Dubs cruise into the playoffs, never in doubt, right?
Idea: fraction of a game penalties to franchises. So, for example, let's say blatant tanking like Dallas did is .25 of a game. Other infractions by the owner and front office such as tampering have values as well. If a team accumulates 1.0 in a season, the team's record is altered to reflect that. Because fining billionaires half a million does absolutely nothing to them.
Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry is completing the sale of his Bucks stake to Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Haslam Sports Group for a $3.5 billion valuation on Friday.
I'm sorry, Bucks fans.
Assume 100 points is the perfect Warriors center, 0 is the worst possible. Award the following individuals the points you think they were worth within the Warrior system of the Dynasty Era, how much they contributed toward winning. Points are awarded for work done as a Warrior, not overall career. “Center” is loosely defined. Rate as many as you feel like. Justification and argumentation encouraged.
Bogut, Speights, McAdoo, Jordan Bell, Looney, Pachulia, Javale, Ezeli, Varejao, Damian Jones, David West, Boogie Cousins, Willie Cauley-Stein, Omari Spellman, Wiseman, Bjelica (Don’t look at me, he’s listed as C on basketball-reference, )
Rebounds per 36:
NBA Rebounding Leader Sabonis: 12.8
Elite Big-Man Passer Sabonis: 2.5 to 1
LoonGod 4.6 to 1
Seriously: very different players in very different roles, but I’m super excited to watch this matchup. Similar sizes and weights (Domas slightly higher head height, Loon way longer reach), both strong as bulls, both the same age (born three months apart), with elite hoops IQs. Can’t remember the last time as a Ws fan I was this intrigued by a *center matchup*…
I had an idea about doing a nba playoff 2023 bracket challenge. Some friends and I have been doing this for the last few postseasons and it's been a blast. anybody who wants to play can just submit their bracket for the playoffs after the play-in stage and predict how many games the winner will take. It could do a small buy-in or just for fun and bragging rights.
Scoring is simple: 2 points for getting a prediction right in the first round, 4 points for semi-finals, 6 points for conference finals, and 10 points for the championship. Plus if you guess the number of games and the winning team for a specific match-up, you get a bonus multiplier of 1.5 times the points total.
I.E. if you predict that the Suns will beat the Clippers in 7 games and they actually do, you would get 3 points in the first round, 6 points in the second round, 9 points in the third, and so on.
I wanted to break down the Kings historic offensive rating this year, compared to the Warriors, and see where the gap came from. Using Basketball Reference, Sacramento finished scoring 119.4 points per 100 possessions (1st) and Golden State scored 116.1 points per 100 possessions (T8th). [Sidebar: this is higher than I expected from the Warriors].
Breaking down where the points gap comes from; +7.2 pp100 from two, -7.8 pp100 from three, +4.0 pp100 from the free throw line. Sacramento shoots 4.4 more two pointers and makes them at a +2.2% clip, Golden State shoots 5.3 more three pointers and makes them at a +1.5% clip, and the math of 3>2 turns that into a very slim 0.6 pp100 advantage for the Warriors. That slim advantage is overwhelmed by Sacramento's +4 pp100 from the line driven by +4 attempts per 100 and shooting a basically identical percentage.
So... what else is new this year... the Warriors ability to not foul on defense and draw fouls on offense relative to their opponent is likely to be the biggest swing factor in this series.
Obviously, this is only looking at offense...
Reporting undercover from Memphis (family trip to Civil Rights Museum / Graceland). Carefully left all dubmobilia at home, so had to buy hat. In depth analysis: they really like basketball here, but it’s the music that will survive.
Points / Rebs / Assists / Steals / Blocks (per 36mins/game)
Player A: 12.9 / 9.6 / 2.6 / 1.9 / 1.3
Player B: 12.9 / 6.2 / 4.8 / 1.8 / 0.2
Who do you think these two players are from the Dubs?
I’m in Paris doing the math on what time the game will be and…yikes, 2:30am! Don’t know how our euro friends do it.
