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  #1  
Old 10-19-2018, 11:09 AM
Barkis is Willin' Barkis is Willin' is offline
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NBA 2018-2019 Season

Every team has already played one game, but all anyone cares about is LeBron's first game as a Laker last night. And by anyone, of course, I mean anyone on TV or radio. They lost to Portland.
Also notable, Houston lost pretty badly to New Orleans.

Expectation is that the West will come down to GS, Houston or possibly LAL. The East is somewhat open, but I'll be surprised if Boston doesn't make the Finals.

Given that the Cavs will suck this year and they are the "local" team in my area, I'm not sure how much NBA I'll watch.
The Nuggets are my team and they did win game #1, but I expect a low seed playoff appearance at best.
  #2  
Old 10-19-2018, 01:39 PM
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The Lakers-Blazers game was a good one, and close all the way. Standout shooting by second team shooting guard Stauskas and shot blocking by Zach Collins really saved the day. It was way too easy for LA to penetrate Portland's defense, though. They're really going to regret trading Ed Davis away.
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Old 10-19-2018, 02:20 PM
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I didn't really watch the LAL game. Firstly because I had to get up early and I live in the good timezone (Eastern) and secondly because they won't really be fully formed as a team for at least a month and there are lots of teams to watch.

I'm especially excited for this season over others, because this is the first time in a long time where the second and third best teams in the NBA are in the Eastern conference (namely Toronto and Boston). The less exciting part for me is that unless Utah trades for Jimmy Butler, I don't really see any competition for Golden State in the west. Houston took a step back and I just don't see a world where LAL competes unless Brandon Ingram takes a massive step forward (I suppose he might). Even still, they seem massively out gunned. I suspect they are a better supporting cast than Cleveland was last year, but that's a pretty low bar.

The other thing I'm excited about this year is that the finals might be competitive. I freely admit that Golden State will and should be the favourite against anyone, but I feel like both Boston and Toronto - but especially Boston - are uniquely qualified to defend the Warriors. Boston has so much length and all of their length has speed. I can really see their wings giving the Warriors trouble. I've long felt that you beat Golden State with defence, not by trying to become of lesser version of them.

Lots of other story lines, but this is my favourite.
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:12 PM
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I didn't really watch the LAL game. Firstly because I had to get up early and I live in the good timezone (Eastern) and secondly because they won't really be fully formed as a team for at least a month and there are lots of teams to watch.

I'm especially excited for this season over others, because this is the first time in a long time where the second and third best teams in the NBA are in the Eastern conference (namely Toronto and Boston). The less exciting part for me is that unless Utah trades for Jimmy Butler, I don't really see any competition for Golden State in the west. Houston took a step back and I just don't see a world where LAL competes unless Brandon Ingram takes a massive step forward (I suppose he might). Even still, they seem massively out gunned. I suspect they are a better supporting cast than Cleveland was last year, but that's a pretty low bar.

The other thing I'm excited about this year is that the finals might be competitive. I freely admit that Golden State will and should be the favourite against anyone, but I feel like both Boston and Toronto - but especially Boston - are uniquely qualified to defend the Warriors. Boston has so much length and all of their length has speed. I can really see their wings giving the Warriors trouble. I've long felt that you beat Golden State with defence, not by trying to become of lesser version of them.

Lots of other story lines, but this is my favourite.
Unless LA can magically do something about their dismal 3-point shooting, playoffs are probably a dream for this year. Maybe they can pick up somebody during trade season, but right now they are strictly a fast-break layup team.
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Old 10-19-2018, 06:45 PM
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This was shaping up to be a wildly entertaining season for the Bulls, and then Lauri Legend went and hyper-extended his elbow, probably gave out due to the overwhelming mass of his guns.

The Bulls may have the worst defense in the league. With Lauri, they were a threat to score 120 every game and give up 130. Now, I suspect we'll end up with a terrible start, maybe 5-20 before Lauri gets back.

