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Old 06-19-2016, 11:04 PM   #1
RealMrGame10
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Chesnaught Basketball? In MY Pokemon forum?

So as far as I can tell, there's no basketball thread in UPN, which is probably for the better, but yaknow. Basketball's personally one of my favorite sports, and despite criticisms of the NBA basically being to basketball as WWE is to wrestling, I still love it for its semi-simple format of the game. Also, I don't have all that many channels, so watching college basketball is hard. Anyway, I'll start with my basketball story, I guess.

So when I was, like, 7, I played my first basketball video game. I think it was the demo for NBA 07 on the PS3. Whatever the case, I played it with my dad, and I got hooked. I started watching the NBA in the 07-08 season, in which I was dazzled by the team play of the Boston Celtics, particularly the 3 point prowess of Ray Allen. I joined my school team that year, but being somewhat stocky and unathletic, that didn't really work out. I persisted, and my dad gave me some pointers, and I gained the mindset of a rebounding king. Unfortunately, my body didn't always cooperate, and though I may have been a rebounding king at heart, I was a scoring scrub on the court. I played basketball for school and recreational leagues as much as I could, but when there was a conflict between my varsity (and junior varsity) team and other things this year, I finally decided to quit putting my effort into something that I would never be all that good at.

I still play some pick-up basketball at my gym from time to time and work on my scoring and coordination, partially in hopes that I might return to my basketball team some day.

Anyway, yeah, basketball is a really fun sport, especially with good officiating and good sportsmanship. If any of you guys agree, this is the place for discussing it.

In that train of thought: The Warriors.

The Warriors had a historic season, having an unprecedented 73-9 W/L season. However, their postseason came to a close less than an hour ago making a more tragic sort of history: with the Cavaliers, who had trailed 3-1 in the series, coming back to win it all. This, too, is history of its own. In the Finals, no team has ever been able to make up a 3-1 deficit. Until today. Not a single championship has been won by a professional sports team based in Cleveland since the late 60s.

This coincides with professional American sports teams with historic winning seasons in the NFL, NHL, and MLB never having won their respective championships.

So what are your thoughts on the matter? Was Andrew Bogut's injury in the Finals too big of a loss to make up? Is this LeBron James' greatest achievement? Was the pressure for a two-peat in addition to the winning-est season of all time just too much for the Warriors? Do you know nothing about basketball????????? Discuss.
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Old 06-19-2016, 11:16 PM   #2
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Sorry too many question marks.

Have fun talking about basketball!
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Old 06-19-2016, 11:48 PM   #3
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:12 AM   #4
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It was the greatest choke job in sports history by the Warriors, induced by the stress of going 73-9.

Last year's Warriors were 100% healthy, while the Cavaliers weren't, and Lebron took them to 6 games. Those games didn't really feel contested though.

This year's Warriors were 1) heavily injured, and 2) arrogant. Curry has been injured all of the playoffs and except for a short moment versus the Trailblazers, was not the regular season MVP in the postseason.

Draymond Green allowing himself to be baited is a symptom of that entitlement/arrogance that sabotaged the team, almost killing them in the conference finals versus the Thunder. Thompson regressing back to ignoring easy layups and only shooting for 3's also reflects how the team fell apart late in season, late in the postseason and in the last few minutes of Game 7.

Lebron earned this, but remember - it's basketball. Good teams win, the best teams win, and chokes really shouldn't happen. The fact that we saw a 67-15 and 73-9 team bounced in the same year really says more about those teams fading, rather than a team like the Cavaliers or Thunder overpowering them.

Golden State looked like a shadow of itself in Game 5 and played exactly like that even through Game 7. It isn't the first time this happened, we saw it in the regular season during those losses to Minnesota and Boston, and then the hole dug against the Thunder.
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Old 06-20-2016, 02:14 PM   #5
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I went on vacation so sadly I missed games six and seven of the series. I'll admit I definitely wrote off the Cavs after game two. After getting solidly beaten in game one and blown out in game two, I didn't think they had a chance. Even though they won handily in game three, Golden State came back and took a game in Cleveland to go up 3-1 and I thought they were done for again. It amazes me that even with the Draymond suspension for a game, Curry's injury, Bogut's injury, etc. that the Cavs were able to take three games in a row. Some interesting numbers:

-First time since November 2013 that Golden State has lost three games in a row
-Golden State went 73-9 in the regular season. They went 15-9 in the postseason
-Golden State lost two home games in the regular season. They lost three home games in the postseason, including two against the Cavaliers

I know LeBron (and Kyrie) really took over in games five, six, and seven, but I cant' help feeling like the Warriors kind of blew it. It doesn't really feel like the Patriots '07 season where they lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl because that's one game and anything can happen in one game. But in a seven game series you expect the better team to come out on top a lot more often than not. I wanted to be able to have the conversation about whether this Warriors team was the greatest of all time but I still think that title remains with Michael Jordan's Bulls because Chef Curry's crew couldn't pull it off.

