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NBA - The upside down


BigFatCoward
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What a weird start to the season, I knew the lakers would be dogshit, but not this bad, I expected GSW to have a cakewalk to a top 2 seed, they look terrible.  Loads of other teams are massively over or under performing.  

Russ blocking KD from behind was pretty sweet

Embiid putting up an all time great stat line was even better

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While I didn't expect any of the top teams to necessarily compete for a top seed due to load management, it is very surprising to see the next generation players from GSW getting dumped out of the rotation after their contract extensions for the two way players who are supposed to be placeholder minute fillers.

I mean, even if they are performing badly, surely the way to improve is to get more experience rather than sitting on the bench. Unless its a discipline/motivation issue?

Also, putting Klay's accuracy aside, has anyone seen him attempt catch and shoot threes like he did previously? Seems like he's either not getting the ball with enough space or he's lost confidence in his shot. He's looking to drive more and shoot less but that's not his strength.

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Is there any more vexing player in the NBA than Ben Simmons? Lets leave Kyrie out of the equation for a moment.

Its genuinely totally understandable to me that Durant wanted out, or might still ask for a trade again as the season progresses. Ben Simmons is paid the max and he is just consistently unavailable. If its not back issues, its a mental issue. If its not that, he has now managed to develop knee issues even though he barely makes minutes. Missed 4 games last week. Plays 14 minutes against the Clippers and is out again with knee issues vs the Lakers. This guy must be immensely frustrating to play with, especially as he hogs up so much cap space for your team.

KD's teammates might well be the NBA's 2 most irritating players or " stars".

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If you add in any unrelated distaste for Durant himself, which I personally have heaps of, it's the most unlikable team ever in my book. I hated the Heat post Decision, I always resented those mean ol' Pistons teams when I was a preteen rooting for MJ, and boy have I had my fair share of Lakers bashing. 

These Nets are just different. I find all three of their stars fairly contemptible off court, and the organization has made so many bad choices since Durant came to town that I have a hard time watching them play. All three are atrocious role models for youth.

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4 hours ago, Argonath Diver said:

These Nets are just different. I find all three of their stars fairly contemptible off court, and the organization has made so many bad choices since Durant came to town that I have a hard time watching them play. All three are atrocious role models for youth.

KD and Ben don't deserve to be lumped in with Kyrie. The former has done some annoying shit, but it's just that, annoying shit. He's not a bad dude. And the latter is very clearly broken unless you mean Harden, which again, he's just KD plus nonstop partying. 

Kyrie might even mean well overall, but he's ignorant of the damage he is doing on several fronts and just so irresponsible. The Nets should have never brought him back when he was protesting the mandatory vaccine. 

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We all make our own opinions of pro athletes. I happen to think that KD's thoroughly unlikable off court, both his bizarre addiction to social media and his basketball-related decision making that is fueled by hubris and disconnect, not acumen. Basically, I think he's a complete and utter prick. Of course, my childhood idol MJ is certifiably a complete and utter prick himself, so who am I to judge? Durant isn't a criminal nor has he actively hurt others the way Irving has, so he's got that going for him.

I have no idea what has become of Simmons' mental health state, but consider me enormously skeptical of his earliest mentions of it, which reeked of contract dispute shenanigans and not a legitimate seeking of help. I think that if he were suffering back then, he had many routes to take for treatment and acceptance. His statements, his agents, and his families rang untrue to me over and over. Like many posters here, I have had life-changing personal and familial bouts with mental health issues. All the drama in Philly surrounding him followed him to Brooklyn, and by that point the colossal negativity coming from skeptics like me surely has affected him now. I'll be impressed with him if his career can bounce back - surely somewhere other than Brooklyn, but who takes him?

I'm in a weird place with the NBA, man. My Bulls are unwatchable with no future, and I dislike more and more stars than I enjoy the exciting young guys coming in. I feel like Stan Marsh in the South Park ep where he turns 13 and everything suddenly tastes and sounds like shit, and he realizes it won't get better. I'm just cranky at myself for paying less attention than I have to basketball for maybe twenty years.

