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Archive for May 2012

No, the NBA lottery is not rigged, if you think so you’re not looking at this close enough

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Anthony Davis Jordan Brand Classic 2011

Anthony Davis Jordan Brand Classic 2011 (Photo credit: BasketballElite)

The New Orleans Hornets won the 2012 NBA lottery and Anthony Davis sweepstakes and predictably the “rigged!” chorus has begun. The Hornets were owned by the NBA until a (not finalized) deal with Tom Benson, Saints owner. The natural joke is that Davis was a condition for the sale.

The slight entertainment of the jokes aside, in reality actually believing there’s a chance this thing is rigged is inane for a few reasons.

The first is pragmatically, it’d take an Ocean’s Eleven complexity of heist to do it. The lottery is in reality drawn by a 4 ball combination – plus representatives from Ernst & Young, big-shot accounting firm, preside over it specifically to legitimize the process and separate the NBA from control in it.

But there may be an even bigger reason the NBA rigging the lottery doesn’t make sense: The motive.

Essentially for the NBA to do this would be the equivalent of me going out and murdering someone, in terms of the repercussions the NBA and those involved in the fraud would get for it. There’s a reason no (sane) people go out and murder people over trivial things, because the repercussions far outweigh the motive to do it. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

May 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm

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2012 NBA Mock Draft – May 26th, 2012

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This is the first of my 1st round mock drafts for this season. It is not based on sources, just my intuition about what each team’s perspective will be going into the draft. I used the order according to team record. I will do a second mock after the lottery.

1. Charlotte Bobcats – PF Anthony Davis – The consensus #1 pick, there will be zero questions about who the Bobcats take if they get 1st overall. He is projected as a franchise changing prospect.

2. Washington Wizards – SG Bradley Beal – Washington likely chooses between Beal and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, giving John Wall a partner on the perimeter. Beal compliments him as a shooter and more importantly, is without as much offensive concerns.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers – SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – I’d got Cleveland taking Kidd-Gilchrist over anyone but Davis. “MKG” gives the Cavs a SF with huge defense/rebounding/leadership upside, solidifying a perimeter with PG Kyrie Irving for the next decade.

4. New Orleans Hornets – PF Thomas Robinson – New Orleans seems like the fitting spot for Robinson to me. Robinson is an older player who’s immediate production in the Hornets frontcourt with C Emeka Okafor, can appease the uber competitive SG Eric Gordon enough to sign long term this summer.

5. Sacramento Kings – C Andre Drummond – The Kings don’t need any more shot needing perimeter players and could use a shotblocker beside the offensive Demarcus Cousins. Drummond is another squeaky wheel mentally for the Kings, but I expect them to be glad to take Drummond for his shotblocking potential without needing the ball offensively at this spot. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

May 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Posted in NBA Draft

Video Blog #3 – Where Do They Go From Here? (Grizzlies, Nuggets, Mavericks, Jazz)

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In this blog I discuss the futures and upcoming summers for the Western Conference teams eliminated in Round 1.

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May 21, 2012 at 3:18 pm

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Thought on Heat Pacers Game 4: Wade punches the Pacers in the face, Lebron has a potential moment

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Miami Heat forward LeBron James and Miami Heat...

Miami Heat forward LeBron James and Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade after their win against the Washington Wizards during an NBA basketball game in Washington, on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010. The Heat won 95-94. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First off, I want to give credit to Lebron James for that game. It is slightly disrespectful to talk about him 2nd most when he drops a 40 pts, 18 rebound, 9 assist game. Without Lebron the Heat neither would’ve been close at halftime nor would they have put on such a show in the second half. If the Heat win a title this game will go down as an important one for him.

However I can’t help but feel that game belonged to Dwyane Wade. Good players produce in the playoffs, but great players change games. Dwyane Wade completley changed Game 4 and arguably the series. When the Pacers led 61-51 with 8:29 left in the 3rd, they really were in control of the game and play. They had seen a strong game from Lebron in the 1st half but were content to simply outproduce him as a team versus one man. As soon as Wade tapped into his 2006 and 2011 Finals form from that point forward, the game belonged to the Heat. They had the superior energy level and confidence on both ends, with Lebron and the Heat’s defense riding the momentum wave to their best half of the playoffs.

Ultimately this is the reason why we value big performances and winners in the playoffs. The players who come up winners in the postseason are most often the ones who have moments like this. With the Heat looking nearly dead on the scoreboard and in energy level, Dwyane Wade changed his team’s fate – and in the NBA playoffs one half can make all the difference. This is something stats can’t quite capture. Wade could’ve had an identical 13-23 30 pt, 9 rebound, 6 assist game but in a drastically different way – say with 10 pts in the 1st, 10 in the 2nd, 5 in the 3rd, and 5 in the 4th and it may have led to a game the Pacers controlled confidently, then closed out in the 2nd half. But what he did in this game truly dropped an anvil on the Pacers’ head – which may be the most effective way to steal control of a series on the road. The scariest part about the Heat in their 2 seasons has always been their ability to put together 8 to 12 pt runs at any time, due to their speed off strong defensive plays. If they go onto compete for a title I believe it will be have to be in a fashion similar to this. Games that look ugly and close for some time, then broken open by unstoppable runs by its two stars. This game was a good start.

Written by jr.

May 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm

NBA Draft Scouting Video: Anthony Davis

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Second in my series of draft scouting videos. Includes analysis of likely #1 pick Anthony Davis’ shotblocking, defensive movement, post defense, driving to the basket, shooting, post scoring, post misses, passing, screen setting, rebounding.

