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Author Topic: NBA 2015-16; ANOTHER YEAR, ANOTHER THREAD...  (Read 10530 times)
Nicol
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« on: November 02, 2015, 06:34 am »

Guys, I want to get serious about the NBA this season and I can't do it without your brilliant and insightful discussion right here in this thread.  Let's go!  What's going on at the moment in the NBA?


https://twitter.com/Rachel__Nichols/status/659386869399072768

The Golden State Warriors were elite last season; it was mindblowing.  No other team had a chance to win at any point IMO. Now, their genius coach Steve Kerr is taking a break but Curry's shooting is becoming legendary.  Can they win another championship this year?  If not, who is standing in their way?
https://twitter.com/zrmoreno/status/651259608560852993
https://twitter.com/SherwoodStrauss/status/659246408982097920

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-SSZyA_w9o" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-SSZyA_w9o</a>

Lebron James is on the cusp of becoming the youngest player to score 25,000 points. Can his Cleveland Cavaliers contest them this year?  Kevin Love, sporting a ridiculous hairstyle, has returned to the Cavs lineup, and Kyrie Irving has no date set for his return other than 'soon'.  More time out injured means less chemistry for the team.  How will their season go?
https://streamable.com/a4bb

Lamarcus Aldridge has finally made his way to the San Antonio Spurs after Coach Pop offered a his own children.  Although an apprentice atm Aldridge apparently ascertains achievement arriving.  This is because the ageing Tim Duncan will pass a wealth of knowledge and the his role as Spurs franchise player to Aldridge in his final seasons.  The Spurs have an incredible team now, and if they're not contenders this year, they definitely will be in coming seasons.

Having to contend with Lil' B's based curse, James Harden's Houston Rockets are starting the season in terrible form.  They have not won a game yet!  This doesn't worry Harden, who plans to keep shooting through the slump.  Can the Rockets improve their form?


What do you think?  How will your team do?  Who will win?  What interests you most this season?
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DiegoInglewood
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2015, 02:52 pm »

Well first of all, Harden needs to apologize to the Based God.

Secondly go Washington Wizards. If Wall had been healthy in the playoffs last year I really think they could have beaten the Hawks and then taken the Cavs in the Eastern finals. They're missing Paul Pierce's clutch ability now but Wall/Beal/Gortat is a deadly trio.
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2015, 12:10 am »

westbrook gets two triple doubles in a row this week! after a good then bad season start, things are looking good for our beloved okc thunder, posting doubledigit leads even without durant (hamstring), not the team floundering through injuries o last year. liking this new donovan coach too, some good micromanagement of the game he's got
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Nicol
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2015, 03:04 am »

Let's take a look at some streaks:

Best Streaks
+W10 - Golden State Warriors (@MIN*, @MEM*, DET*, @SAC, DEN*, LAC, MEM***, @NOP*, @HOU**, NOP* BKN)
W8 - Cleveland Cavaliers (@NYK, UTA, IND, PHI, NYK*, @PHI, MIA*, @MEM** @MIL)
W3 - Miami Heat (UTA, LAL*, TOR**, MIN)
Indiana Pacers (MIN, @BOS*, ORL*, @CHI)
San Antonio Spurs (@POR*, @SAC**, CHA**, PHI),
Oklahoma City Thunder (PHI**, @WAS**, PHX**, BOS)
Denver Nuggets (HOU, MIL, POR, @PHX)
@Away game
+Undefeated
*10+ point win
**20+ point win
***50 point win

So, Warriors are doing well as expected.  Interestingly, the Cavaliers are winning but they're not winning by as much as the Warriors.  This is the finals matchup from last year, so everyone is wondering whether the Cavaliers can come back better this time, if they can come back to meet Warriors in the final.  There is still plenty of time, but these stats seem to favour Warriors heavily.

Heat have had nice stretch of easy teams at home.  Wade is playing the least minutes that he ever has in his career, which is a sign that he is slowing down and possibly thinking of retirement.  I have not really been watching any Pacers games, but they seem to be doing much better than last season, and may even be a contender to make conference finals.  The Spurs were always going to take a while to click, but it seems that they're starting to have some demonstrative games against lower rated opponents.

Thunder, as well, are defying expectations, since half of their win streak was without Durant, who has injured himself and will be out of it for a few more games now. This does include some struggling teams, but a solid win against Phoenix.  Denver are another team who I have not been following too closely this season, but it will be interesting to see how they're doing down the track.

