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The Athletic has a great ($$) article polling retired players on a bunch of questions;

I thought this one was pretty interesting:

7. 3-point shooting is a bigger part of the NBA than it’s ever been since the 3-point line was introduced beginning with the 1979-80 season. Is the prevalence of the 3-point shot a positive or a negative for the current quality of play?

Big positive: 34.7%

Slight positive: 16.1%

No change: 1.7%

Slight negative: 30.5%

Big negative: 15.3%

Just different: 1.7%

There's a lot of grousing right now about how bad it is for the game and everyone can't be Steph (fair) so I thought it was interesting to see a poll of retired players showing a pretty different perspective, with only 15.3% saying it's a big negative.

A lot more at the link: https://theathletic.com/3014155/2021/12/15/nba-retired-players-survey-on-steph-giannis-lebron-future-stars-top-coaches-rule-changes-how-the-game-has-evolved/

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I'll just repeat the same point that Seth Partnow made on Twitter a few days ago:

"Reminder that just over 50% of all NBA shots were jumpers 20 years ago and just over 50% of all NBA shots are jumpers today."

Mostly catch and shoot midrange jumpers have become 3s. Apart from that, the elite scorers are still 3 level capable scorers apart from the rim freaks like Zion/Giannis etc.

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Kevin Knox entering the Health and Safety Protocols. Curry out in NYC after Tuesday's game partying with KD and others. Warriors have avoided it so far but COVID does seem to be getting closer and closer.

Wiggins' probable reluctance to get a booster shot is an under the radar big story, they don't really have any other SFs you'd be comfortable starting right now (although perhaps Klay could fill in once he's back). Hopefully they can convince him to get it.

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The boosters won't stop Delta and Omnicron infection rates much, just the potential adverse reactions to the virus. If they test positive, they'll still have to quarantine and not play for at least 10 days. I think the league is going to face an inevitable stoppage regardless of player vaccination status.

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He just got the first shot two months ago. So I don't think he'd be eligible for the booster until later.

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Nor does he have a reduced efficacy that would merit needing a booster

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CDC are recommending booster after *two* months if you got the JNJ.

Early studies on Omicron are showing JNJ is least effective of the three approved vaccines.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html

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They've also shown mixing vaccines produces higher antibody and t-cell immunological responses, so if he theoretically got a Moderna or Noxavax shot down the line, he could be in a better place than many 3 dose Pfizer people.

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I think it’s the politically correct way for the cdc to say “JNJ not as good, m’kay. Get another shot, a good one”

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Unless you have a source, best not to project “probable reluctance” - you could do that with any of the players if you wanted.

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I am always reluctant about being stabbed by a needle.

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Chris Paul (unsolicited) gives props to Steph for breaking the three point record: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CnUyQz6WHs. Classy.

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JJ Redick + Tyrese Haliburton on Steph: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1I-lXgxRts

Have to say, I always low-key liked Redick as a player, but he's amazing as a podcaster and his NBA commentary is always insightful.

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UTA hires Danny Ainge to oversee bball ops. It was bad enough to have to play in Utah, no knock, just sayin'. Now the team is led by a guy who doesn't give a rats ass about his players or their lives. Horrible move for UTA. Sends a bad message to a really good team trying to get over the hump. If your a player, time to get your luggage out of the garage.

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Yep. If Ainge had anything to do with the Dubs, he would have jettisoned Klay after his 1st injury.

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Yeah, if you're gonna ding Ainge, at least make it a good ding. Klay was under contract and couldn't be dumped. Klay is and was also a far better player than Isaiah Thomas. Call it cold or heartless, yes, but the calculus of dropping IT instead of giving him a megacontract at that time is nowhere comparable to Klay's situation.

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Honestly, I don't even necessarily disagree with the IT decision, as clearly cold and calculated as it was. I personally was on board saying the Celtics should have traded high on IT when he was at the peak of his awesomeness. I think it was pretty easy to see that sort of play likely wasn't sustainable.

