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  #151  
Old 12-28-2019, 11:15 PM
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Impressive Raptors win in Boston tonight. Lowry had 30 points.
First time I noticed Raptors 905 player Oshae Brissett, who made a stellar appearance (for the first time?) tonight, getting some important buckets (and rebounds) late in the game after Anunoby and Hollis-Jefferson fouled out.
Great Rap defense - Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward were all more or less invinsible.

Last edited by Guest-starring: Id!; 12-28-2019 at 11:18 PM.
  #152  
Old 12-29-2019, 09:53 AM
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Philly continues to wander aimlessly in search of an offensive identity, and I wonder how long the Brett Brown experiment can last. Running the offense through Embiid at the top of the key and Simmons down low, in "rebounding position" is not working, and is a poor compensation for Simmons failure/refusal to shoot the ball. Also, not running a pick-and-roll through Embiid and not getting him the ball in the paint (most of the time, and nearly all of the 4th quarter and overtime last night) creates a scenario where he has to dribble and work his way into position, or take long-range jump shots. This results in a lot of turnovers and 3-point attempts, neither of which you want associated with a 7' center.

Their defense is generally excellent, but with Simmons running the offense, his inability to take a 6-12' jump shot (or force contact, get a foul call, and make a foul shot) lets defenders guard the basket forcing him to pass the ball to an outside shooter. While there are flashes of brilliance, his offensive game is so woefully under-developed that it seems difficult to see how this approach can be successful.

Last edited by phungi; 12-29-2019 at 09:54 AM.
  #153  
Old 12-29-2019, 03:26 PM
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Philly continues to wander aimlessly in search of an offensive identity, and I wonder how long the Brett Brown experiment can last. Running the offense through Embiid at the top of the key and Simmons down low, in "rebounding position" is not working, and is a poor compensation for Simmons failure/refusal to shoot the ball. Also, not running a pick-and-roll through Embiid and not getting him the ball in the paint (most of the time, and nearly all of the 4th quarter and overtime last night) creates a scenario where he has to dribble and work his way into position, or take long-range jump shots. This results in a lot of turnovers and 3-point attempts, neither of which you want associated with a 7' center.
I'm honestly surprised at how much the lack of Jimmy Butler has slowed down Philly's offense. I mean, I knew it would, but not by this much.

The Sixers are really good at hitting shots - by any measure, they are remarkably effective at putting the ball in the basket when they make shots. But they just aren't good at TAKING shots, which obviously can be an okay thing - high percentage shots are better than a larger number of low percentage shots. But those things aren't evening out; despite having a really, really high shooting percentage, they don't create enough first shots to take advantage of it (and suck at free throws.)

Simmons is just such a weird player. He's the oddest collection of strengths and weaknesses and the position he theoretically plays than I have ever seen; it's surely no wonder Brown struggles to find a system that works. I am not sure any coach wouldn't struggle with this.
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  #154  
Old 01-01-2020, 01:04 PM
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Raptors played some good ball yesterday against the Cavaliers. Anunoby went 5 for 8, heís been struggling this season, sinking only 20% of his field goals, and didnít start but played 30 minutes. Raps looked great against Boston, too after looking exhausted on Christmas. Didnít see their 98-97 loss to Oklahoma, but at least it was close.

Hopefully Siakam and Gasol are well enough to return soon. Most of the Raptors games in January are against <0.500 teams they usually trounce.

Trailblazers are playing some good games.
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  #155  
Old 01-03-2020, 11:38 AM
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Until the last few.

Raptors couldn’t have made a gift basket yesterday - anything near the basket stayed out. Decent defence, terrible shooting against the Heat in a game they should have won if anything went down.
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  #156  
Old 01-03-2020, 05:20 PM
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Trailblazers are playing some good games.
But losing most of them.
  #157  
Old 01-03-2020, 05:32 PM
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Hawks seem to be trying to trade for Andre Drummond - he's even trending on retwitter. They say the Mavs have interest, too. Luka + Dre could be interesting.

