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NBA 2021 - Randle Hearts

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13 hours ago, Argonath Diver said:

The Bulls were going absolutely nowhere with our three failed #7s. Our centers were destroyed by any 5 they played. Stars had 50/17 nights, scrubs had career nights against us routinely. The upgrade to Vuc and Theis at the 5 is enormous compared to the dreck that was Carter Jr, Gafford, and Kornet.

You're free to want them to have continued their disastrous course the past five years, but getting a young team into the playoffs is precisely what the team needs to be relevant again. This window won't get us a championship, but maybe we get a young star to sign once Vuc tails off, or Williams elevates his game. Today was a huge win for the Bulls.

But is this trade going to change anything? You did get better, but you're still on the mediocrity wheel and you lost two firsts that could have had value if your team tried to get worse instead of better in the short term. This move just means you're a safer fringe playoff team, and nobody wants to be there.

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24 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

Heat fans have to the thrilled about picking up Oladipo for virtually nothing.  Kelly Olynk and Avery Bradley were not going to get meaningful minutes in the playoffs, while Oladipo could potentially be the third best guy on the team.  At the very least, they're a better team.  They've been on a tear recently as they've gotten healthy.  If they can make the pieces fit, their roster matches up pretty well with any of the other East contenders.  Oladipo is definitely going to be a valuable defensive option against Irving and Harden. 

Olynk may have, he has offered up a lot in the past for them, but Bradley wasn't. Like I said before I like the deal too, but I'm not sure how they utilize everyone of Jimmy has to play the standard 3 role (he can't play the 4 for any meaningful amount of time, even in today's smaller, positionless basketball).

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16 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

But is this trade going to change anything? You did get better, but you're still on the mediocrity wheel and you lost two firsts that could have had value if your team tried to get worse instead of better in the short term. This move just means you're a safer fringe playoff team, and nobody wants to be there.

Its not championship or bust for everyone. Even if it is, look at Toronto. They managed to snag Kawhi and then Gasol in extraordinary circumstances and made the most of it. Houston had a few good shots for a team that never quite went all the way down. You don't have to bottom out every time. Bottoming out just gives you a better chance at batting for a franchise player in the draft. At the other end of the scale, what did consecutive first picks get Minnesota?

Besides, I'm now of the opinion that you can get picks if you care to, when you want to. There's always another team that will give them away for taking salary or getting a rotation player that doesn't fit your timeline.

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21 minutes ago, Proudfeet said:

Its not championship or bust for everyone. Even if it is, look at Toronto. They managed to snag Kawhi and then Gasol in extraordinary circumstances and made the most of it. Houston had a few good shots for a team that never quite went all the way down. You don't have to bottom out every time. Bottoming out just gives you a better chance at batting for a franchise player in the draft. At the other end of the scale, what did consecutive first picks get Minnesota?

Toronto is a best case scenario, but Top 5 players really don't come on the trade market very often, and Chicago is at least one top 5 player away from being a contender.  Even assuming they could (in a dream scenario) somehow trade for Giannis, would there be enough talent left to win a championship?  I'm skeptical, but hey, there's something to be said for being decent.  If Chicago can improve to like the 4th or 5th best team in the East next year, then maybe they could sign another all-star in free agency and get close? 

 

47 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Olynk may have, he has offered up a lot in the past for them, but Bradley wasn't. Like I said before I like the deal too, but I'm not sure how they utilize everyone of Jimmy has to play the standard 3 role (he can't play the 4 for any meaningful amount of time, even in today's smaller, positionless basketball).

Depends on who they're playing against, but I think they can figure out a way to get their guards playing time.  Having capable guards coming off the bench is a great problem to have. 

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37 minutes ago, Proudfeet said:

Its not championship or bust for everyone. Even if it is, look at Toronto. They managed to snag Kawhi and then Gasol in extraordinary circumstances and made the most of it. Houston had a few good shots for a team that never quite went all the way down. You don't have to bottom out every time. Bottoming out just gives you a better chance at batting for a franchise player in the draft. At the other end of the scale, what did consecutive first picks get Minnesota?

Besides, I'm now of the opinion that you can get picks if you care to, when you want to. There's always another team that will give them away for taking salary or getting a rotation player that doesn't fit your timeline.

It's gotten us nothing, to be clear, but the strategy is right. You can't mortgage the future though to just be.... maybe the 9 seed. If a team like Boston made the same trade, I'd get it, because you can rationalize that you're just having a tough year and the move can fix that. But Chicago? They aren't any good, this move isn't going to make them competitive and it's likely going to be a set back overall.

