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  1. #51
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    Game 1 of Rockets-Warriors... holy crap. Harden goes INSANE, scores 41 on what may be the best D in the league, the Rockets overall play pretty well... and they still lose by 13.

    And that's with Curry probably not even back to 100%, either.

    As they say, 'adjustments will be made' by the Rockets coaching staff. But the story so far seems to be 'ball movement beats isolation basketball'. Even when you have someone as incredible at iso ball as James Harden is.

    And, I'm almost a little freaked out by how good the Warriors are, especially considering how they stumbled into the postseason... injury-riddled, subpar efforts and defense, and seemingly uninterested. It's like night and day.

    Meanwhile, the other alleged 'switch flipper', the Cavs, look like they're in for a long, tough series against BOS.

    Game 2 will be fascinating, in both series.
    .
    Monkhouse: I want to go like my Dad did peacefully, in his sleep, not screaming in terror like his passengers.

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  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by SystemShock View Post
    Game 1 of Rockets-Warriors... holy crap. Harden goes INSANE, scores 41 on what may be the best D in the league, the Rockets overall play pretty well... and they still lose by 13.

    And that's with Curry probably not even back to 100%, either.

    As they say, 'adjustments will be made' by the Rockets coaching staff. But the story so far seems to be 'ball movement beats isolation basketball'. Even when you have someone as incredible at iso ball as James Harden is.
    I would say that Durant, and how he shreds defensive switches, is the key to the story so far. He looked guarded on many shots, but really when the defender is a few inches shorter his jump shots are effectively uncontested.

    I don't see how Houston stops Durant without getting drubbed by the other GS weapons.
    .
    Stout beers under trees, please.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiQuaeQuod View Post
    I would say that Durant, and how he shreds defensive switches, is the key to the story so far. He looked guarded on many shots, but really when the defender is a few inches shorter his jump shots are effectively uncontested.

    I don't see how Houston stops Durant without getting drubbed by the other GS weapons.
    See? Now you're a fan.

    Knew it would happen.




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    Monkhouse: I want to go like my Dad did peacefully, in his sleep, not screaming in terror like his passengers.

    System: Fake news?? Trump's a Fake President, for God's sake.

    Plat: I'd rather fellate a syphilitic goat than own a Cervelo.

    Homer: I believe that children are our future. Unless we stop them now.

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  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by SystemShock View Post
    See? Now you're a fan.
    It makes no sense to call someone who follows no team, does not care about any team, and rarely watches a "fan".
    .
    Stout beers under trees, please.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiQuaeQuod View Post
    It makes no sense to call someone who follows no team, does not care about any team, and rarely watches a "fan".

    If you say so.


    Quote Originally Posted by QuiQuaeQuod
    I would say that Durant, and how he shreds defensive switches, is the key to the story so far. He looked guarded on many shots, but really when the defender is a few inches shorter his jump shots are effectively uncontested.

    I don't see how Houston stops Durant without getting drubbed by the other GS weapons.
    Monkhouse: I want to go like my Dad did peacefully, in his sleep, not screaming in terror like his passengers.

    System: Fake news?? Trump's a Fake President, for God's sake.

    Plat: I'd rather fellate a syphilitic goat than own a Cervelo.

    Homer: I believe that children are our future. Unless we stop them now.

    Seam: Saw Bjork poop onstage back in the day. It blew my teenage mind


  6. #56
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    Wow. Houston out-Warrior'ed the Warriors tonight. Much more ball movement, much higher pace. And total payback.

    But, the series goes back to the Bay now. If GS holds home court, they'll be up 3-1.

    A big 'if', granted, if Houston keeps playing like this and/or Steve Kerr can't make the proper adjustments.

    Good to see that this may not be yet another easy Warriors coronation. Houston upped their level, now it's on GS to do same. And I do think they have a higher ceiling than Houston (or anyone else) does.

    It's just a matter of, 'Can they get there'?
    .
    Monkhouse: I want to go like my Dad did peacefully, in his sleep, not screaming in terror like his passengers.

    System: Fake news?? Trump's a Fake President, for God's sake.

    Plat: I'd rather fellate a syphilitic goat than own a Cervelo.

    Homer: I believe that children are our future. Unless we stop them now.

