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Jaime L

NBA 2018 - Soup's on!

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

I think a different version is pretty much the same volume, just shaped differently. I know Toronto is worse for this with the whole US tv thing, but Raptors fans are extremely pissed at both Bosh and McGrady for not sufficiently warning the team the year before they hit free agency that they were going to leave, regardless of whether or not they had in fact decided yet, What I mean is, without the Decision, Something would have happened. Even the scenario you painted I can envision as The Apology where it’s cited as obviously fake and It’s Not Not You It’s Me or where someone reports him smiling that day or something. I’ll grant you that maybe a better handled one makes some difference, but I think it’s pretty insignificant. The rejection is the thing that stings.

Well, I think The Decision in particular stung Cleveland more than most, as it's a city with a history of horrible sports events with similar names like The Drive and The Fumble.  It was that complete misunderstanding of the region LeBron grew up in that hurt as much as anything else.  I remember my buddies and I talking about how there's no way LeBron would do a national TV special like that if he was going anywhere else, because it was unfathomable that he'd be that out of touch about the city he grew up in.

Then the special started and I saw how nervous he looked and was like, "Well, fuck."

Edited by briantw

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18 minutes ago, briantw said:

Well, I think The Decision in particular stung Cleveland more than most, as it's a city with a history of horrible sports events with similar names like The Catch and The Fumble.  It was that complete misunderstanding of the region LeBron grew up in that hurt as much as anything else.  I remember my buddies and I talking about how there's no way LeBron would do a national TV special like that if he was going anywhere else, because it was unfathomable that he'd be that out of touch about the city he grew up in.

Then the special started and I saw how nervous he looked and was like, "Well, fuck."

Honestly, I think a lot of places think of themselves in a similar fashion. For example, not trying to be a dick, but I sincerely only know of Clark’s ‘The Catch’. Unless, do you mean like baseball, Willie Mays? Was that against Celeveland? I really don’t know. Also, total aside, but if that’s the one it’s misnamed; the throw was the special part. 

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51 minutes ago, briantw said:

Miami wasn't the easier path.  Joining Boston would have been the easiest path, and that's akin to what Durant did when he joined Golden State.  

His wasn't overtly the easiest path like Durant but it was, in 2010, and then again in 2014, the most sustainably easy path. If he joined the Celtics (or Lakers) in 2010...he'd be joining an aging team on its last legs. He'd get a quick first title but he wouldn't get.....not 3, not 4, not 5. Not to mention he couldn't join either one if he still wanted to earn a max salary as they were both capped out from their 2008-2010 contention.

Instead he joined with Dwyane Wade who was probably the 2nd best player in basketball in 2010 and Chris Bosh a top 10 guy. He probably had no idea how quickly Wade would decline from that point on. But the goal was to build the best team he could for the next 5 years if not longer. 

When it was clear that wasn't sustainable past 2014 he jumped to the next best option for the next 5 years, a team that had improbably won the lottery 3 of the prior 4 years....and restored his damaged image all in one fell swoop because it was Cleveland. He could rebuild in an instant with a younger, hungrier big 3 and be seen as a hero for doing so. 

Maybe no one decision was quite as outrageous and self-serving as Durant...but think he's taken the easiest road that's presented itself each time. I don't blame him for the choices he made, he more than did his time playing on a talentless Cleveland team from 2003-2010, but honestly I don't see him as somehow nobler in his decisions than Durant. 

To me, the one character move he could make at this point is staying with Cleveland through the adversity. But if he jumps to Houston or Philly it only proves my point. 

 

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6 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

Honestly, I think a lot of places think of themselves in a similar fashion. For example, not trying to be a dick, but I sincerely only know of Clark’s ‘The Catch’. Unless, do you mean like baseball, Willie Mays? Was that against Celeveland? I really don’t know. Also, total aside, but if that’s the one it’s misnamed; the throw was the special part. 

I wondered that too, The Catch is definitely Dwight Clark against the Cowboys.  Maybe brianw meant to say The Drive?  Neither The Drive nor The Fumble are as famous nationally as The Catch, but both are pretty famous heartbreaking moments for Browns fans. 

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

I wondered that too, The Catch is definitely Dwight Clark against the Cowboys.  Maybe brianw meant to say The Drive?  Neither The Drive nor The Fumble are as famous nationally as The Catch, but both are pretty famous heartbreaking moments for Browns fans. 

Yeah, I meant The Drive.  Fixed it above.

