: Embiid is absolutely the question. He was looking like, well, like KAT. Mobile, skilled, athletic, improving every day. But two years of injuries? That's tough. We're talking Greg Oden, Sam Bowie, Bill Walton. Most guys don't recover. My fingers are crossed because he's so good, with so much potential. With Saric, I don't know what to make of him quite yet, it is always hard to say before a guy makes the league. We're watching Nemanja Bjelica in Minnesota get buried on the bench, despite being Euroleague MVP. And Euroleague is no joke--that is FABULOUS basketball. It's all so situational. There were plenty of guys at the WCs saying Belly was better than Mirotic, but that hasn't played out yet in the NBA. But Saric is tough and smart, which are a couple nice traits to start with. The issue will definitely be how to handle Okafor, Embiid, Saric, Noel, not to mention Jerami Grant. Too much talent at too few positions.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SurferDownUnder on March 25, 2016, 06:03:36 PM
Let's pretend this thread is '15-'16, OK?

Smile Brian: I have nothing against Kevin Love, actually. He's a team player, too. Not a good defender, no. But not as bad as he's painted, either. He was in the unfortunate situation of being here in the Kahn regime, which was based on a (FULLY NECESSARY) financial revolution and some horrific gambles, be they rookies (Jonny Flynn) or young vets (Darko, Beaz, etc.). Kevin Love is being wasted on Cleveland, and I feel bad for him. i hope he goes to Boston, where he'd be the key player in a REALLY good team.

SurferDownUnder: Embiid is absolutely the question. He was looking like, well, like KAT. Mobile, skilled, athletic, improving every day. But two years of injuries? That's tough. We're talking Greg Oden, Sam Bowie, Bill Walton. Most guys don't recover. My fingers are crossed because he's so good, with so much potential. With Saric, I don't know what to make of him quite yet, it is always hard to say before a guy makes the league. We're watching Nemanja Bjelica in Minnesota get buried on the bench, despite being Euroleague MVP. And Euroleague is no joke--that is FABULOUS basketball. It's all so situational. There were plenty of guys at the WCs saying Belly was better than Mirotic, but that hasn't played out yet in the NBA. But Saric is tough and smart, which are a couple nice traits to start with. The issue will definitely be how to handle Okafor, Embiid, Saric, Noel, not to mention Jerami Grant. Too much talent at too few positions.

Good points all around. I don't think Grant will see a large contract/mins increase once the tanking process ends. I think both he and Brown know what his role/service was/is about and will fit that in with the core team once its established. I am not a fan of the Schroeder signing rumour (even tho he isn't a FA for another two years). Im also unsure what we would get for Jahlil, people have suggested perhaps Beal but he is jusy another injury question if you ask me. Shabazz Muhammad interests me, what are your thoughts as a Wolves observer?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on March 25, 2016, 06:18:41 PM
Shabazz Muhammad interests me, what are your thoughts as a Wolves observer?

I haven't quite made up my own mind, and that's after about 4-5 years of paying attention.

What he was: top-rated HS player in his class for some time, but mostly along the lines of some other early bloomers, if you will. Schea Cotton from the late '90s comes to mind. Basically, the idea is that he's a "guard," but as a high schooler, he's a bulky and muscular 6-5 or 6-6, meaning he's just pounding people around with strength. This kind of player, a "power guard," usually is later surpassed by his later-blooming (and taller) peers.

What he is: the thing is, Baz lost weight and totally resculpted his body. He's still strong, but is leaner, quicker. He has also worked on his jumper, so he's not just a power guard. He's also a model citizen to date, by all accounts a really good young man. His game is totally dependent on his scoring. When he comes in on this currently depleted Wolves bench, he's looking to score immediately. When he does, he tends to rebound well, defend well, and even pass the ball. When he doesn't, he shoots every time he touches it and is a sieve on defense.

What he can be: my guess is a top-notch bench player or a subpar starter. He changed his body, but until he changes his mentality, he's not deserving of starter's minutes because he only scores (yet isn't an elite scorer). I (and a love of Minnesotans) love him, but kind of hate him too. You can see where he could do more, but it's easier said than done.

On Philly the past few years, he'd be a 20 ppg guy. No question at all. The question is how valuable are his stats? What can he do to help you win (and how can he grow to help more)?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SurferDownUnder on March 25, 2016, 06:30:14 PM
Shabazz Muhammad interests me, what are your thoughts as a Wolves observer?

I haven't quite made up my own mind, and that's after about 4-5 years of paying attention.

What he was: top-rated HS player in his class for some time, but mostly along the lines of some other early bloomers, if you will. Schea Cotton from the late '90s comes to mind. Basically, the idea is that he's a "guard," but as a high schooler, he's a bulky and muscular 6-5 or 6-6, meaning he's just pounding people around with strength. This kind of player, a "power guard," usually is later surpassed by his later-blooming (and taller) peers.

What he is: the thing is, Baz lost weight and totally resculpted his body. He's still strong, but is leaner, quicker. He has also worked on his jumper, so he's not just a power guard. He's also a model citizen to date, by all accounts a really good young man. His game is totally dependent on his scoring. When he comes in on this currently depleted Wolves bench, he's looking to score immediately. When he does, he tends to rebound well, defend well, and even pass the ball. When he doesn't, he shoots every time he touches it and is a sieve on defense.

What he can be: my guess is a top-notch bench player or a subpar starter. He changed his body, but until he changes his mentality, he's not deserving of starter's minutes because he only scores (yet isn't an elite scorer). I (and a love of Minnesotans) love him, but kind of hate him too. You can see where he could do more, but it's easier said than done.

On Philly the past few years, he'd be a 20 ppg guy. No question at all. The question is how valuable are his stats? What can he do to help you win (and how can he grow to help more)?

This is great analysis thanks! I'm quite intrigued by the idea of him as an off the bench points producer (think shades of Beasley currently or perhaps Dion Waiters). What do you think about the age controversy with him? I'd be worried about a decline coming more quickly then with other prospects and if he is indeed a power guard the inside play often doesn't age well for that kind of player ala Lebron if he isn't careful. Do you see Shabazz as a sort of Evan Turner like man of many skills master of none? Thats what made Turner so frustrating when he was on Philly even tho I beileve he was being used wrong as is evidenced in his play im Boston.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SurferDownUnder on March 25, 2016, 06:38:21 PM
Whoops, buggered up my reply but its still there next to your quote haha


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on March 25, 2016, 07:01:11 PM
I hope you guys don't mind my chiming in. I'm still following the 76ers. I'm still a supporter of The Hinkie Plan. The problem is, or the bottom line is, you have to pick the right players. Let's take a look at Sam's picks:

2013 - Nerlens Noel - He's not a game-changer; he'll have a game with 15 points, 15 rebounds, 5 blocks...and then disappear for the next four games. Hasn't developed an offensive game; durability also a question mark.
2013 - Michael Carter-Williams - traded
2014 - Joel Embiid - Still hasn't played a second. I've heard/read that he probably won't play Summer League either. Forget being a star, will he ever be a dependable NBA player?
2015 - Jahlil Okafor - Could average 20 pts. per game for the next ten years, but he's a defensive liability, lacks stamina/durability, and has/had off-court problems. Still "a kid", though, just 20 years old.

So, after all of the tanking and high draft picks, disappointing frankly. Enter Jerry Colangelo. So far, though, Jerry hasn't done much. He brought in Mike D'Antoni; frankly I don't know what contribution D'Antoni has made. Ish Smith was brought in to run the offense. He started well and the team won a few games, however, has since regressed. And, finally, Elton Brand was signed to mentor (babysit?) Okafor.

This off-season is crucial. They should have two very high draft picks. From everything I've read, Dario Saric is coming over. And, hopefully Embiid will be ready by the start of next season. If all of those moves pan out, that's quite a turnover of the roster. They need a point guard badly. They'll probably retain Grant, Covington, and Smith. That COULD be a respectable roster. The PR team is saying that Sam Hinkie is still running the show, but I've also heard that Jerry Colangelo has the final say on all moves. It should be interesting.  

  



Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SurferDownUnder on March 25, 2016, 07:35:43 PM
I hope you guys don't mind my chiming in. I'm still following the 76ers. I'm still a supporter of The Hinkie Plan. The problem is, or the bottom line is, you have to pick the right players. Let's take a look at Sam's picks:

2013 - Nerlens Noel - He's not a game-changer; he'll have a game with 15 points, 15 rebounds, 5 blocks...and then disappear for the next four games. Hasn't developed an offensive game; durability also a question mark.
2013 - Michael Carter-Williams - traded
2014 - Joel Embiid - Still hasn't played a second. I've heard/read that he probably won't play Summer League either. Forget being a star, will he ever be a dependable NBA player?
2015 - Jahlil Okafor - Could average 20 pts. per game for the next ten years, but he's a defensive liability, lacks stamina/durability, and has/had off-court problems. Still "a kid", though, just 20 years old.

So, after all of the tanking and high draft picks, disappointing frankly. Enter Jerry Colangelo. So far, though, Jerry hasn't done much. He brought in Mike D'Antoni; frankly I don't know what contribution D'Antoni has made. Ish Smith was brought in to run the offense. He started well and the team won a few games, however, has since regressed. And, finally, Elton Brand was signed to mentor (babysit?) Okafor.

This off-season is crucial. They should have two very high draft picks. From everything I've read, Dario Saric is coming over. And, hopefully Embiid will be ready by the start of next season. If all of those moves pan out, that's quite a turnover of the roster. They need a point guard badly. They'll probably retain Grant, Covington, and Smith. That COULD be a respectable roster. The PR team is saying that Sam Hinkie is still running the show, but I've also heard that Jerry Colangelo has the final say on all moves. It should be interesting.  

  



Good to see another Sixers follower. All astute points, I agree that this offseason is crucial, especially with the rumours that Noel's morsle is suffering from the constant losses and the fact that Okafor seems to be acting out (tho not recently) in a Demarcus Cousins-esque manner. If we can target the right free agents that understand the aims of the team rather them just looking at the sixers as a team with a sh*t ton of cap room to hand out, this may just be the last season of tanking save the 2017 draft being unmissable of course (which it looks as tho it may be).


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on March 25, 2016, 08:36:54 PM
I hope you guys don't mind my chiming in. I'm still following the 76ers. I'm still a supporter of The Hinkie Plan. The problem is, or the bottom line is, you have to pick the right players. Let's take a look at Sam's picks:

2013 - Nerlens Noel - He's not a game-changer; he'll have a game with 15 points, 15 rebounds, 5 blocks...and then disappear for the next four games. Hasn't developed an offensive game; durability also a question mark.
2013 - Michael Carter-Williams - traded
2014 - Joel Embiid - Still hasn't played a second. I've heard/read that he probably won't play Summer League either. Forget being a star, will he ever be a dependable NBA player?
2015 - Jahlil Okafor - Could average 20 pts. per game for the next ten years, but he's a defensive liability, lacks stamina/durability, and has/had off-court problems. Still "a kid", though, just 20 years old.

So, after all of the tanking and high draft picks, disappointing frankly. Enter Jerry Colangelo. So far, though, Jerry hasn't done much. He brought in Mike D'Antoni; frankly I don't know what contribution D'Antoni has made. Ish Smith was brought in to run the offense. He started well and the team won a few games, however, has since regressed. And, finally, Elton Brand was signed to mentor (babysit?) Okafor.

This off-season is crucial. They should have two very high draft picks. From everything I've read, Dario Saric is coming over. And, hopefully Embiid will be ready by the start of next season. If all of those moves pan out, that's quite a turnover of the roster. They need a point guard badly. They'll probably retain Grant, Covington, and Smith. That COULD be a respectable roster. The PR team is saying that Sam Hinkie is still running the show, but I've also heard that Jerry Colangelo has the final say on all moves. It should be interesting.  

  



Good to see another Sixers follower. All astute points, I agree that this offseason is crucial, especially with the rumours that Noel's morsle is suffering from the constant losses and the fact that Okafor seems to be acting out (tho not recently) in a Demarcus Cousins-esque manner. If we can target the right free agents that understand the aims of the team rather them just looking at the sixers as a team with a sh*t ton of cap room to hand out, this may just be the last season of tanking save the 2017 draft being unmissable of course (which it looks as tho it may be).

Yes, this should be the last year of tanking. Obviously, free agents weren't part of the plan over the last three years, but, hopefully, they can attract a quality player (or two?) who, like you said, sees a team on the rise. Maybe that's when Colangelo's "connections" will pay off! ;D


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on March 26, 2016, 06:57:59 AM
I'm so, so happy people are talking basketball again! (I won't lie, I'm almost entirely burned out on BBs discussion. But general music, bball, and politics? Hell yes.)

SurferDownUnder: No, I wouldn't use Turner as a comp for Baz, in that Turner is by far a more complementary, versatile offensive player. Turner is almost a point forward in his approach. Baz is really, really, really focused on scoring. He loves going hard to the rim, but will also take jumpers. (Not a lot of 3s yet, and isn't really very good from there anyway. But he could get there, especially from the corners.) In fact, if he had Turner's mentality (or if Turner had Baz's athleticism), that would be a really nice offensive player.

SJS: DEFINITELY don't mind you chiming in! Here are some thoughts I have on your comments / each player.

2013 - Noel. You're right that he's not a game-changer, but I do think he's going to be a really good complementary player for some time, assuming he can stay healthy. He's a very good defender, pretty good rebounder, and while not a good offensive player, he's shooting a good percentage. I like that because it means he's not pretending to be someone he's not. What I like about him paired with Okafor is that he covers up Okafor's defensive shortcomings, which is to say lack of rim protection. For the 6th pick overall, he's a solid player. (I know everyone thinks lottery picks = stars, but history shows that's silly.) And he's still only 21, so he can definitely keep getting better.

2013 - MCW. This was actually a great transaction by Philly, selling high. That trade gets them the Lakers' first rounder in 2017 (because it's top 5 protected this year and they're bad enough to keep it this time), unless the Lakers somehow manage to get a top 3 pick again ... but with Randle, Russell, Clarkson, another top pick, and plenty of cash to spend, you have to assume they're going to be back on track. That pick will very likely be a better player than MCW, who isn't likely a starter in the NBA. He just can't shoot (yet), and isn't good enough elsewhere to make up for that shortcoming.

