Celtics vs 76ers, Round 2 Discussion

Reverend

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We have whatever Minnesota, Dallas and Atlanta are doing in real time to see how poorly teams are operated.

I guess Dallas can dream on Wemby tonight, since they worked so hard to lose the last week of the season to avoid the PLAY-IN game. Which we all know is a waste of time, those teams never go anywhere in the NBA playoffs.
How they’re run… compared to what?

Beyond that, I’m not sure what you mean here. HRB makes a lot more sense to me on the economics and business stuff.

Are we referring to the actual operations of the organization or the specific directives from ownership? There is a big difference between the two. I think most/all teams operate very well in such a competitive environment....but sometimes their work is negated by these directives. For years, Chris Wallace was ridiculed and a laughingstock by anyone who didn't recognize that his moves were financially motivated by the agenda given to him. There are a ton of examples on the other end as well....Nets, Wolves, etc.
Specific directives of the organization, which also, as you suggest, fuck with what lower management can do. To say nothing of the lower levels. Like, can you imagine working your ass off to become an elite player, and you’re playing your ass off for a big contract… and the people at the top don’t really care about how the team does?

I’m not even talking about tanking for draft picks. The monopoly issue is way bigger than that, right? You qualify your statement with “in such a competitive environment” and I agree 100%. Like, revenue sharing is the exact opposite of market discipline. Imagine if the NBA (or any of our pro leagues) had relegation like in premiere league soccer? Although I actually suspect that the issue is in the mid-range teams that do… well enough. Imagine if revenue were a function of success? As in, like in most industries in our economy?

And it’s not just weird for the players. I know people have interviewed and also got jobs at lower level positions for research and analytics and they say that it’s… they say it’s fucking weird. Lots of ex-players and adjacent who really have no idea what the people whom they are managing are actually doing or, more to the point, can do. I had a mentee at the ‘49ers recently tell a guy, you know, you don’t have to spend a couple weeks finding that data—I can write you some code in 15 minutes. Nope.

And the differences are, from what I’m told, stark. Like, another mentee of mine interviewed to be a data comp engineer at both Charlotte and Boston, and he said it was night and day as to how they were run. (Hint: Boston was better. :p )

Pro teams can’t fail in this market. They can do better and worse, but they’re not subjected to real market pressure, yeah? Hell, they get subsidized if they do a shit job.

Like you said: Given their environment.

Lower level people bust their asses because they want to work in the industry. As such, the talent pool the teams can draw from is enormous. So they could staff those positions with people of any size, shape, race, or creed all of whom would be qualified.

The fact that there is so much nepotism and hookups in such a lucrative industry speaks volumes, yeah?

If it’s not clear, I’m fascinated by this stuff. And Boston fans have been blessed with some great ownership, although I think the Bruins has to be forced into it by league rule changes, and the Red Sox may be suffering from an ownership that has become less interested since achieving great success that they’ve banked. The thing I think of a lot is Belichick. People frequently talk about the fact that his dad was a coach and he was breaking down film as a kid as a key to his success. Wanna knkw a couple other things about Belichick? Well, his mom was a teacher and he didn’t come up through the Div I GA route but rather has a degree in economics from a world class school. Wonder where he got that idea of looking for players who played positions that he felt undervalued by the market, eh?

Danny Ainge hiring Brad Stevens was genius.

Now do the "woke hires" part.
I deleted the post and I'm not touching that 3rd rail. YMMV on what some NBA teams are doing with their front offices.
Know what praeteririo is? It’s a Latin term for the rhetorical technique of bringing something up by claiming that you’re not going to bring it up. I mention it in Latin to underscore the fact that people have been doing it for thousands of years.

And I don’t care what people at summer league grouse about; that kind of whining happens all over. But if you don’t want to talk about, stop talking about it, yes?

“Third rail”… motherfucker, please.


(FWIW, a Dope considered burning you to the ground over this.)
 

HomeRunBaker

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Jan 15, 2004
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How they’re run… compared to what?

