2022-23 NBA Game Thread

InstaFace

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And Brooklyn stages a comeback from 12 down in the last 5 minutes and holds on thanks to some clutch Kyrie FTs. My rooting loyalties were very unclear there.
 

bigq

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Nets win, Dubs could not make a shot last 6 minutes
Kyrie was really good down the stretch. Full on hero ball for a couple of minutes. He barely passed the ball at all in the closing minutes but his dish to O'Neale for the wide open 3 with 28 seconds left was a dagger.

I only watched the 4th but Klay Thompson looked washed. He repeatedly tried to score on Seth Curry without any success. He was forcing bad shots. 4-17 for the night including 0-7 from three. Tough night for him.
 

Euclis20

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And Brooklyn stages a comeback from 12 down in the last 5 minutes and holds on thanks to some clutch Kyrie FTs. My rooting loyalties were very unclear there.
Yeah that was a hard one. Warriors are 16-16 with Steph, 23-24 overall. They have been a thoroughly mediocre team. Of course, the GS optimist would say that after 47 games last year, the Celtics were also 23-24. Maybe the Warriors don't have a closing kick like the 2022 Celtics, but as long as they finish top 6 (currently in 10th place but just 1 game out of 6th), they'll be ok.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Hack-a-Claxton in full effect in the closing minutes of the Warriors vs Nets. He just missed 2 FTs with 3:25 left to go in the game with the Warriors up by 5.

He and Simmons are damn near unplayable in the closing minutes of close games.
This post didn’t age very well now did it?

Warriors were up 5 when they began Hack-A-Claxton and lost by 4. Another big Hack-A-Story to go along with another L utilizing this flawed strategy. The Warriors offense flowing with 22 pts and 3:26 to go in the game when they began the strategy. The rest of the way they shot 0-5 with 3 TO’s and only 4 FT’s saved them from the post-Hack goose egg.
 

kieckeredinthehead

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This post didn’t age very well now did it?

Warriors were up 5 when they began Hack-A-Claxton and lost by 4. Another big Hack-A-Story to go along with another L utilizing this flawed strategy. The Warriors offense flowing with 22 pts and 3:26 to go in the game when they began the strategy. The rest of the way they shot 0-5 with 3 TO’s and only 4 FT’s saved them from the post-Hack goose egg.
At 3:26, Warriors were up 5 when Thompson fouled Claxton (off ball). He missed both free throws. Forty seconds later Claxton was subbed out with the Warriors still up 5. In the minute he was on the bench, the Nets went on a 5-0 run. As far as I remember he didn’t touch the ball in the half court after that. Ben Simmons was benched from 7:25 on.

edit: just watched it again, after missing his last two free throws mentioned above, Claxton didn’t touch the ball apart from a defensive rebound and kicked ball.
 
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HomeRunBaker

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At 3:26, Warriors were up 5 when Thompson fouled Claxton (off ball). He missed both free throws. Forty seconds later Claxton was subbed out with the Warriors still up 5. In the minute he was on the bench, the Nets went on a 5-0 run. As far as I remember he didn’t touch the ball in the half court after that. Ben Simmons was benched from 7:25 on.

edit: just watched it again, after missing his last two free throws mentioned above, Claxton didn’t touch the ball apart from a defensive rebound and kicked ball.
You’ve missed my previous takes and real time examples on how the offensive flow of the team doing the hacking not only falls off but nosedives which is what once again occurred today. It has been occurring for years yet some coaches keep trying it. I get the desperation when you’re trailing but what Kerr did tonight was completely unnecessary.
 

benhogan

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You’ve missed my previous takes and real time examples on how the offensive flow of the team doing the hacking not only falls off but nosedives which is what once again occurred today. It has been occurring for years yet some coaches keep trying it. I get the desperation when you’re trailing but what Kerr did tonight was completely unnecessary.
You probably shouldn't use last night as an example of the Hack-a-Clax or Ben as a failed strategy.

