2022 NBA Playoffs Gamethread

PedroKsBambino

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The 2016 Cavs lacked a high-quality defensive center. Tristan Thompson played the 5 for them in the playoffs. He was ok but hardly a dominating interior presence.

Unless you're counting Draymond Green as a center, the Warriors' Durant teams didn't have a good defensive 5. The 2015 team had Bogut but had to bench him in the Finals.
those guys are clearly good defensive 5s—that’s the point. Either (in their prime) would have changed game for Toronto.
 

the moops

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Jalen Brunson just made himself a lot of money with that 41 point performance last night.

I was always a fan of Donovan Mitchell, but man, they hunted him relentlessly last night, and Brunson and Dinwiddie got by him on nearly every single play.
 

ManicCompression

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I was always a fan of Donovan Mitchell, but man, they hunted him relentlessly last night, and Brunson and Dinwiddie got by him on nearly every single play.
What happened to him? He was supposed to be a good defender coming out of college due to his insane athleticism and length. You'd figure this would only improve with Gobert behind him, but he's been a dud on that side of the floor in the NBA.

Between the defense, Utah's unwillingness to make him their true PG (forcing them to go really small in the backcourt with Conley), and his overall attitude toward Gobert, I've cooled on fantasizing him as part of a Boston Big Three. Too many Westbrook vibes.
 

Kliq

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Mitchell's bad defense can likely be attributed mainly to the enormous offensive burden he carries for a Jazz teams that lacks other options on that end of the floor (especially with Conley stinking out the joint last night). I wouldn't really worry about him over the long-term.
 

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benhogan

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when was the last team without a high quality defensive 5 who won it, though?

you are describing it as a binary choice and I don’t think that’s so. You need wings—and they are the most critical element these days—but 5s aren’t fungible either. As noted by someone else, just ask the Raptors
I'm not posting it as a binary choice. I was just replying to @Euclis20 comment that when it comes to "actually winning" a dominant center is more important than a versatile wing.

Unless I misunderstood his statement, I don't agree

And let's stay with the original point...That Warrior's unit would also play Embiid right off the floor...there is no unit in NBA history where a versatile wing like Tatum would be a hindrance
 
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PedroKsBambino

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And let's stay with the original point...That Warrior's unit would also play Embiid right off the floor...there is no unit in NBA history where a versatile wing like Tatum would be a hindrance
Has someone said anything at all like "there is a unit where Tatum would be a hindrance?" Cmon. That is not, and never has been the discussion.

For what it's worth, I tend to agree with you a wing is on average more valuable than a big today. I don't think that means centers are fungible, however....if you have an Embiid/Jokic level big it covers a lot of gaps (and in a way a similarly-talented wing won't by themselves). And if you don't have a quality defensive big, you run the risk that you run into one and have major issues.
 
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benhogan

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Has someone said anything at all like "there is a unit where Tatum would be a hindrance?" Cmon. That is not, and never has been the discussion.

For what it's worth, I tend to agree with you a wing is on average more valuable than a big today. I don't think that means centers are fungible, however....if you have an Embiid/Jokic level big it covers a lot of gaps (and in a way a similarly-talented wing won't by themselves). And if you don't have a quality defensive big, you run the risk that you run into one and have major issues.
when people discuss "fungible Centers" it's mostly in regard to 2nd/3rd/4th string depth centers that are cheap.

No one is claiming that Joker and Embiid are "fungible"
 

PedroKsBambino

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I think Embiid will help a generic roster more than Tatum. Last year/first half of this year's philly team to me makes this point, as does this year's Denver team.

But if you're already a good team---you have some other pieces---a great wing provides versatility and impact that makes you tougher in the playoffs against other good teams. That, to me, is the big thing the Warriors showed and changed in the way NBA teams think about this. But they also have a hugely unique world-class defensive big. You and others have said 5s are fungible and you can get one for vet minimum....I believe (and Euclis is making same point, though even more strongly than i am) that is not so.
 