Beyond that, I’m not sure what you mean here. HRB makes a lot more sense to me on the economics and business stuff.


Specific directives of the organization, which also, as you suggest, fuck with what lower management can do. To say nothing of the lower levels. Like, can you imagine working your ass off to become an elite player, and you’re playing your ass off for a big contract… and the people at the top don’t really care about how the team does?

I’m not even talking about tanking for draft picks. The monopoly issue is way bigger than that, right? You qualify your statement with “in such a competitive environment” and I agree 100%. Like, revenue sharing is the exact opposite of market discipline. Imagine if the NBA (or any of our pro leagues) had relegation like in premiere league soccer? Although I actually suspect that the issue is in the mid-range teams that do… well enough. Imagine if revenue were a function of success? As in, like in most industries in our economy?

And it’s not just weird for the players. I know people have interviewed and also got jobs at lower level positions for research and analytics and they say that it’s… they say it’s fucking weird. Lots of ex-players and adjacent who really have no idea what the people whom they are managing are actually doing or, more to the point, can do. I had a mentee at the ‘49ers recently tell a guy, you know, you don’t have to spend a couple weeks finding that data—I can write you some code in 15 minutes. Nope.

And the differences are, from what I’m told, stark. Like, another mentee of mine interviewed to be a data comp engineer at both Charlotte and Boston, and he said it was night and day as to how they were run. (Hint: Boston was better. :p )

Pro teams can’t fail in this market. They can do better and worse, but they’re not subjected to real market pressure, yeah? Hell, they get subsidized if they do a shit job.

Like you said: Given their environment.

Lower level people bust their asses because they want to work in the industry. As such, the talent pool the teams can draw from is enormous. So they could staff those positions with people of any size, shape, race, or creed all of whom would be qualified.

The fact that there is so much nepotism and hookups in such a lucrative industry speaks volumes, yeah?

If it’s not clear, I’m fascinated by this stuff. And Boston fans have been blessed with some great ownership, although I think the Bruins has to be forced into it by league rule changes, and the Red Sox may be suffering from an ownership that has become less interested since achieving great success that they’ve banked. The thing I think of a lot is Belichick. People frequently talk about the fact that his dad was a coach and he was breaking down film as a kid as a key to his success. Wanna knkw a couple other things about Belichick? Well, his mom was a teacher and he didn’t come up through the Div I GA route but rather has a degree in economics from a world class school. Wonder where he got that idea of looking for players who played positions that he felt undervalued by the market, eh?

Danny Ainge hiring Brad Stevens was genius.



Know what praeteririo is? It’s a Latin term for the rhetorical technique of bringing something up by claiming that you’re not going to bring it up. I mention it in Latin to underscore the fact that people have been doing it for thousands of years.

And I don’t care what people at summer league grouse about; that kind of whining happens all over. But if you don’t want to talk about, stop talking about it, yes?

“Third rail”… motherfucker, please.


(FWIW, a Dope considered burning you to the ground over this.)
Dude, this is bullshit. If you're not going to show passion in your responses why even bother?

LOL! Seriously this is Fuckin awesome!! Love it!
 

benhogan

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Nov 2, 2007
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How they’re run… compared to what?
Compared to other NBA teams over the last couple of years.

Based on how they operate via trading for players, FA/RFA, managing their cap, re-signing their own players, contract control, draft, hiring coaches/staff, G-League use, roster mgmt, etc.

The Celtics are well-run, & the Wolves are poorly run (see Gobert, Rudy)
The Heat are well-run, & the Mavericks are poorly run (see Brunson, Kidd hire, Kyrie conundrum, etc)
The Golden State Warriors are well-run, while the Hawks are going down a questionable path by giving the Owners kid decision-making powers (see Murray overpay)

You could subjectively rank NBA teams 1-30 based on how they are operating and where they are going. My green goggles would put Brad/Zarren/Wyc at the top of the NBA heap.
It also wouldn't exactly match their records, because I believe Sam Presti & Ainge have done an outstanding job over the last year. Daryl Morey has done well over the last year but the two before him (Elton Brand and Colangelo's kid) were atrocious for the 76ers.