Kerr got Claxton's defense off the floor. That's a WIN. Kerr also completely got Simmons off the floor for the last 7+ minutes with the Hack approach

The fact that GSW couldn't hit wide open shots had more to do with them losing than watching Nic Claxton relentlessly miss Free Throws
 

the moops

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You’ve missed my previous takes and real time examples on how the offensive flow of the team doing the hacking not only falls off but nosedives which is what once again occurred today. It has been occurring for years yet some coaches keep trying it. I get the desperation when you’re trailing but what Kerr did tonight was completely unnecessary.
You are ignoring that many times the last few minutes of a game are a slog regardless of any hackathon that occurs. And that teams lose leads, even large ones all the time
 

HomeRunBaker

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You are ignoring that many times the last few minutes of a game are a slog regardless of any hackathon that occurs. And that teams lose leads, even large ones all the time
Please point these anomalies out as they are rare occurances. Where are all these large leads that evaporated?
 
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HomeRunBaker

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You probably shouldn't use last night as an example of the Hack-a-Clax or Ben as a failed strategy.

Kerr got Claxton's defense off the floor. That's a WIN. Kerr also completely got Simmons off the floor for the last 7+ minutes with the Hack approach

The fact that GSW couldn't hit wide open shots had more to do with them losing than watching Nic Claxton relentlessly miss Free Throws
Yeah yeah yeah….but but but. There is always a defense for this strategy when it fails, every time. Got his defense off the floor so they could whiff on 7 of 9 possessions. Big win. Btw, the fouling was to get his OFFENSE off the floor as he had scored at the rim on the previous 3 trips.
 

the moops

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Please point these anomalies out as they are rare occurances. Where are all these large leads that evaporated?
Seriously? You have been beating the drum religiously as to how 15 point leads really aren't that large and the reason why teams in the lead don't sub out their starters even with 3 minutes to go in the game. So which is it?
 

HomeRunBaker

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Seriously? You have been beating the drum religiously as to how 15 point leads really aren't that large and the reason why teams in the lead don't sub out their starters even with 3 minutes to go in the game. So which is it?
Huh? What does one have to do with the other? I can’t answer specifically the psychological affect this strategy has with offensive flow but to ignore it is foolish. Not sure what this has to do with when a game is analytically final.
 

Just a bit outside

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You’ve missed my previous takes and real time examples on how the offensive flow of the team doing the hacking not only falls off but nosedives which is what once again occurred today. It has been occurring for years yet some coaches keep trying it. I get the desperation when you’re trailing but what Kerr did tonight was completely unnecessary.
Last night the Warriors called timeout after they hacked Claxton in the use it or lose it situation. They were stopping the flow with the timeout anyway. The earlier fouls were shooting fouls and I don't think there is a question you should foul Claxton instead of letting him get a layup.

I know you know more about basketball than I do but somehow you think you have solved this issue yet almost every coach in the NBA has it wrong? If you are correct than Vaughn was also wrong for removing Claxton from the game. He should have left him in to continue to get fouled and miss free throws?
 

the moops

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Huh? What does one have to do with the other? I can’t answer specifically the psychological affect this strategy has with offensive flow but to ignore it is foolish. Not sure what this has to do with when a game is analytically final.
Your argument is that teams only blow large leads on rare occurrences. And when they do, it is generally a result because they employ some hack a theory. Except the game you are referencing was only a 12 point lead with over 6 minutes to go. If you think the only teams to blow a 12 point lead with that much time left, well.....
 

InstaFace

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Last night the Warriors called timeout after they hacked Claxton in the use it or lose it situation. They were stopping the flow with the timeout anyway. The earlier fouls were shooting fouls and I don't think there is a question you should foul Claxton instead of letting him get a layup.

I know you know more about basketball than I do but somehow you think you have solved this issue yet almost every coach in the NBA has it wrong? If you are correct than Vaughn was also wrong for removing Claxton from the game. He should have left him in to continue to get fouled and miss free throws?
HRB's assertion is that it disrupts the mentality and offensive execution of the fouling team to pursue tactical fouling late in games. Vaughn removing or not removing Claxton from the game would've had no bearing on GSW's ability to focus and execute on offense, except insofar as Claxton is a good defender and removing him should've made the Warriors' job easier. So your argument does not apply.

I suspect he's making some fallacies here, reading too much into anecdotes and believing that correlation = causation, etc. But let's at least get his argument right.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Last night the Warriors called timeout after they hacked Claxton in the use it or lose it situation. They were stopping the flow with the timeout anyway. The earlier fouls were shooting fouls and I don't think there is a question you should foul Claxton instead of letting him get a layup.

