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Old 09-23-2019, 06:58 PM
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NBA 2019-2020 Season


Is it too soon? I have no idea WTF the Blazers are thinking. They traded away their front court and finally got rid of Myers Leonard, who has got to be the luckiest player to ever pick up a ball. I don't know why any other team would want him, given his erratic performance with Portland. Portland is now without an experienced center, since Nurkic will be out for another five months or more. They've taken on Pau Gasol, who has had a good career, but the guy has to just be milking a paycheck at his age. How much punishment can his body take? Big Skinny (Zach Collins) has a lot of heart and skill, but he needs to pack on about 30 pounds of muscle to bang with the big guys underneath. Portland went deep last year, but I have my doubts about this season.
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:08 PM
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The Wizards will struggle to win 10 games. They may challenge the Bobcats for worst winning percentage over a season (the 2011 Bobcats went 7-59 in a 66-game shortened season). Bradley Beal is going to have to stand on his head every night for them to even be in the game.
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:09 PM
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Bradley Beal is going to have to stand on his head every night for them to even be in the game.
Should we say the same for rookie RJ Barrett in NY?

Hell, I'll be happy with a 46-win season for Raptors this season, as long as they make the play-offs.


So who'll be the most fearsome twosome?

Leonard/George
James/Davis
Durant/Irving
Westbrook/Harden (methinks this last pairing could turn out to be a battle of demented egos)
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Old 10-07-2019, 05:16 PM
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I hope this isn't threadshitting, but the NBA put the almighty dollar well above free speech and doing what is right.

The GM of the Houston Rockets texted: "Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.”. A very reasonable, accurate, and positive point.

The NBA almost immediately apologized to China and its autocratic, intolerant, and corrupt government for said tweet.

I shouldn't be surprised, but, once again, it's a reminder of what really matters. Not supporting democracy. Not helping change minds that are controlled by propaganda. Not taking a stand. It's all about the money.

Very, very sad. And predictable.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:13 PM
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FWIW, Commissioner Adam Silver, in a statement earlier today with Kyodo News, supported Morey's right to free expression: https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2...-in-tokyo.html

Frankly, it was more supportive of Morey than I was expecting. I was expecting a statement that was about as cravenly cozening to the Chinese Communist party as New Jersey Nets owner Joe Tsai's was. https://bleacherreport.com/articles/...ey-china-tweet

Though I think Tillman Fertitta is going to have put those Landry's Restaurant Group expansion into mainland China dreams on hold for awhile...
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:01 AM
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The NBA almost immediately apologized to China and its autocratic, intolerant, and corrupt government for said tweet.
I keep reading this - that the NBA "apologized to China and its government," but I don't see where it's true. Here's the entirety of the NBA's statement:

Quote:
We recognize that the views expressed by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable. While Daryl has made it clear that his tweet does not represent the Rockets or the NBA, the values of the league support individuals’ educating themselves and sharing their views on matters important to them. We have great respect for the history and culture of China and hope that sports and the NBA can be used as a unifying force to bridge cultural divides and bring people together.
None of this constitutes an apology. At most, the first sentence is a sort of "sorry that you're offended" kind of thing, which is not at all an apology. And the rest of the statement is basically saying, Daryl Morey's position is not necessarily our position, but we support and respect his right to express his position.

Did I miss some other statement by the NBA in which they apologized to China or its government? Or apologized at all? The Rockets owner did publish a bit of a grovel, and no doubt forced Morey to make his own follow-up semi-apology, but that's on Tillman Fertita and not the NBA. I think the NBA as an institution and Adam Silver in particular has threaded the needle reasonably well here.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:07 PM
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Westbrook/Harden (methinks this last pairing could turn out to be a battle of demented egos)
I am at a loss for how anyone can possibly think the 2 most selfish guards in the league should share a backcourt. Sure PG and Kawhi play the same position and are basically the same player, but the depth and breath of their skills leads to a versatility that should allow them to play well together. Westbrook and Harden? There just aren't enough balls on the court for this to make sense.

It's starting to feel like teams are more interested in putting recognizable names together and letting them figure it out rather than building a cohesive team.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:53 PM
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The Blazers played their first pre-season game and lost to Denver. The second unit is looking pretty strong: good fast break action and passing. I can see Mario Hezonja taking over a starting forward position; lots of hustle and good court sense.
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:09 AM
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I keep reading this - that the NBA "apologized to China and its government," but I don't see where it's true. Here's the entirety of the NBA's statement:



None of this constitutes an apology. At most, the first sentence is a sort of "sorry that you're offended" kind of thing, which is not at all an apology. And the rest of the statement is basically saying, Daryl Morey's position is not necessarily our position, but we support and respect his right to express his position.