I also have a hard time feeling too much sympathy for professional basketball players who have already earned millions. I mean, sure it sucked how things ended up working out for him, but can any of us really say that it was the wrong move from a basketball standpoint?

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Current NBA top 10 teams, per BB-Ref’s Simple Rating System (basically, net rating adjusted for strength of schedule):

Tier 1

1. GSW +10.46

2. UTA +10.42

====

Tier 2

3. PHO +5.84

4. CLE +5.76

====

Tier 3

5. MIA +3.75

6. MIL +3.14

7. BKN +2.75

8. CHI +2.29

9. MEM +2.18

10. ATL +2.06

https://www.basketball-refe...

If you had the Cavs effectively tied with Phoenix and significantly ahead of the Heat, Bucks, and Nets in the DNHQ pool … come up and collect your prize!

Meanwhile, the Lakers are #21 at -1.57, propped up record-wise by virtue of a bunch of overtime squeakers against crappy teams.

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Where do the Cavs skeptics queue up?

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Mobley is special

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Mobley is the best defensive rookie I have ever seen since I started watching basketball. He is just insane at that end, and is already one of the top 10 defensive players in the league.

As for offense, he's just a ball of clay. He can do everything, just needs to sharpen his skill in all aspects.

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I'm just glad that the Rockets didn't draft him, Sengun/Mobley would be a terrifying combo.

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Garland (all-star calibre this year) and Mobley (all-defensive guy in his rookie year) + supporting guys like Allen are gonna be one of the best teams in the East for a loooooong time.

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Definitely, although I'd say they should probably be looking to trade Allen in a year or two (when Mobley is physically ready). Not because he's bad because he's obviously been great for them, but because I think Mobley closing at center figures to be one of the best weapons in the league and Allen making 20 million to play center will get in the way of that.

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Dunno. Mobley+Allen could be a new take on Robinson+Duncan. Not a perfect comp of course, but early returns are promising

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GSW vs CLE Part 5, as we all expected.

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Hmmm… best team in the West v. best team in the East? Checks out…

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Lakers just had to go to OT against the Mavericks WITHOUT Luka. That's with their "Big Three" healthy and playing and at this point most if not all of their guys who were out at the start of the season available.

Are they even going to make the playoffs? I imagine LeBron and Davis can drag them in if healthy, but that is not a given...

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The Ringer has an article that's a great complement to this: What the Schedule Tells Us About Who’s Real and Who’s Not in 2021-22

From the article:

Cleveland Cavaliers

Record: 17-12

Past SOS: Second by point differential, tied for first by record

Future SOS: 30th by point differential, 30th by record

Los Angeles Lakers

Record: 15-13

Past SOS: 30th by point differential, 29th by record

Future SOS: First by point differential, First by record

More at the link: https://www.theringer.com/nba/2021/12/15/22837029/los-angeles-lakers-cleveland-cavaliers-nba-surprises

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UTA is a regular season juggernaut. It's clear that defense is what is setting these teams apart. And GSW currently doing it WITHOUT a top-tier center (CLE has 2!). If Wiseman can be a league average defender for his position by the end of this year, it's a huge win and the piece we need to match physicality in the 'offs.

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Q. Will the return of Klay cause a dip in Curry's Points p/g and have a negative impact on Curry's MVP chances? We know Curry is going to sacrifice what he can to get his splash bro going. OR, will the return of Klay just take the lid of the offense, increasing Curry's efficiency, and moving the team Points p/100 up - which, with their current point differential, seems ridiculous?

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Since the first Phoenix game, Curry has had only 1 game of 30 or more points. And, that game saw him shoot 50%. All the other games he hasn't shot better than 42%. That is for over 2 weeks now. I think most people would be calling this a slump. We also lost 3 games in this period, our largest deficit this season. With the return of Klay, we could see the team's point total jump up if Klay is shooting anywhere near his normal %. Since this is a team sport, the focus on one guy seems like a weakness to me. The Dubs need the support players to step up, not Curry. Curry will get his as has always been the case but if we want to win, we need contributions from the usual suspects that impact games and that includes the bench and their point contributions. The Dubs have not been playing with the same offensive intensity they had before the first Phoenix loss. They've been beatable. The D is there, though. Will Klay start? Probably. Who will move to the bench, Poole or Wiggs?

