NBA Finals Predictions Thread

The NBA Finals starts tonight, so feel free to share your thoughts on who will win the big game!

Who will win the NBA Finals?

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I think that Spo is one of the best coaches I’ve ever seen, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he pulled out some sort of crazy scheme to get a game or two, but I also think that the Lakers’ two best players are just particularly bad matchups for the Heat (and most NBA teams) that I think that the Lakers will take this in five or six games.

If the Lakers do take it in five or six, it’ll be fascinating to see who wins MVP between Bron and the Brow.

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538 thoughts to “NBA Finals Predictions Thread”

  1. Wow, Marc Gasol headed to Spain.

    That’s a big blow for Toronto, who I imagine were hoping to bring him back on a one-year deal for big money. That’s likely the same strategy they’ll use for Ibaka.

  2. My wish: MIA in 4
    My prediction: LA in 4

    To Vote or not to vote..
    Despite being a “lazy – not really interested in politics – psychfreak” i must confess that i have voted in all greek elections i had the right to do it (national and municipal ones) w/o being loyal to a certain party. Picking each time whom i thought was the best candidate.

    Why?
    It just feels better to me to vote than not to vote

  3. I’m a believer in these Denver Nuggets and I’ve gotta believe that they’ll be able to come back and win this.

  4. I almost hesitate to paste this, as it may re-start an unending and not very exciting argument (I first typed debate, but I’m banning that word from my vocabulary), but what the hell. From yet another Ringer article:

    Previous Miami teams to reach the Finals were stocked with top draft picks. The 2006 Heat had no. 1 pick Shaquille O’Neal; no. 2s Gary Payton and Alonzo Mourning; no. 5 Dwyane Wade; no. 6 Antoine Walker; and no. 7 Jason Williams. The 2011-14 teams had an even splashier group, with no. 1 James, no. 4 Chris Bosh, and no. 5 Wade—all from the same draft class, of course—leading the way and a supporting cast with the likes of no. 5 Ray Allen, no. 5 Mike Miller, and no. 6 Shane Battier.

    But Miami’s only top-10 pick in the 2010s was Justise Winslow (no. 10 in 2015), who went to Memphis at this season’s trade deadline in the trade for Iguodala and Crowder. Essentially this whole Heat team came from later in the draft, or out of it entirely. Adebayo and Tyler Herro were late lottery picks. Butler went 30th overall. Crowder and Goran Dragic were second-rounders. Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn were undrafted.

    In fact, Iguodala—the no. 9 pick to Philadelphia back in 2004—is the only Miami player who was picked in the top 10.

  5. I’ve got Lakers in 6, and that’s honestly just out of respect for Spo and what the Heat have accomplished during these playoffs. My instincts are more geared towards Lakers in 4-5. It’s just super hard to overcome such a massive talent deficit at the top with everyone playing 40 MPG, even if the Heat can credibly claim to have the 3rd through 10th best players in the series.

    Holy fuck, what utter incompetence from MLB in starting this Yankee game.

  6. I think the Heat play too hard to get swept…but the Lebron/AD combo is deadly…if Iggy can keep up the revival and make that Heat 2nd unit look like it did in Game 6 of ECF…then I think they can win two games max….I hope it doesn’t happen as I hate to see the Lakers win but looks inevitable…

  7. I don’t even remember who the Heat played in the first round, but I had them losing it. I’m not betting against them anymore.

  8. The best thing that happened to the Lakers isn’t that the Clippers folded to the inferior Nuggets. It’s that Memphis beat a freakless-Bucks team at the end of the “regular season”, eliminating the Suns.

  9. Lakers in 6. Lakers are really clicking now, especially with Rondo back. I think Bam is going to have his handful with both LBJ and AD. Just can’t see this one getting past LeBron.

    That being said, real Knicks circa 99 and 04 Pistons vibe about the Heat. I hate to say it but they are very enjoyable team to get behind (as much as that pains me to say that about a Heat team).

  10. I’m with the Lakers in 6 just because LeBron is older and has to exert himself more to get wins than he would have in the past. When the energy level is down, Heat will grind out a couple.

    I do give the Heat a puncher’s chance, though, especially if AD tweaks something…he is injury-prone.

  11. Brian Cronin:
    Wow, Marc Gasol headed to Spain.

    That’s a big blow for Toronto, who I imagine were hoping to bring him back on a one-year deal for big money. That’s likely the same strategy they’ll use for Ibaka.

    I dunno, he was slowing down…ujiri will figure out something to do with the cap space.

  12. Lakers in five. Hope I’m wrong. I’m struggling with being pro-Heat a little bit. I’m justifying on the grounds that one of them is bound to win. Go Nuggies!

  13. I always root against LeBron, and I always liked Spo, Butler, and Bam. Easy call who to root for, but I had the Lakers in 6. Vogel is going iso/size, Spoelstra going passing/3s. But he who has the best two players shall win.

  14. Imagine if prime LeBron had had a teammate who could go out and get 11 points in the first quarter against one of the best playoff defenses in the league.

    Heat in 5.

    Yeah, I said it.

    did dis dude just did dis??????

    Does anyone have any player comps for Tyler Herro? I really can’t figure out who he reminds me of. White baller comp… early career Korver?

    Also I hate the puritans in this country who make it so we can’t hear the floor mics. Where are the damn dribbling noises? The swishes? All because Rondo is probably saying nasty shit to Dragic? C’mon!

  15. It’s going to be a little strange when Dwight Howard has a ring and Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone and Charles Barkley (etc) don’t.

    Although if AD is hurt that’s something.

    Sick dunk after the buzzer by Bron

  16. Hey Jowles, here’s one bizarre and fascinating but possible answer to your question.

    PTs 13.5, Reb 4.1, Asst 2.2, 3PT .389, eFG 52.4
    PTs 13.4, Reb 4.0, Asst 2.6, 3PT .393, eFG 49.4

    The first one is Herro (rookie year)

    The second is Ray Allen (rookie year).

  17. I feel like I’ve only seen Herro’s best games so this is probably a very lofty comp but when he was going off for 37 against Boston I felt like I was watching Joe Dumars again.

    On the more modern side, maybe CJ McCollum?

  18. Also, Herro is 6’5″ and 195. Ray is also 6’5″; he’s listed at 205, but I think in his early years he was listed at 198.

    I’m not saying Herro’s going to grow up to be Ray Allen. But when I watch him I see the same youthful, gangly bounce and shift that baby Ray had.

  19. Raven, are you rubbing a Stathead subscription in my face to stir my deep well of anger because if so it is quite effective

  20. Ray Allen suffered from being born too early. He only put up four 3’s per 36 for his first 4 years…Herro put up 7. I also recall Ray being a better ball handler. But it’s not a crazy comparison. Redick is a bit shorter but somewhat similar.

  21. Herro can definitely put the ball on the floor. He’s no Klay but he can get downhill. Like that.

  22. JVG and Co should work on their entertainment skills cause it smells like a lot of garbage time comin’…
    Unless Adam calls Vogel to keep it friendly

  23. ***Does anyone have any player comps for Tyler Herro? I really can’t figure out who he reminds me of. White baller comp… early career Korver?***

    From what I’ve seen of him (not much) he seems way more versatile than Korver ever was. (I remember watching a preseason game way back in 2005 when Korver was trying to show off his “expanded game”, and it was the most ridiculous clown show I’ve ever seen on a court. He tried initiating contact, and attacking the rim, and doing fade away jumpers. Needless to say, when the regular season came around, he was back to catching and shooting and cashing checks.)

    If we are limiting ourselves to white player comps (which we still are, here in post-racial America), perhaps Jeff Hornacek was of the Herro mold? Horny was a great shooter, but contributed across the board and had a habit of winning games.

  24. ***herro…reminds me of another Kentucky product…king rex chapman…***

    Drug addled Chapman, or clean-and-sober Chapman?

  25. urshela, voit, and lemahieu is some serious front office magic…

    considering the other two pro teams I follow are the giants and knicks – thank goodness for the yanks…

  26. The period of Lakers defense from about halfway through Q1 until garbage time last night was an absolute sight to behold. The Heat just could not get any of what they wanted from their offense. Dragic being out only worsens the issue; the Heat will probably have a game where they go bonkers from 3 but after last night it’s hard to see how they’re going to score enough points to make this a long series. AD in particular was just everywhere. Also, Zach Lowe has mentioned it a couple times lately but whatever got into Lebron to get him defending again this year is a fascinating question because he’s showing that he can still be an absolute terror on that end after he rarely gave much effort for Cleveland.

    The last few years the league has had an unwavering focus on spacing and shooting and if this turns into the Lakers coronation it looks like we’re headed for it will be interesting to see if there’s any reversion back towards size, length and defense.

  27. That was a typo. I meant Lakers in 5. :)

    Its just going to be hard for The Heat to match up when LA has the 2 best players and has such a size advantage in the front court. If The Heat had 2 Bams instead of 1, they’d have a chance. But when your small forward is Lebron and he plays like a PG and you got AD who can step out and hit a 3, its just really hard to beat that.

    I think The Heat can take a game or two. They are resilient but after going up so fast in the first like that only to get demolished the rest of the way, they gotta think maybe their Cinderella run is over.

  28. it will be interesting to see if there’s any reversion back towards size, length and defense

    “Alright, Ayton! Oi, Baynes! Here’s what we’re gonna do. You’re going to play All-NBA defense and shoot the shit out of the ball and catch all the lobs like Anthony Davis. Cam Johnson! You are as tall as LeBron, but much younger! You are our point guard now. D-Book… you’re our Rondo. Just focus on playing perimeter D and feed the ball inside.”

    [Suns lose 65 games]

  29. I was about to say, it’s hard for me to view LeBron James and Anthony Davis playing really well as an indictment of any particular strategy. There’s not a team in the league that would avoid getting those guys because they aren’t “small” enough or whatever.

    It’s also worth noting that AD is taking three 3PA per game during the playoffs with a .378 3PT%. If anything, seems like he met the small ball revolution in the middle.

  30. I thought of Rex Chapman too. He had a ton of swagger like Herro. He also had six inches of vertical leap on him.

    The Heat don’t have the bodies to stop AD but let’s be honest, nobody does.

  31. Yeah, “small ball is dead” is not the takeaway I was trying to suggest. A big part of what makes this Lakers team so dynamite is that they incorporate a lot of small ball principles without actually being small because both LBJ and AD are such amazingly versatile players. Lebron can run the point on offense but offers the size and rim protection that equals many Cs. AD can space the floor when they need that and is also maybe the best C in the league when they go small. So they can do a lot of 4-out spread PnR things and they don’t have any trouble matching up defensively with a small team like Miami from their base personnel.

    All I was saying was I think a lot of commentary looked at this Lakers roster in the offseason and throughout the regular season and thought they were short on shooting and that they would have to play Davis at C when the chips were down. If they end up winning the title I do think there will be at least some reassessment in light of the way the Lakers overall size and length has really stifled even good offensive teams.

  32. Look at this play. He’s not nearly as smooth as Durant, but the hesitation and drive are Durant-esque. But he’s a hell of a lot bigger and stronger (he has Jordan-level broadness in the shoulders). And of course, he has the touch at the rim to convert at a superhuman rate. He’s a cheat code, has been since his early days, but now he finally has a team around him, not just a “we traded for All-Star DeMarcus Cousins, go win a chip” hope and a prayer.

    https://youtu.be/C4JEoeh833A?t=16

  33. The big ball vs. small ball debate at the NBA level is kind of silly to me.

    I have a LOT of respect for a handful of coaches, GMs, POBO and players around the NBA. They’ve already forgotten more than I’ll ever fully understand about the game. But I DO understand that matchups are big part of basketball at the highest level between two very good teams.

    Small ball tends to win when the bigger team can’t punish the small team with inside scoring and extra rebounding because their big men are not scorers that dominant inside. It’s one thing for a big to rebound and block shots. It’s another to be able to dominate smaller players at the basket. .

    That’s why I said LA was a horrible matchup for Miami. Miami has a very good team, but they don’t have the players to at least keep Lebron and Davis under control inside all while Howard is often on the court and an option. Howard is not a total dud on offense either. He can at least roll and score a bit if required. He has to be covered.

    The Warriors with Durant, Curry, Thompson, and Green playing small was a kind of once in a 35 year aberration where you had 3 of the greatest shooters of all time on the same team and a 4th player that was a versatile playmaker and great defender. Had they run into another all time great big team, they would have lost too. But all time greats like Kareem, Shaq, Robinson etc.. don’t come along too often. They had so many great players and played such perfect team oriented offensive and defensive basketball they were the exception not the rule. You cant model your team with the assumption you are going to have 2 of the greatest all around offensive players ever on the same team along with an another all time great shooter and another kind of one of kind player like Green.

    Big almost always beats small IF you have the right bigs.

  34. For Miami to have any chance (and I don’t think they do) would require the run like crazy and try to get transition points because once it gets to the half court, LA’s defense smothers them and they’ll typically only get one shot and not many OREBs.

  35. I can’t remember — did the Lakers have the cap space to sign Kawhi? That’s a scary thought.

    Edit: Yes, they did. Haha, Kawhi. I wonder how Uncle Dennis’s Kool Aid tastes these days.

  36. Z-man:
    Ray Allen suffered from being born too early. He only put up four 3’s per 36 for his first 4 years…Herro put up 7. I also recall Ray being a better ball handler. But it’s not a crazy comparison. Redick is a bit shorter but somewhat similar.

    Imagine what Bird would have done on offense in this era. He didn’t even work as hard on his 3 point shot the way players do now because they didn’t understand the value. There’s a guy that could score inside going to his left or right, in mid range, from everywhere with the 3, that could pull up, shoot off the dribble, catch and shoot, post up a smaller man, and was an all time great passer if you even tried to take things away. He probably would have scored an extra couple of points per 36 with all the extra 3s and raised his TS% substantially.

  37. Big almost always beats small IF you have the right bigs.

    Which is why I keep saying that even though I love Robinson, at the playoff level against certain teams, he’ll practically become irrelevant on offense UNLESS he expands his skillset to include posting up small men, stretching out to mid range or further, putting the ball on the floor to create a shot for himself etc..

    This game is not about maximizing your TS%, BPM, WS etc… It’s about expanding your skillset so whatever matchup or strategy the other teams comes up with, you have the skills to counter it effectively.

  38. the skills to counter it effectively

    maximizing your TS%, BPM, WS

    You still don’t realize that these things are related, eh?

  39. The Honorable Cock Jowles: It’s not hard.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7F_-80PIWs

    Yep. He’s the only legitimate comparison I’ve seen. Now make him a better 3 point shooter, raise his basketball IQ on shot selection, and get his defense up to 2nd team all defense and we’ll know. I believe he can do all that other than maybe become a plus defender, but I won’t put that past him either. He’s incredible. He’s just a little frustrating for me personally to watch at times because of the occasional very bad shot or crazy pass he makes. That’s my personal quirk. But that’s OK at his age. He’ll learn.

  40. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    You still don’t realize that these things are related, eh?

    I understand the idea is to maximize TS% etc.. but when you are limited, the defense can take things away. The tradeoff between greater skills and your personal TS% shows up at the TEAM level TS% and on the nights that you don’t get shut down because you have more tricks up your sleeve then they can stop. If your personal TS% drops a few % but the team’s rises a little because you are a much tougher cover, the team wins more even though a broken model says you were less valuable.

  41. Yeah the Lakers aren’t an indictment of small ball.

    I think “small ball” doesn’t necessarily mean you play small. I mean, ideally you’d have 5 dudes who are all 7 feet tall but can handle the ball/pass like a PG and shoot 3’s like an SG while still rebounding and blocking shots. Tall is still “better” if those tall players have the skills that typically go with smaller players.

    Lebron is a beast who can play PF but pass/handle like a good PG. AD is a big who defend the paint and rebound, run pick and roll/lob but also spread the floor with outside shooting.

  42. This game is not about maximizing your TS%,

    Quote function is back on desktop!

    You should have added “This game is not about minimizing your opponent’s TS%” to the above.
    And
    “This game is not about optimizing your net turnovers”
    And
    “This game is not about rebounding well”

    And you would have explained basketball perfectly

  43. but when you are limited, the defense can take things away

    Yes. When you are young, you are few in years.

  44. I think today’s NBA is less about big and small and more about creating and relentlessly exploiting mismatches. A slow footed big trying to guard a quick guard on the perimeter is probably the easiest and most obvious mismatch to exploit. But it doesn’t just go for bigs- crappy perimeter defenders will get targeted over and over too. Last night the Lakers attacked Herro and Robinson over and over again. Even with two (really three) bigs on the floor the Lakers were able to create space and get open three after open three by targeting them, collapsing the defense and then kicking out to open shooters. In some ways I think the whole big and small thing boils down to the presence of two guys- Harden and Curry- who have destroyed, and I mean just DESTROYED, bigs in the high pick and roll and whose teams have been very successful so the optics get magnified.

  45. With Bam doubtful for Game 2, I expect to see two-time NBA Champion JaVale McGee playing some big minutes in garbage time, starting about halfway through the third quarter. Dragic is also a big loss, but without Bam, the Heat are a 41-41 quality team playing against the GOAT and an MVP candidate in his prime. Just gutting for Miami. Going to need Duncan, Herro and Jimmy Buckets to rain threes all game long if they want to make it competitive.

  46. Wisconsin has a 7.65% state income tax rate. How much would that erode the advantage of taking the megamax this year rather than waiting for it to expire next year?

    How much would it cost Giannis to go to the Heat?

  47. When you have the best players on the court you’re going to win more often than not. Play style helps when you don’t

  48. And generally speaking, there are more 6’8″ guys who can shoot and drive than 7′ guys who can post-up efficiently and defend those same 6’8″ guys.

  49. Sam Vecenie, The Athletic’s NBA draft guru, has an interesting article today where he says he’s so impressed by the way RJ Hampton has rebuilt his jump shot working with Mike Miller that he has bumped him up from the 20s to number 7 on his value board. And that’s even while acknowledging that the new form is still very much a work in progress:

    The downside risk exists more for Hampton than others, because if he can’t translate this work into real pull-up ability as he starts seeing defenders flying at him and starts acting as a lead in ball-screen situations, then the upside is muted. But he has the athleticism and the downhill ability to be a very real scorer at the rim in the NBA. He has the body control to contort his way through defenders and find creases in coverages. If the shooting comes along, his athleticism gives him upside that simply very few players in this draft class possess.

    If things were to really, truly break right for Hampton, he could be the kind of lead creator for stretches in the backcourt that every team is looking for right now. Even if that’s a relatively low probability outcome, it’s absolutely worth betting on in a class that generally lacks in the way of real upside when it comes to creator skills. Throw in that he’s known as a great worker?

    Yeah, I’m willing to buy Hampton stock, because finding athletic creators is the toughest thing to do in today’s NBA.

    The piece has clips of both Hampton’s terrible shooting form Down Under and how it looks (admittedly in an empty gym) now. I want Vassell, Hayes, or a slight trade down for Poku rather than another gamble on a guy who can’t presently shoot, but I wonder if teams — including our own — will also buy into this transformation, and whether that might make a pick in our range more desirable if we do want to…

  50. The Brooklyn Nets named Steve Nash their head coach in early September and stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant see Nash’s role more as a coaching collaboration, rather than top-down leadership.

    “I don’t really see us having a head coach,” Irving said on Durant’s new podcast, “The Etcs.” “KD could be a head coach, I could be a head coach [some days].”

    Durant followed up by agreeing with Irving, calling it a “collaborative effort” and naming assistant and former interim head coach Jacque Vaughn as someone that could fill the role any given day.

    too funny…

  51. Yeah, Nash could be an absolute wunderkind, but if Kyrie and KD don’t actually want to be coached, this won’t end well.

  52. Owen:
    Wisconsin has a 7.65% state income tax rate. How much would that erode the advantage of taking the megamax this year rather than waiting for it to expire next year?

    How much would it cost Giannis to go to the Heat?

    It depends on the salary cap which is unpredictable right now. But based on current projections, I believe the following is correct:

    After 2 years, Giannis can sign the 10 year max contract which is equivalent to the super-max. So he’d give up $13 million by signing a 2-year contract with the Heat and then re-signing with the Heat for the 10 year max. Tax differences would save about $1 million of the difference on those first two years.

    In total, Giannis would lose out on $12 million by going to the Heat. Giannis would then make up ~$12 million over the remaining 3 years of what the Bucks contract would have been.

    So over the next 5 years, Giannis would break even (ignoring time value of money & cost of living issues)

  53. “I want somebody that’s gonna understand that I am a human being first, I serve my community first, and then basketball is something I do every day because I love,” Irving said. “We always heard and saw how great Nash was as a player, but also when you get to know him as a person, you understand why he can coexist with us. We don’t need someone to come in with their coaching philosophy and change everything we’re doing.”

    i think i’m gonna really enjoy rooting against the nets next year…

  54. Early Bird: It depends on the salary cap which is unpredictable right now. But based on current projections, I believe the following is correct:

    After 2 years, Giannis can sign the 10year max contract which is equivalent to the super-max. So he’d give up $13 million by signing a 2-year contract with the Heat and then re-signing with the Heat for the 10year max. Tax differences would save about $1 million of the difference on those first two years.

