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Rick Senger
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8741
Posted: 09 November 2019 at 7:33am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Siakam is off to a great start.  VanVleet and Anunoby too.  Unfortunately, Gasol is slowing and Toronto has little margin without Lowry (fractured thumb) and/or Ibaka ("bad" ankle sprain). 
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Rick Senger
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8741
Posted: 10 November 2019 at 2:01am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

After having a great resurgence to start the season and perhaps his best night as a pro (39 points on 17 of 20 shooting with 7 rebs, 8 assists) Gordon Hayward fractures his left wrist and his return timeline is up in the air.  Shades of Steph Curry but hopefully with a quicker recovery. 
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Rick Senger
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8741
Posted: 15 November 2019 at 9:34am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The new normal:  future HOFer Melo to Portland on a non-guaranteed contract that locks into roughly the vet's min. if he hangs on through Jan. 7th.  With Nukic and Zach Collins out for extended time, Gasol old and injured and Portland frontcourt-poor and offense-starved, this is a sensible Hail Mary.  Best case (hopefully) it's a win-win:  Melo gets his chance at redemption on a team that won 53 last year and if he can still ball and not be a distraction, Portland gets a reliable 14-16 PPG scorer for 20 cents on the dollar.  The only question is... has 35-y.o. Anthony stayed in shape in the year-plus since he last saw live NBA action.
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Rick Senger
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
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Posted: 08 December 2019 at 12:06pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

A quarter into the season:

The East has a better record than the West.  Some of that is thanks to GS' collapse but still... surprising.  Three teams in the East have vastly exceeded expectations. Miami was said to want Chris Paul this summer but there's no way they shake up their line-up and take on his bloated contract if their unexpected 16-6 turns into 61-21.  Despite Toronto losing Kawhi this summer, having two of their top players injured (Ibaka and Lowry) and Gasol continuing to fade, the Raptors are 15-6 with Siakam and VanVleet killing it.  Indiana is 15-8 with no Victor Oladipo thanks to new signee Malcolm Brogdon leading team in both scoring and assists and an easier early schedule.   Boston is in second and hopes to compete with the 20-3 Bucks once Hayward returns. Philly has been quiet but should be there when Embiid gets into form.

The West looks to belong to the Lakers, Clippers and Rockets though the Mavs (lead by MVP-ish Doncic) have streaked to second place early.  The Lakers' 20-3 start is helped by a favorable sched. but they look dominant thanks to Davis and LeBron clicking early and Dwight Howard's unlikely success as the defensive-minded rebounding machine he should have been the past five years. The Clippers are still figuring out how to best integrate Kawhi and Paul George now that he's back but that's a good problem.  Houston is second in scoring but 22nd in FG percentage; Westbrook isn't helping at 40.9% FG and 21.9% 3P but they're still winning.  Despite Porzingis'numbers generally being down (39% FG, 16.6 PPG) Doncic is willing the Mavs to wins with 30.1 PPG, 10 Rebs, 9.2 assists, 1.4 steals.
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Rick Senger
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8741
Posted: 02 January 2020 at 12:06pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

For an non-guaranteed deal at the vet's min, Melo's 16.2 PPG and 40.3 3P% plus 6.2 rebs and 1.1 steals seems quite the bargain though the 14-21 Blazers still can't buy a win.

Still virtually a dead heat between the east and west (4 game diff). 

Suns started 7-4.  Since then, 6-17. 

At 17 years in when a player should be in serious decline, LeBron's 10.9 assists per game leads the league by +1.6 APG and he's averaging +3.6 APG over his 17 year average (he's only averaged as many as 9 APG once before).

57 years ago:  Only one player has averaged more PPG in a season than James Harden's current 38.2 and his name is Wilt Chamberlain.  The last time Chamberlain did it was 1962-63.  Even Jordan's insane 1986 season was "only" 37.09 PPG. 

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Joe Hollon
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Joined: 08 May 2004
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Posted: 02 January 2020 at 4:08pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

While the East is doing surprisingly well the lack of
star power is striking.

The East only has three of the top 10 players in PER
so far and one of those is Mitchell Robinson (who?).

