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@Joey Caltabellotta @Gilbert_Vengeance @Lexo I think his ceiling is Juan Pierre at SS, which would be nice (assuming his defense comes around), but a lot has to be worked out. I have no idea what the rest of the league thinks about Dee but I think we overvalue him as Dodger fans. Murphy can hit, can play 3rd, 2nd or 1st, and will be entering his age 28 season. Plenty of value there. Dee will never OPS over 740, which is to be expected as the base from Murphy
2 years, 3 months ago on So What’s Next For the Dodgers?
@Gilbert_Vengeance @Joey Caltabellotta Murphy can play 3rd, and he is way better than Dee....if not as cuddly
I love speculation. Here is mine.
Dee Gordon to the Mets for Daniel Murphy.
@GoDodgers Can't argue on Saito. Good point.
2 years, 9 months ago on Dodger Bullpen on a Budget Among the Best in Baseball
I cringe every time Ned signs or trades for a reliever. James McDonald was a better reliever than the rusty catapult he was traded for, and now yeah he's a good starter, but I digress...I actually think that yes, you SHOULD almost always rely on cheap home grown arms to fill your pen. Especially if your scouting director has the power arm fetish he has.
Man, if Charlotte passes on MKG for Eddy Curry, err I mean, Blatche, err I mean Thomas Robinson they are forever doomed. MKG will be the best player out fo this draft without a doubt. It's not even a question. I get drafting AD first, he's the consensus number 1 and I cant argue with what he has to offer, but personally I believe MKG to be the guy in this draft who takes a team to another level. His shot will improve, no one who works as hard as he does does not improve on his flawes. His handle is underrated, as his ability to score in the half court set.....So yeah, MKG is going to be one of the top players in the league very soon. Harrison Barnes sucks by the way, I thought we all knew this by now? He'll be very lucky to be the next Richard Jefferson.
2 years, 9 months ago on The Unofficial Official Hardwood Paroxysm 2012 Mock Draft: Part 1
@RFN It's very hard to have this discussion when you continue to pigeonhole me into your idea of who a Lebron hater is. I accept that my reasons for thinking him overrated are simple (no rings when he's been on good teams) and "intangible" (to be a winnner, to will your team to greatness etc) and those are tough things to talk about, but you keep painting me a person with some other agenda. LBJ needs to make it to the top. Simple as that. He has no excuses. This is not Barkley or Ewing who toiled for years on god awful teams. Ewing was already totally hobbled when he finally got a title shot (and his team still sucked) and Barkley...well Barkley is actually a good parallel. He did get to be on a few good teams, and they came short, and thus his place in history is probably correct, which is where Lebron is right now.
2 years, 10 months ago on NBA Playoffs: Back To Indiana Now
I didn't say he's never taken over a game. Joe Johnson has taken over games too. LBJ is obviously a better player, but he's on a team with plenty of talent and hasn't won. This is a season the Heat should absolutely take and they are floundering again. Time will tell of course. He had better teams in Cleveland than is ever talked about (we've had this argument before I think) and didn't win. It's painfully simple. A player of his ability, with his supporting cast should have rings, and he doesn't. The 2010 Celtics had no business making it to the finals, and you could say the same about Orlando the year before. Now he's playing against a weak field and if he comes up short who will you blame?
@RFN Yeah Lebron can play. This discussion always forces us to define terms like "great, and "winner". I think of players like Magic and Bird, and Jordan and KObe and Hakeen, and TD, and (for a shorter span) Paul Pierce. When given solid supporting casts those guys all won. Lebron's "help" (not feeling that term, but just me) is not THAT bad. It is a well put together group of roll players built around Lebron and Wade, and LBJ just keeps not getting over the hump, and his defenders call out those of us who point this out for having some irrational set of issues with him. No, its simply that he hasn't won and in the past few seasons has in fact had a very good supporting cast...you know Dwayne Wade?
Any act can get old. Even one featuring awesome dunks. Jordan was famous for being good after all. Griffin's lack of progression as a player is bringing him dangerously close to being Dennis Hopper rather than Marlon Brando.
