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Rick Senger
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Posted: 06 January 2018 at 11:31am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Julius Erving fell ill and was hospitalized last night.  Before there was MJ, before there was Kobe, before there was Vince Carter or any of a host of other dunkers, Dr. J revolutionized the move.  Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 16 January 2018 at 11:31pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

It seems like there are a lot of hostility between players
this week. LOL I would love nothing more than to see James
Harden and Chris Paul get fined and suspended.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 22 January 2018 at 4:18pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

That attempted Rocket storming of the Staples locker room was certainly odd. 

Jason Kidd is out in Milwaukee.  With Giannis A. living up to his huge hype, ROY Brogdon continuing to improve and Bledsoe trying to find his place with his new team, it comes at a strange time.  Kidd is a shoo-in to make the HOF in his first year of eligibility this year.  Talented Jabari Parker hasn't played all season but is finally expected back in just weeks.  The Bucks were 15-67 before Kidd arrived and he turned them into an instant playoff team other than last year due to injuries.   They were still above .500 and would make the playoffs if they started today.   I have a feeling Kidd ruffled some of the wrong feathers.
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 22 January 2018 at 5:16pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Wow, first I'm hearing about Kidd. That is surprising.
I was hoping the Bucks would emerge as Eastern
Conference contenders this year which looks far fetched
at this point.

Today is the 12th anniversary of Kobe's 81 point game!
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 24 January 2018 at 1:09pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Some surprising All Star snubs.  CP3 has missed some games but his overall numbers are right with last year when he was an All Star and much improved Houston is clearly better with him out there.  PG13's numbers are down marginally but still all star caliber and he is killer defending, leading the league in steals.   Adding to the sting, Victor Oladipo, one piece of the much-maligned OKC - Indiana trade for Paul, made his first All Star team.  Andre Drummond has better stats across the board including much improved free throw shooting and more than tripled assists since being an All-Star last year but was also left off.  I like Al Horford quite a lot but Horford's numbers just don't stack up to Drummond's and he's not a true center. 

Drummond's improved but unrewarded stats:

Year   Min   Pts   FG%  FT% Reb Ast  Stl  Blk
2017  32.9  14.3  54.3  63% 15.0  3.9  1.5  1.2  Not All Star
2016  29.7  13.6  53.0  38% 13.8  1.1  1.5  1.1  All Star

Nikola Jokic also might have a case with 16.2 PPG, 10.4 rebs and 5.0 assists (tons for a big), 1.3 steals, but not with the committee.  The West is tough though, with lots of great players at every position.

Oh well, at least Damian Lillard made it. 
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 25 January 2018 at 9:42am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

PG13 is probably more deserving of a spot than Klay
Thompson but not Damian Lillard.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 25 January 2018 at 11:30am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Yeah, GS remains the favorite but I don't think they deserved four All Star berths again.  Draymond is a talented stat filler but he has easily the worst offensive game of any All Star (11.3 PPG, .318 3pt%) and he's lacked his usual punch this year (steals down to 1.3 from 2.0).  It's like they felt they had to add last year's DPOY but the All Star game is about offense, not defense. 

Klay Thompson:

GP    Min   Pts   FG    3pt   Reb  Ast  Stl  Blk
47    34.3  20.4  48.3  44.9  4.0   2.5  0.7  0.6

4.0 rebounds for 6'7" is mediocre and 2.5 assists is a bit light on a team renowned for passing to the best shot, even for a shooting guard.   However, Thompson is one of the league's very best shooters, particularly from distance and he's gotten in three times before with similar overall stats.  I'd want him on my team but I still have my doubts he'd have 4 All Star appearances with a less successful team. 

Paul George:

GP  Min    Pts    FG%  3pt   Reb   Ast   Stl   Blk
44   36.4  20.9   43.6   42.2  5.6   3.0     2.1  0.6

George's FG% is worse than Thompson but he averages more points, rebounds, assists and triple the steals of Thompson.  And while Klay's no slouch, George is also clearly the better defender and his player efficiency rating is about 15% higher than Thompson.   He deserved it.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 25 January 2018 at 1:32pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Regarding Lillard vs. Thompson, curious why you think Lillard isn't deserving (if I'm reading you right)?  Lillard averages 5 more points, more rebs (at 6'3!), more than double the assists and more steals than Thompson.  Almost all All Stars have a Player Efficiency Rating in the top 50.  Most are in the top 30.  Damian Lillard is 18th.  The only three All Stars out of the top 50 are Al Horford at 54, Draymond Green at 82 and Klay Thompson at 102.  PER isn't perfect but Draymond and Klay are to me the two clear outliers.


Edited by Rick Senger on 25 January 2018 at 4:02pm
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 25 January 2018 at 4:08pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Sorry if I wasn't clear. I think we agree that Klay
Thompson is the least deserving to be an All-Star of the
three players.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 25 January 2018 at 7:18pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Ahh, got it.  And it's nothing against Klay, who is a very good player. Just borderline in an overtalented conference. 
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 26 January 2018 at 12:06am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I’m worried that Curry’s team will be outmatched.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 26 January 2018 at 4:16pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

James seems to have chosen size whereas Steph chose shooters, so it would seem to come down to whether the shooters hit.  I prefer size (bunny shots and 8-10 foot post ups are more reliable than threes) but if somebody gets hot, watch out!  I like the new format and trying something different. 
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 26 January 2018 at 5:38pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

The highlight of All-Star weekend for me is the Skills Challenge. Next would be the 3 point competition.
I'll probably watch about 8 minutes of the All-Star game. In fact I usually watch more of the Rising Stars game than the "big" game.

