2023-2024 General NBA Season Thread

lars10

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There's a lot of focus on the new rules helping more physical, chippy teams and perhaps well-coached teams. But, as you say, it helps teams with shooting and ball movement, since defenses can get more physical with predictable iso-heavy sets (think JB's defense on Zion last weekend). Also, well-conditioned teams greatly benefit in an environment where there are fewer free throw breaks for players to catch their breath. This seems like the most underreported consequence and bodes well for C's while spelling trouble for teams like the Clips and esp 76ers. I think it's gonna be just brutal on Embiid.
The only issue is clogging the lane for Tatum and Brown.. late in games if threes aren’t falling the celts like to drive the ball.. teams like Miami and Milwaukee have mediocre defenders that become competent if they’re allowed to clutch and grab.
 

Ed Hillel

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Boston is going to get the #1 seed. That's happening. They have some incentive to get another look at some challenging situations in a playoff atmosphere, and the OKC game is their last shot. I don't think either team will go all out in the Milwaukee game.
I meant OKC‘s priority. They can’t afford to punt the easier ones by sitting their 2 best scorers, even if they assumed no Embiid.
 

lexrageorge

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I meant OKC‘s priority. They can’t afford to punt the easier ones by sitting their 2 best scorers, even if they assumed no Embiid.
They sort of had no choice, given that it was the front of a road back-to-back. Probably decided that playing full strength against the Celtics would be a better measuring stick and a way to get the players pumped for the playoffs. Of the 3 teams fighting for #1 seed in the West, the Thunder have the easiest schedule remaining, and the T'Wolves and Nuggets play each other in Denver.

There's also the fact that health entering the playoffs is by far more important than the difference between #1 and #2 seed; either way, there's a strong likelihood they will have to win a game in Denver to advance.
 

Ed Hillel

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They sort of had no choice, given that it was the front of a road back-to-back. Probably decided that playing full strength against the Celtics would be a better measuring stick and a way to get the players pumped for the playoffs. Of the 3 teams fighting for #1 seed in the West, the Thunder have the easiest schedule remaining, and the T'Wolves and Nuggets play each other in Denver.

There's also the fact that health entering the playoffs is by far more important than the difference between #1 and #2 seed; either way, there's a strong likelihood they will have to win a game in Denver to advance.
They definitely had a choice, I don’t understand this.

And “get pumped for the playoffs?” Is this the 2021-22 Golden State Warriors or something? They are a young team with no prior playoff success and everything to prove. Priority number 1 should be having home court in the West, and having a relatively easy schedule means you need to win the relatively easy ones.
 

HomeRunBaker

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They sort of had no choice, given that it was the front of a road back-to-back. Probably decided that playing full strength against the Celtics would be a better measuring stick and a way to get the players pumped for the playoffs. Of the 3 teams fighting for #1 seed in the West, the Thunder have the easiest schedule remaining, and the T'Wolves and Nuggets play each other in Denver.

There's also the fact that health entering the playoffs is by far more important than the difference between #1 and #2 seed; either way, there's a strong likelihood they will have to win a game in Denver to advance.
Jalen had also played 7 games in 11 days with tons of travel since coming off his ankle injury, tweaked it in the Knicks game and now is facing a B2B. As you say health is the top priority for teams already in the playoffs so sitting him seems pretty reasonable.
 

Ed Hillel

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Jalen had also played 7 games in 11 days with tons of travel since coming off his ankle injury, tweaked it in the Knicks game and now is facing a B2B. As you say health is the top priority for teams already in the playoffs so sitting him seems pretty reasonable.
What about SGA? They needed to sit both?

I’m just trying to imagine the reaction here if, say, the 2021 Celtics sat Brown and Tatum in a similar situation fighting for the 1 seed with 7-8 games left and lost. OKC is a young team with young stars, them playing in these games is part of their advantage.
 

HomeRunBaker

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What about SGA? They needed to sit both?