I'd rather be a Magic fan than a Bulls fan today. Sure the former just destroyed their team for the next year or two, but the trades they made provide more hope over the next five years than what the Bulls did.

18 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

Depends on who they're playing against, but I think they can figure out a way to get their guards playing time.  Having capable guards coming off the bench is a great problem to have. 

It's not a bad problem to have to be clear, but their team is small if you run out their best lineups. Bam is going to have to play center a lot, and I think that takes away from what he's great at. When he's a switching stretch four that can also kind of run the offense, great. He's damn good at it, and there aren't many better. But if he gets sucked into the paint against Giannis or Embiid, the Heat could have problems, and their shooting from last year I believe is an outlier and they are not enjoying the same shot selection, though they are still one of the best defensive teams, and that's with all the injuries and COVID.

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5 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

It's gotten us nothing, to be clear, but the strategy is right. You can't mortgage the future though to just be.... maybe the 9 seed. If a team like Boston made the same trade, I'd get it, because you can rationalize that you're just having a tough year and the move can fix that. But Chicago? They aren't any good, this move isn't going to make them competitive and it's likely going to be a set back overall.

I'd rather be a Magic fan than a Bulls fan today. Sure the former just destroyed their team for the next year or two, but the trades they made provide more hope over the next five years than what the Bulls did.

I disagree but only because of the teams involved.  If you are Minnesota or Sacramento or Oklahoma City etc your best bet is to bottom out and try and go through the draft because that is the only possible way you will get a star.  If you are a big market like Chicago or New York then another viable strategy is to make the playoffs for a few years and slowly get better then pounce on free agents/trades for big stars.  No stars are ever going to choose to go to a big market that is a perennially losing team and stars move all the time now.  So I think this is good for Chicago, yes is their peak going to be like 6th in the east currently?  Probably but that's a hell of a lot better then you were and after a year or two (or 5 in Torontos case) you can then try to go for something bigger.

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10 hours ago, Maithanet said:

Toronto is a best case scenario, but Top 5 players really don't come on the trade market very often, and Chicago is at least one top 5 player away from being a contender.  Even assuming they could (in a dream scenario) somehow trade for Giannis, would there be enough talent left to win a championship?  I'm skeptical, but hey, there's something to be said for being decent.  If Chicago can improve to like the 4th or 5th best team in the East next year, then maybe they could sign another all-star in free agency and get close?

 

9 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

It's gotten us nothing, to be clear, but the strategy is right. You can't mortgage the future though to just be.... maybe the 9 seed. If a team like Boston made the same trade, I'd get it, because you can rationalize that you're just having a tough year and the move can fix that. But Chicago? They aren't any good, this move isn't going to make them competitive and it's likely going to be a set back overall.

I'd rather be a Magic fan than a Bulls fan today. Sure the former just destroyed their team for the next year or two, but the trades they made provide more hope over the next five years than what the Bulls did.

I'm not saying its a winning strategy. I don't think it'd lead to a championship immediately. I'm saying that it doesn't actually set you back that much.

There are a lot of possible ways to rebound despite being behind in the draft, and being in front doesn't actually mean that much. Your franchise player you painstakingly drafted after multiple drafts might bail if you don't hit in succession. Or if you're the Lakers, you're not actually bad at drafting. Except that your players do better on other teams. I think only Ingram did well on the Lakers? 

And losing picks suck. But you still have your previous players you picked that you still want. You still get to keep picks in alternative years. And you have more playtime for them. Having a better player to play with might raise the value of your other players for trade. And as I said before, if you really want picks, its not that difficult to get them. It still is a setback. But seeing as its still low odds either way, I don't think there's much of a difference.

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Aging vets join front runners all the time. Remains to be seen how much they have left in the tank. Howard and Rondo joined the Lakers last year on the minimum. Warriors had Cousins* and David West before that. Cleveland had Derrick Rose*. I'm sure you can find more if you care to look.

*not actually old but in a similar situation due to injury.

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Zion's numbers and his efficiency of late have been just fantastic. If he can just get that FT% up from 70% to 80%, with a 35% shot from 3, man he could be something otherworldly, and that's not including all the other small things he could improve upon. I was in awe of him before he played a college game, and I still think he could be something generationally special if things go right.

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1 hour ago, Tywin et al. said:

Zion's numbers and his efficiency of late have been just fantastic. If he can just get that FT% up from 70% to 80%, with a 35% shot from 3, man he could be something otherworldly, and that's not including all the other small things he could improve upon. I was in awe of him before he played a college game, and I still think he could be something generationally special if things go right.