---

Moving forward, I'm super excited for the draft on Thursday. As a Sixers fan we finally have that sweet, sweet number one pick after three years of tanking. I really hope it's Ben Simmons. I'd be really disappointed with anyone else at this point (welllll, Brandon Ingram would be okay I guess). Also Embiid and Saric are supposed to finally play this year so we'll have a lot of young talent coming together. I don't expect great things out of this season but we should definitely be able to improve on last year's 10 win season lol.
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Old 07-03-2016, 11:05 PM   #6
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The draft had some unexpected foreign picks (looking at you Phoenix), but for the most part, it was pretty cut and dry. Congrats, Phoopes, it's Simmons.

In free agency! The news on everyone's mind is obviously where Kevin Durant is gonna go, and he's said that he's still choosing between OKC and Warriors, though his team has expressed that it will take some convincing to get him away from OKC. With Ibaka's leaving, Durant's absence will undoubtedly be devastating to the same team that gave the #1 team a run for their money this season. However, next year, Russell Westbrook will also be a free agent, so OKC would probably have to panic then as well.

On the other hand, Durant's presence on the Warriors would certainly complement the skill set of the athletic Warriors, but he'd probably have to serve in a bigger role than on OKC, maybe even play 4. Durant's presence would also have the added effect of edging Harrison Barnes out of the Warriors and onto another team (the Mavericks) during his free agency due to salary caps. This is the same Barnes who inspired an article all about how he ruined the Warriors' chances.Durant's decision will be announced tomorrow in a "special July 4th".

Phil Jackson is building up quite the line-up over in NYC, though fans question the athleticism of post-injury Rose and Carmelo's value is always in question. People seem to think he knows what he's doing, though.

Mike Conley signed for the most lucrative contract deal in NBA history recently, earning a new contract worth $153 million with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Rajon Rondo has signed with the Chicago Bulls and will likely take the place of Derrick Rose as the Point. I feel that he can really flourish on that team, which has been suffering from Rose's absence as of late. His handles are impeccable and his pass sight is unmatched in the league right now. Back when he was on the Celtics, I thought that he would go on to be one of the most sought after 1s in the league. That didn't exactly happen, so I'm happy to see that he's on a team that he can really help now.
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Old 07-04-2016, 12:59 AM   #7
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I thought that Durant would be a lock to stay in OKC but there's actually a pretty good shot at him going to the Warriors. I was pretty confident that they made the Ibaka trade because they were expecting to be able to sign Al Horford, but he ended up going to the Celtics so that plan went down the train. I had heard that Durant wanted to play with Horford so the Thunder are probably kicking themselves for that one. I disagree with you Rhee, Durant fits into the 3 spot in Golden State just fine. A starting lineup of Curry/Thompson/Durant/Green/literally anyone is a super scary thought. Though I would've liked to see OKC trot out a Westbrook/Oladipo/Durant/Hordford/Adams lineup. Oh well, what could have been. My final guess is that Durant ends up staying in OKC, though it wouldn't surprise me if he left, even after the way LeBron was vilified for doing so.

As for Barnes, my Sixers were in talks of signing him to a max deal... and I honestly wouldn't hate it. Yeah he really underperformed in the back half of the Finals but the rest of the season he was a really solid player. Right now the Sixers are in a spot where we have a ton of young talent that we found through the draft that is going to try and mesh together, but we need free agents. Even though we would be overpaying Barnes I think it's worth it to prove that we can attract free agents and be a potential landing spot for good players. Because the Jerryd Bayless signing isn't going to do that, lol. Overall I'm not expecting the team to be that good this year, but I am excited to see Embiid and Saric finally getting to play, as well as Simmons (obviously) and Luwawu. It'll be super fun for me because things are finally looking like they're going in the right direction.

I'm not a fan of what Phil Jackson's doing in New York. So many of his moves are predicated on players bouncing back from injury. As we've seen so far, Rose has never been back to MVP form even when healthy, and Joakim Noah looked pretty lost last season. Yeah, if those two guys return to form he'll look really smart but it's a gamble and a half if you ask me. At least they still have Porzin-God, though I feel for him. He's so talented, but just not in a winning situation at all. Yeah the Knicks probably make the playoffs next season but they're not really going anywhere. I guess at least he's not on the Nets lol.

I'm still not used to the jump in contract numbers. Mike Conley being the richest contract of all time (until Durant)? It's weird man. He's a great point guard but the bump in the cap is really messing with me. I mean Nicolas Batum got 5 years, $120 million which is pretty baffling to me, but I think the absolute worst is the Timofey Mozgov deal. Laker fans can't be happy about that one. Best known for being "that guy that Blake Griffin put in a body bag," he's getting $64 million over four years. If he can do that, I can do anything I set my mind to. Dude must have the best agent in the game to completely swindle the Lakers like that.