2014: Embiid. Definitely sad and scary. We'll see what happens, but history isn't kind to bigs with injuries.

2015: Okafor. I wouldn't be surprised to see them trade him, actually ... even if Embiid can't play. They could get value for him and Noel (as he ages and adds bulk) is perhaps a more interesting option in the middle. This also frees up the PF spot for Saric. I don't worry about his off-court stuff, though. I think that was just the stupidity of youth. He has no real history of problems.

The players under contract next season are below; guys with a team option are italicized.

PG - Kendall Marshall
SG - Nik Stauskas
SF - Robert Covington, Hollis Thompson, Sonny Weems
PF - Nerlens Noel, Jerami Grant, Carl Landry, Richaun Holmes
C - Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid

Add to that Dario Saric and a top 5 pick, plus possibly--probably?--a scoring wing via trade or free agency, and a point guard from somewhere. (Ish Smith can't be the answer...though he helped A LOT this year.) Still a bad team, but it's going to improve with Colangelo weighing in.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on March 26, 2016, 07:08:07 AM
Not to get too Wolvesy on you all, but last night Minnesota topped Washington in double OT in Washington. Now sure, Washington isn't Golden State ... but they're around .500 and were a playoff team last year. Certainly not chopped liver.

The great thing was, for the second time in a week, the Wolves pulled out a win in a close game (with a home win against Sacramento earlier this week). That has been a problem all season, with our young guys tending to lose when the pressure is on. But 2nd year off guard Zach LaVine hit some huge 3s and Gorgui Dieng did the same last night; those two were also huge against Sacramento, preventing a 4th quarter comeback.

It's exciting, really reminiscient of 1996, when (rookie) Stephon Marbury joined Kevin Garnett and Tom Gugliotta to form a young and improving core. That team made the playoffs their second year together. Next year will be Lavine's and Wiggins's third season and Towns's second. I hereby predict--barring injury issues--the Wolves are a playoff team in 2016-17. Further, Towns will be an all-star.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on March 26, 2016, 07:32:19 AM
Tom Gugliotta and Wally Szczerbiak are both great players that seem to be forgotten by the public at large.

Wolves in 2004 :'(


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on March 26, 2016, 08:17:17 AM
Googs was on his way to being really good when he was badly bitten by the injury bug. He had a 12-year NBA career, but was hurt by '97-'98 (meaning he spent about half of his career a shell of himself).

In the Wolves' first playoff year, he played 81 games--but never topped 57 games in a season again. That season, he was the Wolves' leading scorer: he averaged 20.6 ppg, 8.7 rpg, and 4.1 apg. (KG was about 17 ppg and Marbury was about 15 ppg.) He got to the FT line 7 times a game and shot 82% from the line. For those into more advanced stats, his PER was 19 that year. He was an all-star that season (along with KG).

He was really useful to that team, being still relatively young in NBA years (I think it was his fourth or fifth season, after a little time in Washington, Golden State, then via trade for Donyell Marshall, Minnesota), but was 27 because he'd been a 4-year college guy. He was a really good jumpshooter inside the arc, but also could get to the line, post up, and find open teammates.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on March 26, 2016, 08:18:50 AM
I'm so, so happy people are talking basketball again! (I won't lie, I'm almost entirely burned out on BBs discussion. But general music, bball, and politics? Hell yes.)


SJS: DEFINITELY don't mind you chiming in! Here are some thoughts I have on your comments / each player.

2013 - Noel. You're right that he's not a game-changer, but I do think he's going to be a really good complementary player for some time, assuming he can stay healthy. He's a very good defender, pretty good rebounder, and while not a good offensive player, he's shooting a good percentage. I like that because it means he's not pretending to be someone he's not. What I like about him paired with Okafor is that he covers up Okafor's defensive shortcomings, which is to say lack of rim protection. For the 6th pick overall, he's a solid player. (I know everyone thinks lottery picks = stars, but history shows that's silly.) And he's still only 21, so he can definitely keep getting better.

2013 - MCW. This was actually a great transaction by Philly, selling high. That trade gets them the Lakers' first rounder in 2017 (because it's top 5 protected this year and they're bad enough to keep it this time), unless the Lakers somehow manage to get a top 3 pick again ... but with Randle, Russell, Clarkson, another top pick, and plenty of cash to spend, you have to assume they're going to be back on track. That pick will very likely be a better player than MCW, who isn't likely a starter in the NBA. He just can't shoot (yet), and isn't good enough elsewhere to make up for that shortcoming.

2014: Embiid. Definitely sad and scary. We'll see what happens, but history isn't kind to bigs with injuries.

2015: Okafor. I wouldn't be surprised to see them trade him, actually ... even if Embiid can't play. They could get value for him and Noel (as he ages and adds bulk) is perhaps a more interesting option in the middle. This also frees up the PF spot for Saric. I don't worry about his off-court stuff, though. I think that was just the stupidity of youth. He has no real history of problems.

The players under contract next season are below; guys with a team option are italicized.

PG - Kendall Marshall
SG - Nik Stauskas
SF - Robert Covington, Hollis Thompson, Sonny Weems
PF - Nerlens Noel, Jerami Grant, Carl Landry, Richaun Holmes
C - Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid

Add to that Dario Saric and a top 5 pick, plus possibly--probably?--a scoring wing via trade or free agency, and a point guard from somewhere. (Ish Smith can't be the answer...though he helped A LOT this year.) Still a bad team, but it's going to improve with Colangelo weighing in.

Great insights, Captain. I'm impressed by your in-depth knowledge of one of the worst teams in the history of the NBA! ;D

I really don't (strongly?) disagree with your assessments. I guess Noel is the one player we view differently. I'm not as impressed with his defense, especially against the better offensive big men in the league - the ones he will be covering. He has not stopped them and has gotten into foul trouble. I hope you're right that he can/will get better. I haven't seen significant improvement from season one through season two. Time will tell...

As I said above, from Day One, I was on board with The Hinkie Plan. Sam's goal is simple. He is trying to build a championship team, not a perennial playoff team, but a championship team. And, Sam believes that the best way to achieve that goal is with superstars, not just with very good players, but with superstars (yes, I know there is a twelve man roster to fill but you know what I/he means). So far, after three drafts, he has drafted just one realistically, potential superstar - Jahlil Okafor - and even he is flawed. As you posted, Noel is a complimentary, solid player. He's not a superstar. Will Embiid be a superstar? Saric? As you correctly stated, the Michael Carter-Williams trade was a good one, but even he was a failed, initial draft choice.

After three drafts with multiple high draft picks, Sam has not done well in achieving his goal - specifically in acquiring superstars. There are still a lot of "maybe's" - Noel, Embiid, Okafor, even Saric. What Sam HAS DONE well is acquiring assets/draft picks. But, now - NOW - is the time to convert them. This draft is critical. He has to nail his lottery pick(s), Saric has to fit, and with a little luck, Embiid will....heal.



Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on March 26, 2016, 08:41:52 AM
The trick with "the Hinkie Plan" is that while assets are necessary and so collecting them is smart, at some point one has to cash in the chips. You can't hold the market hostage forever, forever flipping previously obtained guys for future guys (i.e., picks). So while I defended the MCW trade, for example, how long can that go on? In theory, it has to go on until you have the player around whom you can build. In reality, no number of assets guarantees you're ever going to get that guy. How many franchise players are there in the NBA at any given time? Four? Five? Of course it's possible to win a title without that kind of player ... but it's really, really rare. The Pistons did it with a cadre of god-but-not-superstars in the mid-00s, but even that is sometimes considered a fluke title.

The problem with picks is, they are sexy because they are unknown: a high pick has no flaws because he isn't a person yet. And even a young prospect is still all upside in fans' minds. The reality is, a #1 pick every year still doesn't guarantee a superstar (much less just a top 5 pick). Since 2005, the number one picks have been superstars (or superstars in the making) Kart-Anthony Towns, Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin, and Derrick Rose; stars (or in-the-making) Andrew Wiggins, Kyrie Irving, and John Wall; good players Andrew Bogut and--at times--Andrea Bargnani; and subpar Anthony Bennett and Greg Oden. Just under 40% are superstars, under 30% are stars, and then just under 40% are some level beneath even "average" star, rather are role players or worse. Not a good hit rate even when you have the assets. So in the end, is it really worth multiyear tanking in the hopes of being that lucky? I don't know.

A variant of the plan has been going on roughly over the same time frame in Boston, but rather than fully tanking, Boston has focused on inexpensive guys with real upside (and gotten them to play hard and well together). And they've been a playoff team. Philly probably could have done that while still being in asset-collection mode.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on March 26, 2016, 08:54:35 AM
I should say, though, despite the above criticism of the idea of continuous asset hoarding, Philly is in a good position to turn it around and become a playoff team anyway (though championship contender is harder to predict, minus a superstar). In their favor:

 - Their ownership is invested. Maybe misguided (if you're a Hinkie plan critic), but invested. And their recent moves to bring in Colangelo and D'Antoni prove they are willing to correct course as they see fit.
 - Their management is good. Hinkie is a smart guy. Colangelo is fantastic. D'Antoni as a consultant was smart, though I predict he'll be a head coach again next year.
 - Brett Brown is a top-10 coach in the NBA. He has had this team playing hard through impossible circumstances, which is a miracle.
 - Their talent isn't good, but it isn't awful, as previously discussed. They have flexibility to move some duplicative pieces and balance the roster for next season.
 - Cap space! If they choose to use it, they have tons of it. Every team will have some with the new TV money, but they will have loads. They could bring in multiple max guys if they wanted.
 - Market: people never mention Philly anymore as a good market, but really, why not? It's in the north, yeah, so the weather isn't ideal. But it's a major market with a passionate fan base and a fabulous basketball history at all levels: high school, college, and pro.

So while I won't say the plan will work as intended (because superstars aren't guaranteed regardless of assets), a playoff team could be around the corner in short order.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SurferDownUnder on March 27, 2016, 03:07:16 AM
I should say, though, despite the above criticism of the idea of continuous asset hoarding, Philly is in a good position to turn it around and become a playoff team anyway (though championship contender is harder to predict, minus a superstar). In their favor:

 - Their ownership is invested. Maybe misguided (if you're a Hinkie plan critic), but invested. And their recent moves to bring in Colangelo and D'Antoni prove they are willing to correct course as they see fit.
 - Their management is good. Hinkie is a smart guy. Colangelo is fantastic. D'Antoni as a consultant was smart, though I predict he'll be a head coach again next year.
 - Brett Brown is a top-10 coach in the NBA. He has had this team playing hard through impossible circumstances, which is a miracle.
 - Their talent isn't good, but it isn't awful, as previously discussed. They have flexibility to move some duplicative pieces and balance the roster for next season.
 - Cap space! If they choose to use it, they have tons of it. Every team will have some with the new TV money, but they will have loads. They could bring in multiple max guys if they wanted.
 - Market: people never mention Philly anymore as a good market, but really, why not? It's in the north, yeah, so the weather isn't ideal. But it's a major market with a passionate fan base and a fabulous basketball history at all levels: high school, college, and pro.

So while I won't say the plan will work as intended (because superstars aren't guaranteed regardless of assets), a playoff team could be around the corner in short order.

You really have some deep knowledge Captain it's awesome!! Ever been on NBA Reddit or even the Sixers subreddit?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on March 27, 2016, 06:41:59 AM
Nah, I used to participate in a basketball message board maybe 10 years ago or so (before Reddit existed, I think), but frankly I spend enough time online as it is. Besides, people usually end up acting like know-it-all a-holes (much like here, come to think of it). As for a Sixers sub-Reddit specifically, that's not my team by any means, so I have no special knowledge of them. I try to follow the whole league, though my attention has waned as I've gotten older and given it less time. My real basketball loves are the Timberwolves (hometown team), Gophers/Big Ten college ball, major international competitions like the Olympics and the Worlds, and most of all, the draft.

By the way, did I hear right that you're a New Zealander? I try not to be eternally turned off by Mark Dickel, then, your longtime PG of note. (I loved UNLV in the years he played, but wasn't ever a fan of his.) I do like Steven Adams, though. And congrats on Sean Marks, a former Tall Black getting the Brooklyn GM job. After his years in the Spurs organization, maybe he can lend a little credibility there, where their foundation has been nonexistent.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SurferDownUnder on March 27, 2016, 04:20:49 PM
Nah, I used to participate in a basketball message board maybe 10 years ago or so (before Reddit existed, I think), but frankly I spend enough time online as it is. Besides, people usually end up acting like know-it-all a-holes (much like here, come to think of it). As for a Sixers sub-Reddit specifically, that's not my team by any means, so I have no special knowledge of them. I try to follow the whole league, though my attention has waned as I've gotten older and given it less time. My real basketball loves are the Timberwolves (hometown team), Gophers/Big Ten college ball, major international competitions like the Olympics and the Worlds, and most of all, the draft.

By the way, did I hear right that you're a New Zealander? I try not to be eternally turned off by Mark Dickel, then, your longtime PG of note. (I loved UNLV in the years he played, but wasn't ever a fan of his.) I do like Steven Adams, though. And congrats on Sean Marks, a former Tall Black getting the Brooklyn GM job. After his years in the Spurs organization, maybe he can lend a little credibility there, where their foundation has been nonexistent.

Yup I'm a Kiwi, in fact I was coached by Mark Dickel for a couple of years down here and also saw Steven Adams play in our NBL (National Basketball League) when he was in high school standing about 6'10. I played power forward in HS and often marked Sam Timmins who is now on the Washington Huskies squad as a red-shirt. Dickel is an asshole so don't feel bad abouy disliking him haha


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on March 27, 2016, 04:25:13 PM
Do you know the wizard of New Zealand? ;D I am a serious Chicago Bulls fan depressed out of my mind since the Jordan years and Derrick Rose's decline.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on March 27, 2016, 04:36:43 PM
Nah, I used to participate in a basketball message board maybe 10 years ago or so (before Reddit existed, I think), but frankly I spend enough time online as it is. Besides, people usually end up acting like know-it-all a-holes (much like here, come to think of it). As for a Sixers sub-Reddit specifically, that's not my team by any means, so I have no special knowledge of them. I try to follow the whole league, though my attention has waned as I've gotten older and given it less time. My real basketball loves are the Timberwolves (hometown team), Gophers/Big Ten college ball, major international competitions like the Olympics and the Worlds, and most of all, the draft.

