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Jaime L

NBA 2018: Fear the Deer

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2 hours ago, Jaime L said:

The top of the East is as stacked as its been since the 90s but there's very little depth. Virtually every team out of the playoffs in the East is already thinking more about Zion and RJ than actually competing. Compare that against the West which has 5 super talented teams currently sitting outside the playoffs.

 

Sure the West has way more depth, but the point is that the East isn't completely dreadful anymore. The East in this decade has been dominated by one player, once in a while a single team rose up to halfhearted challenge him while the rest of the conference was constantly straight garbage. The East isn't bad anymore. There are four teams that could make it to the Finals, and a Curryless or Durantless Warriors team could fall to one of them.

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1 hour ago, Calibandar said:

I wouldn't make that argument though, and I would add the fairly obvious point that the West has 14 out of 15 teams at a very decent level, whereas the East has 8.......9 if you want to include the potential of the Wizards to be above average as well.

And I think if you're going to rate the Bucks that high based on current results you'd need to look at the Nuggets and Clippers as well. I for instance would rate OKC and probably also Houston higher than those.

 

I am looking at current results. I would put the Nuggets at six and OKC at seven or eight. I don't believe in the Clippers at this point, so I'm undervaluing them. If they're still at or near the top at the All-Star break, I'll change my mind. Houston, OTOH, is no where near as good as they were last year. They were a historic offense last year and you cannot expect to replicate that. They were also a very good to great defensive team last year, and now they're below average. They had their shot and missed it and I suspect their window closed quickly. 

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It's the Kawhi Leonard show early on. He's been getting good looks all over the floor. The Warriors are really struggling getting a rhythm on defense.

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6 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Sure the West has way more depth, but the point is that the East isn't completely dreadful anymore. The East in this decade has been dominated by one player, once in a while a single team rose up to halfhearted challenge him while the rest of the conference was constantly straight garbage. The East isn't bad anymore. There are four teams that could make it to the Finals, and a Curryless or Durantless Warriors team could fall to one of them.

It depends on how you define dreadful though. If you're looking for title contenders, the East definitely seems stronger, but if you're looking at it as a whole, they also overwhelmingly dominate the bottom of the standings. For Jaime's specific context per Wizard's hopes, which has more to do with fringe playoff spots than title contenders, looking at the bottom teams is more relevant, thus the East sucks. 

Also, I hope the Warriors implode after Cousins gets back from injury.

14 hours ago, Relic said:

Bill SImmons isn't happy with Kobe getting at Tatum either. 

I don't get it. Isn't it the coach's responsibility to get his players back on track? If it was the first five games, sure. But it's twenty games in, that's not an excuse anymore.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Proudfeet said:

Also, I hope the Warriors implode after Cousins gets back from injury.

What? They’re going to be overwhelming when he gets back, assuming he’s somewhat close to the player he was pre-injury.

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40 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

What? They’re going to be overwhelming when he gets back, assuming he’s somewhat close to the player he was pre-injury.

I think the Cousins narrative is overblown.  Put him in a winning situation around professionals, and he will be a great teammate.

You never hear anything about Cousins off the court.  He has always been one to be involved in the community and his own teammates never have anything bad to say about him.  Does he blow up on court sometimes?  Yup.  So does Draymond Green.  Know the difference between the two in their career?  One was on the Kings, the other has won multiple titles.

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11 minutes ago, Rhom said:

I think the Cousins narrative is overblown.  Put him in a winning situation around professionals, and he will be a great teammate.

You never hear anything about Cousins off the court.  He has always been one to be involved in the community and his own teammates never have anything bad to say about him.  Does he blow up on court sometimes?  Yup.  So does Draymond Green.  Know the difference between the two in their career?  One was on the Kings, the other has won multiple titles.

Exactly. He’s a fiery competitor who spent most of his career on a horrific franchise.  And when he was in New Orleans, you heard nothing but positive things about him as a teammate. I’d lose my **** from time to time too if I was a top 10 NBA player playing for a franchised that was owned by a man who thought it might be a good idea to play 4v5 on defense…….