I'm happy for Rajon Rondo for getting out of Sacramento, the Kings are a franchise in disarray if I've ever seen one. I do think he'll do well in Chicago, but my feeling about Rondo is that he's always been a little overrated. Like you said Rhee, he's a good ball handler and led the league in assists, but I'm pretty sure the guy still doesn't have a jump shot after how many years in the league. I mean other than Jimmy Butler, who do they have that can really light it up? I'll just assume that Pau Gasol is leaving in free agency, so I don't think this Bulls team will be all that great. My guess is pretty much the same as the Knicks but a little more optimistic: they make the playoffs but still have no chance against the Cavs, Raptors, or Celtics.
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Old 07-04-2016, 12:08 PM   #8
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Warriors 82-0 lol
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Old 07-04-2016, 01:50 PM   #9
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Old 07-04-2016, 02:26 PM   #10
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No, it's not dead yet!

The Warriors to Lebron in Game 7:

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Old 07-04-2016, 02:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoopes View Post
I wanted to be able to have the conversation about whether this Warriors team was the greatest of all time but I still think that title remains with Michael Jordan's Bulls because Chef Curry's crew couldn't pull it off.
There actually is a conversation now, if the Warriors had one Game 7 they would have been the best without controversy.

The 2015-2016 Thunder, Spurs, and Cavaliers were all better teams than Jordan faced in 1995-1996. By Nate Silver's ELO measures, the power ranking of the Thunder-Warriors was the strongest conference final in 30 years.

Jordan had a stacked team and crushed non-stacked teams. The Warriors had a stacked team that crushed also-stacked teams, and was heavily weakened by the postseason.

Here's the chart:

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Old 07-05-2016, 09:22 AM   #12
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See Dopple normally I am all about stats and numbers like that, but Elo doesn't always tell the whole story. Like for example, in the World Cup Elo had Brazil as the favorite to take down Germany. Even when adjusting Elo for the absence of Neymar and Tiago Silva (I don't know how Nate Silver and friends adjusted exactly though) they still came out as slight favorites... and then proceeded to lose 7-1. Now yes, they were just favorites, not guaranteed to win, but if Brazil truly was favored then the percentage of them actually losing 7-1 was so minuscule that I think the issue was that the rating system didn't do a good job rather than Germany pulling off a really unlikely victory as an underdog. Yeah that example wasn't basketball, but I think it's one of the best examples of Elo not being the best system all the time, which is something to keep in mind. I love Nate Silver and FiveThirtyEight, but I had to point that out.

Back to basketball though, even if you had "the stats" to show that the Warriors had a better regular season record and won the title against better playoff competition, there's still the fact of the whole "legacy" thing that people remember. It's very subjective but I do think it has some weight. Off the top of my head I'm pretty sure Jordan's Bulls were never taken to seven games in a playoff series in the six years they won titles. And IIRC the worst situation they were ever in was down 2-0 to a team. The Warriors had to go to seven games twice this postseason, and that included a 3-1 comeback to the Thunder, who looked like the better team for much of the series if you ask me. Yes, we just brought up the point that the Warriors faced better competition (something I agree with) but they didn't have the same level of success in the postseason as those Bulls teams, which is part of why people consider Jordan's Bulls the greatest team of all time.

Basically what I'm saying is this: in order to be the greatest team of all time in the court of public opinion, you need to win 72+ games and win ever postseason series in six games or less. And even then, people might still not give them credit because people are such Michael Jordan worshippers. Or, even more stupidly, they'll use the signing of Kevin Durant to somehow discredit them. It's the whole "I hate the Yankees, they're only good because they bought success" thing... Even though before this signing the Warriors top four players (Curry, Thompson, Green, Barnes) were all drafted.
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoopes View Post
See Dopple normally I am all about stats and numbers like that, but Elo doesn't always tell the whole story. Like for example, in the World Cup Elo had Brazil as the favorite to take down Germany. Even when adjusting Elo for the absence of Neymar and Tiago Silva (I don't know how Nate Silver and friends adjusted exactly though) they still came out as slight favorites... and then proceeded to lose 7-1. Now yes, they were just favorites, not guaranteed to win, but if Brazil truly was favored then the percentage of them actually losing 7-1 was so minuscule that I think the issue was that the rating system didn't do a good job rather than Germany pulling off a really unlikely victory as an underdog. Yeah that example wasn't basketball, but I think it's one of the best examples of Elo not being the best system all the time, which is something to keep in mind. I love Nate Silver and FiveThirtyEight, but I had to point that out.
Oh, I totally agree.

Elo isn't perfect and isn't even close to it. The models predicted the Spurs had a 71% chance of beating the Thunder even before Game 6 of their semifinal match-up. That jived with the intuition most people felt watching the Thunder's play leading up to Game 6. Similar projection against Golden State in the finals.

The model's bias is the same problem plaguing most - they tend to gloss over sample size variance because it's not predictive. Lay people can and do make bets on short term trends, but in the long run the models win out. But the priorities are different. The 2007 Patriots, for example, had a great season on paper but we all know it was a colossal failure for reasons models still don't get.