    In total, Giannis would lose out on $12 million by going to the Heat. Giannis would then make up ~$12 million over the remaining 3 years of what the Bucks contract would have been.

    So over the next 5 years, Giannis would break even (ignoring time value of money & cost of living issues)

    I’m pretty sure I screwed up this math. My Excel sheet is saying Giannis actually makes more in Miami

  55. Yea…this whole Nash in Brooklyn has become very Knicksy hasn’t it? No wait..nevermind. I don’t think Dolan fuckery at it’s finest rivals the collaborative effort comnent. Sheesh.

    But..I’m excited for Doc tho!

  56. So my final answer is that Giannis makes $5 million more by moving to Miami (signing a 2-yr deal & re-upping at the max). This does not include time value of money which @ 5% would decrease the Miami advantage by $1-2million.

  57. has anyone suggested a bad contract three way where horford goes to gsw, wiggins to the cavs and love to philly. i think doc and love are pretty tight.

  58. Haven’t heard that one floated.

    Early Bird, thanks. That’s not the sense I have gotten vis a vis Giannis. And I would expect he would be buying a big insurance policy to cover the risk of injury before he can sign his 10 year deal in Miami.

    Either way though, the economics look compelling when you think about what kind of damage he could do with Bayo et al. Also, Greeks love to be warm.

  59. It would be amusing if Giannis did all this fancy calculating, moved to Miami, and then Florida instituted an income tax to pay for their covid-necessitated socialism…

  60. ptmilo:
    has anyone suggested a bad contract three way where horford goes to gsw, wiggins to the cavs and love to philly.i think doc and love are pretty tight.

    Would the Cavs play “I’m Coming Home” for their former #1 pick?

  61. Z-man: Would the Cavs play “I’m Coming Home” for their former #1 pick?

    more like Motley Crue’s ” Home Sweet Home”

  62. i see what twisted commentary came from irving and durant today…completely delusional…as part of that drivel spewing…I saw kryie had some quip like ” KD is the first player I can trust to take the last shot other than me that I am playing with”….not sure if it was coincidence…I also just saw lebron say “key to winning with AD is that there is no jealousy”….

    don’t think those two ever buried the hatchet…

  63. Re: Hampton, I believe in the progress and always thought he was ranked too low, but I’m just not sure he’s a good fit with Barrett nor is he likely to be better than him.

    I’m back on the Haliburton wagon after reading more about him. He just seems like a really smart player who was able to make a lot of adjustments to his game already. Same goes for Hayes, who is my 2nd choice.

  64. Geo, in a year in which Dolans Razor escaped to the real world somehow weaponized, you can be sure that Trump testing positive will somehow make everything much much worse.

  65. Re: Hampton, I believe in the progress and always thought he was ranked too low, but I’m just not sure he’s a good fit with Barrett nor is he likely to be better than him.

    This is also a good point. They’re not identical players — Hampton seems more athletic and quick than our RJ — but overall their profiles as secondary playmakers who at the moment don’t shoot well would feel like doubling down on a team that has much bigger needs, like shooting, a primary ballhandler, and defense, in whatever order you want to put them.

  66. ess-dog:
    Re: Hampton, I believe in the progress and always thought he was ranked too low, but I’m just not sure he’s a good fit with Barrett nor is he likely to be better than him.

    I’m back on the Haliburton wagon after reading more about him. He just seems like a really smart player who was able to make a lot of adjustments to his game already. Same goes for Hayes, who is my 2nd choice.

    There’s no reason to be drafting for fit around RJ Barrett, there’s no guarantee at all that Barrett ever develops into the kind of player you build around. Passing up a better player because he might not fit with RJ is terrible. That being said, I don’t believe in Hampton and would draft Haliburton 1st overall if I could.

  67. Can I ask the Jets fans on here something? What is it going to take to fire Gase? He’s a terrible coach but last night he ran out his injured, rookie tackle to see him get further injured and then calling those timeouts at the end of the game so the defense could light up the Denver QB is the dirtiest fucking thing I’ve ever seen an NFL coach do. How does he still have a job this morning?

  68. Owen:
    Geo, in a year in which Dolans Razor escaped to the real world somehow weaponized, you can be sure that Trump testing positive will somehow make everything much much worse.

    If the claim that POTUS has “mild symptoms” is not a Weekend at Donnie’s ploy and he manages to emerge from this ostensibly healthy, I have little doubt that he will feel even more emboldened and pass his dismissive attitude toward COVID-19 to his base.

  69. vincoug:
    Can I ask the Jets fans on here something?What is it going to take to fire Gase?He’s a terrible coach but last night he ran out his injured, rookie tackle to see him get further injured and then calling those timeouts at the end of the game so the defense could light up the Denver QB is the dirtiest fucking thing I’ve ever seen an NFL coach do.How does he still have a job this morning?

    there is no plan B…so while he deserves to be fired…I don’t think they even have a contingency plan and/or the shit they feed to the press is that it will further hurt Darnold’s development…just a pathetic franchise…not sure what that says about me giving I have been rooting for them for 48 years..

  70. When this whole thing is over and we have Trevor Lawrence as the starting QB and Greg Roman as our head coach, it would have all been worth it.

  71. But supposing we hit his body with a tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or just a very powerful light — and I think many, many people have said that hasn’t been checked because of the testing.

    And then he said, supposing we brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or some other way, and I think they said they’re going to test that, too.

    I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning? As you see, it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.

  72. Mitch McConnell actually just said that the virus “snuck up” on the President

    There are no words…..

  73. i had to watch fox news to see how they handled it…they said it is curious how prez got it… since Hope was very careful and wore her mask everywhere…there’s just no stopping the “invisible enemy”…

  74. Question for Alan S.

    How would you rate a season finale in which the main character – say, oh, the leader of a large country – becomes infected with a deadly virus weeks before the election and just one episode after it had also been revealed that he was a serial tax cheat verging on bankruptcy and an unapologetic supporter of white supremacists?

    Would you see this as a credible narrative arc? Or would you accuse the writers of dramatic overkill?

    Asking for 328 million friends.

  75. How about the fact that Trump went on Hannity last night and condemned and disavowed white supremacy and had the coronavirus while he did it.

    Are you not entertained?

  76. ***i had to watch fox news to see how they handled it…they said it is curious how prez got it… since Hope was very careful and wore her mask everywhere…there’s just no stopping the “invisible enemy”…***

    The Fox News footage I saw last night was of Hicks and Trump in a helicopter heading to the debate together, and Hicks had her mask on, but it was pulled down below her nose. So “wearing her mask everywhere”, though technically true, also takes some of the curiosity away to Fox News viewers who understand the meaning of “very careful” (assuming, of course, that there are any).

  77. ***Would you see this as a credible narrative arc? Or would you accuse the writers of dramatic overkill?***

    We haven’t even gotten to the part yet where his spittle spewing perforce at the debate infected his elderly opponent, who swiftly becomes intubated while he, himself, despite his underlying obesity, is largely asymptomatic.

  78. Trump is I am sure completely jacked up on a cocktail of convalescent plasma, quin, and diet pills. He will be fine and this will absolutely help him in some way I can’t foresee. And seriously, I do hope he and Flotus and all the people they probably have infected are fine.

    Anywhooo, how about Fernando Tatis Jr.? Two jacks last night. I don’t take any comfort from it but there are a lot of White Sox fans out there who saw him and Wil Myers combine for 4 homers last in an 11-9 win for the Padres over the Cardinals and were reminded that they were both traded for James Shields, who pitched 320 innings in Chicago and managed to produce 1 WAR in the process.

    It’s not just the Knicks.

  79. “Mr. President, do you condemn white supremacy?”

    (Mumbles) “Step aside. Show your pride. Take a ride.”

    (Two days later) “Yes, I condemn white supremacy.”

  80. And seriously, I do hope he and Flotus and all the people they probably have infected are fine.

    you most certainly are a better human than I mister owen…

    I find it amusing that many on cnn are “wishing him well”…maybe it’s just me, but, I’m hoping that he has that intestinal variation of the virus and ends up shitting himself to death…

    thankfully he should at least be somewhat sidelined for the next six days or so…a somewhat blissful respite from the harmful virus which is trump himself…

  81. it is interesting to see the updates on his symptom progression…last night it was no symptoms..he is ready to go to work…now…they are floating out “mild symptoms but he is energetic”….if it ticks towards “he was taken to walter reed for precautionary reasons”…than the shit will hit the fan…

  82. geo, i think it’s mostly to look good, I doubt Tapper, Lemon, and Cooper really give a shit, it’s their overlords telling them to look good and proper. I’ve heard this idea before, that Trump is a symptom of an American disease, not the actual disease, so I wonder if after he descended to the abyss if the country would in any way return to ‘normal’ or if the system is so irredeemably fucked that we will be living with more bullshit from Trump lites.

  83. Talk about an October NOT Surprised.

    I don’t believe any of the conspiracies that he’s faking it or playing this up for sympathy or to recover and say “see its no big deal” or to use a vaccine in a week or some other cure. Or to get out of debates or whatever. I guess if he comes out of this in a week and says “see its no big deal” or he’s able to push some miracle cure, maybe that benefits him but I just don’t see it. I think the simplest explanation is that he and his team have not taken it seriously and now he’s got covid. And I can only see it hurting him.

    His whole thing is that he’s not weak. Now he’s gotten covid, which was no big deal according to him. Him getting it just symbolizes how poorly he’s managed our response to it and makes covid the number one issue again, and issue he does not fair well on. It takes him out of campaigning, which is bad because he’s behind in the polls all ready and while he may not think he lost the debate, most people think he did and now he’s jeopordized his chance to do better in another debate. Plus, he was just making fun of Biden for being too cautious and initial reports are that Biden doesn’t have it.

    Plus, it also throws chaos into the stock market, the only thing he can hold on to right now. Creating this much chaos and doubt around his presidency so close to the election…its nothing but bad for him. I guess the Republicans can criticize the libs for the inevitable pile on that will happen online but that probably isn’t changing anyone’s mind about who they vote for especially since Biden can now be presidential, wish him a speedy recovery, etc.

    I think Trump is fucked. I don’t want to get too arrogant cause anything can happen, but this is a really bad blow for him with not a lot of time to make up for it.

  84. Swift, you’re dead on, here. This is a guy who has downplayed the severity of this thing for months, and his entire team has been making fart noises with their mouths about the dangers of shirking basic safety measures in the service of saying, “See? This isn’t a big deal.”

    The conspiracies around this one are utterly absurd. Why in the hell would he throw away 10 days of vital campaign time — one month before the election — just to get out of another debate with “Sleepy Joe?” Why wouldn’t he just say that the debates are rigged against him by the Deep State Fake News Media? How could he possibly find enough people willing to commit to the conspiracy to fake Hicks’, Melania’s and his own positive tests, and then not treat him like a walking germ bomb for ten days?

    Why would he risk his leaky-faucet administration revealing the most batshit insane self-own in the history of American politics? Again — ONE MONTH before the election.

    The only plausible explanation is that he really is that fucking dumb to do such a thing. And even then, you know that shit would leak before he even got to try it. And then he’d call the news fake, just like Strat would.

  85. Yeah, the conspiracy stuff is silly. Looks like the Barret nomination announcement might have been a spreader event. Hicks, Trumps, Mike Lee, pres of Notre Dame all were there, all tested positive same time.

  86. I doubt Tapper, Lemon, and Cooper really give a shit

    hey wetbandit :)
    man, they’re in this whole politics stuff a whole lot deeper than myself…i see him clearly as an “enemy of the state”, i have to imagine folks with better access to what’s really going on – understand, he’s a very real threat to “our” democracy, and our constitution (which he treats even worse than tax laws)…
    ugh, just writing all that drivel seemed extremely melodramatic, sadly though, i don’t believe it is that inaccurate…

    so I wonder if after he descended to the abyss if the country would in any way return to ‘normal’ or if the system is so irredeemably fucked that we will be living with more bullshit from Trump lites

    been doing some googling lately in reference to how trump has changed or altered politics and what potential influence it will have going forward…i have some early ideas, but – i know i’m not seeing a lot of the future in politics…

    it can be interesting to visit the past…we’re stuck in the present, so – might as well enjoy it as much as possible…the future though has always been an interesting place for me…

    it’s becoming increasingly hard though to see what’s next: more variables keep getting thrown in to the equation…again, my hero: hari seldon :)

    oan and fox hitting the 401k biden “threat’ really hard at the moment, fox is quickly switching gears to become virus sympathetic…i need to turn this shit off and quietly pray towards my preferred life outcomes…

    i blame bob for this – lord knows if he hadn’t been here i’d most likely be blissfully unaware of most of this shit…fuck you neptune city bob…

    ah, sort of just kidding, if you’re still occasionally lurking, i gotta imagine days like today must be a bit tempting for you – i hope you and the family are well…

  87. ***you most certainly are a better human than I mister owen……maybe it’s just me, but, I’m hoping that he has that intestinal variation of the virus and ends up shitting himself to death…***

    Well, if Geo, the nicest character I have ever encountered in an anonymous online forum feels this way, then I feel less guilty thinking it too.

  88. yo man donnie, i’ve spent more than my fair share of time immersed in westeros, shhhhh, i kind of really am thinking rains of castamere kind of stuff…but, i don’t really wanna share that too loudly with the world…

    ma wants to be a poll watcher…went to the store yesterday and was quickly reminded that there is simply never a time when i go somewhere with mom that she does not get involved in random conversations with strangers…normally they start off with her being feisty about some subtle slight…somehow almost all the time things progress in a positive manner though…the real trouble can occur when ma and sis get together…

    i just assume people are crazy and possibly dangerous unless proven otherwise…it’s not like i’m dealing with them as i would if i encountered a wild chimp, leopard, elephant or even a lemur, but yeah, i’m skeptical of folks…i do okay with people/strangers, much better though with kids and animals…

  89. Covid-19 Live Updates: Trump Receives Experimental Drug Treatment for Mild Symptoms
    President Trump has a cough and low-grade fever after testing positive for the coronavirus, according to two people familiar with his condition. Vice President Mike Pence, Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Speaker Nancy Pelosi have tested negative.

    The NY times has a “Trump Covid Tracker”…I see we are moving into specifics now…wonder what the experimental drug is and does anyone have to approve it or can he just do a Solomon like blessing over it and then they shoot him up?

  90. “He has received a single infusion of a promising experimental treatment: an antibody cocktail developed by the biotech company Regeneron, according to a memo from his doctor, Dr. Sean P. Conley. ”

    I guess I should have scrolled down some more..

  91. i remember spending some time at walter reed when i was young…i had some skull fracture thing…was recovering for a while from surgery and would just walk the halls…

    i was having a little trouble breathing, was walking around and found this young ears, nose, throat doctor…he was really cool, took pity on me and brought me in to sit me down and take a look at me…told me i had a broken nose…said he could fix it, no problem…i asked him if it would hurt, he was like: nah, women have it done all the time, age old hustle against young men…

    started packing all these gauze pads up my nose, it hurt – a bunch…i remember trying to push his hand away…he tells me he’s goona go get something and will be back in awhile…

    when he shows up again, he stars laughing like crazy…i wondering what’s so funny, realized that i was trying to push the pads further up my nostril and inhaling deeply…it was cocaine gauze…he pulled out what literlaly looked like a pair of pliers and fixed my nose…

    i had to take a few trips back to walter reed once i got back to school…just remember it being an old looking place, in a not so great looking area (coming from a kid who grew up on long island and was living along the hudson at the time)…

  92. god help me, i’m feeding off the fear at fox…i think that may be even worse than vamping off the celtics sorrow…

  93. geo:
    god help me, i’m feeding off the fear at fox…i think that may be even worse than vamping off the celtics sorrow…

    my wife is doing cartwheels around the house and then stops and looks at me and asks “am I a bad person?” and then continues on doing cartwheels…don’t feel bad geo…my wife doesn’t have a bad bone in her body but she is so happy today..

  94. I’m so happy Kyrie is not a Knick. There must be a lot of people in the Celtics organization that are laughing their asses off now.

  95. jimmie johnson explained it perfectly years ago: i’m fair, but, i don’t treat everyone the same…

  96. “He has received a single infusion of a promising experimental treatment: an antibody cocktail developed by the biotech company Regeneron, according to a memo from his doctor, Dr. Sean P. Conley. ”

    I was holding out hope that it was bleach. Oh well.

    Basically, a lot of immature or terrible human beings are revealing themselves today.

    It’s perfectly normal to be happy about horrible things happening to truly terrible people. It’s not nice, but very few are nice all the time. He’s directly responsible for the pandemic going out of control in much of the US. Close to a quarter million excess deaths since March. So thoughts and prayers for the president, thoughts and prayers for excruciating pain, forever and ever, amen.

  97. Basically, a lot of immature or terrible human beings are revealing themselves today.

    Today is the four year anniversary of Donald Trump giving a speech and mocking Hillary Clinton for having pneumonia.

  98. Basically, a lot of immature or terrible human beings are revealing themselves today.

    Who, the fake news media?

  99. This Donald Trump situation is moving very quickly. He’s public enemy #2 and everything (I think Mitch McConnell is a more harmful figure) but I hope he recovers from COVID. If he dies I won’t be crying or anything. As a black man from Brooklyn I’ve heard too many horror stories to actually wish that on a person, though.

  100. What makes me nervous is, depending on what happens in the short term, will the Rs, who are probably staring down the barrel of a great big lose, try to use it to delay the election? It’s rather unprecedented. Trump is an evil clown, but this is about regime change — it’s his demonic minions (Wheeler, deVos, etc.) who need to be flushed. And soonest, before more damage is done.

    So I’m not dancing on anyone’s grave at this point.

  101. He can’t delay the election. He doesn’t control it. The states do.

    If I were an evil screenwriter interested in fan service plotting 2020 I’d definitely have him on the respirator on election night watching himself lose in a massive massive landslide. And then Jared comes in and rips the tube out.

    The best thing for America is for him to come through this fine and have a peaceful transfer of power, just to put all this nonsense to rest.

  102. Basically, a lot of immature or terrible human beings are revealing today to have been knowingly covid positive or exposed to covid and elected to not tell anyone and flown to a fundraiser and exposed people who likely would not have come if they had know and are now dealing with a possible covid exposure…

    gtfoh…

  103. Deeefense:
    Basically, a lot of immature or terrible human beings are revealing themselves today.

    Well you’ve revealed yourself to be a despicable scumbag over months and months, so it must be gratifying to see some others catching up (still way behind you though)

  104. The worst possible outcome is that Trump dies. The best possible outcome is that he suffers horrible and permanent complications and lives to see himself voted out of office in a landslide as he is gradually exposed for the racist, misogynist, xenophobic, empathy-less bankrupt fraud that he is. I hope he hacks away in a wheelchair hooked up to an oxygen tank for the next 20 years, unable to ever swing a golf club again without feeling excruciating pain. Let him feel every ounce of the pain that his willful disregard for the seriousness of this virus has caused countless families to feel.

  105. i just saw on tv that a dozen people who helped set up the debate stage, etc., in cleveland have tested positive…and guess whose clan was in the crowd and likely stumbling around the facility without masks on…

  106. I only wish he had to get the same level of medical care that the typical poor New Yorker got in March when he was crowing about how everything should open up by Easter. Remember that? Remember “Liberate Michigan!”? Remember “They’re taking away our freedom!”? Remember “I know more than the experts!”?

  107. Well…he has been repeatedly promoting the high quality ventilators that his crew manufactured…he might get a firsthand test drive on one of those puppies…

  108. ***Z-man
    October 2, 2020 at 7:57 pm
    The worst possible outcome is that Trump dies. The best possible outcome is that he suffers horrible and permanent complications and lives to see himself voted out of office in a landslide as he is gradually exposed for the racist, misogynist, xenophobic, empathy-less bankrupt fraud that he is. I hope he hacks away in a wheelchair hooked up to an oxygen tank for the next 20 years, unable to ever swing a golf club again without feeling excruciating pain. Let him feel every ounce of the pain that his willful disregard for the seriousness of this virus has caused countless families to feel.***

    To the death?

    No. To the pain!

    I don’t think I’m familiar with that term.

    To the pain means that every shriek of every child at seeing your hideousness will be yours to cherish. Every babe that weeps at your approach, every woman who cries out, “Dear God! What is that thing,” will echo in your perfect ears. That is what to the pain means. It means I leave you in anguish, wallowing in freakish misery forever.

    (Is that what you have in mind, Z-Man?)