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2 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

What? They’re going to be overwhelming when he gets back, assuming he’s somewhat close to the player he was pre-injury.

Probably, but stacking the best players together isn't going to work if they don't play together. I don't know how serious the flare up between Durant and Green was, but if the atmosphere is already tense, it could blow up after you add Cousins to it.  

Besides, look at Boston now or when LeBron first joined Miami. Even if everything goes well, there might still be an adjustment period before they gel. Could be potential for an upset. There is hope. 

4 minutes ago, Rhom said:

I think the Cousins narrative is overblown.  Put him in a winning situation around professionals, and he will be a great teammate.

You never hear anything about Cousins off the court.  He has always been one to be involved in the community and his own teammates never have anything bad to say about him.  Does he blow up on court sometimes?  Yup.  So does Draymond Green.  Know the difference between the two in their career?  One was on the Kings, the other has won multiple titles.

I don't think Cousins is a toxic teammate like Dwight Howard, but he is very emotional and impulsive. Also, I also think that Green's outbursts are a net negative. The Warriors claim otherwise, but you can never be sure how much of it is sincere and how much of it is just PR speak.

The Nuggets with Isaiah Thomas is one to watch too, especially since he is playing for a contract again after his poor showing with both the Cavs and Lakers.

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17 hours ago, Slurktan said:

Which of those are the 5 out of curiosity?  Because if it's on just talent I'd rank the Suns higher than the Rockets.  And super talented means jack shit otherwise the Wizards would be in contention even in the supposedly weak East.

Is it weaker than the West?  Sure, but not so dramatically so anymore because of the top end. Memphis and the Clippers will regress because their success isn't sustainable the way they are playing.  Same with Dallas.  Houston will likely get better (but not much, I'm pretty sure they are done as a contender) as likely will Utah.  The Wolves are what they are... a .500 team with some good players and some bad contracts.  San Antonio may squeak in to the playoffs with like 46 wins but would they scare anyone if they were playing in the east?  The answer is no.  Portland is the same as they have been (which is the same as what the Wizards are and the Raptors were) which is two guards who get shut down in the playoffs and so lose because the cupboard is bare other than that.

T'Wolves, Pels, Spurs, Jazz, Rockets. Mainl used "talent" as a shorthand for "composition that all things being equal should win 45-50 games". Agree the Suns have some massive talent but a team that young is never a serious playoff threat. 

The 5 teams I named all have the requisite talent, pedigree and most have the coaching that all should be playoff contenders. 

16 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Sure the West has way more depth, but the point is that the East isn't completely dreadful anymore. The East in this decade has been dominated by one player, once in a while a single team rose up to halfhearted challenge him while the rest of the conference was constantly straight garbage. The East isn't bad anymore. There are four teams that could make it to the Finals, and a Curryless or Durantless Warriors team could fall to one of them.

My point is not to argue relative conference strength. Just saying as a Wizards fan, even with how garbage this team has looked, making the playoffs still doesn't look all that tough. They gotta pass one of the Magic, Hornets or Pistons. If the expected regression to the mean comes for those teams, the Wizards could fall ass-backward into the playoffs. 

Whereas were they in the West, what possible reason would I have to think they'll outplay the Rockets or Jazz over the next 60 games? Let alone the 12 teams with better records than those two. (Ok, maybe the Kings...)  

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2 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

What? They’re going to be overwhelming when he gets back, assuming he’s somewhat close to the player he was pre-injury.

Probably. Or, he'll be a cancer after not getting enough touches one game. We'll see. Probably it will work out just fine. 

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23 hours ago, Slurktan said:

Which of those are the 5 out of curiosity?  Because if it's on just talent I'd rank the Suns higher than the Rockets.  And super talented means jack shit otherwise the Wizards would be in contention even in the supposedly weak East.