By the way, did I hear right that you're a New Zealander? I try not to be eternally turned off by Mark Dickel, then, your longtime PG of note. (I loved UNLV in the years he played, but wasn't ever a fan of his.) I do like Steven Adams, though. And congrats on Sean Marks, a former Tall Black getting the Brooklyn GM job. After his years in the Spurs organization, maybe he can lend a little credibility there, where their foundation has been nonexistent.

Yup I'm a Kiwi, in fact I was coached by Mark Dickel for a couple of years down here and also saw Steven Adams play in our NBL (National Basketball League) when he was in high school standing about 6'10. I played power forward in HS and often marked Sam Timmins who is now on the Washington Huskies squad as a red-shirt. Dickel is an asshole so don't feel bad abouy disliking him haha

Do you have the chance to see pro ball much? One of my home state's better players, Rick Rickert (a 6-11 forward) spent some time there in the late '00s. We also sent another, Dusty Rychart, roughly in that direction--he made quite a long career in Australia.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SurferDownUnder on March 27, 2016, 05:23:25 PM
Nah, I used to participate in a basketball message board maybe 10 years ago or so (before Reddit existed, I think), but frankly I spend enough time online as it is. Besides, people usually end up acting like know-it-all a-holes (much like here, come to think of it). As for a Sixers sub-Reddit specifically, that's not my team by any means, so I have no special knowledge of them. I try to follow the whole league, though my attention has waned as I've gotten older and given it less time. My real basketball loves are the Timberwolves (hometown team), Gophers/Big Ten college ball, major international competitions like the Olympics and the Worlds, and most of all, the draft.

By the way, did I hear right that you're a New Zealander? I try not to be eternally turned off by Mark Dickel, then, your longtime PG of note. (I loved UNLV in the years he played, but wasn't ever a fan of his.) I do like Steven Adams, though. And congrats on Sean Marks, a former Tall Black getting the Brooklyn GM job. After his years in the Spurs organization, maybe he can lend a little credibility there, where their foundation has been nonexistent.

Yup I'm a Kiwi, in fact I was coached by Mark Dickel for a couple of years down here and also saw Steven Adams play in our NBL (National Basketball League) when he was in high school standing about 6'10. I played power forward in HS and often marked Sam Timmins who is now on the Washington Huskies squad as a red-shirt. Dickel is an asshole so don't feel bad abouy disliking him haha

Do you have the chance to see pro ball much? One of my home state's better players, Rick Rickert (a 6-11 forward) spent some time there in the late '00s. We also sent another, Dusty Rychart, roughly in that direction--he made quite a long career in Australia.

Yep I've seen plenty of pro action. Unfortunately my hometown team the Otago Nuggets folded thanks in no small parts to the actions of player coach one Mark "Sparky" Dickel. Nick Wiggins (Andrews younger brother - one time Wolf) currently plays for the Canterbury Rams.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on March 27, 2016, 05:32:20 PM
I wouldn't quite call Nick Wiggins a one-time Wolf. He was on summer league / training camp roster, but that was just a courtesy move. Teams do that all the time as a favor, but there was no chance he'd actually make the (regular season) team.

I love that you're mocking Dickel. There is a perverse pleasure in knowing you thought he was an asshole: it fits my totally unfounded impression and wholly cracks me up. (By the way, I think the reason I didn't like him is that UNLV had been a really uptempo team, and Dickel played slower and was a terrible, terrible shooter. He also corresponded with their real decline. When you're going from, say, Larry Johnson to JR Rider to Kaspars Kambala, the trendline isn't good. They had just had Bill Bayno coaching (whose drinking problem at the time reportedly interfered with his performance) and recruiting talent the likes of Shawn Marion, Isaiah Epps, and Greedy Daniels, but somehow it's Dickel and Kambala who are the focus? I was sad... (Of course by then I was also moved on to rooting for Tarkanian's new home, Fresno State, and their collection of talented miscreants en route to probation.)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SurferDownUnder on March 27, 2016, 05:41:44 PM
I wouldn't quite call Nick Wiggins a one-time Wolf. He was on summer league / training camp roster, but that was just a courtesy move. Teams do that all the time as a favor, but there was no chance he'd actually make the (regular season) team.

I love that you're mocking Dickel. There is a perverse pleasure in knowing you thought he was an asshole: it fits my totally unfounded impression and wholly cracks me up. (By the way, I think the reason I didn't like him is that UNLV had been a really uptempo team, and Dickel played slower and was a terrible, terrible shooter. He also corresponded with their real decline. When you're going from, say, Larry Johnson to JR Rider to Kaspars Kambala, the trendline isn't good. They had just had Bill Bayno coaching (whose drinking problem at the time reportedly interfered with his performance) and recruiting talent the likes of Shawn Marion, Isaiah Epps, and Greedy Daniels, but somehow it's Dickel and Kambala who are the focus? I was sad... (Of course by then I was also moved on to rooting for Tarkanian's new home, Fresno State, and their collection of talented miscreants en route to probation.)

Its funny because Mark used to tell a story about how he made Shawn Marion cry, as if it was some badge of honour. His father was a really tough old school basketball coach. There was the infamous story about how when Mark was in HS coached by his father Carl, coach drew up a play for Richard Dickel (who is also an asshole but not as much as Mark, btw they have a Stephen-Mike Love style hate for each other). Come time for the inbounds Mark takes the ball as the point and hoists up a game winning buzzer beater 3 having waved Richard off. Carl makes him walk home (a good 8km from the school gym) in the middle of the Souths notoriously cold winters!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on March 27, 2016, 05:58:00 PM
I wonder if when Dickel thinks of the roughly $135 million Marion made in his NBA career (just on salary alone, to say nothing of endorsements), he ever cries...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SurferDownUnder on March 27, 2016, 06:02:11 PM
I wonder if when Dickel thinks of the roughly $135 million Marion made in his NBA career (just on salary alone, to say nothing of endorsements), he ever cries...

Well if you take Marks words, he chose Europe over being drafted late in the 1st of the 2000 draft. Having worked out for both the Lakers and the Nets as the story goes.....


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on March 27, 2016, 06:34:05 PM
I wonder if when Dickel thinks of the roughly $135 million Marion made in his NBA career (just on salary alone, to say nothing of endorsements), he ever cries...

Well if you take Marks words, he chose Europe over being drafted late in the 1st of the 2000 draft. Having worked out for both the Lakers and the Nets as the story goes.....

LOL, that's a joke. He was invited to Portsmouth pre-draft, which by 2000 (with the barrage of high schoolers and guaranteed deals from the newest CBA) meant he wasn't considered a likely choice: people used (and use) Portsmouth as an opportunity to maybe work their way into the 2nd round or get a summer league invitation.

What's more, even at the time, he certainly didn't sound like someone who "chose" not to be drafted. (Even if he'd signed with a Euro team before the draft, if he were draftable, a team would have taken him to retain his rights. That happens all the time.) After Portsmouth--where he claimed a foot injury slowed him down--he said ""Even if it doesn't get me (drafted), I hope I can go to Chicago [another pre-draft camp] and do better," he said." (Steve Addy, Las Vegas Sun, April 11, 2000) He did NOT say "well, the NBA wants to make me a first-rounder and give me a guaranteed contract, but I'd rather go to Europe."


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SurferDownUnder on March 27, 2016, 07:05:58 PM
I wonder if when Dickel thinks of the roughly $135 million Marion made in his NBA career (just on salary alone, to say nothing of endorsements), he ever cries...

Well if you take Marks words, he chose Europe over being drafted late in the 1st of the 2000 draft. Having worked out for both the Lakers and the Nets as the story goes.....

LOL, that's a joke. He was invited to Portsmouth pre-draft, which by 2000 (with the barrage of high schoolers and guaranteed deals from the newest CBA) meant he wasn't considered a likely choice: people used (and use) Portsmouth as an opportunity to maybe work their way into the 2nd round or get a summer league invitation.

What's more, even at the time, he certainly didn't sound like someone who "chose" not to be drafted. (Even if he'd signed with a Euro team before the draft, if he were draftable, a team would have taken him to retain his rights. That happens all the time.) After Portsmouth--where he claimed a foot injury slowed him down--he said ""Even if it doesn't get me (drafted), I hope I can go to Chicago [another pre-draft camp] and do better," he said." (Steve Addy, Las Vegas Sun, April 11, 2000) He did NOT say "well, the NBA wants to make me a first-rounder and give me a guaranteed contract, but I'd rather go to Europe."

That all sounds about right haha, he relies on the naivety of those he coaches to see him as the guy from Dunedin who made it in basketball but it doesn't take too long to see through that. Nobody ever dared bring up the anti-drug violation suspension he got on the Tall Blacks either.....  :smokin :lol


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on March 27, 2016, 07:09:16 PM
To be fair, he really did come a long way and had a career. It's not nothing and I ought not belittle it. But I do believe he's telling tall tales with that draft story.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on March 27, 2016, 07:11:40 PM
The guy whose lack of an NBA career surprised me was Kirk Penney, who played collegiately next door at Wisconsin. He was a very good player. In today's NBA putting more emphasis on shooting, I think he'd be in the league for sure.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SurferDownUnder on March 27, 2016, 07:22:50 PM
The guy whose lack of an NBA career surprised me was Kirk Penney, who played collegiately next door at Wisconsin. He was a very good player. In today's NBA putting more emphasis on shooting, I think he'd be in the league for sure.

He was sorta a Jason Kapono when the league already had Jason Kapono. He had a stint with the 04' Heat didn't?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on March 27, 2016, 07:32:48 PM
He did play for the Heat and the Clippers in the mid-00s, but just barely. And yeah, he was kind of Kapono-ish in that he was a midsized white shooter. But at that time, especially with wings, teams were trying to find athletes they could teach skills to, rather than skill guys to try to compete athletically.

For comparison, the 2003 NBA draft (which is the year Penney finished his college eligibility), these were wings who got selected in the first round: LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Jarvis Hayes, Mickael Pietrus, Reece Gaines, Aleksandr Pavlovic, Dahntay Jones, Zoran Planinic, Carlos Delfino, and Josh Howard.

Of those guys, only Anthony, Pavlovic, and Planinic are roughly as athletic as Penney (and Anthony was bigger and super-skilled, while Planinic could play all three backcourt spots, giving them one-ups). The others were all far more athletic than him, yet in many cases, were not better players. Hayes washed out. Pietrus has bounced around, but never became a skill guy. Gaines was nothing. But everyone wanted length, athleticism, versatility (athletically) more than skill.

Kapono was actually picked that same year, in the second round. Also taken in that round were guys like Travis Hansen (BYU), Rick Rickert, (Minnesota), James Jones (Miami), Kyle Korver (Creighton). Those guys would be first-rounders now based almost solely on shooting. (Not saying they all warrant it, just that they'd be taken that way now.)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SurferDownUnder on March 27, 2016, 07:36:40 PM
He did play for the Heat and the Clippers in the mid-00s, but just barely. And yeah, he was kind of Kapono-ish in that he was a midsized white shooter. But at that time, especially with wings, teams were trying to find athletes they could teach skills to, rather than skill guys to try to compete athletically.

For comparison, the 2003 NBA draft (which is the year Penney finished his college eligibility), these were wings who got selected in the first round: LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Jarvis Hayes, Mickael Pietrus, Reece Gaines, Aleksandr Pavlovic, Dahntay Jones, Zoran Planinic, Carlos Delfino, and Josh Howard.

Of those guys, only Anthony, Pavlovic, and Planinic are roughly as athletic as Penney (and Anthony was bigger and super-skilled, while Planinic could play all three backcourt spots, giving them one-ups). The others were all far more athletic than him, yet in many cases, were not better players. Hayes washed out. Pietrus has bounced around, but never became a skill guy. Gaines was nothing. But everyone wanted length, athleticism, versatility (athletically) more than skill.

Kapono was actually picked that same year, in the second round. Also taken in that round were guys like Travis Hansen (BYU), Rick Rickert, (Minnesota), James Jones (Miami), Kyle Korver (Creighton). Those guys would be first-rounders now based almost solely on shooting. (Not saying they all warrant it, just that they'd be taken that way now.)

Pietrus was interesting, he bounced onto many teams but was quite serviceable particularly on that Magic team. Josh Howard was an all-star right? He had a couple of knee injuries tho. Maybe Kirk could have taken Darko Milicic's spot  :lol :lol :lol


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on March 28, 2016, 05:39:23 AM
Yes Pietrus had moments. Howard was a really good player, pre-injuries, but even he was hurt by the prevailing winds of the day: ACC POY, a senior, taken (I believe) very late 1st for what? To make room for projects, most of whom were inferior to him. I'm not anti-early entrants--an adult has a right to try to make a living--but teams were becoming morons around then, infatuated with HSers and international guys because (like the perfect political candidates) they had no record to run on!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 02, 2016, 08:51:49 AM
It looks as if the Pistons are going to make the playoffs! Even if it ends up being a series against the Cavs, it's reason to celebrate around these parts. And I think they can steal a game against Cleveland, because Cleveland just isn't that good (there, I said it. They're East good, not overall a dominant team. And unless Irving and/or Love are traded, LeBron won't win there. Chemistry sucks, and 'Bron ain't ever happy with those guys. Ever).

