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I don't see how firing their coach will get Toronto past their LeBron hump.

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It'll be Budenholzer, right? He's a good coach if he has good players.

 

I'm kind of interested to see if Blatt ever comes back to the league.

 

Casey might be good for Milwaukee. Stackhouse for Detroit. Hammon not yet.

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4 minutes ago, DG_Now said:

It'll be Budenholzer, right? He's a good coach if he has good players.

His crowning achievement is taking a deep Hawks team led by B-list "stars" to a 1 seed and picking up a Coach of the Year just to be decimated by LeBron James. What on earth is the difference?

 

It looks like the Raptors built as good of a team as can be hoped for in a market that is not a free agent destination. Their peak is probably conference finals, and they did that in '16. With the Bucks, Sixers, and Celtics on the rise, and LeBron refusing to age, they've got nowhere to go. It's a structural problem of the NBA that seemingly no matter how deep the talent pool gets, certain teams are just never going to reach the top. 

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If The Capitals can beat The Penguins in the playoffs, then surely one day The Raptors can win a series against Lebron James. 

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On 5/9/2018 at 10:31 PM, Jimmy Lethal said:

And the four teams literally everyone expected in the Conference Finals make it. But this season was going to be different.

"It's the most wide-open NBA playoffs in ages!"
*playoffs are Golden State, Houston, Boston, and LeBron*

"Well sure, but consider the fact that they could have lost!"

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ITT: the NBA is stupid and dumb and we're all very clever.

 

The NBA, more than any other sport, relies on individual talent. It's the history of the league that good teams stay good for extended periods of time. None of this is new.

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Baseball relies more on individual talent than basketball does and isn't on the verge of the same two teams playing for its championship four years in a row. If you want to have a two-team league, have a two-team league, but don't tell me it's the zenith of all professional sports.

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2 hours ago, the admiral said:

"It's the most wide-open NBA playoffs in ages!"
*playoffs are Golden State, Houston, Boston, and LeBron*

"Well sure, but consider the fact that they could have lost!"

I'll laugh if it's the Cavs and Warriors again.

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This fact here really does illustrate it all:

 

8 hours ago, Digby said:

The fact the Celtics were the last non-LeBron team to make it out of the east 8 years ago and could be the next only makes me wonder WTF the other 13 teams have been doing in this time.

 

7 hours ago, Crabcake47 said:

Not having LeBron. 

 

I got so sick and tired of hearing people go on and on of how exciting and entertaining the NBA was this season from top to bottom and how wide open the playoffs were going to be, talking themselves into "well, they could do it!". (Case in point, I haven't listened to a Bill Simmons podcast in full since the end of football season. And his nominal talk about the NHL recently is... painful.) All four conference semifinals were done in five games or less. And all that produced was the conference finals anybody, even me the NBA extreme-casual, could have picked before the season. And if the favorites prevail as they probably should? Another Cavs-Warriors Finals. After the Cavs and Warriors both didn't put their best foot forward all season. Cool, I guess.

 

As DG said, none of this is new with the NBA. But, as admiral alluded to, it'd be nice if NBA fans admitted that more often instead of telling everyone how great it all is.

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There's a clear moral valence to cheerleading for the NBA that didn't exist pre-Trump.

 

25 minutes ago, jmac11281 said:

I'll laugh if it's the Cavs and Warriors again.

Nobody would be cooing over four straight years of Blackhawks-Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final. There sure wouldn't be any Deadspin pieces about how Sidney Crosby is a tortured intellectual who is forced to withhold the passions of his throbbing brain so he can instead grace us with his amazing body, as much a blessing as it is a curse, for he reminds us of our limitations and mortality. It'd probably just be "Look At How Dumb This Dumb League Is For Being So Dumb."

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This might sound condescending, but whatever. The sheer nature of the sport is set up to virtually ensure that the better team prevails. Each team has 100+ possessions on both offense and defense, a massive sample size that gives the better team dozens of opportunities to separate itself from a lesser opponent. The games themselves are unlikely to spit out a random victor that's the result of a very small number of possessions (e.g. football) or points scored (hockey, baseball, soccer). Add the profit incentive of extending every series to a best-of-7, and you will almost never have an upset in the NBA. 

 

For some people, particularly those that don't get a hard on for a no-look assist, that's a deal breaker, and I understand it well enough. As a casual fan of other leagues, I get way more excited to tune in to see a perennial favorite finally lose. In the NBA, I enjoy the rare upset, but I don't need it. I don't really see the problem in having a system that nearly always rewards a championship to the best team. It shifts too much attention to offseason moves relative to regular season play, but the playoffs make it worth it for me. 

 

Whatever the league lacks in parity, it makes up for it in the number of people telling its fans that they shouldn't enjoy it.

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Okay yeah but we're past "NBA teams dominate for a long time and that's okay" and into "the same two teams could play in the Finals for four years in a row." That's not okay! That's UHL crap!

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5 minutes ago, the admiral said:

Okay yeah but we're past "NBA teams dominate for a long time and that's okay" and into "the same two teams could play in the Finals for four years in a row." That's not okay! That's UHL crap!

It's pretty much La liga crap with Barcelona and Real Madrid always winning

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3 hours ago, the admiral said:

There's a clear moral valence to cheerleading for the NBA that didn't exist pre-Trump.

 

This is true. It's also why watching WWE makes me feel dirty and wrong now... erm, more than it did before. Anyway, lack of parity aside, it's refreshing to see a sports league whose stars are willing to speak out on important issues without crumbling under the pressure of "stick to sports" hicks. I have far more respect for LeBron and Gregg Popovich now than I did in, say, 2014.

