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Thread: NBA 2018-19, Part 3..."They have a Cave Troll!"

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    Re: NBA 2018-19, Part 3..."They have a Cave Troll!"

    Allen Crabbe returns for Brooklyn and they forget how to play Defense. Go figure. At home versus Chicago. Crabbe had a game-worst -15 +/- in 21 minutes in a 19-pt loss.

    Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker had great debuts (against Cleveland...not sure how to measure it, but it was still impressive debuts). Kevin Love returned, but only for six minutes...need to stall as long as possible to continue to tank the season.

    It's a shame Beal is being wasted in Washington.

    Denver on the road without Milsap loses their 3rd in a row. Even a sick-as-a-dog Embiid is dominant. As expected, Tobias Harris gets his points and rebounds and makes impactual late-game decisions without anything being drawn up for him. As the announcer was saying, even if Butler leaves, Harris will probably stay making the Sixers dominant for years with him, Simmons and Embiid. Brand has proven he can fill in the supporting players.

    Denver started Beasley alongside the return of Murray. I would, too, and make Barton a 6th man again, a role more suited for him. Does he leave Beasley in when Milsap returns? He should. Murray, Craig, Plumlee, Barton, Hernan-Gomez for a 2nd Unit is solid, and Thomas is rehabbing in the G-league now, while I'm sure I'm leaving out someone. Denver's got to start finding their playoff rotation and begin tightening it and sitting people. Get the dissention out of the way now. Don't wait until right before the playoffs. You can't play 10 guys. I would sit Plumlee and Hernan-Gomez. Plumlee has a great winshare, but he's also a poor decision-maker. I would also not play Thomas while cutting Barton's 4th Quarter minutes, as he is also a poor decision-maker. They don't need Barton in the 4th Quarter any more with the emergence of Beasley and Jokic's ability to get the refs to call fouls by opponents with his flopping and whining.
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  3. #92
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    Re: NBA 2018-19, Part 3..."They have a Cave Troll!"

    Cool games from now until the All-Star break (Portland looks like they are going to have their coldest February on record, and snow, ice, wind and cold says television and reading for me, though my Spouse and I went cross-country skiing on Mt. Hood two weeks ago and we'll be at the beach all of next weekend where the beach sand will be covered in snow for more than a week):


    Saturday, Feb 9th:

    SAS @ UTA (5:00 p.m. est, UTA should give the Spurs their 4th straight loss on their 8-game Rodeo Road swing, catching them in the standings in a tie for 6th in the West)
    LAC @ BOS (8:00 p.m. est, Gallinari is back, while Doc Rivers tries to figure out how the Lakers put up a franchise-record 22 made "3"'s Friday Night against Boston and repeat the effort, or not.)
    WAS @ CHI (8:00 p.m. est, two days after the huge trade, Porter, Parker and Portis see who can wreak the most revenge against their former team.)
    OKC @ HOU (8:30 p.m. est, ABC, Primetime basketball on a Saturday Night with the favorite for MVP, former Westbrook teammate, James Harden, and a serious challenger in Paul George. Westbrook isn't going to be able to stand it and won't settle on this night to defer to George attempting at least 20 shots. HOU wins if the other Paul, Chris Paul, can defer to Harden. Either way, Trail Blazer fans are happy as either HOU drops two games behind POR in the loss column or OKC falls to within one of POR in the loss with a date Monday against POR in OKC to drop them to a tie in the loss column.)


    Sunday, Feb 10th:

    LAL @ PHI (3:30 p.m., est, ABC, It took a franchise-record number of three's just to put them in position for a miracle put-back free-throw bucket to beat Boston. Despite that good feeling, the Lakers will come back to Earth against Philly and maybe, just maybe Jimmy Butler will understand that it feels just as good to beat the Lakers wearing a 76er uniform as it does to wear a Laker uniform, in addition to understanding that LeBron and whoever he adds won't be as good as Harris, Embiid, Simmons and his current teammates...not even close.)