It's interesting that no one minded when he dunked on another one trick pony in Kendrick Perkins, but people weren't so happy to see his act attempt to humiliate Pau Gasol and his refined game. It was like when Miles Davis would write about hot dog chops heavy horn players showing up to jams and blowing loud without actually doing anything interesting.
2 years, 11 months ago on Air Walk With Me: Blake Griffin Touches The Face Of God And Doesn't Get Called For The Foul
@thom_not_tom Derrick Rose is the only PG in the league I could take over Rondo. Rondo may be a bad shooter, but he knows he's a bad shooter, and he more than makes up for it by setting up the good shooters around him quite well. A PG should be a distributor first. Rondo is one of the easiest players in basketball to build around because he so clearly understands his strengths and weaknesses and when it comes to his strengths, defense, passing, rebounding, NO ONE at his position is better at this point in the league. I know the intangibles discussion is a difficult one, but unlike baseball, intangibles in basketball are far easier to clock (if still a murky subject), and Rondo is as tenacious a player as there is. His effort on defense alone puts him at the top of my list. I ask you, who would you rather have at the PG?
2 years, 12 months ago on Random Musings on Rondo, PER, And The Heat
Jefferson and MIlsap starting over Favors and Kanter is whats keeping Utah from Dominance. Jefferson is a tiny bit better than before and Milsap is a guy I'd love off the bench but he's not what he's made out to be. Developing a starting front line of Favors and Kanter and having Hayward and Burkes along with it could lead to a very serious team. Protected picks are a trade strategy. As for Utah their Future is now, they just don't use it.
3 years ago on The Utah Jazz And Their Tank-Tastic Dilemma
I thought the Ukraine Train was gonna be a helluva player...but how about those Cavs uni's?.....THe Northwestern Indigenous threads that B Scott is sporting are also very cultural.
3 years ago on Look! A Bunch of Old and Goofy Basketball Cards!
@steventurous Greater Antilles, but in general it's part of the Latin America, Caribeno como Puerto Rico o Cuba. Anyway, I like the article a lot. Iverson is one of my fav roundball subjects, and growing up watching the Lakers, the Iverson series was made compelling because of him (I even just called it the Iverson series) and wish he and Larry Brown could have made it work a little longer.
3 years ago on La Respuesta
and the DR is not Central America...sorry, I don't mean to be obnoxious.
Did you mean Matt Geiger?
This is a funny article. Hollins went to the rival of my High School and I saw him play as a high schooler. He sucked even then.
3 years ago on Ryan Hollins and One March Night
Oh Tyreke.....I was so impressed that rookie season. I saw a big time, big game player ready to be mentioned along with Durant and then D Rose as the new generation of great players. I saw great hands, and amazing handle, Kobe-esque body control, a top notch ability to create his own shot. Since then it's been what you wrote. Now had Kobe not been traded to the Lakers, would he have had a similar fate to Tyreke? How much is the pitiful Kings organization to be blamed for this? He's never had a good NBA coach, and he's never been a part of a cohesive system. Though the Kings may be improving, the improvement will be from dreadful to Golden State Warriors. This is still not a place where 'Reke will ever succeed. I hope for his sake (and mine as a fan) that he ends up somewhere else while he still has time to salvage his career.
3 years ago on Piecing Together A New Tyreke Evans
@i_am_puddle Yes, especially nowadays. Though I think Kobe get's so highly rated because he is such a capable defender, and as puddle points out, when he wants to be, he is an epic defender.
3 years ago on Understanding Advanced Stats: The Difficulty Of Defense
The Wizards have SO much talent. I still think Vesely can become some sort of Larry Nance/Tom Chambers hybrid if he's brought along right. John Wall, to me isn't really a point guard. He should be allowed to be a kind of flying, undersized scoring 2 guard, while a genuine distributor is brought in.
As for Blatche (uggs) and Lewis....as Flavor FLav said, "I can't do nothin for ya man"
3 years ago on Starting Over Again
Good points. He elevates his all around game when it counts. I remember game 7 against boston when he crached the boards hard and shut down the Celtics perimeter, while still jacking up bricks.