I thought there'd be more trades considering of all the free agents, and them being available for trade Dec. 15th.. Trade deadline is one month away.
  #158  
Old 01-03-2020, 08:26 PM
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Impressive Raptors win in Boston tonight. Lowry had 30 points.
First time I noticed Raptors 905 player Oshae Brissett, who made a stellar appearance (for the first time?) tonight, getting some important buckets (and rebounds) late in the game after Anunoby and Hollis-Jefferson fouled out.
Great Rap defense - Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward were all more or less invinsible.
Brissett was actually making his eighth appearance of the regular season (and his career) on 12/28, but he set career highs in points (4) and rebounds (6).
  #159  
Old 01-04-2020, 10:29 AM
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Interesting that Carmelo Anthony is getting cheered in venues outside of Portland. The crowd in New York was actually chanting his name a few nights ago. And he was loudly applauded and cheered in last night's game against the Wizards. People love a come-back kid, I guess.
  #160  
Old 01-04-2020, 08:40 PM
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Once again a slow start and big finish with a 121-102 win over the Nets. Nets shot well but after 32 turnovers lost their fifth in a row. Raptors played good defence but couldn’t sink the ball on good looks for much of the first half. Raptors were down as much as 16 points in the 2nd quarter.

Powell, Gasol and Siakam remain out, so the Raps have been 5-4 without some big men. VanVleet and Ibaka look like they ended the game with minor injuries. Portland on Tuesday, I heard ChefGuy is bringing it.
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  #161  
Old 01-05-2020, 12:34 PM
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Once again a slow start and big finish with a 121-102 win over the Nets. Nets shot well but after 32 turnovers lost their fifth in a row. Raptors played good defence but couldnít sink the ball on good looks for much of the first half. Raptors were down as much as 16 points in the 2nd quarter.

Powell, Gasol and Siakam remain out, so the Raps have been 5-4 without some big men. VanVleet and Ibaka look like they ended the game with minor injuries. Portland on Tuesday, I heard ChefGuy is bringing it.
Yes, in our ever-increasing attempt to reach rock bottom. VanVleet shredded our defense last time around. If he's injured, we might have a shot.
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:31 AM
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Yes, in our ever-increasing attempt to reach rock bottom. VanVleet shredded our defense last time around. If he's injured, we might have a shot.
After what had to be one of the least deserved wins, Portland did indeed prevail, but not until the last 13 seconds of the game. Toronto dominated the entire game with excellent defense. If not for their poor shooting, it would have been a rout. As bad as their shooting was, Portland's was worse. Lillard had a total of two points in the first three quarters. If not for Carmelo, they could have packed up and gone home very early on.
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Old 01-08-2020, 07:19 PM
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Though I wish the game and a coupla late calls had gone differently, Portland played a great fourth quarter and made many beautiful 3-pointers from way, way out. Carmelo has been around for a long time and it is nice to see him playing well. But even injured, Toronto probably should have won that game. Horseshoes and hand grenades, sure. Portland still deserves credit.
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  #164  
Old 01-09-2020, 03:56 AM
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Nice to see the Raptors 905 (oh and Lowry and Ibaka) scrape by Charlotte with a nailbiting 122-110 overtime win. (ETA: and doing it on the second night of a back-to-back...surpassing the Bucks in leading the NBA with most consecutive back-to-backs with at least one win: 22) At points, it looked surreal, when Kyle and Serge weren't on the floor at the same time, so that Anunoby was the only ha! "veteran" player on the floor.
How Nick Nurse is powering this green, walking band-aid of a team (yeah, I get it - not as bad as the straights GS are in*, but still) is really impressive, especailly with his recent motivation of youngster Terence Davis, whose previous two games weren't up to his or anyone's standards. Nurse called him out after the Portland loss, and lit a fire under his rump by giving TD II his first start, next game against the Hornets, to which the latter responded with a 14-point first quarter and finishing up with a career-best 23 points (with 11 rebounds!)

Norm Powell was an almost for the game - hopefully next one. So far the Raps are 6 and 5 without Gasol, Siakam, and Powell. (No - not Emerson, Lake, and Powell!) Hopefully Van Vleet won't be on that list for too long, but has an unpromisingly vague "out for a while" staus.

*Trivia fun-fact: the Raptors and Blazers (as of earlier this week) had lost the same amount of man-games to injury: 128.

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  #165  
Old 01-09-2020, 04:10 AM
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Er, make that a 112-110 win.
  #166  
Old 01-09-2020, 01:27 PM
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Anunobyís playing well after being called out, but yesterday belonged to Davis. Most of Januaryís games are against <.500 teams that would normally be mostly wins. But Toronto is 3rd in the league with missed injury time (behind Golden State and Washington) and the bench are playing long minutes and look exhausted by the end of the game. Since resting until Sunday, lots of time for minor injuries to return.

