The Basketball Thread



  • @arkandel A team's culture is more important to me than their win/loss ratio. I'd rather not have the Ball family anywhere near the Spurs.

    And Leonard's attitude is cancerous. Maybe we'll take Cousins next year if he can prove to be a mature adult for his one year on the Warriors (and his output hasn't dropped too far).

    Spurs are gonna lose with Leonard any way they trade him if you take him at face value. His output when he was willing to play? Phenomenal. But right now? Kuzma + Hart + Picks is /more than fair/ for a player who won't play.



  • @admiral said in The Basketball Thread:

    If you can't work with Pop then there is no other coach in the league you can rely on.

    More to the point, if you can't play with Pop than no other sane coach in the league is going to take you on.



  • @arkandel said in The Basketball Thread:

    There's really nothing wrong with Lonzo other than his shot, and even that is fixable. He's quite young, and at times he's shot well. You're thinking of his dad, but what is he supposed to do about that? We don't choose our relatives.

    That's Lonzo's problem, unfortunately. And then that of anyone that chooses to sign him. Traditionally plenty of teams have passed on players because of the drama they bring with him. In this unique case, the drama comes from the player's family rather than the player himself, but it is still plenty of drama. The shit his dad stirred up in LA is far worth passing on Ball. Telling the media that the coach has lost the locker room? Psh... Lonzo Ball isn't worth it. He's proven to be an average starter. The drama is even worse coming from the dad because you can't do much about the dad. You can't bench him, fine him, nothing. But the dad can say what he wants when he wants - which wouldn't be so bad for most player's family, except LaVar's got all this media exposure (for some reason). And his diarrhea of the mouth carries.

    I actually really wanted Lonzo to fail because I was tired of hearing his dad and seeing him everywhere, but every time I see Lonzo I actually feel really bad about those thoughts because he actually seems like a decent guy just who has a shit situation with an asshole dad.

    Now that the other brothers have failed in Lithuania, hopefully the Ball family drama will go away and Lonzo can just be himself for a while and play basketball.

    But yeah, I'd definitely pass on Ball until he gets much better, the drama has proven to be gone, or he comes out stronger publicly against the crap his father says (which he's currently been unwilling to do).




  • Admin

    @ganymede I think it's a really bad move.

    Demar had his issues but he was as loyal as it comes - he stayed with Toronto through its worse years, and he was a multiple time All Star. He loved the city. And the Raptors have issues getting players to want to come here... now we are trading the guy who did.

    Whether Kawhi stays (which is unlikely, since he said it himself) or goes it's a bad idea. I just hope they trade him to the Lakers for some young talent or picks instead of letting him simply walk in a year with nothing.



  • @arkandel said in The Basketball Thread:

    I think it's a really bad move.

    I don't think it is a good move. I'm still trying to figure out the logic behind it.

    I think Ujiri is feeling the heat. He was probably forced to fire Casey, because it made no sense to remove the guy that led your team to its best record, and the best record in the East, by empowering and actually deploying a bench of backups that were good enough to give starting rosters a fight.

    As such, he's in win-now mode. Getting Leonard does that. Leonard really has no option at this point but to play now and play hard because he's coming off a poor season and an allegedly-nagging injury. When he does that, the Raptors may try to leverage the performance, but, by then, they'd have already burned their bridge with Lowry.

    This reminds me of the time when the Penguins traded Jagr, which ended up working in the long run in its favor.


  • Admin

    @ganymede said in The Basketball Thread:

    I don't think it is a good move. I'm still trying to figure out the logic behind it.

    See, I interpret this the other way - that this is a hedged bet between competing and rebuilding.

    If Kawhi is who he was before the injury and he re-signs next year then, well, he's obviously a considerable upgrade over DeRozan.

    If he's not as good or he decides to leave then there's suddenly a lot of salary cap space (especially since Lowry and Valanciunas' contacts expire at that time) to go into a full rebuild.

    What I don't understand is why they didn't just trade DMDR for picks, straight-up... that part could be the hope that Kawhi himself might, somehow, pay off.



  • @arkandel

    We're only 15-16 games, in, but:

    • With Leonard, the Raptors have the best record in the league. They used to be 12-1, but 12-3 isn't so bad.

    • The Spurs are 7-7, but are looking good with DMDR in a very competitive West.

    So, as I said before:

    "Well, it's not LeBron James, but I did say that the Raptors could be very competitive if they just added a marquis player to their roster."

    Lowry is 1st in the league in assists right now. Just about every player's stats are above their average marks. And who expected Pascal Siakam to tear it up as he has? Plus, you still have that deep bench that's currently rated No. 2.

    Looks like everyone benefited. For this season.


  • Admin

    @ganymede I agree, but wait until the Raptors go deeper into the season. Lowry has a history with nagging injuries (and he's not getting any younger), plus part of the hot start could be explained by a streak of home games and the competition in the East not yet having figured their shit out.

    Boston is too good to be this bad... and the Sixers with Butler could be a thing. Plus, you know, the freakin' Bucks are on a mission this year.


  • Admin

    Well, Boogie is back so now the Warriors are running 5 All-Stars.

    I guess that's that for this season.


  • Admin

    Rise, rise from the dead!

    http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/26495696/a-star-built-giannis-best-basketball-player-alive

    What the Bucks did to the Pistons last night was filthy.


  • Pitcrew

    I love Bledsoe so I'm all about the Bucks. MVP nod should go that way too.

    It's another Golden State year though.

    My Suns apathy continues. I watch at least half the games and each year I question myself. But I still go on.



  • @buttercup said in The Basketball Thread:

    It's another Golden State year though.

    I wouldn't be too sure of that, judging by what's going on in the NHL playoffs.


  • Admin

    The East is such a contested conference this year. It's pretty exciting now that LeBron is gone.