But I don't have to use Elo. The Warriors came back from 3-1 to beat the Spurs. The Cavaliers came back from 3-1 to beat the Warriors. The Spurs won 67 games. The Warriors won 73 games.

All four of those events at once, compared to the history of the NBA, seem like kismet (or rigging). That's why stuff like the Warriors/Spurs defeat seemed impossible. But I see it as changing times, and I would bet that my interpretation is the right answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phoopes View Post
Back to basketball though, even if you had "the stats" to show that the Warriors had a better regular season record and won the title against better playoff competition, there's still the fact of the whole "legacy" thing that people remember. It's very subjective but I do think it has some weight. Off the top of my head I'm pretty sure Jordan's Bulls were never taken to seven games in a playoff series in the six years they won titles. And IIRC the worst situation they were ever in was down 2-0 to a team. The Warriors had to go to seven games twice this postseason, and that included a 3-1 comeback to the Thunder, who looked like the better team for much of the series if you ask me. Yes, we just brought up the point that the Warriors faced better competition (something I agree with) but they didn't have the same level of success in the postseason as those Bulls teams, which is part of why people consider Jordan's Bulls the greatest team of all time.

Basically what I'm saying is this: in order to be the greatest team of all time in the court of public opinion, you need to win 72+ games and win ever postseason series in six games or less. And even then, people might still not give them credit because people are such Michael Jordan worshippers. Or, even more stupidly, they'll use the signing of Kevin Durant to somehow discredit them. It's the whole "I hate the Yankees, they're only good because they bought success" thing... Even though before this signing the Warriors top four players (Curry, Thompson, Green, Barnes) were all drafted.
That's a problem of comparing eras, but I think the momentum is shifting toward more advanced metrics and understanding as fans get smarter. It's a revolution that started in baseball and is only just starting to take over the NBA. In time, I think people will start to add asterisks to Jordan's time as opposed to Curry's*.

*Babe Ruth dominated in pre-integration, pre-international MLB. In modern MLB, he'd be closer to David Ortiz than Barry Bonds.
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Old 07-07-2016, 06:32 AM   #14
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It's really difficult to compare teams in different eras in basketball because the rules changed so much. For example, the Warriors would be almost completely helpless stopping the Bulls if they played in 90s rules- without being able to play zone, Curry is a massive defensive liability that the Warriors can't handle, and with hand checking and much more physical play allowed the Warriors might actually be ground into dust. Fitting the Bulls into today's NBA is a bit harder to picture, as it's not like they couldn't play zone if they'd practiced, but the level of physicality would need to come down immensely. Playing by 90s rules the Bulls would crush the Warriors- by today's rules you'd have a really interesting series.

Also I'm so disappointed in KD's decision- even if it did end up benefiting the Mavs a bit.
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:59 AM   #15
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For those who care: how about that season so far? Ben Simmons' injury has not done the Sixers any favors, but Joel Embiid is making a strong case for Rookie of the Year. The Knicks are definitely not "superteam" level, but they're doing a lot better than people expected. The Warriors had a couple of early bumps, and the Kevin Durant memes are rampant every time that they lose, but for the majority of their games, they are every bit as dangerous on offense as people feared they would be, and their defense and bench depth are surprisingly effective. Russell Westbrook is having a monster season and is an early frontrunner for MVP. Though the Cleveland Cavaliers have not been as flashy and effective as the Warriors, they are quickly demonstrating their complete dominance in the East. The Celtics are rather disappointing, even considering their injury struggles, but Al Horford's performances when healthy and trade rumors surrounding Demarcus Cousins going to Boston have given fans like me hope.

Two teams that really surprise me, though, are the Houston Rockets and the Memphis Grizzlies. I suppose the Grizzlies shouldn't really surprise me, considering that John Hollinger of all people thinks that there's "something in the water" over there, but half of their starting line-up has struggled with injury all season, but then they go on to blow out the Warriors and maintain a respectable winning record. Mike Conley came back early from a BACK FRACTURE. In short, I believe that the Memphis Grizzlies management actually made deals with the devil.

As for the Rockets: my friend is a huge Rockets fan, and before the season began, he was raving about how good the Rockets were going to be. I was not convinced. The Rockets just came out of a 10 game winning streak and are arguably among the top 5 teams in the league right now in terms of their performance. Mike D'antoni is building a case for Coach of the Year, fixing James Harden's problems with defense and turnovers by doing something counter-productive at first glance: putting the ball in the Beard's hands more often. The shift for Harden from Shooting Guard to Point Guard is a subtle one, but has had dramatic implications for the Rockets. They have actually had the second best defense in the league this month.

also: Lou williams for Sixth man!