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4 minutes ago, Argonath Diver said:

I'm in a weird place with the NBA, man. My Bulls are unwatchable with no future, and I dislike more and more stars than I enjoy the exciting young guys coming in.

Well, if it's any consolation, I am very happy Orlando got Carter, Wagner, and hopefully another great pick this year for Vucevic.  I am eternally Grateful for you suffering - and I mean that in the nicest possible way.  

7 minutes ago, Argonath Diver said:

I feel like Stan Marsh in the South Park ep where he turns 13 and everything suddenly tastes and sounds like shit, and he realizes it won't get better.

Definitely one of the best eps (although it was really a two parter) of the past 15 or so years.  "It's a condition called being a cynical asshole."  "Oh No!!!"

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Carter Jr was such a frustrating player - you could see he had talent and was really intelligent. I suppose the Bulls terrible developmental systems were to blame; it wasn't surprising at all to me that he found some success. The Wagner pick, damn was that a kick in the nads. Somewhere on realGM is my first impression of the trade as being a bad move and that Vuc would never win us games; it's one of the few correct takes I've had in a decade. Our vaunted new FO made a series of big moves, and one by one they have failed (other than DeRozan playing his best season at age 34).

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46 minutes ago, Argonath Diver said:

We all make our own opinions of pro athletes. I happen to think that KD's thoroughly unlikable off court, both his bizarre addiction to social media and his basketball-related decision making that is fueled by hubris and disconnect, not acumen.

But has he done anything to like actually hurt people and then used his fame and celerity to try and shield himself? Like you said, we get to make our own opinions, but I don't think he's actually a bad guy. Him having egg accounts on social media doesn't matter, and who knows, maybe you or I would do the same thing with that level of fame. His great public crime is that he took the concept of a super team to the next level, and to be fair, they were asking him to do it. I suspect he thought it would validate his greatness, but it only shattered it. All things consider I think 10 years from now we'll look back at his all-time greatness and appreciate it more, albeit with the "but." 

Edited by Tywin et al.
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19 minutes ago, DMC said:

Tanking is relative.  I really like this year's draft class.  Any top ten pick gives you a great chance to add a valuable piece.  OKC is currently in a six-way tie for sixth-worst team.

Uh, sure. Whatever the case may be they havent tried to be a contenting team in 3 seasons now, or there abouts, and SGA deserves to be some place he can actually win. 

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I think SGA "deserves" to be paid as an elite player.  Which he pretty much is after signing a 5 year, $172 million extension last year.  Really don't feel bad for him otherwise, but yeah, one would assume after one more year of development and hopefully getting Holmgren back OKC should be trying to contend next year.

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8 minutes ago, Relic said:

Would you say that he's currently a top 10 - 15 player in the NBA?

I mean, he's certainly playing like one right now.  And the past couple years he's been close.  Maybe 15-25.  What's your point?

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Tanking in a given year is fine if your team isn't going to be competitive and you need to rebuild. Doing so for a second season if the situation is bad is fine too. OKC isn't doing that. They're actively not even trying for an extended period.

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I actually think the problem is that OKC does try, even when they clearly shouldnt. Certainly they are trying this season, racking up some wins that are not necessary if the aim is to tank. Houston Orlando Detroit San Antonio and and Charlotte are doing a better job losing and if SGA keeps playing they are going to continue to have a better record than those teams. But ultimately they are not a playoff team so what is the point?This should be the final poor OKC season,  get a great draft pick at the end of this year, get Holmgren back too and then let it fly next year. 

Landing outside of the top 3 or top 5 in this year's very strong draft is not desirable, considering that there is also no path to playoff success this year. I remember how they played themselves out of a top pick 2 seasons ago, falling back to no. 6 in the last 5 games of the season ( which they still used to get Giddey..).

Edited by Calibandar
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