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Rick Senger
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Posted: 19 December 2018 at 4:06pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Classic James Harden shuffle travel from the other night which rarely gets called:  link

Russell Westbrook's uncanny mocking imitation of it from five months ago in front of Harden:  link
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 19 December 2018 at 4:29pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Ha!! That Westbrook imitation made me laugh!

What was even funnier was the NBA's step by step explanation of the play.
Then admitting that missed it, DUH.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 04 January 2019 at 3:03am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

As we approach mid-season, the top five teams in the East all have better records than their top five West counterparts.  From there every Western team is better than their corresponding Eastern team but there's still more parity at present in both conferences than I can recall in a long time. Only two teams are winning 70% of their games (Milwaukee and Toronto) and just 5 games separate #1 from #8 in the West.  I don't know anybody who predicted the top team in the East would be Milwaukee or that Denver and OKC would be tops in the West or that Brooklyn and Sacramento would be in real contention for playoff spots. 
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 04 January 2019 at 9:40am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

With Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valencunias having been out for a string of games, the Raptors have been labouring for their wins and last night against the Spurs they just couldn't compete. Their 3-point % has been dire in the last few games. Kawhi Leonard has not stopped performing, but against the Jazz the other night it took career-best points total for both him and Pasal Siakam to narrowly get the win. They need Lowry back in a hurry.

The Bucks do look like genuine contenders, not least because of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is having another colossal season. And the scary thing is that he is only 24.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 05 January 2019 at 12:14pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

The Greek Freak is absolutely unstoppable in the lane or with a head of steam (ala James) but he's a better rebounder and there are few guys at 6'11" who dish out 6.2 assists per game.  I also like that his stats keep improving incrementally each year, particularly shooting, rebounding and assists, which have all gone up in each of his six seasons.  That shows he's not just relying on his athleticism but is actually learning and improving. 
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 05 January 2019 at 10:17pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Great bounce-back for the Raptors against the Bucks in Minnesota today. Siakam with a new career-best 30 points and the defence was great all-round from the starters. Still concerns over the effectiveness of the bench players. Be interesting to see if Kawhai Leonard continues to sit out back-to-back games with the game against the Pacers on Sunday.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 17 January 2019 at 11:58am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

As we enter the second half, I'm more confused than ever about Boston.  Great win vs. Toronto last night and they get up for the big teams (wins vs OKC, Milwaukee, Indiana, 2-1 vs. Toronto, 2-0 vs Philly) but their inconsistency is shameful (sleepwalk losses vs. Phoenix, Orlando and the Knicks among many others.)  Clearly Kyrie is trying to mentor them to a championship ala LeBron but he's much less skilled at the leadership game and his recent criticisms haven't gone down well.

Harden is playing his ass off (his current scoring streak for the past 20 games is only equaled by 4 other players all-time (9 40 plus point games in his last 12.))  He may win another MVP but despite Houston's recent surge they can't go anywhere without Paul and Capela as shown by their OT loss to Brooklyn last night despite Harden's 58.

The Warriors have quietly regained the west top spot but after playing  the Clips tomorrow we could know a lot more.  When Boogie debuts after rehabbing his achilles for a year he most likely won't have a definitive game either way but if he even gets just 15 and 8 I'm cashing in my chips because combined with Curry's recent explosion, the Warriors just have way too much firepower no matter how complacent they get.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 17 January 2019 at 1:44pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Interesting discussion between Pippen and Tracy McGrady on how to guard James Harden and Michael Jordan.  Basically, exactly opposite approaches for each.  link
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 18 January 2019 at 1:45am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

FiveThirtyEight had an article on James Hardenís high usage rate that
was interesting. He is at 40% now. No team with a player with a rate
over 35% has ever won an NBA title that season. In fact, the highest
seven players for the season usually get knocked out in the first round.

Separately, the Nets have really impressed me this season. They have
no franchise player, yet they are sitting in sixth place in the East.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 18 January 2019 at 4:31pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Yeah, 40% seems unsustainable for a team that wants to win if for no other reason than that no player can reasonably keep that up plus you need multiple reliable options in the playoffs. 

Brooklyn's young core is maturing.  D'Angelo Russell is having his best year, La Vert's gruesome Hayward-looking injury interrupted a promising season but he looks to return later this year, Dinwiddie and Jarrett Allen are both clearly better and mid-second round pick Latvian Rodions Kurucs is overachieving, giving them 10 a night but more like 14 or 15 in the last month.