I know you know more about basketball than I do but somehow you think you have solved this issue yet almost every coach in the NBA has it wrong? If you are correct than Vaughn was also wrong for removing Claxton from the game. He should have left him in to continue to get fouled and miss free throws?
It’s not about knowing more about basketball and I admit myself that I have no idea about how it affects an offensive players approach. It everyone wants to continue ignoring the offensive results once a team begins to hack so be it. I became opened minded about it years ago and am astonished by the results that I’ve been sharing for awhile.

How did Vaughn get it wrong when his strategy was effective? This is a bizarre to me.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Your argument is that teams only blow large leads on rare occurrences. And when they do, it is generally a result because they employ some hack a theory. Except the game you are referencing was only a 12 point lead with over 6 minutes to go. If you think the only teams to blow a 12 point lead with that much time left, well.....
Here I thought nobody could put words in my mouth like my wife. I was wrong. Sigh.
 

bigq

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This post didn’t age very well now did it?

Warriors were up 5 when they began Hack-A-Claxton and lost by 4. Another big Hack-A-Story to go along with another L utilizing this flawed strategy. The Warriors offense flowing with 22 pts and 3:26 to go in the game when they began the strategy. The rest of the way they shot 0-5 with 3 TO’s and only 4 FT’s saved them from the post-Hack goose egg.
Ha! I'm not sure it had any real impact on the outcome of the game.

I don't think hacking Claxton had much to do with the Warriors missing their last five shots from the floor and turning the ball over three times in the final 3+ minutes of the game.
 

benhogan

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Yeah yeah yeah….but but but. There is always a defense for this strategy when it fails, every time. Got his defense off the floor so they could whiff on 7 of 9 possessions. Big win. Btw, the fouling was to get his OFFENSE off the floor as he had scored at the rim on the previous 3 trips.
Championship hangover is probably the biggest reason the Warriors are struggling this season. Betting the under on their win total would have been a nice play

Claxton is really elevating himself, regardless of his FT clankfest. He is the Net's version of TimeLord on defense
 

HomeRunBaker

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Ha! I'm not sure it had any real impact on the outcome of the game.

I don't think hacking Claxton had much to do with the Warriors missing their last five shots from the floor and turning the ball over three times in the final 3+ minutes of the game.
I know right? I thought this too years ago before I began paying close attention to these now-rare sequences.

Championship hangover is probably the biggest reason the Warriors are struggling this season. Betting the under on their win total would have been a nice play

Claxton is really elevating himself, regardless of his FT clankfest. He is the Net's version of TimeLord on defense
They weren’t struggling. They were up 5 and pacing for a 30-pt 4Q which is well above league 4Q average.
 

benhogan

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I know right? I thought this too years ago before I began paying close attention to these now-rare sequences.


They weren’t struggling. They were up 5 and pacing for a 30-pt 4Q which is well above league 4Q average.
They also effectively played Hack a Clax in the first half when they opened up a 12pt lead

I believe Ben Simmons is still cowering under the stands once he saw Steve Kerr going with this strategy
 

Smokey Joe

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You’ve missed my previous takes and real time examples on how the offensive flow of the team doing the hacking not only falls off but nosedives which is what once again occurred today. It has been occurring for years yet some coaches keep trying it. I get the desperation when you’re trailing but what Kerr did tonight was completely unnecessary.
Your assertion that a defensive tactic like fouling on purpose disrupts the offensive flow of the fouling team needs something more than anecdotal evidence to get more then a “huh?” From this crowd. This is especially true for something like fouls, which you would have to differentiate between purposeful and accidental. Consider establishing some parameters for what you are looking for and spending some time trying to show it statistically. That is the only way to gets some traction here with that idea.
 

SteveF

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I think it's fair to point out that the Hack-A strat does give up something by the team doing the hacking. Your opponent is able to set their defense off of free throws better than they would a missed shot -- presuming there would be a missed shot, of course. The counter here would be that end of game possessions aren't like middle of the game possessions, and teams are getting back and setting their defenses on misses better at the end of games compared to earlier in games.

I think in the aggregate Hack-A-Clax is the right strategy, but it isn't unalloyed. The hacking team does give something up as HRB points out.
 