3 years ago on Welcome to the Clutch Cube - Part III: Kobe Bryant
Great write up. This is the years best dunk. Ive been following Green's D League season and you tubed him to see if there were any recent Nets highlights of him just to see how he's looking since being called up, and I didn't know this had JUST happened (the NBA/Youtube synergy is awesome) and so I got to watch it not knowing what to expect. Wow.
3 years ago on Anatomy Of A Dunk Clip: Gerald Green
"Rondo was probably never as good as the post-2010 playoff hoopla would have led you to believe, but despite the offensive limitations, he is the league’s premier defensive point guard and an elite floor general who thrives on the big stage and can post numbers the likes of which we haven’t seen."....Wait, so he is that good?
3 years ago on Trade Deadline: Round Table
Del Negro its terrible. Clips will never win under Sterling anyway. Never.
3 years ago on Welcome to the Clutch Cube - Part II: Chris Paul
@ChadMajor Pit Bulls are a tenacious and determined breed, hence them becoming a pretty well accepted metaphor for tenaciousness and determination. You accused Casey of being insensitive (to a dog breed) and leveraged some notion you have about his blackness being a doorway into whatever idea of compassion you think you have about dogs. It was an overwrought comment on your part, and racially problematic to boot.
3 years ago on Paroxysm At Gametime: Tony Allen Barking + Grizzlies @ Raptors Notebook
NBA owners have plenty of money. I like Uni's, I like nostalgia via sports, and I hate advertising. This is a silly and cynical waste of space, and basebless. Might as well have Niall Ferguson write here.
3 years ago on Let Them Advertise On Jerseys - And Everywhere Else
@ChadMajor Must. Stop. Eyes. From. Rolling.
@RFN @steppxxxxz Assuming guys are healthy come playoff time Lebron will have to get through D Rose and the Bulls in the east, and then if Heat make the finals either OKC or Memphis (this is what I predict). If he comes out on top then he will get my accolades.
3 years ago on Welcome to The Clutch Cube: Part I - LeBron James
@RFN @steppxxxxz Well I disagree with both of you about those Cavs teams....Defense is always overlooked and they were superb defensively. They were on national TV all the time and I watched a great deal of that team. They were deep in every way but scorers. Jordan's bulls didn't have a lot of scoring after Him and Pippen either, not until Kukoc anyway...but like the Cavs had good role players and 3 point shooters.
@RFN @steppxxxxz Kobe has it's warts and he's a pathological nut job weirdo, but it's easy to defend a guy who has been integral to 5 championships.
@RFN @steppxxxxz Those Laker teams were terrible. Odom, BUtler, Chucky Atkins, Chris Mihm, Brian Cook...just terrible. He took an even worse squad (remember Smush Parker?) and almost beat the Suns in the playoffs the next season, until losing his shit and making his "point" at the end of the game, for which he was rightfully called out by everyone. Anyway, no I'm not minimizing anything, go and look at those rosters. pathetic. Lebrons Cavs teams were big and deep and defensively very strong. No one is forgetting it's a team sport, but we are doomed to go in circles because I do believe that great players take their team to the next level, and Lebron hasn't done that... its many other factors as well, and I understand your frustration with the argument seeing as it is not based on metrics, but he has had championship caliber teams and not delivered and it's a narrative that though reductive is also not unfair.
"And no, they did not have the best all around talent. What would give you that impression?"
I was talking about LeBron himself.
@RFN @hawksfan the 2008-9 Cavs were built around LeBron. Won 66 games. Had a deep rotation that included size, interior defense and rebounding (Big Z, Ben Wallace, and Varejo, all playing over 20 mins a game), great 3 point shooting (West, Szerbiak, Gibson, Pavlovic and Williams all shooting close to or over 40%) Williams and West had career years, and the whole team played D and respected their roles. They allowed the fewest points per game and help opponents to the 2nd lowest FG% in the league. Thats a championship caliber team. Now LeBron also acted like a jerk at the end of the Magic series, but I'm not sure if I should use that as an example for anything (I just did but maybe shouldn't)
@RFN @steppxxxxz You need a good team around you to win. Kobe's bad seasons were a combination of bad coaching, him being an asshole, and (mostly) him having a pathetic supporting cast. I mean truly pathetic. You need a good team to win of course. But yes, great players elevate the play of their team. C'mon man. And please don't deny Kobe has done this. 5 rings. 5. FIVE.