Is it weaker than the West?  Sure, but not so dramatically so anymore because of the top end. Memphis and the Clippers will regress because their success isn't sustainable the way they are playing.  Same with Dallas.  Houston will likely get better (but not much, I'm pretty sure they are done as a contender) as likely will Utah.  The Wolves are what they are... a .500 team with some good players and some bad contracts.  San Antonio may squeak in to the playoffs with like 46 wins but would they scare anyone if they were playing in the east?  The answer is no.  Portland is the same as they have been (which is the same as what the Wizards are and the Raptors were) which is two guards who get shut down in the playoffs and so lose because the cupboard is bare other than that.

I do see the East suddenly has more real competitors, however I'm not ready to rate the Bucks over the Rockets, and I'm uncertain on the Sixers.

Love the vast talent on the Sixers. Wish Simmons could shoot though. He's not just taking no 3's but his field goal percentage looks good because it seems like much of it is drives to the rim rather than shots.

 

20 hours ago, KingintheNorth4 said:

It's the Kawhi Leonard show early on. He's been getting good looks all over the floor. The Warriors are really struggling getting a rhythm on defense.

Durant is such a pleasure to watch. All things considered he's still my favorite player to watch. He's just so good and it looks so effortless.

It's why I loved watching OKC so much when he and Russ were on the same team, Russ probably being my other favorite player just in terms of watchability.

It's also good to see how Kawhi has come back, he looks very impressive. Must be grating for the Spurs, no doubt.

23 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

I am looking at current results. I would put the Nuggets at six and OKC at seven or eight. I don't believe in the Clippers at this point, so I'm undervaluing them. If they're still at or near the top at the All-Star break, I'll change my mind. Houston, OTOH, is no where near as good as they were last year. They were a historic offense last year and you cannot expect to replicate that. They were also a very good to great defensive team last year, and now they're below average. They had their shot and missed it and I suspect their window closed quickly. 

Houston will get better again as Chris Paul comes back, don't miss the fact he's been missing a lot of games. 

They don't look the same true, but to me, too early to write them off. Still one of the best 3 teams in the West if the season is done IMO, with GS and OKC.

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6 hours ago, Jaime L said:

Whereas were they in the West, what possible reason would I have to think they'll outplay the Rockets or Jazz over the next 60 games? Let alone the 12 teams with better records than those two. (Ok, maybe the Kings...)  

Because you have multiple All-Stars on your team? I think the Wizards would be in the mix in the West if they played up to their talent. Someone's just got to get the bottle out of Wall's hand.

36 minutes ago, Calibandar said:

Houston will get better again as Chris Paul comes back, don't miss the fact he's been missing a lot of games. 

They don't look the same true, but to me, too early to write them off. Still one of the best 3 teams in the West if the season is done IMO, with GS and OKC.

Yeah, but that's the knock on Paul now. He can't stay healthy. I think the Rockets are 8-4 when both guys are on the court together, so it's not all gloom and doom, but at the same time they look like a shadow of themselves. They'll be fine come the playoffs, but this team can't with the West, unlike last year's team.

Also, show Denver some love. They're playing excellent ball. 

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I love seeing a few different teams having competitive records this season so far. For a large part of NBA fandom this helps keep the league relevant to us.

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2 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Hoiberg got axed. No surprises there. 

It's kinda surprising. You figure they want to tank. I guess they feel he isnt good at developing the young guys?

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12 hours ago, Relic said:

It's kinda surprising. You figure they want to tank. I guess they feel he isnt good at developing the young guys?

Can’t say for sure, but it’s long been rumored that his players don’t like or respect him, and if that’s the case you have to cut ties. The only reason you don’t fire a coach midseason is out of respect for what they’ve accomplished and/or for the sake of being classy, which makes the McCarthy firing kind of odd.

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Heard a painful stat yesterday. During the 2016-17 season, Wiggins averaged 23.6 points per game. He has yet to score more than 23 points this season.

I knew this would happen:

 

 

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Tonight is why the Raps have no fears of Philly.  Jv and Ibaka just utterly destroyed Embiid.

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