SteveF

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To put this in some perspective, average points per half court possession in the NBA is roughly 1.09. That's a 55% free throw shooter. Free throw shooting is lower variance, and when you are down late lower variance is not always the sort of thing you are looking for (though sometimes it is, e.g. when down by 2 late). The list of Hack-A candidates is pretty short. Mitchell Robinson, Simmons and Claxton, Kenrich Williams, maybe Steven Adams (he's been terrible this season, though never good), Haywood Highsmith... those kinds of dudes.
 

benhogan

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To put this in some perspective, average points per half court possession in the NBA is roughly 1.09. That's a 55% free throw shooter. Free throw shooting is lower variance, and when you are down late lower variance is not always the sort of thing you are looking for (though sometimes it is, e.g. when down by 2 late). The list of Hack-A candidates is pretty short. Mitchell Robinson, Simmons and Claxton, Kenrich Williams, maybe Steven Adams (he's been terrible this season, though never good), Haywood Highsmith... those kinds of dudes.
FWIW. The original argument (weeks ago) was that Hack-a-Clax & Hack-a-Ben is more effective in limiting the Nets offensively than letting Kyrie & Durant cook on offense.

KD has a .607 eFG%
Kyrie has a .564 eFG%

Claxton's FT% .463
Simmons FT% .434

Boston hacked them earlier this season and in the playoffs last year. I expect they'll do it again if we see them in the playoffs.

I agree that letting the Nets set up their D after a FT is advantageous to their half-court defense. BUT You still want to take the ball out of KD/Ky (or stop the spot up 3pt shooting of Curry/Harris/Watanabe/O'Neale) hands as much as possible on offense. Ultimately you want Vaughn to pull Simmons/Claxton which should hurt their defense and throw off their rotations.

Not one team has employed the Hack-a-Simmons or Hack-a-Clax strategy during the Nets' win streak. Not sure why, but they have been allowed to take lay-ups at their leisure and play excellent D. While letting Kyrie and KD cook on offense.
CJM has no problem cooling off KD/Ky by making them witness the Ben/Nic Free Throw Show. This will lead the Nets to compromise their defense. ALSO the C's have the perimeter defenders (Tatum, White, Smart, Grant) to somewhat slow Ky/KD down. The Celtics are well-constructed to beat the Nets.
 
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Just a bit outside

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It’s not about knowing more about basketball and I admit myself that I have no idea about how it affects an offensive players approach. It everyone wants to continue ignoring the offensive results once a team begins to hack so be it. I became opened minded about it years ago and am astonished by the results that I’ve been sharing for awhile.

How did Vaughn get it wrong when his strategy was effective? This is a bizarre to me.
Your argument is that fouling is bad for the defensive team. If that is the case then the offensive team should leave the player in to be fouled. Vaughn took Claxton out so he couldn't be fouled on purpose. Wouldn't that be the wrong strategy even if it worked in this game?
 

Kliq

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The Kings make 22 threes (including tying an NBA record with 12 in the first quarter) and smash the Grizzlies last night, 133-100. This comes shortly after they made 23 threes, a franchise record, back on Jan. 9. They are now 27-19 and in third place in the West. They lead the league in PPG and are second in offensive rating.

Given the power of their offense, I thought they'd be more elite at shooting, but they are 9th in the league in team three point percentage (37%) and 7th in three pointers made per game (13.7).

Sabonis is having a monster year; really close to a Jokic season. 19-12-7 and shooting 60% from the field; just mashing people on the block and running the offense from the elbows. Fox is having a really interesting season. His three-point shooting is still somewhat Westbrookian, but he is making up for it by shooting 57% on twos, buyoed by his trademark insanely high finishing around the basket numbers (76% shooting at the rim, a number only players like Giannis ever approach in great quantity).

It's interesting that while his usage rate is still around the same as his last few seasons, he's clearly playing more off-ball as Sabonis has become the primary initiator for the offense. Part of the reason they did the Haliburton trade (a really fascinating trade in hindsight, given the jumps both Sabonis and Haliburton have made) was because they didn't feel like Fox and Haliburton could play together because they were both ball handlers, yet Sabonis is now being used as a primary creator and leads the team in assists.

Harrison Barnes started slow but has been really hot lately and is their most dependable wing player. Keegan Murray looks like a rookie on defense but is big and shooting 42% from three at a high volume, he looks like a real player. Huerter has been a nice addition, adding ++shooting and some playmaking.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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The Kings make 22 threes (including tying an NBA record with 12 in the first quarter) and smash the Grizzlies last night, 133-100. This comes shortly after they made 23 threes, a franchise record, back on Jan. 9. They are now 27-19 and in third place in the West. They lead the league in PPG and are second in offensive rating.