The other team that I'm heavily invested in is Golden State. Not because I'm a bandwagon guy (usually, I actually hate teams that are really good. Unless they're one of mine), but because, as Captain knows, I'm a huge MSU guy (#3 recruiting class in the nation next year, or higher if Josh Jackson comes here. And please, let's not talk about the tournament this year. Seriously, I still have 1 crying fit a day), and Draymond Green is having a hell of a year. All he's ever done is get better, since his freshman year at MSU. I understand that a lot of people can't stand him, because he never shuts up. He's this generation's version of Bill Laimbeer. Hate him if he's on the other team, love him if he's one of yours. Still, I don't know if they're gonna win it all. I think the Spurs can beat them. Doesn't mean that they will, just that I can see a scenario where Curry gets into a funk and can't hit anything, and if that happens, they're done.

And as the season winds down, I'm surprised at how bad Chicago is, and how good Boston is. Chicago made a bad move with their coaching hire, and Boston is getting it done under the radar.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 02, 2016, 09:34:52 AM
It doesn't surprise me that the Pistons are good. I figured they'd be in the chase for a low seed because the talent was solid (and they've made good moves during the season), SVG is a really good coach, and maybe most importantly, he's really gotten a lot out of Reggie Jackson. I'm surprised by the lattermost. I really didn't see him becoming as good a player as he is becoming. Scorer, yeah, that wasn't a question. But he's playing good basketball.

Boston: too well coached, and too many good players, not to be a really good team in the East. Probably the best coached team in the East, actually. Their backcourt is still pretty bad offensively (overly dependent on Isaiah Thomas's 1-on-1 abilities) but it's amazing defensively. And they just have such depth of quality players, it almost makes up for the lack of real stars. It is almost reminiscient of the old Hubie Brown Memphis teams in that respect.

Chicago: this one is a surprise, but if you look at it in hindsight, it makes some sense. Hoiberg is a good coach and I think he'll be a fine NBA coach overall. But a first-timer is a first-timer. And what's more, while we all said going in that this was a team ready to win, the reality is that the core hasn't really been playing together: Rose has been out more or less for 2-3 years, and so his return meant a bit of a power struggle between him and Butler. (I don't mean that in a good guy/bad guy way, but just figuring out who will be the ball-dominant player.) Further, the locker room wasn't anti-Thibs, it was divided. So I think you had guys like Noah, Gibson, and probably Butler feeling a little bit abandoned by the organization even as others (Gasol, Mirotic) were probably happier about it. Ongoing health challenges to a lot of the team haven't helped, either. They'll figure it out through some combination of roster moves and coaching adjustments, but this is something of a lost season.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on April 06, 2016, 08:33:34 PM
Happy Trails to 76ers GM Sam Hinkie...we hardly knew ya. As I posted a few times previously, I was a supporter of The Hinkie Plan. I felt that Doug Collins severely damaged the franchise, making it at least a three year rebuilding process. On top of that, it was Sam Hinkie's goal - and the franchise's - to build, not just a yearly contender, but a championship team. While the first three years were kind of disappointing, I thought that next year would finally be the Big Turnaround.

For me, as far as Sam Hinkey's legacy, my biggest disappointment was not the accumulated draft picks - that was Sam's biggest achievement - but the actual players/talent that Sam did acquire with some high draft picks during his three year tenure. Admittedly, Sam did have some bad luck with the ping pong balls. All that being said, Sam could've "salvaged" things and made everything OK next year if all the pieces fell together. I still think things will come together to some extent next year which will make Sam's legacy even more interesting. If the 76ers do become a championship franchise, how much credit will Sam Hinkie get? I guess that's a big "if"...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 07, 2016, 06:11:18 AM
I was surprised at the news. I understand it: they're finalizing a deal with the newish Big Kahuna's son (Jerry and Bryan Colangelo, respectively) which reportedly would have made BC Hinkie's coequal. Uh sure...

But why not make the move back when they initiated all this, around all-star break? Or after the season? Have the balls to fire him! I think they used Hinkie, let him be the whipping boy for the media and fans (for carrying out ownership's direction) and then forced him into an impossible situation, basically forcing the resignation. So now all credit for the rebuild as they enter the spending stage will go to Clan Colangelo. Stinky.

Hinkie was just on Zach Lowe's podcast Tuesday being a good soldier, even though he had to know what was up by then.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 07, 2016, 04:24:04 PM
I think the guy was batshit crazy. I mean, he wrote a 13 page resignation letter. Have you read any of that thing? It's unreal.

And his decision making was questionable. Joel Embiid, who was a walking stress fracture? Before the draft, pretty much everyone knew that it was a big gamble. You could've had Exum, or Aaron Gordon, or Marcus Smart. Then he took Okafor, which would make sense if he didn't already have, what, 2 centers on the team already? And he traded for Sakic, who dominates in Turkey, yet hasn't played an NBA game yet. So right there, Embiid and Sakic haven't played a minute yet in the NBA.

I mean, I can kinda see what he was trying to do. It seemed at times that he didn't let guys stick around long enough to have any kind of chemistry, because he was always trying to pile up picks and trade a sub-par player away for another sub-par player. It disappoints me in a way, because I liked those Philly teams of the early  90's with Barkley and Mahorn (I love Mahorn, because he was a Piston). After Detroit was done, I kinda thought that Philly was the team that could give Chicago problems, because they seemed so physical. It didn't really work out that way!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 07, 2016, 04:55:45 PM
I heard the letter was pretty bizarre. But hey, oh well.

The thing to remember, though, is that this wasn't Hinkie holding the 76ers hostage: he had a plan that was nothing but a more confident version of what has been common practice (and since OKC's rise, practically universally acknowledged as the way to improve) for years. His ownership wanted the approach. He was doing his job.

I acknowledge some negatives. On the plus side: he shed bad contracts; he hired an absolute superstar of a coach; they made personnel decisions that kept a hard-working team on the court even as the losses ensured high picks.

Another thing is, drafts are what they are. A high pick isn't a player, and you can only do what you can do. (If there's no Lebron, you can't draft Lebron.) And I think the idea was going for the best talent regardless of position because you can always trade players as you go along, so you have the overlap of Noel, Saric, Okafor, and Embiid. Consider the "draft by position" approach: the Wolves in 1990 were desperate for a center, and so they took what they thought was the best one at 6, Felton Spencer of Louisville. He was a journeyman with his good moments, but they could have drafted someone admittedly duplicative of (SIX FOOT SEVEN) PF Sam Mitchell in Loy Vaught, Elden Campbell, or Tyrone Hill, all of whom were far better picks and still would have filled a defense/rebounding hole; they could have gone with versatile and underrated wing Lionel Simmons of LaSalle; they could have swung for the fences with Toni Kukoc or Cedric Ceballos (both 2nd rounders!). But they felt they didn't need certain positions, and DID need a center. That's what happens when you draft for a position. There are hundreds of examples, examples every year. If you take the best point guard instead of the best player, or the best wing instead of the best player, you dig yourself a hole. Take the best player, and trade somebody if need be. We just don't know yet who are the keepers for Philly because we haven't seen (arguably the most promising) two, Saric and Embiid.

All this said, I'm not necessarily a Hinkie fan. I just think it was a bullshit force-out so close to the end of the season that stinks of nepotism.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 09, 2016, 05:49:16 AM
Pistons are back in the playoffs! A first round series against the Cavs or the Raptors, which likely means destruction. Hell, I'll take it though. It's good experience for a young team, and when a team finally gets into the playoffs, they start to realize what it takes to really make some noise. And I think they'll be able to steal a game against either team.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on April 09, 2016, 06:00:00 AM
My bulls. :'(


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 09, 2016, 06:19:25 AM
Tough year for Chicago but they'll be fine. Next year they still have an all-star wing in Butler; some good young veteran pieces in Mirotic, McDermott, and Gibson; vets Rose and Dunleavy, who can both contribute massively at any given time, though not every night; and young talent in Portis. Tough to say what will, or should, happen with Gasol and Noah: it seemed a sure thing both were gone, then maybe just Noah, now maybe just Gasol. We'll see.

They also have their own picks this year, meaning two picks in the top 45 or so: both could net good prospects.

I think the reality is, while everyone expected a veteran team to transition seamlessly to a wholly new philosophy, that's just not easy. The team was built for Thibs, and probably half of the roster preferred his style to Hoiberg's.

Most of all, Rose comes back more or less healthy and expects to be the guy through whom it all flows, and that isn't how things work anymore. He's the biggest question going forward, even more than the free-agent bigs. With one last year on his deal ($21 mil), do you try to move him in the offseason just to move on? He proved this year he's still a legitimate NBA starter--just not MVP or all-star anymore. He could, potentially, work his way back into all-star contention, probably, though his superstar days seem to be over with. So would some other team take a flyer on him? I can easily imagine, say, Dallas bringing him on board. They've been doing that short-term restocking to help Dirk go out on winning teams before they start their inevitable, eventual, massive rebuild. Brooklyn could be another team willing to pay for a short-term solution. And even that salary isn't so crazy when you consider next year's cap is likely to be $90 million or so.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on April 09, 2016, 06:35:58 AM
Good points captain, it's been a year of transition for sure with Hoilberg. Plus it seems all the mileage from the previous coach has caught up with vets like Noah. Hopefully they pick up some fresh legs in new players in the offseason to fit hoilberg's system. Plus somehow get Kirk Hinrich back! ;D


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 09, 2016, 07:30:32 AM
In my opinion, the toughest thing will be Gasol. Noah seemed really limited after years of injuries, and there was no question he was a Thibs guy. I think it's best to part ways rather than spend big for a guy you probably can't depend on to stay healthy.

Gasol is different, though, still playing at a really high level and a guy who is almost custom-built for Hoiberg's free-flowing, creative brand of offense. But re-signing Gasol is no sure thing. It seems as if he has three main priorities: 1) play a key role; 2) for a contender; 3) in a major, cosmopolitan city. Chicago can offer him nos. 1 and 3 next season, but 2 seems awfully unlikely, even though they'll probably be a playoff team next year. He may well take large offers from, say, Toronto (who could use an upgrade at PF to become a really elite team).

Losing both would hurt, though. Portis looks like an eventual starter at PF, but he's not ready for that role on a contending team. Gibson can start and contribute, but isn't a top-shelf guy. And there's no center whatsoever if both Noah and Gasol go, so that would further hurt continuity as they integrate a guy newly added.



Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 10, 2016, 09:07:35 AM
Well SMiLE Brian, it ain't over yet: a big Bulls win over Cleveland (and no Indiana game) means Chicago is still in the playoff hunt. And the surprise hero, Cristiano Felicio, of all people! 16 points (on 7-7 FG!), 5 rebounds and 2 blocks off the bench in just 23 minutes.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on April 10, 2016, 09:09:40 AM
Yeah captain, the Bulls still have a lot of fight left in them! I hope they steal that final playoff spot and shock a team or two in the playoffs!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 10, 2016, 09:17:26 AM
I'm not betting on it, but it's possible. They would make for a scary 8 seed, because the reality is that (however unlikely, based on this season) they have a talented and experienced roster. I can't imagine them beating the Cavs in a series, but they could get a couple of games, which means less rest for James, Irving, etc., as they try to beat out Toronto and others before facing the nightmare that is Golden State, San Antonio, or even OKC.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on April 10, 2016, 03:16:03 PM
Captain, what are your hopes for the wolves next year?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 10, 2016, 03:54:21 PM
Captain, what are your hopes for the wolves next year?

Playoffs. I think Karl-Anthony Town is a sure-thing all-star next year: I'd say 90+% chance, barring injuries. Wiggins has proven he's a 20+ ppg scorer (and potential all-star). LaVine, especially the latter half of the season, has started looking like a legitimate starter, a remarkable athlete, really good shooter (especially as he improves his footwork and other technical deficiencies). Rubio is a flat-out winner, the most underrated starting PG in the league just because he doesn't shoot well (though he has improved since the break as well). There are decisions to make regarding depth and complementary roles, and especially regarding coaching and the GM role. I expect that GM Milt Newton will be retained--he has been guaranteed authority through the draft and free agent season, and there's no sense in giving him that if you're just going to fire him afterward. But I think Mitchell is gone as coach, though he's done an admirable job in a rough situation. Too many good coaches are out there (D'Antoni, Thibodeau, Brooks, Van Gundy, Walton, etc.) and this job is somewhat suddenly too attractive to stick with Mitchell. But owner Glen Taylor is loyal, so I guess we'll see.

So, yeah, I truly think competing for the playoffs is entirely realistic. I'd be very disappointed if we're not in the playoff hunt next season, maybe in a 6-8 seed range. And this core--the guys mentioned above--are good enough to be a championship contending core if the stars align and other pieces work out just right. KAT is going to be an MVP candidate when he hits his prime. I'd bet a large sum on that.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on April 10, 2016, 04:07:27 PM
That is great to read, the NBA needs more parity outside of the "super" teams like Cleveland and the Warriors. You invest in season tickets? ;D


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 10, 2016, 04:25:20 PM
Well, you know I can't resist the chance to play devil's advocate, so ... these two particular "super" teams? Golden State, while admittedly in a major market, had been pretty much horrendous from the end of the "Run-TMC" teams of the early '90s until the return of Don Nelson and the unexpected run in the late '00s with Baron Davis, Stephen Jackson, Monta Ellis, etc. That was a stretch of something like 15-20 years of mostly mediocrity and occasional horrendousness.

And Cleveland? Not even a major market team, they suffered basically from the time they had those nice late-80s teams of Mark Price, Brad Daugherty, et al (which never could beat the Celts or Bulls) up until they got Lebron. Brief period of relevance and steep decline back into the cellar. There's a reason they got all those high lottery picks with which to take Kyrie Irving, Anthony Bennett (hahahahaha) and Andrew Wiggins (thanks, Cavs!).

But that said, I get your point. I think the NBA is actually well positioned for minor-market teams to have success if they play their cards right. San Antonio is proof of that. And yes, I'd love for the Wolves to join the ranks of the power teams despite being in the 15th or so biggest market in the nation (putting us below the halfway mark of the league, with two LA teams and two NYC teams, not to mention Toronto in Canada).


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 10, 2016, 04:38:46 PM
If only you were in the East, Cap'n old boy.

