2023-24 NBA Game Thread

luckiestman

Son of the Harpy
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
33,449
Crazy comeback

and I don’t know why I just thought of this but remember when for like half a season Victor Oladipo played like an MVP candidate. That was weird right. I know he got hurt but still, that was a strange career arc.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 26, 2006
14,694
Oh, wow - can’t believe the Suns lost that. Didn’t look like the Spurs had a chance after the first quarter. Durant ran out of gas?

Edit: Just watched the finish, cuz I had to see it. If you told me Durant was trying to lose on purpose, I'd believe you. Completely ignores Wemby on the three-point shot miss, not only not boxing him out, but moving to the side to let him run by and get the rebound and dunk it, then gestures weirdly at the bench as though he has no idea what to do, even though there's just 6 seconds left and they're still up by one, then takes the inbound pass and instead of passing it up the court to a wide open player, he allows himself to be triple teamed with the ball extended (there's six seconds; no need to get the ball over the line, just wrap the ball into your chest), at which point a Spurs player says, "thank you very much," takes the ball from him and scores the winning basket.

Just ... awful.
 
Last edited:

Ed Hillel

Wants to be startin somethin
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2007
45,954
Here
And why would’t you take a timeout to advance the ball and avoid being trapped Immediately by spreading the floor?
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
31,317
And why would’t you take a timeout to advance the ball and avoid being trapped Immediately by spreading the floor?
It was a bang-bang play. You definitely don't want to initially be calling timeout to stop the clock then by the time he recognized the double he was off balance and lost the ball. It's certainly on Durant to make sure this doesn't happen at that juncture of the game though....you gotta be tougher than this.
 

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
8,873
Imaginationland
It was a bang-bang play. You definitely don't want to initially be calling timeout to stop the clock then by the time he recognized the double he was off balance and lost the ball. It's certainly on Durant to make sure this doesn't happen at that juncture of the game though....you gotta be tougher than this.
Yeah the only real reason to call timeout would be if they couldn't get the ball in to Durant. He really didn't cover himself in glory for those last ten seconds.
 

Jakarta

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 18, 2020
287
SSS but the concerns about the Bucks defense seem to be justified. Giving up 122 per game (and per 100 possessions) through 4 games. Both are third worst in the league.
 

luckiestman

Son of the Harpy
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
33,449
Clips have chance to tie this game and I do not see how this is a bad team once they have Harden. Have to be counting on an injury because PG, JH, KL are good.
 

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
8,873
Imaginationland
Clips have chance to tie this game and I do not see how this is a bad team once they have Harden. Have to be counting on an injury because PG, JH, KL are good.
Sure, but they will get injured. That's what Kawhi and George do. If they do get to the playoffs, Harden will do what he does (play terribly). Nobody is saying this is a bad team, just that they can't be taken seriously as a title contender.
 

HowBoutDemSox

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 12, 2009
10,553
OT in LA as Paul George gets fouled on a 3-point attempt (upheld on review) and drains all three to tie it up; Lakers get an open shot at the buzzer to win it but miss.
 

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
8,873
Imaginationland
Well, I’m taking them seriously.
PG and Kawhi have missed a combined 199 games over the last 2 years. They've had one healthy playoff run together, 4 years ago. They'll win plenty of games when they're both on the court (Harden or not), and there's about a 5% chance they're both healthy enough to make a long playoff run when the time comes.

Et tu!?! I’ve had to hear about how many minutes he’s played from the announcing crew more than enough for one night
Apologies, I'm watching on mute. They really need him to still be MVP level Lebron.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
31,317
Lebron is at 37 minutes now after regulation. Good luck keeping him at 30 or less this year.
I've been lol'ing at talk about LeBron's minutes for like 6-7 years now. At some point I'm sure they will affect him but the worry hasn't been justified yet and as long as he load manages to get off his feet for 7-8 games during heavy schedule stretches he's probably going to be fine again....as he is every year.

I know I repeat this constantly but scheduling matters....it matters a LOT! The Lakers are off the next two days so whether LeBron is playing 30 or 40 minutes tonight is really irrelevant.
 

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
8,873
Imaginationland
I've been lol'ing at talk about LeBron's minutes for like 6-7 years now. At some point I'm sure they will affect him but the worry hasn't been justified yet and as long as he load manages to get off his feet for 7-8 games during heavy schedule stretches he's probably going to be fine again....as he is every year.
I'm agree (and he hasn't played 70+ since Cleveland, that won't change this year), but it's funny this year because the Lakers essentially said after game 1 (when he played just 29 minutes) that that's about how many minutes he'd be playing this year. Since then he's averaged 35.6, and that goes up after today.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
13,563
SSS but the concerns about the Bucks defense seem to be justified. Giving up 122 per game (and per 100 possessions) through 4 games. Both are third worst in the league.
Giving up 130 to the Raptors.....oof.