Kliq

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This series against Toronto also feels like the first time we've really seen Embiid just dominant a series with his size and skill. Having a better supporting cast helps a lot. It wasn't that long ago in the bubble where the Celtics guarded Embiid with Theis and had no trouble beating him as he would gas out after the first quarter.
 

PedroKsBambino

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This series against Toronto also feels like the first time we've really seen Embiid just dominant a series with his size and skill. Having a better supporting cast helps a lot. It wasn't that long ago in the bubble where the Celtics guarded Embiid with Theis and had no trouble beating him as he would gas out after the first quarter.
His conditioning was an issue until last season, I believe.
 

benhogan

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I think Embiid will help a generic roster more than Tatum. Last year/first half of this year's philly team to me makes this point, as does this year's Denver team.

But if you're already a good team---you have some other pieces---a great wing provides versatility and impact that makes you tougher in the playoffs against other good teams. That, to me, is the big thing the Warriors showed and changed in the way NBA teams think about this. But they also have a hugely unique world-class defensive big. You and others have said 5s are fungible and you can get one for vet minimum....I believe (and Euclis is making same point, though even more strongly than i am) that is not so.
considering I was much more bullish on TimeLord (and loved the signing at the time) than you were last season I don't view starting Centers as fungible.

BUT I do view depth at Center to be one of the places to find value, the market prices them cheaply. I also view defense-first Centers to be priced real cheap and even better value for roster building

So it sounds like if you are starting a roster/expansion team you're taking Embiid or Joker over Tatum? I'm not.
 
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Euclis20

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I'm not posting it as a binary choice. I was just replying to @Euclis20 comment that when it comes to "actually winning" a dominant center is more important than a versatile wing.

Unless I misunderstood his statement, I don't agree

And let's stay with the original point...That Warrior's unit would also play Embiid right off the floor...there is no unit in NBA history where a versatile wing like Tatum would be a hindrance
I was very careful NOT to say that a dominant center is more important than a versatile wing. My point is that the more talented team usually wins, not necessarily the team with the more talented wings (and a wing of equal talent is not necessarily more impactful in the playoffs than a big of equal talent).

And while he doesn't usually play center, Giannis is certainly more of a big than a wing (both in terms of size and how he plays both offense and defense).
 

Cellar-Door

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What happened to him? He was supposed to be a good defender coming out of college due to his insane athleticism and length. You'd figure this would only improve with Gobert behind him, but he's been a dud on that side of the floor in the NBA.

Between the defense, Utah's unwillingness to make him their true PG (forcing them to go really small in the backcourt with Conley), and his overall attitude toward Gobert, I've cooled on fantasizing him as part of a Boston Big Three. Too many Westbrook vibes.
His effort is abysmal, and it isn't really a "he carries the load on offense and gets tired" because he makes no effort early in games either. He never gets back in transition, he has no concept of how to direct a guy towards help, he doesn't rotate, he's just straight garbage and has not made any effort to improve.

Also... sneakily his offense late is games has regressed a ton, hero ball bad shots galore, mostly misses. His offense is still so good he's a max player, but he's on the low end of max guys to me, I think his rep is inflated by his surprise early breakout and one good playoff run, he's regressed while the other guys around his age have passed him by improving on both ends.
 

Jimbodandy

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Jalen Brunson just made himself a lot of money with that 41 point performance last night.

I was always a fan of Donovan Mitchell, but man, they hunted him relentlessly last night, and Brunson and Dinwiddie got by him on nearly every single play.
Mitchell has been a bad defender for a long time. Nobody ever cares until the playoffs because they can obliterate teams in the regular season since half their roster shoots 40% from 3.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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This series against Toronto also feels like the first time we've really seen Embiid just dominant a series with his size and skill. Having a better supporting cast helps a lot. It wasn't that long ago in the bubble where the Celtics guarded Embiid with Theis and had no trouble beating him as he would gas out after the first quarter.
One of the reasons IMO that Embiid is dominating the TOR series is because he's playing more like a wing than a big. I was at the game last night and the things he is doing - hitting jumpers, doing step throughs, getting up in the air and delivering perfect passes, shooting 3Ps, guarding 1s on the permiter, and ball-handling - is way more of what most wings do than what most bigs do.