@RFN I've said over and over that James does a lot, and that i'm not simply measuring it by scoring, and that measuring greatness period is hard to do. Bird and Magic were better than Alex English because of something a lot harder to define than numbers. Lebron is of course not bad. Im just defending the labels he's gotten (though of course they are too simple) because he hasn't won a title and he's had 2 very good opportunities to do so. Kobe is a lot more than scoring. He still plays D, but its more than that, it's what Stepxxxx said, elevating your team. How the hell do we create a metric for that? until it happens I have to argue on intangibles, but intangibles I happen to believe to be true. Lebron has to win a title to shake these labels, and many think that's unfair, and in his case, I think it is absolutely fair. As for his Cleveland teams not being championship material, well, Lebron was key to those teams, and even had some epic playoff games. Those teams were good though, they had the size to matchup inside with anyone, had good perimeter defenders as well. What they lacked was a 3rd scoring option. Mo Williams played great in those years but yeah it hurt, though there have been teams who've won titles with similar set of weaknesses and strengths, I mean they had the best all around talent in the league, and a bunch of guys who knew their role, no easy feat in the NBA. Lebron choked in last years finals. He also didn't come through when needed against Orlando or Boston in the Eastern conference finals consecutively, and Mike Brown was made the fall guy. I'm not a Lebron hater, in fact I used to think he was going to be one of the best ever, but so far no he's not. At this rate he will join 'Nique and Alex English in their place in history.
@hawksfan Your losing me here. Yes Gasol played a great game, he did not dominate though (but again subjective verbs are not battlefield I want to war on) he held his own and helped the Lakers win. Down the stretch in that game Kobe picked up the slack on perimeter D, grabbed key rebounds and played a huge role in that victory. WHen he shot the Lakers out of the playoffs and then quit after being called out for it (against teh Suns) he was shit on by the national media and thrown under the bus by Phil Jackson (rightly so). Kobe has earned the benefit of the doubt, don't forget how unpopular he was post Shaq. Until he won a title that is....Which brings me to Lebron...If Lebron wins a title, the media that has been wanting to anoint him since he was a junior in high school will finally have their headlines.
@hawksfan I know it wasn't Kobe vs LBJ one on one. I was speaking in terms of each teams best player, but again, it was one game. I shouldn't have brought it up in the first place since people lose to eachother during the regular season. I just found it amusing given the fact that I didn't think L.A stood a chance in that game. Anyway, no it's not a double standard I'm applying to Kobe, the Lakers WON that game, and it was game 7 of the FINALS, and Kobe turned a very poor game into one where he elevated his, and his teams defensive intensity, got his hands dirty under the boards, and took Boston's best player that post season (Rondo) completely out of the game. Pau did not do anything close to dominate, he simply, for the first time in the new LA v Boston rivalry held his own against Garnett. If Lebron takes his game and rises to the occasion and wins titles then everything else will add up. For the last time this is not a question of Barkley stuck in Philly (though he did have a chance with the Suns but Jordon was the best) or Bernard King stuck with the Knicks and then getting hobbled. This is Lebron having never really been on a bad team, having been to the finals twice and losing handily both times. He can do it all and has been at the top and has not gotten over. This is what will define him until he wins. Jordan has 6 rings, Kobe has 5 rings, Magic has 5 Tim Duncan has 4. Bird has 3, Hakeem has 2. These players won multiple titles while being the best player on their squad and it was/is for a set of reasons that I have yet to see anyone quantify. Again (agaaaaaain) this isn't baseball. Stats in baseball tell a far more accurate story. Basketball is different.
@hawksfan If "if" were a fifth. The heat, even without Bosh (who isn't exactly a low post force) are a better team top to Bottom than LA. You know who can score down low? Lebron. He played a dumb game. Yes he's physically amazing, and has an incredible skill set, but Kobe with half a head went out and kicked his ass. It's one game though, and not even my point. The point is that, as Stepxxxx pointed out, the greats elevate their teams. I haven't seen LBJ take a team over the the top. Game 7 Lakers v Celtics, Kobe jacking up brick after Brick, and he never quit, goes out there in the 4th quarter shuts down the Rondo and Allen and crashes the boards. Did what it took to win. Again, I end up sounding like a cliche'd old baseball scout here (I was born in the 80's) but basketball is a lot more about intangibles than baseball or even football. Stats absolutely matter in baseball. It's much harder in basketball.