Both reigning MVP Harden and consecutive Finals MVP Durant likely won't be voted into the All Star Game by the fans.   Luka Doncic and Paul George are in front of Durant and Derrick Rose (!) and Curry are outpacing Harden.   Rose is having a solid comeback year and should get most improved player consideration but how do you pick him over Durant whose stats dwarf Rose's top to bottom plus Rose's team won't make the playoffs?  Similarly, Doncic is a polished rookie but his getting more votes than both Harden and Curry is absurd given his numbers and Dallas' non-playoff status.  They'll get in thanks to the coaches but come on fans!


Edited by Rick Senger on 18 January 2019 at 5:50pm
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 24 January 2019 at 5:37pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Ah man.  Oladipo done for the season
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 24 January 2019 at 6:47pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

That sucks!

I always want to see the best vs. the best come playoff time.

He's young I know he will return stronger than ever.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 28 January 2019 at 10:37am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Anthony Davis' trade request isn't that surprising but it is devastating to New Orleans, who has had plenty of talent over the last decade but just can't seem to keep any of it.  They've now lost Chris Paul, Buddy Hield, Rajon Rondo, Boogie Cousins and soon Davis all in the last eight years (the last three in successive seasons.)  Boston and LA both have disappointed this year and are rumored to want him so I wouldn't be surprised if some major offers get floated.


Edited by Rick Senger on 28 January 2019 at 3:00pm
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 01 February 2019 at 3:05pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Such an interesting trade.  If it's true Porzingis told Knicks mgmt. he wasn't on board he looks like quite an ass not having even played in a year and given his injury history.  He may be a unicorn but I don't blame NY though I think Dallas traded a lot of their own problems away too.  PG Dennis Smith had no future alongside Doncic and Wesley Johnson and DeAndre Jordan's expiring contracts may be worth more as buy-outs and cap room to the Knicks.  Dallas' two future first round picks have potential but are many years away and NY also gave up Tim Hardaway Jr (19.1 PPG) and Trey Burke (11.8 PPG).  I think the Mavs won this one short term, assuming Porzingis comes back healthy and productive.  If not, those eventual picks may tip the scales and NY now has a shot at two max players this summer (the media is already firing up the Kyrie / Kawhi / KD rumors.)
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 01 February 2019 at 5:36pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I don't know why the Knicks are so confident they will be
able to attract two superstars for next season. They do
not have a winning culture. The Nets would be a better
destination for a max player interested in coming to NYC.

Re AD, the media loves to talk up him up and how teams
will give up all those assets for him. I may be in the
minority, but he seems overrated to me. He does not have
a winning record and is injury-prone. He is a great
player, but not as someone to build a team around. He is
more of a second scoring option.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 01 February 2019 at 6:16pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

When I see "AD" I think Adrian Dantley .
Man I'm stuck in the past!
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Robert Bradley
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Posted: 02 February 2019 at 6:59am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

The Knicks should have about $74 million in cap space next offseason.

And despite all their difficulties, playing in New York in Madison Square Garden will have a lot of appeal to some players.

And despite being able to unload a couple of contracts and Porzingis's in jury it's a huge gamble.

As for Dallas, there's the threat that Porzingis has lingering effects from the knee injury and that he accepts the qualifying offer and ends up just being a rental, but from their perspective it's a gamble they have to take.

As for Anthony Davis - I think it behooves New Orleans to be patient and wait until Boston can enter the bidding.  Unless the Lakers want to knock them over with a huge offer (which they haven't yet), there's no hurry to trade him - the market will still be there in the summer.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 02 February 2019 at 8:30am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

I loved AD's dad calling out the Celtics for their lack
of loyalty towards Isaiah Thomas.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 02 February 2019 at 10:31am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Don't love AD's dad doing that (I'm a Celtics fan remember), but yeah, definitely Trader Dan's pirate history came back to bite him!   It was a harsh move at the time, but history will judge that Boston fleeced Cleve, getting MVP candidate Kyrie Irving for several players who were soon traded and IT hasn't even played this year.  The Brooklyn pick Boston gave up wound up being Colin Sexton, a weak shooting volume scorer (he could get better though).

