2018 NBA Game Thread

ishmael

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I mean, you have to set the cut-off somewhere. I picked 28 points per 36 as it seems in the same ballpark of "elite volume" as Harden's 32.3 and Steph's 31.7, but you could also look at 25 or 20, and/or use the more traditional PPG.

Either way, Iverson is — rightly — never going to be anywhere near the top of any list of efficient scorers. He's one of the least efficient high-volume scorers ever, with a career TS of .518, and only one season out of 12 where he broke .550. In his highest scoring season (2001-02), he rocked an atrocious .489 TS.

Fwiw, here's the all-time TS% list if we make it an even 20 PPG minimum (and a minimum 1500 minutes played). First thing that jumps out is more appearances by Barkley and McHale.

@wade boggs chicken dinner As noted above to HRB, "points per fga" is really dubious measure of scoring efficiency. It basically assumes that getting fouled and hitting one of two free throws is a more efficient use of a possession than, say, a four-point play. Or put another way: it assumes that if you get fouled when shooting, it's more efficient to miss the shot than hit it. ;-P
McHale and Kareem are really the only guys on that list that didn't get there with 3s or a ton of dunking on guys (Philly era Charles Barkley was insane in that department).
 

Apisith

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The cutoff for “reasonably elite volume” scorer? I guess so. But it seems pretty obvious that when you’re leaving off multiple scoring title winners, you’ve missed the mark.


Yeah. I never suggested he was an efficient scorer, of course. But he most certainly was an elite volume scorer.

Thanks. Now that’s a much more reasonable list, with multiple appearances by guys who were top 10 or top 5 scorers in the league for the respective season. What jumps out to me is that Harden’s season wouldn’t crack the top 40 in efficiency.
That’s one way of seeing things but scoring 20/game is a lot different than 30+. If you set it at 30/ppg+, Harden’s last year would be the 7th most efficient scoring season in history.

And this current season is the second-most efficient high-volume scoring season ever if you adjust ppg to 32+. Below Durant’s epic season with OKC.
 

Apisith

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There’s also only ever been 5 seasons with 32ppg and TS% of 60+. Harden is on course to join that ridiculously elite group.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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By the way, I know he is exceptionally efficient - I was just nodding to his critics who have noted that he has upped his shots of late and his 3PA in particular. Again, Harden has to take more of the scoring load given the absence of Paul and Gordon
 

The Needler

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That’s one way of seeing things but scoring 20/game is a lot different than 30+. If you set it at 30/ppg+, Harden’s last year would be the 7th most efficient scoring season in history.
Of course, most of the guys on the list were not squeaking in at 20ppg, but scored more than 25. And again, setting some arbitrary ppg cutoff, such as 30 ignores league context and would exclude players who were among the best scorers in the game. For that matter arguing that Harden’s scoring is more efficient than players’ seasons when the 3 point line didn’t exist is at best an apples to orange comparison.

One could consider efficiency relative to the rest of the league. Is Harden at 30ppg on .619 TS when the league percentage is .556, comparable to Wilt at 24ppg on .637 TS when leaguewide TS% was .493?

Yeah, the whole league is more efficient now. I guess my point is, so what?
 

Sam Ray Not

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That’s one way of seeing things but scoring 20/game is a lot different than 30+. If you set it at 30/ppg+, Harden’s last year would be the 7th most efficient scoring season in history.

And this current season is the second-most efficient high-volume scoring season ever if you adjust ppg to 32+. Below Durant’s epic season with OKC.
One way to put it without worrying about specific cut-off points is: peak Curry is the most efficient high-volume scorer ever, while peak Harden is the most prolific highly-efficient scorer ever. With peak KD right behind on both lists. :)
 

Sam Ray Not

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Here's another scoring efficiency list (mainly to cheer me up from that loss, and push back on a recent creeping meme among the Skip Baylesses of the world that Curry has come up small in the playoffs).

All-time playoff ts% (min. 25 ppg, min. 50 games played)

1. Curry .606 (26.1 ppg)
2. Durant .591 (28.8 ppg)
3. LeBron .579 (28.9 ppg)
4. Nowitzki .577 (25.3 ppg)
5. Hakeem .569 (25.9 ppg)
6. Jordan .568 (33.4 ppg)
7. Gervin .564 (27.0 ppg)
8. Kobe .541 (25.6 ppg)
9. JWest .541 (29.1 ppg)
10. Westbrook .516 (25.5 pg)

Lower the ppg requirement to 20 and you get Bird, Shaq, Kareem Harden, et al. (NB: the Beard's career playoff PPG is a little unfair to him, since it's dragged down by his early days being a third banana in OKC).

Edit: and @WBCD, your point about historic comparisons of TS% favoring players from the three-point era is an important caveat here and on the other list. The 2010-2020 players really should be considered in their own category.
 