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  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by SystemShock View Post
    If you say so.
    I say so. I can identify sedimentary and igneous rocks, but that doesn't make me a fan of geology.
    .
    Stout beers under trees, please.

  8. #58
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    My vote for the most fun-to-watch team this postseason? Boston (with Philly a close second).

    They may be the team that sends LeBron from Cleveland for a second time.

    Sooo... how do I get a 'Scary Terry' t-shirt?







    .
    Monkhouse: I want to go like my Dad did peacefully, in his sleep, not screaming in terror like his passengers.

    System: Fake news?? Trump's a Fake President, for God's sake.

    Plat: I'd rather fellate a syphilitic goat than own a Cervelo.

    Homer: I believe that children are our future. Unless we stop them now.

    Seam: Saw Bjork poop onstage back in the day. It blew my teenage mind


  9. #59
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    The crazy momentum swings continue in the Warrior-Rockets conference finals.

    Game 3 was a 41-point blowout, as GS utterly annihilated hapless Houston.

    Guess we'll get a close game in the series eventually, but who knows when.

    Curry also seems fully back, finally. But Igoudala is likely out for Game 4, and he's part of GS's 'death lineup'.

    Game 4 feels like Houston's last stand, i.e. an absolute must-win.
    Would expect them to play well in it.
    .
    Monkhouse: I want to go like my Dad did peacefully, in his sleep, not screaming in terror like his passengers.

    System: Fake news?? Trump's a Fake President, for God's sake.

    Plat: I'd rather fellate a syphilitic goat than own a Cervelo.

    Homer: I believe that children are our future. Unless we stop them now.

    Seam: Saw Bjork poop onstage back in the day. It blew my teenage mind


  10. #60
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    Game 7s in BOTH the Eastern Conference Finals and the West!

    Hasn't happened since 1979.

    What more do ya want?



    Monkhouse: I want to go like my Dad did peacefully, in his sleep, not screaming in terror like his passengers.

    System: Fake news?? Trump's a Fake President, for God's sake.

    Plat: I'd rather fellate a syphilitic goat than own a Cervelo.

    Homer: I believe that children are our future. Unless we stop them now.

    Seam: Saw Bjork poop onstage back in the day. It blew my teenage mind


  11. #61
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    celts/cavs are so sloppy.......painful to watch.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckice View Post
    celts/cavs are so sloppy.......painful to watch.
    +1. Good defense by both teams, but bad offense by both. But the Cavs at least had LeBron to bail them out.

    Pretty disappointing game late by BOS. They lead for much of the game, but when it got tight late, they kept flinging up 3s... even though they hadn't made 'em all game long (finished 7-for-39 on 3s).

    You'd think they'd eventually learn and start attacking/driving to the basket instead, but they never did.

    But, it was a helluva run even so. Can't imagine how good they'll be once they get their two All-Stars back from injury next season.

    And, sigh... four years in a row of the Cavs in the NBA Finals. The deja vu is just never-ending here, even though many ppl thought this'd be the year the Cavs finally DIDN'T win the East. And it almost was.

    .....

    Finally, watching this game (and the playoffs and regular season in general), I'm more convinced than ever that the 3-point line should be moved out some. 53 percent of the Cavs shots tonight were 3s, and 46 percent of the Celtics' shots were.

    When the 3-point line was put in in 1979, it was clearly never intended to dominate the game to this extent, and it's gotten to the point where it's often detrimental. And it's only going to get worse.

    The Rockets already take nothing but 3s or layups/dunks, they'd rather get hit by a truck than take a midrange shot. Picture a league where almost everyone follows their example. Many teams are already well on their way, because that's what the analytics tell 'em.




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    Last edited by SystemShock; 05-27-2018 at 07:45 PM.
    Monkhouse: I want to go like my Dad did peacefully, in his sleep, not screaming in terror like his passengers.

    System: Fake news?? Trump's a Fake President, for God's sake.

    Plat: I'd rather fellate a syphilitic goat than own a Cervelo.

    Homer: I believe that children are our future. Unless we stop them now.

