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NBA 2020/21: The Bubble is Burst

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    NBA 2020/21: The Bubble is Burst

    After pulling off the most successful restart of any major American sports league in the summer with the Bubble, the NBA 2020/21 season is going back to home arenas and regular travel. Let's see how well that turns out. They have only released the schedule for the first half of the season--the second half schedule will be released around the all-star break (is an all-star game really needed this year) to account for games that will be rescheduled from the first half of the season.

    In terms of big player moves, the biggest story is the deal that didn't go through--Bogdan Bogdanovic going from the Kings to the Bucks in a sign-and-trade. Except that Bogdanovic never seemed to be on board with the deal and has said that he is going to enter free agency, and the NBA is now investigating the deal because the talks would have taken place before free-agent negotiations were allowed. Milwaukee has sent a boatload of first round picks going years into the future to New Orleans for Jrue Holiday. He's not worth it, but the deal presumably was done with Giannis' support, so if it means keeping the two-time MVP with your team, then it's a price worth paying. James Harden seems to want out of Houston, and the Rockets are trying to ship Russell Westbrook off. Chris Paul is now a Phoenix Sun, and the Lakers traded Danny Green and their late first round pick to OKC for Dennis Schroder. He'll be the Lakers' biggest scoring threat from the point guard position since Nick Van Exel in the mid-90s.

    We'll finally get to see Kevin Durant in action with Kyrie in Brooklyn. With the storylines out of the bubble and the emergence of new stars, everyone almost forgot that one of the best players on the planet has been waiting to get back out onto the court.

    Golden State was patiently waiting for the return of Klay Thompson to get back with Curry and Draymond Green to take a run against the Lakers in the West, but news confirmed from sources today that Klay injured his achilles and will miss another season. Just awful news for him and for all fans--Klay is pretty much universally admired, and while Curry is the superstar, Klay is just as amazing a shooter. We can only hope that he gets back out on the court again.
    Last edited by Incandenza; 20-11-2020, 04:07.

    #2
    Schroeder is going to be a big draw at parties among Hollywood's German disapora

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      #3
      Klay has been like whichever character you consider the relegated one on a double act throughout his time with Curry. I actually think he liked it - he was recognized but got to avoid the accolades. They both get paid the same; what does 100s of interviews and being the face really matter. I feel so sad for him to get hurt, badly, twice in succession.

      My guess - Brooklyn won't make the Divisional Final. Cos Brooklyn. Which is real fun to say since they only moved there ten years ago, but everyone can go along with it.

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        #4
        Gotta be Cuz Brooklyn if you are keeping it real

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          #5
          Wasn't the NHL's bubble at least as good, and if anything more impressive because they did it in cities rather than a cloistered off theme park? I can't tell if people are discounting the NHL because they forget hockey exists, or because they did it in Canada, which isn't a failed state.

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            #6
            I think of the NFL, MLB, and NBA as the three major leagues. NHL and MLS a step below.

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              #7
              Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
              Schroeder is going to be a big draw at parties among Hollywood's German disapora
              We're the land of Brecht, Mann, and Schoenberg, not to mention all of the film emigres.

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                #8
                https://twitter.com/blakemurphyodc/status/1329846748790054916

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                  #9
                  I think the Grizzlies have won the third jersey competition with this Isaac Hayes/Stax-inspired look:

                  https://twitter.com/memgrizz/status/1331339183345053699

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Incandenza View Post
                    I think of the NFL, MLB, and NBA as the three major leagues. NHL and MLS a step below.
                    It’s an arbitrary cutoff, but that categorization doesn’t make sense outside of Bristol, CT.

                    The NHL has made some questionable decisions, but it is still the best hockey league in the world.

                    The NHL’s average attendance is almost the same as the NBA’s. It’s as big or a bigger deal than the NBA and/or MLB in several markets. The franchises are worth an average of around $700m (pre COVID) at least. The average player salary is $3m/year.

                    How is that not “major?”



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                      #11
                      Some 19 year old just got a triple double.

                      Look at those 3 pointers. Seriously, a swoosh 3 pointer from a meter (two meters?) behind the three point line.



                      I was thinking he looks like a new Reggie Miller. Reggie Miller two years ago

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                        #12
                        "Some" 19-year old is LaMelo Ball, the younger brother of Lonzo Ball, and son of deranged sports father and professional troll LaVar Ball. LaVar had a plan for all three brothers to be #1 draft picks and all play in the NBA at the same time. The middle son, LiAngelo, followed Lonzo to UCLA, but never played a game there--he was arrested along with other players on a preseason trip for shoplifting at a Louis Vuitton store in China. Donald Trump intervened to get the guys released and able to travel back to the US. It was a mess. When UCLA suspended him and the others who were arrested--a completely reasonable thing to do--LaVar was outraged and took LiAngelo out of school there, and sent LiAngelo and LaMelo to play in Lithuania.

                        They became a laughing stock here, because a lot of the media tends to assume that anyone playing an American sport outside of the US should be embarrassed, because they must not be good enough to play here. Nevermind that both were too young to play in the NBA, and they were just waiting to be able to be drafted. LaMelo had long been rumored to be the most talented one--he scored ungodly amounts of points in games for a club team here, but LaVar was the coach and the entire game plan was basically "pass to LaMelo and let him take every shot." But he went to New Zealand and played very well for a professional team there, and people were starting to realize that he might just be for real. Now he's showing that off.