Edited by briantw

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2 hours ago, briantw said:

Miami wasn't the easier path.  Joining Boston would have been the easiest path, and that's akin to what Durant did when he joined Golden State.  LeBron teamed up with two other stars because Cleveland just didn't have enough firepower to beat Boston's super team.  As a Cleveland fan, not a LeBron fan, I recognize that fact.  I still think that the main reason that LeBron rightfully got killed for that move (rightfully) was because of The Decision, not because he teamed up with Wade and Bosh.  He still would have been criticized, but it wouldn't have been nearly as bad without that special. 

I've said this before, but if he had released a statement thanking Cleveland for everything that they'd done for him, but mentioned that the team just didn't have enough assets to put a championship-caliber team around him, and that he hoped to come back someday once they did, I think Cavs fans mostly would have been, if not okay with it, at least not vehement toward him.  The Decision flopped so badly because it was perceived as kicking a battered fan base while it was down, and it showed a remarkable lack of understanding of the city/region that LeBron is from.

Boston was the easiest path among the currently constructed teams, but what was created in Miami was an easier path. Regardless, I still think LeBron would have gotten killed in Cleveland for leaving, but the visceral hate might have been tempered a bit. I think what you laid out would have helped in a great deal nationally, but not for Cavs fans. If he had been born elsewhere that might be a different story though.

Quote

And yes, Ray Allen.  Because he's the only other star player I can think of who left a contending team to join the team that knocked him from the playoffs in free agency.  It doesn't happen very often.

Eh, Allen seems like a reach. If you're in the twilight of your career you might as well go to the best opportunity to win a ring. 

Quote

Maybe I'm wrong and LeBron joins Houston.  However, I don't see how it happens without him taking a serious pay cut (something he's been adamantly against for years now), and I certainly don't see it happening if Houston wins a title without him this year.  That's especially true if it's the Cavs and LeBron that they beat to win it.

Yeah, that's what makes Houston hard to work out. I still think it will be the 76ers when all is said and done. The combination of talent, cap space and having guys that can carry LeBron as he regresses seems like the obvious choice. 

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1 hour ago, James Arryn said:

So...Kyrie’s out 4-6 months. What a year they’re having in Beantown. 

They tried to trade away damaged goods and karma came back to bite them.

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1 hour ago, briantw said:

They tried to trade away damaged goods and karma came back to bite them.

You’re a hard man, briantw. Hard as flint.

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John Wall folded big time against the Cavs in the 4th.  The guy is a tremendous athlete but he's not a great basketball player.  

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6 minutes ago, Sour Billy Tipton said:

John Wall folded big time against the Cavs in the 4th.  The guy is a tremendous athlete but he's not a great basketball player.  

Eh, that was just rust from being out so long. He's generally fine in clutch moments. 

The bigger issue was the garbage prevent defense shell they went into. Let Lebron bullyball his way to the hoop every possession and then slowly walk the ball up on every offensive possession and run 20 seconds off as everyone stands around. As though the clock will save you against Lebron. Just fucking idiotic.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Jaime L said:

Eh, that was just rust from being out so long. He's generally fine in clutch moments. 

He wasn't looking rusty prior to the 4th.  When has Wall ever been clutch?  He can't even lead his team past the 2nd round of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.  

Edited by Sour Billy Tipton

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, Sour Billy Tipton said:

He wasn't lucking rusty prior to the 4th.  When has Wall ever been clutch?  He can't even lead his team past the 2nd round of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.  

When he made a game-tying 3 in game 6 against the Celtics last year which ultimately got 'em to a game 7. And he's been good in the playoffs generally. 

But I'm not saying he's some phenomenally clutch player or anything. I'm saying he's decent. Usually he's way more decisive than what I saw in the fourth quarter of this one. He put up nice numbers in this one but I'm not convinced his feel is all the way back yet. And if he and Brooks aren't smarter about how they approach the fourth quarter, they'll be out of the playoffs pretty quick. 

Edited by Jaime L

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[email protected]%#! 

Wolves are now tied with the nine seed with three games to go and they've lost a couple games late against teams that are trying to tank. They're totally going to blow this.

Fire Thibs! 

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On 3/30/2018 at 3:44 PM, Tywin et al. said:

For all the moaning about how boring the 2017-18 NBA season will be before it started, this year has been fantastic.

