NBA 2020 Redux - The Seasonette

It just breaks my heart to revive the old NBA thread after such a long break. The beloved Raptors play on August 1st against the Lakers. 538.com has both LA teams favoured to win and place, somehow ignoring Toronto and always impressive Milwaukee. And the Clippers looked unimpressive losing to Sacramento. I don’t think their new ratings system is great.

It’s understood that things are different and will take some getting used to. But it’s not like the teams are fundamentally different. Crowds matter, and I guess we’re going to find out how much.

Funny how Rudy “I’m not taking this virus seriously…oops, I have it” Gobert scored the first points of the revived season, and had an overall good game (currently tied with seconds to go…make that overtime).

The fake crowd noise works well, I think, on the TV.

The BLM slogans in place of jersey names are astounding. I love them. In any other situation, THAT would be big news. I know it’s just words, but it’s pretty amazing.

I watched Milwaukee squeak by Boston. The crowd noises are a nice touch. It’s not the real thing but it’s a lot better than nothing. Go Raptors!

But the NBA’s (and players’) bowing to China and not even being able to talk about the Uighurs is just too hypocritical for my taste.

True. It’s still all about the mad bones, when push comes to shove.

Watching the Raptors play well against the Lakers— starting and finishing well in a back and forth with little rhythm. Up 107-92 with a few seconds left in the game.

Lowry and Anunoby were hot. Defence too. The bench, not so much. In the third quarter, the announcers mentioned that Toronto had beat the Lakers ten games in a row. Wait! What? Where’s that in the 538.com prognosis?

And now Toronto has bested LAL the last eleven straight times they met. Wait, what?

They also beat Chicago twelve times in a row and Atlanta the last ten times. Overall, they are 18-28 to LAL presumably having lost the first gazillion games when starting the franchise.

The Rockets are a good team but I was surprised they beat Milwaukee. Maybe they were tired after Boston?

Wondering what people think about the digital crowds? I must say I find them amusing during free throw shots, with the digital distractions.

Toronto up 61-48 early in the third over Miami. Looking pretty good. But I’m confused why they are no longer showing the shot clock. Not an editorial decision I would have made, even if it doesn’t matter much.

Looks like the shot clock is back. Maybe just a glitch.

Raptors 23-4 since January 15, best in the league (y’hear, 538?).

Lost the last two vs. Miami but squeaked through 107-103 playing a very consistent game. VanVleet was astounding.

I like being able to hear the referees justify their calls in the video replay.

The Nets beat the Bucks, even though 538 gave Milwaukee a 97% chance and a 21.5 spread. They’re a great team but may not have the staying power or depth of bench to go all the way.

A 97% chance comes up on the short end 1 in 30 times or so. With 22 teams (so 11 games each set), so you’d expect that big a fluke once after three games. So, it could indicate something about the Bucks, or it could be the fluke just happened in the game with the very big underdog.

Sure, I agree. But I think it’s more likely that 538’s statistical system is not configured to take in the weirdness of the seasonette. It uses data involving things like crowds (home teams in the NBA win 58-68% of games), travel, no long pauses…

The next few Bucks games may or may not tell us more.

VanVleet’s 36 points last game deserves mention. It’s a career high. But great defence as well. I hope Toronto can afford him when his contract comes up for renewal and that he doesn’t Kawai.

It’s going to take the Raptors while to get rid off the stench from how badly they stank against Boston. Still, everyone deserves an off night. They just couldn’t sink any three pointers or prevent turnovers, compared to their usual competent shooting. Credit where credit is due for Boston.

Raptors with a very slow start against the Grizzlies but kept improving throughout the game.

Celtics a bit lucky to win tonight. Portland looking very strong. Clippers, not so much.

76ers in trouble if Simmons is out for the season?

TO without Lowry looking strong against the Bucks without Giannis. Up 10 points with 5 minutes left. Mostly using subs with Boucher and Thomas looking good and Powell particularly sharp.