Locker room talk: rolling basketball thread

linebaugh

Well-known member
Clippers are theoretically the best team in the west if everything goes right health wise and Im not even sure its close. That being said they have as many question marks as any other team in the league.
 

linebaugh

Well-known member
The mavs arent true contenders but they are even more of a wild card team than they were last year, seeing as how they essentially decided to tank last season and play without a single center on the roster. Now theyve got a legit 7 footer who can play 15-20 minutes a night in the playoffs. Get another decent wing and Id say they become outside threats, just behind the main pool.
 

linebaugh

Well-known member
right now I think the warriors, clippers, and bucks are the head of the pack. no clear favorite for me but I think the bucks and the clippers have a higher ceiling.

sixers or nets could enter that tier but Id need to see them in the regular season for a bit.

Suns, grizzlies, and mavs are behind them as good to great teams but realistically no betting chance at the title. Mavs got the highest ceiling because of Luka.

Dont really know what to make of the celtics. think they could easily be back in the finals but they need something.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
right now I think the warriors, clippers, and bucks are the head of the pack. no clear favorite for me but I think the bucks and the clippers have a higher ceiling.

sixers or nets could enter that tier but Id need to see them in the regular season for a bit.

Suns, grizzlies, and mavs are behind them as good to great teams but realistically no betting chance at the title. Mavs got the highest ceiling because of Luka.

Dont really know what to make of the celtics. think they could easily be back in the finals but they need something.
gotta disagree about Clips, even healthy. granted Kawhi/PG is a colossal pairing but what do they have outside of that? very little - they defend well, I grant. that wing duo alone makes them contenders but higher than the Ws and Bucks, no way. otoh I'm up on the Grizz - JJJ is like a Gobert who can shoot, Ja is the most terrifying slasher in the league, and their defense is in the elite Cs/Ws/Miami tier - they're young and now they have another year of playoff experience. next tier down, yes, but best of the next tier - like I said, they need to make a leap.

I saw enough of the Harden 6ers this year to make me skeptical. healthy Embiid is obv a perennial MVP candidate but Harden looks old and slow. I just don't see them beating multiple really good teams in the playoffs. maybe they'll be better after an off-season together. I'm an even bigger Nets skeptic - getting ignominiously swept, even by an eventual Finals team, is a terrible sign, and Simmons is the answer to exactly no one's problems.

Suns are probably a regular season team, like a more well-constructed Jazz, who capitalized on an injury-wracked year to get into the Finals - which is no discredit, take advantage of opportunities, just means it's probably not repeatable. Mavs do have highest potential ceiling but they've gotta get Luka more help.

I don't see the Cs getting past a healthy Bucks, unless they magically get better offensively which seems difficult when multiple key players are offensively limited.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
one more thing w/Suns is that CP is gonna be 38, and he's already seriously defying the age curve, for small guards especially
 

linebaugh

Well-known member
gotta disagree about Clips, even healthy. granted Kawhi/PG is a colossal pairing but what do they have outside of that? very little - they defend well, I grant. that wing duo alone makes them contenders but higher than the Ws and Bucks, no way. otoh I'm up on the Grizz - JJJ is like a Gobert who can shoot, Ja is the most terrifying slasher in the league, and their defense is in the elite Cs/Ws/Miami tier - they're young and now they have another year of playoff experience. next tier down, yes, but best of the next tier - like I said, they need to make a leap.

I saw enough of the Harden 6ers this year to make me skeptical. healthy Embiid is obv a perennial MVP candidate but Harden looks old and slow. I just don't see them beating multiple really good teams in the playoffs. maybe they'll be better after an off-season together. I'm an even bigger Nets skeptic - getting ignominiously swept, even by an eventual Finals team, is a terrible sign, and Simmons is the answer to exactly no one's problems.

Suns are probably a regular season team, like a more well-constructed Jazz, who capitalized on an injury-wracked year to get into the Finals - which is no discredit, take advantage of opportunities, just means it's probably not repeatable. Mavs do have highest potential ceiling but they've gotta get Luka more help.

I don't see the Cs getting past a healthy Bucks, unless they magically get better offensively which seems difficult when multiple key players are offensively limited.
damn you dont like the clippers supporting cast?

Reggie jackson, robert covington, norman powell, marcus morris, terrance mann, zubac, and batum I think is ridiculous depth. Theres a reason this team made the play in with no kawhi and essentially no paul george
 

linebaugh

Well-known member
also great coaching

My memphis take is biased by watching the mavs pretty much wipe the floor with them in all their matchups, but the mavs kind of play a play off style game to begin with so I I wasnt surprised to see them struggle in the first round. Until they show they can play in the half court Im out. feel like every year theres a young athletic team who rebounds and gets out in transition who over acheives
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
damn you dont like the clippers supporting cast?

Reggie jackson, robert covington, norman powell, marcus morris, terrance mann, zubac, and batum I think is ridiculous depth. Theres a reason this team made the play in with no kawhi and essentially no paul george
lot of depth, no needle movers. depth, beyond the minimum necessary, doesn't help in the playoffs.

I agree that with healthy Kawhi/PG they're legit contenders, what more do you want?

sidenote: how is Kawhi still only 30? feels like he's been in the league for 100 years.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
feel like every year theres a young athletic team who rebounds and gets out in transition who over acheives
most of those teams 1) can't defend 2) don't have a 1st-team All-Defense rim protector who can also shoot pretty well

I agree, half-court offense is a concern. what they need is a really good two-way wing. unfortunately those players are very hard to come by.

I do like Bane, but he's not on that level
 

linebaugh

Well-known member
lot of depth, no needle movers. depth, beyond the minimum necessary, doesn't help in the playoffs.

