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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Saturday, May 25 2013)

  • [New York Times] Pacers Steal Game 2 Away From Heat in Miami, 97-93 (Sat, 25 May 2013 07:24:17 GMT)
    David West was more than a little disappointed when the Indiana Pacers failed to make a defensive play at the end to win Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.    

  • [New York Times] Game 2: Pacers 97, Heat 93: LeBron James Stumbles and Pacers Top Heat in Game 2 (Sat, 25 May 2013 06:04:07 GMT)
    LeBron James scored 36 points, but his two late turnovers helped Indiana beat Miami to tie the Eastern Conference finals at one game each.    

  • [New York Times] Liberty Look to Bill Laimbeer to Help Forge New Identity (Sat, 25 May 2013 05:43:39 GMT)
    Bill Laimbeer, the former Detroit Pistons Bad Boy who led the W.N.B.A.’s Shock to three titles, is determined to put his stamp on the Liberty.    

  • [New York Times] Pacers Turn Up Heat in Miami to Level Series (Sat, 25 May 2013 05:29:49 GMT)
    The Indiana Pacers threw open the NBA Eastern Conference finals on Friday, upsetting the Miami Heat with a 97-93 victory to level the best-of-seven series at 1-1.    

  • [New York Times] Pacers Steal Game 2 From Heat, 97-93 (Sat, 25 May 2013 04:27:16 GMT)
    David West punched two passes from LeBron James away in the final minute, then punched the air.    

  • [New York Times] Flynn Robinson, Sharpshooting N.B.A. Guard, Dies at 72 (Sat, 25 May 2013 04:25:29 GMT)
    Robinson was a 1970 All-Star, a seven-season N.B.A. player and a productive reserve guard on the first Los Angeles Lakers title team, which had a 33-game winning streak.    

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Once Again, the Heat Are Not the Knicks (Sat, 25 May 2013 01:12:53 GMT)
    Frank Vogel, the Pacers’ coach, made it clear that coming up with defenses was more of a challenge against Miami than against the Knicks.    

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Partial Labrum Tear for Anthony (Sat, 25 May 2013 01:11:34 GMT)
    Carmelo Anthony sustained a partial tear of his his labrum late in the regular season, and the Knicks’ medical staff has prescribed rest and rehabilitation for the injury.    

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: For Randolph, the Challenge Is Offense (Sat, 25 May 2013 01:09:43 GMT)
    The Spurs’ defense isn’t always remarkable, but it has been good enough to stop Zach Randolph and the Grizzlies.    

  • 47 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Saturday, May 25 2013)

    1. DS

      If the Pacers can find a way to beat the Heat, I’ll consider the Knicks’ elimination taking one for the team. :)

    2. Kouta

      DS:
      If the Pacers can find a way to beat the Heat, I’ll consider the Knicks’ elimination taking one for the team. :)

      I’m a Pacers fan. If it was Knicks vs. Heat I’d be rooting for the Knicks.

    3. d-mar

      Heat fans were spotted actually leaving early from last night’s game.

      I’m sorry, Miami does not deserve that team, what a joke. I hope LeBron noticed the early exits.

    4. Z-man

      ruru, really excellent analysis of Chandler’s limitations, and by extension, WP48′s. He’s extremely limited offensively, and unless surrounded by hot shooters (Nowitski, Terry, a non-fossilized Kidd) or excellent penetrators (Barea) he is a major detriment. If Kidd, Felton, and especially JR were hot, he would have been more of an asset. He needs others to create spacing for him, not the other way around. I think your analysis clearly shows that if the other players on the list limited themselves to the shots that Chandler takes, they would post similarly high TS% numbers.

      This is not to blame his offensive deficiencies for the Knicks failure in the playoffs. Frankly he did everything reasonably expected of him on O. The combination of poor shooting, poor ball movement, poor team defense, and questionable strategy on Woodson’s part are far more to blame.