                        Those deep 3s are now pretty common, something that would have been unimaginable 10 years ago. Steph Curry was pretty much the first to do it consistently, now with pretty much every team wanting players to take 3s, coaches wouldn't scream at a player for taking that shot like they would have before. A lot of players can hit half-court shots in practice, it's a matter of translating that into being able to hit them during the flow of the game.

                        Not to say that deep 3s are unremarkable now. I think the best shot in recent memory is Damian Lillard's first-round playoffs series winner against OKC. True, they were up 3-1 in the series and probably won't worried about losing the series if the shot didn't go in and they didn't win the game. And it was a tie game, it wasn't something he was trying when they were losing and needed to score. But to just casually wait and hit a shot from the logo...to win the game!...to win a playoff series!...and then to just wave bye-bye and not react at all as you're getting mobbed by your team. He's the coolest player.

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                          #13
                          Just thankful it worked out for him. When he left and got kicked out of Lithuania it wasn't looking so good.

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                            #14
                            Hmm, interesting with the deep 3 pointers becoming common. My reference point for basketball is the 90s. I guess things have changed. Similar to football really, with long range goals becoming more common.

                            That Lillard shot is insane. He even times it so that it hits the net exactly at the buzzer, just for fun.
                            Last edited by anton pulisov; 11-01-2021, 23:09.

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                              #15
                              The Warriors revoutionised the league's approach to threes

                              It was an approach that was grounded in data and executed by a set of players incredibly well suited to the strategy

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                                #16
                                Originally posted by anton pulisov View Post
                                Hmm, interesting with the deep 3 pointers becoming common. My reference point for basketball is the 90s. I guess things have changed. Similar to football really, with long range goals becoming more common.

                                That Lillard shot is insane. He even times it so that it hits the net exactly at the buzzer, just for fun.
                                Basketball has had a data revolution, for better or worse. What's even more interesting is how quickly teams adapted. There isn't really a Big Sam equivalent in the NBA, I think the closest was Byron Scott, who was a disastrous coach for the Lakers, though he was saddled with a poorly-balanced squad. But when he was hired he downplayed the importance of shooting 3s, and was pretty much seen as a dinosaur.

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                                  #17
                                  Just for nostalgia's sake, some Reggie Miller three point moments



                                  Was doing some wiki-binging and discovered that the 3 point line was only introduced in the NBA in 1979. Interesting.

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                                    #18
                                    Thanks for that. The only ones I remember were the two against the Knicks early on, Reggie then scored the only other points (not threes, though) to give the Pacers the win.

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                                      #19
                                      The Rockets have kept James Harden from practice today, saying it would be best for the team if he wasn't there. It seems that a trade is imminent. Here's context from the Athletic after his short press conference last night after losing for the Lakers for the second game in a row:

                                      “We’re not even close, honestly,” Harden said. “To that team, the defending champions, and all the elite teams out there. I mean you can tell the difference in the last two games.”

                                      Harden’s somber assessment of his team speaks volumes. Not only because the former MVP is typically reserved in nature, but because he’s not holding back any punches. A lot has been said on his behalf regarding the underlying situation between star player and franchise, but little from Harden himself. The past few days have been a harsh reminder of the NBA ecosystem and the stark difference between a contender and a pretender.

                                      Lakers embarrassment aside, Houston is now 3-6 for the season, good for 14th in the Western Conference and one game above the league-worst Detroit Pistons. The Rockets are 17th in offensive rating, 22nd in defensive rating and look more like a team that will be fighting for lottery positioning than a playoff seed. It’s shocking considering where this team was just three, even two seasons ago.

                                      “We’re just not good enough,” Harden added. “Chemistry, talent-wise, everything. And it was clear the last few games. From the beginning of the game, they’re just a veteran team obviously, championship team, and one of the best teams we have in this league.”

                                      For weeks now, the organization has known of its franchise player’s desires to move elsewhere. Still, the team tried to put its best foot forward and move on as amicably as it could. This season got off to an awkward start, with Harden missing the beginning of training camp to party in Atlanta and Las Vegas with rapper Lil Baby and him reporting to the team out of shape.

                                      But in practice and after games, Harden said the right things. He spoke highly of his teammates and his new head coach. He was honest in saying the team had work to do, that he and John Wall would take time to figure each other out, that Christian Wood was talented and that this group had the potential to do something special.

                                      After losing to the Lakers in emphatic fashion, however, all of that went out the window. Harden’s postgame press conference only lasted 90 seconds, but his stoic nature and words pierced through every computer and phone screen on that Zoom call.

                                      “I love this city,” Harden said. “I literally have done everything that I can. The situation is crazy, it’s something that I don’t think can be fixed. So, yeah. Thanks.”

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                                        #20
                                        Harden to the Nets, apparently.

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                                          #21
                                          Wooooooooow...KD, Kyrie, and Harden on the same team. This will be amazing, either in a good way or a bad way.

                                          https://twitter.com/wojespn/status/1349464741882814466

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                                            #22
                                            The Treaty of Versailles was lees complicated than that trade

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                                              #23
                                              Har-done.

                                              Sad that the Pacers traded away Oladipo. the Pacers should be where IU players go out to pasture.

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