NBA In-Season Tournament 2023 Discussion and Gamethread

benhogan

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Dallas and two vs the SA coming up this week. Spurs may finally get a win.
On another note, in the Silver presser pre-game, he discussed the appeal of having games start early (ie Game 1 of the Semi-Finals) so they could air prime time in Europe.

I know you like playing the early tips, expect it to be a more regular occurrence next season
 

The Social Chair

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The Ohtani contract had me thinking about what a ten year Lebron contract would have been in 2010 with no salary cap or max contracts. His impact is so much greater than a baseball player but the NBA doesn't bring in enough revenue to offer a player $80M per season... I think.
 

InstaFace

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Just finished watching on tape delay.

Game badly needed a "Beat LA" chant to counter the Lakers' home crowd.

Turns out things don't work out for the Pacers quite as well when they shoot 24% from 3 as opposed to when they shoot 48% from 3. I'm sure nobody else has observed this. :)
 

Euclis20

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The Ohtani contract had me thinking about what a ten year Lebron contract would have been in 2010 with no salary cap or max contracts. His impact is so much greater than a baseball player but the NBA doesn't bring in enough revenue to offer a player $80M per season... I think.
The NBA pays significantly more in salary ($4.8B) than MLB ($3.4B), despite having a salary cap. The average NBA team will pay about $161M this year, compared with about $114M for the average MLB team, and taking into account how many more MLB players there are, the average NBA player makes far more than the average MLB player (it looks like the average NBA player makes just over double what the average MLB player makes, but I haven't dug too deeply). Additionally, it looks like NBA teams are worth on average 50% more than MLB teams - I have no doubt that if there were no salary cap and no max contracts, teams like the Lakers, Clippers, Warriors, Knicks etc would have payrolls north of $300M.

If you dropped 2010 free agent Lebron into the current salary climate, he'd get 9 figures annually (especially if he chose short term deals over longterm security, which has been his MO since leaving Cleveland the first time).

*edit - I feel like this isn't debatable...Jaylen Brown (Jaylen Brown!) just signed a deal that gives him more annually than any MLB player outside of Ohtani (and in the last year of his deal, he'll be only $5M behind Ohtani). There are 11 other NBA players that make more annually than any non-Ohtani MLB player. Forget 2010 Lebron, if Jayson Tatum were an unrestricted free agent next summer in a league with no max salary and no cap, he might get a deal that's worth more annually than Ohtani's.
 
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benhogan

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Just finished watching on tape delay.

Game badly needed a "Beat LA" chant to counter the Lakers' home crowd.

Turns out things don't work out for the Pacers quite as well when they shoot 24% from 3 as opposed to when they shoot 48% from 3. I'm sure nobody else has observed this. :)
Doing a neutral site event takes the crowd element out of it, which gives it a weird energy (had an NCAA tournament vibe to it I guess)

Having Vando badger Haliburton full-court along with on-ball pressure throughout was a good strategy.

The Lakers' defense definitely deserves some credit for that 24% o_O
 
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TrapperAB

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As long as this tournament exists, they’ll talk about how the Lakers won the first one, and how that was yet another sign of LeBron’s greatness.

I do not like this.
 

HomeRunBaker

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As long as this tournament exists, they’ll talk about how the Lakers won the first one, and how that was yet another sign of LeBron’s greatness.

I do not like this.
Prelude to the LeBron ownership group in Vegas. I know we are all Celtics fans but I appreciate greatness and I've appreciated this man for two full freakin decades! He looks like he could do another 2-3 at a high level if he wanted. I want to see a team in this city like yesterday though.
 

benhogan

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Prelude to the LeBron ownership group in Vegas. I know we are all Celtics fans but I appreciate greatness and I've appreciated this man for two full freakin decades! He looks like he could do another 2-3 at a high level if he wanted. I want to see a team in this city like yesterday though.
Sign me up for LeBron Player/Part Owner of the Vegas franchise if it means he'd be leaving the Lakers in the dust.

Seattle and Vegas need teams with Memphis going East after the TV deal
 

ElUno20

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Were the ratings good for the vegas games?

Also, am I the only one that thinks lebron is juiced out his mind? It's not normal to look like the fastest, strongest player on the court with mainly mid to late 20 year olds
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Were the ratings good for the vegas games?