Anyway, let's talk:

How's your team doing after this first trimester or so? Who do you have for MVP, Sixth Man, Most Improved, Defensive POY, COY, and stuff? Can the Warriors be stopped? When will Phil Jackson stop?
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Old 12-21-2016, 02:50 PM   #16
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As far as I know, Ben Simmons is still slated to come back in January, looking forward to seeing him and how he does. Think he's not going to be a point guard per say, from what I've heard he'll be bringing the ball up the floor on offense but defending the 4 on defense. All I know is that now that everyone is getting back to good health for the Sixers, we clearly have way too many big men. Joel Embiid is a must-keep at center. He's exceeded even the loftiest expectations of him. Still has that 28 minute per game limit but his per 100 possession numbers are literally unprecedented. The Sixers rate as the best defensive team in the league with him on the floor and without him, they rate as the first. He's the franchise, the future.

Then you have Noel and Okafor. The team is making the decision to bench Noel for the most part and give minutes to Okafor, having him even start alongside Embiid. I don't like this decision one bit. Okafor needs to play center, he can't space the floor at all. Embiid can shoot from the outside, but I don't want him at the 4, he's too much of a rim protector on defense and the best part of his game is in the post on offense. Having him and Okafor on the floor at the same time just clogs the lane and creates spacing issues. Plus Okafor is a liability on defense, and doesn't pass the ball from the post nearly as well as Embiid does. I thought Noel has proven over the past few years that he's a plus defender that could use some work on the offensive end. I think I'd rather have a defensive specialist than a guy who can score but can't play defense.

I think the point is that we need to trade either Okafor or Noel, and maybe both. I'd rather get rid of Okafor personally, but as long as we get rid of one of them for some assets I'll be happy. Because if we start two of them at the same time, what happens with Saric? Do we move him down to the 3? Ilyasova (who's impressed me by the way) is already eating into Saric's minutes, and once Simmons comes around he may even see less playing time due to Simmons' size. I like what I've seen from Saric so far, I just wish he got to see the floor more often at power forward. He can do everything pretty well but moving him down to small forward (which is not his best position) doesn't seem like a long-term solution to me. The rest of the league is going smaller and we seem to be getting bigger. Once Simmons comes back, if our starting lineup is Simmons-Stauskas/Covington-Saric-Embiid-Okafor we'll have four guys in the starting lineup that are 6'10" or taller.

I could write much, much more about the Sixers but the biggest issue with the team right now is addressing the logjam in the frontcourt. Once we solve that we can work on our guard situation. Hoping to have multiple picks in the lottery (with a really deep draft this year!) so we can figure that out. We'll have our own pick, then hopefully the Lakers pick comes through to us. It's only top three protected, and I don't think the Lakers are one of the three worst teams in the league. Maybe bottom five but not bottom three.

Around the league:
>Warriors
Holy balls this team is scary when firing on all cylinders. I mean we knew they would be and they won't touch their record of 73-9 from last year (probably) but wow. That huge game they had against the Clippers that was supposed to be close but was laughable really indicates to me that this year's peak Warriors could even surpass last year's peak Warriors. Because think about it, in their "lineup of death" they replaced Harrison Barnes with Kevin Durant. That's a huuuuuge upgrade. The depth isn't there like it was last season, with Bogut, Barbosa, Speights, and maybe others (can't exactly remember) gone, but Javale McGee has really surprised me as a contributor, so there isn't quite the dropoff from their starting lineup that I had expected.

>Thunder
Westbrook is this entire team. It's nuts to me that we may actually see someone average a triple double for the whole season for the first time since Oscar Robertson. But he doesn't really have much around him. I think the Sixers robbed the Thunder in the Jerami Grant/Ersan Ilyasova trade. Sixers got a better player (another power forward lol) and draft picks for Jerami Grant, who's an emphatic dunker but not much else. The Thunder don't really have the shooting to keep up with the top teams in the league IMO, so Westbrook has to put the team on his back night in and night out. Despite his gaudy stats though, I don't think anyone deserves MVP for singlehandedly leading their team to a middle of the conference finish.

>Cavs
I mean duh, we knew they'd be first place in the East at this point just like we knew the Warriors we knew the Warriors would be first place in the West. Between Lebron and Kyrie (and Kevin Love every now and then!) they're just too much on offense. Add in solid role players and I can only see the Raptors contesting them in the East. Poor JR Smith though, out a few weeks. By playoff time they should probably be good to take down anyone, and meet the Warriors for episode three.

>Bucks
Why aren't these guys better? Sometimes you'll watch the Bucks and think they look like the best team in basketball. But they're .500 right now. I'm such a huge fan of Point Giannis and their entire lineup really. I just don't understand why they don't win more games. I think they have potential to be the fourth best team in the East right now, behind the Cavs, Raptors, and Celtics. Most disappointing team for me, I think.

>Rockets
Point guard James Harden is actually pretty nutty. I'm surprised it works so well. Definitely thought Harden was too much of a shoot first ask questions later kind of guy to handle the point but it's really worked out for them.