Still, a decent comeback win last night and proof that a deep bench can solve some problems. But the difference in stats for the first and second halves tells a tired tale. Hoping theyíll be firing on all cylinders in a few weeks.
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  #167  
Old 01-09-2020, 02:43 PM
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I'd just like to pop in to say that my Thunder have been quite the pleasant surprise this year. Last summer, no one thought that Paul would ever wear a Thunder uniform. Now, it looks like he's settled into his mentor role and OKC could actually be a playoff team. With all of the draft picks that they have stockpiled, the future looks pretty bright.
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  #168  
Old 01-16-2020, 10:11 AM
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Well, here we are at the halfway point of the season. No real surprises out there, it seems. POR continues to try to get its act together. They had a surprisingly robust game in a win against Houston last night, with the defense holding Harden to 13 points. The team maintained its energy throughout instead of doing its usual fainting act in the second half. I suppose they could still claw their way into the playoffs, but the bench is just too weak.
  #169  
Old 01-16-2020, 12:02 PM
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With Siakam and Gasol in the line-up, the Raptors played well against home-team Oklahoma yesterday. They shot 70% or so and were up most of the game. They looked like a championship team. Of course, the favoured (-2) OKC rallied with a 17-4 run and came within three points near the end. The Raptors looked great but have recently lost four games in the last few minutes. When energetic VanVleet returns, they should have the endurance they need. The Raptors only have played six games this year with their squad at full strength.
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  #170  
Old 01-16-2020, 01:41 PM
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As noted in post #2, I was skeptical the Wizards could crack double figure wins. Much to my, and everyone's surprise, while they literally play zero defense, they are actually quite effective on offense; effective enough that they've managed to win 13 games so far.

Davis Bertans, acquired in a 3-way trade last summer, has been an amazing pickup for them and if they were interested in moving him they could almost name their price, but rumor has it they are going to try and resign him.
  #171  
Old 01-18-2020, 08:29 PM
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Portland is in the trade game again. They're getting rid of Tolliver (no great loss) and Bazemore (good defender) and picking up Trevor Ariza, who's been in the league for 16 years and coming off the bench for SAC. We are apparently also getting Caleb Swanigan back for some reason. He wasn't worth a shit when he was here the first time, and I doubt that things have changed much.

Oh, and as of last night C.J. McCollum is out with a sprained ankle. So, with the trades and injuries, Portland will be able to field about 7-8 players for tonight's game against OKC.

If I was Damian Lillard, I'd be saying 'fuck this mess; somebody buy out my contract'.
  #172  
Old 01-18-2020, 11:00 PM
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Raptors played a great double header, first against Washington two games ago when they set a franchise record with 140 points in regulation, as Gasol - who appears to have not lost his stride, at all, from injury - matched a personal best six made three's, while youngster Terence Davis II matched his career best with 23 points. Meanwhile Powell continues to dazzle with his mix of downtowners and slightly-more-ninja-than-usual dunks Nice little shot of dopamine each time I see one of those - can't get enough of'em.

Gasol has been like a taller Lowry (ok maybe not in looks, perhaps) in terms of motivating - no - commandeering - the team to play at their highest level, to be sure, encouraging extra passing, providing defense that made him 2013 D.P.Y., along with many intangibles.

Heh - kinda sad seeing Boucher sitting on the bench, looking a little glum. (Well, until with about four minutes left against the Wizards - I guess Nurse was still smarting from losing too many late leads.) (with Boucher even sadder when Freddie gets back!)

Speaking of Van Vleet's return, tonight he came back in the Raptors' 122-112 win, and put in a 29-point performance (and career-high seven three's!), against the T-Wolves, who came out high-flying in the first quarter (too lazy to find out their shooting % but it was amazing, even with close contesting). I was thinking, great, the Raptors will have their hands full, here, but with the Raps being lead by Freddie (And Gasol again) Minnesota wasn't able to keep up that torrid pace, as TO clamped down with better defense for the remaining three quarters.

Without Kawhi, they're two points off their pace from last season.

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  #173  
Old 01-18-2020, 11:20 PM
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Over half the Raptors' points tonight from the small guys; Lowry, VanVleet, Powell. Pascal Siakam wasn't anything special and OG Anunoby was a non-factor.

Siakam hasn't really got his stride back off his injury.