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I’ve found the Dubs fans obsession that Curry win awards to be odd. As if their adoration of Curry needs to be affirmed. Eg, the preference for a Curry Finals MVP. I think the Dubs are better when Curry is merely great as opposed to the greatest.

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Because many are more fans of Curry than fans of the Warriors. They will turn on anyone who would steal the thunder off Steph, his teammates included.

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I want my favorite player to win awards because he's my favorite and he's really good. I also want my favorite team to win. Really don't think it's thaaat odd.

I'm guessing Klay's return will bump up Steph's efficiency, per PH's point. Steph has won plenty of individual awards while simultaneously being the moist selfless NBA superstar ever.

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yeah, MVP is a sideshow, but it means a lot to the players, and a 3rd MVP for Curry and DPOY for Green AFTER the Durant teams would be huge from a historical perspective. But I agree, the 4th Title is the real goal, without question.

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Steph won UNANIMOUS MVP alongside his fellow Splash Bro and recorded a then career high 30 PPG. If the Warriors win a lot of games and he stays healthy, he’s got a great shot.

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If Curry seeks out stats (not that he does), he remains high on MVP ladder. If he sacrifices his own game for team wins, he remains high on MVP ladder for that reason. And, it's pretty clear this is the story the NBA wants this year, the Return of the Warriors, the return of Curry. So no matter which way you cut it, Curry sitting in a good position.

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I personally don't like Dray's take on NBA bringing back increased testing (from his latest podcast). He feels like he/they were misled that once you get the vaccine, no more testing 'ever'. Also he thinks Kyrie's stance of not getting vaccinated makes sense now and is legitimate.

To each their own. Mutation was a reality from day one and so was the fact that vaccine may not work long term or was 100% perfect. May be NBA/team doctors did a crappy job of conveying the same to players.

To be fair to Dray, CDC has been bad in communicating the changing reality from day one.

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Just did a long ass breakdown of all of Kuminga's minutes in the NYK game. It's way too long. But I'll try to break this up into something human sized and not too boring

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Don't worry, nothing with JK could be considered boring.

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Perhaps a multipart series

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Currently at 37 min, I might just split it into Offense and Defense videos

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Well played. Good efficient use of your effort to produce two articles

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I was also thinking of splitting it into 37 tiktoks

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Dec 17, 2021Liked by Eric Apricot

Only for you would I view tik tok!

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:-O

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The best part for me about Steph's record breaking shot was that it gave the Warriors the lead in a close game.

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On the road on a back to back.

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This is a cool video. But why do they have a graphic of Wiggs in the final frame ;-)

https://twitter.com/i/status/1471134781710684164

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Shorthanded Clips are leading fully healthy Utah in SLC by seven with eight minutes remaining in the 2nd. Go Clippers!

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POLL: *What is your single favorite Curry three?* And, if you feel like it, why? You have 2977 choices not including playoffs. Mine is ball-handling against the Clippers with everyone in their stupid powder blue uniforms trying to steal it, getting away and hoisting; and my reason is that Kerr even referred later to the way he looks so frustrated with Steph's decision-making, yet pleased with the outcome, and after that realized that there's just not the same standards for what constitutes a good shot for Steph. It's an era-defining moment.

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Zero love for the pre-Kerr Curry, it seems:

These two rank up there for me (obviously the OKC shot is #1), both capping off dominant individual runs against higher seeded playoff teams and signaling Curry's arrival as a superstar (the MSG game put him on the map as a star but superstars are created in the playoffs):

https://youtu.be/X4soxVPBAsc?t=257

https://youtu.be/QRWAJmZdWeI?t=373

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One of the things Ben Taylor brought up in the podcast with Kevin O'Connor about Steph's career legacy is that the time prior to Kerr is underrated. He was 2nd team All NBA in 2014 and 6th in MVP voting.