  109. Donnie Walsh:
    ***Z-man
    October 2, 2020 at 7:57 pm
    The worst possible outcome is that Trump dies. The best possible outcome is that he suffers horrible and permanent complications and lives to see himself voted out of office in a landslide as he is gradually exposed for the racist, misogynist, xenophobic, empathy-less bankrupt fraud that he is. I hope he hacks away in a wheelchair hooked up to an oxygen tank for the next 20 years, unable to ever swing a golf club again without feeling excruciating pain. Let him feel every ounce of the pain that his willful disregard for the seriousness of this virus has caused countless families to feel.***

    To the death?

    No. To the pain!

    I don’t think I’m familiar with that term.

    To the pain means that every shriek of every child at seeing your hideousness will be yours to cherish. Every babe that weeps at your approach, every woman who cries out, “Dear God! What is that thing,” will echo in your perfect ears. That is what to the pain means. It means I leave you in anguish, wallowing in freakish misery forever.

    (Is that what you have in mind, Z-Man?)

    There’s a place called Pub Street in a nearby town that serves a drink called “A Punch in the Mouth.” Tequila based, spicy, served in a martini class with a floating jalapeno slice. Had two of ’em, good primer for political blog venting.

  110. not to be all callous and what not, but – is there a way to delay senate judge voting via virus i wonder…they can advance stuff remotely, but, i believe they have to be present to vote…

    wow, there’s biological warfare going on in one of our branches of government…

    can’t wait to get home and catch the rest of the cards and padres…

  111. geo:
    not to be all callous and what not, but – is there a way to delay senate judge voting via virus i wonder…they can advance stuff remotely, but, i believe they have to be present to vote…

    wow, there’s biological warfare going on in one of our branches of government…

    can’t wait to get home and catch the rest of the cards and padres…

    It is interesting that the Trump nomination of Amy Coney Barrett could have been a superspreader event as no one wore masks. Two senators have tested positive already along with others that attended. This could be where Trump caught the bug.

  112. It really goes to show how individual legacy is affected by team support. AD really has been this good for a few years now. Pelicans wasted yet another MVP candidate. Bad for the NBA to have the best talent to go the dumbest teams.

  113. “I only wish he had to get the same level of medical care that the typical poor New Yorker got in March when he was crowing about how everything should open up by Easter.“

    Yeah, ‘cause you know, New York’s governor ordering nursing homes to take COVID patients and NYC’s mayor refusing to shut down the subways weren’t more important in spreading the virus and killing people than anything Trump did.

    Let me guess. You’re one of the super-geniuses who never wonders why other places have trees but only California seems to regularly have massive wildfires.

    Mike

  114. ***It really goes to show how individual legacy is affected by team support.***

    Yes. Fuck the GOP.

    I’ve rooted for the Knicks to fail for years now, and it’s been good. But I’ve never truly experienced schadenfreude until today.

    (Oh, and fuck you Deee and your stupid fence too.)

  115. “Let him feel every ounce of the pain that his willful disregard for the seriousness of this virus has caused countless families to feel.“

    So…you’re saying we should nuke China? Or at least you’re going to stop supporting a business (the NBA) deeply in bed with the communist dictatorship responsible for spreading the virus to the rest of the world?

    What’s that? All the pain and suffering of virus victims isn’t enough to make you find another hobby?

    Mike

  116. I wish neptune was here so I could ask him:

    1. Why does Daniel Jones suck so bad?
    2. Why isn’t Trump taking hydroxychloraquine?

    The K-Mart neptune clone is too dumb to engage with sadly.

  117. ***So…you’re saying we should nuke China? Or at least you’re going to stop supporting a business (the NBA) deeply in bed with the communist dictatorship responsible for spreading the virus to the rest of the world? What’s that? All the pain and suffering of virus victims isn’t enough to make you find another hobby?***

    Troll.

    Uneducated, head up your ass troll.

    So sad.

  118. Bung’s logic chain is like the Arctic archipelago. Mostly uninhabited, widely separated by empty, frozen gulfs.

    RIP Bob Gibson.

  119. oddly enough, mike sounds fairly sober when he posts…that’s a scary thought…

    not sure I remember ever watching Bob Gibson pitch, just remember him being talked about a lot in the 70’s and 80’s…

    I mostly just remember hearing about him being a pretty aggressive guy up on the mound…threw really hard and not shy about pitching inside…

  120. You have to love how, in fucking October, the only thing these imbeciles can hang their hat on, “There were some Democrat politicians who were almost as bad as Trump back in March.” Ignoring, of course, that he’s still as bad seven months later.

  121. Textbook superspreader event threatening the entire governing elite held a month before the election.

    With oodles of photos.

    It’s funny, it’s sad, it’s Knicksy.

  122. Real Americans in the Heartland have been yearning for a President who will tell Bob Woodward how bad a pandemic is while reassuring everyone else that all is fine and dandy. You coastal elites don’t understand this.

  123. Owen: Textbook superspreader event threatening the entire governing elite held a month before the election.

    Where you see a superspreader event, I see an act of selfless patriotism. Brave men and women willing to risk their own health to help move America closer to herd mentality.

    Some of them may even wind up making the ultimate sacrifice. Tragic, yes, but it’s all to the greater good. Men like our President don’t just ask “WWJD?” They simply go ahead and do it.

    Mike

  124. At this point I am just waiting for the Oompa Loompas to emerge and start singing a song about what happens when you don’t wear a mask

  125. Augustus Gloop: gluttony
    Violet Beauregarde: pride
    Veruca Salt: greedy
    Mike Teavee: too obvious to even say

    He really is a mashup of the four losers, forming one incredible uberloser that’s a complication or two away from intubation.

  126. MBunge: Let me guess. You’re one of the super-geniuses who never wonders why other places have trees but only California seems to regularly have massive wildfires.

    Mike

      

    What is rainfall even?

    Mike

  127. I wish (Other) Mike was at least a little more interesting. You could at least get a sense of Bob Neptune and Reub’s personalities. They were still jackass trolls, but (Other) Mike just seems like a cookie cutter Trump cultist.

  128. Oh I don’t know, I appreciate that he comes and goes — especially the goes part. No hijacking of entire threads. Just quick little reminders that the reason we’re so deeply fucked is that the world is filled with truly clueless idiots.

  129. Miami’s offense was pretty impressive last night when you consider they were down two starters, if they get Bam back and he’s healthy maybe they can make the finals a little interesting

  130. Deeefense: Basically, a lot of immature or terrible human beings are revealing themselves today.

    I get why politicos and media types have to go through the motions of sending their best wishes to POTUS for a speedy recovery. But there’s no reason for me – or really anyone whose continued livelihood is not dependent on maintaining a veneer of insincere decorum – to have to follow suit. Not when I know people who have died from this shit.

    It’s hard to keep from weeping when I try to imagine what their last moments on this planet must have been like. Isolated by medical protocols; terrified and unable to receive comfort from those of us who loved them. Was there the tiniest shred of empathy – or even any empty “thoughts and prayers” – expressed for all of those “virtual nobodies” by a leader for whose good health I am now being instructed to care about? Why should I be expected to give so much as a thimbleful of runny diarrhea for the health of a single individual who could not be bothered to give even less than that for the more than seven million individuals who have been infected with this awful virus in the US so far. If that makes me an “immature or terrible human being,” then guilty as fucking charged.

    Not Mike

  131. The Lakers have a chance to go 16-3 in the playoffs despite having only 3 players with a positive BPM. That’s crazy.

  132. Just taking a quick minute away from wedding/bachelor wknd activities to say wassup and hear yall thoughts on 45 catching COVID.

    Karma is indeed a bitch. And I’m with Geo: I can’t wish death on anyone regardless of how bad they may deserve it. Now, if he were to, say, somehow be made to suffer the fate of Blackheart at the end of Ghost Rider (sear his soulless-ass vessel with the anguish of all 200K Americans who passed away due to COVID), well…

    JK47, I had a good time last night – cigars and Henny had me hugging the porcelain god. No hangover today, just recovering energy. Two days to go…

  133. It’s a disaster to have the President incapacitated, even Trump. Obviously I hate his guts but its bad for our country in so many ways.

    Rondo has really played well. He pulled up And drained a hree last game and I was just like, that can’t have been Rondo.

  134. Rondo been’s close-ish to league average from 3 for a while now, no? He’s clearly not a sharpshooter, but he can hit open threes. He sucked ass from deep in Boston, but that was a while ago.

  135. Addendum – did the math, and Rondo’s averaged .354 from deep on a sample of close to 800 shots since he left Boston. This isn’t including the playoffs, but that’s a rather remarkable improvement for a guy who cracked 30% exactly once in the 9 years before that.

  136. “It’s a disaster to have the President incapacitated, even Trump. Obviously I hate his guts but its bad for our country in so many ways.”

    I’d be curious to know what the oh so many ways might be. Terribly harmful, regressive policies carried out in his absence? People in the administration finding themselves free to trample on the constitution? A sudden lack of direction on the pandemic from the White House? An immediate and rapid increase in graft and corruption within the Beltway? An abrupt move toward racial dog-whistling and maybe even outright public winking support to extremists, leading to violence in the streets?

    Oh, I know. I bet it’s that foreign powers will suddenly feel enabled to meddle in our election, and who knows, even go so far as to put bounties on our soldiers?

    I shudder to think those things might happen now with the President incapacitated. Maybe you’re right.

  137. Russia invades the Baltics. China invades Taiwan.

    QAnon types try to start a civil war because the deep state gave this to him.

  138. JK47, I had a good time last night – cigars and Henny had me hugging the porcelain god. No hangover today, just recovering energy. Two days to go…

    Ha! That sounds like the perfect evening. I can’t avoid hangovers like I used to in my younger days… a glass of wine with dinner and my whole next day is ruined.

    Sending all my love to you and the fam… good luck on Monday!

  139. Owen, I think if Russia invades the Baltics and Trump is NOT incapacitated, he might provide air cover. As for the second, Trump probably thinks Taiwan is a city in North Korea and might start WW III to protect his bud.

    As for QAnon, I saw a lady parking in the grocery recently with a big American flag Q on the back of her car. They’re clearly getting better, I couldn’t see the seams on her face at all. Regardless, they have all the ammo they need for a civil war to stop the satanic pedophiles. Saying X might set them off only makes sense if X is oxygen.

  140. As for QAnon, I saw a lady parking in the grocery recently with a big American flag Q on the back of her car. They’re clearly getting better, I couldn’t see the seams on her face at all. Regardless, they have all the ammo they need for a civil war to stop the satanic pedophiles. Saying X might set them off only makes sense if X is oxygen.

    that was very well said…it sure as heck is out and about in my neck of the woods…loud and proud they are…

    owen, I don’t think you really understand how the whole “hate” thing works…i think that’s a very good thing for you though…who really needs that kind of bile floating around inside of them…

    hate definitely does motivate…dispise, disgust, distaste, much more proper sentiments…less likely to lead to regret…

    reminds me of probably the best line I ever heard during an argument: you can’t tell me how I feel…

    yeah, at the moment, my friend pretty much shut me down with that one…having a romantic partner smarter than yourself can be tricky at times…

    I’ve never married, I think I’ve only been to a couple of weddings…I imagine it’s an event you never forget…a mixture of nerves and excitement…

  141. If there was an annual award for low volume-high efficiency KB posting, Count de Pennies would have like 7 of them.

  142. LeBron has compared his partnering with AD to Kobe-Shaq. I don’t agree there, very different players (in fact LeBron said he’s more like Shaq and AD said the opposite.)

    I think better comparison are:
    LBJ-AD:Jordan-Pippen
    LBJ-AD:Bird-McHale
    LBJ-AD:Magic-Worthy

    or maybe the best one of all:
    LBJ-AD:Oscar-Kareem

  143. ***LeBron has compared his partnering with AD to Kobe-Shaq. I don’t agree there, very different players (in fact LeBron said he’s more like Shaq and AD said the opposite.)

    I think better comparison are:
    LBJ-AD:Jordan-Pippen
    LBJ-AD:Bird-McHale
    LBJ-AD:Magic-Worthy

    or maybe the best one of all:
    LBJ-AD:Oscar-Kareem***

    I’m too young to remember most of these, but there’s something about LeBron and AD that reminds me of Shandon Anderson teaming with Lee Nailon back in ‘03. That team was 17 years ahead of its time. If only Lavor Postell had the experience of Danny Green, we’d have had fresh banners at the garden for sure, and history would view the Frank Layden era VERY differently.

  144. Donnie Walsh:
    ***LeBron has compared his partnering with AD to Kobe-Shaq. I don’t agree there, very different players (in fact LeBron said he’s more like Shaq and AD said the opposite.)

    I think better comparison are:
    LBJ-AD:Jordan-Pippen
    LBJ-AD:Bird-McHale
    LBJ-AD:Magic-Worthy

    or maybe the best one of all:
    LBJ-AD:Oscar-Kareem***

    I’m too young to remember most of these, but there’s something about LeBron and AD that reminds me of Shandon Anderson teaming with Lee Nailon back in ‘03. That team was 17 years ahead of its time. If only Lavor Postell had the experience of Danny Green, we’d have had fresh banners at the garden for sure, and history would view the Frank Layden era VERY differently.

    Then there was the Bob Thornton-Chris McNealy era…

  145. Just a quick note about Bob Gibson: if you haven’t read David Halberstam’s October 1964, this would be a good time to do so. It has great stuff about Gibson and the series in general. Especially since this finals appears to be pretty dull going.

  146. With Bam and Dragic out, this finals is becoming a yawner. Too bad, because the bubble has been such a success, Adam Silver deserves better.

  147. That’s an all-time Finals performance by Butler. Whatever “it” is, that dude has it. Maybe they can get Bam back and steal another game? Would be great to bring this series back from the dead.

  148. Great win for the Heat, who deserved at least one win with how they’ve performed in the playoffs. Hopefully all those planning to declare LeBron the GOAT with a Lakers win will remember this loss to a less talented team playing without two of its three best players.

    Yes, it’s nitpicking but that’s what you do when trying to distinguish between greatness. It’s like giving LeBron credit for winning with different coaches and players without noting that he’s had far more superstar teammates than Jordan ever did.

    Mike

  149. my apologies…i realize less is more right now when it comes to the outside world; and, i’m afraid the enchanted silence we’ve experienced the last few days will not last much longer – this below though, this is what gives me faith and hope in my fellow human…there are some really good folks out there doing smart stuff:

    The Proud Boys hashtag, which members of the far-right group have been using, was trending Sunday after gay men on Twitter hijacked it and flooded the feed with photos of their loved ones and families and with memes.

    god bless and love and respect…

  150. i’ll be honest, i only caught parts of the game – thankfully the ones where butler bowled over the entire laker squad on his way to the rim, over and over and over again :)

    lebron had a pretty good line, not sure how many points on turnovers the heat scored, he did though turn the ball over 8 times…that’s not good…

    i think the problem though is they gave up 115 points…howard and AD only had 8 boards together…jimmy butler shot 12 for 14 from the line…no doubt the lakers are getting ready to submit some video something to complain to the league office…

    do us all a favor miami, win 3 out of 4 of your next games…i liked jimmy yelling at the laker bench they were in trouble now…

    oh shit, AD along with KCP were like a minus 1,000 each, wow, they really sucked…

  151. In a rare piece of NBA history that I didn’t know, Bill Russell won all of eleven of his NBA titles with players considered not good enough to make the Washington Generals, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won his six titles with the cast of the Brady Bunch as his teammates (it’s why he didn’t win a title until 1971 and his final title was right before the A Very Brady Christmas reunion) and Michael Jordan won six titles with Tasmanian Devil as his only good teammate.

    Brian

  152. What an incredible performance by Butler and by the entire Heat team. I know they most likely won’t win this series, but that was a joy to watch last night. Outgunned and outmanned, they didn’t lay down and give up. Gotta give them huge credit for that.

    It really is too bad Bam and Dragic are hurt. Is there any chance either of them comes back?

  153. giving LeBron credit for winning

    From Marc Spears:

    “Jimmy Butler is the first player to outscore, outrebound and out-assist LeBron James in a Finals game, including LeBron’s teammates.”

    (That’s 52 games, by my count.)

  154. I remember Lebron taking the Cavs to the Finals in 2007 as one of the most impressive playoff performances I have ever seen. That was a team with such notable players as Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Anderson Varejao, Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes and of course the immortal Boobie Gibson.

    Interestingly, Lebron had a crap ts% for those playoffs, 51.6%, while Boobie shot 41% from three for a 61% ts%. Ride the hot hand when you can.

    I don’t really care where Lebron ends up in the pantheon as long as he is inside it. He’s been amazing to watch and seems like a highly intelligent and pretty decent human being.

  155. MBunge: Great win for the Heat, who deserved at least one win with how they’ve performed in the playoffs. Hopefully all those planning to declare LeBron the GOAT with a Lakers win will remember this loss to a less talented team playing without two of its three best players.

    Yes, it’s nitpicking but that’s what you do when trying to distinguish between greatness. It’s like giving LeBron credit for winning with different coaches and players without noting that he’s had far more superstar teammates than Jordan ever did.

    Mike

    This is a true masterpiece, congratulations. I think even ptmilo would come up short if he tried to compete.

  156. Sometimes there is a salient point in MBunge’s posts that gets obscured by his general obtuseness. For example:

    “Hopefully all those planning to declare LeBron the GOAT with a Lakers win will remember this loss to a less talented team playing without two of its three best players.

    Yes, it’s nitpicking but that’s what you do when trying to distinguish between greatness.”

    It really does come down to millimeters, and it’s fair to say LeBron comes up short when it comes to killer instinct. Last night is the kind of game where you expect Jordan would step on his opponent’s throat.

    I really want LeBron to be better than Jordan, mostly because (as Owen pointed out) he just seems like a really good human being. But nights like last night do make me think he’s a smidge short of MJ.

  157. Last night is the kind of game where you expect Jordan would step on his opponent’s throat.

    In 1996, Jordan was up 3-0 on the Sonics and shot 6-19 (13 FTA) for 23 points. The Bulls lost by 21.

    In 1997, Jordan was up 2-0 on the Jazz and went 9-22 (5 FTA) for 26 points and then 11-27 for 22 points (drawing 0 shooting fouls) in consecutive games. He went 15-35 in their Game 6 clincher, too, but it’s easy to forget because they won. That’s a lot of missed shots.

    In 1998, the Bulls were up 3-1 at home against the Jazz and he shot 9-26 for 28 points (.454 TS%). Of course, Pippen was the one who sunk them, with a Paul George-esque 2-16 shooting performance with 4 turnovers. But still, Jordan wasn’t playing out of his mind. At home. Up 3-1.

    Jordan has got to be the most consistent scoring superstar of the modern era — consider that I have to point to a 40% shooting night as a “bad” game — but the idea that he never lost playoff games while in the driver’s seat? That’s some real nostalgic GOAT-washing stuff.

    And I’m not Jordan detractor. He was the best player in the league for like ten consecutive seasons, and probably would have won eight straight had he not been forced– er, chose to retire at 29.

  158. Not entirely fair, Hubert. I do think LeBron is not a outright sociopath the way Jordan and his Robin Kobe were. Which one could argue is a point in his favor (see my lean toward Kareem…). But the simple fact is that Jordan did not go 1,072-0 during his career. In fact, teams he led lost 7 playoff series. So clearly he didn’t will his team to victory every time he stepped on the court. Shit happens, even the greats come out a bit flat now and again (and he was 25-10-8 yesterday, which admittedly isn’t 61-15-10, but sometimes things don’t go your way, especially when your key teammate lays a real egg).

  159. I used to always say Jordan was better and point to him being 6 for 6 (two 3peats as well). And Lebron only being 3-6 in the Finals.

    But now…10 Finals appearances vs. 6? That’s 4 extra trips to the Finals. If they win this year, that’s 4 rings vs. 6. Not as big of a gap. If they go next year and win, that’s 5 rings vs. 6 and 11 finals vs. 6.

    So I think its a tie and you can have your preference. But Lebron has had the longer/more productive career, which should also count for something.

  160. Any of those teams missing 2 of their 3 best players, Jowles? That was kinda the key point of the whole thing.

  161. Moderation is pretty extreme these days. I feel like 75% of my posts get stuck in it, these days, and I struggle to find a word that isn’t benign.

  162. Any of those teams missing 2 of their 3 best players, Jowles? Otherwise they’re kinda pointless counterexamples.

    LeBron has the Dallas series on his resume, a loss to a clearly inferior team. Nothing like that ever happened to MJ. It’s a differentiator.

    Losing a couple games to great teams like the Sonics and Jazz isn’t really the same thing.

  163. no, they’re not pointless examples. the problem with cherry picked millimeters is that there are so many to choose from, and they lay capricious to the whims of the chooser. if lebron was up 3-0 and went 22-60 in 3 games against gary payton, that would be the new millimeter. there is nothing magical about two players being injured. the suns were missing ceballos when the bulls lost that double ot finals game up 2-0 and jordan went 19-43. if
    you think you can spot who is better by snatching a proton out of the morass you are more talk than think.