Monte McNair won Executive of the Year and he has Sacramento turning the corner with a few clever moves (Huerter, Murray, Monk). Sabonis/Halliburton deal caught a bunch of skepticism but that worked out really well for both teams. Mike Brown looks to be a fantastic hire. Turning that franchise around was an impressive task.

If you want to talk about that stuff I'm here for you.
 
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nighthob

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(FWIW, a Dope considered burning you to the ground over this.)
You should stop pretending to be the good guy, the only people that buy the act already own the Brooklyn Bridge and prime development land in the Okefenokee Swamp.
 

Reverend

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Dude, this is bullshit. If you're not going to show passion in your responses why even bother?

LOL! Seriously this is Fuckin awesome!! Love it!
Goddamn, man—you got me. And hard, too. I was all, Wait, what? Do you know how much I put into that and that people pay for that kinda anal—

Ah, he got me. Hard. As someone who uses irony and misdirection as anyone on this board, fuck, well played.

In that vein, something I think about a lot is how people in sports have, basically, like, tenure. I think in those terms because of my experience in academia and how some people think we should get rid of tenure because it inhibits the incentive to perform at the highest level they can, i.e. under conditions of market pressure.

Well, WTF is going on in sports?? WTF does it get to take to get kicked out of the industry?? Like, you can fuck up repeatedly; but, frankly, the Old Boy Network won’t let you down.) (The only thing I can think of that’s comparable is political punditry and columnists, but that’s not for here, but it makes me insane how many years you can be wrong about everything and still have a job. I hinestly think that the Friedman Unit is one of the funniest terms I have ever heard.)

Think about it, at least for coaches and GMs: Your work product is broadcast on national television. Sure, there will be exceptions where failure is not your fault; and those can be explainable. But, I mean… think about how many people we know kinda suck, but keep getting jobs! They fail on TV! And why do teams go with them? Because as known quantities, they are safe.

There’s a limit to how long this shit can go on in a truly competitive market economy, right? Like, we all know how you make your money, Talk about a pure competitive market. How long do you last if you keep losing?!

I only elaborate on this because you expressed interest… and you totally burned me, so you earned it. :D But think about how fucked up this job market works, and it is so clearly a function of the league being a monopoly—one where, as I mentioned above, failure fucking gets subsidized by the more successful! Literally subsidized!!

There is literally no reason that we should expect hiring practices to be optimized or at least an attempt made, absent market pressure.

(Not gonna lie, I kinda enjoy thinking of you casually dropping some of this on some of your boys and them furrowing their brows and saying, “Now that you mention it… that is kinda weird…)

Anyway, some inside baseball that I think you and some others may like. It’s not perfectly analogous as it’s the college game, but it speaks to the economics of running teams where you aren’t under marker pressures. And who fucking cares, I think a lot of you will find it interesting and fun, and what’s more important than that? :)

So, anyway, I used to teach at Rutgers when they were trying to make a lot of hay about joining the Big East. When they hired Schiano. (Wait, they rehired him?? I had some players tell me he was a collosal dick. But whatever; I digress.) Like, Rutgers wanted him so bad that they portioned off a portion of their nature preserve so that he could build a house in walking distance of the practice fields. (I used to do some mountain biking, so I’ve been on his property. Because fuck him—it was the best way back to the road at the time.)

ANYWAY, one year when I was teaching for peanuts, I get an email from the offensive coordinator asking me to call him. I completely ignore it. And then I get a voice message. Also ignored; I fucking teach, I don’t work for the athletic department and I don’t care about them. Fuck. I mean, I think it’s pretty clear to anyone here that I’m not anti-sport, yeah? But I don’t get paid for their bullshit. He leaves another message—how does this guy even have my number? Stupid question: He works for the football team.

I ignore it.

