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'19-'20 NBA Thread. Let the post Warriors World Begin


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"Only their third year" is placating them.  Both have had more than enough time on-court;  they're not spot or role players.  The minutes they've logged, they need to be better.

 

Simmons' lack of shot is now inexcusable.  Embiid's attitude has seemed problematic several times during the restart.  If these are the future, the Sixers have no future.  I'm not saying they're bad players;  they're not franchise cornerstones because IMO neither one has the right kind of game, or the right personality, to be The Guy.

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They are franchise cornerstones but they are not transcendent superstars. There are only 8-12 players in the league who wouldn't be traded for them in a straight exchange.

 

Embiid needs a system like the Rockets used for Olajuwon and Simmons needs one similar to what LeBron had in Cleveland. Will they ever be league dominant superstars? Simmons is held back by his shooting and that's a learnable skill. Embiid needs health and consistency.

 

Remember that they are not US natives and did not get the basic grounding of years of middle and high school coaching and each had only one year of college experience. They didn't have Kawhi Leonard's early grooming alongside Tim Duncan. They're learning to be the guy just like Giannis did . He's probably their best comparison and they're both as good or better than he was after three years.

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It might be a learnable skill but has Simmons improved his shooting?  How can you expect him to do squat with his shooting, when his FT % is 60?  For a ball handler, that's HORRIBLE.  Basketball Reference's stats for the 2020 season has 117 players listed by FT%.  Simmons is # 113.  For as much as he handles the ball, I'd also like to see him at the line more.  That was better this year tho, I believe.  But the cornerstone to a player's improvement in the NBA is the player.  I don't trust either of those two to have the self-awareness and commitment to improve.

 

I think the point that Embiid and Simmons clash in terms of floor spacing is big, particularly when Simmons is no threat from the outside.  15-17' contested jumpers should also be the LAST choice of any offense...but it's what Embiid and Simmons do best.

 

There's a lot to be said that unproven, short-term upside potential is seriously overvalued.  If Simmons and Embiid don't have their acts together after THIS long, they were horrendously overpaid for those years.  Philly's gotten very little in practice.  Yet they've got close to $60M/year tied out between them.  OK, part of the problem is the front office;  they paid about $50M or so to Horford and Harris, and they gave nothing like that much in return.  

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I think Embiid and Simmons can still be good, but I am leaning towards not together they can't.  They need someone else to compliment their skills.

 

Haven't watched much of the reboot, but I heard Horford had lost minutes to a backup point guard that is more of a shooter. They might work for Simmons moving to a forward spot and be the primary ball handler or ball handler #1B. His real position should be listed as N/A anyway.

 

 

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Embiid might work as a low post center with 3 shooters and a driver around him...but that's largely one of the ideal lineups, if you can't pull off a completely positionless lineup.  Good luck with that;  it's hard to do, and harder to keep together.  But yeah, if Simmons can't shoot outside the paint, things don't work with a low-post center.

 

Harris and Horford have been major busts.  Harris was the 18th highest paid player this year;  Horford was 24th.  (Simmons 'only' made $8M;  his extension kicks in NEXT year.)  The combined salaries of the 4 of them for next year is about $127M...which is over the cap and darn near the luxury tax.  Spotrac has their cap total at $147M for 20-21...that's $8M over the luxury tax threshold.  And that much cash tied up into 4 players means they have no flexibility.  The massive contracts for Embiid and Simmons also say VERY few teams can even consider trades.  (Oh, and cutting Horford and/or Harris don't help.  Harris' contract is fully guaranteed;  Horford's is 90%.)

 

Options...?  Probably some I can't see but it feels like...none.  Even if they have championship pieces, as y'all are suggesting, they don't work together.  And they're completely painted into a corner by those contracts.

 



 

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3 hours ago, Badger said:

Anyway, the 76ers did the equivalent that baseball teams occasionally do in a way.  Pick up 3 corner outfielders and suddenly one will have to play center.

 

Or 2-3 best suited to be DHs.  Yeah, good analogy.