  164. It always bugs me that people say Dallas was a “clearly inferior team.” What evidence do you support of this?

    The Mavs were 57-25 that year in the regular season.

    The Heat were 58-24. A whopping one game better in the regular season!

    The Western Conference was a much tougher conference than the Eastern Conference. The 8th seed was 10 games above 500. In the East, the 8th seed was 8 games below 500.

    The Mavs went 4-2 in the first round, 4-0 in the second round and 4-1 in the WCF.

    The Heat went 4-1, 4-1, 4-1 in the eastern conference.

    So both teams lost 3 games in the playoffs before going to the Finals.

    The Mavs had a super deep roster. Sure, they didn’t have a big 3 but they had a super deep roster of really good veteran players like Tyson, Kidd, Marion, Terry, etc.

  165. Yes, they are pointless counterexamples, ptmilo.

    Jowles took an apple and made it an orange. The point was about losing a game (or a series) when your team was a heavy favorite to win. Jowles made it about losing games when you’re ahead in a series.

    Last night, the Lakers were 9.5 point favorites, with a money line of -455. In order to provide valid counterexamples, you’d have to produce a list of NBA finals games that Jordan lost when the expected margin of victory was that large. He didn’t do that. Ergo, pointless.

    Maybe the 1993 finals came the closest? Games 3 and 5 in Chicago were surprise L’s, but those Phoenix teams were so good and at full strength, I’d be surprised if they were ever that heavily favored.

  166. goalposts >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    https://knickerblogger.net/dolan-sucks-security-guards/#comment-692906

    To DRed’s point, SRS is a good tool if you’re trying to suss out which teams are actual contenders for a title run. Looking at the 2011 Mavs, you can tell that the SRS took a hit during an extended injury from Dirk — between December 28 and January 14, they went 2-7 without him. When he returned on January 15, he played poorly and in limited minutes in a big loss to the Grizzlies. He bounced back the following game against the Pistons, but they still lost handily. And surprise: Tyson Chandler was injured for both of those losses!

    Prior to that stretch, the Mavs were 24-5. Without that stretch, could they have had the 8+ SRS that you’d expect from a contender? Probably not, but it certainly would have made them look less like outliers. And of course, they balled out in the playoffs, smashing the Lakers in 4 and the Thunder in 5 en route to the Heatles’ first appearance.

  167. Yeah, I remember having the argument about how well the Mavs expected W/L represented their talent in the Finals that year.

    In baseball, you can model playoff outcomes based on the actual players available and their underlying predictors. I think if you did that with the Mavs they probably look like a better team.

  168. You have to be equal, though, Owen. The Heat’s advanced stats probably would have improved, too, if they didn’t lose LeBron, Wade, and Bosh for 14 games, or stumble out of the gates to a terrible 8-8 mark while they struggled with being public enemies.

    Whether that series was a massive upset or a minor one, it was an upset. Jowles can claim I’m moving the goalposts to distract from his moving the goalposts as much as he wants. He’s not going to be able to produce valid counterexamples because Jordan doesn’t have those unexpected L’s on his ledger like LeBron does.

  169. Look, the Heat did everything they had to win this game, but let’s not overinflate this win. The Lakers switched on the pick and pop and Jimmy feasted once LeBron was off of him. The Heat, with Olynyk instead of Bam, plays a lot like the Rockets with Harden (no Westbrook). The Heat also fought through the screens so they couldn’t pick on Robinson. And AD, Rondo, and Dwight had awful games.

    The Heat are not here by accident, they are a really good team. Bam being out hurts them defensively but helps spread out the Lakers’ big men. I want to see how the Lakers adjust before I put too much into this game.

  170. Was Jordan not expected to win the first two examples on the list Jowles gave? I would think the Bulls were heavily favored to win at that point, especially the Seattle series.

    Generally, I like your insights, Hubert, but this seems like a weird hill to die on.

  171. Sorry to inject politics into a basketball conversation (it’s usually the other way around on this site) but Trump’s latest tweet about leaving Walter Reed might be the most irresponsible thing he’s ever done (and yes that’s saying something)

    I won’t re-post the whole thing here, but “don’t let COVID dominate your life” “I feel better than I did 20 years ago” are statements that are basically encouraging people not to worry about contracting a deadly and highly contagious disease, people who don’t have access to the best medical care and unapproved treatments.

    I mean, it’s just plain immoral.

  172. I’m not dying on any hills, Mike. LeBron has been upset (in playoff games and playoff series) *far* more often than Jordan. Whether or not this is significant is up for debate. Whether or not it’s true is not.

    And FYI, no, the Bulls were not expected to win game 5 in Seattle. They were underdogs that day. They were favored in game 4, though.

  173. it’s just plain immoral

    oh c’mon d-mar, you’re just such a hater…it’s just donald being donald, what’s the big deal…it’s not like he’s he president or anything with some 20 million disciples roaming around the country like typhoid marys…

    if anything his recent debate performance and covid diagnosis simply underscores his inability to focus and stay disciplined – that’s a repeated theme even fox is picking up on (oan is simply too far gone in their coverage to even acknowledge any doubt towards his behavior in a negative light)…amazingly enough – that point regarding discipline and focus does seem to be hitting home with “some” republicans…

    i’ll tell you, one thing that did make me smile this weekend was jim carrey doing biden…he was great…

  174. And FYI, no, the Bulls were not expected to win game 5 in Seattle. They were underdogs that day. They were favored in game 4, though.

    from the dept of making shit up. seattle was between +4 and +5 for game five. that series is actually part of the bulls famous 185 consecutive game run of being favs, broken in game 3 of 1997 finals.

  175. Owen:
    I remember Lebron taking the Cavs to the Finals in 2007 as one of the most impressive playoff performances I have ever seen. That was a team with such notable players as Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Anderson Varejao, Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes and of course the immortal Boobie Gibson.

    Interestingly, Lebron had a crap ts% for those playoffs, 51.6%, while Boobie shot 41% from three for a 61% ts%. Ride the hot hand when you can.

    I don’t really care where Lebron ends up in the pantheon as long as he is inside it. He’s been amazing to watch and seems like a highly intelligent and pretty decent human being.

    Lebron getting that 2007 Cleveland team to the Finals is one of the greatest carry jobs of all time. I can’t remember another Finals team with a worse supporting cast than 2007 Cavs. Larry Hughes was their 2nd leading scorer and he put 15PPG with an eFG+ of 88 and a TS+ of 89. Their top 5 players in BPM were:

    Lebron – 8.1
    Donyell Marshall – 1.6
    Zydrunas Ilgauskas – 0.4
    Anderson Varejao – 0.0
    Ira Newble – 0.0

    They had 3 players with a positive non-zero BPM! To put that into better perspective we finished 33-49 that year with Isiah Thomas coaching the team. We had 6 players with a positive non-zero BPM: David Lee, Renaldo Balkman, Nate Robinson, Quentin Richardson, Steve Francis, and Stephon Marbury.

    I honestly can’t think of another Finals team that had a worse supporting cast. Not the 2003 Spurs, the 2002 or 2003 Nets, 2001 76ers, 1999 Knicks, or the 94 Rockets or Knicks.

  176. It’s pretty hard to find lines for games 24 years old. I hit the google machine pretty hard and found Seattle favored by 3.5. If that’s incorrect, I stand corrected.

    Still, neither you nor your acolyte have come close to arguing the point, which was that MJ won when expected at a much greater clip than LeBron. You’re merely picking on insignificant subpoints that don’t actually impact the argument.

  177. It really does come down to millimeters, and it’s fair to say LeBron comes up short when it comes to killer instinct. Last night is the kind of game where you expect Jordan would step on his opponent’s throat.

    Where in this post does it say anything about–

    losing a game (or a series) when your team was a heavy favorite to win

    And then, ex post facto, you admit that you can’t find the betting information that your original post implicitly relied upon for its argument. Did you actually look up the money lines to make this argument, but silently, without telling anyone that you were referring to a fucking Vegas line? Like… what the actual fuck?

    Does this pass as good argumentation in your world? Sad!

    You’re merely picking on insignificant subpoints that don’t actually impact the argument.

    You’ve become the board’s resident sophist. Really impressive.

  178. It’s pretty hard to find lines for games 24 years old. I hit the google machine pretty hard and found Seattle favored by 3.5. If that’s incorrect, I stand corrected.

    i typed why is hubert so bad at being right into lycos and this is first result.

    https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1996-06-13-1996165115-story.html

    i was also a 21 year old sharkminnow in 95 taking nba scalps with my paperboy tip fund and i remember this series pretty well. the series odds moved from 8-1 to like 10-1 before it even started and the books all started closing to bulls bets period. strat used to stand outside bally’s in a tex winter houston rockets jersey railing against dean oliver’s about.com column, melrose place and how only idiots could not see that peter jennings hated freedom more than suharto.

  179. You’re right, Jowles, I momentarily left open for interpretation the definition of “stepping on his opponent’s throat.”

    Furthermore, I failed to exhaustively research the point spreads of approximately 400 NBA playoff games.

    Here’s the thing, though, I’m not going to spend my day litigating this like it’s a grand jury hearing. If you and the Humbug want to sidestep the point and argue over whatever details I may have overlooked, go ahead.

    The point was…. LeBron’s some significant L’s on his ledger. Not just the odd game here or there, but whole series where his team was heavily favored: Orlando in 2009, Boston in 2010, Dallas in 2011.

    I can’t think of a single series where MJ was favored and he lost. He lost as a rookie to Milwaukee. He lost that 96 series to the Magic, which I don’t really know how to properly consider. Other than that, the only teams who ever beat were the greatest teams of all time.

    In a contest as close as razor thin as MJ vs LeBron, that kind of thing is something I’d consider. If you think this unreasonable, Jowles and Milo, by all means, stop jerking each other off and make your point.

  180. strat used to stand outside bally’s in a tex winter houston rockets jersey railing against dean oliver’s about.com column, melrose place and how only idiots could not see that peter jennings hated freedom more than suharto.

    Crying/laughing emoji

  181. i was also a 21 year old sharkminnow in 95 taking nba scalps with my paperboy tip fund and i remember this series pretty well. the series odds moved from 8-1 to like 10-1 before it even started and the books all started closing to bulls bets period. strat used to stand outside bally’s in a tex winter houston rockets jersey railing against dean oliver’s about.com column, melrose place and how only idiots could not see that peter jennings hated freedom more than suharto.

    Solid guffaw

    Are we arguing over whether Lebron is better than Jordan? I hate to take either side of that debate

  182. It’s the night before Game 7, Jordan and LeBron stayed up all night playing poker, smoking Monte Cristos and eating stale Little Caesars pizza – who would you bet on to come out on top. Case closed.

  183. https://twitter.com/jackhaveitall/status/1313200529456197633

    There’s not really an answer. Lebron very clearly had the more productive career. Jordan Played 36,000 or so regular season minutes before his Wizards coda, when he was good for a very old guard but nothing special compared to the rest of the league. Lebron’s at 48,000. But Jordan has those six rings, and you can argue he was a bit better than Lebron at their peaks. But on the other hand they’re close enough stat wise that you can’t say one was clearly better than the other. So it’s pretty subjective imho.

  184. When my son badgers me over who is better, Jordan or LeBron, I respond by saying that if we were picking teams and he picked one of them first, I wouldn’t be upset being stuck with whoever the other one was.

  185. But on the other hand they’re close enough stat wise that you can’t say one was clearly better than the other. So it’s pretty subjective imho.

    This is, by far, the most reasonable and therefore the only not-insufferable take. Replace LeBron with Jordan on the ’09 Cavs and they probably still win 66 and get topped by the Magic or Lakers, a la 80s Jordan. Put LeBron on the ’96 Bulls and he LeCoasts his way to a ring and then a few more, too.

  186. Kareem scores more pints and was all NBA defense more times than either of them. He just doesn’t get the press that they do.

  187. Knick fan not in NJ:
    Kareem scores more pints and was all NBA defense more times than either of them.He just doesn’t get the press that they do.

    More points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks; higher FG%, eFG%, TS%, BPM, VORP, and WS/48. Some of these numbers are ridiculous too. Kareem’s career FG%, eFG%, and TS% are higher than Duncan’s single season career high. Same is true for Kareem’s eFG+ and TS+.

  188. from when i was mostly watching – my answer would be hakeem…i really liked watching him play, except of course when he played the knicks…i don’t have very fond memories of the bulls, or, anyone on their squad – or their coach…fuck phil jackson, i hope you’re on a bad trip…

    oh, it just feels so good to get that out…

  189. Having seen all three of them extensively in their primes, Kareem is definitely under-appreciated as a GOAT candidate.

  190. But Duncan played at a really slow pace?

    Duncan was a much better defender than Kareem. That’s something maybe.

    But yeah, Kareem is in the pantheon

  191. The Mount Rushmore of NBA GOATs is, in no particular order other than chronological, Wilt, Kareem, Jordan and LeBron. It’s a pretty steep drop-off to #5, whoever that is.

  192. Yeah, I’d put Russell as the other dude in the top five with those other four. And I agree on “I don’t know how the fuck I’d order them.”

    Kareem winning all of those titles with Jan Brady whining about Marcia all of the time was really impressive, though.

  193. Kareem was the best player in college basketball every year he played, was probably the best player in the NBA for like 10 years in a row, and he was still pretty good when he was 40, but it was a long time ago in a very different league.

  194. Magic is amazing (dude’s name was “Magic” and he actually lived up to it), but I’d have him, Duncan, Bird and some other guys outside the top five.

  195. Bill Russell is a polarizing figure, even for an old-school guy like me. He was certainly an all-time great defender and rebounder (maybe #1) and underrated offensively (much in the same way that Jimmy Butler is.) He had plenty of big scoring games when his team needed him to.

    But there’s no getting around that he was nowhere near the caliber offensive player of the other four.

    So to put him at the same level with the other guys, you have to consider the angle: Who gives your team the best chance to win? And Russell can’t be touched there based on his team’s success.

    In my own personal rating system, if you could only take 4, it would be a shame, but he’d be on the outside looking in. I’d certainly agree that Russell is arguably in the group.

  196. I agree that Russell wasn’t the offensive player that they were, but I think that his defense was basically otherworldly. The Celtics weren’t just a good defensive team, they were a disgustingly good defensive team. It was like they were in a whole other league than the rest of the, well, you know, league. They won with defense year after year after year after year after year and Russell was the key to all of it. I’m not saying that Russell is even necessarily ahead of those other four guys, but I think he belongs in their company and ahead of, say, Tim Duncan or Magic Johnson.

  197. What hurts Magic’s and Bird’s GOAT status is their relative lack of longevity. Magic only played like 10 seasons before he retired due to his HIV diagnosis. Bird played 13 seasons but he was basically a shell of his former self in the last 4 due to his back injury. The 10 years you’re getting of healthy, prime play from Bird and Magic are great but you’re getting 15 years from Jordan, LeBron, Kareem, and Duncan with a few extra years of subprime play.

  198. Russell’s such a difficult guy to judge, at least for me. Most of his value is coming in the defensive end which is always really hard to judge compared to offense and is even more difficult because the NBA didn’t track blocks or steals back then. But by all accounts and metrics he’s the greatest defensive player in NBA history and can singlehandedly turn a bad defensive team into a good one.

  199. Berman, always plugged into the front office, says:

    While Rose, the Knicks rookie president, has Paul on his trade radar, putting together a package for younger Pacers’ guard Victor Oladipo is expected to be a higher priority, according to NBA officials.

    Reports have surfaced — and have since been denied — that Oladipo prefers a change of scenery.

    What’s paramount in the Knicks’ potential interest is GM Scott Perry drafted Oladipo while with Orlando and still is enamored. Once Perry falls in love, it’s permanent. Just ask former Orlando lottery picks, Mario Hezonja and Elfrid Payton, two recent Knicks free-agent signees.

    He then proposes hypothetical trade packages for Oladipo, CP3, Embiid, Paul George, and Karl-Anthony Towns (while acknowledging the last one to be an extreme long shot), like:

    One NBA personnel man said Dallas’ two first-round picks (2021, 2023), Julius Randle and Dennis Smith Jr. or Frank Ntilikina could whet the Pacers’ appetite.

  200. No love for the Big O?

    Probably doesn’t belong in the Top 5 but certainly merits an honorable mention, at the very least.

    Incredible player. And, yes, I’m old enough to have seen him play. Got to watch him live on two occasions when my dad took me to the Garden where we saw Oscar, Jerry Lucas & the Cincinnati Royals beat up on the Knicks.

  201. Alan:
    Berman, always plugged into the front office, says:

    He then proposes hypothetical trade packages for Oladipo, CP3, Embiid, Paul George, and Karl-Anthony Towns (while acknowledging the last one to be an extreme long shot), like:

    There’s no way Embiid, PG, or KAT or being traded. Philly’s not giving up on Embiid/Simmons until they can see what a good coach will do with them. LAC is locked into their Kawhi/PG core since they traded every single available draft pick for them and they’re capped out. Unless LAC is somehow getting a better talent back in a trade, which is literally impossible if they’re trading with us, they’re not breaking up that team. KAT might become available but it won’t be this year.

    Trading for Oladipo is realistic but doesn’t make sense for us. Oladipo is good (or at least was, we don’t know what he looks like after the injury) but he’s not a true difference maker and giving up two first round picks so Oladipo can drag us to 35 wins a year before he hits free agency is insane.

  202. Yeah, I think most of that article is a case of Berman having to fill column inches on a slow news day. The Oladipo stuff (there’s more if you click the link), though, has the ring of something he’s actually heard.

  203. Very little Knicksier than trading multiple picks for Oladipo. It’s gonna happen.

  204. I have a soft spot for Oladipo and he did have one very good season. I would prefer Brogdon though if I am picking a guard off the Pacers.

    But yeah, trading a ton of assets for guys who won’t move the needle or are very unlikely to doesn’t seem optimal. Or guys with major injury history.

    Why is Scott Perry still in charge?

  205. I’d trade Randle for Oladipo because hey, maybe he reverts back to the player he was in the one season he was good, but that’s it. And I have no idea why Indiana would want Randle

  206. ***Because Perry sucks and can’t let go of players he once drafted?***

    Ah, the old Scott Layden playbook. What could possibly go wrong?

  207. I went for basketball shootaround on my own today, early in the morning, after…decades.
    After warming up i took only 3s and said to myself: You go home after hitting 10 3s or after shooting 100 3s.
    The Result:
    10/79!
    12,66%!
    Man!
    I now have blisters at my right pinky and at my left thumb!
    It’s not easy to be GOAT!

  208. The Oladipo rumor is profoundly Knicks-y. Like old-school, uncut, Isiah-era Knicksiness. A “star” player available for less than you’d think just because he had an extremely severe injury that he hasn’t recovered from and yet still wants to both play and be paid like he’s a full blown superstar? Where do we sign up?

  209. I would do Randle for Oladipo straight up (maybe).

    It saves us $4 million next year and if Oladipo plays well he fits into our lineup. If he plays like crap, we improve our draft position.

    I’d really only take the trade if there’s no market for Randle, even then I’d consider rolling the dice on him putting together a better season and trading him at the deadline.

  210. Why is Scott Perry still in charge?

    No freaking clue. I thought he was going to be a GM-in-name-only this season so Rose had more time to figure out his replacement. It doesn’t make any sense for the front office to be leaning heavily on his input.

    Side note: Why can’t the Knicks ever completely clean house? There are always holdovers when the Knicks do their perennial front office tear downs.

  211. Couldn’t Golden State use Oladipo better than we could, and don’t they have better stuff to offer? Perhaps NY can absorb dead salary and some assets if a mongo 4 or 5 team trade is put together. Outside of that, I don’t see how much good can come out of an Oladipo trade involving the Knicks.

  212. on the scale of positive outcomes of that trade…it is probably 1-2% that it works out…so….we should expect the announcement of deal completion shortly….

  213. Couldn’t Golden State use Oladipo better than we could

    They could use anyone better than the Knicks can, but that doesn’t mean Oladipo would be any good. 2019-20 Andrew Wiggins, step right up:

    Minnesota

    1455 MP
    .535 TS%
    7.9 TRB%
    18.1 AST%
    10.8 TOV%
    -0.4 BPM

    Golden State

    403 MP
    .542 TS%
    7.4 TRB%
    18.2 AST%
    10.4 TOV%
    -0.2 BPM

    Maybe this year he gets a bump from Steph Curry weaving and Klay spacing. Maybe he’s exactly the same player he’s always been. Plus, Oladipo is another non-wing to exploit with point-forward wings on the switch. If the Dubs want to trade for a small scoring guard, it should be for Beal.

  214. Oladipo makes zero sense for us. Seriously, it would be the dumbest move we could possibly make.

    Signing FVV to a huge contract would make more sense. At least FVV is younger, better, plays a position we desperately need to upgrade and wouldn’t cost us anything but cap space.