Given the power of their offense, I thought they'd be more elite at shooting, but they are 9th in the league in team three point percentage (37%) and 7th in three pointers made per game (13.7).

Sabonis is having a monster year; really close to a Jokic season. 19-12-7 and shooting 60% from the field; just mashing people on the block and running the offense from the elbows. Fox is having a really interesting season. His three-point shooting is still somewhat Westbrookian, but he is making up for it by shooting 57% on twos, buyoed by his trademark insanely high finishing around the basket numbers (76% shooting at the rim, a number only players like Giannis ever approach in great quantity).

It's interesting that while his usage rate is still around the same as his last few seasons, he's clearly playing more off-ball as Sabonis has become the primary initiator for the offense. Part of the reason they did the Haliburton trade (a really fascinating trade in hindsight, given the jumps both Sabonis and Haliburton have made) was because they didn't feel like Fox and Haliburton could play together because they were both ball handlers, yet Sabonis is now being used as a primary creator and leads the team in assists.

Harrison Barnes started slow but has been really hot lately and is their most dependable wing player. Keegan Murray looks like a rookie on defense but is big and shooting 42% from three at a high volume, he looks like a real player. Huerter has been a nice addition, adding ++shooting and some playmaking.
Trey Lyles still can't get any respect around the league but damn he is a nice bench piece for these guys.

Thus far they aren't the Kangz anymore. Brown has them grinding and they are about as fun team to follow as there is in the NBA.

Light the beam!
 

HomeRunBaker

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The Kings make 22 threes (including tying an NBA record with 12 in the first quarter) and smash the Grizzlies last night, 133-100. This comes shortly after they made 23 threes, a franchise record, back on Jan. 9. They are now 27-19 and in third place in the West. They lead the league in PPG and are second in offensive rating.

Given the power of their offense, I thought they'd be more elite at shooting, but they are 9th in the league in team three point percentage (37%) and 7th in three pointers made per game (13.7).

Sabonis is having a monster year; really close to a Jokic season. 19-12-7 and shooting 60% from the field; just mashing people on the block and running the offense from the elbows. Fox is having a really interesting season. His three-point shooting is still somewhat Westbrookian, but he is making up for it by shooting 57% on twos, buyoed by his trademark insanely high finishing around the basket numbers (76% shooting at the rim, a number only players like Giannis ever approach in great quantity).

It's interesting that while his usage rate is still around the same as his last few seasons, he's clearly playing more off-ball as Sabonis has become the primary initiator for the offense. Part of the reason they did the Haliburton trade (a really fascinating trade in hindsight, given the jumps both Sabonis and Haliburton have made) was because they didn't feel like Fox and Haliburton could play together because they were both ball handlers, yet Sabonis is now being used as a primary creator and leads the team in assists.

Harrison Barnes started slow but has been really hot lately and is their most dependable wing player. Keegan Murray looks like a rookie on defense but is big and shooting 42% from three at a high volume, he looks like a real player. Huerter has been a nice addition, adding ++shooting and some playmaking.
Crazy game. Tied at 80 midway through the 3Q and the Kings finished on a 53-20 run. The Grizz scored 10 points in the 4Q without Morant. The Grizz go as Ja goes. How do these Kings, who gladly offer opponents a free layup line, hold anyone to 10 pts in a quarter? NBA Insanity.
 

Kliq

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Crazy game. Tied at 80 midway through the 3Q and the Kings finished on a 53-20 run. The Grizz scored 10 points in the 4Q without Morant. The Grizz go as Ja goes. How do these Kings, who gladly offer opponents a free layup line, hold anyone to 10 pts in a quarter? NBA Insanity.
The Grizzlies are 24-9 over the last two years without Ja.
 

HomeRunBaker

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The Grizzlies are 24-9 over the last two years without Ja.
I’m referring to this year. In the past he was all flash no substance but that has changed. They also had a second unit in the past that could start in the league.He’s made a ridiculous leap since last season in my ratings in how he has learned to control the game.
 

benhogan

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The Kings make 22 threes (including tying an NBA record with 12 in the first quarter) and smash the Grizzlies last night, 133-100. This comes shortly after they made 23 threes, a franchise record, back on Jan. 9. They are now 27-19 and in third place in the West. They lead the league in PPG and are second in offensive rating.