Also, am I the only one that thinks lebron is juiced out his mind? It's not normal to look like the fastest, strongest player on the court with mainly mid to late 20 year olds
Yes ratings were strong (not available for yesterdays game yet). I believe 20-30% higher than comparable games a year ago (granted, the matchups were largely designed at the beginning to ensure growth).
 

jon abbey

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Yes ratings were strong (not available for yesterdays game yet). I believe 20-30% higher than comparable games a year ago (granted, the matchups were largely designed at the beginning to ensure growth).
I don't think there were comparable games a year ago as the semifinal and final games had the entire day to themselves, the only games scheduled in the league those days.

I don't like how badly this screws up team's schedules for a month or so, hopefully they fix a lot of things next year.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I don't think there were comparable games a year ago as the semifinal and final games had the entire day to themselves, the only games scheduled in the league those days.

I don't like how badly this screws up team's schedules for a month or so, hopefully they fix a lot of things next year.
Comparison may have just been for the first round Friday games, or against last year season to date. Either way, the league is spinning it as a win, unsurprisingly, with games rating higher than normal early season games.
 

BigSoxFan

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Only metric for success is if they get Netflix, Amazon or Apple to buy a package for the whole tournament. Ratings for non-Lakers games weren't something to shout about.

So far it's not looking good.

View: https://twitter.com/lucas_shaw/status/1726607739508650074
I feel like the spaced out nature of the tournament makes it very difficult for fans to digest, especially those of us who aren’t as familiar with European soccer. Feel like they need to figure out a way to make it a 2 week event or something, which is probably logistically impossible.
 

benhogan

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am I the only one that thinks lebron is juiced out his mind? It's not normal to look like the fastest, strongest player on the court with mainly mid to late 20 year olds
when's the last time an NBA player has been suspended for PEDs?

they aren't testing & if they are it's completely rigged

I've thought that for years
 

SteveF

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Blood doping strikes me as the most effective way to juice in the NBA for recovery purposes, and the NBA testing regime is utterly incapable of detecting it even in a theoretical sense. Further, the kind of testing regime you need to detect it would never be agreed to by the NBAPA. If there's a deal on this I could make with the basketball universe, it's this: Stop asking rhetorically in amazement how LeBron James is doing this at age 38-39, and I'll agree that it's perfectly reasonable to not care whether or not he has more PEDs coursing through his veins than a Tour de France cyclist.
 

benhogan

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Agreed, there is a 0% chance that 0% of NBA players are juicing.
George Karl said the NBA was rampant with PEDs a decade ago in his book Furious George.

Never a likable Head Coach but that's the last we heard of George Karl. If you speak out you get banned/shunned.

People don't want to mess with the Golden Goose & fans don't care.
 

HomeRunBaker

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George Karl said the NBA was rampant with PEDs a decade ago in his book Furious George.

Never a likable Head Coach but that's the last we heard of George Karl. If you speak out you get banned/shunned.

People don't want to mess with the Golden Goose & fans don't care.
I hate the PED acquisitions of any professional athlete. Everyone uses supplements of varying strengths. If you aren't, you aren't playing professional sports. Is LeBron using some type of supplementation or doping? Yeah probably.....and who is he competing against every night? Guys who use some type of supplementation or doping.
 

TrapperAB

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I hate the PED acquisitions of any professional athlete. Everyone uses supplements of varying strengths. If you aren't, you aren't playing professional sports. Is LeBron using some type of supplementation or doping? Yeah probably.....and who is he competing against every night? Guys who use some type of supplementation or doping.
While I understand and appreciate the logic that pros need to even the playing field against other pros, I really wish the league would crack down on it -- there are college kids using to try and make the league, and high school kids using to try and get into major college programs. Almost all of these kids are damaging their long-term health for little to no gain.
 

ElUno20

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I hate the PED acquisitions of any professional athlete. Everyone uses supplements of varying strengths. If you aren't, you aren't playing professional sports. Is LeBron using some type of supplementation or doping? Yeah probably.....and who is he competing against every night? Guys who use some type of supplementation or doping.
Isn't this an argument that lebron is just doing it to be at a fair playing level with everyone else?

Well if it's not regulated/out in the open, how does anyone know what the level is? That would still favor the billionaire with the best team. If anyone is doing it the "best", it's LBJ.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Isn't this an argument that lebron is just doing it to be at a fair playing level with everyone else?

Well if it's not regulated/out in the open, how does anyone know what the level is? That would still favor the billionaire with the best team. If anyone is doing it the "best", it's LBJ.
Doing what though? If whatever the players are doing isn't illegal, banned or regulated than who are we to judge something we have zero information on? This isn't like McGwire and Bonds in their steroid years....I remember those threads here demanding "proof" because without evidence we don't know for sure (LOL yeah ok).
 