Let’s start with the East:

The Toronto Raptors have been sensational. Most people outside of Toronto probably expected them to be the third or fourth seed and enjoy getting bounced in the second round. Instead they put together the deepest roster in the NBA, and Derozan has really improved his all around game, even if it doesn’t jump out on the stat sheet. They’ve also built a roster that can frustrate the preseason Eastern Conference frontrunner, and for the first time in years, it wouldn’t be shocking if they emerged out of the East. Yes, they still have to finally prove it in the playoffs, but Toronto fans can finally believe that this is their year.

The Boston Celtics have had one rollercoaster of a year. After dramatically upgrading their roster by acquiring Kyrie and Hayward, the sky was the limit. It actually felt like they could challenge the King for supremacy in the East. Then tragedy struck, and Hayward was lost before he could even get started. Still, reports are good that he will fully recover. And where there was suffering, there was also optimism for the future. Brown’s game has taken a big step forward, and Tatum looks like the real deal. They’ve struggled a bit down the stretch, but their futures are bright. Then tragedy struck again with Kyrie hurting his knee. It seems unlikely that they’ll do anything in the playoffs this year, but their young players will get early seasoning which should help them greatly next year. I know it doesn’t feel good now, but this team is perfectly built to be a monster over the next few seasons if their young guys keep making progress.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, the preseason favorite to win the East, have had one bizarre season. After losing their second best player, the person they acquired to replace him is already gone (and the story of IT is a sad one at that. He went from expecting a max deal to be hopeful to get a mid level contract, and it’s all because he decided to fight through a nasty injury). The Cavs completely revamped their roster, getting younger, faster and more versatile, but they still have holes, and for the first time in this decade, LeBron to the Finals is not guaranteed. They should still be the betting favorites, but it will be exciting to see what happens if LeBron and the Cavs find themselves with their backs against the wall.

The next tier of teams likely has no chance to make it out of the East (nor does Boston if Kyrie is not able to go), but there’s still so much to like. We all mocked Sam Hinkie and the Philadelphia 76ers, but it appears we really should have trusted the process. Embiid looks like a future MVP, and Simmons is amazing. If he learns how to shoot, game over. Plus we’ve all had a little fun at the unusual odyssey of Fultz. The Indiana Pacers have been a pleasant surprise with a bright future. The Washington Wizards have had a disappointing year, but they’re still in the hunt and with Embiid going down, they’re probably the most dangerous team below the third seed. The Miami Heat are a nice team. They won’t do anything, but at least they got their feel good story with the return of Wade. The Milwakee Bucks, on the other hand, are probably the most disappointing team in the East. I really thought they’d be the second best team after Boston’s misfortunes, but they have failed to live up to our expectations. Enjoy the Greek Freak while you have him, because he’s gone in a few years…..

None of the other Eastern Conference teams are worth mentioning, so now let’s talk about the Wild Wild West:

The Houston Rockets have been hands down the best team this season. Statistically speaking, they’re the best offense in league history. James Harden is running away with the MVP, and Chris Paul has reestablished himself as a premier player in the NBA. D'Antoni’s seven second or less offense has been vindicated, and he’s got the perfect team to run it. Their ability to score quickly is exactly like the Warriors in past years, and they’re playing good defense too. The Rockets should be seen as the favorites heading into the playoffs.

Before the season started I told ya’ll not to crown the Golden State Warriors again, because injuries can happen, and boy have they. All of their key players sans Green have spent extended time on the injury report, and worse, they’re banged up heading into the postseason. I know most people don’t expect that to matter in the first round, but there’s a team they should want nothing to do with, and I’ll discuss that later. If the Warriors can get healthy, which is a big if, then the Rockets favoritism should pump the breaks. But if they can’t, their dynasty is looking like it’s going to have to pump the breaks. I still think the championship will be determined in the Western Conference Finals, but for that to happen, we need the Warriors to be the Warriors. Basketball Gods, do not deny us this series!

The Portland Trailblazers might be the biggest positive surprise of the season. They were a fringe playoff team during the first half of the season, but they’ve been on fire as of late and I would want nothing to do with them. Damian Lillard has established himself as an absolute superstar, top 10 player and might come in second in the MVP voting. I must admit that I haven’t watched many of their games, but I cannot wait to see them in the playoffs.

After a bad start to the season, the Oklahoma City Thunder are right where we thought they would be, in the top half of the West. Westbrook is still playing out of his mind, and George is finally living up to his role as Robin. Melo has been widely inconsistent, but I would still have faith in him come the post season. The one thing that would worry me if I was a Thunder fan is their lack of depth, but absent that they still have a chance to shock the West.