I had a discussion with a colleague at work the other day; who is the greatest Raptor ever? I argued, and am really convinced, that it's Kyle Lowry. Surely it has to be? Yes, Vicne Carter put the team on the map, but he wasn't that great a player for more than 3 seasons in Toronto and he led them to nothing. Yes, Kawhi Leonard, but he was only here a year. Demar DeRozan played more games and scored more points but piling up points was his only skill; he wasn't a two way player, not even close.

Lowry has the longetivity, he's a two way player and truly a great one, and he's got a ring.
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  #174  
Old 01-18-2020, 11:32 PM
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Yeah figured Siakam hasn't quite found his stride yet with a groin recovery, which can be protracted. Hopefully he didn't come back too soon.

Lowry - goat - without question. For the reasons, RJ, you outlined.

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  #175  
Old 01-19-2020, 12:22 PM
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It was a pleasure to see the Raptors back to full strength. The Timberwolves are a good team - Wiggins is great - but were outmatched at home.

VanVleet is my favourite Raptor, and a lot of the defensive coverage, assists, leadership, forcing turnovers, and endurance to play well for 40-45 minutes falls under the radar. Itís a different team when he is around. Other players get tired at the end of the game, and the Raps sometimes struggle to put games away.

Gasol has been shooting better than before. He was always a decent defender. Last night he was sinking the balls from a distance.

Anunoby has struggled but had some bright moments. Siakam reached some heights when everyone was injuried and it was badly needed. He hasnít quite reached them recently, but only the playoffs really matter.

With Eastern teams 2-6 generally solid, Iím looking forward to future games. Hopefully they peak when needed and avoid further sprains. Nick Nurse is so clever I half-suspect he kept some of the injured players out longer to test the bench...
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  #176  
Old 01-20-2020, 11:38 AM
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A co-worker and I were talking NBA the other day - we are the biggest basketball fanatics in the office - when the subject of the Knicks came up.

As we all know, the Knicks suck, and they have sucked for a long time now. They aren't just a bad team, they're a trainwreck of a franchise. Everyone in New York City hates James Dolan. It's the place players and coaches go to quietly die, or at least wish they would. The Knicks are the subject of an Onion article pretty much every other year:

https://sports.theonion.com/bench-pl...ame-1819577529

https://sports.theonion.com/isiah-th...-la-1819569779

https://sports.theonion.com/knicks-c...r-3-1832729578

https://sports.theonion.com/knicks-f...-dr-1835705056

Here's the thing; we can't think of an example in a major pro sport of a team that should be a flagship franchise that is so, so god-awful terrible. I mean, sure, the Cincinnati Bengals are a disgrace, and the Seattle Mariners' history is not filled with glory, but one would not expect those team to be premiere franchises even if they won. The Knicks play in the Big Apple; they literally do business in Madison Square Garden. If they put a champion out there they'd be the biggest thing in sports.

We considered the Toronto Maple Leafs, but they've made the playoffs the last three years. Despite losing in the first round every year - in comical fashion, sometimes - we decided the Knicks edge them out because recent playoff appearances has to be worth a lot in this "Competition."
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  #177  
Old 01-20-2020, 08:28 PM
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...an example in a major pro sport of a team that should be a flagship franchise that is so, so god-awful terrible.
Dallas Cowboys?
ok maybe not
The Habs haven't exactly been exemplary for quite some time now.


Excellent seeing Norm Powell coming into his own. Going back before his injury, he's scored 20 or more points in 8 of his last 9 games. Starting to hear some buzz about him becoming one of the better transition scorers in the NBA.

Greasy win over Atlanta.
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:09 AM
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Wow, a veritable slugfest last night between POR and GSW. Lillard scored 61 points with 10 rebounds and 7 assists. He set a personal and franchise scoring best, and a franchise record of 11 3-pointers. He's one of only five players in NBA history (since the merger) to put up stats like that. POR won in overtime 129-124. Whiteside had 6 blocks in a game that was close throughout.
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:24 AM
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Dallas Cowboys?
ok maybe not
The Habs haven't exactly been exemplary for quite some time now.
They're a disappointing team right now but their 10-15 year recent history is far, far better than Toronto's. Buffalo has now missed the playoffs eight years in a row and it looks like they'll make it nine, but I think Buffalo is not ever going to be a premiere franchise.