TOR also needs to stop going for his pump fakes; let him shoot his uncontested fadeaways (probably better than the "and 1s" that he gets or the open 3Ps that he sets up); and stop fouling him. PHI had something like 21 FTs at the half.
 

benhogan

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I was very careful NOT to say that a dominant center is more important than a versatile wing. My point is that the more talented team usually wins, not necessarily the team with the more talented wings (and a wing of equal talent is not necessarily more impactful in the playoffs than a big of equal talent).

And while he doesn't usually play center, Giannis is certainly more of a big than a wing (both in terms of size and how he plays both offense and defense).
yes Agree... more talented teams usually win...I'm sure 100% of the Board agrees with that

I really don't want to debate the semantics of what position Giannis plays when Brook or Portis are on the floor

a team starring Tatum or Durant is easier to upgrade than a team led by Embiid or Jokic - but when it comes to actually winning, I don't see it.
I read your last statement that Embiid or Jokic actually help you win more than Tatum or Durant.
 

PedroKsBambino

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considering I was much more bullish on TimeLord (and loved the signing at the time) than you were last season I don't view starting Centers as fungible.

BUT I do view depth at Center to be one of the places to find value, the market prices them cheaply. I also view defense-first Centers to be priced real cheap and even better value for roster building

So it sounds like if you are starting a roster/expansion team you're taking Embiid or Joker over Tatum? I'm not.
That's not so---I have always been a big believer in Time Lord as a player, but have always doubted his health and thus viewed the contract as an upside gamble. One that looks correct, though not at all inconsistent with my take at time either. Viewing things more probabilistically rather than black and white does distinguish how we see things generally, that's fair.

Yes, I'd take the dominant center first on an expansion team at least within the timeline of the first contract. The other big difference between bigs and wings is expected years of impact, where I do believe wings have better longevity (consistent with my comments on the TL contract). So if I knew I had the guy for 10 years I'd take the wing, but if I only get the four years I'd take the dominant center.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Embiid…yes JOEL EMBIID, told an opposing coach to stop “bitching about calls,” and then decided to make that public. Huh, ok.
Maybe the wrong messenger, but I'm here for the "Nick Nurse is a whiny pr*ck" takes. Great game coach but maaaaan is he a whiner. I don't recall which playoff game with the C's during their last series in particular, but he had the gall to complain about the refs after a game in which the Celtics were called for more fouls AND he had Kyle Lowry doing shady shit the entire game.
 

benhogan

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That's not so---I have always been a big believer in Time Lord as a player, but have always doubted his health and thus viewed the contract as an upside gamble. One that looks correct, though not at all inconsistent with my take at time either. Viewing things more probabilistically rather than black and white does distinguish how we see things generally, that's fair.

Yes, I'd take the dominant center first on an expansion team at least within the timeline of the first contract. The other big difference between bigs and wings is expected years of impact, where I do believe wings have better longevity (consistent with my comments on the TL contract). So if I knew I had the guy for 10 years I'd take the wing, but if I only get the four years I'd take the dominant center.
4yr or 10yrs, doesn't matter to me, I'm nabbing the young All-NBA wings or ballhandlers before the young All-NBA Centers

Probabilistic VS. black and white... hilarious
 

BigMike

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I feel like this discussion is a little harsh on Djokic, who basically was a one man team. Without him this year, I think they are in the middle of the lottery at best. GS is obviously the nightmare scenario, as Denver simply can't compete on the perimeter, and while I think GS is the better team, they are riding him like a rented mule with the clear understanding the officials won't call everything .