On a related, but off-topic note, our two day/two night stay in Munich was great, despite the severest jet lag imaginable (30 hours travel, 12-hour time difference from Hawaii). Here’s a 9:30 video for those that are interested: https://youtu.be/ZJF7lZE9csA
Any one have a forward time machine on hand? I wouldn't mind skipping a work day for game day.
I wonder if I could give the singer $50 tomorrow to sing 'O Canada' rather than 'The Star Spangled Banner'.
Well, this nice reprieve between the regular season and the playoffs proper seems like a good time to revisit my predictions from before the season started and see how everything went wrong. I only predicted the Western Conference because I don't pretend to understand what's going on out east, so here.
Nuggets (My prediction: 3→Actual: 1). The Nuggets were every bit as good I expected them to be and then some, with the league's easiest schedule and best home-court advantage on their side. Their final placement is partly about the teams I had above them underperforming and partly about them having fewer hiccups than expected (Jokic 69 games, Murray 65, MPJ 62 ain't bad in terms of availability).
Grizzlies (4→2). Credit where it's due, they played better as a team than I anticipated even despite major setbacks like Morant's off-court issues and Steven Adams missing half the season with a knee injury.
Kings (11→3). Hot damn, good work, Mike Brown. I questioned their roster choices at the start of the season, but they found a way to make their roster choices work out and amped up Sac's offense to the point where the as-expected lackluster defense (25th overall!) was not a showstopper. I expected them to come up short in an "absolutely stacked Western Conference" but they went pedal to the metal and made it over the top of the pack instead, with a little help from unusually good health.
Suns (6→4). I was actually almost more wrong here, because I was expecting the grumbling with Ayton and distractions of ownership to erode the team entirely. Between Dec.5 and Jan. 16 when they went 5-12 including a lot of blowout, it looked like that might come true, but instead they endured and really went all-in with the Kevin Durant trade at the deadline. With a slightly top-heavier team healthy going into the postseason, we'll have to see how things shake out, but it's looking pretty hot in Phoenix.
Clippers (2→5). Whaddaya know, the Clips underperformed again. They've been killer when PG and Kawhi are both in the lineup, which hasn't happened often enough for LAC and still won't be the case for the start of the postseason. But the problems go deeper here, and I'd want to examine the coaching and team philosophy to figure out why this team always seems to be less than the sum of its parts.
Warriors (1→6). I knew this prediction was going out on a limb: I said, "Last year I accurately predicted the Dubs at #3, so it's weird to rank them higher when I feel like the team is, currently, slightly worse." But I thought that the young guys (Poole, Kuminga, Moody, maybe even Wiseman) would pop off and I wasn't expecting Wiggins to play only 37 games, DDV took longer than expected to fit and JMG ended up being a lot worse than expected. The home/road splits were as mystifying as the free-throw disparity, and lots of guys (Klay & Poole in particular) started the season hilariously cold. But on the other hand, the team course-corrected pretty well and despite being 6th seed I don't think many opponents are looking forward to facing the champs in the post-season.
Lakers (9→7). I was right that they'd end up in the play-in tournament but I am really shocked at how much their trade-deadline overhaul improved the team. GM Pelinka deserves almost as much credit for working that miracle with a box of scraps as he does for putting them in the predicament to begin with. Aside from AD finally getting healthy, the most underrated contributor to their resurgence has to be acquiring Vanderbilt from Utah for a distant-future pick and some Minnesota nonsense (lol).
T-Wolves (7→8). I pretty much hit the nail on the head here: "Gobert is iconic and Anthony Edwards is electric, but…this will be Gobert's worst defensive season [per DBPM, this was true] because the rest of the slackers on the team won't be on the same page. Even then, this team has enough proven guys to win some regular season games before flaming out in the playoffs or even the play-in." With DLo shipped to LA and the Gobert punch, the flaming-out-in-progress is even more dramatic than expected.