As far as awards go, Joel Embiid for everything. Okay probably just Rookie of the Year. But still. The dude's been incredible. I love him so much.
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:07 PM   #17
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I have to agree with what you're saying about the frontcourt issue in Philly, phoopes, and I think there's definitely a consensus that something needs to be done. Most people are actually calling for trading Noel, considering his apparent dissatisfaction with the current situation and the fact that a lot of people like Okafor as a player more. Others (including me) go in a similar direction as you, suggesting that Okafor is not as good of a fit in the Sixers structure, looking at Embiid's upside once he starts playing more minutes. Some want to trade both and get some smaller vets or some assets. (some fringe speculators want to trade Embiid just in case he gets injured again).

Having played multiple games against the Sixers fully healthy in 2k (basically making me an expert :p), I can say that a Ben Simmons/Joel Embiid tandem will be one to watch when Simmons returns. Hopefully, the Sixers' other issues will be on the way to resolution by then.

>Thunder
People were hoping that Victor Oladipo and the development of Steven Adams (along with the offensive presence of Enes Kanter) would help the Thunder be a little closer to the team that they were last year, but like you said, OKC's shooting is just not dangerous enough for them to be actual contenders in my opinion. Russ is like 0 for 5 with last second shots, and he's one of the better shooters on that team. Oladipo's just not an outside presence (however fun it is to watch him play). However, I do disagree that Russ can't be an MVP candidate solely because of the middling performance of his team. One of the common criticism's of Russ is that he's simply stat-padding, and though I'm sure that might be part of it, Russ' reactions to the questions of stats and the importance that he has to the team indicates otherwise to me. He's playing as hard as he can, and if the 26-11-22 triple double that he picked up the other day is any indication, he's getting his team involved, too. To be sure, the middling performance of the Thunder is a barrier towards his receiving of the reward, as the last time that someone who wasn't on one of the top two teams in a conference won MVP was in the 1980s with Moses Malone. But I think in terms of narrative (and stats), Russ is undeniably a strong candidate. The star player to whom many considered Russ a sidekick unexpectedly leaves the team, leaving Russ by himself to carry the Thunder to whatever wins they can get, maybe finishing 4th or 5th in the conference, but he undeniably carries them. To the Thunder, at least, Russ is definitely the Most Valuable Player. Who knows, though, maybe Lebron will get it again.

>Bucks
Their performance thus far might be partially attributed to Middleton's injury struggles, but for me, I think that their issue is that no one on the Bucks is really at All-Star level beyond Giannis. Jabari Parker is getting there, but perhaps not fast enough. Once Giannis increases his outside scoring ability, though, it may not even matter, that dude is insane.

>Award Predictions
MVP: Russ (see above)
Coach of the Year: Mike D'Antoni: he's really transformed the Rockets, and if they can keep it up, he's a lock. (I'd say Gregg Popovich but he's Gregg Popovich and probably doesn't care)
Sixth Man: Lou Williams (let's be real, setting a record for most points scored off the bench between four games is probably enough for some analysts)
Defensive POY: Kawhi (I like Draymond's energy, but you can't even hold onto the ball in the Klaw's presence. 3peat?)
Rookie of the Year: Joel Embiid
Most Improved: Giannis Antetokounmpo (spelled it right on the first try!)

I liked Kawhi for MVP in the preseason, but the Spurs, as always, have been quiet (though deadly) this whole season save for that season-opening Warriors blowout. If they were a little flashier, Kawhi would be a lock, given the Spurs' winningness, but alas.
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Old 12-27-2016, 01:55 PM   #18
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My Celtics have been on a bit of a tear ever since their starters came back from injury. A shaky fourth quarter against the Knicks this Christmas, but they came up with the W. We've got a home game against the Grizzlies tonight, who have been doing phenomenally even WITHOUT some starters. Should be an interesting game.

The Cavs beat the Warriors off of a CLUTCH shot from Kyrie and a possible no-call on Durant, and then are promptly destroyed by the Pistons as James rests. They also beat the Warriors without JR Smith which has led some to wonder whether they're better off without JR or if they're simply better than the Warriors. I just think it's pretty clear which teams are going to the Finals at this point lol.

In other news, the Clippers keep losing. RIP their dream. With contracts expiring and Chris Paul aging, many speculated at the beginning of the season that this would be the last we'd see of the CP3, Blake Griffin, and DJ trio.
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Old 12-28-2016, 08:09 PM   #19
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The Cavaliers have to prove to me that they can beat the Warriors without getting Warriors players ejected/benched or whatever. Granted, that was also the Warriors' fault last year and I do not want to discredit the magnificence of their victory last year. The Warriors finally faced injuries to guys like Curry, Bogut that got them within striking distance.

As for the current Warriors incarnation, it's a great team and I don't think they've fully gelled yet. Not even close. Curry isn't up to form even if Durant has adapted well. Zaza has been a disappointment. There's still big upside to this team.

Anyway, I enjoy the musical.
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Old 04-16-2017, 09:18 PM   #20
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Magikarp PLAYOFFS ----- A couple of games in

(late but) holy cow it's the Playoffs!!!!!

For those who care, I'm gonna give my thoughts on the Playoffs and briefly discuss each matchup because dang was that a crazy close to the season!!!!