    5. max fisher-cohen

      The thing about Chandler and players like him is that there are times when their “cherry picking” shots is better for the team. I mean, take a player like Jordan Crawford as an example. I bet Crawford makes a higher percentage of open 3s than, say, Jimmy Butler, but Butler’s % is much higher because he takes 1/2 as many per minute played. Even assuming they were equal defenders, wouldn’t you rather have Butler on your team?

      I would because Crawford takes a lot of shots that he shouldn’t. He takes shots when if he had passed or even reset the ball, a higher percentage shot could have been had. On a team like the Celtics, whose offense is anemic especially without Rondo, Crawford’s “bad” shots aren’t so bad, but on a team that has anything but an awful offense, you’d much rather have the guy who appreciates his limitations.

      My point isn’t that efficiency stats should be the only thing that matters. Instead, I say it’s situational. On a team that does the things that Chandler cannot really well (create shots), you’d rather have a player who turns down shots than a guy who leans towards taking them.

      Obviously, the best sort of player is the one with the talent to score in various ways but the humility to turn down shots when there are better ones available, but that sort of player is very rare, especially among true centers.

      I agree with Ruru more or less here and am playing Devil’s advocate to a degree, but let’s say we weren’t running Prigioni or Felton as our point guards and instead had a guy capable of making midrange jumpshots at a good percentage. Even Lin or Nate Robinson would have been upgrades in this department. That would have pulled Hibbert and Garnett out of the paint, completely masking Chandler’s limitations.

    6. ruruland

      Thanks, Z-man. A couple things I didn’t mention. Chandler has a solid foul rate, is a solid foul shooter for a big, and his 5 attempts at the rim in 33 minutes is also very good — not great — but very good.

      So, it’s hard to rate his overall interior offensive presence because so few of his shots inside are unassisted — he relies on teammates penetration but he also helps create penetration– and his offensive rebound is excellent.

      So, there’s definitely value in what he brings, it’s just not close to what the advanced metrics tell us.

      For example, say Chandler took three open jump shots per game making them at a solid 40 % clip, presumably saving Carmelo Anthony from taking a more difficult shot later in the clock, say something contested at 35 %….. Check out what would happen to both player’s numbers:

      Chandler’s efg % would plummet to 560, which all of a sudden puts him right in the pack with many big men, despite STILL taking far fewer outside the rim area attempts.

      All of a sudden Chandler only looks pretty good offensively, despite likely helping the offense.

      And Melo, assuming those 3 shots he doesn’t have to take draw a very low foul rate?

      His efg% would jump to 54.9%
      Kevin Durant’s efg% was 55.9%

      Melo’s ts% would jump up to 60.7%

      And his usage would still hover in the low 30s.

      Does that suddenly make Carmelo Anthony a way better, all-time efficient high usage scorer?

      Does it make Tyson Chandler much less valuable?

    7. ruruland

      Absolutely mfc, that’s why Dean Oliver stressed over and over that the value of each player is rarely constant from situation to situation, team to team, context to context.

      Is it easier to build a team around a player with a wide-variety of strengths? Yes, but that doesn’t seem to change their value as much team-to-team because the good teams don’t ask individual players to do everything all the time.

      Could Lebron probably max out at like 40-8-8? Yeah, he has the talent and skills to do that, but that’s not what a good team does, and it certainly wouldn’t maximize all the talent around him.

      So yeah, players who are really good-great at a few things probably have more relative value than guys who are not quite as good at a few things, but do a lot more well… but up to a certain point.

      If you cannot make up for Chandler’s dearth of offensive skills, say by having a backcourt of low usage players, Kidd and Prigs, or low efficiency players, Felton, Smith and Shumpert (at least last year), then yeah, you are basically asking a guy like Carmelo to be a superhero.

      A .560 TS, with a 9 % to/rate at close to 36 % usage is pretty freaking awesome. I’d say a much more impressive accomplishment than a .670 TS % and 14 % to rate on 13% usage.

      Give Melo Chandler’s turnover rate and his TS% jumps over .600, at nearly three times the usage on about half the assisted basket rate!!, but I digress.