Still, people are fired up with how great Wendell Carter looks and Zach Levine could be a classic, huge points on a terrible team guy. And things could go fantastically bad for Jabari if he doesn't get his fat ass in shape before Thanksgiving.

Decent chance we end up tanking for a second straight year, and we will probably win just too many games to be in the top 3. But that's what everyone said the last 2 seasons, and those picks worked out amazing.

Last edited by Omniscient; 10-19-2018 at 06:46 PM.
  #6  
Old 10-22-2018, 08:58 AM
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Woot! Denver Nuggets hand GS their first loss. I only saw highlights, but what a game. The Nuggs did it with a lot of defense, held GS to only 98 points. It's early, but Denver might be better than I thought. If they can stay healthy they might be able to compete for a top 4 seed.

Meanwhile, the Cavs got blown out at home by the dismal Hawks, which as far as I'm concerned cements the fact that the Cavs will be one of the NBA's worst teams this year. I felt they would be terrible, but Cavs fans tried to say they'll still be a playoff team.
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Old 10-22-2018, 11:18 AM
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Portland handled SA quite easily the other night. They double-teamed Aldridge as much as possible, which is a good ploy with him. He's never been much of a ball handler, and gets easily flustered when his standard move is thwarted. Lillard and McCollum fired up about half the points scored. Maybe they'll do better this year than I thought.
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:56 PM
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Meanwhile, the Cavs got blown out at home by the dismal Hawks, which as far as I'm concerned cements the fact that the Cavs will be one of the NBA's worst teams this year. I felt they would be terrible, but Cavs fans tried to say they'll still be a playoff team.
To your point, the Raps played Cleveland Game 1 and it was treated almost like a loss around here that the Raps only won by 12.
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Old 10-23-2018, 08:41 AM
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Wizards reporting that Dwight Howard is not playing because of "gluteal soreness."

He's literally butthurt.
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Old 10-23-2018, 08:56 AM
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Since the Bulls at 0-3 are already out of contention, my sole interest in the NBA is that LeBron James never win another title in his career. He'll at least make the conference semi-finals, of course, but it will probably be Golden State for the umpteenth time vs Boston.

Gee, the NBA is exciting cause it is just SO competitive.

I've reached the conclusion that 80% of the fans who actually pay to attend games do so only to see great players play and not because they actually believe that their team has even a ghost of a chance to even make the Finals. That's why I consider the NBA to be more like the WWE than a real competitive sport.

You have maybe 5 REALLY good teams out of 32, and the rest are the Washington Generals. It should be the NBE, National Basketball Entertainment.

Last edited by Jasmine; 10-23-2018 at 08:57 AM.
  #11  
Old 10-23-2018, 11:28 AM
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Fans absolutely pay to see players. Even if the Cavs were decent this year, I guarantee tickets would still be easier to come by just because LeBron is gone.

There might be a couple teams surprise you this year. The Nuggets just knocked off Golden State. The Pelicans are scoring like a million points a game. LeBron is winless. Milwaukee is 3-0. I don't have much doubt the Finals will be GS vs. Boston, but who knows?
  #12  
Old 10-24-2018, 11:37 AM
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Wizards reporting that Dwight Howard is not playing because of "gluteal soreness."