The New Orleans Pelicans have been a surprising team. I didn’t expect them to make the playoffs, and if they did, it would be as the last seed. When Cousins went out, I figured they were done. But Davis has put this team on his back and is playing like the guy we always thought he would be. If the standings hold, a first round Thunder-Pelicans matchup should be a blast. I doubt that they can get past the second round, regardless of their seating, but they’ve taken the steps forward needed to keep Davis happy and increase the likelihood that he won’t leave in FA when his contract is up.

The biggest disappointment in the West is unquestionably the San Antonio Spurs. Kawhi was widely considered to be the third best player on the planet, but he has hardly played this year and it seems like he’s done with the organization. This is a strange twist for the most stable franchise in the NBA over the last two decades. The Spurs won’t go anywhere without him, but it’s a testament to Pop’s coaching that he even has the team where it is. They really have no business being in the playoffs.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have had an interesting season to say the least. If everything holds, they will finally end their fourteen year playoff drought, but not how they expected. Before Butler went down, they were the third seed in the West and the fifth best team in the NBA. Since then, they’ve been in a dog fight to end their playoff drought. The bright side is that Karl Anthony-Towns has exploded in Butler’s absences, and has proven what all of us Wolves fans have known all along that he is the best player on the team. Still, the team’s chemistry in makeup is flawed. There are too many scorers and not enough playmakers. That said, if Butler can return before the start of the playoffs, and get back into playing shape, the Warriors should be terrified of this team if both hold at the second and seventh seeds. The Wolves matchup really well with the Warriors and KAT has always destroyed them. If the Warriors are healthy, they’ll be fine. But if Curry is out and KD and Klay are not at full strength, don’t be shocked if the world champions get bounced in the first round.

The Utah Jazz have so much to be proud of. Currently they’re the eight seed, and at the start of the season they had no business being here. But they’re fighters. Grinders. What they lack in talent they make up for in will, grit and determination. If they make the playoffs, they’ll be a quick out, but that’s nothing to hang their heads about. They’ve proven they belong, and when you’re expected to be a high lottery pick, that means something.

Unlike the East, the West has teams that are on the playoff bubble worth discussing. The L.A. Clippers, expected to be dogs after their two best players have left, have fought like hell. They still can make the playoffs, which is shocking. And the same can be said of the Denver Nuggets. They’ve had a disappointing season, but it’s not over yet. And even the L.A. Lakers, long in the basketball wilderness, have showing to hang their hats on. This team should have been straight garbage, but they are showing a lot of future upside, and maybe, just maybe, done enough to finally be successful in chasing an offseason whale.

The 2017-18 NBA season was supposed to be a dud. It’s been anything but. Littered with surprises, upsets, injuries and intrigues, both conferences have so much that are still up for grabs. In the East, little separates the three seed from the five, and furthermore, little separates the six from the eight. There are no guarantees, other than the eight teams listed above making the playoffs. And the West is even more volatile. The top two seeds are set, but the three seed is only three games ahead of the seven seed, and the four seed is only separated by four games from the ten seed. With less than ten games to go, anything can happen. What a crazy, exciting season it’s been to be a fan of basketball.

I feel pretty much the exact opposite. This season has lead to a large degree of apathy on my part. 

I can't see where the excitement is. Left and right I see debilitated teams. The Spurs without Leonard the entire year, they were hard to watch before and are now a genuine sleeping pill. The season started so badly when Hayward got injured right away, that took so much suspension away. And now they are annihilated with Irving out as well. The threat of that Boston team was so good for the NBA, a challenger in the East and possibly even for GS. Now, nothing, and also no replacement. No one really thinks Toronto will amount to much in the end. The Cavs have been such a disappointment after the trade. They've revamped their team and now they look "ok'ish". Still coming out of the East yeah, but not a serious NBA finals challenger.

On top of that, OKC could hardly have been more depressing and disappointing, and we're at the end of the season and they still don't seem to have it sorted. This too robs a lot of excitement. Same for the T-Wolves who I was high on early in the season, such a disappointment. The Pelicans looked pretty cool for a while and then Cousins went out, another story ended.

So that leaves.... the feel good story of Portland? Not good enough to beat Houston or GS. The Sixers? Yes, that is still of interest, though the question is if Embiid comes back healthy. It's been the season of one team after another going down the drain.

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2 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

[email protected]%#! 

Wolves are now tied with the nine seed with three games to go and they've lost a couple games late against teams that are trying to tank. They're totally going to blow this.

Fire Thibs! 