Well, who's gonna be better than you next year? GS, San Antonio, LA Clippers (who I despise, by the way), OKC (unless everyone leaves), Portland, maybe Pelicans. Should be in the hunt for a 6-8 seed, easily. Well, maybe not easily...

I'd want Thibs over D'antoni. D'antoni is ok, but you need to play D, and that's Thibs thing. Or, even go with Walton over D'antoni. I guess I'd pick anyone over D'antoni, and I liked him in Phoenix. Just not anywhere else.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 10, 2016, 06:24:32 PM
Tough to say before free agency and such, but I'd imagine at least Golden State, San Antonio, OKC, Portland, and Utah will be good in the west. But LAC, Denver, New Orleans, a tweaked Houston, a revamped Dallas ... plenty of possibilities.

I really respect both D'Antoni and Thibs--and both are great as the lead assistants for Team USA's senior national team--but would also prefer Thibs. My fear with him, though, is a history of pushing guys through hard practices, no days off, lots of minutes. The injury history under him in Chicago is noteworthy. Now, might have those guys gotten injured anyway? Maybe, hard to say. Just interesting, is all. Regardless, he's my favorite candidate. I also believe he's the most likely guy to coach here next year.

Thibs actually also has history here. He was an assistant under Bill Musselman in the Wolves' inaugural season. Coach Muss, he was great. (And crazy.)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 12, 2016, 12:00:25 PM
Poor Mr. Verlander: Deyonta Davis, fresh off his 7.5 ppg and 5.5 rpg freshman season, is headed to the draft and signing with an agent. Eligibility over. Nice recruiting class coming in for the Spartans but this is a HUGE loss.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on April 12, 2016, 01:22:28 PM
Oh captain, my captain, the Bulls are throwing in the towel with sitting guys....


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 12, 2016, 02:52:13 PM
Poor Mr. Verlander: Deyonta Davis, fresh off his 7.5 ppg and 5.5 rpg freshman season, is headed to the draft and signing with an agent. Eligibility over. Nice recruiting class coming in for the Spartans but this is a HUGE loss.

Thanks, Cap. I come here to escape my basketball demons, and what do I get? You, laughing at my misery.

Really, though. Last night it was "Is Josh Jackson coming here?". Which, if most of the stories are correct, he wanted to come here, because he's pretty tight with a couple of those guys who are coming in. However, his mom didn't see it that way. Which is a bummer, but not as bad as Davis leaving. I felt like losing Davis would be much worse than losing Jackson. I understand why he's going, but I'm afraid that he'll be on the bench for awhile. He could've used another year to get bigger. I've seen him projected anywhere from 11 to 20. If he would've stayed, he more than likely would've been 5-10 next year. Having said that, I don't know his economic background. Maybe his family needs money now. From a strictly basketball standpoint, it's a shame.

And you know what else, this is kind of weird (although I'm sure you'll understand): He doesn't feel like one of "us". A Spartan. Like, Zach Randolph, a one and done guy, still doesn't feel that way. I like my guys to stick around so I can develop some sort of feeling toward them. Like Payne, Green, The Flintstones, Denzel. Those guys feel almost like family, you know? If Davis flames out, it'll be too bad for him, but it won't sting like if Denzel doesn't have an NBA career.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 12, 2016, 04:20:19 PM
Sorry!

I actually do like the Michigan State program a bit: it's among my favorite, say, 10-15 college programs of all time.* And I really, really respect coach Izzo. I don't know if this news necessarily was a part of any narratives there, but he has a decades-old, deep friendship with the late Flip Saunders, who obviously was a Minnesota basketball institution, whether as a Gophers player, local small-college coach, Gophers assistant, Wolves coach, Wolves GM, Wolves coach and GM again, etc. So it's a program that always had a bit of extra importance here.

So yeah, from that perspective, it really does bum me out. Davis was obviously really, really special. I was very impressed by him when we played Michigan State. He has a long way to go, development-wise, but he's got the tools. He's going to be picked in the first round, no question. And hopefully for him it all works out (a la Randolph, whom you mentioned, who had one decent year of college and a slow pro start before clicking).

I definitely know what you mean about guys who stick around longer v not. What's bizarre is, with Minnesota, our three most prominent really early entries were Kris Humphries (one-and-done), Joel Przybilla, and Rick Rickert (both two-year Gophers, though Przybilla quit in January of his sophomore season). The rub? All three are native Minnesotans, from Hopkins, Monticello, and Duluth, respectively. Yet they're not universally lauded Gopher greats. They're guys who bailed after horrible, OK, and OK seasons, respectively. Compare that to hometowners Sam Jacobson and John Thomas, who spent four years here, but even to Bobby Jackson, a North Carolina native who only had two years here as a JuCo, or Quincy Lewis, or Willie Burton, or Voshon Lenard, or any number of other guys. You have to seem to have some skin in the game to be accepted as a true alum. The guys who never unpacked the suitcase? Meh. Whatever. They're just too easy to forget.


*Since you asked, in no particular order, Minnesota, UNLV, DePaul (Meyers, Kennedy eras), Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Louisville (Denny Crum era), Fresno State (Tark era), Syracuse, Utah (Majerus era, but coming back), Texas (Penders era), Connecticut, UCLA, Northern Iowa (I spent two years there).


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 12, 2016, 05:07:07 PM
Michigan? Bleh!

Those UNLV teams with Johnson, Augmon, Hunt, etc., was the first time that I ever jumped on a bandwagon. I was a freshman in high school, and really starting to get heavy into basketball. Those teams seemed like they would never lose. I had a shirt with a matching hat. I had a Georgetown sweatshirt, too. With a hat. And I didn't even like them, it's just that everyone had that stuff. UNLV though, I loved them. And they lost to Duke, of all people. That was pretty bad.

You know who I always liked was Gene Keady. He was like Jud Heathcote, always upset, kinda like your grumpy uncle that you'd see once in a while (except with a better comb-over).  3 of the coaches that Tom Izzo looks up to the most are Heathcote, Keady and Bobby Knight. Keady has a pretty good coaching tree if I recall; didn't Bruce Weber coach under him? Cuonzo Martin, Matt Painter, Kevin Stallings. I would've liked to see him win a championship.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 12, 2016, 06:03:01 PM
Heh, should have guessed you wouldn't be particularly happy with Michigan. But I loved the late '80s teams (Rumeal Robinson, Sean Higgins, Glen Rice, Terry Mills, Loy Vaught, etc.) and the Fab Five, of course. (Who, other than Michigan State or white-college fans, didn't?) The "Fab Five II," which was Travis Conlan, Maceo Baston, Maurice Taylor, Jerod Ward, and Willie Mitchell, was interesting to me, but of course was famously mediocre. (Jerod Ward was the consensus #1 player in the country that year...) Then things got boring with their scandal, new coaches, blah blah... I forgot, I also loved LSU! Chris Jackson (later Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf), Stan Roberts, Shaq, Clarence Ceaser, Randy Livingston, Ronnie Henderson, Deuce Ford, Stro Swift, Lester Earl, and on and on. Loved that program, especially under Dale Brown.

I totally agree about Keady. Great coach. In addition to the guys you mention, Steve Lavin is another key one. He (Keady) also was an advisor for the Raptors for a while. Just so good.

Glad you mentioned Keady and Heathcoate, because that actually reminds me how much I loved most all of the B10 coaches of that era. Those two, Haskins, Henson, Knight, Fisher. Soon after, Wisconsin gets a Dick Bennett, Northwestern gets a Kevin O'Neill a few years after that. Just fantastic times, coaching-wise. Slow pace, yeah, but great coaches and great players.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 13, 2016, 12:47:19 PM
What's 'funny' is that the beginning of the whole investigation into the Michigan stuff started on Mateen Cleaves recruiting visit there. If you don't remember, there was a rollover accident that had Mateen, Tractor Traylor, Willie Mitchell, and some other dudes I can't remember. They were out partying, and stopped by Ed Martin's house, who of course was the guy who was giving all of the players money. Traylor ended up breaking his arm or his leg (can't quite remember), and Mitchell ended up leaving for somewhere down south, I think. The Fab Five era went down in flames (to my glee, I admit).

I always felt like, if the Fab Five had a real coach, they would've won. Steve Fisher let those guys run wild, not much discipline. To say he isn't a 'real coach' I guess is a bit rough, maybe if they'd had a coach that would actually tell them 'no' once in a while.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 13, 2016, 01:11:17 PM
I definitely remember the Cleaves incident.

Mitchell went to UAB, which had fellow Michigan HS star Carlos Williams at the time.

I disagree about the Fab Five though. I thought Rose, Webber, and Howard in particular played really smart ball more often than not; King and Jackson were rougher around the edges early on though and maybe could have been brought along slower. I think Fisher is a good coach, with evidence being how well SDSU has done under him. He really turned them into a legit program.

The impression of a free for all was partly just the swagger, I think.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 13, 2016, 04:23:28 PM

The impression of a free for all was partly just the swagger, I think.

Or my pure, blind hatred.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 13, 2016, 04:25:01 PM
Pistons get the Cavs, first round. I think we can steal a game. SVG is resting up all of the starters tonight against, of all teams, Clevleand.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 13, 2016, 04:56:07 PM
I wouldn't swear to it, but I'd bet on the Pistons winning at least one game. And while I won't say I envy your position with the Pistons' future (in that the Wolves have a mighty fine future ahead as well, just a bit later starting and thus later coming to fruition), I will say I think that team has great things ahead.

Today it was reported that Wolves owner Glen Taylor has in fact not only begun a coaching search (including current coach S. Mitchell) but with particular emphasis on the Pistons' model of coach-plus-personnel authority because he has been enamored with SVG's work. I'm not opposed to it, but neither do I fully embrace it. Depends on the guy. I think Doc Rivers has been a terrible GM in LA, for example. But it can work.

Speaking of the Wolves, we close out tonight at home (where we're worse than on the road this year ... go figure) against a shell of the New Orleans Pelicans. No Anthony Davis. No Jrue Holiday. No Ryan Anderson. No Tyreke Evans. No Eric Gordon. No Quincy Pondexter. No Norris Cole. No Alexis Ajinca. You could honestly say they are minus their top 7 guys or so, and are basically fielding a D-League team tonight. The players they're going into battle with are Dante Cunningham, Kendrick Perkins, James Ennis, Tim Frazier, Luke Babbitt, Toney Douglas... Yet that's the kind of game that scares me with this team. The Wolves have generally--especially very early and very late in this season--played up to or down to the competition. So I hate saying it, but if we lost this game, I would not be surprised. If we won by 2, 3, 4, I would not be surprised. The blowout that SHOULD happen? I would be surprised. Happy, but surprised.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 13, 2016, 05:53:18 PM
The blowout that SHOULD happen? I would be surprised. Happy, but surprised.

As of 2nd quarter, shows what I know.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SurfRiderHawaii on April 13, 2016, 10:40:22 PM
What a night! Kobe drops 60, Warriors break the record! Damm!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 14, 2016, 02:51:05 AM
I'm glad the Warriors broke the record. A lot of that is because I hated those Bulls teams with Jordan. And, to be honest, it's pretty amazing. No matter if the NBA is 'soft' now, or you want to throw out whatever excuse these grumpy old NBA players say when they bitch about the game today, to be able to win that many games is insane.

Kobe is one of 15 greatest players of all time.  You can't deny that. I never liked him, though. And that was before his whole Colorado fiasco. That just made me like him even less than I did before. He's one of the guys who people say "well yeah, he's an asshole. So was Jordan, though. You have to have some of that to win". No, you don't.

Kobe scored a lot of points, and he took a lot of shots-a LOT of shots.  He wasn't a very good teammate for most of his career. He gave himself his own nickname, which is pathetic. I went through a period where I tried to like him, only because I was so sick of everyone slurping on LeBron that I needed another great player to "like". It didn't last very long.

I always found it very satisfying that when the Pistons won their last championship, it was against that Laker team of Shaq and Kobe. Nobody gave Detroit a chance. And of course, even after they won, it was attributed to "Shaq and Kobe are fighting, so the whole chemistry of the Lakers was off, and Detroit got lucky". I think it was a little more than that.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 14, 2016, 05:45:51 AM
I wasn't a Kobe fan either. But what a finale! Then the Warriors record and a huge Wolves win. Good final night to the season.

And the Wolves ' search for a new GM and coach begins in earnest. I'm hoping Thibs.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 14, 2016, 12:07:04 PM
George Karl is out in Sacramento. That was a real surprise, huh? Pretty much from the day he was hired, everyone knew it wasn't gonna last. Sacramento is kind of a mess, anyway. The owner seems like one of those guys who wants to interfere with the work the GM is doing, and in this case, I don't think Vlade Divac is a very good GM. And in all likelihood, Cousins is going to leave whenever his contract is up (one more year?), and isn't Rondo's contract up now? Needless to say, they're far gone from being an even decent team.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 14, 2016, 03:15:34 PM
Yeah, the Karl experiment was doomed before it began. His ESPN co-workers publicly advised him not to take that job. But I suppose the undeniable talent of Cousins has to be tempting for any coach. I truly think that he has been the most gifted big in basketball the past few years. (Towns may have passed him up in that department now, however. And keep in mind, I'm saying gifted, not actually the best.)

The Kings are a clown show of an organization. They've been on the rocks for years, and Vivek Ranadive has been literally a joke since buying the team. They go through about two coaches a year, a GM a year, countless players. It's just awful. I read a rumor that Kevin McHale is high on their list of candidates, and I hope with all my heart he doesn't take that job. I respect him too much to put him through it.

Rondo had signed a 1-year deal, so yes, he's an unrestricted free agent. I have no idea who'd want--or more precisely, pay--him now. He had a good year, numbers-wise, but he needs a certain kind of team and coach to work, both because of his offensive limitations and ... well, weirdness. It's sad because I LOVED him early in his career as they got things rolling in Boston. Great athlete, really brilliant mind for the game. But the past 3, 4 years, he's just seemed horrible to be around (from an outside perspective). Bratty, uncompromising, difficult. The worst traits for point guards. I wouldn't be surprised if he returns to Sacramento because there just aren't that many franchises sufficiently dysfunctional to take him.