He's literally butthurt.
They didn't need him to beat Portland, who managed to revert to bad old habits of fumbling the ball away, dribbling until you want to shoot someone, and allowing the Wiz to own the 3-point line. McCollum had a shit night, not showing up until the end of the game. It was only the Blazer's fourth quarter effort that kept it from being a blowout.
  #13  
Old 10-24-2018, 06:25 PM
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Unless LA can magically do something about their dismal 3-point shooting, playoffs are probably a dream for this year. Maybe they can pick up somebody during trade season, but right now they are strictly a fast-break layup team.
I expect you are probably right, mid summer I was convinced they were missing the playoffs given the west has few if any easy games in conference but Iím just allowing for the possibility that Ingram and Ball make a step forward.
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:23 AM
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Last night's 76ers-Bucks game highlighted two of my takeaways from the young season: Giannis (and the Bucks in general) are making a huge leap under Mike Budenholzer's modern coaching, and Markelle Fultz is barely an NBA-level player, let alone a star. What a nightmare of a trade that turned out to be.
  #15  
Old 10-25-2018, 11:11 AM
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The Bucks appear to be a sleeper in the East.
The Markelle Fultz experience in Philly has been a weird one. He's definitely not a star yet, but he might at least be a contributor.
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Old 10-25-2018, 12:52 PM
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The Markelle Fultz experience in Philly has been a weird one. He's definitely not a star yet, but he might at least be a contributor.
At some point, for their sake, I hope so.

This piece runs down how limited he's been as a player so far.

More worrying for Sixers fans is this one, about how quickly (a ten game sample) a top-10 draft pick can be reliably categorized as a bust. They'll have to hope that Fultz's somehow unlearning how to shoot the ball from one season to the next is sufficiently unprecedented as to defy the odds. Not what you want from the #1 pick you traded for.

ETA: When I watch the Sixers, what jumps out to me is just how little Fultz does. He barely impacts the game at all, or even attempts to, like the Sixers are playing 4 on 5.

Last edited by Human Action; 10-25-2018 at 12:56 PM.
  #17  
Old 10-25-2018, 06:24 PM
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Toronto has looked really, really good so far. Only 4-5 games in, but if things hold I would probably pick them to make the Finals this year.
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Old 10-25-2018, 07:27 PM
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ESPN has a report that the Rockets are offering four first round picks for Butler.
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Old 10-26-2018, 07:54 AM
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LeBron finally gets a home win...and it's against my Nuggets. LA finally hit some 3's and it made all the difference. For Denver, it seems Paul Milsap has regressed quite a bit. They've go so much young talent they can overcome that, but too bad a guy they thought was going to be a big part of the offense is just not producing.
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Old 10-26-2018, 10:29 AM
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Damian Lillard lit things up in the second half for a win over Orlando. In the post-game interview, he said he was being heckled mercilessly by some crazy guy behind the Magic's bench in the first half, and the only way to shut someone like that up is to punish the other team. I'd say 41 points is appropriate punishment.
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Old 10-26-2018, 12:57 PM
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ESPN has a report that the Rockets are offering four first round picks for Butler.
Thatís a lot, but if their gamble pays off and they remain good until the four picks are up, itís no big deal.
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Old 10-26-2018, 06:58 PM
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Sure, it's early - not sure how sustainable this'll be:

Cool - new Raptor Danny Green leads the NBA plus/minus at +77.

The other new Raptor - heh, Mr. Gone in a Year - not doing too shabs with 28 ppg.
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Old 10-27-2018, 12:18 AM
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I said the DeRozan-Leonard trade was great for Toronto, and so far, I am pleased to say I told you so.
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Old 10-27-2018, 12:32 PM
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I said the DeRozan-Leonard trade was great for Toronto, and so far, I am pleased to say I told you so.
My concern was never ever basketball related. Kawhi is better in every way. It was injury/desire related.

Desire was unfair, in hindsight, because he is playing for a contract.

Regarding injury, glad to see them sit him during Washington. Get the man to the playoffs by any means necessary!
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Old 10-27-2018, 10:42 PM
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Wonder if Derozan can't help but feel the slightest tinge of...whatevs, seeing his former "bff" and teammate for what - six years? playing arguably the best bball of Lowry's career, with a personal-best four double-doubles in a row. Having Leonard around, instead, doesn't hurt, but nonetheless KL has been a horse, carrying extra load with an injured Van Vleet (which, in turn, gave Brown a chance to assert a presence) and putting in 35 min./game.
Vallancuinas (starting less) and Ibaka looking better. Nick Nurse seems to be pulling the right levers so far. Apparently Casey had a more regimented style that I think I might feel more comfortable with, but hey - a W's a W.
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Old 10-28-2018, 11:37 AM
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Cavs fire Lue.