I agree that with healthy Kawhi/PG they're legit contenders, what more do you want?

sidenote: how is Kawhi still only 30? feels like he's been in the league for 100 years.
Im not sure any other team in the league can have their two best players miss the entire season and still get the 8 seed. Think your underestimating that supporting cast is all.

and I coudlve sworn Kawhi was 32-33 lol
most of those teams 1) can't defend 2) don't have a 1st-team All-Defense rim protector who can also shoot pretty well

I agree, half-court offense is a concern. what they need is a really good two-way wing. unfortunately those players are very hard to come by.

I do like Bane, but he's not on that level
I would actually disagree that those teams usually dont defend. feel its the opposite- the d rose bulls. the early okc teams. the jazz of a few years ago. now these grizzlies. athletic teams that can essentially out work most teams in the regular season. I like JJJ but he's still got quite a ways to go. He wasnt even their 2nd best player in the playoffs this year despite the grizzlies needing him to be.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
I place even less value on regular season success than most people

I mean yeah if you're terrible it's one thing, but I don't see like "oh shit the Clippers made the play-in w/o their stars? their other guys are pretty good"

it's almost hard not to make the playoffs at this point - look at who they beat to get into the play-in

rebuilding disasters (OKC, Houston), Dame-less Blazers, the Vivek Ranadive Kings, and LeBron/Rob Pelinka's bizarre old man Lakers roster
 

linebaugh

Well-known member
I also think the clippers would have won the chip last year if not for the kawhi injury and theyve only got better so its not just regular season success tbf.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
making the play-in accurately shows the Clippers supporting cast by themselves probably are more competent than a third of NBA teams

that just provides seriously diminishing returns in the playoffs
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
I would actually disagree that those teams usually dont defend. feel its the opposite- the d rose bulls. the early okc teams. the jazz of a few years ago. now these grizzlies. athletic teams that can essentially out work most teams in the regular season. I like JJJ but he's still got quite a ways to go. He wasnt even their 2nd best player in the playoffs this year despite the grizzlies needing him to be.
the D Rose Bulls were very good defensively - it's Thibs, how could they not have been, and I guess you can see pre-injury Rose as a bigger Ja

the Jazz always defend but they've never been a young athletic run and gun team, not sure what you're talking about there

I don't remember those OKC teams being particular good or bad defensively, which makes sense if I think about their key players

I agree JJJ needs to be better but a 22 year-old First Team All-Defense rim protector who shoots even league-avg from 3 is already pretty goddamn good
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
I don't disagree that their half-court offense needs to improve, and Ja isn't really that kind of point guard. they need more shooting, etc.

I just think their arc is trending up vs other 2nd tier West teams

their core is still really young. is it a guarantee they'll improve? ofc not. but it's also very possible.

obv Luka is on a whole other level but even he can't just Peak Lebron his way to a title. maybe one day (and if he ever like, gets in really good shape).
 

linebaugh

Well-known member
the D Rose Bulls were very good defensively - it's Thibs, how could they not have been, and I guess you can see pre-injury Rose as a bigger Ja

the Jazz always defend but they've never been a young athletic run and gun team, not sure what you're talking about there

I don't remember those OKC teams being particular good or bad defensively, which makes sense if I think about their key players

I agree JJJ needs to be better but a 22 year-old First Team All-Defense rim protector who shoots even league-avg from 3 is already pretty goddamn good
We can discount the jazz then but I thought they fit the spirit in thats essentially what they did with the two headed duo of gobert and mitchell- both have simplistic games that involve around over powering you with superior physicality. a really good defensive team surrounding an emerging downhill player on offense with questionable half court offense.

okc teams were always very good defensively- 4th highest d rating in the league that year they made the finals, also rebounded like crazy. It was the stagnant half court offense that was the problem, which has been the case with every westbrook led team. very much the mold of the bulls/grizzlies teams Im talking about.
 
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linebaugh

Well-known member
I like them too and they are trending up but I dont see how next year they are a finals threat worthy of mention along side the others barring some unexpected change. which could be as simple as Ja and JJJ making larger than expected improvements which admittedly doesnt seem too unlikely. My gripe with them is they dont have an x factor that cant be game planned for essentially.
 

suspended

Well-known member
yr take on the Ws is, unsurprisingly best-case scenario optimistic
Our takes are exactly practically identical—only minor details differ. Everything I claimed you readily ceded, except for (1) you think they let Poole go; I don't think Lacob has any problem paying a billion in luxury taxes and there have been multiple front office statements to that effect (2) this comment below:

"four All-Defense-level players" is an absolutely wild homer exaggeration, but a healthy Ws do have a very solid defensive perimeter group, and Loony is a solid presence inside. they're a very good defensive team. they didn't win the series defensively, but you could call it a draw which for them is a win bc they outgun the Cs.
It really isn't a wild homer exaggeration—"optimistic" at most. I haven't watched enough e.g. Thybulle or Adebayo to judge, but Wiggins had as good a defensive playoffs as Smart or Timelord, who were 2nd team. Yeah it's a regular season award, but we're talking about winning championships here, not collecting accoldaes. Sure, GP2 isn't the type of player you can keep in all game, but his per 36 defensive stats are incredible—the guy can strip like no other player in the league right now. And Klay, well, Klay just was All-Defense at his peak, so I don't need to argue.
 

suspended

Well-known member
You know, the nice thing about arguing with Padraig about basketball is that next year, barring injuries, when Ws put forward one of their strongest lineups ever, and go on to pick up another handful of championships, I can just be vindicated for being right—the same way my claims (dating back to the beginning of the season) that Ws were a championship-level core, and only a slim margin below their 2016 peak, have already been vindicated.
 
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