      In theory, the Chandler/Melo combo could work much better than it does, all things but one being equal.

      Imagine if the Knicks got something closer to max salary value from the pg position instead of Amar’e?

      That’s the difference between a really good team and a championship team.

    8. Unreason

      I admit I look for confirming evidence of this, but the success of the Pacers vs. Anthony, Griz vs. Durant, and SA vs. Curry reaffirms my strong belief that team D is the biggest key to post-season wins. I think it is way more important than elite offensive or defensive skills in an individual, duo, or trio that get most attention and commentary. In each case it seems obvious to me that it was the team D, not Paul George or Tony Allen or Tim Duncan or whoever who made the difference. The Jordan/LBJ types who can impose their will on elite defensive teams A) are extremely rare, and B) succeed in part because their offense is partly fueled by their own team’s elite D.

      If the Knicks are going to go farther next year, I think the biggest priority should be to get the team D to a consistently elite level.

    9. JK47

      mr.JayP:
      So incarcerated bob reports that amare wants out of ny ? How true is this?

      Oh yeah, I’m sure every team in the NBA is salivating with the anticipation of acquiring Amar’e and his league-worst contract.

    10. mr.JayP

      JK47: Oh yeah, I’m sure every team in the NBA is salivating with the anticipation of acquiring Amar’e and his league-worst contract.

      I’m sure some team could utilize him. But what I want to know is if it is true that he wants out of NY.

    11. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      Why bother comparing Chandler’s TOV% to Carmelo’s?

      Right, so Chandler could also shoot more and lower his to %….. Uh yeah, how much more obvious can you get?

      What was the point of that?

      We all know what usage means, and we all know that shooting increases one’s usage.

      We don’t know if Chandler took more shots he’d commit fewer turnovers. I’d posit that if Chandler posted up whoever many times a game, his turnover rate would rise, because he would attempting to create his own shot (which he doesn’t do now), and that leads to an increased risk of turnovers.

      To have 14 % of your possessions end in turnovers when your assisted basket % is around 75 is pretty bad. (There is no way to increase Chandler’s usage without decreasing his efficiency….)

      Also, turnovers are worse than missed shots, but that is not reflected anywhere.

      The shots Westbrook took are reflected in his offensive rating just as turnovers would be. Just because he takes more shots and thereby lowers his to % doesn’t affect his bottomline efficiency rating.

      So your point is absolutely meaningless in the context of this discussion.

      And didn’t we learn about Westbrook’s value this postseason?

      Westbrook had the 7th lowest TS on the team, a sub-league average mark of .532.

      Funny thing happened in the playoffs with RW out…..

      Ibaka’s usage went up, his efficiency plummeted.
      Durant’s usage went up, his scoring efficiency dropped by .7 points
      Martin’s usage went up, and his scoring efficiency plummeted.
      Colison’s usage went up, and his efficiency dropped by more than .100 points.
      Sefalosha’s efficiency dropped.

      A Finals team last year went 3-6 in the playoffs without Westbrook, and that’s with statistically stellar play by his replacement Jackson.

      Another anomaly, right?

    12. ruruland

      Only one player who played over 100 minutes with Melo shot better with Melo on the bench last year (Shumpert).

      Virtually everyone else had fg% increases and usage decreases.

      Kidd: http://www.nba.com/advancedstats/player-vs-player.html#Carmelo-Anthony-vs-Jason-Kidd|2546,467;year=201213;season=r

      Brewer: http://www.nba.com/advancedstats/player-vs-player.html#Carmelo-Anthony-vs-Ronnie-Brewer|2546,200758;year=201213;season=r

      Prigioni: http://www.nba.com/advancedstats/player-vs-player.html#Carmelo-Anthony-vs-Pablo-Prigioni|2546,203143;year=201213;season=r

      Smith: http://www.nba.com/advancedstats/player-vs-player.html#Carmelo-Anthony-vs-J.R.-Smith|2546,2747;year=201213;season=r

      Felton: http://www.nba.com/advancedstats/player-vs-player.html#Carmelo-Anthony-vs-Raymond-Felton|2546,101109;year=201213;season=r

      Novak: http://www.nba.com/advancedstats/player-vs-player.html#Carmelo-Anthony-vs-Steve-Novak|2546,200779;year=201213;season=r

    13. yellowboy90

      On another note what do people think Al-Farouq Aminu value is. I see the Hornets did not pick up his option. He is a appointment but may turn into a good role player. NY needs to find some low cost high value potential types and he maybe a guy.