Iím curious to see what someone else does with this collection. Iím thinking not much, but who knows.
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Old 10-28-2018, 02:34 PM
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Cavs fire Lue.

Iím curious to see what someone else does with this collection. Iím thinking not much, but who knows.
So you're telling me James was that entire team? Hold on a moment while I find my shocked face.
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Old 10-28-2018, 02:40 PM
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Yeah I'm not sure what they thought was going to happen. He loses at least 50% of his offense, they do nothing to replace it, and Lue is expected to remain competitive?
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:07 PM
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So you're telling me James was that entire team? Hold on a moment while I find my shocked face.
Oh, of course. It isn't like they are completely bereft of talent and the east have a lot of crap to feast on near the bottom (the top is actually pretty good this year). I'm just saying that if you install a good coach (I'm of the opinion that Lue was not - nor was he allowed to be) that maybe they can make something out of this roster. I'm not talking an NBA chapionship, I'm talking 30-35 wins.
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Old 10-29-2018, 09:04 AM
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Tonight's premium matchup has to be Toronto and Milwaukee, both 6-0, the only remaining unbeaten teams.

I feel like I haven't heard enough about Milwaukee this year, but that's a fine looking team.
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Old 10-29-2018, 10:23 AM
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I'm just saying that if you install a good coach (I'm of the opinion that Lue was not - nor was he allowed to be) that maybe they can make something out of this roster. I'm not talking an NBA chapionship, I'm talking 30-35 wins.
Thats the worst situation to be in as an NBA team. Good enough to play yourself out of any shot at a superstar every year but zero hope of making any impact. It's why Orlando has had such a shitty time since the Dwight trade, they were never terrible enough to bottom out and keep getting good but not great players.
  #32  
Old 10-29-2018, 01:04 PM
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Tonight's premium matchup has to be Toronto and Milwaukee, both 6-0, the only remaining unbeaten teams.

I feel like I haven't heard enough about Milwaukee this year, but that's a fine looking team.
Maybe not, since Antetokounmpo is out on concussion protocol.
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Old 10-29-2018, 01:36 PM
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Tonight's premium matchup has to be Toronto and Milwaukee, both 6-0, the only remaining unbeaten teams.

I feel like I haven't heard enough about Milwaukee this year, but that's a fine looking team.
Surprised to see the line is TOR -2 with the game in Milwaukee. On paper, they look pretty darn even. Another good matchup tonight is New Orleans in Denver. The over under is 229.5 and I can't imagine anyone taking the under. Should be points galore.
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Old 10-29-2018, 01:59 PM
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Wizards are now 1-5, with the highest points allowed of any team in the league, and sniping with each other. In other words, it's business as usual in DC.
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Old 10-29-2018, 02:18 PM
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Wizards are now 1-5, with the highest points allowed of any team in the league, and sniping with each other. In other words, it's business as usual in DC.
All part of Ernie Grunfeld's brilliant 10-year plan to bring Dwight Howard to Washington. Now it's time to dump everyone else and rebuild around him!

I'm kidding of course, but EG is such an idiot, it would honestly not surprise me if it turns out that were true.
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Old 10-29-2018, 02:38 PM
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Surprised to see the line is TOR -2 with the game in Milwaukee.
Yeah, that's odd. I am not sure what stew of numbers makes Toronto a favorite in Milwaukee. All the analytics suggest Milwaukee has actually been playing "better" insofar as you can be better than a team that hasn't lost.

ETA: But now I see in a post above Giannis is out tonight so, yeah, makes sense.
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Old 10-30-2018, 08:04 AM
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So, the Golden State Warriors scored 92 points IN THE FIRST HALF against my Bulls and cruised to a 149-124 win here in Chicago. I'm afraid great defense and many of the nuances of the game are now extinct because the NBA has become, basically, a run-and-gun, hoist-and-heave, playground kind of game where people pretty much pull up and take uncontested shots the entire game.