Every time I see him it makes me think of the second coming of Charles Barkley.  Now he just needs a Moses to guide him.

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5 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

Every time I see him it makes me think of the second coming of Charles Barkley.  Now he just needs a Moses to guide him.

I loved his HS dunk videos, but I didn't know if he was much more than a one trick pony. Once I saw he could handle and had a decent looking outside shot, I was all in. Barkley is the best physical comparison, but Chuck wasn't anything like this. Zion is so much stronger looking and way more explosive when you compare them by age. He's also a better shooter from outside. And Zion doesn't seem to foul a lot, which is odd because contact inside is his bread and butter, suggesting he's a really smart player (and again, see that FG%). I really hope he stays healthy because he could be the next great player. I'd rather have him than Luka, who everyone and their mother in the press wanted to anoint MVP before the season started and then he showed up in worse shape than Harden*, who btw is very much in the MVP race.

*Sometimes you don't believe something, but you want to anyways. I want to believe Harden wore some kind of fat suit in the process of forcing his way out of Houston.

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Edwards has really been looking like a good pick for the last month now. He had 24 points tonight with three blocks and three steals and the assist to set up the awful game winner. He'd have way more assists if his teammates could make their open shots, and I could see him quickly becoming the best rebounding guard very soon, though for whatever reason he's now being listed as a SF (but the team basically starts three SGs when they're all healthy). Ball has still been more impressive, but I feel that gap is closing and if Edwards can get that 3 pint percentage up, watch out. 

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Kevin Durant and Michael Rapaport are having social media beef, and it blew up in Durant's face when Rapaport displayed their DMs.

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/31/sport/kevin-durant-michael-rapaport-spat-nba-spt-intl/index.html

I have thoughts. Primarily -- what the fuck is he doing even taking Rapaport seriously? Shoulda just used some sock puppets on him.

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1 hour ago, DanteGabriel said:

Kevin Durant and Michael Rapaport are having social media beef, and it blew up in Durant's face when Rapaport displayed their DMs.

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/31/sport/kevin-durant-michael-rapaport-spat-nba-spt-intl/index.html

I have thoughts. Primarily -- what the fuck is he doing even taking Rapaport seriously? Shoulda just used some sock puppets on him.

That's your primary takeaway from that?  

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18 minutes ago, Slurktan said:

That's your primary takeaway from that?  

I figured I didn't have to comment on how shitty KD's DMs were. But maybe I phrased my previous post poorly.

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Posted (edited)

So here is Thinking Basketball with the current Zion breakdown.

On offense I still see him as a Sixers' Barkley, but with the benefit of Van Gundy willing to work with his talents to improve the team rather than a Harold Katz-Matty Guokas combo to fight with him and fail to support him Barkley experienced with the Sixers.  He is blossoming into the Game of Zones Prince That Was Promised on and off the ball.  He doesn't have quite the same vertical or repeat leaping ability of Barkley, but he definitely has that spooky float-through-the-air-sideways thing that Jordan brought to the game.

On defense, though, he looks like he lacks some of the fundamental footwork.  He obviously works to stay between his man and the basket, but the action going on beneath his body isn't very good.  His feet point in the wrong direction on a regular basis, and he turns his hips in a non-intuitive fashion sometimes, too.  And like the video says, his overall defensive awareness isn't great.

He still looks so big, and therefore so fragile, to me.  I sure hope that NO has him working to develop his physique into one that is lasting and injury-resistant.

Edited by Wilbur
Forgot the link

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Would we be as worried about his injury risk if his shoe never exploded? His footwork does need improvement, but I'm not too worried yet unless he starts to gain even more weight. One advantage he does have is, like you said when he floats sideways, that nobody wants to confront him. He's already one of the biggest loads to take ever, and it's fair to assume he'll get even stronger over time. He is still just 20, after all. You're right about his hip work though. That's more worrying if not corrected, because as his athleticism declines, he could become a liability on defense.

I'm not so sure about the comment though suggesting he doesn't have the same verticality or second leap as Chuck. Zion started with a 45 inch vert, and as the video pointed out, often he's already powering up for the rebound while everyone around him is resetting on his close misses. He may have lost a little bit of that, but I don't think it's all that much. More likely it doesn't look as freaky against men in the NBA as it does against kids in college, when he was the biggest, strongest, most athletic player on every court he stepped on.

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