Given the power of their offense, I thought they'd be more elite at shooting, but they are 9th in the league in team three point percentage (37%) and 7th in three pointers made per game (13.7).

Sabonis is having a monster year; really close to a Jokic season. 19-12-7 and shooting 60% from the field; just mashing people on the block and running the offense from the elbows. Fox is having a really interesting season. His three-point shooting is still somewhat Westbrookian, but he is making up for it by shooting 57% on twos, buyoed by his trademark insanely high finishing around the basket numbers (76% shooting at the rim, a number only players like Giannis ever approach in great quantity).

It's interesting that while his usage rate is still around the same as his last few seasons, he's clearly playing more off-ball as Sabonis has become the primary initiator for the offense. Part of the reason they did the Haliburton trade (a really fascinating trade in hindsight, given the jumps both Sabonis and Haliburton have made) was because they didn't feel like Fox and Haliburton could play together because they were both ball handlers, yet Sabonis is now being used as a primary creator and leads the team in assists.

Harrison Barnes started slow but has been really hot lately and is their most dependable wing player. Keegan Murray looks like a rookie on defense but is big and shooting 42% from three at a high volume, he looks like a real player. Huerter has been a nice addition, adding ++shooting and some playmaking.
That Huerter trade is turning into a heist. Sticking a completely useless Justin Holiday on ATLs roster while adding multiple years of a starting sniper. ATL can enjoy that Kings 1st along with their play-in game pick.

No worries ATL, the owner's kid has this.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Even with the LAC/LAL result spacing things out a bit, #5 and #13 in the West are currently separated by … a whopping three games. And with the Pels in free-fall, just four games separate #4 and #13. The West this season is nuts.

Edit: fun as it is, I kinda miss the clarity of the 2015-16 regular season, when the Warriors finished 54 games ahead of the Lakers, and 63 games ahead of the Sixers. :)
 
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PC Drunken Friar

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I am not sure if Ben Simmons is a playable NBA player right now. I just watched about 4 minutes of him playing (not looking at anyone else) and he took like 3 or 4 steps each possession (on Off and Def...when not bringing the ball up court or on-ball defending). Only real movement was when the ball bounced to him and he missed a 5 foot bunny.

Currently 14 MP. 0-1, 2 DRB, 2 Ast, 1 block, 3 fouls. -10

Edit: And he just got the ball at the restricted area and didn't hesitate before passing it.
 
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HomeRunBaker

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I am not sure if Ben Simmons is a playable NBA player right now. I just watched about 4 minutes of him playing (not looking at anyone else) and he took like 3 or 4 steps each possession (on Off and Def...when not bringing the ball up court or on-ball defending). Only real movement was when the ball bounced to him and he missed a 5 foot bunny.

Currently 14 MP. 0-1, 2 DRB, 2 Ast, 1 block, 3 fouls. -10

Edit: And he just got the ball at the restricted area and didn't hesitate before passing it.
It’s so weird (I know this is Ben) but he was beginning to play so well up until a few weeks ago. It looked like he had his legs back and was really working in sync w Kyrie. Then it stopped.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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It’s so weird (I know this is Ben) but he was beginning to play so well up until a few weeks ago. It looked like he had his legs back and was really working in sync w Kyrie. Then it stopped.
And at least the announcers aren't shying away from it. There was no way you could ignore the fact that Simmons sat out the last 5+ minutes.

Even if a 12/5/5 line doesn't look bad.
 

Devizier

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I thought you guys were overreacting on Simmons because his line looked okay, but then I checked his player page and..

60462

(231/255 players in points per 100 possessions)
 

Euclis20

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I thought you guys were overreacting on Simmons because his line looked okay, but then I checked his player page and..

View attachment 60462

(231/255 players in points per 100 possessions)
And even if his line looks fine, he's a defensive specialist, and the other team scored 137 points. And Simmons had the worst +/- of anyone who played. The big problem with Simmons isn't how he's playing right now (his basic numbers are almost identical to draymond), the problem is that everybody knows he's afraid to score and afraid to go to the line. This is a problem that will get worse in the playoffs when the game slows down and every possession is grind it out.

*edit - he's playing and that's more than we can say he did last year, but think where he is now compared to where he was at the end of the Atlanta series in June 2021. He's a disaster.