Pelicans (10→9). I questioned if Zion would play 50+ games. Turns out: only 29. With Ingram also only on court for 45, their hot start didn't hold up and left them looking decidedly mediocre as the postseason rolls around. Still, they ended up 1 spot above where I expected due to a couple other more dramatic bomb-outs...
Thunder (15→10). I lamented, "by rights, this team should have the ability to rank above the absolute bottom by now," and it turns out management finally gave Shai G-A and crew enough leeway to do just that. Giddey has had a hell of a sophomore campaign, and Jalen Williams is a serious ROY candidate, and they have Chet and Poku getting healthy again. In short, the process is finally working.
Mavericks (5→11). Welp. They had a winning record when they decided to trade Dinwiddie & Finney-Smith for Irving and Morris. They went 9-16 after that, missing the postseason altogether and not at all dissuading me from being "unconvinced [Luka]'s quite the winner that he's made out to be" without a more dependable co-star. Partly, they were a victim of the West being uber-packed, but it's still baffling that last year's WCF opponent dropped this far.
Jazz (14→12). Utah started off hotter than expected, and rookie Walker Kessler is a big part of that, stepping into Rudy Gobert's oversized shoes and doing an admirable job. Still, they finished blowing it up and ended up in the Wemby sweepstakes, as promised.
Trail Blazers (8→13). Their roster construction made some sense, but the defensive schemes didn't, and despite getting 52, 58, and 62 games from Nurkic, Lillard, and Simons respectively they didn't actually score in the top half of the league, either. They spent the time after the all-star break getting regularly whomped and if I were a Portland loyalist I'd be calling for Chauncey Billups to be replaced ASAP.
Rockets (13→14). Before the season, I was thinking Houston had a chance to exit the panzer battle sooner than OKC with a handful of intriguing but incomplete young players like Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr., and Alperen Sengun. As of right now, it looks like they still have quite a ways to go—notably, the dropoff from Portland at 33 wins to Houston/San Antonio at 22 each is as big as the gulf between LAC/GSW (5th/6th) and Portland (13th).
Spurs (12→15). As expected, the Spurs ended in the "deep ocean aquarium" part of the conference, but even Pop's magic could get them out of dead last. Sure, they traded away basically every positive player but even if you accept that they're retooling for the future, I don't think the Spurs faithful will be happy with how things ended up this season.
Biggest misses: Kings, Mavs
Overall, the season had plenty of surprises—maybe more than last season—but I don't feel that I made any systematic or foolish misses. One lesson is that the Blazers and especially the Kings, and perhaps to a lesser extent the Mavericks, are a good reminder that coaching makes a big difference in a team's results…but as a counterpoint, the Spurs are a reminder that the roster itself is still more important, so I'd do well not to over-index on coaching.
Nice feature story about Loon in TABA if you're paying for that: https://theathletic.com/4400314/2023/04/13/kevon-looney-warriors-playoffs?source=user-shared-article
Must be nice to have Andrew Wiggins to come off your bench... oh wait. It is nice. Nice.
Offensive and defensive efficiency for playoff and play-in teams in the West post-ASB:
Nuggets: #17 offense, #15 defense
Grizzlies: #11 offense, #11 defense
Kings: #1 offense, #23 defense
Suns: #13 offense, #9 defense
Clippers: #7 offense, #20 defense
Warriors: #6 offense, #7 defense
Lakers: #15 offense, #4 defense
Timberwolves: #23 offense, #12 defense
Thunder: #20 offense, #16 defense
Offensive and defensive efficiency for playoff and play-in teams in the East post-ASB:
Bucks: #5 offense, #14 defense
Celtics: #9 offense, #1 defense
76ers: #3 offense, #17 defense
Cavaliers: #10 offense, #8 defense
Knicks: #4 offense, #18 defense
Nets: #24 offense, #13 defense
Hawks: #2 offense, #27 defense
Heat: #14 offense, #24 defense
Bulls: #16 offense, #2 defense