I was going to ask how much you were freaking out after last night. Although in fairness KAT fouled out on a pretty bullshit call IMO. 

I think the next Nuggets-T'Wolves game is basically a sudden elimination game. 

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14 hours ago, Jaime L said:

When he made a game-tying 3 in game 6 against the Celtics last year which ultimately got 'em to a game 7. And he's been good in the playoffs generally. 

But I'm not saying he's some phenomenally clutch player or anything. I'm saying he's decent. Usually he's way more decisive than what I saw in the fourth quarter of this one. He put up nice numbers in this one but I'm not convinced his feel is all the way back yet. And if he and Brooks aren't smarter about how they approach the fourth quarter, they'll be out of the playoffs pretty quick. 

I don't feel that there are various degrees or classifications of a clutch player.  You're either clutch or not.  I'm a huge Peyton Manning fan but I don't go around convincing myself by saying, "Well he's not phenomenally clutch, but he's decent at being clutch.  Look at his AFC Conf Champ game in 2006!"  It was one great playoff performance.  Doesn't erase the many horrible playoff losses he choked in.

John Wall has been in the league for 7 years.  Bid deal, he hit the would-be game winning 3 pointer in a game 6 in order to survive the series, not WIN the series.  He then followed it up with a horrible game 7 performance and once again had a 2nd round exit.  John Wall is overpaid and overrated.  

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4 minutes ago, Sour Billy Tipton said:

I don't feel that there are various degrees or classifications of a clutch player.  You're either clutch or not.  I'm a huge Peyton Manning fan but I don't go around convincing myself by saying, "Well he's not phenomenally clutch, but he's decent at being clutch.  Look at his AFC Conf Champ game in 2006!"  It was one great playoff performance.  Doesn't erase the many horrible playoff losses he choked in.

John Wall has been in the league for 7 years.  Bid deal, he hit the would-be game winning 3 pointer in a game 6 in order to survive the series, not WIN the series.  He then followed it up with a horrible game 7 performance and once again had a 2nd round exit.  John Wall is overpaid and overrated.  

Yup.  Kyrie Irving is a guy who I would consider clutch.  I don't think there's a single guy in the NBA I'd want taking a last-second shot to win over Kyrie.  

John Wall?  Not even close.

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3 hours ago, Calibandar said:

I feel pretty much the exact opposite. This season has lead to a large degree of apathy on my part. 

I can't see where the excitement is. Left and right I see debilitated teams. The Spurs without Leonard the entire year, they were hard to watch before and are now a genuine sleeping pill. The season started so badly when Hayward got injured right away, that took so much suspension away. And now they are annihilated with Irving out as well. The threat of that Boston team was so good for the NBA, a challenger in the East and possibly even for GS. Now, nothing, and also no replacement. No one really thinks Toronto will amount to much in the end. The Cavs have been such a disappointment after the trade. They've revamped their team and now they look "ok'ish". Still coming out of the East yeah, but not a serious NBA finals challenger.

On top of that, OKC could hardly have been more depressing and disappointing, and we're at the end of the season and they still don't seem to have it sorted. This too robs a lot of excitement. Same for the T-Wolves who I was high on early in the season, such a disappointment. The Pelicans looked pretty cool for a while and then Cousins went out, another story ended.

So that leaves.... the feel good story of Portland? Not good enough to beat Houston or GS. The Sixers? Yes, that is still of interest, though the question is if Embiid comes back healthy. It's been the season of one team after another going down the drain.

It does suck that there have been so many injuries to top 25 players. I can’t argue against that. But otherwise I think it’s been interesting. Most thought at the beginning of the season that GS would walk through the West and then slaughter whoever the East offered up for sacrifice (Boston was never going to challenge GS). Now we don’t even know if they’ll make it out of the West. And Houston is hurt too, meaning who ever emerges from the West will be weakened enough where the East team at least has a chance. I’m just happy that this season wasn’t completely predictable

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3 hours ago, Jaime L said:

I was going to ask how much you were freaking out after last night. Although in fairness KAT fouled out on a pretty bullshit call IMO. 

I think the next Nuggets-T'Wolves game is basically a sudden elimination game. 

It was a dark scene it my TV room as I chugged beer while screaming at the screen. If the Wolves win out then they’re in, but I see no reason to expect that. Our last three games are @LA Lakers, and home games against the Grizzle and the Nuggets. We should win the next two, but who knows. We lost to the Grizzle a week or two ago, and it was in shameful fashion.

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