Ultimate I don't think a one man team can win at the NBA level, and it doesn't matter to me if that one man is a Center, or a SF, or PG.
 

Jimbodandy

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Maybe the wrong messenger, but I'm here for the "Nick Nurse is a whiny pr*ck" takes. Great game coach but maaaaan is he a whiner. I don't recall which playoff game with the C's during their last series in particular, but he had the gall to complain about the refs after a game in which the Celtics were called for more fouls AND he had Kyle Lowry doing shady shit the entire game.
I don't think that you'll get any disagreement here on that. It's just funny that it's Embiid saying it. Someone said that Embiid makes Harden look like Brad Stevens from a complaining POV, and that's spot on. Guy gets paid by the gripe.
 

the moops

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Maybe the wrong messenger, but I'm here for the "Nick Nurse is a whiny pr*ck" takes. Great game coach but maaaaan is he a whiner. I don't recall which playoff game with the C's during their last series in particular, but he had the gall to complain about the refs after a game in which the Celtics were called for more fouls AND he had Kyle Lowry doing shady shit the entire game.
Just because one team got called for more fouls doesn't mean that they shouldnt have been called for even more fouls
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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I don't think that you'll get any disagreement here on that. It's just funny that it's Embiid saying it. Someone said that Embiid makes Harden look like Brad Stevens from a complaining POV, and that's spot on. Guy gets paid by the gripe.
Fair point, Embiid's persona off the court sometimes distracts from his pissiness on it.

Just because one team got called for more fouls doesn't mean that they shouldnt have been called for even more fouls
Yes, sure I agree when one team is being an aggressor and taking the physicality way above the level of the other team. The C's and Raptors matchup was far from that though. Although funny enough, this year I'd pick the C's to be a bit more physical and subject to more fouling.

Figured I should actually look up the game, and do recall it now: https://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/202009010TOR.html. West through the game thread here: https://www.sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/game-2-celtics-vs-raptors-they-dont-look-very-scary-more-like-a-six-foot-turkey.31324/page-15

TL;DR was that the C's got screwed on 2-3 earlier calls and Raptors got hosed on a call later in the 4th quarter. I'd argue the calls were probably biased in the Raptors favor that game despite the last miss being more visible, maybe closer to even but certainly not in the C's favor to where Nurse should have gotten his knickers in a twist.
 

Deathofthebambino

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I didn't realize that Bam was officiated the same way as Giannis and Embiid nowadays. If he gets the ball, and goes towards the rim, a defender can't do anything other than get out of the way, or a foul will be called.
 

mauf

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Ja Morant led the league in PPG in the paint, per the graphic that just popped up on NBA TV.

Which I guess isn’t hugely surprising, but it goes to show how much the game has changed.
 

djbayko

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This ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Between Kyrie, Lowry, Harden, and on and on, there is going to be somebody on every team in the playoffs that I'm going to hate if the C's play them.
These guys will certainly help, but I figure out a reason to hate every team we face in the playoffs by Game 2. It's easy to find faults when you're hanging on every single play and everything's under a microscope.
 

Kliq

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First guard to ever do it.
Yeah, there was a graphic the other day thar showed the shortest players to ever lead the league in PIP and I forget who #2 was but #3 was LeBron, which shows just the size of the players who tend to lead that category.
 

Auger34

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Duncan Robinson, game 1 hero with 28 points and 8 3’s, is the 10th man in Game 2 with only 7 minutes. Can’t really explain that one
 

JCizzle

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Cellar-Door

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I just don'


He's awful. He's going to get someone seriously hurt (i.e. DWade).

you mean someone else... he hurt Aaron Gordon with dirty plays twice when he was on Orlando, once with a clothesline on a dunk, once by diving into his knee on a boxout. He's trash.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Game 3 in Atlanta is going to be “Their Kevin Millar Game” bc they have every chance to bring this back to Miami 2-2 for a three-game series.