Worst Streaks
+L9 - Philadelphia 76ers (@OKC*, TOR*, CHI**, ORL, @CLE, @MIL, CLE, UTA**, @BOS* SAS)
L4 - Los Angeles Lakers (@DAL, @ORL, @MIA*, @NYK, DET)
Portland Trailblazers (@MEM, SAS*, @DEN, DET*, @CHA)
L3 - Washington Wizards (OKC**, @ATL*, @BOS**, ORL)
Utah Jazz (@ORL, @MIA, @CLE, @ATL)
Minnesota Timberwolves (@IND, GSW*, CHA, MEM)
                   @Away game
                    +Winless
                    *10+ point loss
                    **20+ point loss

The Seventysixers are winless so far and some of these teams are defeating them convincingly. The talking heads are already writing off this season and looking to the future.

The Lakers have had a pretty tough stretch, however even with a healthy Bryant, I don't see them in the playoff picture this season.  And, with Bryant about to wind down and live in the hall of fame, their future isn't looking very promising either.  The Trailblazers are actually doing much better than I predicted considering they lost their franchise player to the Spurs and Batum to the Hornets.  This is essentially because of Lilard, who is keeping them in games with stronger opponents just with his three point percentage.

The Wizards are having a bizarre start. They've got the same core that they had last year, albeit with Beal and Nene missing a few games due to injury.  Even in their games at full strength they've displayed a consistent lack of talent that is uncharacteristic of their team.  Surely the aging Paul Pierce, who they have lost to the Clippers, wasn't that essential for them?  I want to get to the bottom of this, and I want them to start improving because I like their team.

The Jazz are losing but they're not losing by much.  This might be more of a 4th quarter issue for them than anything else, however we will see how they do going to the future.  The Timberwolves are stacked with talent but they're all young (or ancient: Garnett), so expect this team to enter the playoff picture in the coming seasons assuming they keep a similar roster.  It might be a good idea for them to get some veteran players in to shape their talent.

Who is missing from this picture?

L2 Los Angeles Clippers: @SAC, DAL, @SAC, PHX, GSW, HOU, MEM, @DAL, @PHX

We have the Clippers, who are having a temporary crisis, as their starters have been outscored by their opponents by on average 50 points in each of their last five games (where they have a 2-3 record).  Paul is injured, however, and Griffin (who is shooting .56 from anywhere on the court) was ejected in their game against the Suns, which quickly turned into a demolition.  I expect their form to improve dramatically as they get over this, though.

W1 Chicago Bulls: CLE, @BKN*, @DET, ORL, @CHA**, OKC, MIN, PHI**

The Bulls, too, are not playing very well.  It is a similar story to the Wizards, however they don't really have injuries or personnel to use as an excuse.  Their head coach, Thibodeau was fired at the end of the last season, and it might be the inexperience of their new head coach, and a struggle to find a new identity, that is leading them down this path.  In patches, Butler, Rose, and really all of their players are looking great, but they just can't string these great patches into great games.

L1 Houston Rockets: DEN**, GSW**, @MIA**, OKC, ORL, @SAC, @LAC, BKN

The Rockets are currently looking into the bottom half of their conference after a pathetic start which they are just starting to correct themselves from.  I have maintained for years, ever since he was the sixth man for Thunder, that Harden cracks under pressure.  This is a recurring theme, and even when vying for the top scorer position last season, it was obvious to me that when the time came to step up, he would be vacant.  I am sure that this is a factor now.  We'll see if they can continue to correct themselves after their poor start.

W1 Memphis Grizzlies: CLE**, @IND, BKN*, @GSW*****, @SAC*, @POR*, @UTA*, @LAC, GSW*, POR

Similar story with the Grizzlies.  Their streak of losing 4 in a row was hidden by their close win against Portland today.  They've been constantly improving each year despite having the same core players, so this is a bizarre outcome, and I'm interested to see if they are able to come out of this by themselves, or if they need to make personnel changes.  The earlier loss against Portland was one of the most notable games.  In the final minute, they squandered a 5 point lead with a series of confusing play calls and poor shooting on offence and a lapse of concentration on defence.



So this is a snapshot of where we are at the moment.  I know it is very early in the season, however the narratives around these teams are starting to form.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2015, 02:02 am by Nicol » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2015, 12:41 am »

Golden State exhausts me
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Nicol
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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2015, 01:49 am »

The Warriors @ Clippers game CatAstrophe is talking about was incredible.  Paul seemed to be sending a message to the Warriors as he hit 7/7 in the first quarter, including 3/3 from three.  The lead was 23 until mid-3rd quarter, and Warriors recovered, Curry getting another 40 point game (53, 46 his two season-best).  Biggest dropped lead of the season so far.  Best game of the season yet.