@steppxxxxz Yes and that is why I would take D Rose, or Rondo over Lebron or Howard. I know many would find this a foolish thing to say, but I believe they make a team better in ways that Lebron or Howard don't. Kobe is perhaps the most selfish player in the NBA, but he works so hard on both ends of the floor and wants to win so bad, that it elevates his teams. Even when he had a horrible (read: HORRIBLE) supporting cast during his most selfish years he still went to the playoffs and the Lakers still struck fear in opposing teams. I just don't think their are metrics for these things. Basketball is different than baseball in this way.
@RFN We can war over adjectives all we want, but he was on good teams, that fact remains, and he's on even more talented teams now. The point I made and continue to make is that it is (as of today) too difficult to truly define clutch, but that it is undeniable (to me anyway) that Lebron has not come through in the way a player of his ability is expected to during the moments that define greatness in basketball. If he had, he would not be ringless. Is he done playing? of course not. He very well might end up with multiple championships, but since I choose to judge him on precedent, he is so far a guy who has fallen short. And no, he was not the best player on the floor against the Lakers (talk about absurd) the Heat lost by ten to an inferior team. This article asks us to widen the explanation of clutch, and I think the premise itself is not going to garner anything more helpful then where we already stand. Basketball is a 4 quarter sport, the 2 points at the beginning are no less valuable than the 2 points at the end, and yet it seems obvious to me that it is a game defined by momentum and moments, which contain intangible factors. How does one talk about that?The concept of clutch itself is built on a kind of mysticism, though one that continues to be difficult to debunk. Also, I totally stand by my statement about the narrative that Lebron didn't win in Cleveland because the team around him wasn't up to par.
You can't quantify clutch. At the risk of sounding like an antagonist from Moneyball, the big moments in basketball are defined by a lot of things that are really hard to define. LeBron has the talent the likes of which we've never seen, and has lived up to it...Only....he hasn't won. The narrative that in Cleveland it was simply that he was on bad teams is not totally fair. Those teams were defensive monsters, big and physical, and they certainly had plenty of shots to get over the top, and they didn't. So far he's 0 for 1 in Miami and a Kobe (with a broken face and bruised brain) just took his lunch money last night. It's rarely fair to measure a player's success by how many rings he has or doesn't have, but in this case it is.
Well Lebron needs to win. He's proven that he is a statistical monster and incredibly versatile defender, but this is not like Charles Barkley being on bad teams for years, and then running into Jordan when he finally had a good team. Lebron is supposed to BE Jordan in that respect and he's not, and has had chances and will have more. Kobe has 5 rings because he plays harder than anyone else. Same as Jordan. Lebron has arguably more talent than either of them and has had good teams and has not won. If your one of the ebst players ever, and have talent with you, your not supposed to lose to that Dallas team. The Showtime Lakers, Bird Celtics, Jordan Bulls, Tim Duncan Spurs (in his prime), and Shaq/Kobe Lakers all would have smashed last years Mavs in a 7 game series.
3 years ago on The Dichotomy Of Controlled Genius
TD is a beautiful player to watch. People wax poetic about Kevin McHale and his myriad of post moves, while Duncan (a better than player than McHale ever was) is called boring. Watching TD play in the post was like watching Steve young run the West Coast offense. Indefensible consistency and precision. Not at all boring. Shaq was boring (I'm a laker fan BTW). He was funny (you should have seen some of the pre game skits they used to run on Staples Center Jumbo-Tron starring Shaq) and he dunked on people, but watching him bang in the post for a whole game was not fun. Myself and other Laker fans appreciated his help in bringing titles, but always wanted the ball in a young Kobe's hands. Tim Duncan was splendid to watch in his prime. Jefferson is just a so so big man, who is capable of scoring the post and thus carries more value than he should.
3 years ago on More Like 'Power Bore-wards': The Model of Big Men Who Put You to Sleep