  215. More “fun” news from Berman:

    Oklahoma City GM Sam Presti will likely want a first-round pick and a young prospect amid his rookie contract, multiple league officials believe.

    According to the source, that young player preferably is Knox, the ninth pick in the 2018 NBA Draft coming off a disappointing sophomore campaign.

    The Knicks have a trove of first-round picks to deal (seven first-round picks in the next four drafts). However, the belief is they’d prefer to keep the 20-year-old Knox out of any Pual scenario and offer up either of their 2017 lottery-pick point guards, Frank Ntilikina or Dennis Smith Jr., restricted free agents in 2021.

    The Thunder already have their point-guard-of-the-future in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Thunder are not big fans of Smith.

    If the Knicks eventually give up Knox and Julius Randle in a Paul deal, Carmelo Anthony will likely look to ride back to the rescue and join Paul to be their starting small or power forward.

  216. Wonder if it’s a coincidence that Knox has the lowest salary of the three, and has an extra year in the event that he magically turns into a G-League-worthy player.

  217. Rather keep the 1st rounder. I love Paul, but I don’t want to see him wasting away on a Knicks team that isn’t going to compete. And I definitely don’t want to give away picks for a 30 or so win team.

  218. With all due respect to Scott Perry, Leon Rose, and the rest of the front office, the Knicks should not be looking to do business with Kevin Pritchard or Sam Presti because we’re not smart enough. Those two are top 10 GMs in the NBA for a reason, and they have been so since I was in high school. They will take our money every single time and leave us with a magic bag of beans. The most we should be willing to offer anybody is Kevin Knox and Julius Randle, and those two GMs are way too smart to send us Victor Oladipo or Chris Paul for those two guys.

    – If I had to draw a line in the sand on Oladipo, it would be Kevin Knox, Julius Randle, and the 27th pick in this draft. We have no way to guarantee he stays past this year (and really only a team like Miami would have that guarantee), he’s coming off a major injury and will be turning 29 next season, plus he’s only turned in one year of all star level play. Anything over that collection of half scratched lottery tickets and I’m out.

    – I’m officially out on Chris Paul. It’s just not worth the price when you consider he will be too good for us to tank and he won’t be on the next good Knicks team. It doesn’t make sense to give up good things for a guy who keeps us from a prospect like Cade Cunningham.

  219. The Thunder want to get rid of CP3 because he’s too old and too expensive! Our asset is our cap space, not our future picks.

  220. I just love that Kevin Knox is in a trade rumor. In a shitty year I will take my laughs where I can find them.

  221. The Glass Half Rebuilt: If I had to draw a line in the sand on Oladipo, it would be Kevin Knox, Julius Randle, and the 27th pick in this draft.

    Why are we giving up the 27th pick in the draft? Oladipo had 1 good year and Randle isn’t coming off an injury

  222. i find it amusing that even in a trade that we have no business doing that we are refusing to offer up knox…..

  223. Actually I love Kareem. His book on the Harlem Renaissance is excellent too – not sure if he gets any additional points for that in anybody else’s book but mine though.

  224. Eddie Van Halen was my childhood hero. I don’t know if I ever would have picked up a guitar if it wasn’t for him.

    RIP EVH

  225. I looked at Berman’s twitter feed and reaction to the proposed Payo trade is almost all negative.

  226. I’m still laughing at Swift’s

    Seriously, it would be the dumbest move we could possibly make.

    If the Knicks haven’t taught you anything over the last 20 or so years, if the administration hasn’t taught you anything over the last four years, then just look at the last 10 days. It’s clear that there’s NO such thing as the dumbest move we could possibly make. It’s like saying that’s the last digit in Pi.

  227. Eddie Van Halen is a legendary guitar player but I was never a fan of the music. Still always makes you feel old when a contemporary goes down.

  228. Count de Pennies:
    No love for the Big O?

    Probably doesn’t belong in the Top 5 but certainly merits an honorable mention, at the very least.

    Incredible player.And, yes, I’m old enough to have seen him play. Got to watch him live on two occasions when my dad took me to the Garden where we saw Oscar, Jerry Lucas & the Cincinnati Royals beat up on the Knicks.

    As a kid, the Big O was consistently referred to as the best all-around player of all time. He was the closest thing to LeBron of his day. I wonder if Jimmy Butler would be a Big O-type back then.

    I still think that Wilt was the best player of his day by a wide margin, and it’s pointless to argue with the record book. Similarly, Kareem was clearly the best in his era, then Jordan, then LeBron. For me, that’s the continuum. So many great players to choose from for the next level, meaning guys who were winners and/or dominant players in multiple ways, but these 4 guys broke the game.

  229. lakers by 3 with 5 and a half minutes to go and it doesn’t feel like the heat have any chance of winning…

  230. The Lakers strategy of having the two best players on the court almost every game and then hoping one or two of the 8 other guys they throw out there make some buckets too is pretty fascinating.

  231. DRed:
    The Lakers strategy of having the two best players on the court almost every game and then hoping one or two of the 8 other guys they throw out there make some buckets too is pretty fascinating.

    So, basically the Spurs in 2003 strategy.

  232. Donnie Walsh:
    And the strategy of the ‘03 Knicks!

    With Frank Williams and Lavor Postell! It’s amazing to me today that I was totally convinced that those two were going to be the future of the franchise.

  233. Am i the only one who feels like these Finals don’t feel like …Finals?

    I feel that LA is acting (via NBA’s memo) (to keep it competitive) during the first 40-45min and then plays ball.

    Can’t prove it but can’t enjoy the game also…
    Wtf is wrong with me…
    I m becoming a conspiracy theorist too
    Please God Nooooooo!!!

  234. Am i the only one who feels like these Finals don’t feel like …Finals?

    yeah, the bubble has been good but the finals haven’t really worked for me either. i’m not entirely sure why. part of it is just bam/dragic getting hurt early leading most of us to write the series off after game 1. but i don’t think that’s the whole story either. after miami won game 3 and bam returned to play full minutes in a pretty close game 4 of a 2-1 series, it seems like it should have been more fun/interesting.

    i think the lack of continuity on both teams hurts a bit. my brain barely associates any of these guys with the teams that they play on, even tho lebron is on year 3 in la. that plus the bubble conditions make it seem like the pro bowl at times. i think there’s an added kicker to watching a team that has more of a continuous core and teams that have some competitive history,

    i also think the announcers are doing a bad job. l love mike like everyone else, but it’s asking too much to rein in jvg and jackson. irrespective of what you think of them normally, i don’t think this spot suits them. he and jvg have a brought zero intensity to the finals and even mike is less intense. given the bubble conditions it makes it feel all the more casual and bland.

    the players do seem a bit weird. honestly lebron always seems a little weird to me for whatever reason, so it might not be new. but yes, he is doing this weird thing this year where he vacillates between nonchalance and contrived hyper-intensity. it’s got to be surreal being the star of a show that relies on hyper-competitive ambiance suddenly taking your act to the geodesic dome. lebron probably wakes up feeling like gregor samsa some days, but just goes on pretending to be lebron.

    one last thing. other series still had the win or go home tension they always have. the finals usually has a celebrate for days or cry on the floor tension. this time it’s gonna feel like ok bye bye gg.

  235. My Impression of the Finals
    First Game: Let’s see how these 2 teams compete against each other.
    Looks like Ferrari against Toyota Corolla.
    Toyota with mechanical problems (Bam/Dragic)

    2nd Game: Ferrari cooled off to make it humane and not humiliate the wounded Toyota.

    3rd Game: Memo from the League: Let them Win 1. The TV ratings are shit.

    4th Game: Memo from the League: Play it cool till the end. On the last minutes let the best team Win.

    I may talk nonsense but not giving a shit about the Finals hasn’t happened to me again…
    Imagine that i watched the 3rd game 2 days after its ending while knowing the score (despite having the chance to watch it Live! Or even a few hours later without knowing the score!!!)

    I really wish I’m dead wrong

  236. I would agree the finals have been a bit of letdown relative to what came before but I thought last nights game was fantastic. Interesting strategic adjustments, amazing intensity and defensive effort from both teams, close until the last minute. It really felt to me like the whole series was hanging on some of those plays down the stretch. I don’t know how much more you could ask for on the court.

    I will say that I think the off the court product has inevitably suffered – part of what makes the finals feel like the finals is the atmosphere and you just can’t replicate that: the celebrities courtside (and LA vs Miami? they would’ve had to spend half the game doing the celebrity row interludes), the buzz in the crowd, the way that infuses the play on the court. I think the NBA has done about as good a job as possible but it just isn’t the same and that missing element is way more noticeable for the finals than for what comes before; these mostly just feel like more bubble playoff games whereas normally the finals feels like a whole different beast compared to the conference finals.

    And I agree with ptmilo that the announcing has been rough at times. There’s more focus on it than usual for me because of the missing other elements surrounding the game and while Breen always does his thing I think it’s past time to mix up the JVG and Jackson dynamic. It’s just too much schtick from them at this point, half the time they sound like two guys doing hacky impressions of their give and takes. They’d both be better off with different partners I think.

  237. The lack of crowd ambiance is just a killer. It’s the straw that stirs the drink. Everyone knew it would suck to not have fans there but I don’t think I appreciated just how important it was on a visceral level.The feels just aren’t there. It’s like watching a movie at home instead of in a packed theater.

    At the end of the day, the better team will win, which is what generally happens. I hope they do it in 6 so I can snatch one good prediction out of this hellscape.

    I think JVGs analysis has been on point. I am way over listening to Mark Jackson. You can blame JVG for the Mutt and Jeff routine but I am not sure what he is supposed to do. And I think the crowd is generally a useful crutch for them to have in the booth.

  238. LeBron took some bizarre shots last night down the stretch, 30 foot 3 pointers with plenty of time on the shot clock. Didn’t end up hurting them, but still pretty poor judgment on his part.

    On the other hand, if there was a statistic for and one’s, I’m sure LeBron would be the all time leader (maybe Shaq would be up there?) There are times when defenders will literally wrap their arms around him and he still manages to score.

  239. The problem is that the previous rounds were great despite the lack of crowd.
    I just can’t be convinced that the Lakers are playing at their max.
    I feel like they re pretending effort.
    Shooting 3s from the logo and Not Camping in Heat’s paint to destroy them? ….idk…. some things do seem strange…
    What can i say?

    The thrill is gone baby

  240. You guys are underestimating the effect of age on Lebron. He’s 35 years old, will be 36 in December, is playing his 17th season and 14th postseason. He’s played so many postseason games that it’s the equivalent of playing an additional 3 seasons during his career. The dude’s old and not in his prime anymore. He’s not being nonchalant or not giving effort, it’s that he can’t play like that for an entire game anymore. He has to pick his spots for when he can ball out and that’s usually near the end of the game. But even sometimes not then. There were times against Denver that he was clearly just totally gassed and was pulling up for jumpers instead of driving to the basket.

  241. He set a career low for dunk rate and midrange shot frequency this year. Tied a career low in FTA per possession. Career high in 3PA rate. The man clearly is not going to the rim or beating people on grinding, stop-and-start midrange moves as often as he used to. But he’s still an exceptional player and about to put ring #4 on his hand.

    He will probably shoot about a million 3PA in the offseason because it’s the future of his game. He’ll be a viable point guard until he can’t get high enough to dunk anymore, but those bulldozing power drives are soon to be a thing of the past.

  242. Lebron and AD were All Nba first team this season. Hold your epitaphs.And almost MVP and DPOY for them.
    Let’s not forget these.
    During the last two games Lebron reminded me of Magic Johnson in All Star Games while AD was so goofy that reminded me of KKnox!!! LoL

  243. Yeah these finals have been a bit anti-climactic especially with Dragic being out for 3 games now and Bam out for 2. Miami was always the underdog but now it seems impossible.

    Second year in a row the Finals have been derailed by injuries. It is what it is. But nevertheless, the NBA deserves a huge shout out for what they’ve achieved with the bubble.

  244. It was pretty funny to hear Mark Jackson talk about how Kendrick Nunn “can score in bunches” after a couple threes, and then have him miss like 7 straight shots on his way to a game-ruining 2-11.

  245. NBA is the Only league i follow FANATICALLY.
    In all sports. For Decades.
    I consider it as The Pioneer of all leagues of all sports.
    I just prefer it Fair and True.
    Over Competitive.
    That’s my only complaint.

  246. Knew Your Nicks:
    Lebron and AD were All Nba first team this season. Hold your epitaphs.And almost MVP and DPOY for them.
    Let’s not forget these.
    During the last two games Lebron reminded me of Magic Johnson in All Star Games while AD was so goofy that reminded me of KKnox!!! LoL

    No one’s burying Lebron, just pointing out that he isn’t the same player he was in Miami or even Cleveland; he’s obviously still great but age has clearly started to catch up to him. Same thing happened to Jordan. He was MVP in 97-98 even though he wasn’t the same kind of player that he had been in 90-91.

  247. Lebron still looks to me like the strongest guy on the court. He and Dwight.
    Butler, Crowder, Bam, Markief look strong also but LBJ and Dwight are what we call here in Greece: Ntoulapes (Wardrobes)!

  248. Anyone think Lebron can maintain a high enough level for 2 more seasons for the Lakers to 3peat?

    I think he can definitely do this for next season. It should be a shorter season, which will help him I think. Less regular season games to coast through.

    But 2 more years to make it back two more times and 3peat? I don’t know. Seems like a tall order for him.

  249. LeBron is still highly intelligent and dominant, if he continues to improve his 3% he could extend himself another two years at least, the problem continues to be his less than dominant defense.
    I think he’s less likely to do well next year, as the season will probably be at least 70 games, crammed into a shorter season, so youth will probably have an edge.

  250. vincoug:
    You guys are underestimating the effect of age on Lebron.He’s 35 years old, will be 36 in December, is playing his 17th season and 14th postseason.He’s played so many postseason games that it’s the equivalent of playing an additional 3 seasons during his career.The dude’s old and not in his prime anymore.He’s not being nonchalant or not giving effort, it’s that he can’t play like that for an entire game anymore.He has to pick his spots for when he can ball out and that’s usually near the end of the game.But even sometimes not then.There were times against Denver that he was clearly just totally gassed and was pulling up for jumpers instead of driving to the basket.

    This. I think we should recognize that given the age and the wear and tear the remarkable thing is the parts of games where he still looks like the same old Lebron not the parts where he doesn’t.

    I think it’s in part that he is still so good that it can be hard to grasp that he has also demonstrably gotten worse. The simple narrative has to boil down to either “getting old” or “still got it” when the truth is clearly both – THCJ laid out a good summary of the lost step on offense and yet he’s still obviously one of the best offensive players in the league and also really defending hard again consistently for the first time since he left Miami. The fact that he can be clearly quite a bit worse than he was and also still very much in the conversation for the best player in the league is a testament to just how insanely good he was at his peak.

  251. You guys are tough.

    Am I missing something here? I see Lebron putting up better numbers in the playoffs than he did in the regular season. And those numbers, while a tick off his career bests, are still insane.

    What am I missing here?

  252. LeBron is still a fantastic defender reading passing lanes and as weakside help at the rim. He is still a nightmare for shorter players trying to shoot over him at the rim and on the perimeter. His big problem is mental lapses and not being quick enough laterally to stick with young players. He has great, great hands and is still bodying guys when they go straight at him (a la Giannis).

    Lots of good highlights in here from this year.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYedgu-va3k

    Anyone think Lebron can maintain a high enough level for 2 more seasons for the Lakers to 3peat?

    Yes. The question is whether they can get the right mix of vet’s mins to run it back. They’ve got quite a few player options that could get picked up, and only have the vet’s min and MLE to work with to find that elusive glue guy. They’re losing irrelevant players in Dudley, Waiters, and JR, but Morris and Howard aren’t shoo-ins to return. Morris will probably get paid like his brother did this year.

  253. Yeah I think that is the key. I don’t think they can rely on the Rondo’s and Howards of the world although I guess they will always have the advantage of the ring chasing vet signing with them or getting picked up after the trade deadline. Kuzma taking a step forward would be huge for them. But they need to find some diamond in the rough 2nd rounder types that are young to shore up the bench.

  254. Yes I agree, LeBron’s still the highest IQ offensive/defensive player I can think of so that makes up for a lot of the defensive lapses, but they’re still there. I still take him over anyone for a team right now, today, bar none. For a 3peat he absolutely needs elite shooters and the right vets.

  255. I think talking threepeat is very premature. The path opened up really nicely for them this year with the Bucks and Clippers both melting down; when the playoffs started they were not remotely the favorites and you should always be wary of updating your priors too dramatically. They’re going to be deserving champs (assuming they finish it off) but it came in unique circumstances and I would bet on them facing a stiffer challenge next year – forget about the crazy uncertainty of what two years out might bring. Lebron might have a nice plateau around this level but a significant part of the risk once you hit his age is catastrophic – one bad injury and he might never be the same.

    On the other hand I will say in reference to the supporting cast issue that this offseason might be a godsend for them. There’s not a lot of cap space around the league to begin with and teams are most likely facing another serious revenue shortfall next year and further uncertainty beyond that. I think there’s a good chance it’s going to be an exceptionally tight market, and that would really benefit the Lakers. The less money is out there the more the relative value of what the Lakers can offer in terms of lifestyle and odds of winning rises. That goes for both bringing back their own guys and bringing in additional outside help.

  256. I just prefer it Fair and True.

    The problem you’re having is two-fold. First, as discussed, without an audience and with the stultifying duo of Mark Jackson and his stupidity, the intensity is seriously lacking. There’s less emotion for a series that is typically filled with emotion even when it’s a sweep so the whole enterprise feels flat.

    Second, you only have a superficial understanding of what’s happening on the floor. Like, Lebron can’t go all out the whole time anymore. So the Lakers are trying to keep it close with a standard/sporadic effort from him and then pull ahead in the last six minutes. You don’t seem to grasp that. Likewise most adjustments and shifts pass right by you. You notice Howard when he has a run of easy buckets and good defense, or when he gets called for a lot of fouls. You don’t notice the announcers stop talking about him, or how the Heat adjusted to shut him down and exploit him. In your mind it’s all effort and talent and drive, which leads you to think that there’s something fishy going on because the Lakers could obviously dominate by just packing the paint and they aren’t doing it.

    Which is totally fine! You’re a fan, all you really want is to enjoy the games and these playoffs have been harder to get into. But that’s just cause of the bubble some complications from team rosters. Nothing fishy is going on. Don’t worry about it. It’s the pandemic’s fault, and what we have is better than having nothing at all.

  257. I think a 3peat is going to be VERY difficult for The Lakers. Its one of the hardest things to do in sports.

    I only brought it up because I think that might be Lebron’s ultimate goal before retiring.

    If he can 3peat with The Lakers then that puts him at 6 rings (same as Jordan) with one 3peat and 12 Finals trips.

  258. swiftandabundant:
    I think a 3peat is going to be VERY difficult for The Lakers. Its one of the hardest things to do in sports.

    I only brought it up because I think that might be Lebron’s ultimate goal before retiring.

    If he can 3peat with The Lakers then that puts him at 6 rings (same as Jordan) with one 3peat and 12 Finals trips.

    They could still pick up a 3rd star if they unload Danny Green and KCP.

  259. I think talking threepeat is very premature. The path opened up really nicely for them this year with the Bucks and Clippers both melting down; when the playoffs started they were not remotely the favorites and you should always be wary of updating your priors too dramatically.

    They were +200 to win the title before the playoffs. So they were the favorites. Bucks and Clippers were next at +300. The Nuggets were +2000 and the Heat were +3000.

  260. They could still pick up a 3rd star if they unload Danny Green and KCP.

    They’d both be one year salary dumps which wouldn’t be too tough but I think the only picks the Lakers can trade are second rounders starting in ’23, and a first in ’26.

  261. The nice thing about the baseball playoffs is that even though I don’t give much a shit about MLB anymore, I can root for any team against the Astros like it’s Game 7 of the WS.

  262. Yeah. Kind of a shame, before that story broke I kind of liked the team, not that I care a damn about baseball these days either (was a Mets fan… maybe someday I’ll be again…). But they seemed to have fun.

    For some of the old men on the board, I did once root for the Astros a bit. For a brief period they were made up like a team you’d make up on paper (back before analytics). Seibert as your poor man’s Tom Seaver. Jr Richards as your nutty flamethrower. Boppin’ Lee May looming at first. The middle covered by the classic all glove, absolutely no hit Tommy Helms and Roger Metzger. Third manned by the great-fielding, power-hitting poor man’s Graig Nettles, Doug Rader. An outfield with Cesar Cedeno, Jimmy Wynn, and James Watson. Outside of being in Texas, which is two strikes right there, what was there not to like. Although that’s from a Moneyball scout’s perspective (the scouts before they were all fired). I suspect if you looked at that team through a modern lens you’d gasp with horror.