HomeRunBaker

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Well, anabolic steroids are class III. And that’s what people are talking about, right?
I mean if that's what they are talking about I'll be blunt and say that they don't know what they are talking about. As someone said upthread the more likely to be whatever the modern form of blood doping is today along with a supplementation program and not anabolic steroids.
 

benhogan

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I mean if that's what they are talking about I'll be blunt and say that they don't know what they are talking about. As someone said upthread the more likely to be whatever the modern form of blood doping is today along with a supplementation program and not anabolic steroids.
Whatever doping they are doing is many years ahead of the testing.

and the Testers (the NBA) like it that way.

I don't blame the players
 

chilidawg

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I hate the PED acquisitions of any professional athlete. Everyone uses supplements of varying strengths. If you aren't, you aren't playing professional sports. Is LeBron using some type of supplementation or doping? Yeah probably.....and who is he competing against every night? Guys who use some type of supplementation or doping.
An ironic misspell.
 

Remagellan

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I don't think LeBron is doing anything illegal. The guy sleeps in a hyperbaric chamber and has done so for years. He's been doing stretching and conditioning for years. I think he's just the result of someone starting training techniques early on that other athletes adopt later in their careers to extend them. Even with all that, he's not the same player he was five years ago; he's just declining much slower than one might normally expect because of all the care he's taken, and continues to take, with his body.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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I liked the tournament overall, but it's really crushed the flow of the Celtics season - 3 games in 11 days, and then they have to go on the road to the west coast after playing 4 games in six nights? WTF. Anyone else think they lose the Detroit game as the first game back from the road trip? Seems impossible with how shitty the Pistons are, but that's 100% the kind of game they lost last year.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I liked the tournament overall, but it's really crushed the flow of the Celtics season - 3 games in 11 days, and then they have to go on the road to the west coast after playing 4 games in six nights? WTF. Anyone else think they lose the Detroit game as the first game back from the road trip? Seems impossible with how shitty the Pistons are, but that's 100% the kind of game they lost last year.
How is that schedule worse than in years past? If anything the league has eased up on the mandatory 4 games in 5 nights, and 5 in 7 road trips.
 

lovegtm

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I liked the tournament overall, but it's really crushed the flow of the Celtics season - 3 games in 11 days, and then they have to go on the road to the west coast after playing 4 games in six nights? WTF. Anyone else think they lose the Detroit game as the first game back from the road trip? Seems impossible with how shitty the Pistons are, but that's 100% the kind of game they lost last year.
Good thing that NBA regular season results are almost meaningless for the top couple seeds.
 

astrozombie

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As someone who considers myself an above average (but nowhere near hardcore) fan of the NBA, the IST did not really do much for me. I was tuning in to watch the Cs regardless of whether it was an IST game or not. I have no idea if ratings were any better for it, or if the players cared more, or anything else. The only things I will remember about this first IST are Haliburton going supernova in a way that I had to tip my cap to him even as a Cs fan, and LeBron winning this and somehow that becoming part of his "better than Jordan" narrative.
 

chilidawg

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I liked the tournament overall, but it's really crushed the flow of the Celtics season - 3 games in 11 days, and then they have to go on the road to the west coast after playing 4 games in six nights? WTF. Anyone else think they lose the Detroit game as the first game back from the road trip? Seems impossible with how shitty the Pistons are, but that's 100% the kind of game they lost last year.
I would think the chance to get some rest and some practice would be a great break. Look at the first 20 games and figure out what you need to do better. And get the new bench guys some good practice time.
 

CaptainLaddie

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I don't think LeBron is doing anything illegal. The guy sleeps in a hyperbaric chamber and has done so for years. He's been doing stretching and conditioning for years. I think he's just the result of someone starting training techniques early on that other athletes adopt later in their careers to extend them. Even with all that, he's not the same player he was five years ago; he's just declining much slower than one might normally expect because of all the care he's taken, and continues to take, with his body.
PLI-A-BLE

He's like Brady. These dudes want to play forever at a high level and the best way to do so is through taking extremely good care of your body. I think the chance that LeBron is doping is the same as Brady -- which is to say, yeah, probably. But they're also doing a ton of other stuff many people aren't willing to do that's completely legal.
 