Getting this back to the NBA, I think most people would agree the league's three marquee teams are New York, the Lakers, and the Celtics, for reasons related to market size and (with the Celtics) history. The Bulls are just a hair below that, and the Raptors are an odd case moving up the ladder. (The Nets and Clippers are i nthe two big markets but are poor cousins.) Only the Knicks are terrible and a marquee franchise.

The longest NBA streak without playoffs on the go is Sacramento, who've missed the playoffs 13 years in a row, and they aren't looking good to avoid number 14. That is really kind of an amazing accomplishment when half the league makes the playoffs. However, Sacramento, again, is not a premiere franchise no matter what. The NFL is 17, by - of course - the Browns. Baseball, the hardest one to make the playoffs in by a small margin over the NFL (10 out of 30 teams; the NFL is 12/32) is the Mariners at 18 years. None premiere franchises.
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:07 AM
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Here's the thing; we can't think of an example in a major pro sport of a team that should be a flagship franchise that is so, so god-awful terrible.
The Houston Oilers deserve some sort of career achievement award. A pro football team in Texas' biggest city, they were flat terrible for a while, got a hall of fame running back but then lost in the playoffs every year anyway, were flat terrible for a while again, finally amassed enough high draft pick talent that they became good almost in spite of themselves, then proceeded to lose in increasingly humiliating fashion in the playoffs every year until they collapsed again, then basically ran themselves out of town.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:52 PM
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Raptors start slow and end strong against a good 76er squad. VanVleet continues to impress after returning from injury, being the only Raptor sinking 3s consistently. Siakam and Powell played well. Anunoby continued to struggle and only played 20 minutes.

Overall, good play and some trouble closing. Tonight they struggled with 3s but finally began compensating by dominating in the paint. The team is 23-2 against under 500s but needs more consistency and better play against good teams, even if they tend to be close games.

The Knicks have struggled but 2 teams are worse. Hey, the Clippers were once bad too.
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:22 PM
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The third-heaviest player in the NBA played his first game as a professional, as Zion Williamson notched 17 points in just over 3 min. in the 4th, losing to the Spurs. 22 points - not shabs for a rookie debut.
Wow - 6'6'', 285 lbs., sometimes as athletic as a Westbrook, but already has knee problems: not sure how that recipe is sustainable.
  #183  
Old 01-23-2020, 10:57 PM
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The starters have been announced for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game. As leading vote-getters in their respective conferences, LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will choose sides for the February 16 contest in Chicago.


WESTERN CONFERENCE POOL

F LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers (16th selection)
C Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers (7th)
F James Harden, Houston Rockets (8th)
G Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks (1st)
G Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Lakers (4th)

EASTERN CONFERENCE POOL

F Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks (4th)
C Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (3rd)
F Kemba Walker, Boston Celtics (4th)
G Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors (1st)
G Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks (1st)

The reserves will be announced next Thursday on TNT.
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Old 01-24-2020, 10:27 AM
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Another wild scoring melee, this time between POR and the Mavs. Mavs shot 75% in the first quarter and the Blazers shot in the high 60s. In other words, horrible defensive effort by both teams. Ariza did pretty well for his first game with a new team, but Swanigan is pretty much unchanged, as I had feared. The guy couldn't hit water if he fell out of a canoe. I really don't understand the Blazers' strategies. Why is Stotts allowing so much iso play in a league that has no problem defending it? Why are they seemingly unable to adapt their defense to other teams? Seems like their coaching staff is stuck in the 80s.
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Old 01-24-2020, 10:34 AM
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The starters have been announced for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game. As leading vote-getters in their respective conferences, LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will choose sides for the February 16 contest in Chicago.


WESTERN CONFERENCE POOL

F LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers (16th selection)
C Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers (7th)
F James Harden, Houston Rockets (8th)
G Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks (1st)
G Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Lakers (4th)

EASTERN CONFERENCE POOL

F Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks (4th)
C Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (3rd)
F Kemba Walker, Boston Celtics (4th)
G Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors (1st)
G Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks (1st)

The reserves will be announced next Thursday on TNT.
/nitpick/ That would be the Clippers Kawhi's on /nitpick/

Does the west look considerably stronger?
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:48 PM
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I'm surprised Pascal made it. He started off strong but missed a lot of time and hasn't been exceptional since his return. He isn't even the third best guard on his own team (if you treat him as a guard, which he isn't, but they've sent him as a guard.) Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet are.
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  #187  
Old 01-24-2020, 04:37 PM
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Blarg, Clippers; I knew that.