  263. Sorry, Bob Watson. Which Yankee fans may remember. (A washed Tommie Agee was on that Astros team, too).

  264. Despite being a starter for eight years, Roger Metzger had as many home runs as zero home run seasons (5 each). Bud Harrelson West.

  265. okay, so I’m probably about 1 of 3 people watching the vice-presidential debate – kamela just said it:

    joe is decriminalizing weed…smoking joe…get out and vote…

  266. ***They were 200 to win the title before the playoffs. So they were the favorites. Bucks and Clippers were next at 300. The Nuggets were 2000 and the Heat were 3000.***

    I’m not a gambler, but LeBron seems like as safe a bet as there is because he is the greatest of his era, has an amazing resume of playoff success and experience, and, most importantly, is NEVER injured. The Bucks were an injury to Giannis away from being thoroughly pedestrian; Kawhi is on a perpetual minutes watch; etc…

    For as good as Anthony Davis is, LeBron has proven that he can carry a team of Popes, Greens, Rondos, Howards, and Kuzmas to an NBA finals. Davis being healthy is just icing.

  267. Brian Cronin: They were +200 to win the title before the playoffs. So they were the favorites. Bucks and Clippers were next at +300. The Nuggets were +2000 and the Heat were +3000.

    I stand corrected. I guess I was really trying to reference expert predictions which seemed to tilt towards the Clippers based on what I saw but it’s interesting to see the betting odds (Lakers are the epitome of a public team of course). I still think the change from viewing them as one of a group of three teams with similar title chances to starting to talk threepeat is too big a swing based on what we’ve seen in the last couple weeks. This is a really good team with two amazing players but nothing about them screams juggernaut to me and one of their two main guys is way on the wrong side of the age curve. They will clearly be among the favorites next year no matter what happens in the offseason but saying anything more than that presumes too much for me.

  268. It feels good to be connected with any possible nba trade and you stay put.
    Patience Leon! Patience!!
    And grab the most desperate team by the neck.
    Like a crocodile!

  269. Well, this is a relief: Berman says we are not interested in taking Cole Anthony at 8, or even if we trade down into the teens, and would only consider him if he’s still there for the Clippers pick. He adds:

    At the start of the college season, the Knicks went into their draft research with scoring point guard as a priority for their expected lottery pick. But after LaMelo Ball, Leon Rose’s group felt there was a drop-off. Killian Hayes, Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton, Alabama’s Kira Lewis and Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey remain on their point-guard radar.

  270. For as good as Anthony Davis is, LeBron has proven that he can carry a team of Popes, Greens, Rondos, Howards, and Kuzmas to an NBA finals. Davis being healthy is just icing.

    I don’t think he’s proven that at all. Davis has a 8.6 BPM and .285 WS48 these playoffs. LeBron without Davis is probably getting bounced in the Semis and wishing he had signed with Philly back in 2019.

    In 2011, probably the only season that LeBron’s had another true superstar teammate, he had a 7.1 playoff BPM to Wade’s 8.4. The key difference is that Miami gave a lot of minutes to Haslem and Bibby, who had absolutely no call to be on the floor for 38 minutes a game, combined.

    The Lakers don’t really have a weak link. Two superstars, Rondo playing playoff-level ball, and a bunch of guys holding it together long enough for their first ring.

  271. Are we replacing AD with a decent roleplayer or just completely taking him out without replacement?

    If the first, I see a Conference Finals exit. If the second, a Conference Semis exit.

  272. The thing I hate about this time of year (end of Finals, Draft season, Free Agency) is that you get a lot of BS clickbait trades popping up. Like the one that brings CP3 and Oladipo to the Knicks. Why? Why would the Knicks do that? That makes you a first-round exit at best. That team is still not better than the Bucks, Heat, Celtics, Sixers, Raptors or Nets. And they’re old or coming off of serious injury, so there’s no improvement coming from development.

  273. ***I don’t think he’s proven that at all. Davis has a 8.6 BPM and .285 WS48 these playoffs.***

    My point had nothing to do with Davis. It had to do with LeBron being a safe bet to be in the finals because he never gets injured, unlike every other star on every other contending team.

  274. I don’t think anyone would have been particularly surprised if the Clippers beat the Lakers in the Western Conference finals.

    The only trash teams that Lebron got to the finals were the 17-18 Cavs, who had a good offense and maybe the worst defense in the NBA and had one other player with a BPM over .2 in the playoffs and the 06-07 Cavs, where the second best Cavalier in the playoffs was Boobie Gibson, and I don’t think 35 year old Lebron can do that anymore. Hauling that ass Cavs team to the 2018 finals after leading the league in minutes played at the age of 33 is one of the most incredible feats of basketball I’ve ever seen.

  275. Hauling that ass Cavs team to the 2018 finals after leading the league in minutes played at the age of 33 is one of the most incredible feats of basketball I’ve ever seen.

    Because Lebron was Lebron and the Raptors were the Raptors everyone basically just accepted it as normal that the 50-win #4 seed (.59 SRS ) swept the 59-win #1 seed (7.29 SRS). His game 1 performance in the finals also has to go down as one of the best performances from that kind of talent disadvantage in NBA history. I think historically that playoff run will be seen as marking the true end of Lebron’s peak.

  276. His game 1 performance in the finals

    I read this too quickly and thought you meant Game 1 of the Toronto series. I was like, uhhhhhhhh?

    Yeah, maybe so, but he’s about to win another chip and has been playing out of his mind this year. It’s just crazy that his “decline phase” is still better than 99% of the league. It’s easy to forget the physical differences between a guy in his early 20s like Jamal Murray and a guy on the wrong side of 35. He’s just built different.

  277. There was no way last year’s Laker team would have sniffed the finals. Even if LBJ hadn’t gotten hurt they were no sure thing to even make the playoffs- they ended up 11 games out of the 8 seed. Maybe, MAYBE if they had gotten to the 6th or 7th seed they could have upset Denver or Portland but there was absolutely no way they were making the conference finals.
    That said, while Davis has a solid lead in playoff WS LeBron is solidly better in BPM and has a slight lead in VORP. And as good as Davis has been it’s clearly still LeBron’s team. If LeBron had turned the ball over less this probably would have been a top 4/5 playoff for him statistically- he’s put up his third best playoff TS, third best assist# and it’s been by far his best rebounding playoffs- which is kind of amazing considering his mileage and how amazing he’s been in the playoffs throughout his career.

  278. The only trash teams that Lebron got to the finals were the 17-18 Cavs, who had a good offense and maybe the worst defense in the NBA and had one other player with a BPM over .2 in the playoffs

    Nance Jr. put up a very solid 3.9 BPM in those playoffs. Still a trash team though (and you still have my vote for GM)

  279. ***The only trash teams that Lebron got to the finals were…***

    How many trash teams have gotten to the finals that were NOT carried by LeBron?

  280. The Honorable Cock Jowles: I read this too quickly and thought you meant Game 1 of the Toronto series. I was like, uhhhhhhhh?

    Yeah, maybe so, but he’s about to win another chip and has been playing out of his mind this year. It’s just crazy that his “decline phase” is still better than 99% of the league. It’s easy to forget the physical differences between a guy in his early 20s like Jamal Murray and a guy on the wrong side of 35. He’s just built different.

    Yeah there are plenty of hall of famers for whom this Lebron season (that I am calling post-peak) would mark by far their career apex. That’s pretty wild. Still I don’t think we will ever see Lebron go 47+ minutes in a finals game again like he did in 2018, leaving aside the 51 points etc. etc. He just isn’t at that same level physically anymore.

  281. Donnie Walsh:
    ***The only trash teams that Lebron got to the finals were…***

    How many trash teams have gotten to the finals that were NOT carried by LeBron?

    That is a very good question.

    The criteria for trash team would be what exactly though? Where we think the team would end up without their star player? (i.e. 2007 Cavs team without Lebron was a high lottery team, the 2018 Cavs would have been a mid-lottery team…still better than the Knicks ;().

    So maybe the ’94 Rockets? No way they’re a playoff team without Hakeem. Or ’75 Warriors with Rick Barry

  282. I mean, if you take Iverson off the 2001 Sixers, that team probably wouldn’t win many games, but that’s because those players were specifically put around Iverson to maximize his effectiveness. As opposed to those hodge-podge Cavs players who’s only job was to not accidentally dribble out the clock at the end of a game that LeBron is trying to win 1 vs 5.

  283. I don’t thinks the Milwaukee Bucks made the finals in ‘69-70, but as quoted below from Wikipedia, as a rookie Kareem took a trash team and brought them comfortably into the playoffs. The next year the Bucks acquired Oscar Robertson and they win the title.

    Alcindor’s presence enabled the 1969–70 Bucks to claim second place in the NBA’s Eastern Division with a 56–26 record (improved from 27–55 the previous year).

  284. hey Scorpio…i clicked on your thing by accident…very cool :)

    was just wondering what games you’re playing on?

  285. Donnie Walsh: I mean, if you take Iverson off the 2001 Sixers, that team probably wouldn’t win many games,

    “Iverson was an inefficient volume scorer who played no D and had a mediocre ast/tov ratio. The Sixers would have won more games without him.”
    -Someone not named Z-man

  286. The ‘99 Knicks were carried to the finals by regular season VORP leader Charlie Ward. Take him away, and they’d have been no better than the Charlotte Hornets that year!

  287. Iverson was a freak that was forced to carry some solid non scoring role players and scrubs on his back for most of his career. It’s a shame we never got to see him play on a really good team so we could know for sure if he could have adjusted his style of play to be more team oriented and efficient. The closest we got was when he played with Melo (lmao). It sure looked to me like he would have been capable because he was already well past his prime then but still looked capable.

  288. What is the obsession with trading for CP3 in the NY media?

    I’m more in favor of bringing in solid veterans while we draft and develop younger players than anyone here, but what good is 2 years of CP3 given where these kids are now. I wouldn’t give ANYTHING away to bring his inflated salary to NY. They should be paying someone to take it no matter how good he will be for those 2 years. He belongs on a team like the Bucks, Heat, or some other team that’s one player away.

  289. Ugh. All we can hope is that the writer’s cluelessness is an indication that he’s just writing clickbait. After all, he says “Despite not having eye-popping numbers…” about the guy who set an all-time NBA record in FG%, among other eye poppers. But yeah, it’s true, his assists per game are pretty pedestrian…

  290. Tonoy Sengupta ANALYST

    I am 19 years old, and a student at Christ University.

    Yeah, nah.

  291. It makes no sense to trade Mitch for a shot at LaMelo when you can probably get a pretty similar prospect at #8 in Hayes or Haliburton. It doesn’t even make sense for GS.

    Trading for Paul doesn’t make sense either because it ties up your cap while making your 2021 pick significantly worse.

    I think it does make sense to absorb James Johnson’s contract in return for the #17 pick, and then maybe package that with #27 to move up for another lottery prospect.

  292. Does anyone want to pay #1 money for Lamelo?

    Probably will bite me in the butt but I think that won’t be money well spent.

  293. hi everyone, hope you all are staying safe and healthy…

    i’m a little bored, anyone want to argue about frank with me?

    in some earth shattering personal news: picked up the disney infinity rocket, groot and black panther figures…i’m buzzing pretty good over that…haven’t played them yet – but, about every hour i walk in to the room where they’re displayed and look at them…the grouping and presentation of all the figures has become pretty important to me over the last week or so…yeah, that’s my life…

    kylo ren is on his way to join all the star wars figures…still not sure whether black suit spiderman is really worth it…for just a third of the cost i could pickup up another regular spiderman and have at it with a black sharpie…

    oh yeah, cdiggy – if you’re out and not completely exhausted – so, now that the honeymoon is over, what’s married life like…

  294. geo:
    hi everyone, hope you all are staying safe and healthy…

    i’m a little bored, anyone want to argue about frank with me?

    in some earth shattering personal news: picked up the disney infinity rocket, groot and black panther figures…i’m buzzing pretty good over that…haven’t played them yet – but, about every hour i walk in to the room where they’re displayed and look at them…the grouping and presentation of all the figures has become pretty important to me over the last week or so…yeah, that’s my life…

    geo…is that the original adult groot or baby groot?

    do you think cole gets it done tonight?

  295. Nbadraft.net has the Knicks selecting Haliburton at #8. I don’t follow college ball, but a buddy of mine that played D1 ball was over the other day and we were watching the clips and he says Haliburton’s release is too slow and the set shot he shoots is going to be exposed. I know his college stats are impressive, and in all the traditionally translatable categories too. Hard to figure out if this would be an exciting pick or not. He doesn’t seem to have any real comps that that I can tell. He seems like he might be a shorter version of Kyle Anderson? Long, skinny, good playmaking skills, but ultimately, too slow for their intriguing college stats (almost identical BSPM, WS48, Ast%, TO%, etc) to equal major success in the NBA. Is this fair, or totally off?

  296. I’m a big Tyrese fan. We talked about the shot a lot earlier (yes, a real concern, but see very successful players such as Shawn Marion; and Lonzo Ball, with his weird shot seems to have learned how to shoot [37.5 from 3 this year] — the difference being that Tyrese clearly already knows how). He’s a good defender, 6’5″, a really good passer, perhaps not super-human fast but seems excellent at slithering through crowds with the ball, and is noted for having a very high BB IQ. The three things the Knicks sorely lack right now (and for oh say the last 20 years) is 3-pt shooting, passing, and smarts. And he’s got all three. I look at LaMelo, and the only one I think he may have is passing. Tyrese may not fit the prototypical point guard mold, but I think he can play there, and frankly the way the NBA is going the more facilitators you have on the floor the better. I did a comparison with the other leading point guards in the draft and he sure looked the best of the bunch to me, in terms of being good at everything and no glaring holes. If they picked him I’d be ecstatic.

  297. I’ve done about a thousand posts the last hour or so that just keeping disappearing, maybe the universe is speaking to me…

  298. hmmmm, seems mobile posting is fine and pc not so much…

    well pepper, I put together this long and winded homage to disney infinity with pics and vid clips, but, oh well – I’ll just say: if you’re between the ages of 4 and 8, it’s the coolest thing ever
    …for every one else, it’s just a lot of fun…

    reference the yanks, they had the advantage of starting pitching, bullpen and homerun hitters, and, yet the game is tied at 1 in the 6th…

    the satan’s rays front office must be cheating fielding a team like that for 29 million a year…they should all be drug tested daily

    it’s just not fair…

  299. “As opposed to those hodge-podge Cavs players who’s only job was to not accidentally dribble out the clock at the end of a game that LeBron is trying to win 1 vs 5.”

    LeBron’s final year in Cleveland before heading to Miami, he played with

    Mo Williams
    Antawn Jamison
    Anderson Varejao
    Anthony Parker
    Delonte West
    Shaq
    J.J. Hickson
    Zydrunus Ilgaukus

    Not exactly hall of famers in their prime but far from a trash roster. Shaq managed to average 23 minutes for 53 games that season.

    LeBron played with plenty of other garbage lineups in Cleveland but go look at what Dwight Howard had when he got the Magic to the Finals and tell me it’s massively better than what LeBron had when he lost in the ECF to Boston.

    Mike

  300. Big one from KCP. NBA desktop has a great bit on him.

    Terrific game. I’d also like to have a big man who doesnt miss any free throws in the NBA Finals.

  301. Sup geo. Me and the Mrs are on location in Lake George right now. First leg of the honeymoon – I got a hot minute before my attention will be called elsewhere :)

    Sucks about the Yanks losing to their Achilles heel Rays. But it’s hard for me to get worked up about that given where life is for me right now, which is a pretty darn sweet place. This wedding has sucked up so much attention and brain power from the both of us that I just haven’t been able to follow the Yanks/Giants as I normally would. But don’t worry: when I get back to work I’m sure my coworkers will “update” me – especially if the Lakers are champs and Dodgers are World Series-bound.

    Chapman ain’t no Mariano…

  302. Man that went from Skip Bayless’ worst nightmare to his sweetest wet dream in the last minute. Heat win, Jimmy outduels LBJ and LBJ passes on the final two possessions.

  303. “Who was it that was complaining that the finals suck? Get the fuck out that was great.”

    That was me.
    Haven’t watched the 5th game yet.
    But i will.
    Used to enjoy WWE back in the 90s also.
    Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan!
    Yeah bitch! That’s the shiiit!

  304. I didn’t know the tear was in his other knee. So both of his knees have now had surgery on them?

    That does not sound promising.

    It’d be hilariously Knicksy, though, if the Knicks then traded the two picks they got for KP for Oladipo, coming off his own major knee injury.

  305. A meniscus surgery is pretty much a non event in terms of its impact on KP’s future playing ability. I doubt Dallas is worried about that. What’s more significant is that it’s further evidence that his body is fragile and prone to injury if he gets banged or lands the wrong way. It also delays his development again because he’ll be rehabbing instead of working on skills. Sooner or later you run out of years to get better and never reach what was your true potential.

    I like(d) Oladipo, but I am less convinced he has recovered his best form since his surgery. KP was a better player this year than before his injury. Oladipo was nowhere near as good as his peak. I’d also suggest that his “peak” was really just one or so years. It’s not like he had some long period of excellent and improving play and then got hurt. He was considered an “OK” player that suddenly got way better for the Pacers for a year. Maybe that was a bit of a fluke year.

  306. This Heat team is so easy to love. They are badly overmatched, it’s a terrible team matchup, and they’ve had key players hurt for almost the entire series, but they keep fighting. I always loved Butler, but even I underestimated him. Riley has to find a way to get CP3 to Miami to give him his last chance at a serious run.

  307. Riley has to find a way to get CP3 to Miami to give him his last chance at a serious run.

    I assume his plan is to get Giannis there, ASAP.

  308. I am still utterly heartbroken about the Yankees but at least there’s zero chance the Mavs could recoup two first rounders for Porzingis right now

  309. Rays are a pretty great team. Not a Yankees fan but observing them on Twitter in the last 24 hours you would have thought they lost to Florida State or something. Very puzzling reaction.

    Now, when the Lakers blow this series, that reaction I will understand.

  310. I was an idiot for writing Butler off. I criticized that signing up and down and [Tommy Wiseau voice] now I am the fool.

  311. I was an idiot for writing Butler off. I criticized that signing up and down and [Tommy Wiseau voice] now I am the fool.

    My goodness. A great Knickerblogger rarity: The Humbly Apologetic Cock Jowles.

  312. Hahaha, I had the same thought. Experience it while you can!!!!

    The Lakers in 6 crowd have reached their moment of truth.

  313. My goodness. A great Knickerblogger rarity: The Humbly Apologetic Cock Jowles.

    A real Nostradumbass, per the late contributor, flossy.

    Skip Bayless

    Think of Skip Bayless as an unscrupulous boardwalk caricature artist who does his hasty sketches for a paycheck and then never thinks about the prior day’s work product again.

  314. Before the finals started, I made a bet with my brother where I win if the Lakers win in 6 games or less and he wins if the series went to 7 games or the Heat won. Seemed like a safe bet at the time . . .

  315. just woke up from a 5 day Van Halen bender. man, that first album is fucking majestic.

    these CP3 articles are worrisome bc they all come from OKC pov. “the thunder want ____, and the knicks can reach what they want by offering ____.” i’m sorry, but it should be completely the other way around. i don’t see the thunder is a position of strength here, and it concerns me that they’re being depicted that way.

  316. >>> Jimmy Butler = Latrell Sprewell rightly understood. <<<

    that’s a great comp. surprised i haven’t recognized it before.

  317. Re: CP3, he will come to the Knicks if he wants to. The Thunder generally send players where they want to go, and I don’t see Paul as an exception.

    But knowing what a competitor he is, it seems like he would exhaust his winning options (Bucks, Heat) first before even considering the Knicks. The problem is, I don’t think any competitor can absorb that contract… so maybe NYK is his only option other than staying in OKC.

    If it comes down to the Knicks, I’m sure Randle, Knox, and #27 gets it done. Giving up that “haul” wouldn’t upset me — it’s more about tying up our cap and winning too many games for the ‘21 draft.

  318. If it comes down to the Knicks, I’m sure Randle, Knox, and #27 gets it done. Giving up that “haul” wouldn’t upset me

    “Upset” is the wrong word. I’d be resigned. I’d expect it. But I think it’d be refreshing too: first move out the gate the new management proves itself more incompetent than the previous one. They’d be owning their idiocy right away. That’d be a change of pace. Maybe they’d be gone by next summer.

  319. i’m sorry, but it should be completely the other way around. i don’t see the thunder is a position of strength here, and it concerns me that they’re being depicted that way.

    In negotiations with teams that are, you know, good, it makes some sense because Chris Paul is still very, very good. His contract is obviously insane, but for teams in that position on the win curve who cares as long as you can somehow make it work financially?

    From the Knicks perspective though, I’ve yet to see a single compelling argument for giving up anything of even remote value, e.g. Kevin Knox, for Chris Paul. That has nothing to do with what Chris Paul is “worth” in a vacuum because NBA teams do not operate in a vacuum.