Final score 188-163
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 27 January 2018 at 11:11am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Boogie's season-ending achilles tear sucks, but it's only a minor crimp in LeBron's team with Porzingis stepping into the breach.  I wonder if Paul George gets the call from Adam Silver now even though he's not a PF / C.  It'll be much harder for NO to replace Cousins, a bummer for a team making real progress at 27-21 and winning 7 of 8.  Cousins was playing maybe the best I've ever seen; he had a triple double last night before the injury ( 15 / 13 / 11) and four days earlier had a preposterous 44 / 23 / 10.   This has to help the Clips, who now might actually make the playoffs after a disastrous start where they lost 11 of 12 at one point but are back to .500. 
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 30 January 2018 at 10:49pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Add John Wall (knee) and Kevin Love (hand) to the injured
list for the All-Star game.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 31 January 2018 at 12:34am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Drummond replaces Wall, glad he got the call.

The Blake Griffin trade ends Lob City; I wonder if DeAndre Jordan is next.   Not sure Griffin moves the dial enough for the Pistons, who have disappointed this year after starting strong, but with Love piling on to all Cleve's injuries and Wall gone from Washington, Detroit might could sneak back in the playoff picture. 
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 03 February 2018 at 2:04pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

The West has now opened a 30-something game advantage over the East after the East started so strongly.  How?  Well, you don't have to look much further than the Knicks' sad decline in the last month or so and Orlando's total collapse over the last 2+ months.  Orlando started 8-4 this year.  Since then?  7-31.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 03 February 2018 at 5:10pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Happy for Drummond , he deserved it.

A wait and see on the Griffin trade. Detroit's inherently lazy defense keeps any team in the game.

The over/under on Griffin getting injured is at 15 games. (hope not)
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 07 February 2018 at 1:17am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

The status quo has been upended with the Cavs disintegrating (double digit loss to ORLANDO after leading by 20 but it was uglier than that and they've been in disarray for months), Boston creamed by streaking Toronto (now tied in the loss column) and GS losing for the third time in four games (now tied in the loss column with Houston).   The Spurs are third but without Kawhi they are toothless.The bigs keep toppling.  Porzingis (and presumably the Knicks) done for at least the season with a torn ACL. 

I still favor GS but there's much less separation than expected. 
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 07 February 2018 at 7:42am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Super depressed by all these turns of events. Only hope
is that Milwaukee can represent the East in the Finals.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 07 February 2018 at 12:47pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Cleve often seems to stumble this time of year yet tends to shore up by the finals.  But man are they old and all the former all stars look tired and often hurt.  Barring a big trade by Thurs, this seems like the year somebody new breaks through.  Boston?  Great D and young talent, but struggling to rebound and no offense without Kyrie.  Toronto?  On the upswing but swept by Cleve last year in the semis.  Washington?  Unless Wall is back at full strength, no way.  Milwaukee?  They've won 6 of 7 since Kidd got fired and Parker is finally back but beyond Giannis and Bledsoe and Middleton, the drop off is steep.  Detroit?  Drummond and Griffin are certainly dangerous, but giving away Avery Bradley and Tobias Harris (and a 1st rounder) hurt.  Any of these teams could make noise in the East but all of them have liabilities.  Could any beat GS 4 times?
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 07 February 2018 at 2:20pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

I think the Celtics are the legit Eastern conference
contender because of their ability to play defense.
That being said, they would and should be a big time
underdog should they face Houston or Golden State.

How's Hayward's rehab going...?
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 07 February 2018 at 4:33pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

On track from what I've read.  The boot has been off for six weeks and I did see this tantalizing Hayward clip a couple weeks back.  Still I doubt they risk a return this year unless someone like Jayson Tatum and/or Jaylen Brown goes down and Hayward is deemed totally ready.

I haven't seen Toronto much this year but they did play GS to two close losses and won handily in Houston.  Still, I tend to agree Boston's defense would be a bigger, more interesting problem for GS.  Unfortunately, Boston's youth and inexperience and the sheer volume of GS scoring and bodies probably means a 4-2 loss. 


Edited by Rick Senger on 07 February 2018 at 4:34pm
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 08 February 2018 at 1:54pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Whoa.  Cavs make several seismic moves and the team is totally altered. 

First, they get younger, trade starting PG Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye (and the Cavs' protected 2018 1st rd pick) to the Lakers for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.   Obviously the IT experiment failed.

Second, they deal D Wade back to Miami for what sounds like a heavily protected 2nd rd pick.  Glad Wade finishes up in Miami (Riles gets to give him that promised huge farewell party after all), but didn't expect it to go like this.

Third, in a complicated 3-team trade Cleve swings Iman Shumpert, Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose and a 2020 2nd rd pick to wind up with Rodney Hood (young scorer) and George Hill (veteran guard, good shooter). 

Even though the Cavs have slumped badly since late December, this is still a major overhaul for a #3 seed who has made three straight finals.


Edited by Rick Senger on 08 February 2018 at 1:55pm
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 08 February 2018 at 2:21pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

I'd add that this clears tons of cap space for LA ($46.9 mill if they don't resign Thomas and Frye, $69 mill if they don't resign Randle and stretch Deng), which makes rumors of nabbing Paul George AND LeBron this summer a lot more plausible.
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