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Runner up ROY as well, when non-Warrior fans say he came out of nowhere what they mean is that they paid zero attention to the Warriors back then (for good reason).

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Yeah. His rookie season was as good as a guy like LaMelo's (though obviously LaMelo was significantly younger).

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I agree. Curry's imitation of Harlem Globetrotter Curly Neal followed by turn around bomb with Kerr standing on sideline looking like the coach of the Washington Generals was hilarious. But it will be forever remembered as the shot that ushered in a new era. It changed the way coach Kerr thought about the game, opening up the game from the sidelines. And it reminded everyone that basketball is a game and it's supposed to be fun and this has reverberated all the way down to the playground where kids mimic their heroes. The OKC double-bang and NOP corner close-eyed 3 where the most incredible, but I think the Clipper shot was the one that best encapsulates what Curry did to the game.

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I was going to say the one hammystyle just said right now lol.

Apart from that, I would nominate the Clippers one (regular season, going through 4 guys). That's a shot only 1 man in history can even attempt, let alone make. And Kerr's reaction really just makes the whole thing poetic - it's a wonderful encapsulation of how Steph just took everything we knew about the game and carved it all up into a million pieces.

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Absolutely and one thing is that for JVG haters, it's notable that he says "That might be the most incredible move I've ever seen," and the other guys laugh and I remember thinking, no, he's serious, and then he goes, "No, I'm being serious." It's awesome. Doesn't entirely redeem him but it's pretty cool.

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https://youtu.be/-VCXMk7P-u4?t=237

4th quarter, game 5, 2015 Finals, Series tied 2-2. LeBron hits a go ahead 3. Steph shakes up Dellavedova something nasty, step back, BANG, mean mug. Dubs never trail again.

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When people said Steph didn’t play well in the Finals, what the heck were they watching? I still think he should have gotten FMVP.

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His body is so much bigger now, even from just 6 years ago.

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I hated Dellavadova before that series but MAN I hated him after. SO glad Steph destroyed him.

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Pelicans corner three playoff shot, after mo buckets o rebound, being fouled by AD, and seth (and parents) celebrating in the stands. I remember listening on the radio with my son, and with a minute left we had given up hope but kept listening and we’re yelling by the end: no way? What? How? Yes!

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SUCH an and-1. I was so blown away that wasn't called and the NBA afterward said it shoulda been.

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Only diff now is “it didn’t effect the shot so no foul” - huh?

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Yup, mine too!

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A couple under the radar shots:

- The Marat Kogul memorial eff you three from the corner in the “hot stove” game where Steph pranced by after pointing directly at him taunting him. Tied the game and set up for an epic finale which was defused when the refs called a foul with no time remaining to gift the wolves the victory

- KD’s first game back in OKC, there’s a scuffle just before halftime and there’s a jump ball. Klay gets the ball and hurls it ahead to Steph, who sprinted ahead, and he nails a three at the buzzer and then sprints straight into the locker room

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Actually that’s the one that came to mind first too. You don’t have to think real hard about it. That and the Bang Bang one and the one that sent that Pels game to OT where he got mugged. Those should be top 3

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I just watched the Top 30 Steph 3s that's posted below. This one & Bang Bang. Can't think which was #11 now but I was surprised it wasn't higher. His 70 ft buzzer beater was pretty impressive too.

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The one after the Iguodala block in Memphis? That one I love. Or another 70 ft. buzzer beater?

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Pretty sure it was the Memphis one - only one that long in the video.

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Anthony Davis

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Kawhi Leonard

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By which I mean, over The Brow, in the corner, after a feed from Speights if I recall correctly.

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Do we really need the super close up shot of lebrons D tea bagging the camera man

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