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Sam Ray Not

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They both were pretty crap last night, though, especially compared to Beardo. I can't even be mad about his ref-baiting ways last night, since other than the play they whistled Draymond for taking his forearm shiver to the chest, he didn't shoot an inordinate number of FTs (and his game-winner should have been an and-one). His passing and playmaking were also spectacular, and he even turned in a few solid defensive plays. Just a huge tip o' the hat to the current deserving MVP frontrunner.
 
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Apisith

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My day after slightly calmed down hot take: the Warriors will be a lot better come playoff time with Cousins fully embedded in the rotation, but you can see some cracks in the armour. Harden can’t sustain this because this is a crazy level of play, so we need Paul and Gordon back and at close to their best to be competitive in the playoffs. Beating the warriors in a 7 game series means you gotta defend well and have a versatile and high-scoring offense. Out of every team in the league, I think we matchup best with them. But, if we don’t have home-court, we won’t win so we need to keep this run going.

Regardless, if we end up playing them in the playoffs, warriors probably win 70% of the time because they have four HoF players starting. But, maybe this year we will actually have the best player on the court and because Draymond and Iguodala look and play older, he has the best the matchup of any matchups (or at least tied with KD v whoever is guarding him).

I am also loving the little wrinkles that Harden has developed. Three nights ago he dropped in a few step-lefts 3s instead of step-backs 3s. Look for more of this. He’s also varying the timing on his step-backs which means that if the defender incorrectly times the block attempt, he has basically an open 3. Last year the timing for his step-backs was pretty fixed. This year there’s a clear variation.

Last night he also took a few mid range shots which he rarely does but is a response to the way the Warriors defended him in the playoffs. He’s evolving his play against them and I love it.
 

Apisith

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Also the comments about the Warriors running a ton of ISO remind me exactly of last year’s WCF. The thing is we switch everything and force them into ISOs. They’re still elite at it but Morey has built the roster to do this because it’s the only way to beat them. Other teams can’t switch like this vs them.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Change 20 to 16 and see which two sometime Celtics players grab the top five positions. Any guesses?
(Cheating) Cornbread Maxwell and ... ? Are you counting Artis Gilmore (500 minutes played for Boston in his last season, 1987-88) as a "sometime Celtic"?
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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They both were pretty crap last night, though, especially compared to Beardo. I can't even be mad about his ref-baiting ways last night, since other than the play they whistled Draymond for taking his forearm shiver to the chest, he didn't shoot an inordinate number of FTs (and his game-winner should have been an and-one). His passing and playmaking were also spectacular, and he even turned in a few solid defensive plays. Just a huge tip o' the hat to the current deserving MVP frontrunner.
You are also forgetting Durants out of bounds assist to Steph which put the Dubs ahead near the end of OT. That bucket should not have been counted.

The Warriors are playing with their food imho. If they went into pure playoff mode, I doubt that anyone in the West could hang with them for five or seven games.

That said, if the ISOs and defensive breakdowns are more than just boredom and laziness, then its conceivable that they could get got. But the reality is that these games simply don't mean as much to this team.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Finally saw this play. All officials that worked that game should be suspended.

For the record the officials were Tre Maddox, Tony Brown, and John Goble.

Goble was on the far sideline away from the play. It appears that Brown, who was on the baseline, “may” have been screened from the play and that Maddox, recognizing that this was Brown’s call, didn’t want to override Brown’s decision with clear vision but a bad angle . Crazy play all around.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Indiana/Chicago tied up with 9 seconds left in OT. Kris Dunn has 16 points (6/9 shooting) and 17 assists.

Damn, Oladipo just drained a 3 with less than a second left.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Sheesh. If you like the three ball, the highly entertaining Warriors @ Kings game was for you with an NBA record 41 made triples - Golden State won 127-123. Steph Curry led all scorers with 42 points on 14-26 shooting including 10-20 from deep. Buddy Hield led the Kings with 32 points and he was 8-13 from distance. Durant did Durant things too with 29 points but the other surprise in this game was Justin Jackson who had a career high 28 points including 5-7 from behind the arc.

Good night for the Cs pick but these Kings are good enough to hang around the eighth seed and perhaps sneak in. They are also fun as hell right now as all their young talent figures it out.
 

lovegtm

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Curry got called for a travel on the Harden stepback/gather move. Warriors commentators went ballistic, but the refs called it right. He hasn't practiced it enough, so his gather clearly ended before the final step:

 

JCizzle

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Curry got called for a travel on the Harden stepback/gather move. Warriors commentators went ballistic, but the refs called it right. He hasn't practiced it enough, so his gather clearly ended before the final step:

Harden has gotten away with way more blatant travels than this on the same move (eg the Jazz game). Good for Curry to call it out, Harden gets insane treatment. I hate watching him play basketball no matter how good he is.
 

lovegtm

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Harden has gotten away with way more blatant travels than this on the same move (eg the Jazz game). Good for Curry to call it out, Harden gets insane treatment. I hate watching him play basketball no matter how good he is.
Yeah, Harden's Utah travel was ridiculous, and I'm not a big fan of his game. However, his normal stepback isn't a travel under the rules, and Curry's clearly was.
 