    Monday, Feb 11th:

    NYK @ CLE (7:00 p.m. est, PHO is going, "Somebody has to win!")
    WAS @ DET (7:00 p.m. est, This is interesting because of their new looks and because the Pistons seriously want to get into the playoffs.)
    LAC @ MIN (8:00 p.m. est, Wolves are four back in the loss making this a must-win at home, although San Antonio is in a free-fall right now giving several hungry competitors a smell of wounded Spurs in the air.)
    POR @ OKC (8:00 p.m. est, Portland playing @ OKC on the 2nd of a back-to-back for the 2nd time in three weeks. They lost the last one and are looking for revenge. Also, if POR loses, they lose the tie-breaker on the season and the Trail Blazers have their eyes on at least the 3rd-seed. Hopefully, they took care of business against DAL Sunday afternoon. Lillard and Westbrook don't like each other, at least on the court. Westbrook's a putz. Lillard is mature and all class. The key is getting Westbrook's ego riled up so he doesn't defer to George the last few minutes of a close game, which this will be.)


    Tuesday, Feb 12th (Happy Birthday, President Lincoln, and "Thank You" for your Ultimate Sacrifice.):

    BOS @ PHI (8:00 p.m., est, TNT, What a great game to have on Lincoln's Birthday! The two cities most responsible for the making of this great Country, rich in tradition both in America and in the NBA. The Celtics first look at the new-look Sixers. I think they'll be impressed and dumbfounded trying to figure out how to defend them.)
    UTA @ GSW (10:45 p.m., est, TNT, Another test for Golden State's Fab-5...why do I envision Rubio and Steph getting into it tonight? Utah's proven in year's past they can beat Golden State at their best.)


    Wednesday, Feb 13th:

    MIL @ IND (7:00 p.m. est, Despite losing Oladipo, Indiana has recovered. Both teams hang their hats on their Defense, but the Bucks have made a lot of changes. That effects Defense an awful lot while the Pacers retain that continuity. Indiana should be able to take advantage of that and win unless the refs treat Giannis like the King of Kings for the umpteenth time this season, then the Pacers will have to find a way to win a 5-on-8 game.)
    SAC @ DEN (9:00 p.m. est, DEN finally gets home. Is Milsap's ankle healed? The test for any young team, Sacramento in this case, can they win on the road? They've proven they can beat good teams at home. They have played great on the road, too. But, this is getting late in the season where road games get tougher and why Veteran players help so much. Denver is on the skids. Facing a team with the pace of the Kings does not give them a chance to relax. It should be a dogfight.)
    GSW @ POR (10:45 est, ESPN, Warriors hosted UTA last night, which helps POR. Meyers Leonard will definitely get minutes against Cousins as he always gets inside his head (while he can pull Cousins away from the basket), Looney showed in the last meeting that he's completely overmatched by Nurkic. Boy vs Man. Lillard can't find his 3-pt shot, but C.J. has found his. The strategy of letting Durant score 40+ while limiting everyone else has worked for wins in the past, but with Cousins, that changes everything.)


    Thursday, Feb 14th (Happy Valentine's Day):

    OJC @ NOP (8:00 p.m. est, TNT, A.D. should play in this one making it worth watching. If HOU and POR both beat OKC this week, the Thunder will be trying not to drop to 5th in the West with negative thoughts in their heads to ponder about during the All-Star break.)
    Last edited by Kingspoint; 02-09-2019 at 05:01 PM.
    "One problem with people who have no vices is that they're pretty sure to have some annoying virtues."

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    Re: NBA 2018-19, Part 3..."They have a Cave Troll!"

    Who would have thought the Sixers three seasons ago were 10-72.
    * Attended the 1990 and 2010 Reds Division clinchers *

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    Re: NBA 2018-19, Part 3..."They have a Cave Troll!"

    So, the NBA Commissioner forced New Orleans to play A.D., but did nothing about forcing San Antonio to play Aldridge and DeRosen against the Warriors.

    https://ca.reuters.com/article/sport...CN1PY0HW-OCASP
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    Re: NBA 2018-19, Part 3..."They have a Cave Troll!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingspoint View Post
    Just keep bringing people in Magic. Who needs any stinkin' Chemistry?

    I so wish for them to miss the playoffs so all of these players who tried to ride the LeBron Gravy Train get time off come April 20th.
    While their two deadline moves aren't bad in isolation -- Bullock is more likely to help now than Svi. Muscala is a better fit next to LeBron than Zubac, even though, IMHO, the Clippers get the better player (Zubac) in this deal -- but I can't understand for the life of me why Magic targeted players in the offseason to team with LeBron (Stephenson, Beasley) that are not known as shooters in the first place, instead of targeting low-cost shooters in the first place.