They have really serious defensive talent and overall depth issues. And not "yes, the top 6 is good, but who are the 7-9 guys???" depth issues, but rather "should we start Jae Crowder or Malik Beasley?" depth issues.

Brook will also be completely unplayable against this iteration of the Celtics. Just too much quick-trigger shooting; nowhere to hide him.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
32,038
Giving up 130 to the Raptors.....oof.

They have really serious defensive talent and overall depth issues. And not "yes, the top 6 is good, but who are the 7-9 guys???" depth issues, but rather "should we start Jae Crowder or Malik Beasley?" depth issues.

Brook will also be completely unplayable against this iteration of the Celtics. Just too much quick-trigger shooting; nowhere to hide him.
For those who aren't following at home, TOR had the league's worst ORtg, scoring just 100.8 points per 100 possessions. And MIL is league worst in transition, giving up 1.58 points per play off live rebounds.

https://theathletic.com/5023011/2023/11/02/bucks-raptors-defensive-struggles/. There is some gnarly video in the article as well.

I took a quick perusal around MIL fan boards and those people are not a fan of Griffin's defensive or offensive schemes. I haven't watched their games so can't comment but the stats don't look very good.

MIL needs someone who can keep guards in front of them; too bad those types of defensive guards are hard to find. Maybe they can get Marcus Smart from MEM? :)
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 24, 2002
50,625
We've not played a week's worth of games yet and we are already shoveling dirt on the Bucks? To be clear, its a legit question whether their roster moves work but we are in miniscule sample size territory with stats here. I expect them to look rough for a while but it won't be shocking if they fix things.

I seem to recall a lot of Lakers burying here (I have a structural bid for those posts) last season and they made it pretty far despite looking like a mess at various points.
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
32,689
The Bucks were always making a swap of depth for playoff-ready top 5. That remains the case; they've added a tremendous solution to their biggest playoff problem (late-game scoring) which looks to even more important given the negative early returns on Khris Middleton. So yeah, the holes they've opened up particular on defense and point of attack matter, and may well prove worse than the gap filled above, but I am not sure we'll know much until May either way. I do agree, and think it is fair, to note that they have started slower than expected even given that...but no dirt on their graves yet from me.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
13,563
The Bucks were always making a swap of depth for playoff-ready top 5. That remains the case; they've added a tremendous solution to their biggest playoff problem (late-game scoring) which looks to even more important given the negative early returns on Khris Middleton. So yeah, the holes they've opened up particular on defense and point of attack matter, and may well prove worse than the gap filled above, but I am not sure we'll know much until May either way. I do agree, and think it is fair, to note that they have started slower than expected even given that...but no dirt on their graves yet from me.
I just don't see how they'll outscore the Celtics, barring really drastic 3-point luck either direction. The Bucks have to spam the Dame/Giannis P&R (when they're even on the floor together, which is only about 10-15 mins/game, if staggered) just to get the kind of 3-point looks that the Celtics will generate with ease against Milwaukee's defense.

Milwaukee looks pretty trash offensively when only one of Giannis/Dame is out there, because the surrounding offensive talent is low-key kinda shit now.

I could see them getting it together in various ways, but I'm happy to go on record as saying the Milwaukee emperor is down to his speedo, and the remaining fabric is fraying.
 

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
8,873
Imaginationland
We've not played a week's worth of games yet and we are already shoveling dirt on the Bucks? To be clear, its a legit question whether their roster moves work but we are in miniscule sample size territory with stats here. I expect them to look rough for a while but it won't be shocking if they fix things.

I seem to recall a lot of Lakers burying here (I have a structural bid for those posts) last season and they made it pretty far despite looking like a mess at various points.
The Lakers made some real substantial moves around Lebron and AD midseason which helped turn them around. They were flat out bad, then got better with new personnel.

You're absolutely right that it's too soon to bury anyone, but when some early results match up with expectations, it's worth mentioning. Lillard is shooting under 30% from 3, and Giannis is having his worst offensive season in at least 7 years. Both of those are likely to be sample size related, and not worth worrying about. Middleton still looking injured and ineffective? That's a problem. Their defense looking terrible, in large part because their starting backcourt went from Holiday/Allen to Lillard/Beasley? Yeah, that's also a problem. Even when Lillard/Giannis inevitably end up playing like one of the top offensive duos in the league, their other issues are real and aren't going away.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
13,563
For me, the Bucks "burying" is just my overreaction to the pundits' overreaction of crowning their asses once they got Lillard.