    14. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      ruruland: And didn’t we learn about Westbrook’s value this postseason?

      Westbrook had the 7th lowest TS on the team, a sub-league average mark of .532.

      Funny thing happened in the playoffs with RW out…..

      Ibaka’s usage went up, his efficiency plummeted.
      Durant’s usage went up, his scoring efficiency dropped by .7 points
      Martin’s usage went up, and his scoring efficiency plummeted.
      Colison’s usage went up, and his efficiency dropped by more than .100 points.
      Sefalosha’s efficiency dropped.

      A Finals team last year went 3-6 in the playoffs without Westbrook, and that’s with statistically stellar play by his replacement Jackson.

      Another anomaly, right?

      Keep doing your indirect Carmelo Anthony fellatio, pal. You really like spinning your ideas about causality, but in a couple seasons you’ll be gone and we won’t have to read your flip-flop bullshit.

      So it’s the loss of a volume scorer and not playoff defense. It’s playoff defense when Chandler gets shut down, and it’s the loss of Westbrook when Durant shoots less efficiently than in the regular season.

      Hilarious stuff from you, as always.

    15. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Keep doing your indirect Carmelo Anthony fellatio, pal. You really like spinning your ideas about causality, but in a couple seasons you’ll be gone and we won’t have to read your flip-flop bullshit.

      So it’s the loss of a volume scorer and not playoff defense. It’s playoff defense when Chandler gets shut down, and it’s the loss of Westbrook when Durant shoots less efficiently than in the regular season.

      Hilarious stuff from you, as always.

      Wait, so you mean there might be a difference in why a team like the Knicks with a centerpiece like Chandler could struggle, and a team like OKC without centerpiece like RW could struggle?

      You mean there’s like different reasons for stuff… and stuff.

      Cray bro. Cray

    16. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      ruruland: Wait, so you mean there might be a difference in why a team like the Knicks with a centerpiece like Chandler could struggle, and a team like OKC without centerpiece like RW could struggle?

      You mean there’s like different reasons for stuff… and stuff.

      Cray bro. Cray

      Occam’s Razor, guy. I’m a fan.

    17. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Occam’s Razor, guy. I’m a fan.

      Right, because Chandler actually being guarded and Westbrook being out aren’t the simplest explanations for the respective struggles of their teams.

      Different explanations and also the simplest.

    18. Juany8

      \

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Occam’s Razor, guy. I’m a fan.

      Lol Occam’s Razor… You make a stat that disagrees with every piece of conventional wisdom out there, that relies on massive, unproven assumptions to get to its final answers, and you say you’re a fan of Occam’s Razor? Always amusing to read your posts, you make dismantling WP quite easy.

    19. Juany8

      Brutal series for Memphis. Can’t remember anyone ever losing back to back overtime games to drop to 0-3 in a series. For the Spurs, Ginobli, Diaw, and Parker are all looking a lot healthier than they did early on against Golden State, if the Pacers can bully Miami out of the playoffs the Spurs can destroy Hibbert with Duncan’s ability to be amazing. Sucks to be rooting for the Pacers, if only the Knicks had actually been healthy…

    20. ruruland

      Juany8:
      Brutal series for Memphis. Can’t remember anyone ever losing back to back overtime games to drop to 0-3 in a series. For the Spurs, Ginobli, Diaw, and Parker are all looking a lot healthier than they did early on against Golden State, if the Pacers can bully Miami out of the playoffs the Spurs can destroy Hibbert with Duncan’s ability to be amazing. Sucks to be rooting for the Pacers, if only the Knicks had actually been healthy…

      Yeah, it was right there for our Knicks. But I’m rooting for the Pacers. I was done with the Spurs more than a decade ago.