    Here are some effects Chris Paul would undeniably have on the Knicks:
    1) We’d lose the assets we traded for him
    2) Our 2021 and 2022 picks would become worse by virtue of him playing well for us
    3) We’d lose some ability to take on salary dumps because we’re paying one 35 year old nearly half the cap
    4) We’d lose some ability to target the kind of free agents that might make sense for us for the same reason

    Those are only the most obvious, irrefutable outcomes. All of them have to be justified by some vague “cultural” and/or “developmental” benefits that no one seems to be able to coherently define. No one pretends Chris Paul can be on the next contending Knicks team.

    So despite Chris Paul being very good, I’m going to be furious if we give up anything at all for him. I wouldn’t even be happy to take him on as a straight salary dump. It’s a zero upside move.

  320. Chris Paul doesn’t fit into the win curve. Acquiring Chris Paul would be idiotic. So we’ll probably do it.

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  321. I think with thibs as coach we can survive with a DSJ, frank and RJ backcourt…randle at the four and mitch handling the handling the ball a little more and shooting threes…

    if we do nothing but add a day 1 functional NBA rookie we should see at least 35 to 39 wins or so…wouldn’t hurt if our shooting percentage went up a bunch through player acquisition or development…

    hell, if thibs can stabilize the locker room and on court stuff and rose can spread his unique good cheer throughout the organization we may actually break even…

    say what you want about the guy, but, people seem to really like him, hell he even had perry smiling in the stands – when did you ever see perry sitting next to mills and smiling…never :)

  322. The repartee between JVG and Mark Jackson has been something….

    Good first half for the Lakers but as we all know it’s only the last three minutes that count.

  323. Can’t believe I’m saying this, but Mark Jackson put it well there when he said Lebron would end up having the best career in professional basketball history.

  324. I’m just so damn happy that Mark Jackson isn’t coming to the Knicks, I don’t know that trading our next two firsts for CP3 would shake me out of it.

  325. lebron came into this game averaging 30-11-8. Davis has been fantastic, but he no-showed one game, so I’d give Lebron MVP

  326. It’s shocking that the Celtics don’t have more than 17 titles. So the Lakers could theoretically pass them for the most titles next year? That’s crazy.

  327. What if the allstar break is two months long in the future and we get this extended season for the forseeable? I think that’d be fun.

  328. i’ve long wondered if the lakers were to win a title in a buckminster fuller geodome due to a massive pandemic under a narcissistic halfwit president in a year that kobe bryant died tragically and jr smith found himself in situ as the 15th man would he keep his shirt on

  329. And to have endured nearly 4 months in the bubble….I don’t care how much money they make, it must have been grueling. Both finals teams deserve a lot of credit.

  330. Brian Cronin:
    Jordan would have won this series in two games.

    I was just thinking about how I wished the Lakers faced a more formidable opponent. The Heat are a nice bunch and deserve lots of credit, but they are not a legit finals team. The East just really sucked this year.

  331. these CP3 articles are worrisome bc they all come from OKC pov. “the thunder want ____, and the knicks can reach what they want by offering ____.” i’m sorry, but it should be completely the other way around. i don’t see the thunder is a position of strength here, and it concerns me that they’re being depicted that way.

    Actually, I’m happy to hear they all come from OKC. The Knicks aren’t the only franchise whose fans overvalue their own players. I think it’s possible these rumors represent wishful thinking in OKC’s part or an attempt to set a high trade value for Paul.

  332. DRed:
    35 years old lead his team in points, rebounds and assists in the NBA finals.He’s a fucking machine.

    True, but Jordan was no slouch in his age 35 finals: 42mpg, 33.5pts, 41% usage. Not as efficient or well-rounded, but still…

  333. True, but Jordan was no slouch in his age 35 finals: 42mpg, 33.5pts, 41% usage. Not as efficient or well-rounded, but still…

    Worth noting that LBJ has played about 15,000 more NBA minutes than Jordan had when he won his last title. That’s a gigantic disparity.

  334. Just pre-ordered a few books:
    “All Star Finals” by Lebron James
    “We shall fight on the FL beaches” by Udonis “Winston” Haslem
    “Against all Godds” by ESpoelstra
    “Stanislavsky basketball” by ADavis

  335. >>> Actually, I’m happy to hear they all come from OKC. <<<

    I guess so, but it would be nice to see an article that says "OKC wants ___, but there are no signs the Knicks are willing to meet their price." Assuming these beat writers know anything (perhaps an unfair assumption), the fact that they're filling in the blanks makes me think the Knicks have indicated a willingness to pay the price.

  336. >>> Worth noting that LBJ has played about 15,000 more NBA minutes than Jordan had when he won his last title. That’s a gigantic disparity. <<<

    The year and a half off Jordan took is never given enough weight in the comparison between the two. Had he played straight through to 1998, I think it's extremely likely his Bulls would have lost a series or two along the way.

    You can also question whether or not they could have sustained their compete level during the 72 win season had they been coming off 5 consecutive deep playoff runs instead of two consecutive early exits.

  337. nicos: Worth noting that LBJ has played about 15,000 more NBA minutes than Jordan had when he won his last title. That’s a gigantic disparity.

    Jordan played 3 years of college ball and took a baseball break. Also was smaller and played in the brutal ’90s when there was no such thing as healthy rest days or whining about back-to-backs. Jordan played all 82 games 8 times, plus an 81 and an 80. LeBron sat out 3-10 games a year pretty much every year. I don’t think the minutes differential is all that relevant.

  338. Solid counterpoint by Z-Man, especially the comparison between brutality. 42 minutes in 1993 extracted a much greater physical toll on a body than 42 minutes in 2020.

  339. Hubert: The year and a half off Jordan took is never given enough weight in the comparison between the two. Had he played straight through to 1998, I think it’s extremely likely his Bulls would have lost a series or two along the way.

    You can also question whether or not they could have sustained their compete level during the 72 win season had they been coming off 5 consecutive deep playoff runs instead of two consecutive early exits.

    We’ll never know, but part of the reason for the hiatus was that he wanted a new challenge (i.e. he was bored with how easy it was to win NBA titles.) Has he not quit basketball twice, I could just as easily imagine him winning 10 titles as not. Maybe he’d have a finals loss or two, but who knows?

    I think you can argue that LeBron is as great as Jordan, but no one will never convince me that he is greater, especially if you limit the discussion to age 23-35. LeBron will tack on a bunch of stuff in his late 30’s, which is remarkable, you can rightfully give him the edge because of that. But in their peak years, Jordan vanquished more and greater teams and players, including the ferocious early-90’s Knicks.

  340. It’s fun to consider the possibility of them striking up a rivalry as NBA team owners. I’d be shocked if LeBron doesn’t own a team ten years from now. He’ll either be an outright owner of the Cavs or the face of a Lakers ownership group, like Magic was.

  341. Hubert:
    Solid counterpoint by Z-Man, especially the comparison between brutality. 42 minutes in 1993 extracted a much greater physical toll on a body than 42 minutes in 2020.

    For sure the game was exponentially more bruising and teams were allowed to pound the hell out of each other back then but I think that focusing exclusively on that is too narrow a measure of physical demands. The game is way more demanding from a cardio perspective now – not only is the pace just much higher (the average game has like 10-15% more possessions than in Jordan’s prime) but the changes to illegal defense have also made the average possession more kinetically demanding both offensively and defensively – more movement, more rotations.

    I don’t know exactly how to balance those things but I think one strong piece of evidence is that despite sports science and nutrition advancing by leaps and bounds over the last 20 years as far as I can tell you haven’t seen big upticks in minutes for the best guys, nor have you seen a significant reduction in injuries. If the game was really less physically demanding now that is where I would expect to see the evidence for it.

  342. >>> not only is the pace just much higher (the average game has like 10-15% more possessions than in Jordan’s prime) but the changes to illegal defense have also made the average possession more kinetically demanding both offensively and defensively – more movement, more rotations. <<<

    touche!

    I'm pretty confident we've reached the point with these two guys where every point has a counterpoint and a counter counterpoint, where every delineating factor is completely subjective.

    Rather than argue who is better, it's probably more productive to argue "who are the two people next to Jordan and LeBron on your NBA Mount Rushmore?" (I personally would go with Magic and a chiseled face mash up of Wilt and Russell.)

    Of course, William Rhoden has other ideas:

    https://theundefeated.com/features/its-time-to-end-the-lebron-james-michael-jordan-debate/

  343. IF the league was more physically demanding in the 90s…

    WHY were leg injuries up so dramatically in the 2000 teens?

    Assuming that medicine and technology haven’t regressed in those years, and players are given minute watches, and designate rest days, but injuries are STILL on the rise, it seems counter-intuitive to presume that the league is less physically demanding today.

  344. Yeah, the sheer effort required to play defense is much more intense and consistent now than it was in the 80s and 90s. Players from that era have talked about relaxing for long stretches on defense and then ratcheting up their effort in key moments. Old Man LeBron can be that way, too, but for the bulk of his career he was giving his all on both ends of the court for 40-plus minutes in a way that the stars of the Jordan era weren’t always.

    So the contexts for the two feel like a wash to me. Zach Lowe’s piece today on the whole GOAT question is very good.

  345. I’m pretty confident we’ve reached the point with these two guys where every point has a counterpoint and a counter counterpoint, where every delineating factor is completely subjective.

    That’s exactly how I feel. 1A and 1B and whenever anyone pushes too hard one way makes me suspicious to be honest. Both guys greatness is so indisputable that it feels weird to argue with – if you say Jordan was the best to ever do it how could I possibly feel compelled to argue against you? And the same goes for Lebron now in my estimation. You don’t have to agree but it feels like a weird thing to feel strongly enough about to argue against. It’s eminently reasonable.

  346. Yeah it is weird to me when people reflexively at shocked when people argue Lebron is the greatest and not MJ.

    I think, ultimately, its kind of a pointless argument. Both were/are clearly the best players of their generation and belong in the GOAT category. I mean, sure Lebron lost in the Finals. He also has gone to the Finals 4 more times than Jordan and 2 of those teams had absolutely no right to be in the Finals except for Lebron carrying them there. Lebron is probably going back to the Finals next year and winning one more title.

    The thing is, if you were building a franchise from scratch and had to pick one rookie player to have on your team for their entire career, I think the choice is easily Lebron over Jordan.

  347. >>> So the contexts for the two feel like a wash to me. Zach Lowe’s piece today on the whole GOAT question is very good. <<<

    In which Zach Lowe echoes my contested point from last week:

    The 2011 series is the stain. LeBron was bad — passive, uninvolved. He scored eight points in one game. Jordan's career low in the Finals was 22. James' failure will always mar the perception of him relative to Jordan, even on some subconscious level. It changed the way we looked at LeBron. He buckled in a very human way. Jordan seemed inhuman — impervious to fear. The 2011 Finals mortalized James. He cannot erase it, outrun it.

  348. I think you can argue that LeBron is as great as Jordan, but no one will never convince me that he is greater, especially if you limit the discussion to age 23-35. LeBron will tack on a bunch of stuff in his late 30’s, which is remarkable, you can rightfully give him the edge because of that. But in their peak years, Jordan vanquished more and greater teams and players, including the ferocious early-90’s Knicks.

    I agree that it’s basically “What is more important to one’s greatness? Prime or overall career?” If you go prime, then it’s Jordan. If you go overall, it’s Lebron. I don’t think either one is inherently a “correct” answer. I was just getting into a debate with people on Twitter over how I didn’t like that the narrative recently has become “Prime is the only thing that matters!” now that Lebron is continuing his amazing play well into his career. And a popular retort to me was basically, “Count the ringz,” which is so odd to me since Russell had 11 by the time he was 34 (a year younger than Jordan and Lebron were when they won their 6th and 4th, respectively). So obviously “count the ringz” is not how people judge this stuff, or else Russell would always be the answer.

  349. So obviously “count the ringz” is not how people judge this stuff, or Russell would always be the answer.

    If we’re being honest the way most people look at the issue (and really most issues) is not by doing a consideration of the evidence and arriving at an answer; they arrive at the answer and then work backwards to figure out which evidence supports them. There’s no world in which any person doing a “count the ringz” argument on twitter is changing their opinion if Lebron does win two more and equal Jordan in that count. They would move onto a new piece of evidence – the 2011 finals probably – as the key reason why Jordan>Lebron.

  350. Lebron is playing so well at this age because he has the advantage of very advanced medical treatments, training, conditioning, and nutritional knowledge that players in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, never dreamed of. He’s not the only basketball player that has remained productive longer than used to be the case. It wasn’t long ago people used to think 30 was over the hill. Now in a variety of sports players are maintaining their peaks way longer. Tennis is another example.

    Of course I could be wrong and they are all simply using PEDS and getting away with it or both are true.

    I have my suspicions about quite a few athletes and PEDs.

  351. one interesting comparison of degree of aging difficulty between jordan’s and james’ eras is the number of older players who were still great. In 97-98 when jordan won his last title at age 34-35, the following players were at least 34 and finished top 60 in VORP:

    1. Jordan 34
    2. malone 34
    22. hornacek 34
    24. stockton 35
    27 mullin 34
    32 schrempf 35
    33 drexler 35
    39 barkley 34
    52 ron harper 34
    55 olajuwon 35

    this year it was
    3. lebron
    10 cp3

  352. swiftandabundant: The thing is, if you were building a franchise from scratch and had to pick one rookie player to have on your team for their entire career, I think the choice is easily Lebron over Jordan.

    Is it really that easy? To anyone who saw the Jordan era from beginning to end, I would say definitely not. Jordan elevated his team to a dynasty second only to the 60’s Celtics. LeBron has become a mercenary extraordinaire. And as indicated in the Zach Lowe post, LeBron has had his vulnerable moments (losing to the Mavs is to me his biggest failure, and he’s a Kyrie 3 and a SA brainfart away from being 2-8 in the NBA finals. His Heatles team also got murdered by the Spurs 4-1. You can argue all you want that if LeBron and Jordan traded places that LeBron would have more rings and Jordan would have less. I’m not buying that. Jordan never took less than an alpha dog role in a finals, never.

    I get that folks will disagree with this, but as someone who has seen both of their entire careers and who has no rooting interest in either player, I feel pretty good about my take on this debate. By the 5th title run, you just knew that the Bulls weren’t losing, and it wasn’t because of Pippen and Rodman.

  353. Deeefense: Lebron is playing so well at this age because he has the advantage of very advanced medical treatments, training, conditioning, and nutritional knowledge that players in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, never dreamed of. He’s not the only basketball player that has remained productive longer than used to be the case.

    It’s part of the reason, but a far more likely reason is that he’s one of the greatest physical specimens who ever walked the earth. The first time he walked on to an NBA court as a teenager, he was the most physically imposing athlete in the league. It’s not all that surprising that he’s still great at age 35. As I pointed out earlier, Jordan was still playing at a HOF level at age 35 without LBJ’s advantages in biotechnology.

  354. I have my suspicions about quite a few athletes and PEDs.

    Weird, since we know wrestlers all use them and they all have such amazing longevity…

    Wilt was 36 his last season and led the league in FG% and TRB. He played 3542 minutes that year, and just shy of 48000 total. Kareem obviously fell off but at 40 he still played 80 games for 2308 minutes. Jordan made it to 39.

    The board routinely reminds people of the massive drop-off after age 30 when discussing trade targets. Great players typically transcend that. “Used to be the case” is just some shit you pulled out of your ass.

    EDIT: This is what happens when I feel like I’ve refreshed recently but I haven’t.

  355. Z-man…I’m in my 40’s. I saw the MJ era up close.

    I think the reason I say this is an easy choice is because Lebron has had a longer and more productive career overall. You could argue MJ’s peak was a bit higher than Lebron’s but Lebron’s peak has lasted longer. I mean, Jordan was about done when they won their last title and was pretty average when he came back with The Wizards. Lebron is in “decline” now and he’s still a top 3 player.

    Plus, when you think about the overall game, I would go with building a team around Lebron. MJ was great on defense but Lebron equally as good but more versatile. He can legit play 1 through 4 and small ball 5 and has passing and court vision that MJ does not. I think it would be easier to build a team around Lebron because of that versatility.

  356. Also Z-man…yeah you can knock Lebron for 2010 and the second time against The Spurs. But every time he faced Golden State he was an underdog. Same with the Spurs in 07. That first time against GS, they were even on paper but Kyrie and Love were hurt.

  357. ***Lebron is playing so well at this age because he has the advantage of very advanced medical treatments, training, conditioning, and nutritional knowledge that players in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, never dreamed of.***

    And apparently none of the other players of the 2000s dream of it either, since severe injuries are increasing, and career longevity is declining for everybody else.

  358. swiftandabundant: I mean, Jordan was about done when they won their last title and was pretty average when he came back with The Wizards. Lebron is in “decline” now and he’s still a top 3 player.

    Jordan was far from “about done” in 1997-98. His advanced stats in both the regular season and playoffs were at “best in the league” level, and almost identical to LeBron’s age 35 advanced stats. He then took a full 3 years off before returning to the Wizards at age 38-39, so it’s hard to imagine when that drop-off would have occurred without the layoff.

  359. ***one interesting comparison of degree of aging difficulty between jordan’s and james’ eras is the number of older players who were still great. In 97-98 when jordan won his last title at age 34-35***

    Those guys all entered the league between 21-23 years old, as opposed to today’s stars, compared to LeBron and co who largely entered at 19.

    If you recalibrate the search based on years in league and not age, are the results similar, or are there more current players in it? (I can’t search at br anymore due to the paywall that I’m trying not to contribute to)

  360. I agree it’s an aesthetic question at this point. I don’t see much daylight between the two. The 6-0 Finals record has a purity to it that is unassailable. You have to really appreciate achievements like the 07 Finals appearance to give the nod to Lebron.

    Setting the argument about career achievements aside, if I have to pick one guy to battle some interstellar visitors for control of Earth, I am picking peak Lebron. I think he was the better overall player.

  361. Owen: I agree it’s an aesthetic question at this point. I don’t see much daylight between the two.

    In case anyone thinks that I am advocating for MJ as a clear choice over LBJ, I’m not. Owen summarizes my feelings exactly. I would go further and say that in Owen’s intergalactic scenario, if the Aliens took LeBron first, he probably wouldn’t think human civilization was doomed because he got stuck with Michael Jordan.

  362. If you recalibrate the search based on years in league and not age, are the results similar, or are there more current players in it?

    if we recalibrate based in years in the league lebron is on year 17 and jordan in 97-98 was either on year 14 or year 12.5 depending on what you want to do with his field of dreams jaunt. let’s say 14.

    there were still a few players on year 14 in the top 60 in vorp in 97-98. drexler, barkley, hakeem and stockton. there are zero 17 year veterans within a country mile of the top 60 in 19-20. same for 16 year veterans. pretty sure cp3 is the only 15 yr veteran in the top 60.

  363. I would go further and say that in Owen’s intergalactic scenario, if the Aliens took LeBron first, he probably wouldn’t think human civilization was doomed because he got stuck with Michael Jordan.

    if you’d read the three body problem you would know that aliens from the future would actually violate the limits of quantum entanglement to corrupt the wins produced formula on earth and cause all nba analysts to mysteriously commit suicide because they could not come to terms with rodman as the goat.

  364. Hubert:
    LeBron’s going to have a nice path to title #5 next year, too.

    I disagree with this…unless the NBA season is corrupted by COVID again. I think both the West and the East will be better and the Lakers will be worse. But hey, you never know!

  365. ptmilo:

    if you’d read the three body problem you would know that aliens from the future would actually violate the limits of quantum entanglement to corrupt the wins produced formula on earth and cause all nba analysts to mysteriously commit suicide because they could not come to terms with rodman as the goat.

    Or Tyson Chandler, but why quibble…

  366. I disagree with this…unless the NBA season is corrupted by COVID again. I think both the West and the East will be better and the Lakers will be worse.

    Why do you assume this? Obviously, LeBron will be a year older, and maybe not quite as hungry now that he’s brought a championship to another team. But assuming AD stays (either via his opt-in or signing an extension), their only free agents are role players: Dwight, Dudley, Waiters, and Markieff. Useful, but replaceable.

  367. Man, the three body problem. It’s a personal failing of mine I believe but I couldn’t get out of the first 60 pages.

  368. Congratulations, once again (ho-hum) to LeBron. He’s crazy good. I saw both Michael and LeBron and wish they went head to head for a decade. I can’t decide who was more awesome.

    I’m ready to get back into hoops since there is ABSOLUTELY NO SPORTS IN NY until the NBA draft. With the Yankees out and the NY football teams a disaster (mine is the Jets), basketball is it. I really kinda wish there wasn’t such a long delay in the start of the season. This is killing me! Also, there’s a huge sports void.

  369. Went for basketball shootaround again this morning.
    After the 10/79 i had a few days ago on 3s
    I had 10/93 today.
    (It’s hit 10 3s and Go home or shoot 100 3s max)
    Where are you Keith Smart ?