They have talent, and they'll figure some things out, but the issues are real and were somewhat predictable (and were predicted by many here).
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
23,382
I also think the Lakers were not that good last year. They survived off of some unsustainable shooting from role players like Hachimura, and people not taking Austin Reaves seriously. They slipped by a Warriors team that was basically just Steph at that point, and when they met a real contender in the playoffs they got totally waxed. If the Bucks have that kind of season this year, that would be considered a huge failure.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 24, 2002
50,625
For the record, I am all for burying all the other ECF and WCF contenders as soon as possible. I've just seen enough NBA to know that all the vibes out of the gate tend to wane by January/February (maybe the tournament changes that dynamic). The real season feels like it starts then with the trade deadline and an accounting of injuries that may impact playoff chances.

By then, this will all be a distant memory.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
13,563
For the record, I am all for burying all the other ECF and WCF contenders as soon as possible. I've just seen enough NBA to know that all the vibes out of the gate tend to wane by January/February (maybe the tournament changes that dynamic). The real season feels like it starts then with the trade deadline and an accounting of injuries that may impact playoff chances.

By then, this will all be a distant memory.
One thing I'd note here is that Milwaukee is very asset-bare. They have (I think) one decent 2nd rounder, and that's it. It's going to be hard for them to meaningfully upgrade.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
23,382
An update on CHET.

Some haters and losers were very incredulous about Chet's potential as an NBA player. He's too skinny! He won't be effective in the NBA! And yes, it is true that he is still very thin (although he has gained some weight over the last year), and like all thin big men, there are significant questions about his durability that will only be answered by him playing consistently going forward.

With that being said, he's played fantastic through the first five games. He's averaging 16 ppg, 7 rebounds and 2 assists. He's averaging 2.5 blocks and a steal as well, while shooting 59/52/80. Obviously his three point percentage is going to come down, but he has a really confident stroke and great instincts for getting open, you can see chemistry already between him, SGA and Giddey in being able to find him good looks, so I don't think it's a coincidence that he has gotten a lot of wide open threes, especially after setting a screen.

He's got some really impressive ball skills, can take players off the bounce and is a good passer. If it wasn't for Wemby he would be more of a sensation given his size and length, but he's incredibly comfortable bringing the ball up and has a high IQ in making the right play. He actually hasn't done too much work inside, and only has three dunks which is pretty low for a player of his size and athleticism. He should be more effective as a roll-and-lob kind of guy, although that may be a strategic thing to protect him injury.

On defense he is a complete menace with his size, quickness and length. All of the advanced metrics love him so far, he's got a 104 defensive rating, and has great versatility. The one issue is that he's obviously light and bulkier stars, like Jokic and Zion, can easily score on him due to outweighing him about 100 lbs. I think the optimal use for him would probably be how the Spurs use Wemby (or the Bucks use Giannis) by pairing him with another big and using him as the ultimate help defender.
 

Auger34

used to be tbb
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
11,332
The Bucks were always making a swap of depth for playoff-ready top 5. That remains the case; they've added a tremendous solution to their biggest playoff problem (late-game scoring) which looks to even more important given the negative early returns on Khris Middleton. So yeah, the holes they've opened up particular on defense and point of attack matter, and may well prove worse than the gap filled above, but I am not sure we'll know much until May either way. I do agree, and think it is fair, to note that they have started slower than expected even given that...but no dirt on their graves yet from me.
This is true as to what the idea of the trade was (to be more dangerous in the playoffs). However, part of that calculus was that Middleton would be 100% healthy and ready to play.
If he's not, I don't think the Bucks have much of a shot against the Celtics
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
23,285
Pittsburgh, PA
Milwaukee is at $185.6 on their payroll. Second apron is at $182.5, luxury tax level will be roughly at $165. If we get a third of the way through the season and it's clear that this year they ain't got it, they could opt to try to get under the tax this year, reset the clock, and free up their cap options for future years. They have Giannis signed guaranteed through 2027, with a player option on 2027-28, and Lillard for one year shy of that (guaranteed through 25-26, player option 26-27) - even if this year ends up being a wash they have plenty of time to make things right with them and still have a contention window.

Middleton is signed for $29.3 this year, $31.7 next, with a $34.0 player option in 25-26. He would probably have pretty solid trade value on the market even at his comp level.

Brook Lopez is at $25.0 this year, $23.0 next year. He would be a near-neutral asset on the market, but a team who thinks they're a big away (New Orleans? Dallas making Grant a PF?) might take him for 80% of salaries, or a team under the cap might take him as a salary dump, but they basically have no draft pick assets to staple to anyone.