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6 hours ago, DG_Now said:

ITT: the NBA is stupid and dumb and we're all very clever.

 

The NBA, more than any other sport, relies on individual talent. It's the history of the league that good teams stay good for extended periods of time. None of this is new.

 

Do you realize how many of your posts endorse the process? 

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6 minutes ago, BringBackTheVet said:

 

Do you realize how many of your posts endorse the process? 

 

The Hinkie Sixers short-circuited player development. They hoped for injury and losing to have more bites at the apple. The losing was always the goal so the evaluation could continue to be pushed out. Hinkie never cared about building a team, he only cared about building assets. The only reason the Sixers performed this year is because the team fleshed out its core young talent with Redick, Ilyasova and Bellinielli. A Hinkie team wouldn't have signed those guys. That's why the process was a failure.

 

In contrast, here are successful teams who managed to be good over an extended period without throwing away seasons intentionally:

  • The Cavs, with Kyrie, TT, Dion Waiters, Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins. They complimented their productive players with key trades (Love) and free agent signings (LeBron James)
  • The Celtics, who traded an old core for #1 picks, but got exceptional value from most of their picks (Rozier, Smart, Brown, Tatum), trades (IT, Irving), and free agent signings (Horford, Hayward maybe)
  • The Thunder, who drafted well (Westbrook, Durant, Ibaka and Harden). Ownership is terrible though, and got rid of Harden for no good reason.
  • The Rockets, who built through trades and free agency by having an actual plan and built complementary pieces around Harden
  • The Warriors, who hit home runs on draft picks (Curry, Thompson, Green) and free agent signings (Durant, Iguodola) and organizational philosophy centered around winning.
  • The Spurs, who admittedly lucked into Tim Duncan, but then used smart drafting to pick up Tony Parker, Manu, and Kawhi

The Sixers' entire plan was to literally play the lottery and hope for the best. It looked like it almost worked out this year and may next year. But no, teams chasing long-term success in the NBA don't get there by losing every possible season.

 

---

A lot of you aren't going to like this!

 

Quote

But I also think it goes to something deeper than that, when people will make this argument — in a way that really bothers me. It goes to this idea that … as we’re making all of these amazing strides in society, in terms of increasing our social awareness, and making efforts toward ideas like diversity and equality, and just sort of creating this more inclusive world … somehow sports should be an exception. It’s this idea, for some people, that sports should almost be this haven, where it’s O.K. to be closed-minded — like a bubble for all of our worst ignorance. And that as athletes, if we have any problems with the way things are, we should (as the saying goes) “stick to sports.”

 

So when I see arguments — or even jokes — that we shouldn’t have female head coaches in the NBA because of “locker room” situations or whatever … I guess it just reminds me that, for as much progress as we’ve made as a league over these last few years … we still have a ways to go. Because let’s be real: There are pushes now for increased gender diversity in the workplace of pretty much every industry in the world. It’s what’s expected. More importantly — it’s what’s right. And yet the NBA should get a pass because some fans are willing to take it easy on us … because we’re “sports”?

I really hope not.

 

I hope the NBA will never feel satisfied with being forward-thinking “for a sports league.” Let’s strive to be forward-thinking for an industry of any kind.

 

I'm obviously a huge NBA guy and think it is the most enlightened among the American sports leagues, with full acknowledgment that sports leagues are a function of late-stage capitalism and therefore Bad. However, I don't think my NBA fandom means you have 1.) knock the league down a peg or 2.) complain about people who like things you don't. I manage to track the NHL playoffs without :censored:ting on game threads telling people their interests are misplaced.

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2 things:

1. The NBA's predictability is the reason I'll watch any NBA doc or read books about the history of the game, but find following it day-to-day and watching the individual games to be mostly a chore. I don't enjoy the actual sport the NBA plays enough to tune in every night.  I like it when it's all summed up after the fact as opposed to doing all that work to watch the same outcome so many times in a row. I'm basically "call me when BLANK guy/team of the moment passes the torch" fan. If it's Cavs-Warriors again I can't say I'd have much interest in that unless it goes to a sixth or seventh game. 

 

2. RE: The Process. There's no difference between a run of the mill tank job and the process except for The Process took longer and tricked an entire American city into believing it was smarter and more inventive than it actually is and that it was the only way. Every other market sees through that bullsheet (my theory: Philadelphia didn't want to believe it could possibly be the victim of one of its team's actually losing on purpose like a Milwaukee or Sacramento or Phoenix or Orlando etc unless there was more to it. "No, we're Philadelphia, we don't tank like those jabroni cities, we Process. Simple minds can't understand."). It's a tank that took longer than normal because Hinkie figured out he could rebuild in perpetuity and look "smart" for losing for forever because he could keep telling people it was all part of his master plan. This even worked when his moves didn't pan out as planned he could just keep saying "this was all part of the plan" and the stans believed in it harder. If he'd tried to compete, and it didn't work, then that's when the con would fall apart. So they finally collected some talent the way all tanks do (the rules are designed so bad teams don't stay bad forever) and now it's validated The Process because they got some guys, ignoring that they could've found comparable talent 2 years earlier if Hinkie had foreseen the direction the sport was moving or that they couldve built a competitor the way 3/4 conference finalists did it instead. The way sixers fans fell into the trap so fast is one of the more ridiculous things I've ever seen in sports. 

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2 hours ago, jmac11281 said:

It's pretty much La liga crap with Barcelona and Real Madrid always winning

 

It is, but also those are what, the two most valuable sports teams in the entire world not named the Cowboys or the Yankees? Does it diminish the brilliance of any Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo duel? Sure, I'm not thrilled if I'm a Valencia fan, but...

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