Other coaches either canned today or just not necessarily retaining their jobs (because they were interim guys):
 - Randy Wittman, Washington
 - Earl Watson, Phoenix
 - Kurt Rambis, New York
 - Sam Mitchell, Minnesota
 - Tony Brown, Brooklyn

JB Bickerstaff, Houston, joins as soon as the playoffs end. I expect Byron Scott to be fired, too.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 14, 2016, 04:32:20 PM
I forgot about Scotty Brooks. I think Washington's gonna make a run, because they think that Brooks will be able to lure Durant there. Which I don't really think is happening.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 14, 2016, 05:00:18 PM
I've heard Brooks to Washington as a Washington hope, too. I think it's believable they might hire Brooks, but I'd say about a 0.01% chance they get him this year--I think he'll sign a 1-year deal with OKC and then capitalize on his earning power next year--and then ... not go to Washington. I'd predict OKC, LAL, LAC (if they make major changes) or Golden State, probably in roughly that order. But Washington? He's said himself he likes being away from the distractions of home. Who knows, if my scenario plays out, the world is a different place by then. But I doubt he goes home.

By the way, Brooks is considered a top-3 candidate here, after Thibs and JVG. He also--as do about half the coaches out there--has Wolves ties. We dealt Rick Mahorn (after he refused to report here after being picked in the expansion draft) to Philly for Brooks, and he was a backup PG here for a year or two.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: B.E. on April 15, 2016, 05:26:53 PM
I've been sporadically following this thread for a year or so as I am a huge NBA fan. My "hometown" team is the Knicks and it was both a blessing and a curse to begin my NBA experience during the '98-'99 season :lol It's been downhill ever since. Jerome James, anybody?

Captain, I read today that Thibs and JVG will be meeting with the Timberwolves in the coming days and I'm curious as to your thoughts on Jeff Van Gundy. Apparently, he was close with Flip and even had the opportunity to coach the Wolves a few years ago. I know you posted recently that you are hoping for Thibs, but do you think JVG could succeed as the head coach of the Wolves? Do you think he'll return to coaching elsewhere?  I've also heard that the Nets are interested in him, but I can't imagine after all these years he'd come back to that situation. Also, as a Knicks fan, I'm curious what you think of Rambis? Obviously, the Wolves lost a lot of games under him (132 out of 164 I believe), but does that preclude him from succeeding in NY? I honestly don't know. Seems like Phil may stick with him next year. I'm not necessarily opposed, if it means Phil is more involved and the coach/GM/president are on the same page.

I'm looking forward to the playoffs, especially the potential Warriors - Spurs matchup...though the east will be interesting. Seeds 3-8 separated by only 4 games, including 4 teams with identical records (48-34). I'm pulling for the Spurs to win it all this year, though defeating the Warriors will be incredibly hard. If the Spurs do win, I imagine Diaw will have played a huge role. I'd start him over Duncan and I'd probably play West more than Duncan, as well. The Warriors are a horrific match up for Duncan, IMO.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 15, 2016, 06:02:08 PM
Hey, B.E., welcome to the thread (and board, I guess--haven't seen you around and see you're not a frequent poster). Glad to talk ball.

Regarding Thibs and JVG, I think either I'm misunderstanding you or you have one thing confused. JVG was close to Flip, but didn't ever coach the Wolves. Thibs, I am not sure of his relationship to Flip, but he was an assistant coach for the Wolves under our original head coach (who was, coincidentally, Flip's college coach at the U of MN in the '70s), the late Bill Musselman.

As far as my thoughts on JVG, I do think he's going to return to coaching: maybe 80% chance? I know two main reasons he has been out of coaching (according to his words) were a) he didn't want to join just any random (terrible) team, and he wanted to stay out of coaching while his kids were in high school. He said, I think on Zach Lowe's podcast, that his kids had graduated or were graduating this year or something, so on the latter point, he'd be open to it. And on the former? Well, the Wolves are by all accounts a really attractive job opening, so that seems to settle the former point.

After that? I could imagine Washington making a push for JVG, and that's a good enough job to consider. LA Lakers? With their brand, young talent, cap space? If he can handle that landscape, that's not a bad job. Brooklyn could offer great money and great market, but that's a terrible job in the short term because they don't even have picks in coming years thanks to their horrible earlier trades. Phoenix, maybe, or even Houston again.

Rambis... I don't see it. I think he's a good assistant to Phil Jackson. If you want him to be Phil Jackson's head coach, that's the closest thing to being lead assistant, I guess... But he's a disciple. A company man. He's just imitating his boss. So it's the best imitation minus the original charisma or inspiration or genius. (Not to mention minus the talent on the court...) More than anything, Phil should open up his parameters of a system coach. When your only candidates are the fired Fisher, Rambis, and Brian Shaw (unless you squint so that Luke Walton looks like a disciple and then lie to try to convince him NYC is in California somewhere), well, it's not a great crop. Considering all the other coaching talent out there, it's criminal to focus on the system.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 15, 2016, 06:04:21 PM
Oh, and Jerome James? I remember (and might still have) a college basketball or possibly draft preview magazine somewhere that compared James favorably to Shaq. Both huge and athletic, etc. Hahaha. The worst thing about great players is that writers obsess over finding their replacements. The number of "next" Magics, Jordans, Shaqs I've read about...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: alf wiedersehen on April 15, 2016, 06:16:27 PM
Flea playing The National Anthem is so terrible.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: B.E. on April 15, 2016, 08:57:43 PM
Captain, I had read that JVG was Flip's first choice to coach the Wolves in '14, but JVG turned him down. I worded that poorly, my bad.

In regard to Rambis, you've confirmed my suspicions. As far as Phil expanding his coaching search outside of his inner circle, I have heard Blatt's name come up the past few days. He was a Princeton teammate of GM Steve Mills. Beyond that, I am not any more optimistic that Blatt will be hired as I was that Lebron would choose the Knicks during the Decision.

I don't know what to make of Phil Jackson in his current role. I'm (somewhat) hopeful that things will work out and that the Knicks will hold on to Porzingis long-term. Its been a long time since Knicks fans have had anything to be excited about (I respect Melo, but not a big fan, certainly not of the trade when it happened).

And, wow, Jerome James the next Shaq.... right :lol I still remember that 5yr $30M contract. What a nightmare.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 16, 2016, 04:24:26 AM
I'm pretty sure that Jackson isn't going to be in NY for much longer. The big rumor right now is that he's waiting to bolt out to LA to be with his fiance, Jeanie Buss. Of course that's all it could be, is a rumor. It hasn't exactly worked out for Phil in NY though, that's for sure. And the fact that all he wants to run is triangle, as Captain alluded to earlier, is a bit ridiculous. I understand that he had great success with it. That doesn't mean that it's going to always work. It may work if he was the damn coach, which he isn't (although let's be real; he is the coach, he's just not down there on the floor). I'm tired of Phil Jackson, to be honest. He's a coaching legend, perhaps the greatest that ever was, but he's been a sub-par GM.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 16, 2016, 06:31:28 AM
Mr Verlander, I've read that Jackson-to-NY-next-year (meaning 17-18), too. I wouldn't doubt it, especially since the Lakers have said they'd clean house with management (and some of the ownership group) if they don't make the playoffs this coming season. And while they have young talent, a nice pick, and free agent cash...good luck. Jerry West is not giving them advice anymore on just HOW to spend that money.

Regarding Jackson and the triangle, I actually believe he'd have a great advantage if he just changed his position slightly. He has often said he loves the triangle because of its emphasis on group improvisation within a coherent structure, on skill at all five positions, and on equality of opportunity. And let's be fair, that stuff is beautiful in basketball. But he could easily change his point of insistence from one iteration of those traits--the triangle--and instead just insist on those traits. Simple as that. Just say the new offense has to emphasize those values he has. Adelman's corner offense does that. Blatt's version of the Princeton offense does that. The Kerr-Gentry-Walton Warriors offense does that. The Pop offense does that.  There are plenty of opportunities that would do that, and thus open up that job beyond the jokes of Rambis, Shaw, and Fisher into Blatt, Walton, Messina, etc. Offense isn't philosophy, it's an expression of philosophy. The same philosophy could be expressed in other ways.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 16, 2016, 09:24:13 AM
By the way, while the weather is increasingly beautiful (we might hit 80 in Minneapolis today!), making it harder and harder to spend any substantial length of time inside watching games, let me say: PLAYOFFS.

Good basketball--games where everyone on both teams (with possible allowances for Michael Beasley, Hassan Whiteside, and a few other lunatics)--will be playing hard. Coaches will put in interesting wrinkles. Players will try on both ends, on and off the ball. It's a long season so I have a hard time blaming them or letting down their intensity during the regular season, but this is the time of year when the quality of play is just phenomenal. Obviously, with Philly, Chicago, New York, and Minnesota fans here, we're all outside looking in. But hey, we can live vicariously through Mr. Verlander and hope the Pistons give the Cavs a run.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 16, 2016, 04:49:50 PM
Tomorrow at about 3, we'll see what happens!

Glad to see Houston get destroyed. And Toronto lays their usual playoff egg.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 16, 2016, 04:57:57 PM
I watched about 15 minutes of game-time of the Golden State v Houston game. Hahaha. Oh golly, did I laugh. Houston. I feel bad for JB Bickerstaff (who had been a Gopher and then an assistant with the Wolves).

Toronto, I actually kind of enjoy, so it's sad to see what looked like the beginnings of yet another playoff collapse. I'd read recently that Casey was told their playoff run won't determine his fate, and I hope that's true because he's a really good coach. But really, it is amazing how fully DeRozan and Lowry can collapse.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 17, 2016, 05:19:31 AM
Curry may not play Game 2. Which isn't going to be a big deal, I don't think. There's enough guys on GS to be able to take care of a team like Houston with no problem.

OKC won, which slightly disappoints me. I used to like OKC, until Westbrook and Durant kind of became unbearable, always whining (although, this could just be my point of view, because they hate Reggie Jackson, and always try to act like Jackson is 'disrespectful', or 'unprofessional'. Because of course, those guys are ALWAYS professional and don't act like assholes).

I'm sorry...where was I?

Oh yeah. I hope the Clippers get thoroughly destroyed.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 17, 2016, 05:34:21 AM
I still like OKC quite a bit, but I admit those two can be pretty annoying--especially Westbrook, for me. But both. They started their little ongoing media feud about two years ago and it is just annoying. Not every interview has to be some combination of one-word, curt answers and "the media lies" or "the media doesn't know" responses. I'm sure it is annoying to be in that bubble, but the reason those (extremely well paying) jobs exist has a lot to do with media coverage. So suck it up for 10 years or so, enjoy your $200-250 million in career salaries, and when it's over, you don't have to talk to any reporters ever again. (Except when you willingly return to the game to coach or, funnier, join the media...)

In addition to Det-Cle, today is the sneaky-fun series: Cha v Mia. While neither team is perfect (or even a contender, probably), they're both somewhat under the radar.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 17, 2016, 06:15:43 AM
I still like OKC quite a bit, but I admit those two can be pretty annoying--especially Westbrook, for me. But both. They started their little ongoing media feud about two years ago and it is just annoying. Not every interview has to be some combination of one-word, curt answers and "the media lies" or "the media doesn't know" responses. I'm sure it is annoying to be in that bubble, but the reason those (extremely well paying) jobs exist has a lot to do with media coverage. So suck it up for 10 years or so, enjoy your $200-250 million in career salaries, and when it's over, you don't have to talk to any reporters ever again. (Except when you willingly return to the game to coach or, funnier, join the media...)

In addition to Det-Cle, today is the sneaky-fun series: Cha v Mia. While neither team is perfect (or even a contender, probably), they're both somewhat under the radar.

And I believe that Bosh is out for the series. I feel bad for Bosh; when he left Toronto, I was hoping that he'd come to Detroit. Of course we all know what happened, and for a while I didn't like him, just because I hated the idea of him taking the easy way out to win a title with Miami. In the end I respected him though, because he sacrificed more than anyone else on that team, and he did it because he wanted to win. And, he told Houston to shove it when they wanted to stick him with Harden and Howard. He went back to Miami, and in retrospect, that was a great move by him. He seems like a genuinely good dude.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 17, 2016, 07:29:15 AM
I think that a healthy Chris Bosh is the most underrated player in the NBA.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 17, 2016, 01:19:23 PM
Nice first half! Pistons playing really well.

I'm also glad to see Kevin Love have such a good half. Not to sympathize with "the enemy' here, but I think his reputation has taken an unfair hit since late in his tenure in Minnesota. Yes, he obviously wanted out and his attitude could be taken as someone who had checked out. But aside from some excessive whining toward officials and failures to run back on defense, he really did give a lot of effort here (not to mention gave to the community) and played very well. Fun player to watch. Since going to Cleveland, suddenly he wasn't ever that good a player? He's mediocre? Come on! The guy is a very good player who happens to play with the best player of the past decade and another very talented young star (who also happens to control the ball...). Love isn't an MVP type, but he's an All-Star caliber player. He can win you games, including big games.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 17, 2016, 02:30:03 PM
Well, the Pistons hung tough. Made some mistakes near the end (Reggie Jackson getting T'd up wasn't very smart). This is a young team though, and this experience helps. I can easily see us getting one at The Palace. And maybe if Lebron gets a foul called on him once in awhile, we can sneak 2.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 17, 2016, 03:43:47 PM
Between that T and some poor decision making (and ball stagnation), Jackson really did hurt them late. But he's the guy who can do the most with the ball, so you have to live and die by him sometimes, I suppose.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 18, 2016, 04:08:19 PM
I'm surprised that people are making such a big deal out of SVG saying in one of those TV timeouts that LeBron isn't going to get an offensive foul called on him, and that his guys need to stop complaining and just play. I mean, it's the truth isn't it? And it's been that way for years, all of the great players (especially in their own house) are going to benefit from some non-calls. SVG was just planting a bug in the refs ears for the rest of the series, anyway. It was a smart move on his part.