  370. Alan: Why do you assume this? Obviously, LeBron will be a year older, and maybe not quite as hungry now that he’s brought a championship to another team. But assuming AD stays (either via his opt-in or signing an extension), their only free agents are role players: Dwight, Dudley, Waiters, and Markieff. Useful, but replaceable.

    I think the West will be better because several teams (Jazz, Nuggets, Mavs, Blazers, and most importantly the Warriors) will come back much stronger than they were this year. The Clippers will have a new coach and attitude but not a lot of options to get better, so that remains to be seen. As to the Lakers, LeBron will be another year older and won’t have a 3-month break before the playoffs without having to worry about travel or opposing crowds. And yes, AD is an injury risk. And the East should roll out a more worthy finals opponent next year (sorry, I just don’t think Miami was all that good, even when fully healthy.)

    This is not to say that they can’t or won’t win, only that it won’t be as easy as it was this year.

  371. Jordan doesn’t have a Dallas 2011 on his resume but I’m not sure he has a Golden State 2016 on his resume either. That was the greatest finals performance I’ve ever seen- Kyrie hitting the biggest shot and Green’s suspension notwithstanding.

  372. it’s okay owen, i started to read the kvothe books you recommended years ago here but quit like 5 million words in the nymph scene, which i gather is equivalent to going to moma just for lunch and the gift shop

  373. Now that the Heat have made it, the only seed to never make the NBA Finals is the #7 seed. What an odd little factoid.

    Also, how about the fact that if the Astros make the World Series, the NFL will be the only one of the four Majors to never have a sub.-500 team make their finals (only the NHL, though, has had a sub-.500 team win the title).

  374. Yeah, the Felurian episode is definitely the 2011 Finals of Patrick Rothfuss’ writing career. Sorry you crashed on those shoals, it’s understandable.

    Still stand by the recommendation though overall. If Harry Potter can sell 500 million copies definitely a place for TNOTW

  375. It will definitely be harder next year. The West will be 4 deep with LA, LA, Denver, and Golden State. But I think that’s the entire list of teams that can win the title next year, and the Lakers are probably the best of the bunch.

    But they also have the $9.3mm mid-level and the $3.6mm biannual to use. They’ll likely get an outsized return on that money. (I’d personally like to see Gallo take that mid-level. Imagine LeBron and AD surrounded by Gallo and two shooters in the backcourt.)

  376. Hubert: It will definitely be harder next year. The West will be 4 deep with LA, LA, Denver, and Golden State. But I think that’s the entire list of teams that can win the title next year, and the Lakers are probably the best of the bunch.

    I suppose it’s easy to count out the Rockets….though maybe with a new coach they abandon the 50 3 pointers a game and get some size on the roster. I see the Suns as a sleeper playoff team…they have lots of assets and some cap space and could make a move for a star. Memphis is also a team to watch. Minny? Who knows. No matter what, the West should be a bloodbath both in the regular season and playoffs.

  377. It is pretty funny that we’re nearing, like, Year 30 of “The West is so much better than the East.”

  378. I actually don’t think The West is SO MUCH better than The East anymore. I think its gotten a little bit more even.

    The top 5 teams in the east were about 600 winning percentage vs. the top 6 in the West. The 7th and 8th seeds in the east had below 500 records and the 8th seed in the west had a below 500 winning percentage.

    Its not like it was 4 or 5 years ago. The top 5 in The East and West are pretty comparable I think.

  379. We gotta pray for that west to be a bloodbath so Dallas can miss the playoffs.

    That unprotected first from them has the potential to be REALY juicy if things break right for us (and wrong for Dallas).

    Imagine we and Dallas both miss the playoffs and we end up with some lottery luck and both of those move up higher than expected. One can dream!

    I had an acting teacher who once said “luck” was preparation meeting opportunity. Knicks fans have lamented our draft luck the last 20 years but a lot of those years we didn’t even have a first round pick and we NEVER picked up another first round pick from another team. Next year is the first year we will have that chance.

  380. Brian Cronin:
    It is pretty funny that we’re nearing, like, Year 30 of “The West is so much better than the East.”

    And there’s really no end in sight. Milwaukee is a quirky mix. The Heat are well-positioned but still a player or two short. Toronto needs even more. Boston has bet its next decade on Tatum and Brown. The Nets are counting on a nut job and an aging, injured immortal gelling for a rookie coach. Pacers seem topped out. No other team is even worth discussing except maybe the Hawks. Sheesh!

  381. I think Luka has to get injured for that pick to be worth something and I am not a big enough Knicks fan to root for that.

  382. ptmilo:
    one interesting comparison of degree of aging difficulty between jordan’s and james’ eras is the number of older players who were still great.In 97-98 when jordan won his last title at age 34-35, the following players were at least 34 and finished top 60 in VORP:

    1.Jordan 34
    2. malone 34
    22.hornacek 34
    24. stockton 35
    27mullin 34
    32 schrempf 35
    33 drexler 35
    39 barkley 34
    52 ron harper 34
    55 olajuwon 35

    this year it was
    3.lebron
    10 cp3

    That could be an indication of several things including that VORP is not very accurate. :-)

    The advanced stats argument used to be that basketball peak was mid 20s and you were already beginning to decline in your late 20s. Not as many people say that anymore.

    I think you can argue that at 35 James is not as quick as he used to be, but he’s stronger and does other things better now. However, when you include personal and team expenditures, James and other elite athletes in several sports today probably spend more on advanced nutrition, training, and medical treatments than some of the guys in the 80s and 90s made in a year. No doubt James is also a physical freak and great player, but imo you can’t disregard the advantages he has now over the 80s and 90s to stay near the top of his game longer. Even rest days and minutes control is helping players last longer.

  383. Z-man: I suppose it’s easy to count out the Rockets….though maybe with a new coach they abandon the 503 pointers a game and get some size on the roster. I see the Suns as a sleeper playoff team…they have lots of assets and some cap space and could make a move for a star. Memphis is also a team to watch. Minny? Who knows. No matter what, the West should be a bloodbath both in the regular season and playoffs.

    I’d include New Orleans in the playoff mix too. They have some young players that could really explode in the next year or two. If they could add 1 more piece, get some development, and Zion stay healthy they can be pretty good. They probably won’t ready for contention, but I wouldn’t want to play them either.

  384. Deeefense: I’d include New Orleans in the playoff mix too. They have some young players that could really explode in the next year or two. If they could add 1 more piece, get some development, and Zion stay healthy they can be pretty good. They probably won’t ready for contention, but I wouldn’t want to play them either.

    Agreed, they bear watching.

  385. The advanced stats argument used to be that basketball peak was mid 20s and you were already beginning to decline in your late 20s. Not as many people say that anymore.

    Who doesn’t say that anymore?

    And while LBJ may have had a training advantage over MJ, so has everybody else currently playing so why does that disparity ptmilo pointed out between Jordan’s era and LBJ’s exist?

  386. swiftandabundant:
    I actually don’t think The West is SO MUCH better than The East anymore. I think its gotten a little bit more even.

    The top 5 teams in the east were about 600 winning percentage vs. the top 6 in the West.The 7th and 8th seeds in the east had below 500 records and the 8th seed in the west had a below 500 winning percentage.

    Its not like it was 4 or 5 years ago. The top 5 in The East and West are pretty comparable I think.

    This past year, the West had only two teams with less than 30 wins. The East had 7 teams with 25 wins or less. Seems that there are a lot more easy wins on the schedule for the top-5-6 EC teams.

  387. It’s so funny how Philly went for Doc seemingly mostly so they wouldn’t have to do much extra work with the roster (they were already telling D’Antoni that they were prepared to re-shape the roster to fit his style).

  388. But what work could be done, really? Harris is owed $149M (!!!). Horford is owed $54.5M plus a partially guaranteed $26.5M on top of that (???). Josh Richardson (?!?) is owed $22.4M over the next two years, with a virtual guarantee he opts in for the last half of that. In total, they have $637M in total salary guarantees. They have earmarked $138M in guaranteed money in the 2022-23 season! That’s three years away!

    The only bright side is their 2nd rounders over the next four years. Lots of them. And they’re going to need them if they stand any chance of finding decent shooters able to be signed for more than the vet’s min on a one-year flyer.

    It’s hard to put into words just how bad Colangelo and Brand have been for that franchise. Hinkie might not have taken them to the promised land, but it’s hard to imagine him fucking up quite as badly as they have.

  389. 100% agree on the Sixers. I feel like no one talks about what an unbelievable mess Colangelo has made of things.

  390. The Sixers management debacle is another consequence of the radical tanking strategy that Hinkie employed. It required the patience of Job to see it through, and that level of bureaucratic or consumer patience is rare. This applies to so many aspects of society, including my own field of education. Some well-intended, logically-conceived, and scientifically supported reforms require years of patience and holding the course through some difficult times to pay off…yet voters (egged on by politicians and special interests) are quick to opportunistically call the reform a failure before the timetable has played out. It is the main argument against reducing nationwide carbon emissions…not that global warming is a “hoax” but that addressing it in the most effective manner would cause too much short-term economic pain.

    The irony is that Hinkie was almost there. The tanking was nearing an end organically just when he was fired.

  391. Ti kánis Knew Your Nicks?

    Went for basketball shootaround again this morning.
    After the 10/79 i had a few days ago on 3s
    I had 10/93 today.

    you have piqued my curiosity sir…please tell:
    indoor or outdoor court?
    what’s the surrounding setting of the court like?
    alone or with others?

  392. nicos: And while LBJ may have had a training advantage over MJ, so has everybody else currently playing so why does that disparity ptmilo pointed out between Jordan’s era and LBJ’s exist?

      

    There could be loads of reasons starting with VORP being a bad metric. :-)

    I really don’t know.

    Most likely it’s some combination of random noise, a group of formerly great old players at that specific time hanging around longer for money or a ring, a greater pool of younger talent now to replace guys like that sooner, the 30ish guys today being so rich they can throw in the towel sooner, still be mega rich, find a 2nd career in broadcasting, coaching etc… and reduce wear and tear on their bodies long term.

    I can’t remember the exact quote, but I remember Jordan saying he learned a lot about longevity from watching Bird’s career get derailed by his back while he was in his prime. We just know way more now than we used to about how to keep athletes close to their peak longer.

    Tennis is the best example. Years ago a lot of top women were washed in their mid 20s and men declined in their late 20s. Now the greatest players keep going well into their 30s and still win Grand Slams.

  393. Kala eimai geo file mou!
    Outdoor court.
    Alone.
    9 o’clock in the morning with the early sun on my back.
    The surrounding are 2 semicentral streets with mild traffic and a park. The court is on the edge of the park and thankfully is surrounded by tall barbed wire.
    It’s a way to do some workout without feel bored such as in walking, running.

  394. Deeefense: There could be loads of reasons starting with VORP being a bad metric. :-)

    I really don’t know.

    Most likely it’s some combination of random noise, a group of formerly great old players at that specific time hanging around longer for money or a ring, a greater pool of younger talent now to replace guys like that sooner, the 30ish guys today being so rich they can throw in the towel sooner, still be mega rich, find a 2nd career in broadcasting, coaching etc… and reduce wear and tear on their bodies long term.

    Or it could be that when you can’t find a shred of evidence to support baseless assumptions, you just flatulate out a few rumbles of conjecture.

  395. Owen:
    100% agree on the Sixers. I feel like no one talks about what an unbelievable mess Colangelo has made of things.

    They were doing OK until they signed Horford (who didn’t fit, looked like he might be declining, and who they overpaid), lost Reddick (who they needed for spacing), traded some very useful pieces for Butler and lost him for Josh Richardson etc.. It all went downhill after last year. I think a lot of it falls on Elton Brand too.

    As great as Kawhi Leonard is, the 76ers were one crazy shot away from beating the Raptors and maybe getting to the finals where they probably would have beaten a hurt Warrior team.

  396. Deeefense: As great as Kawhi Leonard is, the 76ers were one crazy shot away from beating the Raptors

    The game was tied before the shot. They were a full 5 minutes away at best.

  397. Z-man: The game was tied before the shot. They were a full 5 minutes away at best.

    Thanks for the correction and better memory, but my point is still valid. They were in a very good position to beat the team that won the championship last year. Now they look like a hot mess. It wasn’t a series of bad moves over several years that did it. They put together a serious contender with a nice mix of veterans and young players and messed it all up in one off season. I’m curious to see if/how they can get out of this mess.

    The talk of trading one of either Embiid or Simmons is understandable on some level because they aren’t the perfect fit, but sticking with Embiid over Simmons could be a disaster if he breaks down and moving him could be a disaster if he ever gets in shape, stays healthy, and has a serious playoff run for someone else. I think you have to stay with both of them, find a formula to make it work, and pray one or both don’t break down.

    That Horford contract is a big drag and they still have a couple more years of Josh Richardson who is OK, but they need an upgrade.

  398. Z-man: Or it could be that when you can’t find a shred of evidence to support baseless assumptions, you just flatulate out a few rumbles of conjecture.

    I hope you aren’t arguing that sports medicine, nutrition, training methods, statistics on load management etc.. haven’t made huge strides in recent decades. Teams and individual players are making huge investments in those areas to keep players faster, fitter, healthier, and extend their careers because it works. I think James has a 7 figure PERSONAL budget for that all by himself and takes games off for a reason.

    What I can’t do is explain some cheery picked data from a different era that’s using a broken metric.

    I can only speculate as to why some players stayed on longer in that period and tell you they were all a shadow of their former peaks where athletes like James and in other sports can be great well into their 30s now if they are determined to keep competing at the highest level.

  399. I agree that was the high water mark for this version of the Sixers. Somewhere between their impatience to contend and Ainge’s over-cautiousness and need to win every transaction is a happy medium. The Suns, Hawks, Grizzlies, and maybe the Pelicans are all in similar positions. The Nuggets, Mavs and Heat are further along….they can go for broke or keep the faith.

    And then there’s the Knicks. No true foundational players. No stud free agents. No GM with a track record of success. But we have Thibs, Mitch, RJ, cap space and surplus picks for a couple of years, so there’s that!

  400. Deeefense: I hope you aren’t arguing that sports medicine, nutrition, training methods, statistics on load management etc.. haven’t made huge strides in recent decades.

    I’m not arguing for anything….I’m arguing against making shit up.

  401. Z-man: I’m not arguing for anything….I’m arguing against making shit up.

    Then you are wasting both of our time and doing it with a bad attitude to boot. When asked, I am willing to say I don’t know and speculate, which is exactly what I did.

  402. Deeefense: I can only speculate as to why some players stayed on longer in that period and tell you they were all a shadow of their former peaks where athletes like James and in other sports can be great well into their 30s now if they are determined to keep competing at the highest level.

    And I can only tell you that Jordan (his day’s LBJ) was not a shadow of his former peak at all at age 35. So it’s not about either MJ or LBJ. It’s about all the other players in the league, and how the actual evidence demonstrates that more stars played better for longer back then than now.

    Golf is a good example. Tiger Woods (and before him Gary Player) were fitness fanatics. They stood out. Now nearly everyone on tour is a fitness fanatic.

    You have to do all the fitness stuff as an aging player just to keep up. It’s feasible that the demands of defending a modern NBA offense weeds out aging players that can’t defend away from the rim. Igoudala is still effective because he can move well. Dwyane Wade could not.

    Most of the guys on PT’s list would have been effective in today’s nba at age 34-35 because they were gym rats and intelligent two-way players in addition to being supremely talented in one way or another. I doubt that today’s training and fitness regimens would have made all that much difference for most of them…maybe Barkley but not for the rest.

  403. There could be loads of reasons starting with VORP being a bad metric. :-)

    same answer applies if you switch to win shares or all-nba team average age or median age or #of all nba players over 30. it ain’t the metric.

    Most likely it’s some combination of random noise, a group of formerly great old players at that specific time hanging around longer for money or a ring, a greater pool of younger talent now to replace guys like that sooner, the 30ish guys today being so rich they can throw in the towel sooner, still be mega rich, find a 2nd career in broadcasting, coaching etc… and reduce wear and tear on their bodies long term.

    you might find it plausible but it isn’t in fact happening. still good but old nba players like drexler actually retired while very productive at a significantly higher rate than guys like wade do today. most of the guys drafted around the same time as lebron have very typical aging curves. guys like howard, deron williams, aldridge, bogut, rondo, millsap, iguodala, iggy, melo. you have a hunch that better training, nutrition and technology should allow a better aging curve into your mid or late 30. we can agree that it surely would have some benefit were all else equal. but basketball isn’t tennis and all is not equal. and there is no evidence that this has in fact happened in the nba, the evidence cuts the other way, and is metric agnostic. it could be noise, but then, couldn’t we all.

  404. Deeefense: Then you are wasting both of our time and doing it with a bad attitude to boot.When asked, I am willing to say I don’t know and speculate, which is exactly what I did.

    This is disingenuous on a number of levels. First, your attitude is quite often smug and condescending even when you have no idea what you are talking about. Second, you are speculating to support a presupposed conclusion, not looking at the situation with an open mind at all. Third, you immediately blamed the advanced metric as you always do when it doesn’t support your predetermined and totally unsubstantiated conclusion.

    If my attitude seems bad, it is out of annoyance with the total bullshit you continue to spew at every turn.

  405. Z-man:
    I agree that was the high water mark for this version of the Sixers. Somewhere between their impatience to contend and Ainge’s over-cautiousness and need to win every transaction is a happy medium. The Suns, Hawks, Grizzlies, and maybe the Pelicans are all in similar positions. The Nuggets, Mavs and Heat are further along….they can go for broke or keep the faith.

    And then there’s the Knicks. No true foundational players. No stud free agents. No GM with a track record of success. But we have Thibs, Mitch, RJ, cap space and surplus picks for a couple of years, so there’s that!

    The 76ers were on the doorstep and blew it.

    Ainge is too conservative with deals but he has several very good young players with upside and flexibility to get better. He should develop the young players and try to upgrade where he can with players ready to compete now. He’s one player away.

    The Nuggets, Mavs and Heat should do exactly the same thing. They should develop their young players and try to add or
    and upgrade where they can with guys that are ready to compete for bigger and better things now. The Mavs are a little further behind and may need 2 more key players.

    The Knicks suck and should be open to getting better any way they can other than trading for guys like CP3. Things like that make no sense to me because we’d be getting the last two puffs on a cigarette long before we are ready to compete. But I’d have no problem signing a 29 year old version of CP3, getting better, making us more attractive to free agents and in trades and going from there. We don’t need old men and we don’t have to rebuild for another 5 years via draft.

  406. Deeefense: The 76ers were on the doorstep and blew it.

    Agreed.

    Deeefense: Ainge is too conservative with deals but he has several very good young players with upside and flexibility to get better. He should develop the young players and try to upgrade where he can with players ready to compete now. He’s one player away.

    He did that with Kemba but that’s a lot of cap space to tie up in an untradable contract for a 1-way player. Once Tatum gets maxed, they might have to trade Smart to get the guy they need, and Smart is a big part of their team. They are still in good position, but nowhere near the dynasty C’s fans predicted 5 years ago.

    Deeefense: The Nuggets, Mavs and Heat should do exactly the same thing. They should develop their young players and try to add or
    and upgrade where they can with guys that are ready to compete for bigger and better things now. The Mavs are a little further behind and may need 2 more key players.

    Agreed.

    Deeefense: The Knicks suck and should be open to getting better any way they can other than trading for guys like CP3. Things like that make no sense to me because we’d be getting the last two puffs on a cigarette long before we are ready to compete. But I’d have no problem signing a 29 year old version of CP3, getting better, making us more attractive to free agents and in trades and going from there. We don’t need old men and we don’t have to rebuild for another 5 years via draft.

    Agreed.

    See? When you say reasonable stuff my attitude isn’t all that bad!

  407. FWIW, my Google News feed is at it again. This time, the speculated trade is a bit more interesting:

    https://www.nbaanalysis.net/2020/10/11/this-knicks-warriors-trade-features-the-no-2-pick-in-2020-nba-draft/

    Golden State gets Mitch and the #8 pick
    The Knicks get the #2 pick, Kevon Looney, and Golden State’s 2021 first round pick (assuming GS bounces back that’d be a very late pick…but I guess they’d at least want some lottery protection on it)

    The article also suggests that the Knicks pick…..no, not LaMelo….but James Wiseman, who they tout as similar to Mitch but with more team control going forward. Hmmm.

  408. Pass. The most compelling reason is that Looney is very injury prone, so he’s not really even a piece.

  409. but basketball isn’t tennis and all is not equal.

    ha, too funny, my mind did immediately go to djokovic, nadal and also federer and serena whom are sports dinosaurs…

    one thing that has changed over time in the nba is the talent pool which the sport draws upon…maybe there are just a lot better younger guys these days pushing out the “old-timers” – those aged folks creeping up on their mid thirties…

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