He starts calling my fucking department asking them to get me in touch with him. And I’m like, Well fuck. I had great relationships with the administrative staff (It baffles me that so many people treat them like shit.) so, yeah, when R tells me to call him, I’m going to do it.

But what the fuck is going on? Except, at this point… I know.

I print up my class rosters and the starting line-up for the football team. There be is: Starting offensive lineman. I’d had football and basketball players before, but never a starter. ferfucksake…

So I call the guy. He tells me that they’re looking for a tutor for this guy because he’d “never taken a class like yours before.” I ask him what he means and he responds, “a 300 level class.” I had literally had no idea that you could get through Rutgers without taking a 300 level class. But apparently…

…apparently they have money to tutor this kid, and they want to know if I can recommend someone. Well, there was this other graduate student who had graded for me the year before so she knew the material pretty damn well. I kinda didn’t want to rec her, but she was the best choice, so I recommended her, gave them her number; and called her to tell her to expect a call.

He offer her $15/he. She countered with $50. He was like: “Done.” And it was for three hours a week, 1.5 in session and 1.5 prep, but two other guys got to ride along. So like $600 a month. Teacher’s assistants at that time were being paid like $12-14K per semester. Do the math.

She said they didn’t show up like half the time. Another student told me that they spent like half their time in class writing rap lyrics. How they passed, I dunno, but it was a large class and I had someone else to do tbe grading. Also, they had a fucking expert tutor.

I later learned that a friend of mine in the geology department had a gig teaching supplementary classes to football players. Like, an additional class focusing on key concepts. Like 20 people in the class. For those reading between the lines, this is a class set up for football players.

I also know that the communication department regular got… er, suggestions that it would be cool if they had more easy classes and, if they did, their players would take them.

Enrollments are the currency of the realm at universities; the more students that enroll in a department’s classes, the more they gain in their budgets.

The football team had a budget that could influence the budgets of entire academic departments.

So how does this relate to pro sports? Well, think about it: Rutgers sucked. But making a play to be big in the Big East brought massive levels of support.

Money becomes kinda a voodoo thing. The demand for sports entertainment is incredible in this country. Like… to the point that you don’t even have to be that good, yeah? I mean, if you’re in the higher echelons, barriers to market entry as we call it in economics are enormous and teams rarely if ever get kicked our, so once you’re there, you really don’t have much incentive to maximize performance. Which includes not taking risks.

I feel like we should all send Christmas cards to Danny for hiring Brad.
 

Reverend

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Compared to other NBA teams over the last couple of years.
I think this is where we are misunderstanding each other: I mean the whole league is a monopoly. Not the teams, the league.

As such, the franchises, as distinct from firms in a real market, are not subject to the same market pressures as firms in, well, a market economy. I mean, the barriers of firms for entry are clearly enormous and, frequently not even possible. And teams are not allowed to fail and cease to exist as they would in a market economy. That affects how they operate.

So yeah, I agree with everything you said there about competition between teams. My observations are about the ramifications of those occurring within a protected economic bubble. And I definitely think that applies to Philly; they’ve done well enough under these conditions, but if they were a publicly owned company under market conditions, shareholders would be furious.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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This shows how flawed +- can be, especially for a role player in a game where the starts suck and the players stays on the court while the star's backup plays even worse. Maxey wasn't great but he played hard all game and battled long after Embid and Harden had given up.
Maxey's stats in the pivotal 3Q (he played the entire quarter): 1-4 (0-1 from 3P) and then: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0. And he had the same USG% as Harden (13.8) so it's not like he was standing in the corner the entire quarter.

Personally, I don't think Maxey tried very hard on the defensive end and it didn't seem like he was battling at all but as you point, Harden and Embiid were worse.
 