And really, I think that the NBA saying that a coach has to do a stupid 20 second interview with a reporter during the game is madness. He's trying to coach, he has a million things running through his head, the least of which is giving Joe Blow some insight into the game at hand. I don't think it adds anything. They're lucky that more coaches don't tell the reporter to get bent.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 18, 2016, 04:14:04 PM
Oh, it's an absolute fact, and not just for Lebron, but for any star player. That's how it works. I remember growing up in the Jordan era and just being flabbergasted (as a fan of 'Nique individually, and then Magic's Lakers, Larry's Celtics, and those Price/Daugherty Cavs, believe it or not) that they never called a foul on him, traveling on him, etc. Well, guess what? I'm not flabbergasted anymore. That's the NBA. And let's get serious: does anyone want to be those obscene ticket prices, or do networks want to pay billions of dollars to broadcast games, that don't include the stars? Of course not! SVG has been on the other side of it when he coached Shaq and Dwight, too. He knows what's going on.

As for the coverage, that's the unfortunate reality of the 24/7 multichannel media. We talk about it with respect to politics all the time, but the same goes for sports. Instead of events happening and being reported, we get networks that do both roles, and then cover their own coverage. X happens. Y reports it. Z tweets that Y reported it. On and on and on it gets repackaged, repromoted, so that the story is the coverage of the coverage of the story. This is a total non-issue. Total non-issue.

I don't blame the reporters, who (like the coaches) are doing their jobs. I blame the suits who think it's necessary--just like I blame them for the dancing, the music, the fireworks, the smoke machines, the on-floor games, the contests, the suites, the in-arena promotions, and on and on. I like basketball, and so I hate going to basketball games. Figure that one out...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 18, 2016, 04:21:32 PM
Sure, I didn't mean to imply that it's the fault of the reporter, they're just doing the job. It is the suits, in this age of having to have something going on all of the time.

It's funny that you mention all the BS that goes along with it, because watching that game yesterday, my son (14) actually said "man, do they ever stop playing music?". And while the actual game is going on-guys were dribbling up and down the court, taking shots-there was music playing in the arena.  Like, the game had to have a soundtrack. I always though squeaky shoes on the court and the occasional profanity from the coaches was all the music you needed at a basketball game.

I've had season tickets for MSU football games for a few years now, and it's the same thing. There is always something going on. The announcer is always talking, there's always sh*t on the jumbotron, there's always people running across the field to take part in some activity. It makes for a pretty annoying atmosphere, and while I'm not an old man yet (41),  I find that as I get older I don't have the tolerance for that stuff like I used to.

Ok, Back to basketball!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 18, 2016, 04:29:51 PM
In 1997 or so--I have a flyer somewhere to clarify if necessary--I went with an uber-geek friend of mine to a high school all-star game in Minneapolis. (We, college sophomores or so, were living in a small college town about an hour away that summer, and while I moved to Mpls the next year, neither of us had lived here or even in the metro before.) It was called the "Inner City All Star Classic," and featured the best players from the two cities proper, Minneapolis and St. Paul. (There were a couple suburban-school kids mixed in, but not many. It was mostly the actual city leagues.)

First of all, but besides the point, it was eye-opening for me. We were literally the only white people in the gym. Coming from rural hometowns, we were used to being in very, very white environments. Even my first couple years of college, meeting and befriending black people was some kind of exotic novelty. It's embarrassing to admit now, but befriending a guy who went to Peoria Manual (Ill.) HS, where Sergio McClain or Howard Nathan or Frankie Williams played? To me, this was amazing. So anyway, being in this gym, where they kicked it off with not only the national anthem but the then-unknown-to-me "black national anthem?" I had no idea.

BUT... (now I'll get to the point) at that game, an all-star game, they played music throughout the game. It was an all-star game, mind you. But even so, they had two huge speakers blaring hip hop beats (but not songs) throughout. Khalid El-Amin (still the greatest HS player in MN HS history in my opinion) would play to the beat. He did amazing things, often to the music. I, a music (jazz theory and composition) major, was just enamored with the whole idea. He was linking in my mind the ideas of musical improvisation and athletic improvisation.

Sadly, what was remarkable to me in a hot, sweaty gym packed with far more people than fire codes would allow is wholly repulsive to me in a sanitized, corporate-sponsored arena.

(Oh, also, there were gunshots as the game ended. The bulk of the crowd ran toward them to see what happened. We, uh, didn't.)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on April 18, 2016, 04:33:08 PM
What was the deal with the Wolves getting in trouble for ticket deals this year?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 18, 2016, 04:42:54 PM
The Wolves (and in fact the Target Center as a whole, I believe) went to an entirely online ticketing system. To go to a Wolves game, you need to set up an account on this (one) third-party app. To sell or even give them away, you need to do it through the app. While it's fine much of the time, one can see where it's a pain in the ass. (A company owning tickets and doling them out to various employees on various days; a guy giving tickets to his nephew, or the neighbor kid for mowing the lawn; etc.) They've been sued over it, but it isn't yet resolved.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 19, 2016, 10:12:25 AM
Worst news I've had in a long while, after interviewing JVG, Thibs and S Brooks, today the AP is reporting they'll interview Mark Jackson. Ugh.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on April 19, 2016, 10:13:50 AM
You need tibs!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 19, 2016, 10:15:23 AM
I'd love him or JVG, but Jackson is odious.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 19, 2016, 10:53:43 AM
I'd love him or JVG, but Jackson is odious.

I can't believe anyone would choose Jackson over Thibs. I mean, c'mon.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 19, 2016, 12:37:59 PM
I'm quite pleased by the events in the Dallas/OKC game last night. Durant was terrible. I don't think for a second that Dallas is going to win the series, it's just nice to watch those guys lose once in awhile.

And Houston can't beat GS, even without Curry. That is a bad, dysfunctional team.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 19, 2016, 03:21:19 PM
I have a hard time imagining Jackson hired over JVG, Thibs, Brooks, Blatt, Messina, Del Negro, McHale, to name just a few. Give me two minutes and I'd probably find another 5-10 available candidates I prefer.

Hopefully it's just a courtesy to an agent or something.

Honestly, his coaching was OK with me (not great, not awful), but by all accounts, he was a bizarre, neurotic leader for the G.S. organization. And I couldn't tolerate the incessant preaching. It was bad enough around here during the Cris Carter / Randall Cunningham Vikings era.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on April 19, 2016, 03:22:42 PM
And look at the team now! Though Steve Kerr and Luke Walton are a great team as coaches.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 19, 2016, 03:32:01 PM
I want to be careful not to be unfair here, but the way I see it, Kerr has been the opposite of Jackson in managing the staff and team. As a non-Golden Stater (reading a lot, watching a lot, but as an outsider, not a hometown guy ... so not more than any other team), it seemed to me that Jackson tried to rule by intimidation and fear. He reportedly hired weak assistants and staff (and/or undermined the good ones) because he didn't want anyone showing him up. He tried to circle the wagons with the team constantly, not in an inspirational way but in an almost cultish way. And he pushed his religion, his pastorship, onto the team. I know specifically A. Bogut spoke out about that, saying that for those less religious (or otherly religious) people, it was at best awkward.

Kerr, conversely, assembled an amazing staff right out of the gate, including former (and now current) head coach Alvin Gentry. He trusted in his assistants last year in the Finals, and again of course in Walton this year. He lets his players have a certain amount of autonomy. He just seems secure enough in himself to not project authority. Instead, he is given authority, which is the only way to do it. Leadership doesn't come from pushing the weak from behind, but from literally being in the front.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 19, 2016, 04:11:07 PM
Something I heard this evening is that Thibs wants complete control. Now, I understand that he had a lot of success in Chicago; however, not enough to warrant full control. In reality, I don't agree with anyone having GM and coaching duties in any sport. It may work for awhile, although eventually it (usually) doesn't work out. What's your take, Cap? Would you be willing to hand over the reigns to Thibs?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 19, 2016, 04:36:45 PM
The Wolves' plan--regardless of my preferences--is being universally reported as based on the success SVG is having in Detroit. Same search firm that led to that pairing, same salary range in mind, same basic model: a coach with personnel control, and a day-to-day GM who does the legwork required.

As for my take on it? Well ... mixed feelings. Flip had it, so it's not that shocking to my system. Looking around the league, there are mixed results. I think SVG has been great. I think Doc Rivers has been pretty weak on the GM side. Pop has a kind of mixed model, where he has input but I don't know whether he has ultimate control, but obviously that's going well. The optimist in me says it can be really beneficial because it keeps a coach's eyes on the longer-term as well as "the win tonight." Thibs in particular has always been a win-right-the-hell-now head coach, and some argue it cost Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah parts of their careers. I can't say whether they'd have gotten hurt either way, but the Bulls did seem to get hurt a lot under him. Maybe if he has responsibility for long-term personnel and outcomes, he takes a more balanced approach. I don't know.

But in the end, I'm willing to go this route with both JVG and Thibs. They're both really great basketball minds and I trust their judgment. And again, this assumes there is a full-time GM carrying out their vision (so that job doesn't go undone).


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 20, 2016, 10:46:45 AM
The almighty Woj says the Wolves are deep in negotiations to hire Thibs! YES!!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 20, 2016, 12:24:37 PM
And it looks like San Antonio's GM is going to Minnesota, too.

There's hope in the frost-bitten air!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 20, 2016, 02:59:07 PM
Their ASSISTANT GM, that is. Scott Layden, who grew up under his dad, the legendary Frank Layden, with the Jazz. He was an assistant coach, a scout, and eventually rose to the top of their front office throughout the great era of the 80s and 90s. Then he went to New York and ran their front office before going to San Antonio in a lesser role. GREAT choice. He has the respect and connections you want in someone working the phones, working relationships, finding deals. Thibs will be leading the way, setting the agenda, and of course making final calls, but Layden will be doing the legwork.

A lot of people seem to think this role, whether for him here or for people like Bower in Detroit, etc., is a useless underling's job. But that's silly. Does anyone really think that an NBA head coach has time to work the phones? To evaluate every little possible deal? Of course not! The GM under a president-coach still has a TON of responsibility and can make or break the arrangement. I think Layden is a great choice.

I'm very excited. I would have been excited with JVG as well. But this is great. Plus, as I've said Thibs was a part of the inaugural Wolves staff under the late, great Coach Musselman. And he coached KG in Boston. There is a certain poetry to it all.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 20, 2016, 03:51:58 PM
All of this is fine, but how long would you give it to see if it works? If they aren't a 2nd round playoff team in 3 years, he has to go? Or if guys start getting hurt (because of Thibs' reputation) frequently over the span of a couple of years?


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 20, 2016, 04:10:56 PM
The injuries are what I worry about. But our history in that department has been AWFUL the past five or six years, up until this past season. The difference? We hired Arnie Kander from Detroit, who did a great job by all accounts keeping people healthy. Pekovic, yeah, but you can't blame Kanter for a 6-11 musclebound 300-plus pounder who has bad feet. KG, yeah, but I think that was strategic to let the young guys play (again).

So, as far as how long to run with it? I'd say we need to be in the playoff hunt next year (and preferably in the playoffs--I personally think making the playoffs is a very achievable goal), 100% in the playoffs in year 2, and a top 4 seed by year 3. I don't want to put advancement into the picture yet, you need to see who you're up against and such. But we should be a top-4 seed in year 3. (And we easily could be in year 2. I feel really strongly about KAT and Rubio, and pretty strongly about Wig and LaVine.)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SMiLE Brian on April 20, 2016, 04:52:13 PM
Cap's celebrating tonight!


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on April 21, 2016, 12:26:28 PM
Pistons lost, yet looks like some good stuff brewing; Stanley Johnson calling out the Cavs bench and saying that a small bump from Lebron was a 'cheap-ass shot'. He also said that he knows that he's in Lebron's head. Now, I don't believe that for a second, although to be honest, I like this kind of tough nosed stuff. It's better than kissing Lebron's ass and acting like you think he's the greatest thing since sliced bread. I'm going out on a limb and saying that I think Detroit gets a win in the next game.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on April 22, 2016, 05:41:01 AM
Stanley Johnson is really stepping up and showing why he has had such a sterling reputation the past couple years, dating back to his high school career. He was always praised as a winner, and I have to admit, when I saw him at Arizona I wasn't particularly impressed. He reminded me of Shabazz Muhammad (who reminded me of my mental prototype for this kind of player Schea Cotton, from back in the '90s): a power wing, a big, bulky guy who just overpowered his competition, but as that competition got better, showed flaws. Lack of elite athleticism. Lack of height. Lack of shooting. Really just had to refine his game. Players like that need to change their bodies and skills to make it.

But watching Johnson in these playoffs, I get what the "it" is about him. It's his attitude. He's a competitor and he's a winner. So even just based on that, I think he's going to be a really good player.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: B.E. on May 24, 2016, 05:56:57 PM
So, will the Thunder do the unthinkable tonight in OKC and take a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Warriors?

Between this development and the Raptors winning both games in Toronto to even up the series 2-2, my interest has been somewhat restored in this year’s playoffs. I haven’t watched any games, coverage of games, or kept up with the news/rumors of the NBA since the Spurs were eliminated. I have been checking the box scores though. I’m not surprised OKC has had success against the Warriors after watching every minute of the OKC/SA series. Adams, in particular, impressed me. He’s only 22 years old? Remarkable, he’s built for the modern NBA. I’d love to see him in a Knicks uniform alongside KP. Not surprising Bogut has hardly played in this series, he is no match for Adams.

Certainly gonna tune in tonight and Game 5 of the TOR/CLE series, interesting to see what happens.