Because of the distance of the shot, the 3-pointer used to contain a risk factor that kept things in balance for the most part. Now, however, we have a generation of stars who have been shooting hundreds of 3-pointers a day ever since they were old enough to reach the rim from the arc. The result is that we have people shooting 40% or even a little more from the arc.

I think something has to be done to restore some balance. WHAT? That's the question. The obvious first though is to move the arc farther out than it already is. Anything else?

Last edited by Jasmine; 10-30-2018 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:22 AM
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So, the Golden State Warriors scored 92 points IN THE FIRST HALF against my Bulls and cruised to a 149-124 win here in Chicago. I'm afraid great defense and many of the nuances of the game are now extinct because the NBA has become, basically, a run-and-gun, hoist-and-heave, playground kind of game where people pretty much pull up and take uncontested shots the entire game.

Because of the distance of the shot, the 3-pointer used to contain a risk factor that kept things in balance for the most part. Now, however, we have a generation of stars who have been shooting hundreds of 3-pointers a day ever since they were old enough to reach the rim from the arc. The result is that we have people shooting 40% or even a little more from the arc.

I think something has to be done to restore some balance. WHAT? That's the question. The obvious first though is to move the arc farther out than it already is. Anything else?
Quote:
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So, the Golden State Warriors scored 92 points IN THE FIRST HALF against my Bulls and cruised to a 149-124 win here in Chicago. I'm afraid great defense and many of the nuances of the game are now extinct because the NBA has become, basically, a run-and-gun, hoist-and-heave, playground kind of game where people pretty much pull up and take uncontested shots the entire game.

Because of the distance of the shot, the 3-pointer used to contain a risk factor that kept things in balance for the most part. Now, however, we have a generation of stars who have been shooting hundreds of 3-pointers a day ever since they were old enough to reach the rim from the arc. The result is that we have people shooting 40% or even a little more from the arc.

I think something has to be done to restore some balance. WHAT? That's the question. The obvious first though is to move the arc farther out than it already is. Anything else?
Overall, 3-point percentage has not been rising in recent years. You can see quite a few guys of the last 2 decades who had seasons where they shot there above 40%. I'm sure players have improved their long distance shooting ability, practice it more, and more and more big men who never would have had that shot in their repertoire now do. (In fact, some of these neophyte 3-point shooters now are what we would have once called a specialist, because they aren't skilled offensively in general so that's where the bulk of their scoring comes from.) And defenses have adjusted though it may not be apparent watching this year's edition of the Bulls.

What's happened is the near outright de-valuation of shooting mid-range and long distance 2-point jump shots. The 2012-2013 season was when this all took a turn that eventually changed every team. Some Rockets players were remarking they didn't even shoot those in practice. I think this quote from Jeff Van Gundy from 5 years ago is on the money: "The beauty of this sport is diversity of play. And right now, the smart people have figured out exactly what shots to get on offense and take away on defense. And that hurts diversity of play.Ē

I think aesthetically the sport looks insane now where you might see many possessions in a row where the shot attempt is either from beyond the arc or within a few feet of the basket. However, I have more dislike for the style of play that dominated the '80s more where 3-point attempts were very rare and many games were like track meets without much cohesive offensive design. I also find it preferable that offense was opened up after the early 2000s by making hand checking illegal.

The two changes I've been in favor of for awhile are making the court wider so the corner 3 point line is nearly as long as the arc and adding a 2.5 line. The latter is sadly never going to happen. The widening of the court certainly should happen. Modern players are more athletic anyway.
  #39  
Old 10-30-2018, 10:14 AM
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Yeah, that's odd. I am not sure what stew of numbers makes Toronto a favorite in Milwaukee. All the analytics suggest Milwaukee has actually been playing "better" insofar as you can be better than a team that hasn't lost.