I’m just trying to imagine the reaction here if, say, the 2021 Celtics sat Brown and Tatum in a similar situation fighting for the 1 seed with 7-8 games left and lost. OKC is a young team with young stars, them playing in these games is part of their advantage.
He’s also coming off an injury with a B2B so was likely going to sit one of the games. I don’t see the big deal here….teams do this all the time and OKC’s priority right now is health and not to treat every game like a playoff game.
 

BigMike

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He’s also coming off an injury with a B2B so was likely going to sit one of the games. I don’t see the big deal here….teams do this all the time and OKC’s priority right now is health and not to treat every game like a playoff game.
Honestly my bigger concern is playing both tonight, meaning I hope they don't push injured guys out there, just because of the fake importance of the game. SGA has been visibly limited the past 2 weeks. And as you mentioned Jalen is coming off the ankle injury. They need these guys 100% in the postseason.

This is an area where I think Daignaeult has shown his inexperience this year. He played a clearly hobbled SGA 35 minutes in back to back games earlier in the season. SGA was terrible in both, and they lost both games.

The #1 seed would be a benefit, but it is meaningless if SGA and JDub are not 100%. The west is brutal, and there are no easy matchups.
 

InstaFace

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What about SGA? They needed to sit both?

I’m just trying to imagine the reaction here if, say, the 2021 Celtics sat Brown and Tatum in a similar situation fighting for the 1 seed with 7-8 games left and lost. OKC is a young team with young stars, them playing in these games is part of their advantage.
If you can't go 100% for both games of the b2b without risking injury (at the end of a long season, with everyone carrying some sort of aches and pains), then choosing to gear up to give your best shot to the regular-season champs and playoff favorites, who you've already beat once, makes sense to me. The alternative is writing off the game in Boston and basically guaranteeing a split of the b2b, while claiming some bogus injuries for a marquee national-TV game that would probably bring the wrath of the league office.

Philly is a mid-table team right now with Embiid <80%. Even sitting 2 of their best 3 players, they were a lucky bounce away from winning it. I don't see how OKC's choices haven't been proven correct already, just based on watching that game. They rolled the dice a little bit to preserve at least the chance of going 2-0 on this b2b. That, to me, seems like an approach that values the seeding implications of these games, rather than disregarding them. The fact that they lost the game last night doesn't change the fact that their choices were aligned with what gave them the best chance to win both games.
 

BigMike

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Both SGA and Williams OUT tonight. The conspiracy can be put to bed.
Good, glad to see they are doing the right thing here. Get the guys healthy

Also glad i didn't buy tickets as this was the game i did want to go to
 
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lovegtm

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Both SGA and Williams OUT tonight. The conspiracy can be put to bed.
Whelp, that's a wrap on this regular season. Win or lose, that was the last Celtics game they were potentially going to go hard for.

From here on out it's getting healthy, maybe try a couple things, and a lot of mostly bench units.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Whelp, that's a wrap on this regular season. Win or lose, that was the last Celtics game they were potentially going to go hard for.

From here on out it's getting healthy, maybe try a couple things, and a lot of mostly bench units.
Maybe the final game but I’d expect more of the same. Some guys get a full game off but the others will play normal, if not heavier, minutes to ramp up for the playoffs as Mazzulla has alluded to in the past. This is what happened last year….in their last close game when starters weren’t pulled, Tatum sat, Jaylen and White played 40 min, TimeLord played 31 and Brogdon 35 off the bench. The night prior in a close game…Tatum, Horford and White played over 35. (Jaylen and Tatum alternated the days off).
 

Justthetippett

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Maybe the final game but I’d expect more of the same. Some guys get a full game off but the others will play normal, if not heavier, minutes to ramp up for the playoffs as Mazzulla has alluded to in the past. This is what happened last year….in their last close game when starters weren’t pulled, Tatum sat, Jaylen and White played 40 min, TimeLord played 31 and Brogdon 35 off the bench. The night prior in a close game…Tatum, Horford and White played over 35. (Jaylen and Tatum alternated the days off).
Just protect KPs legs. Every time he jumps into traffic I fear the worst.
 