    Either: 1)Luke Walton is/was set up to fail to appease the LeBron and LaVar Ball crowds. Remember, Magic didn't hire Walton. 2)It's simply a case of poor allocation of resources/poor talent evaluation.
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    Re: NBA 2018-19, Part 3..."They have a Cave Troll!"

    Quote Originally Posted by WVRed View Post
    It’s very possible.

    I just want to see Sacramento get it to solidify De’Aron Fox over Lonzo Ball.
    The Lakers could qualify for the playoffs for the next two seasons while the Kings continue to miss out, and that still wouldn't justify the selection of Ball over Fox. But it only adds to the laundry list of questionable moves under Magic, some of which I'm sure I've left out:

    1)After refusing to include either Ingram or Russell in a potential '17 trade for Paul George -- have to believe Indiana would've accepted a Russell//Randle plus future pick package -- Russell is essentially given away simply to dump salary (Mozgov). Yeah, they got Kuzma with the acquired Nets pick, but Russell > Kuzma.

    2)As texasdave pointed out in a post from this past Fall, letting Julius Randle go for nothing. Likewise, failing to cash in on Brook Lopez' expiring deal.

    3)Given that Zubac has been dealt, keeping him (Zubac) instead of Thomas Bryant.

    Sure, Magic and the Lakers cake-walked into landing LeBron due to the location of the franchise and other factors (Lebron's post basketball career among them), but how much of that had to do with Magic. Joe Shmoe could've been running the Lakers' operation and LeBron still would've chosen the Lakers, and likely would've done a better job than Magic and company of running the operation the past two years or so.
    Last edited by Revering4Blue; 02-09-2019 at 06:58 PM.
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    Re: NBA 2018-19, Part 3..."They have a Cave Troll!"

    Quote Originally Posted by goreds2 View Post
    Who would have thought the Sixers three seasons ago were 10-72.
    Sure justifies the decision to eschew "building" around Jrue Holiday, Thad Young and Spencer Hawes, doesn't it? And if not for the following -- 1)Several draft picks (Embiid and Simmons, for example) sidelined or opting to remain overseas for at least one season (More than one season in the case of Embiid and Saric). 2)Holding onto Noel and Okafor too long to extract decent value from them -- the Process itself would've produced results even sooner (from the standpoint of Playoff appearances) than last season. And this isn't factoring in the fact that Fultz didn't work out.

    The Hornets and Wizards should've been paying close attention, but apparently, seem satisfied with multiple years on the hamster wheel; the absolute spot in which you, as an NBA franchise, would be wise to avoid at all costs.
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    Re: NBA 2018-19, Part 3..."They have a Cave Troll!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingspoint View Post
    It's going to be interesting to watch how Doc Rivers uses his new players. He added a ton of Defense in Green and Temple and a good shooter in Shamet. They should turn into a very fast-paced team with the jettisoning of Gortat and Bobo.
    The Grizzlies were absolutely fleeced with Green/Temple for Bradley deal. Yes, I get the Grizzlies attempting to avoid luxury tax penalties by shedding salary, but how on earth do you trade away two rotational players equipped to help a team win-now (Clippers) without any picks or young prospects heading your way in return?
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    Re: NBA 2018-19, Part 3..."They have a Cave Troll!"

    Quote Originally Posted by goreds2 View Post
    Who would have thought the Sixers three seasons ago were 10-72.
    Jarami Grant
    Robert Covington
    Jahlil Okofor
    Ish Smith
    Nik Stauskas

    That was Philadelphia's starting five on February 10th, 2016. Just about three years later, that became...

    Jimmy Butler
    Tobias Harris
    Joel Embiid
    Ben Simmons
    J.J. Redick

    Thank you, Sam Hinkie.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
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    Re: NBA 2018-19, Part 3..."They have a Cave Troll!"

    More like tank you. Any realistic look at the situation leads one to believe they did a poor job of rebuilding. They tanked so much that they could not help but get better.

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    Re: NBA 2018-19, Part 3..."They have a Cave Troll!"