The West does seem to have brought a better starting lineup pool than the East, but of course this is really a matchup between Team LeBron and Team Giannis. They'll choose their own lineups.

Luka is clearly a deserving candidate, and a strong choice for MVP in the first half of the season.
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Old 01-26-2020, 05:02 PM
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Siakam has personally scored 30 points, Raptors vs Spurs, still in the second quarter. Sure looks like his mojo is rising.

Knicks looked half decent against Toronto. Not a great season, but not Onion worthy.

So sad about Kobe. Did so many things so well.
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  #189  
Old 01-26-2020, 08:09 PM
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Of course, the Spurs rallied from some immense deficit to tie it up with minutes left. Raptors won, in a squeaker. Still, first victory when Spurs at home since 2007 - surprising.

Still, for the first quarter they looked like they could beat anybody. 538 has lowered their chance of a repeat to 2-10% depending on system. Iím more generous and give them 20%, only some of which is wishful thinking.

VanVleet looked good as always. They did a good job of limiting 3s in the first half. In fairness, it looked like they let some people play once their lead was big. Maybe not the best move in retrospect but I think Iím done questioning Nick Nurse. So many injuries but generally making it close and usually pulling through.
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Old 01-27-2020, 07:05 AM
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Of course, the Spurs rallied from some immense deficit to tie it up with minutes left. Raptors won, in a squeaker. Still, first victory when Spurs at home since 2007 - surprising.

Still, for the first quarter they looked like they could beat anybody. 538 has lowered their chance of a repeat to 2-10% depending on system. Iím more generous and give them 20%, only some of which is wishful thinking.
20% is insanely wishful. Look at it this way; are the Raptors better than the Bucks? The Lakers? No, so those teams need a bigger percentage, right?

Okay, are the Raptors demonstrably superior to the Heat? Celtics? Clippers? Rockets? Not really. They might be AS GOOD as them, but you can't say they're definitely better. If they are not definitely better than 6-7 other teams they can't be 20% to win it all; if you predict that they will face a roughly equal opponent in every playoff round it's 6.25%. If you think the first playoff opponent will be inferior it's higher than 6.25% but still no more than 12.5%.

538 has them at 2% to repeat as of now. I think that's too low, but 5% might be ambitious. I mean, they're still a way better bet than most teams.
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  #191  
Old 01-27-2020, 09:26 AM
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WESTERN CONFERENCE POOL

F LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers (16th selection)
C Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers (7th)
F James Harden, Houston Rockets (8th)
G Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks (1st)
G Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Lakers (4th)

EASTERN CONFERENCE POOL

F Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks (4th)
C Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (3rd)
F Kemba Walker, Boston Celtics (4th)
G Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors (1st)
G Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks (1st)
I haven't kept up with how NBA All-stars are selected, but how is Kemba a Forward? He's not even a very good shooting guard (he's an elite, marginal All-Star point guard).

And, in my opinion (look at Saturday's game if you need convincing), I'd rather have Al Horford than Embiid, but that's just how All-Star games work.
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:11 AM
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The Raptors werenít demonstratably better than most of the teams they beat last year. No, they donít play as consistently well as the Bucks. They looked pretty good beating the Lakers when they had all those injuries and Siakam was on point. The Raptors have a tougher schedule than many.

There are eight to ten great teams in the league now, but not all of them are incumbents and have a 10-12% chance. 20% is wildly optimistic, sure. But 2%? You thought I was being wildly optimistic when I said the Raptors would be 56-26, and 538 called something like 47-48 wins. Still looks right to me.
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:37 AM
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Curious if this happened in other games moving forward from yesteday - very moving, at the beginning of the Raps / Spurs game, when each team let the "24"-second shot clock run out, in each teams' first possession, in honour of Kobe.
Incredibly surreal - watching the players just standing around, waiting out the clock, the At+T Centre quiet as a library, my throat getting lumpy (again). Even after the first two rejected possessions, there was a significant pause (a very long minute or so) and I wondered for a sec if whether or not these guys were going to actually be able to continue on. And then slowly, the first few trips, for each team, were wierdly hesitant-looking, like they were not at all into this. Then Siakam became a machine as the game's flow and rhythm gradually picked up.
  #194  
Old 01-27-2020, 12:57 PM
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Curious if this happened in other games moving forward from yesteday - very moving, at the beginning of the Raps / Spurs game, when each team let the "24"-second shot clock run out, in each teams' first possession, in honour of Kobe.
Incredibly surreal - watching the players just standing around, waiting out the clock, the At+T Centre quiet as a library, my throat getting lumpy (again). Even after the first two rejected possessions, there was a significant pause (a very long minute or so) and I wondered for a sec if whether or not these guys were going to actually be able to continue on. And then slowly, the first few trips, for each team, were wierdly hesitant-looking, like they were not at all into this. Then Siakam became a machine as the game's flow and rhythm gradually picked up.
Same thing with the Blazers and Pacers. Oddly enough, the Blazers played what was probably their best game of the season, handing the road-weary Pacers a loss with excellent ball movement and a determined defense. Lillard set yet another franchise record of three 40+ games in a row, and Whiteside had yet another double-double and 6 blocked shots.
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Old 01-27-2020, 05:09 PM
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The Raptors weren’t demonstratably better than most of the teams they beat last year. No, they don’t play as consistently well as the Bucks. They looked pretty good beating the Lakers when they had all those injuries and Siakam was on point. The Raptors have a tougher schedule than many.