CaptainLaddie

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One of the reasons I really liked the IST was that the bench guys on all these teams were going nuts. Guys on a two-way contract just made $500k on the Lakers. That's awesome for them, and it was even said part of the motivation factor for stars on these teams was to help the 11th guy on the bench make some life-changing money.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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How is that schedule worse than in years past? If anything the league has eased up on the mandatory 4 games in 5 nights, and 5 in 7 road trips.
I would think the chance to get some rest and some practice would be a great break. Look at the first 20 games and figure out what you need to do better. And get the new bench guys some good practice time.
Not worse for the Celtics, worse for me! Friday was the only game during a week's worth of time, then it's every night, then they go out west and it's impossible to follow those games and not be a zombie. Just when the season seemed to have some flow to it, it's all over the place.

I agree that it's probably good for the team - tons of time at home to figure stuff out and get healthy, then headed out on the road trip in as good a shape as possible.
 

Euclis20

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The schedule is rough for the Knicks, who now get 5 games this season against both Milwaukee and Boston. They're 0-5 against the Celtics and Bucks so far, 12-4 against the rest of the league.
 

johnmd20

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Agreed, there is a 0% chance that 0% of NBA players are juicing.
There's a 0% chance more than 5% of the NFL and NBA players are not juicing. The PED science is too good and the money is WAY too much.(especially the NBA) Every player is doing something. There is no way they would be able to do what they are doing without it. Everything is so much more physical and intense.

Watch a replay on the NFL network from a game in the 80s. The players are going in slow motion. I know evolution is some of it but not all of it.

I don't say this as someone who gnashes his teeth at juicing. The athletes should be able to do whatever they want. I thought the reaction to the baseball PED story was absurd and hypocritical.
 

Imbricus

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It would be funny if winning the in season tournament, viewed 20 years from now (assuming the tournament sticks), is viewed as some sort of curse. Like "none of the last 20 winners of the in season tournament have won the NBA championship." (P.S., no, this isn't sour grapes, ha.)
 

benhogan

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The NBA got exactly what they wanted, Bron/Lakers, so I doubt they will make many changes to the structure, but how did they decide on the groupings for the IST?

The Lakers & PHX were handed passes to the Quarters with PDX, Utah & Memphis in their group.
The best early-season WC teams DEN, MINN, OKC, & Dallas all failed to qualify.

They also need to time the final qualification games together. Orlando was screwed.
 

HomeRunBaker

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The NBA got exactly what they wanted, Bron/Lakers, so I doubt they will make many changes to the structure, but how did they decide on the groupings for the IST?

The Lakers & PHX were handed passes to the Quarters with PDX, Utah & Memphis in their group.
The best early-season WC teams DEN, MINN, OKC, & Dallas all failed to qualify.

They also need to time the final qualification games together. Orlando was screwed.
Before the Group Play draw, each team was placed into a “pot” based on its record from the prior regular season (2022-23). In each conference, one team from each pot was randomly selected into each of the three groups in that conference. Pot 1 had the teams with the three best prior-season records in a conference, Pot 2 had the teams with the fourth- through sixth-best prior-season records in a conference, and so on through Pot 5.
 

benhogan

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Before the Group Play draw, each team was placed into a “pot” based on its record from the prior regular season (2022-23). In each conference, one team from each pot was randomly selected into each of the three groups in that conference. Pot 1 had the teams with the three best prior-season records in a conference, Pot 2 had the teams with the fourth- through sixth-best prior-season records in a conference, and so on through Pot 5.
Literally, the "luck of the draw".
The Lakers played teams with a combined record of 69-88. Then again, they played hard & won every game, so they deserve their cash hardware.

The long-term ramifications are not going to be pleasant. There is no chance AD (771 Mins & 22/23 GP) + Bron (735 Mins & 22/23 GP) continue to play this many Mins/GP (esp. with this defensive intensity) without needing repairs.

AD is on pace for a career-high in games played & minutes.
Bron has only exceeded this GP pace once over the last decade (when he was a spry 33yr old).

Celtic fans can take IST solace in the Lakers being burdened by an 83-game schedule.
 

TomRicardo

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Only metric for success is if they get Netflix, Amazon or Apple to buy a package for the whole tournament. Ratings for non-Lakers games weren't something to shout about.

So far it's not looking good.

View: https://twitter.com/lucas_shaw/status/1726607739508650074
There is zero chance Netflix is going to go after [edit - major] sports. Zero. Technically they don't have the right infrastructure fit to do live TV. It would be a huge undertaking to fix their issues with live TV which wouldn't be worth the effort.

Edit - And they just announced they are going to try tennis. It is very different and there are going to be huge issues. That said trying to figure out there system on smaller events makes sense.