InstaFace

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I still don’t know what “woke” is exactly. Is it anything like Sharia Law?
Let's just say the topic is so fraught with loaded terms, willful misunderstanding, barely-hidden racism, ulterior motives and bad faith, that not even V&N has touched it yet. Now that might change, and there's some occasional treating of it as a side matter in other threads (conservative media, Ron DeSantis, etc) because one half of the political commentariat uses the term incessantly and pejoratively. But for the moment it's just not a topic that most anyone is going to have a productive conversation over.

Taking your question literally and seriously, I would hazard a stab at a definition as roughly:

---
A worldview, policy or philosophy could be described as "woke" if it recognizes and emphasizes that the inequalities and biases in American society are structural ones, and the myriad ways in which minorities, women, LGBT and other out-groups are kept out of mainstream society or relegated to second-class citizen status, all come from pervasive intolerance, reinforced by the weight of history and many compounding decisions at every level of society. Typically, such a worldview, policy or philosophy goes from belief to action by then prescribing fixes to the system it affects or operates in - like a university, a government bureaucracy, a company, an industry, or any other group setting - which all derive and start from trying to first consider those inequalities, and the weight of that history, and reasoning outward from there about how the system should operate in light of that. The term "woke" itself likens someone making this realization - of compounding and systematic bias reinforcing inequality - to a feeling of waking up to a new and revealed world, much as Neo did in The Matrix after taking the red pill.
---

Some people might use the term as trivially as to mean "we should be polite to transgender people and call them by their preferred pronouns, even if that might seem weird and we wouldn't focus on that for how we ourselves would like to be called", or for topics as weighty as reparations for slavery or policy brutality. Some certain conservative news institutions might use it to paint "anything we don't like or find inconvenient, even if the topic has absolutely nothing to do with structural inequality or biases about groups". Some people would say that I, a straight white guy, have no standing to even define the term, frankly how dare I, and I should shut up and listen, or something. But in general the term "woke" is (A) so easily stretched past the breaking point of any sensible definition to include whatever the speaker dislikes, and (B) so often used as a cover to express that intolerance by merely speaking about those silly misguided attempts to address intolerance by other people, much as people often use the term "thug" or "inner-city" to mean "I'm scared or contemptuous of black people"... that all told there's just not a lot of room for people of good faith to discuss the topic in detail and with an open mind.

But I'm sure BenHogan just meant that NBA front offices are hiring unqualified people. And some are! And because we're a board filled with people who are here to learn and discuss in good faith, and it'd be a disservice to threaten the good ball talk here with a politically-charged tangent that risks many people reacting quickly and vehemently to something a bit more personal than how much Kyle Lowry flops, the above is all I will say on the topic.
 
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Smokey Joe

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You should stop pretending to be the good guy, the only people that buy the act already own the Brooklyn Bridge and prime development land in the Okefenokee Swamp.
I would love to think that this is a drive by Pogo reference. Probably not.
 

Smokey Joe

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Apr 9, 2001
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Let's just say the topic is so fraught with loaded terms, willful misunderstanding, barely-hidden racism, ulterior motives and bad faith, that not even V&N has touched it yet. Now that might change, and there's some occasional treating of it as a side matter in other threads (conservative media, Ron DeSantis, etc) because one half of the political commentariat uses the term incessantly and pejoratively. But for the moment it's just not a topic that most anyone is going to have a productive conversation over.

Taking your question literally and seriously, I would hazard a stab at a definition as roughly:

---
A worldview, policy or philosophy could be described as "woke" if it recognizes and emphasizes that the inequalities and biases in American society are structural ones, and the myriad ways in which minorities, women, LGBT and other out-groups are kept out of mainstream society or relegated to second-class citizen status, all come from pervasive intolerance, reinforced by the weight of history and many compounding decisions at every level of society. Typically, such a worldview, policy or philosophy goes from belief to action by then prescribing fixes to the system it affects or operates in - like a university, a government bureaucracy, a company, an industry, or any other group setting - which all derive and start from trying to first consider those inequalities, and the weight of that history, and reasoning outward from there about how the system should operate in light of that. The term "woke" itself likens someone making this realization - of compounding and systematic bias reinforcing inequality - to a feeling of waking up to a new and revealed world, much as Neo did in The Matrix after taking the red pill.
---