Random NBA rant:

-It seems rule changes are coming to curb the Hack-A-Player strategy. I am completely against an outright ban of Hack-A-Player. Honestly, I enjoy it and find it intriguing. Granted, I haven’t had to suffer through it night after night and I feel bad for fans who pay outrageous sums of money to see a game in person and be subjected to Hack-A-Player if they don’t also find it intriguing like I do. As far as it not being a natural part of the game…fouling is part of the game. Strategy is part of the game. I do think minor changes can and have been made to eliminate some of the more creative usages of the strategy, such as, intentionally fouling an inbounder (was that even officiated correctly? Idk), fouling players on the block during a free throw, etc…at the end of the day the NBA can do whatever it wants, the rules have never been set in stone. With that said, is it even plausible to ban it? The refs miss enough calls as it is (thanks “2 minute officiating report” for reminding us) how are they going to judge when it is or isn’t being used. Sure it’s obvious when you foul a player before he passes midcourt, but what happens when the offensive team starts running a play? Furthermore, I’ve read a bunch of potential solutions for the Hack-A-Player strategy and none of them have appealed to me. Perhaps if a player isn’t a well-rounded player you shouldn’t pay him the max! And if you’re desperate enough to do so, don’t count on him being on the court when you need him.
(if any developments on this issue have occurred in the past 2 weeks, my apologies, I am unaware)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SurferDownUnder on May 25, 2016, 12:06:01 AM
So, will the Thunder do the unthinkable tonight in OKC and take a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Warriors?

Between this development and the Raptors winning both games in Toronto to even up the series 2-2, my interest has been somewhat restored in this yearís playoffs. I havenít watched any games, coverage of games, or kept up with the news/rumors of the NBA since the Spurs were eliminated. I have been checking the box scores though. Iím not surprised OKC has had success against the Warriors after watching every minute of the OKC/SA series. Adams, in particular, impressed me. Heís only 22 years old? Remarkable, heís built for the modern NBA. Iíd love to see him in a Knicks uniform alongside KP. Not surprising Bogut has hardly played in this series, he is no match for Adams.

Certainly gonna tune in tonight and Game 5 of the TOR/CLE series, interesting to see what happens.

Random NBA rant:

-It seems rule changes are coming to curb the Hack-A-Player strategy. I am completely against an outright ban of Hack-A-Player. Honestly, I enjoy it and find it intriguing. Granted, I havenít had to suffer through it night after night and I feel bad for fans who pay outrageous sums of money to see a game in person and be subjected to Hack-A-Player if they donít also find it intriguing like I do. As far as it not being a natural part of the gameÖfouling is part of the game. Strategy is part of the game. I do think minor changes can and have been made to eliminate some of the more creative usages of the strategy, such as, intentionally fouling an inbounder (was that even officiated correctly? Idk), fouling players on the block during a free throw, etcÖat the end of the day the NBA can do whatever it wants, the rules have never been set in stone. With that said, is it even plausible to ban it? The refs miss enough calls as it is (thanks ď2 minute officiating reportĒ for reminding us) how are they going to judge when it is or isnít being used. Sure itís obvious when you foul a player before he passes midcourt, but what happens when the offensive team starts running a play? Furthermore, Iíve read a bunch of potential solutions for the Hack-A-Player strategy and none of them have appealed to me. Perhaps if a player isnít a well-rounded player you shouldnít pay him the max! And if youíre desperate enough to do so, donít count on him being on the court when you need him.
(if any developments on this issue have occurred in the past 2 weeks, my apologies, I am unaware)


I think we saw "glorified role player" Draymond Green tonight instead of "borderline star" Draymond Green...and I don't mind one bit ;)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on June 12, 2016, 03:37:04 PM
Been away from this thread (and mostly the board) a while, but in belated response to that last post, it'll be interesting tomorrow night to see exactly where Green lies on that spectrum between "glorified role player" and "borderline star." By the way, a lot of people don't think he's a borderline star, but a full fledged one. Some people think he's a top-10 kind of player.

Personally I think he's somewhat unique, in that he's hugely important without being exactly a star. He's not someone who can be a focal point of a team offensively, at least in terms of scoring the ball. But he is so important to the way the Golden State offense works, he is really the fulcrum on which the levers function. The screen and pop/rolls with him and Curry or Thompson are just deadly, and they are deadly because he can take smalls on switches either by shooting over them or backing them down, or he can blow past bigs who stay with him, or he can take handoffs and pass to (often wide open) corner shooters. He's phenomenal reversing the ball. And he's a really good defender.

So yeah, with him suspended tomorrow night, we'll see how important he is. Will they go small and play Iguodala/Livingston and Barnes as the forwards? Or go with youngster J.M. McAdoo, who got some minutes the other night? It'll be fun to watch.

(But I'll be honest, I'm almost more excited for the draft, free agency, and summer league.)


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on June 12, 2016, 04:17:33 PM
I think that he'd be a good player wherever he would've been drafted; I think that he's great in GS because it was the perfect fit. Sometimes, it just turns out that way!

I'm looking forward to the draft, also. I'm looking forward to seeing where Denzel Valentine and Deyonta Davis end up. Last I heard, Denzel was slipping, which seems insane to me. The NBA just doesn't seem to like guys who played an entire college career. They want the 1 or 2 year guys with a lot of 'upside'.



Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on June 12, 2016, 04:25:52 PM
It's the perennial--at least for the past 20 or 25 years--problem. Upside ... or rather, perceived upside. Swing for the fences, gamble on the athlete, that keeps the draft analysts and fans excited for a year or two--right up until your gamble flames out 9/10 times. Yes, you might miss out on Kevin Garnett (one of the original modern-era upside picks). But more likely you'll land on a Ndudi Ebi, a Stromile Swift, a Tyrus Thomas, a Mohammad Saer Sene, etc. along an endless list of "potential" guys whose drafters confused "physical attributes" with "basketball potential."

There is always a Denzel Valentine for teams willing to take him. I think back to the mid-late '90s with Anthony Parker, a swingman who played at Bradley. He was a sort of jack-of-all-trades, 6-5 guy who seemed a sure thing. He was a late 1st rounder who was mostly ignored and had to go overseas. Eventually he came back to the NBA to have a key role, especially in Toronto. He is the 11th leading scorer from that draft at 9.1 ppg, with 40 3pt% and 44 FG%, 3 rpg, 2 apg. He was a good--but obviously not great--player. And because of "upside," he ended up going later than his production would have dictated.

Not every experienced, proven college player translates to the NBA, obviously. But raw talent without production more often than not fails, in my opinion.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: bachelorofbullets on June 13, 2016, 05:32:23 AM
Some people think he's a top-10 kind of player.

I would call him a solid 2-way player, in that he excels at nothing but is good at everything.  His defense is what sets him apart, and when him and Iguadala are on the floor it's a nightmare for the opposing team.  He owes much of his success though, to the Thompson/Curry long range threat.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on June 13, 2016, 05:48:40 AM
Certainly playing with good players always makes all players look better. And people who (to use a cliche) "play the right way," even more so. I think of guys like Boris Diaw, Toni Kukoc, Derrick McKey: nothing special in box scores and not featured guys, but they help(ed) good teams more than bad ones. Even Danny Manning was a little like that in the NBA, though he was higher profile and scored more.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on June 16, 2016, 03:54:20 PM
Draymond Green needs to play his typical defense and be the leader on the floor tonight. Don't let the Cavs lure him into any stupid mistakes. Not having Bogut hurts, but the Warriors should be able to pull this off tonight. If both Thompson and Curry get going, it's all over. That's a big "If", though.

If the Cavs lose tonight, or if they actually win the series, these are probably the last games that Love wears a Cavs jersey.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: bachelorofbullets on June 17, 2016, 05:42:29 AM
Quote

If the Cavs lose tonight, or if they actually win the series, these are probably the last games that Love wears a Cavs jersey.

I think you called this one right.  His decision to come to Cleveland has devalued him.  Not necessarily the wrong decision at the time, but that's they way it worked out.  Wherever he lands he'll be better off.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on June 17, 2016, 05:56:09 AM
I think Love was done in Cleveland regardless of last night. But remember, bachelorofbullets, it wasn't his decision to go to Cleveland. He was traded there. Yes, he could have fought it to some extent, and as a then-impending free agent, that would have carried weight, but he was more in position to veto, as opposed to pick his spot. It was David Griffin's, Flip Saunders's, and probably Lebron James's decision.

The reality is, Golden State snuck up on the league in those two years Love has been in Cleveland, and they--particularly when they go to that Green-at-center lineup--are a huge problem for Love. The game in which Love excels isn't the game that beats the Warriors. And clearly there are chemistry issues, no matter what they all say.

There are still teams that would love to have him, and he's a really good player. It all comes down to who would trade for him, and what they could give Cleveland. The Cavs aren't looking for a bevy of picks so much as immediate contributors, ideally long, athletic wing players. Boston, Portland, one of the LA teams, Toronto...those are the teams that come to mind.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on June 17, 2016, 03:50:04 PM
The game last night is why I never bet on anything.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on June 17, 2016, 04:07:20 PM
Quote

If the Cavs lose tonight, or if they actually win the series, these are probably the last games that Love wears a Cavs jersey.

I think you called this one right.  His decision to come to Cleveland has devalued him.  Not necessarily the wrong decision at the time, but that's they way it worked out.  Wherever he lands he'll be better off.

I got so caught up talking about the first part of this (that it wasn't Love's decision) that I skipped the last sentence entirely. And I disagree, to a point. I think it's essential that Love go to a team with a pass-first point guard, or lacking that, at least a team with several above-average ball movers. He can't just be relegated to the role of garbage man in the paint or of--as he is now--floor-spacing corner shooter. But it is going to be interesting to see what works best. We know he can be the #1 option and put up great numbers on terrible-to-mediocre teams, as he did in Minnesota. And we know he can be a very inconsistent #3 option on a championship contender. Is there a different kind of contender on which he's a #1 option? Or a#2? How the pieces fit together and the style of play will matter tremendously, obviously. I think that eventually Love is a #2 option, or maybe a #1 scorer but 2nd best player.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: SurferDownUnder on June 19, 2016, 11:02:03 PM
Quote

If the Cavs lose tonight, or if they actually win the series, these are probably the last games that Love wears a Cavs jersey.

I think you called this one right.  His decision to come to Cleveland has devalued him.  Not necessarily the wrong decision at the time, but that's they way it worked out.  Wherever he lands he'll be better off.

I got so caught up talking about the first part of this (that it wasn't Love's decision) that I skipped the last sentence entirely. And I disagree, to a point. I think it's essential that Love go to a team with a pass-first point guard, or lacking that, at least a team with several above-average ball movers. He can't just be relegated to the role of garbage man in the paint or of--as he is now--floor-spacing corner shooter. But it is going to be interesting to see what works best. We know he can be the #1 option and put up great numbers on terrible-to-mediocre teams, as he did in Minnesota. And we know he can be a very inconsistent #3 option on a championship contender. Is there a different kind of contender on which he's a #1 option? Or a#2? How the pieces fit together and the style of play will matter tremendously, obviously. I think that eventually Love is a #2 option, or maybe a #1 scorer but 2nd best player.

I agree, though I am not sure that tonight was his last Cavs game.... I think he would find a good role on a team like the Wizards, good pass-first point in Wall and a inside presence in Gortat/Nene to allow him to be a stretch 4. Obviously not the same prestige as the championship Cavs but it would be somewhere more suited to his abilities. Maybe even Memphis with Mike Conley to help distribute/defend and Gasol to play inside/outside with Z-Bo off the bench


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on June 20, 2016, 11:47:08 AM
The challenge for Love is not just the pairing offensively but defensively. A Gortat or Gasol, like Love, is limited defensively, particularly on non-post guys. As the league sees fewer teams using two traditional bigs, it'll be hard to find ways to pair Love with complements on both ends


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: Mr. Verlander on June 22, 2016, 01:06:56 PM
Derrick Rose to the Knicks. Interesting.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: B.E. on June 22, 2016, 03:13:52 PM
Derrick Rose to the Knicks. Interesting.

As a Knicks fan and Derrick Rose "hater" I was very annoyed when I heard about this trade today. I started having Steve Francis flashbacks  ??? With that said, now that I've read about the details of the trade, I may be crazy, but I'm really starting to like it! The Knicks greatest need entering free agency was the PG position and there was no indication of Mike Conley signing with NY. This trade upgrades the PG position (temporarily) and gives NY more options to sign a significant player or two with its $30M in cap space. I think among free agents, the Rose trade, the hiring of Hornacek (over Rambis), along with Porzingis and Melo, make NY the most attractive it has been in a long time (not saying much, I know) and hopefully increases the chances of New York being able to lore a top free agent. I'm not overly concerned with losing Lopez, Calderon, or Grant and it freed up cap space next summer as Derrick Rose only has one more year on his deal and Lopez had three. Admittedly, I'm not very knowledgeable on the current free agents or draft, because it didn't seem to me the Knicks were in a strong position (despite having cap space). Perhaps this trade changes that a bit?

Is there anyone in the draft that could have a big impact on the league next year? The Knicks don't have a pick, of course, they gave theirs to the Warriors (#7) and gave the Denver pick to Atlanta (#9), I believe.

In regard to Kevin Love, I was happy for him to play well in Game 7 despite hoping the Cavs would lose. Tyronn Lue had a lot of nice things to say about him and stated that Kevin would be back next year and that he wanted him back. Perhaps, winning does cure all? I really thought Love's days in Cleveland were over. Still could be...


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: the captain on June 23, 2016, 07:14:13 AM
I think the Rose trade makes some sense for both teams, though it's also odd for both.

NY: gets another marketable player, only 1 year financial obligation, if he's healthy it's a steal. Also loss of Lopez lets them play Melo at 4 and Zinger at 5, which is where both cause best matchup issues. But hasn't been healthy in years and is certainly as far from a triangle guard as an NBA guard can be.

Chi: fixes reported rift between Rose & Butler, removes style issue of Rose from Hoiberg's ball-sharing equal opportunity offense, gives them a legit big to mollify losses of Gasol and Noah, plus a young guard prospect enters the picture (in Grant). But this isn't a playoff team now. Can draft/FA fix that, or do they also move Butler and fully rebuild?

The ATL-ind-Utah trade was also interesting.


Title: Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)
Post by: NOLA BB Fan on June 26, 2016, 01:07:35 PM
Turned on the telly just long enough to see ad for  Stephen Colbert show tomorrow night on CBS.
Kevin Love is scheduled to be one of the guests.