This might be shot of the year, even though it is still early: https://streamable.com/ylkj

Other stuff this week:


Twitter:

https://twitter.com/SportsCenter/status/667422377328959488
https://twitter.com/SiriusXMNBA/status/667483518939869184 (huh?)
https://twitter.com/darrenrovell/status/667362348487823360
« Last Edit: November 20, 2015, 02:05 am by Nicol » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2015, 09:25 pm »

I meant that they exhaust me in general, but yeah it was a good game.
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2015, 09:08 am »

GSW hit 17-0 (Steph Curry sat out the 4th quarter god they're so good) the same night the 76ers hit 0-17 (they've lost 27 games straight dating back to last season). Fun stuff
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2015, 12:49 am »

rip the last unbeaten streak, 24 games you did good warriors

also congrats phi on getting one win, and being so bad that silver asked colangelo to step in
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2015, 02:52 am »

Curry is doing stuff that we've never seen before.  Traditional basketball wisdom that we have gradually gathered before and throughout the analytics age of basketball just does not apply to him.  He is an outlier.  He appears to have become this way (before the previous season he was one of the best players, but not this dominant) through unique and intense training drills. 

Curry is amazing to me because of the persistence, attitude, and brains that have gone into his training regimen.  He is exploiting the fact that nobody else is using knowledge of the brain and specialization to train, and in the coming years we will one or more players who can at the same time have access to the knowledge of how to "properly train" (because Curry has uncovered it) and who have willpower at the level of or exceeding Curry's.

This kind of game would not be possible without the 3 point shot.  Basketball did not always have the three point shot, and when it was introduced, people felt that it was a gimmick that would soon die out.  Coach Popovich talks here about the three point shot.  He calls it "a circus type of thing", and wonders sarcastically why there isn't a 5 or 7 point shot.  Despite this, the three point shot has been essential to any team who has won a championship in the last decade or so. 

If you take every attempt at a shot from a certain position on the floor and then you count the makes and misses of that shot from any player, you can derive the points per shot for that shot.  We can do this with any player, but first let's consider the whole league.  The two best shots in terms of PPS are corner three pointers and driving shots.  Driving shots have a much higher probability of occurring but only reward a player with 2 points and corner threes have the highest probability of any three point shot because the distance to the hoop is the shortest in the corners.  You might think the lack of a backboard would hinder the corner 3 point shot, but all of the greatest shooters are not using a backboard to hit their threes anyway.

Go back to any championship team in the last decade and watch them swing the ball around the interior, to the open corner three shot, and you'll realize just how valuable this play is.

Assuming no defence, a team just wants to take corner three pointers, and driving shots.  But obviously these are key points on the court so they're always well defended.  So a team needs to be able to shoot from many places on the court with a reasonable accuracy in order to keep the defenders away from being locked down to the key areas.  Just plain shooting is no good against some of the better defences in the league, so teams use a number of screen, pick and roll, and elaborate plays to get an open shot.

But Curry just doesn't fit into this system at all.  With this basic primer on basketball strategy, check out  this article, which looks at Curry's statistics to determine basically that (a) he can shoot the three pointer well from anywhere, not just the corner, (b) he shoots a lot more and makes a lot more than any other player, and (c) if he took more shots he would improve the team.
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« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2015, 06:24 am »

http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/14378254/unorthodox-training-routine-golden-state-warriors-stephen-curry
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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2016, 12:45 am »

GREATEST

DUNK

CONTEST

EVER.
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2016, 03:58 pm »

GORDON WAS ROBBED
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« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2016, 04:00 pm »

i am very upset at this obvious ripping off
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« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2016, 12:23 am »

AGREED
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« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2016, 06:05 pm »

it seems the clippers transferred their bad shooting to the thunder who in turn infected the warriors. the lakers, having the disease before, are probly immune

first time in nba history a sub .200 beats an over .900 omg
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« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2016, 01:11 am »

What I took from this is Lakers are winning the title this year
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Nicol
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« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2016, 01:07 am »

Hey who is going to win the NBA Finals. If you think you know with even dubious confidence then play in my NBA Bracket Challenge game where you make predictions and then see how accurate they are.

http://www.nbabracketchallenge.com
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« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2016, 01:10 pm »

Golden State for the 16-0 title run baby
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« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2016, 06:26 am »

Huh, so my Wizards didn't just shit the bed they took a big crap and then the bed broke in half and lit on fire and the horrible coach got sacked. But for some reason the even more horrible GM is still there. They'll be bad-to-just above mediocre for the foreseeable future.

Anyway I picked those crazy Golden State kids to repeat because they're damn good at passing the ball around and shooting it well.
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