Euclis20

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LA is now 20-8 since our boys threw up the stinkbomb against the Redondo Beach Y squad in early February. :mad:
When the Lakers made their big push in the 2nd half last year it made sense. They traded Westbrook and acquired a bunch of useful role players. This year? No clue. It's the same people, their top 4 guys have been healthy all year. And still, they may be one and done if they can't climb out of the 9th seed.
 

Ed Hillel

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Knicks being super injured and falling to the 5 seed is something I can live with.

Also, Bucks with back to back losses to the Wizards and Memphis, now below .500 under Doc. Everyone but Dame has played the past 2 nights. Cleveland just one game back of them. Sad.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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InstaFace

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Whelp, that's a wrap on this regular season. Win or lose, that was the last Celtics game they were potentially going to go hard for.

From here on out it's getting healthy, maybe try a couple things, and a lot of mostly bench units.
Well, in retrospect, they DID go hard for it, and we saw how it went: 35-point blowout. Good to see those return, had been a little bit since we had dealt out a good ol' fashioned country ass whuppin.
 

tims4wins

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Also, Bucks with back to back losses to the Wizards and Memphis, now below .500 under Doc. Everyone but Dame has played the past 2 nights. Cleveland just one game back of them. Sad.
This isn't true, PatBev and Middleton also sat.

This was interesting though. We've been saying that Giannis has already played more than past years. I know they don't play back to backs in the playoffs, but I'd be pretty concerned if these comments were made about say Tatum.

Bucks coach Doc Rivers was more concerned after the game about the health of Antetokounmpo, who played 32 minutes on the second night of a back to back after getting a triple-double in a loss to Washington on Tuesday.
“Honestly, and I'm not kidding, there were times in the middle of the third (quarter), I wanted to take him out of the game,” Rivers said. "I thought he was running on fumes. As a coach, you have to make a judgment call sometimes.
“Medical makes the call. They kept saying he's OK. But I have eyes. I just didn't like the way he was moving. He kept asking to go back in. But I wish I had just said, no, honestly.”
 

Ed Hillel

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Lol Doc is just gearing up his excuse machine and blaming others in the process.

Giannis might really be hurt, too, but impossible to know with Doc. True leadership throwing everyone under the bus. Doc saying he can’t make the call as coach is something.
 
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tims4wins

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Interesting races in the EC among 2/3/4/5 and 6/7/8.
In the WC, for 1/2/3 and 5/6/7/8/9.
Should allow for some interesting games over this last week and a half.
Just a ton at stake. I can't remember the end of the season being this interesting before.

Edit: Giannis has played 2,499 minutes this year vs. 2,022 last year, 23.6% more minutes. And the Bucks still have 6 games left. They probably are locked into the 2 seed, but I doubt he sits more than 2 of their final 6.
 
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lars10

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Lol Doc is just gearing up his excuse machine and blaming others in the process.

Giannis might really be hurt, too, but impossible to know with Doc. True leadership throwing everyone under the bus. Doc saying he can’t make the call as coach is something.
He thinks he’s still an analyst rather the person that can change everything.
 

bakahump

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Man that is some passive coaching bullshit. “Yea I thought about it…. But ya know someone else said he was ok sooo… but now that I think about it I was right and shoulda done what I wanted to”
 

HomeRunBaker

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When the Lakers made their big push in the 2nd half last year it made sense. They traded Westbrook and acquired a bunch of useful role players. This year? No clue. It's the same people, their top 4 guys have been healthy all year. And still, they may be one and done if they can't climb out of the 9th seed.
Yeah adding Hachimura and DAR while bumping Reaves into a significant role were the catalysts to change. What are their catalysts this year….flipping the switch? We saw them do this during the in-season tournament so anyone counting the Lakers completely out well good luck with that. It seems like these are the same people who aren’t considering the Heat a threat to anyone in the playoffs in the East. Playoff basketball is far far different than regular season. I’m really hoping for a Lakers/Thunder series….that will show just how different.
 

