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Jaime L

NBA 2018: Fear the Deer

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22 hours ago, Proudfeet said:

I'm really curious as to what past time qualifies your criteria of being an adult.

Certainly not video games or comic books, bro. And i say this as someone who has spent thousands of hours gaming in his life. Anyway, my point about Durant makes sense to me, not sure about you guys.

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So we're roughly a quarter of the way through the season, and there are some truly shocking standings results. The East has gone as expected with the exception of the Celtics and the Wizards. I'm sure Boston will be fine, and it's logical to assume that it would take a bit for them to gel. The Wizards though, good lord is that a dumpster fire. I think they have the talent to fix this, but their chemistry is in a terrible place right now.

The West, OTOH, is insane. The starless Clippers are the top seed? How? The Grizzlies and the Kings would be in the playoffs if they started today, but I don't expect that to hold. But the three truly shocking teams are the Rockets, Jazz and Pelicans. The Rockets were the best regular season team last year, and while we could predict there would be some regression, I don't think anyone saw this coming. Many experts thought the Jazz could be a top three team in the West this year and right now they're second to last in the standings. And the Pelicans have looked sorry. Now there's still a lot of time for things to change, but it's been an unusual start to the season.

Also, the Suns are going to be unreal in a few years if they get another top two pick in this years draft. Pairing Ayton with either Barrett or Williamson is going to be fun to watch with Booker making it rain. 

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4 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

So we're roughly a quarter of the way through the season, and there are some truly shocking standings results. The East has gone as expected with the exception of the Celtics and the Wizards. I'm sure Boston will be fine, and it's logical to assume that it would take a bit for them to gel. The Wizards though, good lord is that a dumpster fire. I think they have the talent to fix this, but their chemistry is in a terrible place right now.

The West, OTOH, is insane. The starless Clippers are the top seed? How? The Grizzlies and the Kings would be in the playoffs if they started today, but I don't expect that to hold. But the three truly shocking teams are the Rockets, Jazz and Pelicans. The Rockets were the best regular season team last year, and while we could predict there would be some regression, I don't think anyone saw this coming. Many experts thought the Jazz could be a top three team in the West this year and right now they're second to last in the standings. And the Pelicans have looked sorry. Now there's still a lot of time for things to change, but it's been an unusual start to the season.

Also, the Suns are going to be unreal in a few years if they get another top two pick in this years draft. Pairing Ayton with either Barrett or Williamson is going to be fun to watch with Booker making it rain. 

1. 11-6 (Clippers)

7. 11-8 (Lakers)

8. 10-10 (Spurs)

14. 9-12 (Jazz)

15. 4-15 (Suns)

Standings are really close. To add to that, the Jazz may be second to last, but they are still within close reach of the 8th seed. Spurs and Pelicans started well but have been on an extended losing streak since. Wonder what things will look like at the halfway mark.

Anyway, I thought Gasol was washed up last year, but apparently he just gave up on the season after Conley went down. Or Conley really is that important of a player. Last year really stands out as an outlier for both Gasol and the Grizzlies.

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Similar feelings here, the West is just really deep so Utah being no. 14, while lower than expected, could be no.7 in two weeks time. They are all very close to each other. But again, it's remarkable to consider that you've got 14 very decent teams in the West. 

At this point it's impossible to say which of those will make the playoffs but if I had to bet now I'd say GS/Rockets /Thunder and then it gets tough. I don't like the Clippers or Memphis teams but there's no denying their stats. The Spurs are nowhere near as good as they were but you'd think they could still snatch an 8th seed so I count them in. I believe LeBron and the Lakers will make it. Then you get to Denver and Portland, who are doing well, especially Denver. I'll go with with Denver. Dallas is in the mix as well and might stay there, unlike the Kings who I think will drop back. The Pelicans, that is a fine team IMO with Davis Randle Mirotic Holiday Moore, they should be able to make this and if they don't, it'll be considered a failure. Personally I just want Davis out of there and to play for a title, New Orleans is going to continue to be a team in limbo, he will never contend there.

 

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19 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

 The Wizards though, good lord is that a dumpster fire. I think they have the talent to fix this, but their chemistry is in a terrible place right now.

Wizards are an absolute dumpster fire this season. The best strategy I've seen from them thus far is letting Harden go for 54, but tiring him out in the process so that he makes a bunch of mistakes in OT. 

Every single starter has been in one trade rumor or another. I was hoping they'd finagle Thibs in a Wall for Butler swap. For all we know they actually tried this.  They definitely offered something.

They ultimately have one very valuable trade piece, the Late Bradley Beal. The option to blow it all up is there. But I doubt they do as the East is terrible and as godawful as they've been, they're only a game and a half out of the playoffs and of course nothing makes Ernie Grunfeld hornier than barely making the playoffs in a super weak conference. Some teams dream of titles. The Wizards as an entire organization are fucking over the moon if they make the second round of the playoffs. 

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4 hours ago, Jaime L said:

But I doubt they do as the East is terrible and as godawful as they've been, 

Is it though? You could make an argument that after the Warriors, the Raptors, Bucks, 76ers and the Celtics round out the top 5 teams in the NBA. 

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26 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Is it though? You could make an argument that after the Warriors, the Raptors, Bucks, 76ers and the Celtics round out the top 5 teams in the NBA. 

Between this and your last comment, I think you are giving the Celtics too much credit... For now anyway. So often maddening to watch on offense, and 20 games in is a decent sample size. I do hope they figure out how to channel all that talent, but I won't hold my breath.

Also, fuck Kobe for infecting Jayson Tatum with the "heave it up from 20 feet at will" Mamba bullshit.

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14 hours ago, DanteGabriel said:

Between this and your last comment, I think you are giving the Celtics too much credit... For now anyway. So often maddening to watch on offense, and 20 games in is a decent sample size. I do hope they figure out how to channel all that talent, but I won't hold my breath.

Also, fuck Kobe for infecting Jayson Tatum with the "heave it up from 20 feet at will" Mamba bullshit.

Of all the under performing teams, the Celtics are the one I’m least worried about. It was obvious that it would take time to work Kyrie and Gordon back in the mix given the massively expanded roles of Tatum, Brown and Rozier. They’ll be fine by the All-Star break.

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So the Wolves are 7-2 since the trade and last night they completely destroyed the Spurs.

Perhaps I was wrong to crush this trade.

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19 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

So the Wolves are 7-2 since the trade and last night they completely destroyed the Spurs.

Perhaps I was wrong to crush this trade.

Anything that freed KAT to start developing was a good move. Next up they should fire Thibs. 

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15 hours ago, DanteGabriel said:

Also, fuck Kobe for infecting Jayson Tatum with the "heave it up from 20 feet at will" Mamba bullshit.

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

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20 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Is it though? You could make an argument that after the Warriors, the Raptors, Bucks, 76ers and the Celtics round out the top 5 teams in the NBA. 

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.

 

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22 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Is it though? You could make an argument that after the Warriors, the Raptors, Bucks, 76ers and the Celtics round out the top 5 teams in the NBA. 

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.

 

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1 hour 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.

 

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.

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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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