Their only other two big salaries (like, above minimum) are Portis at $11.7 and Connaughton at $9.4, and neither of them are starting. Those two would clearly be available in a bid to get under the tax. The Bucks paid an estimated $83.8M in tax last year, and $53.9M in tax the year before that. The Haslams have NFL-owner money but are probably losing their shirts on a P&L basis right now, so a one-year reset to zero out the tax and also avoid the repeater would put them in a position to rebuild the rest of the roster next offseason. They'd know who among their young guns they can count on and keep, they'd have the full MLE, and they could use their remaining spare parts to load back up on players who become available.

Obviously very early on any sort of thought process there, but they're alone among the projected taxpaying teams in not having a clear direction:

1. GSW - keeping the core together for business reasons, no luxury tax bill could possibly force them to break up their core as long as they're remotely in contention
2. LAC - they now have 4 stars who all grew up in the area, they're potential contenders until an injury happens, I think they're ride-or-die and Ballmer has infinite money
3. PHX - top contenders with their big 3, roster is very strong, they might tinker to get under the second apron (they're $3M over) but I doubt they shed meaningful salary
4. MIL - just discussed
5. BOS - top contenders, far likelier to add payroll and GFIN than shed a single dollar
6. MIA - defending conference champs, they did their payroll downgrade in the offseason, I doubt they change strategy, they probably view themselves as contenders even if Vegas doesn't
7. DEN - defending NBA champs, they have every reason to believe they can compete, they're below the second apron, no reason to get below the tax
8. PHI - Have to keep Embiid happy to avoid riots. Most of their big non-Embiid contracts end after this year (Harris, Melton, plus the 3 guys they just got in the Harden trade: Batum, Covington and Mook), so they might re-evaluate closer to the deadline but I expect them to try to look like they're contending as best they can.
9. NOP - Only $3M over the tax, their big 3 (Zion, McCollum & Ingram) can easily take them to the playoffs, I don't expect them to be sellers, though they might be opportunistic in acquiring assets

Everybody else is getting value from their position relative to the tax. Milwaukee would if they were legit contenders, but if they (or Philly) are looking like a 1st-round exit at best come the trade deadline, I wouldn't be surprised to see them push the reset button on their non-stars.
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
32,689
Middleton is signed for $29.3 this year, $31.7 next, with a $34.0 player option in 25-26. He would probably have pretty solid trade value on the market even at his comp level.
Until he shows he's healthy---and his performance in pre-season and early season definitely does not look that way---I'd argue his contract is WAY underwater. If he shows he's back, then yes---I agree there's value there but we may or may not ever get to that point, frankly.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
13,563
Until he shows he's healthy---and his performance in pre-season and early season definitely does not look that way---I'd argue his contract is WAY underwater. If he shows he's back, then yes---I agree there's value there but we may or may not ever get to that point, frankly.
Yes. He definitely could come back and be decent, but if he stays like this, it's the Kemba contract all over again.
 

Auger34

used to be tbb
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
11,332
Until he shows he's healthy---and his performance in pre-season and early season definitely does not look that way---I'd argue his contract is WAY underwater. If he shows he's back, then yes---I agree there's value there but we may or may not ever get to that point, frankly.
Exactly.

He either performs well, in which case there is no way Milwaukee trades him, or he continues to look hurt and there's no way anyone else would trade for him and give up value to help them win now.
 

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
8,873
Imaginationland
Yes. He definitely could come back and be decent, but if he stays like this, it's the Kemba contract all over again.
Even Kemba was an all-star the year before and after he signed his deal. Middleton's new contract was offered the summer after he missed more than half the year and was awful when he was on the court. It'd be like if Kemba got his contract in the summer of 2021, after he finished his 2nd year in Boston. This could end up being even worse for Milwaukee.
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
32,689
It's certainly possible Middleton will work his way back to full health.

But I do wonder how the possibility that isn't going to happen, or at least the risk it may not, played into both Giannis' press conference/quasi threat to leave in FA and the Bucks deal for Lillard. I guess we know the answer to the second: it only made them more desparate to get Lillard,
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
31,317
Even Kemba was an all-star the year before and after he signed his deal. Middleton's new contract was offered the summer after he missed more than half the year and was awful when he was on the court. It'd be like if Kemba got his contract in the summer of 2021, after he finished his 2nd year in Boston. This could end up being even worse for Milwaukee.
It wasn't only that Middleton was awful when he was on the floor....it was that, like TL following his knee repair, he was still having trouble with the same knee that was alledgedly "repaired." Clearly it wasn't and that's not a good sign moving forward for any player when a repair fails.