JCizzle

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That may well be Thibs last shot at a head coaching job. The T Wolves are an interesting squad - it will be fascinating to see how they do for the balance of the season.
If he could find someone to recruit for him, his dictator personality seems to be a perfect fit for college. Those college guys are all nuts.
 

HomeRunBaker

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That may well be Thibs last shot at a head coaching job. The T Wolves are an interesting squad - it will be fascinating to see how they do for the balance of the season.
The talk is of bring Hoiberg back to replace him as Head Coach and/or GM. Rick Pitino, the guy who would never get another coaching job, is apparently the primary target at UCLA.

Retreads will retread. We haven't seen the last of Thibs.

They want Fred Hoiberg for some reason.
Glen Taylor loves him. It's all about networking.
 

HomeRunBaker

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They’ll never get another alumni donation from me if they hire that POS.
Apparently it is a couple of the top UCLA boosters who are pressuring UCLA to make this hire. I suppose it matter how badly these boosters want him and how much d*** they swing with the school. I remember a few years ago the boosters bought Nick Saban his home for something like $3m when he re-upped with Bama while turning down the NFL.
 

Big John

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MCW traded for a bag of stale potato chips to the Bulls, who will waive him before his contract becomes fully guaranteed. How the mighty have fallen.
 

bosox79

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That whole draft was a mess. Up until Oladipo busted out, the top of it was ugly. Still is, really. It's actually a pretty good draft class though. The players just went later.

Hinkie also ending up trading MCW for what resulted in the 10th pick in the 2018 draft. He was drafted 11th.
 

Kliq

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That whole draft was a mess. Up until Oladipo busted out, the top of it was ugly. Still is, really. It's actually a pretty good draft class though. The players just went later.

Hinkie also ending up trading MCW for what resulted in the 10th pick in the 2018 draft. He was drafted 11th.
It's actually ended up being a great class, but the top 10 (Bennett, Oladipo, Porter, Cody Zeller, Len, Noel, McLemore, Burke and McCollum) had a lot of misses. The grand total of the class is arguably one of the strongest in recent years.

MVP Players
Giannis

Max-Level Players

Jokic
Oladipo
Gobert
McCollum
Adams

Solid NBA Players

Porter
Zeller
Olynyk
Schroder
Dieng
Mason Plumlee
Hardaway Jr.
Roberson
Crabbe
 

the moops

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On the same night he also traded incumbent PG Jrue Holiday to the Pelicans for what became Nerlens Noel and Dario Saric. Not exactly the best start to the Process.
I think this was the whole plan though. He knew that draft picks are fickle. Get enough picks though and you will surely hit a homerun or two
 

bosox79

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It's actually ended up being a great class, but the top 10 (Bennett, Oladipo, Porter, Cody Zeller, Len, Noel, McLemore, Burke and McCollum) had a lot of misses. The grand total of the class is arguably one of the strongest in recent years.

MVP Players
Giannis

Max-Level Players

Jokic
Oladipo
Gobert
McCollum
Adams

Solid NBA Players

Porter
Zeller
Olynyk
Schroder
Dieng
Mason Plumlee
Hardaway Jr.
Roberson
Crabbe
Jokic was the following year.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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On the same night he also traded incumbent PG Jrue Holiday to the Pelicans for what became Nerlens Noel and Dario Saric. Not exactly the best start to the Process.
I dunno, if you’re plan is to have the worst record possible, trading Jrue Holiday for Noel and Saric is a great way to start things off.
 

Big John

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Along with MCW, the following players will have their contracts fully guaranteed if not waived today: Ryan Arcidiacono, Shaquille Harrison, Alfonzo McKinnie, Patrick Beverley, Tyrone Wallace, Christian Wood, Tim Frazier, Jahlil Okafor, Kenrich Williams, Trey Burke, Noah Vonleh, Isaiah Briscoe, TJ McConnell, Richaun Holmes, Quincy Pondexter, Lorenzo Brown, Royce O'Neale, Ron Baker and Chasson Randle.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Lorenzo Brown (Raptors) and Ron Baker (Wizards) have already been waived.
 
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Sam Ray Not

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Step aside, Brad Stevens...


This from the team that lost its best young player (Murray) and promising 1st round pick (Walker) to start the season, had three 30+ point losses (to MIN, UTA, and HOU) in the same week, and at 11-14 looked pretty much dead in the water.

I mean, suspected Pop might keep them from collapsing — he's made me eat my death pronouncements too many times to count — but by far the best team in the NBA for a full month??
 

HomeRunBaker

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Step aside, Brad Stevens...


This from the team that lost its best young player (Murray) and promising 1st round pick (Walker) to start the season, had three 30+ point losses (to MIN, UTA, and HOU) in the same week, and at 11-14 looked pretty much dead in the water.

I mean, suspected Pop might keep them from collapsing — he's made me eat my death pronouncements too many times to count — but by far the best team in the NBA for a full month??
And they are doing this with their #1 and #2 options being those dreaded mid-range scorers. Pop is showing why he’s Pop.