ETA: But now I see in a post above Giannis is out tonight so, yeah, makes sense.
Looks like Kawhi was out, too. So they wash out and Milwaukee wins the game fairly comfortably. Lowry had an awful shooting night.
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:25 AM
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The two changes I've been in favor of for awhile are making the court wider so the corner 3 point line is nearly as long as the arc and adding a 2.5 line. The latter is sadly never going to happen. The widening of the court certainly should happen. Modern players are more athletic anyway.
I like those ideas.
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:48 AM
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Last night Raptors vs Bucks: - 1st game in NBA history between teams 6-0 or better.

That seems like it would have already happened.
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:57 AM
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Last night Raptors vs Bucks: - 1st game in NBA history between teams 6-0 or better.

That seems like it would have already happened.
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Old 10-30-2018, 11:06 AM
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Portland's bench is outperforming the starters so far this season. Nurkic acts like he's asleep half the time and racks up early fouls. If he doesn't start showing up, he'll find himself replaced by rookie Zach Collins, who is showing huge promise. McCollum is consistent in his inconsistency. Aminu is doing his usual stellar defense job, and Lillard will normally get his points. I think they need to start Stoukas instead of either Layman or Harkless. He has more energy and speed, can consistently hit the three, and is creative on the court. They won against the Pacers last night, but only because the second team kept them in the game.
  #44  
Old 10-30-2018, 11:36 AM
Barkis is Willin' Barkis is Willin' is offline
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Yeah, that's why Denver was more than willing to shed Nurkic. Nice talent, tough to keep him motivated.
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Old 10-30-2018, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Barkis is Willin' View Post
Yeah, that's why Denver was more than willing to shed Nurkic. Nice talent, tough to keep him motivated.
Lillard took him under his wing, and there's clearly some hero worship in return going on. Nurkic has finally figured out the baby hook, which is bread and butter for any high school center who's been playing for more than a year. It seemed like a mystery to him until this year. He's been trying to make threes this season, which he is pretty much inept at, making his first one of the season last night. Stotts needs to tell him to stick to what awkward centers do best. He also often seems to be surprised when the ball suddenly appears to be coming his way.
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Old 10-31-2018, 09:14 AM
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Last night Raptors vs Bucks: - 1st game in NBA history between teams 6-0 or better.

That seems like it would have already happened.
I was absolutely shocked at that statistic. It seems almost impossible.

Anyway, the Raptors came back from that loss to easily dispatch Philly.

Raptors fans are thrilled about Kawhi Leonard, but I'll tell you, the guy who's really thriving in the new look lineup is Jonas Valuncianas. He's mostly off the bench and playing sensational basketball.
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  #47  
Old 10-31-2018, 09:36 AM
Barkis is Willin' Barkis is Willin' is offline
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This is an offseason topic, but I'm hearing some noise about Kevin Durant being interested in going to the Knicks after this season. The first time I heard it, I brushed it off as BS. But now I've heard this from 3 or 4 different sources on radio or podcasts and I'm having a hard time buying it. Just seems like the anti-KD thing to do.
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Old 10-31-2018, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Barkis is Willin' View Post
This is an offseason topic, but I'm hearing some noise about Kevin Durant being interested in going to the Knicks after this season. The first time I heard it, I brushed it off as BS. But now I've heard this from 3 or 4 different sources on radio or podcasts and I'm having a hard time buying it. Just seems like the anti-KD thing to do.
Iíve heard plenty of Rumors about this, but it seems like wishful thinking to me.
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Old 10-31-2018, 05:16 PM
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Iíve heard plenty of Rumors about this, but it seems like wishful thinking to me.
I can't see any superstar willingly go to New York at this point.
  #50  
Old 11-05-2018, 10:30 AM
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After an embarrassing 3rd quarter clusterfuck and loss to LA, the Blazers decimated the T-wolves last night in a 30-point rout. Nurkic, of all people, was the high scorer, and Myers Leonard had a double-double. Next up, dogs marry cats and bears build outhouses.
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