    21. jon abbey

      I’m rooting hard for LeBron, just like I rooted hard for Jordan after NY was eliminated every year, just like I rooted for Shaq in his prime. to me the best thing by far about the NBA is to watch those once in a decade/generation players triumph, I’d like to see LeBron win ten titles in a row if NY isn’t going to win one (and let’s face it, they’re not).

    22. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Juany8:
      \

      Lol Occam’s Razor… You make a stat that disagrees with every piece of conventional wisdom out there, that relies on massive, unproven assumptions to get to its final answers, and you say you’re a fan of Occam’s Razor? Always amusing to read your posts, you make dismantling WP quite easy.

      Every piece of conventional wisdom does not say that scoring efficiently; getting rebounds, steals, and assists; not turning the ball over and fouling a lot; and shooting lots of free throws are bad things. Where do you come up with this shit? You just don’t like how it assigns value to those events and you point to a few players here and there and cry about how yeah, LeBron, Durant, Paul, et al. deserve to be listed among the league leaders, but Drummond, Harden, et al. do not.

      It’s always about confirmation of what you “already know” with you. Plus you “know” that microeconomics is bullshit, so what’s the point in arguing with you.

    23. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      ruruland: Right, because Chandler actually being guarded and Westbrook being out aren’t the simplest explanations
      for the respective struggles of their teams.

      Different explanations and also the simplest.

      Are you suggesting that Chandler isn’t guarded during the regular season? This board is a joke.

    24. Juany8

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Every piece of conventional wisdom does not say that scoring efficiently; getting rebounds, steals, and assists; not turning the ball over and fouling a lot; and shooting lots of free throws are bad things. Where do you come up with this shit? You just don’t like how it assigns value to those events and you point to a few players here and there and cry about how yeah, LeBron, Durant, Paul, et al. deserve to be listed among the league leaders, but Drummond, Harden, et al. do not.

      It’s always about confirmation of what you “already know” with you. Plus you “know” that microeconomics is bullshit, so what’s the point in arguing with you.

      Man you really enjoy making ad hominem posts and using straw men arguments. Every single time you post is a win for my side of the argument since your posts are so obviously moronic. I don’t even have to use facts, reason, and logic to blow away your sad understanding of statistics (and no I do not think economics is a science any more than phillosophy is, doesn’t mean anything about basketball)

    25. Juany8

      jon abbey:
      I’m rooting hard for LeBron, just like I rooted hard for Jordan after NY was eliminated every year, just like I rooted for Shaq in his prime. to me the best thing by far about the NBA is to watch those once in a decade/generation players triumph, I’d like to see LeBron win ten titles in a row if NY isn’t going to win one (and let’s face it, they’re not).

      I get this sentiment since I used to root for the Lakers for the same reason

    26. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Juany8: Man you really enjoy making ad hominem posts and using straw men arguments. Every single time you post is a win for my side of the argument since your posts are so obviously moronic. I don’t even have to use facts, reason, and logic to blow away your sad understanding of statistics (and no I do not think economics is a science any more than phillosophy is, doesn’t mean anything about basketball)

      You’re clueless.

    27. flossy

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Every piece of conventional wisdom does not say that scoring efficiently; getting rebounds, steals, and assists; not turning the ball over and fouling a lot; and shooting lots of free throws are bad things. Where do you come up with this shit? You just don’t like how it assigns value to those events and you point to a few players here and there and cry about how yeah, LeBron, Durant, Paul, et al. deserve to be listed among the league leaders, but Drummond, Harden, et al. do not.

      Wow, you subscribe to a basketball philosophy that says scoring efficiently, getting rebounds, avoiding turnovers and shooting free throws are good? WOW!! Where is this secret font of basketball knowledge? I’m sure no casual fan, ESPN talking head, or 3rd grader could have told you that those things, in the abstract, are good. Let’s have a big round of applause for you and Dave Berri for discovering the fucking obvious.