lovegtm

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Well, in retrospect, they DID go hard for it, and we saw how it went: 35-point blowout. Good to see those return, had been a little bit since we had dealt out a good ol' fashioned country ass whuppin.
The funny thing is, as Scal noted a lot during the broadcast, they were definitely working on a number of things on offense as opposed to optimizing winning this specific game. But they are so good when they focus on execution that it eventually overwhelmed OKC.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Yeah adding Hachimura and DAR while bumping Reaves into a significant role were the catalysts to change. What are their catalysts this year….flipping the switch? We saw them do this during the in-season tournament so anyone counting the Lakers completely out well good luck with that. It seems like these are the same people who aren’t considering the Heat a threat to anyone in the playoffs in the East. Playoff basketball is far far different than regular season. I’m really hoping for a Lakers/Thunder series….that will show just how different.
Zach Lowe has mentioned on his podcast a couple of times that the recent LAL run has a lot to do with Ham finally landing on a starting lineup and sticking to it. That lineup includes Hachimura, who is shooting 59% from the field and 45% from 3P since he began starting again according to this article.

Since February 3, LAL has the #2 ORtg in the league at 118.6. (Some other team in the other conference is #1 with 127.1). No one wondered if LAL's defense was good enough and now that they are scoring, they are hard to beat. Remains to be seen whether they can keep this up in the playoffs.
 

Murderer's Crow

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I thought Jon was excited about the Knicks? He's always posting about OG Anunoby's impact, but I'm sure this makes him sad either way.
For sure, but there was an exchange here the other day where I said I was more concerned about OG than Randle's injuries this year. The Knicks have been saying for the last 2 months that he's on track and not providing much of an update. Now he's out for the year.
 

benhogan

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Yeah adding Hachimura and DAR while bumping Reaves into a significant role were the catalysts to change. What are their catalysts this year….flipping the switch? We saw them do this during the in-season tournament so anyone counting the Lakers completely out well good luck with that. It seems like these are the same people who aren’t considering the Heat a threat to anyone in the playoffs in the East. Playoff basketball is far far different than regular season. I’m really hoping for a Lakers/Thunder series….that will show just how different.
Its funny, I haven't heard one person in the Media say the OKC would beat the Lakers in Round 1. Everyone has the Lakers beating OKC because of their regular season head-to-head, 22-year-olds, & Bron/AD experience.

If they are a #2 vs #7 in Round 1, I wouldn't be surprised if the Lakers were slight favorites.

Miami (because of CES) & the Bucks (because Dame/Giannis) are the Celtics' two biggest threats in the EC regardless of seeding IMO
 

Justthetippett

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This isn't true, PatBev and Middleton also sat.

This was interesting though. We've been saying that Giannis has already played more than past years. I know they don't play back to backs in the playoffs, but I'd be pretty concerned if these comments were made about say Tatum.

Bucks coach Doc Rivers was more concerned after the game about the health of Antetokounmpo, who played 32 minutes on the second night of a back to back after getting a triple-double in a loss to Washington on Tuesday.
“Honestly, and I'm not kidding, there were times in the middle of the third (quarter), I wanted to take him out of the game,” Rivers said. "I thought he was running on fumes. As a coach, you have to make a judgment call sometimes.
“Medical makes the call. They kept saying he's OK. But I have eyes. I just didn't like the way he was moving. He kept asking to go back in. But I wish I had just said, no, honestly.”
I'm going to be surprised if this Bucks team gets past the second round. And Miami could absolutely beat them in a 3/6 matchup. Giannis is going to have to be superhuman in any of their playoff series and as we saw last year that's no guarantee.
 

jon abbey

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I thought Jon was excited about the Knicks? He's always posting about OG Anunoby's impact, but I'm sure this makes him sad either way.
Anunoby matters a lot more than Randle for NY's success, but without Randle, they really don't have enough offense to make a serious playoff run. They are going to have a spectacular defense though if Anunoby comes back and no one else gets hurt, Anunoby makes everyone better on D (this doesn't make so much logical sense but somehow he is everywhere in the halfcourt) and he and Mitchell Robinson have yet to play together at all.

But honestly I kind of gave up genuine hope for the Knicks a week or two ago, they wouldn't be as successful without Thibs pushing them to play hard every game, but yet again they are undermanned at the end of the season.