The West:

Golden State Warriors (1) vs. Portland Trailblazers (
Spoiler: show
So at my time of writing this, the Warriors already beat Portland in Game 1, but it was by no means a blowout win. Thanks to KD's time out for injury, I actually kind of figured that this might be a weaker series for the Dubs, but Draymond Green continues to prove himself as the glue that keeps the Warriors together, and they ultimately overwhelmed the Blazers' inferior defense. I think the rest of the series is going to turn out like this, especially if Jusuf Nurkic stays out due to injury, but I could conceivably see the Blazers picking up a game or two at home.

Predicting the Warriors in 5


San Antonio Spurs (2) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (7)
Spoiler: show
Last night, the Spurs reaffirmed their playoff dominance, surprising a number of analysts who thought that the sheer scrappiness of both teams would prevent San Antonio from getting any blowout wins. As they have frequently done throughout this season and Popovich's two decades with the team, the Spurs surprised us. Not only did they outrebound and outscrap the Grizzlies, their offensive numbers were at the same level as they were in their blowout against the Warriors on opening night. If they can keep this up throughout the Playoffs, the Spurs are going to be a crazy threat to look out for. It's a shame, too, I like the Grizzlies . FedEx Forum is always crazy hyped for this Memphis team, and the Spurs are capable of going really cold on offense, so Memphis will more than likely steal one or two games.

Predicting the Spurs in 6 (a little generous to the Grizzlies, but what can I say lol)


Houston Rockets (3) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (6)
Spoiler: show
Hoo boy. So from what I'm hearing around the media, I'm fairly certain Russell Westbrook is going to win the MVP award, which is understandable. He did so much more than what people expected from him and when he performed, he made his team so much better. But the Rockets had a season that pretty much nobody saw coming. Between D'antoni bringing out the best James Harden anyone has seen yet and the Rockets' front office surrounding James Harden with a bunch of... really good offensive players. Lou Williams is probably the best example from the season proper, but Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon are also really good examples. D'Antoni's made arguably (and I'll argue it) a better 7 Seconds or Less team than the Nash-era Suns. Their bench is full enough of three-point threats that when some go cold, they can just replace the cold culprits with someone else. Admittedly, the Rockets have some fairly weak defense at a couple of positions and they're going to struggle to find an answer to Enes Kanter and Steven Adams, but in the end, it's not going to matter. If there's one thing this season has taught us, it's not to bet against Russell Westbrook, but even he wasn't enough against the Rockets multiple times this season.

Predicting the Rockets in 6


LA Clippers (4) vs. Utah Jazz (5)
Spoiler: show
This is one series where I'm going to predict an upset, and it's not just because of Utah's win last night. Now there have been a number of analysts that have supported the Clippers by talking about their strong starting line-up (undoubtedly true), their superior playoff experience (also very true), and the fact that they have less injuries coming into the series (i.e. George Hill being on the roster after a pretty injury-laden season). In fact, Rudy Gobert's injury early last night is incredibly unfortunate for the Jazz in this area too, as he is one of the most important players on the team. However, the truth of the matter is that the Clippers are faced with the same problems they have had for years: their bench is simply not deep enough. Austin Rivers' injury is actually really relevant to this point. As good of a year as he was having, he really rounded out the Clippers' bench. Without him, a lot is being put on the starting line-up's shoulders. The Jazz really don't have that problem. They've got the two Joes (both of whom really stepped up last night (HOLY CRAP JOE JOHNSON'S BUZZER BEATER), and even though Gordon Hayward was cold from the field last night, he nabbed 10 rebounds, and he's not always going to be cold. If Gobert can come back to the series healthy enough, this is a no-brainer for me, but even if he doesn't, I think there's a good chance this Jazz team can pull through.

Predicting the Jazz in 7 (heheh)



East:

Boston Celtics (1) vs. Chicago Bulls (
Spoiler: show
HOLY CRUD WE MADE IT TO FIRST SEED.

The Celtics' rebounding woes are really well-documented, and the current game is super close, but there's no way the Celtics are going to lose this series. Not with literally only Mirotic and playoff-Dwayne Wade (and sometimes Jimmy Butler?) being able to shoot semi-consistently on the Bulls.

super biased but...

Predicting the Celtics in 6


Cleveland Cavaliers (2) vs. Indiana Pacers (7)
Spoiler: show
Okay so I have heard at least forty-eight times not to bet against the Cavaliers in the playoffs and that they would "turn the switch" as soon as they hit the playoffs, but I have been saying this whole time that this is not that simple, and the fact that Lebron was one CJ Miles shot away from losing his 1st first round game in a few years, I think I'm right about this. The Cavs are at serious risk of losing this series especially with how unsettling Lance Stephenson has to be to the Cavs. The presence of Stephenson is seriously the X-Factor of this series. The Pacers finished 5-1 in the season primarily because of the energy and swagger he brings to the table, and if Paul George had seen him standing under the basket in the last 10 seconds (not salty), he would have won the game for them. I'm not like super sure that the Pacers will win, since Lebron really is a fantastic player, but this is not nearly as cut-and-dry as ESPN would have you believe.