There are eight to ten great teams in the league now, but not all of them are incumbents and have a 10-12% chance. 20% is wildly optimistic, sure. But 2%? You thought I was being wildly optimistic when I said the Raptors would be 56-26, and 538 called something like 47-48 wins. Still looks right to me.
Again, I don't happen to agree with 2%. I'd guess 5-10%. Upon further study I do not think 5% is ambitious.

I do not precisely comprehend the 538 rankings in their specifics because I absolutely don't understand how they have the Sixers ranked that high. No other measurement methodology has Philly anywhere near that. The Simple Rating System, which has a fairly good track record of predicting playoff fortunes, figures they're only fourth best in the East, miles behind Milwaukee and substantially inferior to the Raps and the Celtics, and I suspect the great majority of basketball observers would subjectively agree with that.

My concern with the Sixers is that they are not especially good at scoring points, which, I hasten to point out, is rather a central skill in winning basketball games. I am personally of the opinion that the favourite to win the Finals should be good at both scoring and preventing scoring.
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  #196  
Old 01-27-2020, 08:38 PM
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In fairness, I did say 20% was wishful ó sometimes your reach should exceed your grasp.

If the Raptors make the final, they probably have even odds of winning it. If the Bucks donít make the final for whatever reason, their chances are better. Iíd say the chance the Raptors make the final might not be so far from 20%.
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Old 01-28-2020, 01:56 PM
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To add more grist to the mill, you could say the Raptors have an amazing away record, maybe second best. Itís an important statistic since in the playoffs roughly half your games arenít at home.

Sure. A bit vainglorious. But RickJay, what would you say are the Raptors chance of making it to the final? The Bucks?
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Old 01-28-2020, 03:01 PM
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In fairness, I did say 20% was wishful ó sometimes your reach should exceed your grasp.

If the Raptors make the final, they probably have even odds of winning it. If the Bucks donít make the final for whatever reason, their chances are better. Iíd say the chance the Raptors make the final might not be so far from 20%.
If say thatís about right considering you can throw a blanket over 5 teams (the obvious 5). Iíd reckon Miami, Philly, and Toronto all have guys to throw at Giannis so those teams would be a tough matchup for the Bucks.

Philly s problem is that I donít think they can beat the other 3. Miami and Toronto both have a great chance to be finalists.

In the finals, Iíd take any eastern team of the 5 good ones (6 if Oladipo returns and is good). I donít think the Lakers are good and Iím concerned about the Clippers. I donít believe in any other western team.

But who knows, itís January.
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Old 01-30-2020, 08:12 PM
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I'm horrible at math, so it'll be difficult trying to keep score towards the end of this Friday's game between the Blazers and Lakers, the latter playing their first game post-Kobe. Thankfully it's for only that game they'll try the funky scoring system.
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Old 01-31-2020, 10:17 AM
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The All-Star reserves have been announced. As stated before, they'll be part of the pool for captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo to choose from.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

F Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat (5th selection)
F Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat (1st)
G Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers (2nd)
F Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks (2nd)
G Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors (6th)
C Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers (1st)
F Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics (1st)

WESTERN CONFERENCE

C Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets (2nd)
G Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (5th)
C Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz (1st)
F Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans (1st)
G Chris Paul, Oklahoma City Thunder (10th)
G Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz (1st)
G Russell Westbrook, Houston Rockets (9th)
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