      Oh wait, actually, let’s not award that nobel prize just yet, since you seem to have managed to pervert these obvious, fundamental pillars of common sense basketball into an ideology that posits that a Player A who goes 3-4 from the field with all baskets assisted is a powerhouse offensive force whereas his teammate Player B who goes 8-18 from the field and takes all the shots that Player A can’t/won’t is a worse offensive player and hurts his team, by comparison.

      Do you think you deserve a gold star for saying James Harden is like so awesome? Newsflash: everyone thinks that, every metric loves him: PPG, PER, ESPN top plays, you name it. What you deserve is a time out and the chance to sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done for suggesting that a top-5 scorer and #1 reason the Rockets made the playoffs is in anyway comparable to the back-up center for one of the worst teams in the Eastern…

    28. d-mar

      jon abbey:
      I’m rooting hard for LeBron, just like I rooted hard for Jordan after NY was eliminated every year, just like I rooted for Shaq in his prime. to me the best thing by far about the NBA is to watch those once in a decade/generation players triumph, I’d like to see LeBron win ten titles in a row if NY isn’t going to win one (and let’s face it, they’re not).

      I know I’m in the minority here, but I’m rooting hard for the Spurs. They have the best coach in the NBA (and it’s not even close) a top 10 player of all time in Duncan and a PG who I think is the best in the league, Chris Paul notwithstanding. I get that their style isn’t exactly scintillating, but they are truly a model franchise and I would love to see Duncan, Parker and Ginoboli get one more ring.

    29. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Juany8: Feel free to keep insulting me, I’m sure that will convince everyone that WP is the One True Statistic

      When did I say anything about Wins Produced in this post, dumbass?

    30. Owen

      Seconded

      d-mar: I know I’m in the minority here, but I’m rooting hard for the Spurs. They have the best coach in the NBA (and it’s not even close) a top 10 player of all time in Duncan and a PG who I think is the best in the league, Chris Paul notwithstanding. I get that their style isn’t exactly scintillating, but they are truly a model franchise and I would love to see Duncan, Parker and Ginoboli get one more ring.

    31. Z-man

      I’m rooting for the Pacers, the underdog team that is outworking its opposition and playing lunch-pail team basketball. It’s impressive that they are basically one blown defensive possession away from being up 2-0 on the mighty Heat before playing a home game!

      More than that, I’m rooting for watchable basketball to sooth the pain of being unceremoniously ass-kicked out of the playoffs, and the last 4 games have been outstanding. Too bad the Griz couldn’t eke out a win to make that series more exciting.

    32. Juany8

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: When did I say anything about Wins Produced in this post, dumbass?

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      http://wagesofwins.com/2012/11/02/just-shoot-more-how-to-fool-advanced-stats/

      Why bother comparing Chandler’s TOV% to Carmelo’s?

      I suppose linking to a post on WP’s main site that defends the assumptions WP makes with regards to shot attempts isn’t quite talking about WP. Not to mention your post about Harden and Drummond’s respective rankings. Or maybe you just have such poor reading comprehension, you don’t realize what your own posts are about. My bet’s on the latter

    33. jon abbey

      I get all the love for Popovich, but why does no one ever mention that he has never ever coached a good team without Duncan? that’s not even getting into Parker and Ginobili, who admittedly might not have developed the way they have in another organization, but coaching an alltime top 10 player for his entire career certainly helps to make a coach look good.

    34. Owen

      Duncan has made Popovich look like a genius. And so has the GM. But there are some things to his credit. They have completely overhauled their style, going from all defense to all offense. He has integrated new pieces, young and old. And he has been on the leading edge of pushing some things, like getting a 2 for 1 at the end of the quarter and the value of the three point shot. Popovich has adjusted again and again.

      I never feel like coaches matter too much. Generally speaking, the most important thing is not messing things up. And Popovich has done that with aplomb.

      But yeah, if you were coaching Duncan, you might be in the Hall of Fame….