Predicting the Pacers in 6 (*shot by Charles Barkley*)


Toronto Raptors (3) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (6)
Spoiler: show
Okay I was not expecting the Bucks to win last night, but I was definitely expecting this to be a fun series. Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of my favorite players and he is going to be absolutely effervescent in this series, but I was convinced that the combo of Lowry, Derozan, Tucker, and Ibaka would end up being overwhelming, but it looks like Lowry may still be suffering from his injury. Ultimately, the lack of depth of talent on the Bucks (plus the fact that Jabari Parker is still out) is going to make me choose the Raps.

Predicting the Raptors in 6


Washington Wizards (4) vs. Atlanta Hawks (5)
Spoiler: show
Honestly I hate to say this because it means the Celtics are going to have a hell of a second round match-up, but there's not really a contest here. Yeah, Millsap and Dwight might have a good night, but John Wall and Bradley Beal are the most (over-exposed) underrated duo in the league, and Boganovic, Porter, and Gortat are no slouches. Plus, the Hawks have been jerks to John Wall in the past and he's expressed an interest in utterly destroying them... so...

Predicting the Wizards in 4


Feel free to discuss or tell me why I'm wrong
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Old 04-16-2017, 09:28 PM   #21
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Why talk about the playoffs when you can talk about lottery odds? I'm liking the position the Sixers are in. Due to the Lakers going on a hot streak to end the season, the Lakers have a less than 50% chance of getting a top three pick. Which means the odds are in the Sixers' favor to nab that pick, as well as our own high lottery pick. We have our own odds in addition to the Kings' so I'm pretty confident in us getting a top five pick. I reeeaaallllly like Malik Monk, it'd be cool to get a deadly shooter like him. Throw him into the mix with Simmons, Embiid, and the rest of the gang and I think you're looking at a playoff team. There'll be some growing pains with new players entering the system, but by season's end we'll have it figured out. I'm loving our situation.

---

Okay about the playoffs:

Warriors in 4
Spurs in 5
Rockets in 7(!)
Jazz in 6

Celtics in 6
Cavs in 5 (you're crazy Rhee)
Bucks in 7
Wizards in 5
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Old 04-16-2017, 10:11 PM   #22
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>Lottery odds
let's get that #1 pick baby! Hope the Celtics trade the pick if it's #1, though, because that has a lot of weight. Honestly, Boston doesn't need a fantastic guard talent (which is what this draft primarily offers) so much as a bigger presence on the boards.

I love Malik Monk, and not just because I briefly met him at one of my school's varsity games lol, you guys would be well-suited to get him. I hope Embiid can recover from his surgery well enough to give you guys a really solid future because I love that guy. Also I hope Simmons can play at all next year. I really want the process to work fam

This, of course, is irrelevant if the "basketball gods" are kind to Los Angeles
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:49 AM   #23
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I mean we'd still have our pick, I'm just greedy and want the Lakers pick too lol. That way we could hopefully get Monk + someone else rather than just Monk (I really hope we get him).
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:32 AM   #24
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WARRIORS GOING TO CHOKE

Golden State Chokeboys

Steph Curry be awagahgaghhh
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:22 PM   #25
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Sooooo

Lebron's a monster

Singlehandedly brought his team back from a 25 point deficit at halftime to pull out Game 3 at Indiana

That series is over lol

So far disappointed with my Celtics, they've been completely outhustled and outrebounded by the Bulls so far. It's halftime of Game 3 right now and Robin Lopez only has 2 rebounds, but Isaiah's cold, so hopefully this marks a turnaround. Brad Stevens has benched Amir Johnson and started Gerald Green tonight who has been absolutely effervescent off the bench for us.
Maybe this small ball lineup will have enough energy to overcome Chicago's grit?? Rondo, who outrebounded all of our bigs in the first half of game 2 (7 rebounds in one half!!!!!!!!), has a broken thumb, which gives the Celtics a chance. (Get better soon, though, Rajon).

Spoiler: show
Prayers are with Isaiah Thomas' family as Isaiah has been asked to perform at his regular All-Star level in the wake of the highly unfortunate death of his sister, Chyna Thomas. I can't even imagine losing a sibling, so this has to be absolutely devastating for that family.


Rudy Gobert's not likely too play for the rest of the first round, and even though the Jazz managed to pull out a win against the Clips without him in Game 1, DJ and Blake Griffin absolutely dominated in the paint without Gobert protecting the rim in Game 2. Derrick Favors is a phenomenal (albeit mildly undersized) rim protector, though, and I expect the series will continue to be interesting. I'm looking forward to tonight's game.

Harden v. Westbrook has been as entertaining as expected, but the Rockets actually have a good chance of a sweep.

Fizdale's "Take That for Data" rant is viral, and it sees like it's succeeded in bringing the Grizzlies together. The Spurs are still my picks to win this series, but I can see the Grizzlies winning one or two more games.
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