    Who do you guys have in the two matchups? Bucks versus the Celtics - both having swept through round 1 - and Sixers versus the Raptors?

    Personally I'm going with the Celtics narrowingly defeating the Bucks in a 7 game series, and Raptors pulling a more comfortable 4-2.



  • @Arkandel said in The Basketball Thread:

    Who do you guys have in the two matchups? Bucks versus the Celtics - both having swept through round 1 - and Sixers versus the Raptors?

    Personally I'm going with the Celtics narrowingly defeating the Bucks in a 7 game series, and Raptors pulling a more comfortable 4-2.

    I concur with your prognostications. The Celtics will have the edge on the Bucks because I'll take Irving and experience. Same with the 76ers, but because the Raptors have looked beastly on defense and can rotate two very good, experienced centers in and out of the line-up.

    After that, I'll take the Raptors over the Celtics. Leonard is clearly well-rested, and the Raptors have proved they can win without Lowry pulling off a dominant game..


  • Admin

    @Ganymede said in The Basketball Thread:

    I concur with your prognostications. The Celtics will have the edge on the Bucks because I'll take Irving and experience. Same with the 76ers, but because the Raptors have looked beastly on defense and can rotate two very good, experienced centers in and out of the line-up.

    Yeah and they look really deep. Plus if you have to pick a guy to take big shots in close games Kyrie is right there - he's a weird flat-earther and all but he's got ice in his veins and he's so good at improvising... he can tear apart a well constructed defense. His offensive game basically has no weaknesses.

    Giannis is just as unstoppable, mind you, but he depends on the supporting cast. And as good as Lopez and Middleton have looked this year they aren't nearly as experienced as Horford, Brogdon is still injured and Brown/Tatum can go off.

    After that, I'll take the Raptors over the Celtics. Leonard is clearly well-rested, and the Raptors have proved they can win without Lowry pulling off a dominant game..

    The Raptors have a great squad this year. Deep, with Siakam really emerging as a future All-Star on a really cheap contract. They have several guys who can spread the floor and several former All-Defensive or even DPY players in Kawhi, Green, Gasol. Basically they have no weaknesses defensively, they don't need to hide anyone. It's only their offense that concerns me against the Warriors if it goes that far since Lowry isn't there, Siakam is young and untried and Green was never meant to be a scoring machine.

    But frankly the Warriors are overpowered, nevermind their current issues putting the Clippers away.



  • @Arkandel said in The Basketball Thread:

    The Raptors have a great squad this year. Deep, with Siakam really emerging as a future All-Star on a really cheap contract. They have several guys who can spread the floor and several former All-Defensive or even DPY players in Kawhi, Green, Gasol. Basically they have no weaknesses defensively, they don't need to hide anyone. It's only their offense that concerns me against the Warriors if it goes that far since Lowry isn't there, Siakam is young and untried and Green was never meant to be a scoring machine.

    I think that's the key: the Raptors have no defensive weaknesses. LeBron exposed and exploited those weaknesses repeatedly, but that's why they traded for Leonard and Green, both of whom are tight on defense. I think the Raptors understand that this is their year, which means everyone will be squeezing an extra bit of effort on the floor. Also, VanFleet is looking great off the bench, and wily veterans like Lin and Ibaka can provide a burst of energy to toss opponents on their asses.

    But frankly the Warriors are overpowered, nevermind their current issues putting the Clippers away.

    Except, not in the paint. Losing Boogie is a huge problem for them now; they have to rely on what's left of Bogut. The Raptors could simply defend hard on the perimeter, and force Green into playing offense, which isn't his forte. I can see the Raptors making a solid run against Warriors, and maybe even beating them, by a defensively-responsible strategy with Ibaka and Gasol exploiting the paint hard. Hell, put them both out (Ibaka, I believe, used to be a PF) and watch the Warriors struggle to defend the interior game.


  • Admin

    @Ganymede I actually think (and we might be getting way ahead of ourselves here of course since the Raptors have two full series to grind through before they even get to the Finals) the key might be Marc Gasol.

    Sure, he's not the force he used to be but it's a contract year for him and the last bit of his prime, which for a player as hungry and tough as he is means this might very well be the one good chance he's got left to earn a ring. If that plays out then he's a guy who can spread the floor and an excellent passer who can help dissect an interior defense.

    Don't get me wrong, when the Warriors start hitting shots... it's over. There's no team - perhaps none ever - who can take a barrage from a hot Steph + Klay + KD and survive, simply because 3 points are more than 2 points. They can erase deficits and put you in the hole within minutes.

    On the other hand Steph is a big defensive liability and as you say, the fumes of Bogut will hardly match up well against the Raptors' big guys. Plus Kawhi+Green can defend Steph+Klay pretty well, for what you can do to guys prone to going nuclear on a second's notice. KD is a problem because of his length but Ibaka can rough him up if he can stay out of foul trouble.



  • @Arkandel said in The Basketball Thread:

    Personally I'm going with the Celtics narrowingly defeating the Bucks in a 7 game series, and Raptors pulling a more comfortable 4-2.

    One prediction down, and another looks pretty damn close. Looks like I was right predicting that the Ibaka / Gasol combo would hurt offenses. The two of them dominated in Game 4, and Green had a killer game in Game 5 to rout the 76ers. When the Raptors' defensive stalwarts start scoring in double-digits, they are apparently unstoppable.

    Not sure about the Warriors' chances without Durant and Boogie.


  • Admin

    @Ganymede I dislike the Warriors and I dislike KD's choices and personality but I really, really hate the idea of injuries deciding outcomes.

    But yeah, Giannis is a stone-cold killer. And Kawhi is an unstoppable machine. If the Raptors get to the ECF it will be amazing.


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