Davis is a very, very, very good player with great stats (29+ / 13+ / 4+ / 2.6 blocked shots) who gets to the line a lot, shoots FTs and FGs well and turns over the ball little.  Not much wrong with his numbers though I agree he's never been a winner.  Still, neither was Michael for a similar amount of time (though his teams were trending in the right direction sooner).   My concern is that Davis (I also think of AD as Adrian Dantley!) has a history of injury though he's played 75 games each of the last two seasons.  Between Kyrie's injuries, Hayward's sluggish recovery, Morris Sr's bad knees and the age of Horford, Boston doesn't need another guy who tends to get hurt.   I have a feeling it's going to be Boston, though, as NO doesn't want Davis in their conference (particularly in LA) and Boston has the right mix of good players and nice picks to dangle if they want.

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Rick Senger
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Posted: 02 February 2019 at 10:52am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

The NY media all seem to love the Porzingis trade and it certainly will work if they get their two good max players this summer but Porzingis is still on his rookie contract (~5 mill / yr) so it's sad the only way they could unload those other big contracts was by using Porzingis as the bait.  And just because there is space is no guarantee it happens.  The Knicks have cleared out the deadwood, though, and one or two judicious summer acquisitions plus those future picks (PLUS their own high pick, which has a 14+% shot at Zion Williamson), could make them relevant.  And it is true that there is almost no history regarding 7'3" guys coming back from ACL injuries. 


Edited by Rick Senger on 02 February 2019 at 11:03am
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 11:36pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Regarding Anthony Davis, its too bad his contract has one more year on it. If it expired at the end of this season, it could be a `You'll take what we give you and like it, or we'll just wait and sign him once his contract runs out and you can pound sand' scenario. Latest rumor I'm hearing is that they may make a 8 player trade offer for him!

I think they should pull the trigger on that, but I've also read that he would be willing to sign long-term deals with the Knicks, Bucks or Clippers besides the Lakers.

Now, I'm going to be steaming if he ends up a Clipper. I'm still to this day ticked off at David Stern for interfering and putting CP3 on the wrong L.A. team. I want karma to bite the Clippers over that. And I have no clue why anyone would willingly want to be a Knick. Because no matter what roster they have, I'm sure that management/ownership will screw things up. The Bucks and Knicks don't really have much to offer the Pelicans for him, so I can't see him ending up traded to either team.....

 

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Rick Senger
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Posted: 05 February 2019 at 1:00pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Boston can offer Tatum and/or Brown and/or Rozier and/or Morris and others plus a passel of viable draft picks (their own plus Memphis, Sacramento, and/or Clippers first rounders) and NO would see Davis less in that conference.  But it certainly seems Magic is backing up the truck in offering basically every player not named LeBron plus some picks but apparently NO wants FOUR first round picks, which is pretty insane.  I don't think Magic is dumb enough to do that but if he is, LA could get him. 

Watching Boston play OKC on Sunday, I had to marvel at Westbrook.  Even in what is considered a down year (Paul George's great season is getting a lot more MVP heat b/c Westbrook is shooting badly) RW is STILL averaging a triple double and is at career highs at age 30 in rebounding, assists and steals.  At 6'3" I cannot believe he's able to haul in 10.9 rebounds a game.  It could be three straight years of triple doubles, something only done once for one year by Oscar Robertson and previously assumed to be one of those unduplicatable Dimaggio-type streaks.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 05 February 2019 at 1:04pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

More bad news for the Wizard's John Wall. He ruptured his
left Achilles tendon and will be out for the next 12
months.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 05 February 2019 at 1:42pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Rick, with all the players the Lakers may be offering up, anything more than two first round picks would be insane. I could see maybe tossing in a couple of second round and a third round, but no way they should give up four first round picks for AD. He's a great player, but not worth potentially crippling the team over.

And if they do give up second round picks, they shouldn't be in the same years as the first round picks.


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Rick Senger
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Posted: 05 February 2019 at 2:34pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Lakers have apparently pulled out of talks amid "outrageous" Pelicans requests link

At the request of the Pelicans, the Lakers changed their offer to basically  their entire young roster including Ball, Kuzma, Ingram, Josh Hart and Zubac as well as KCP and two first round picks.  And they were willing to take back Solomon Hill's bloated contract.  Pelicans countered with a request for  "six to eight draft picks."  Nuts to that.  To me the Lakers' offer is pretty reasonable.

The Pelicans could still lower their demands before Thursday, but it sounds like otherwise that deal is dead until summer if it's going to happen.
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