 

Who says NBA players know the game???  Jamal Murray BOTCHED the end of the Denver game, trying to score;  he gave Utah much too good a chance.  Heat vs. Bucks, the Heat are trying to give away the game too...pass to the sideline, straight into a trap.  Butler doesn't call time out, he throws it mostly blindly towards the Bucks' basket.  Lopez gets a lay-up to cut a 4 point lead to 2.  Then on the in-bound, the pass was really looped, and could EASILY have gone to the Bucks.  THEN!!!!! To top it off, a Heat defender *just* slides into the space of a 3 point shooter.  Borderline call...but come ON, boy!  27+ footer, STAY AWAY and don't GIVE the refs a chance to make the call.

OMG.  To top it off...Giannis barely runs into Jimmy Butler shooting a contested step-back at the 3 point line.  Another borderline call...but the foul is called.  Contact after the shot with NO TIME ON THE CLOCK.  Jimmy Butler has 2 FTs to win the game.

 

Pathetic decision making.  Largely the norm in pro sports these days, tho.

 

Let the chant of OVERRATED!!! ring from the rafters.  

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Hey, well I was thinking in particular when the Mets signed Bonilla. That gave them Bonilla a poor RF. Vince Coleman who had the speed but nowhere near the judgement for center. And Howard Johnson a converted 3B. They eventually decided on Johnson there, who would make the highlights routinely that year, on diving stabs..... on routine balls where he misjudged twice in the air, and the dive was pure desperation.

 

To a lesser extent the Tigers when they got Prince Fielder. Forcing Cabrera back to 3rd 4 years removed from being a very bad fielder there, while also having Ryan Raburn an outfielder make believing at being a 2B.

 

Note: How can I forget the Padres one winter getting Kemp, Justin Upton, and Will Myers, when only Kemp had played Cf, and that was before his body was totally wrecked.

Just now, Badger said:

Hey, well I was thinking in particular when the Mets signed Bonilla. That gave them Bonilla a poor RF. Vince Coleman who had the speed but nowhere near the judgement for center. And Howard Johnson a converted 3B. They eventually decided on Johnson there, who would make the highlights routinely that year, on diving stabs..... on routine balls where he misjudged twice in the air, and the dive was pure desperation.

 

To a lesser extent the Tigers when they got Prince Fielder. Forcing Cabrera back to 3rd 4 years removed from being a very bad fielder there, while also having Ryan Raburn an outfielder make believing at being a 2B. And SS Johnny peralta who really should played at 3b during his career due to great hands, poor range disease. I was half expecting their Cf at that time to try and go Bugs Bunny 9 positions at the same time

 

Note: How can I forget the Padres one winter getting Kemp, Justin Upton, and Will Myers, when only Kemp had played Cf, and that was before his body was totally wrecked.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So the Lakers are up 24 with about 6 minutes to go;  barring a collapse, the Rockets are out of fuel.  4-1;  this is the only real blowout but the Lakers have been clearly better since game 1.

 

So the question is...is this the end of small ball?  D'Antoni's contract is up;  there's no extension.  Owner claims it's a priority, but small ball's only gotten them so far.  

 

Personally I don't think 100% small ball, completely analytically driven (3's and layups)...huge salary cap issues with Westbrook and Harden...2 ball hog ball handlers...I don't think they're built soundly, and the existing salaries suggest it'd be hard to rebuild them soundly while keeping the big names.

 

Also:  LA basketball fans have to feel HOSED.  Should've been a Freeway Finals!!!  Heck, the Clippers would've taken a much bigger cut out of the Laker dominance had they won *in LA*.

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It's not the end of small ball, just an indictment of the Rockets' brand of it. You need mobile bigs  that can rim protect, rebound and deter the low post scoring of the other team. Regular season play masks the Rockets' lack of these these things since teams don't have as much specific focus as they do in the playoffs  The Lakers are Houston's worst match-up. They have personnel better suited to the Rockets style than the Rockets do.

 

The Warriors did just fine with small ball, so did the Heat, the Spurs after Robinson were a small ball team that just happened to have a superstar big to be the pick and roll guy. Three(or four in the Warriors case) superstar/HOF level talents that play together will make any system look good and will dominate if the system actually complements their talents.

 

It's all about talent with a greater emphasis on defensive versatility. Hakeem Olajuwon, Tim Duncan and David Robinson would be ideal bigs for the current NBA, Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning would still be effective, Patrick Ewing would have a lesser offensive role but would still be a max player. We were spoiled because the era of great centers ended.

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So the rich and creamy Nougats are behind at halftime in their bid to extend their series against the Clippers. Too bad. Honestly, I think it would be hilarious if Denver pulled off the comeback again and played the Lakers in the Western Conference finals. Even better, it would be awesome if the Nuggets were to get to their first NBA finals by beating the Clippers and Lakers in succession.

 

Not gonna happen, though.

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1 hour ago, Pariah said:

So the rich and creamy Nougats are behind at halftime in their bid to extend their series against the Clippers. Too bad. Honestly, I think it would be hilarious if Denver pulled off the comeback again and played the Lakers in the Western Conference finals. Even better, it would be awesome if the Nuggets were to get to their first NBA finals by beating the Clippers and Lakers in succession.

 

Not gonna happen, though.

 

Looks like the Nuggets are about to win by double digits....

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3 hours ago, Grailknight said:

It's not the end of small ball, just an indictment of the Rockets' brand of it. You need mobile bigs  that can rim protect, rebound and deter the low post scoring of the other team. Regular season play masks the Rockets' lack of these these things since teams don't have as much specific focus as they do in the playoffs  The Lakers are Houston's worst match-up. They have personnel better suited to the Rockets style than the Rockets do.

 

The Warriors did just fine with small ball, so did the Heat, the Spurs after Robinson were a small ball team that just happened to have a superstar big to be the pick and roll guy. Three(or four in the Warriors case) superstar/HOF level talents that play together will make any system look good and will dominate if the system actually complements their talents.

 

It's all about talent with a greater emphasis on defensive versatility. Hakeem Olajuwon, Tim Duncan and David Robinson would be ideal bigs for the current NBA, Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning would still be effective, Patrick Ewing would have a lesser offensive role but would still be a max player. We were spoiled because the era of great centers ended.

I think 4 smalls are ok in the lineup, 5 smalls not so much. Someone has to rebound, play interior defense. Dantonio needs to go, too defensively indifferent to really do the requirements that lineup would need.

 

Note: actually 5 smalls could work for 6 to 8 minutes at a time, at that moment the opposing bigs start getting tired to run them into the ground. So say 6 minutes each half.

Just now, Badger said:

I think 4 smalls are ok in the lineup, 5 smalls not so much. Someone has to rebound, play interior defense. Dantonio needs to go, too defensively indifferent to really do the requirements that lineup would need.

 

Note: actually 5 smalls could work for 6 to 8 minutes at a time, at that moment the opposing bigs start getting tired to run them into the ground. So say 6 minutes each half.

Edit: especially late 3rd and early 4th period.

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34 minutes ago, Pariah said:

Wait, what?! 

 

30 point turnaround in the second half.  Nuggets upped their level;  Clippers went tortilla-flat.  No disrespect to Denver, but the Clips also played horribly.

 

If the Nuggets do finish off the comeback...ya gotta question whether Doc Rivers will be out.  With George and Kawhi, and they still can't make the *conference* finals?  Out in the first round for 2 straight years;  miss the playoffs for 2 years.  Favorites to win the whole thing...and they may yet do it.  But if they lose Tuesday, that will be Very Bad.

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Well.  All the control rods got pulled, and the Clippers reactor has melted down.  Brian Windhorst writes it won't explode (this year) because it can't.  They have no choice;  the moves they made, especially the Paul George trade, have gutted them in the draft.

 

And man...Paul George in particular is going to have to answer.  Last 3 games...8-18, 9-21, and tonight an AWFUL 4-16 shooting.  +/- is a tricky stat, but when you're a starter and play 30+ minutes it's meaningful.  -23 and -20 the last 2 games.

 

I'm totally going with choke.  Blow *big* leads in the 4th.  Once the runs began in earnest by Denver...seemingly no ability to respond, to rise to the moment.  35 points in the 2nd half in game 6;  33 tonight.  They collapsed more thoroughly than a papier mache house in a Florida thunderstorm.

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