Written by jr.

May 18, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Is Lebron’s Game 3 against the Pacers destined to be a forgotten meltdown?

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Wizards v/s Heat 03/30/11

Wizards v/s Heat 03/30/11 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I watched the Heat let the Pacers blow them out to a 2-1 lead in Game 3, I eagerly awaited for the 3rd year in a row, the morning after reaction to yet another Lebron disappearance in the most important game of the season so far. From a 43-43 tied score at halftime to the 4:16 mark of the 4th when lead 86-67 (the game essentially over), Lebron went 1-7 with no free throw line attempts except a missed technical (bookended by a Granger staredown and Lance Stephenson choke sign) and no shot attempts within 10 feet – for 2 total points. Once again in game seizing time, Lebron’s production shrank as he timidly put up jumpshots.

Yet the reaction has been nowhere near what it was after the disappearing act in the 2011 Finals or Game 5 against Boston in 2010. The reason for this is a few things. Thanks to his play in the first half and garbage time, Lebron still put up 22 pts (10-22), 7 rebounds, 3 assists, a respectable number. Secondly Wade had arguably the worst game of his career, let alone playoff career, with 5 pts (2-13), 5 TOVs, and a scuffle with Erik Spoelestra, to wear the goathorns moreso than James. Finally, as has been the case the rest of the series, the Heat simply had no depth past Lebron, Wade and Mario Chalmers’ excellent 25 pt night offensively – with Shane Battier, Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem continuing to be MIA.

Thus the reaction has been for the most part that Lebron simply didn’t have the help this game, as he hasn’t all series.

I’m not buying it. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

May 18, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Video Blog #2 – Where Do They Go From Here? (Knicks, Bulls, Magic, Hawks)

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Video Blog #2 – Discussion of the Eastern Conference teams who were eliminated in Round 1 of the playoffs (New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic, Atlanta Hawks). Topics include the need for patience for the Knicks, the worry of the Thibodeau effect wearing out next season for the Bulls, the Magic’s Howard and Anderson decisions this summer, and whether the Hawks should trade one of their star players

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May 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm

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Deron Williams and the Indiana Pacers: A match made in heaven that is unlikely to happen due to silly reasons

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Deron Williams NBA Draft 2005

Deron Williams NBA Draft 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since Dwight Howard picked up his player option with the Orlando Magic, Deron Williams has been the big free agent prize of this summer. He’s an elite talent with size and explosiveness, elite playmaking and feel for the game and an outside shot – easily a top 5 player at the PG position. Deron has had a turbulent handful of seasons since a fed up Utah Jazz sent him to the NBA’s version of Siberia in the New Jersey Nets, then on the verge of a team-up with Dwight Howard, a W.T.F. move from his Dwightness by picking up next season’s player option left Deron without the assurance he’ll have Howard if he resigns with the Nets this year. Furthermore the “other option”, the Dallas Mavericks, certainly don’t look like a plum deal. Dirk Nowitzki may be a 2nd star, but he just finished his 14th season which is as far as the primes of even the most longevity friendly stars go and both he and the Mavericks certainly didn’t look like themselves this year. The Mavericks also have next to no long term, young talent to surround Deron Williams with. The Mavericks are not a great long term situation for Deron. Their appeal likes with Marc Cuban’s strength as an owner/GM – But is that enough?

The truth is there’s a perfect situation for Deron Williams out there – and they have the capspace enough to sign him this summer. It’s the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers are in the 2nd round after a 50 W+ equivalent season and have a loaded group of talented forwards in Danny Granger, Paul George, David West, Tyler Hansbrough and Roy Hibbert. The biggest thing holding them back is the lack of a finger to pull the trigger on that gun – the backcourt creating talent to make it all come together. If they made a stat comparing PG production to replacement level, they might as well call it “Wins over Darren Collision” – Oh and Collision is their starting point. The Pacers have the frontcourt offense and defensive talent that a star guard would likely make them contenders. Who could be a better fit than Deron Williams? The Pacers would be the perfect supporting cast for him. Granger gives him a secondary perimeter scorer, George hits open 3s and defends at an elite rate, he can play the pick and pop/roll game with David West, and Hibbert anchors the defense and scores in the post. It’s a team with both the talent level and fit to contend for an NBA title year in and year out. Read the rest of this entry »

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May 11, 2012 at 2:35 pm

NBA Draft Scouting Video: Jared Sullinger

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I put together this video breakdown of Ohio State lottery prospect Jared Sullinger’s strengths and weaknesses a few days ago. I look at his post scoring, post misses, passing, shooting, screen setting, help defense, man defense, and rebounding/energy level in that order before giving my final thoughts on his future in the NBA.

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May 4, 2012 at 10:00 am

Video Blog #1 – A few ideas to prevent tanking in the NBA

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My first video blog. I enjoyed the process so I will try to post a bit every week or two if I can. Look for draft videos and playoff analysis in the upcoming weeks, but this week’s topic is related to 3 ideas to fix the lottery enough to prevent tanking. All are related to the idea of “diluting the reward” and finding a middle ground between the current system which most agree benefits losing teams too much and the popular idea of making all 14 teams have equal lottery odds, which is too much in the other direction and doesn’t benefit enough the teams who need it the most. The key is to change but not wipe out the present system.

– Julien

Written by jr.

May 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm