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Rick Senger
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Posted: 23 August 2018 at 2:55pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

The competition committee has recommended a couple rules changes to the Board of Governors.  1) The shot clock gets reset to 14 secs rather than the usual 24 on an offensive rebound.  2) Clarification of "clear path" fouls to remove ref subjectivity.  3) More instances where instant replay is allowed on controversial plays.  They will vote on 9/21.

I'm for all of these I think.  Shortening the shot clock on offensive rebounds will result in less standing around / more action, usually a good thing.  The murkiness and interpretive inconsistency of the "clear path" foul rule has been a standing joke for years.  Allowing instant replays more often may slow the game but it allows refs to make the right call, which is worth it.  My only concern is whether refs will start looking at even the most benign interactions looking for "hostile acts."  Part of what makes the NBA compelling is the physical play and passionate conflict so I hope this isn't a prelude to restricting behavior too much (if it's intended to cut down on some of the rampant bitching I'm for it but we'll see.)

They still haven't solved intentional fouling, however. 


Edited by Rick Senger on 23 August 2018 at 3:10pm
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 23 August 2018 at 5:52pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

How to solve intentional fouling:

Two shots and the ball. Done.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 23 August 2018 at 6:03pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The game turns into a joke when a coach resigns to the "hack-a-whoever" strategy.

Joe's got the right answer.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 23 August 2018 at 7:35pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Yeah, I don't see much fan disagreement about this.  It doesn't just slow the game to a crawl it's ugly to watch.  Too bad the teams and league can't get together on it.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 25 August 2018 at 8:44pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I really like Joe's idea for intentional fouling.

Shortening the clock on offensive rebounds should have been done ages ago, though.




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Rick Senger
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Posted: 13 September 2018 at 9:30am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Russell Westbrook's knee surgery has to give OKC fans pause, particularly since he waited until now to go under the knife mere weeks before preseason.  The "standard scope" will cost him the entire preseason and likely some early games, and one would think he might also need some time to adjust when he returns.  One of my very favorite players so I hope he's ok.


Edited by Rick Senger on 13 September 2018 at 9:31am
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 20 September 2018 at 6:01pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Kyrie Irving's successful trade request last year (and Kawhi's some months back) probably helped inspire Jimmy Butler's similar request (with preferred teams) yesterday.   His interest in the Knicks was already an open rumor but the Clippers and Nets making the list was a bit of a surprise.  Wonder where he ends up.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 20 September 2018 at 7:11pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Apparently, the Clippers is Butler's preferred
destination.

I'd like to see him with the Nets. They have a good
coach and a young team. It would also help attract
Kyrie. The Knick is always going to be a mess.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 23 September 2018 at 9:33am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Fascinating to see the dysfunction in Minnesota play out... Thibs etal saying they have no plans to trade Butler but the owner saying they're "open for business" and to bypass the front office if necessary and go directly to him.  Thibs gave up a lot for Butler and obviously he knows his job is probably lost when Butler gets traded for something lesser and Minnesota misses the playoffs.  Really his job is already lost barring something miraculous, though.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 23 September 2018 at 2:46pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Rick, any reasons given as to why Butler wants to leave?
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 23 September 2018 at 3:51pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

The rumors I've heard suggest Butler had chemistry issues with KAT and Wiggins (possibly he didn't approve of their (lacking) work ethic?)  Dunno if that's the real and main issue but considering Butler came in as a Thibodeau booster something must have been pretty wrong for him to reverse course after just one season.

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Rick Senger
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Posted: 15 October 2018 at 12:02pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Surprised no Butler deal has emerged given the owner's vow to move him quickly.  Thibs says he's expected to start their first game, which could be all kinds of awkward.  Since the Knicks apparently have no intention of signing Porzingis to a max extension by today, their having just stretched and waived Noah does make space for Butler.  What could they offer? 

Wellll, there's Porzingis, who seemed untouchable until his serious injury (but probably still is).  There's Tim Hardaway (17.5 PPG), Courtney Lee, Enes Kanter, Trey Burke and Ntilikina.  Given no other teams have apparently really made legit offers, some combination of those players seems plausible to get a deal done if they want.  But then, Butler's a two-way player and the Knicks don't seem to covet that.

The Celtics have looked sluggish pre-season and Gordon Hayward has looked rusty in particular.  Boston opens with 4 games in 6 nights (including Philly and at Toronto) so they'll be tested right out of the gate.

The regular season starts tomorrow night!!
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 16 October 2018 at 2:27pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

NBA starts tonight! Iím picking Celtics over Rockets in the Finals with
Embiid as my MVP pick. Letís get it on!!!
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 16 October 2018 at 3:03pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Joe, I thought you seemed down on Houston after Ariza and Mbah a Moute left and Melo signed on?  Anyway I believe it's either Boston (great balance, best D to challenge GS and when healthy, plenty of guys to create their own shots), Houston (scary good offense; if Paul stays healthy they're unreal) or GS (ridiculous firepower, particularly if Boogie can make it back by Feb.) Though my heart says Boston my head says it's still GS' world barring major injuries or sheer player apathy.  Embiid as MVP is a bold pick; if he stays healthy nobody can stop him (or his hilarious tweets) but I say he's still two years away.  I'm picking either  Giannis or LeBron (whoever's team has the better record will win MVP.)
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 16 October 2018 at 3:15pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Rick,

I was sort of down on Houston's moves but I decided I
would roll with Harden, Paul and Melo with a lot to
prove. I really like Capella too.