    Quote Originally Posted by texasdave View Post
    More like tank you. Any realistic look at the situation leads one to believe they did a poor job of rebuilding. They tanked so much that they could not help but get better.
    Any realistic look would actually lead one to believe that A) not all high draft picks hit so you need a lot of 'em and B) Jerry Colangelo did a lot of damage and C) the Sixers have likely, thus far, been at least as successful with their tank job as the early 1980's Houston Rockets- which netted them Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon after starting off by tanking to 14 Wins in '82-'83.

    In fact, Houston might want to think about doing that again given that Harden is moving into his 30's and that the current "James Harden and 14 stiffs" plan may have peaked last season.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

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    Re: NBA 2018-19, Part 3..."They have a Cave Troll!"

    ^^^^^^^^^^^

    What Steel said.

    Kind of ridiculous and hypocritical for people to criticize the 76ers' process, while Golden State and OKC (Durrant, Westbrook and Harden) both tanked multiple seasons to acquire their cores with nary a peep from anyone.
    Last edited by Revering4Blue; 02-09-2019 at 10:28 PM.
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    Re: NBA 2018-19, Part 3..."They have a Cave Troll!"

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    Jarami Grant
    Robert Covington
    Jahlil Okofor
    Ish Smith
    Nik Stauskas

    That was Philadelphia's starting five on February 10th, 2016. Just about three years later, that became...

    Jimmy Butler
    Tobias Harris
    Joel Embiid
    Ben Simmons
    J.J. Redick

    Thank you, Sam Hinkie.
    I think Hinkie over-tanked a bit. He was great at collecting assets, but I'm not sure how good he is at building a team. I like where they are now, so it's academic as to whether he'd have done as well or better than the current team.

    I'd like to see him get another shot to handle the building end of things.
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    Re: NBA 2018-19, Part 3..."They have a Cave Troll!"

    As expected, Westbrook couldn't control himself. After 7 straight sub-30 usage-rate games, he came in today against Houston and gobbled up the ball for a 35.7 usage rate. He had 10 Turnovers, put up 21 shots that netted him only 18 points until 4 free throws with seconds left when Houston was forced to foul. On a night when George put up 45 points on only one more attempt than Westbrook, it's easy to see that this is going to be a recurring theme come playoff time.

    And, of course, he had to be the hero, keeping the ball down 1 with 35 seconds left. Fortunately, he made the layup, which will only justify him to continue to not make the right decisions in crunch time.
    Last edited by Kingspoint; 02-10-2019 at 02:23 AM.
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    Re: NBA 2018-19, Part 3..."They have a Cave Troll!"

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    I think Hinkie over-tanked a bit. He was great at collecting assets, but I'm not sure how good he is at building a team. I like where they are now, so it's academic as to whether he'd have done as well or better than the current team.

    I'd like to see him get another shot to handle the building end of things.
    I dunno. I think we have at least some insight into how good Hinkie was at constructing a team. The core of last year's unit- Embiid, Saric, Covington, and Simmons- were direct results. While Simmons wasn't drafted during Hinke's tenure (he left a couple months before the 2016 draft), I don't buy any argument that any other player would have been selected had Hinkie stayed.

    Something interesting to me is that, while the Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris trades weren't Hinke's doing, his fingerprints are all over them. Saric and Shamet, were both results of the Elfrid Payton trade in 2014 (who was acquired as result of the the Jrue Holiday trade). The first round pick used to draft Mikal Bridges, who was then flipped for Zhaire Smith and Miami's 2021 first-rounder (used on Harris), was from the Michael Carter-Williams deal in 2015. No doubt, we'll never know how good Hinkie would have been in an NBA arms race, but it's pretty clear (to me at least) that his stocking the war chest made this season's build-up possible.

    And it's also a fair question to wonder how much better Hinkie may have done moving Okafor and Noel rather than having Bryan Colangelo grinding any value they had into dust; literally having to pay to move them.

    Hinkie wasn't perfect. He didn't get the "best" player out of each draft (no one does) and he was always a bit too enamored with second-round picks. But I always appreciated the fact that he was open about what he was doing, just as I like the current state of the franchise.

    Come to think of it, I should probably thank Barbara Bottini too...
    Last edited by SteelSD; 02-10-2019 at 02:35 AM.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

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