    35. BigBlueAL

      By this logic, who is a great coach then?? Larry Brown since he won a title w/o any surefire HOFers?? Carlisle because he won a title with Dirk as his best player who is great but not necessarily an all-time great??

      I mean I get that in the NBA more than any other pro sport talent matters but still. Someone like Riley won a few titles with an unbelievably stacked Lakers team but then he went to the Knicks and Heat and while didnt win it all (Heat in his first stint as coach with them) instantly made them title contenders playing a totally different style. Phil Jackson went to a stacked Lakers team who had drastically underachieved the prior 3 seasons and immediately won 3 titles in a row.

      Yeah Pop has had Duncan his whole career (along with David Robinson early in his career) but guys like Parker and Ginobili were late 1st round/2nd round picks who nobody had ever heard of before they were drafted since they didnt play college basketball. They have won over 50 games something like 13 seasons in a row. Thats pretty remarkable considering they havent added any real significant player since Parker and Ginobili joined them in the early 2000′s.

      Im rooting for the Spurs to win it all this season, anything to keep the “Big” 3 of the Heat from winning another title. For basketball purists and people who hate the current trend of stars joining each other to win titles I would think they would be rooting for the Spurs (or really any team other than the Heat) to win it all this season.

    36. Owen

      Don’t know the answer to that to be honest…..

      “By this logic, who is a great coach then?? Larry Brown since he won a title w/o any surefire HOFers?? Carlisle because he won a title with Dirk as his best player who is great but not necessarily an all-time great??”

    37. jon abbey

      yeah, to me the problem with judging coaches is that most of them you don’t see in enough situation to disentangle the coach from the personnel. if D’Antoni had never coached again after Phoenix, he might have gone down as the greatest offensive coach ever (as Simmons called him in his book). now we know better. I’d like to see Popovich coach Charlotte for a few years and see how that worked out, although obviously it’ll never happen.

    38. Z

      BigBlueAL:
      By this logic, who is a great coach then??Larry Brown since he won a title w/o any surefire HOFers??

      As disastrous as Brown was in NY, his résumé is ridiculous. He’s turned (almost!) every team he’s touched from a crud pile to a winner. Even the college teams. And Reggie Miller was probably the best individual player he ever coached.

    39. ruruland

      flossy: Wow, you subscribe to a basketball philosophy that says scoring efficiently, getting rebounds, avoiding turnovers and shooting free throws are good?WOW!!Where is this secret font of basketball knowledge?I’m sure no casual fan, ESPN talking head, or 3rd grader could have told you that those things, in the abstract, are good.Let’s have a big round of applause for you and Dave Berri for discovering the fucking obvious.

      Oh wait, actually, let’s not award that nobel prize just yet, since you seem to have managed to pervert these obvious, fundamental pillars of common sense basketball into an ideology that posits that a Player A who goes 3-4 from the field with all baskets assisted is a powerhouse offensive force whereas his teammate Player B who goes 8-18 from the field and takes all the shots that Player A can’t/won’t is a worse offensive player and hurts his team, by comparison.

      Do you think you deserve a gold star for saying James Harden is like so awesome?Newsflash: everyone thinks that, every metric loves him: PPG, PER, ESPN top plays, you name it.What you deserve is a time out and the chance to sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done for suggesting that a top-5 scorer and #1 reason the Rockets made the playoffs is in anyway comparable to the back-up center for one of the worst teams in the Eastern…

      LMAO love it

    40. ruruland

      Owen:
      Seconded

      Rooting for them over the Pacers?

      They’ve already got 4. Somehow the idea of a 5th doesn’t warm the cockels.

    41. Brian Cronin

      I do like the idea of Duncan having more titles than Shaq. But yeah, I would definitely root for Indiana over San Antonio.

    42. Owen

      Well, i am definitely still ticketing Miami for the Finals. But if the Pacers get there I would root for them….

    43. Owen

      Although, rooting for the team that beat the Knicks against Manu.
      Actually, that would be tough. Love Manu.

      Will cross that bridge when we get there….

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