I look for Philly to at least be the second best team
in the East and for Embiid to but up something like
24-12 with a couple blocks. I don't think the Lakers
or Bucks will be good enough for LeBron or Giannis to
win MVP. I don't see LeBron playing major minutes
like he has been either, I think they'll scale him
back for next year when they have Kawhi, Anthony
Davis, Jimmy Butler and Kevin Durant all join the
Lakers. I only sort of think that's a joke...
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 17 October 2018 at 10:41am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I'm betting on LeBron because that "best player on the planet" moniker has stuck as many others have won the trophy for years now and because if LA can win 10 or 15 games more than last year and get to the playoffs for the first time in 5 years he'll get much of the credit.  I agree they should rest him more in his 33rd year but somehow I don't see much coming, particularly on a young rough shooting Laker team that will need his shotmaking and steadying hand..  Giannis is simply the next great player in line for the trophy who hasn't gotten it yet on a team heading in the right direction.  But for either to win their teams absolutely must get to about 50 wins, which is far from a given.

Watching the Celtics last night, I feel better.  Kyrie had a horrific shooting night and Hayward continues to be off though he did make a couple shots and had 4 steals but the other guys stepped up and the defensive intensity was unreal.  Tatum and Rozier looked every bit as good as in the playoffs and Horford, Smart, Baynes and Morris all smothered a good Philly team into a ton of turnovers.  I really liked how Tatum went straight at Embiid in the fourth then glared at him after scoring.  As long as they can maintain that level of activity / aggression I feel good about their chances to come out of the East.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 18 October 2018 at 8:26am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

The Thunder looked good against the Warriors despite losing by eight
points. IMO, the Warriors should have won by a wider margin with
Westbrook still out. My concern about the Warriors this season is Andre
Iguodala. He seems more prone to injury as he gets older.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 18 October 2018 at 2:42pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Decent start for Kawhi Leonard with the Raptors, scoring 24 points and getting a lot of on-court minutes, while Kyle Lowry scored 27.

Nothing worth getting carried away over, of course, but the Raptors looked solid.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 18 October 2018 at 2:42pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

You're right about Iguodala's mounting injuries plus he'll be 35 in January.  Besides this and the inevitable malaise a team who has won three of the last for titles faces, GS also has huge salary issues coming. 

Curry is locked in but his avg. salary will be about $41.5 mill / yr so that only leaves $63 mill for the entire rest of the team to stay at the cap.  Obviously that's impossible and they're already $44 mill over the cap this year NOT including taxes.  You can do that once but when you start repeating it the taxes for every dollar $20 mill over the cap become ridiculous.  Next year Klay Thompson's $18.98 mill is going to jump to $30+ mill / year IF they can re-sign him, Durant has a player option and if Boogie can return to form there's not much chance they can keep his $5 mill salary from quintupling.  The following year nobody meaningful is under contract except Curry.  In short, given the crippling repeater tax penalties that kick in when you stay over the cap multiple years in a row, GS' finances are going to be untenable.  They could be looking at going $80 mill over the cap which would be just too much when you factor in the additional $200+ mill they'd have to pay in repeater tax penalties. 

They are moving into a brand new, state-of-the-art arena next year and if they win another title perhaps they'll get some player good will on salaries but one of the first players I see them letting go after next year is Iguodala and even then they'll be way, way over the cap. 


Edited by Rick Senger on 18 October 2018 at 2:43pm
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 20 October 2018 at 10:12am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

It's a small sample but two games in Kawhi has probably silenced most lingering injury questions, including utter domination on both ends in Toronto's solid victory over Boston last night.  His move east (north?) also blunts the talk of talent draining to the west and may bring balance at the top of the conferences.  Toronto looked good.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 20 October 2018 at 11:07am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

$30 million for Klay Thompson? Not worth it. Assuming Cousins is back
to his old self, would it make sense to sign a longer term deal with
Cousins and let Klay walk.

What an exciting game with the Jazz last night. I really have to stop
doubting the Warriors.

Kawhi is so good. He doesnít do anything fancy, but gets the job done.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 20 October 2018 at 11:12pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Raptors have won 3 games in 4 days, including edging the Wizards without Kawhi Leonard. Lowry is in his prime, Green and Leonard bring top-dog experience to a young team and yet there are no rookies. I am hopeful.

Edited by Peter Martin on 20 October 2018 at 11:14pm
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 20 October 2018 at 11:41pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Assuming Cousins is back
to his old self, would it make sense to sign a longer term deal with
Cousins and let Klay walk.
*****
Cousins is 6 months younger, 4 inches taller, averaged 5.2 more PPG,  8.9 more rebs, 2.9 more assists, 0.8 more steals, and 1.1 more blocks per game last year than Thompson.   They're both capable defenders but Klay is a prodigiously better shooter (particularly from range) though Boogie's an all star offensive presence himself and had a career year  until the achilles injury took him down.  Boogie is a bit of a headcase with a rep for being disruptive as well as missing a lot more games to injury, something to consider.  
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 21 October 2018 at 8:50pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Lakers' / Rockets melee results in 4 and 3 game suspensions for Ingram and Rondo (and 2 games for Chris Paul.)  Winnable games vs. Phoenix and San Antonio now could be tough meaning LA could be 0-6 by the time the suspensions end.  Rondo claims he didn't spit on Paul and that his mouthpiece would make spitting difficult anyway, but a close-up of the incident suggests to me that he did it (best seen at 47 seconds in.)


Edited by Rick Senger on 21 October 2018 at 8:51pm
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 22 October 2018 at 10:52am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

I can't say I'm sad that CP3 and Rondo punched each
other in the face. Paul is a dirty player and Rondo is
just an asshole. Rondo is such a self-destructive
person. Pretty soon, no team is going to want to play
with him.

I wonder if LeBron is already regretting his decision to
join the Lakers.
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