Some people might use the term as trivially as to mean "we should be polite to transgender people and call them by their preferred pronouns, even if that might seem weird and we wouldn't focus on that for how we ourselves would like to be called", or for topics as weighty as reparations for slavery or policy brutality. Some certain conservative news institutions might use it to paint "anything we don't like or find inconvenient, even if the topic has absolutely nothing to do with structural inequality or biases about groups". Some people would say that I, a straight white guy, have no standing to even define the term, frankly how dare I, and I should shut up and listen, or something. But in general the term "woke" is (A) so easily stretched past the breaking point of any sensible definition to include whatever the speaker dislikes, and (B) so often used as a cover to express that intolerance by merely speaking about those silly misguided attempts to address intolerance by other people, much as people often use the term "thug" or "inner-city" to mean "I'm scared or contemptuous of black people"... that all told there's just not a lot of room for people of good faith to discuss the topic in detail and with an open mind.

But I'm sure BenHogan just meant that NBA front offices are hiring unqualified people. And some are! And because we're a board filled with people who are here to learn and discuss in good faith, and it'd be a disservice to threaten the good ball talk here with a politically-charged tangent that risks many people reacting quickly and vehemently to something a bit more personal than how much Kyle Lowry flops, the above is all I will say on the topic.
I am in awe that you actually had the intellectual and digital (that’s fingers, not numbers) stamina to attempt a reply to what was a throwaway line poking fun at the tendency of certain politicians to find a straw bogeyman to beat up on every election cycle. I agree with your assessment of BenHogans intention and I have no desire to get banished to V&N, so back to basketball. Appreciate it.
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
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Sep 27, 2016
21,995
Pittsburgh, PA
I am in awe that you actually had the intellectual and digital (that’s fingers, not numbers) stamina to attempt a reply to what was a throwaway line poking fun at the tendency of certain politicians to find a straw bogeyman to beat up on every election cycle. I agree with your assessment of BenHogans intention and I have no desire to get banished to V&N, so back to basketball. Appreciate it.
Ha, I figured given your second sentence there was a 70% chance you were just being sarcastic and it was all a waste of time. But I've also seen approximately 573956260 invocations of the term, and exactly zero attempts to ever positively define what it actually means, and thus a great many people could be excused for wondering "exactly what the F are we even talking about here". And it's not like the NBA isn't an extremely politically aware league, with its players placing outsize importance on social justice issues. So I just thought you deserved an answer, on the offchance you or someone else here wanted one.
 

reggiecleveland

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Maxey's stats in the pivotal 3Q (he played the entire quarter): 1-4 (0-1 from 3P) and then: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0. And he had the same USG% as Harden (13.8) so it's not like he was standing in the corner the entire quarter.

Personally, I don't think Maxey tried very hard on the defensive end and it didn't seem like he was battling at all but as you point, Harden and Embiid were worse.
I think most of the credit goes the the Celtics. Maxey isn't as good as the Celtics guards. He's a rocket that thrives in transition, but when the Cs are hitting everything he is not that effectiuve. The writer is just defending a limited guy that was thrown under the bus by Embid.
 

Jimbodandy

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I am in awe that you actually had the intellectual and digital (that’s fingers, not numbers) stamina to attempt a reply to what was a throwaway line poking fun at the tendency of certain politicians to find a straw bogeyman to beat up on every election cycle. I agree with your assessment of BenHogans intention and I have no desire to get banished to V&N, so back to basketball. Appreciate it.
Banished to V&N is such great phrasing. Kudos.
 

Jimbodandy

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I think most of the credit goes the the Celtics. Maxey isn't as good as the Celtics guards. He's a rocket that thrives in transition, but when the Cs are hitting everything he is not that effectiuve. The writer is just defending a limited guy that was thrown under the bus by Embid.
Embiid throwing guys under the bus after a playoff exit is now a common theme.