Did I miss some other statement by the NBA in which they apologized to China or its government? Or apologized at all? The Rockets owner did publish a bit of a grovel, and no doubt forced Morey to make his own follow-up semi-apology, but that's on Tillman Fertita and not the NBA. I think the NBA as an institution and Adam Silver in particular has threaded the needle reasonably well here.
The issue is that the other statement, translated into Chinese, read 'the league was “extremely disappointed” by Morey’s “inappropriate” Tweet, which “severely hurt the feelings of Chinese fans.”' Thus the clarification in the second statement yesterday.

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Originally Posted by BeagleJesus View Post
I am at a loss for how anyone can possibly think the 2 most selfish guards in the league should share a backcourt. Sure PG and Kawhi play the same position and are basically the same player, but the depth and breath of their skills leads to a versatility that should allow them to play well together. Westbrook and Harden? There just aren't enough balls on the court for this to make sense.

It's starting to feel like teams are more interested in putting recognizable names together and letting them figure it out rather than building a cohesive team.
And yet they coexisted on a Thunder team that almost won the NBA Finals, while baby Westbrook and baby Harden averaged 40 points a game between them AND Durant won his third scoring title.

The same thing was said when Chris Paul joined the Rockets, and he and Harden found an equilibrium as well. Even then, there are plenty of minutes available, and there's not exactly a bevy of talent at the 2. Westbrook chucked up a LOT of bad shots, but he wasn't exactly given the best shooters to pass to. Outside of George or Adams (LOL), who exactly was going to step up on last year's Thunder squad? They'll find a way to coexist. If they don't, then one of them gets to lead the second squad, and the baskets will flow come playoff time, as neither superstar had to put an entire squad on his back just to get there.

I'm curious to see how it works out, but I'm not pessimistic as many seem to be.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:05 AM
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What should happen for the Rockets is Westbrook becomes the primary initial ball handler, with a main goal to push the pace. WB should either immediately find an open 3 pt shooter or lob to Capela, or slash to the basket. Way to the basket blocked? Kick it to James or another shooter, or Capela for a dunk. James gets the ball, either shoot whatever he wants, let him try to break his man/men down off the dribble, or pass it as above.

If WB shoots anything over 8 feet that isn't a 3? Tase him. James is one of the slowest paced players in the league; WB, one of the quickest, once upon a time. So let WB push the ball up first. The defense collapses around WB, James, or Gordon, House, Tucker, or Capela get open: shoot. Gordon in particular was one of the better shooters in the NBA for the last two months of the season. Defense? Shrug.

How it will actually work? You've got me. I suspect badly, although everyone is making the right noises now.
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:10 AM
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The Blazers played their first pre-season game and lost to Denver. The second unit is looking pretty strong: good fast break action and passing. I can see Mario Hezonja taking over a starting forward position; lots of hustle and good court sense.
I didn't watch the game, but read a lot of excitement on Denver's side around Michael Porter, Jr. He was drafted in the first round last year and missed the whole season to injury, so this was actually his debut in a Nuggets jersey.
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:37 PM
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...If WB shoots anything over 8 feet that isn't a 3? Tase him...
WB today against the Raptors, 22 PTS, 3-11 from 3, 4-6 otherwise, 3 RB, 4 Ast, 4 TO, 3 Stl, 5 fouls, in 25 minutes. So he's at least not taking long 2s. It's a start.

Per knowledgeable Rockets fans who watched the game, the pieces are there, but everyone looks really rusty and confused about working with each other. We'll see.
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Old 10-11-2019, 01:26 PM
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What should happen for the Rockets is Westbrook becomes the primary initial ball handler, with a main goal to push the pace. WB should either immediately find an open 3 pt shooter or lob to Capela, or slash to the basket. Way to the basket blocked? Kick it to James or another shooter, or Capela for a dunk. James gets the ball, either shoot whatever he wants, let him try to break his man/men down off the dribble, or pass it as above.

If WB shoots anything over 8 feet that isn't a 3? Tase him. James is one of the slowest paced players in the league; WB, one of the quickest, once upon a time. So let WB push the ball up first. The defense collapses around WB, James, or Gordon, House, Tucker, or Capela get open: shoot. Gordon in particular was one of the better shooters in the NBA for the last two months of the season. Defense? Shrug.

How it will actually work? You've got me. I suspect badly, although everyone is making the right noises now.
[I don't have any stats to back this up so...]

In my opinion, both Westbrook and Harden are most effective with the ball in their respective hands and both typically require some extended setup time to get to their preferred spots to take their preferred shots. I also think both shoot better off the dribble vs spot up and I don't think Westbrook is a very good shooter overall (great player, just not a good shooter). Add to that the fact that both players have spent the last however many years dribbling the air out of the ball for most of the shot clock and just don't think either guy has a game that is capable of adjusting to the other.

I like what you laid out as a basic frame work for early game possessions but I fear that when the pace inevitably slows down at the end of every game we're going to see Westbrook handle the ball and take the shot for one trip then Harden will do the same for the next (much like the failed offense Durant and Westbrook used to run in OKC). I think they would have better success if one of them came off the bench and they interacted as little as possible.
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