Only five of the top 20 scorers in terms of PPG are in
the East.

Only 2 of the top 10 in win shares...

Only 2 of the top 10 in box plus minus...

Etc etc..

Not that I'm in love with those advanced stats but
they are meant to show overall impact.

Think about the Eastern conference all-star pool.
Shallow waters.
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Rick Senger
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8741
Posted: 02 January 2020 at 9:49pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Huge exodus of talent to the West no doubt.  Just start with Kawhi Leonard and LeBron both going to LA in a year... arguably two of the best three or four healthy players in the league switched conferences with no compensation!  I say healthy because Durant is one star who headed east to Brooklyn from GS but we won't see him this year and who knows how he'll be the next time he laces up.

PER is a good apples to apples thumbnail of players by position but I don't put too much stock overall in it because it tends to overvalue high volume low percentage shooters and some bigs while minimizing overall defensive impact beyond mere blocks and steals which is only a sliver of the whole story.  

Win shares is also not entirely accurate as the bad players are 'zeroed out' and can't have negative shares which diminishes other better players' numbers and favors players who are on good teams and teams who exceed their projected wins, something sometimes based as much on luck as skill.

Box Plus Minus is similarly good on offense but again doesn't satisfyingly reflect defensive contributions or liabilities. 
 
Nevertheless, the west is clearly top heavy with talent which is why the parity of the conferences thus far is surprising.  I'd argue Milwaukee has looked better than anyone in the west and the other top east teams have also impressed despite Philly being a sleeping giant at #5.

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Brian Floyd
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Joined: 07 July 2006
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Posted: 03 January 2020 at 2:03am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Former commissioner David Stern died on the 1st. He had surgery for a brain hemorrage back in mid-December.

Other than him kiboshing the three way trade, which resulted in sending Chris Paul to the wrong L.A. team, I thought he was fairly good as commissioner. 




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Joe Hollon
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Joined: 08 May 2004
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Posted: 03 January 2020 at 6:33am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I think Stern was the greatest and most entertaining commissioner and
league has ever had. RIP.
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Rick Senger
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8741
Posted: 03 January 2020 at 12:17pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Stern benefited from the perfect early storm of Bird, Magic and MJ but he knew how to promote them and was a savvy and surprisingly tough businessman behind the scenes who garnered major concessions from both the players and the owners at various times taking a league from its deathbed in the late 70s to a juggernaut of popularity and financial prosperity when he retired.  More than all that, he had a love for the game I've never seen articulated as passionately or compellingly by any other commissioner in any other sport.  He was the real deal.
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Robert Bradley
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Joined: 20 September 2006
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Posted: 04 January 2020 at 1:25pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I would even go so far as to say Stern was the greatest commissioner ever in the four major leagues.  Pete Rozelle would be close, but Stern did what he did starting with a league that was a PR nightmare in the 70's, and got the haves to work with the have-nots just like Rozelle did, except the partnership with the players was stronger in the NBA than in the other major sports.

He knew Magic, Bird, Jordan, Barkley, Shaq, Kobe, LeBron etc. were the league's meal ticket and marketed the NBA accordingly.



Edited by Robert Bradley on 04 January 2020 at 1:25pm
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Rick Senger
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8741
Posted: 07 January 2020 at 9:01pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Injury prone Blake Griffin has knee surgery and is probably done for the season, underlining how disastrous Detroit's trade for him has become.  He only played 18 games this year and was at career lows in pts (15.5) and rebs (4.7).  Three years left on a deal that peaks at ~$39 mill in 2021-22 and now looks almost as bad as John Wall's or Chris Paul's.  The Pistons floated an Andre Drummond trade mere days ago when pundits claimed they were afraid of losing him for nothing at season's end but Drummond has since come out saying he's "not a quitter" and wants to spend his whole career in Detroit.  I believe him but regardless, Detroit looks to be in full-on tank mode.  Do they still restart from scratch and dump their only durable, productive and loyal All Star who will probably win his fourth rebounding title in five years?  Sounds like they might.


Edited by Rick Senger on 07 January 2020 at 9:08pm
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