    Seam: Saw Bjork poop onstage back in the day. It blew my teenage mind


  13. #63
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    the celtics really just looked tired more than anything else. sub 80 points at home in game 7...ugh.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by SystemShock View Post
    +1. Good defense by both teams, but bad offense by both. But the Cavs at least had LeBron to bail them out.

    Pretty disappointing game late by BOS. They lead for much of the game, but when it got tight late, they kept flinging up 3s... even though they hadn't made 'em all game long (finished 7-for-39 on 3s).

    You'd think they'd eventually learn and start attacking/driving to the basket instead, but they never did.

    But, it was a helluva run even so. Can't imagine how good they'll be once they get their two All-Stars back from injury next season.

    And, sigh... four years in a row of the Cavs in the NBA Finals. The deja vu is just never-ending here, even though many ppl thought this'd be the year the Cavs finally DIDN'T win the East. And it almost was.

    .....

    Finally, watching this game (and the playoffs and regular season in general), I'm more convinced than ever that the 3-point line should be moved out some. 53 percent of the Cavs shots tonight were 3s, and 46 percent of the Celtics' shots were.

    When the 3-point line was put in in 1979, it was clearly never intended to dominate the game to this extent, and it's gotten to the point where it's often detrimental. And it's only going to get worse.

    The Rockets already take nothing but 3s or layups/dunks, they'd rather get hit by a truck than take a midrange shot. Picture a league where almost everyone follows their example. Many teams are already well on their way, because that's what the analytics tell 'em.




    .

    .
    i say just remove the 3 altogether and i'm a warriors fan. bring back the mid-range and paint game...

  15. #65
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    Everything seems to be following the script....a Cavs/Warriors final series, like we all knew was going to happen before the season started. Too bad it's going to come crashing down for Lebron. He can only carry that team so far and the Warriors are going to crush them. A five-game series is my prediction, and then Lebron will move on to greener pastures.

    Unless Houston wins tonight, and in which case I am woefully mistaken. Except for the part about Lebron leaving Cleveland....that's going to happen no matter what.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by azpeterb View Post
    Everything seems to be following the script....a Cavs/Warriors final series, like we all knew was going to happen before the season started. Too bad it's going to come crashing down for Lebron. He can only carry that team so far and the Warriors are going to crush them. A five-game series is my prediction, and then Lebron will move on to greener pastures.

    Unless Houston wins tonight, and in which case I am woefully mistaken. Except for the part about Lebron leaving Cleveland....that's going to happen no matter what.
    You called it... Warriors-Cavs IV. For better or worse.

    Guess the question now is... how well will the 'other Cavaliers' play?



    Monkhouse: I want to go like my Dad did peacefully, in his sleep, not screaming in terror like his passengers.

    System: Fake news?? Trump's a Fake President, for God's sake.

    Plat: I'd rather fellate a syphilitic goat than own a Cervelo.

    Homer: I believe that children are our future. Unless we stop them now.

    Seam: Saw Bjork poop onstage back in the day. It blew my teenage mind


  17. #67
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    Warriors-Rockets, Game 7... was a helluva show.

    Rockets came out swinging, and got up by as much as 15 in the 2nd quarter. But, pure emotion will only take you so far. And then, just as in Game 6... they got tired in the second half. And then, just as in Game 6, they got clobbered by a massive Golden State comeback largely led by Steph Curry.

    Which will tend to happen when your coach, Houston's Mike D'Antoni, is running only a six-player rotation, essentially.

    Not entirely his fault, what with Chris Paul out hurt, and the dearth of good two-way players on Houston's bench, but, still. He did try to play Ryan Anderson and Joe Johnson late a bit, but it was too little too late, and he got essentially nothing out of 'em.

    Also think that Houston's reliance on 'analytics ball' i.e. shooting nothing but 3s and layups or dunks hurt them a LOT in the second half. They went not ice-cold but liquid-nitrogen-cold from 3-pt-land in the 2nd half, going 1-for-21, and, counting back to mid-2nd quarter, they missed 27 three-pointers in a row(!!).

    Which, incidentally, is a new NBA record in a playoff game. Brick-a-palooza.

    So, you're throwing up enough bricks from 3-point land to build a new Empire State Building. Do you stop shooting 'em? Nope. Because you've got no midrange game to fall back on. But the Warriors do, in fact they're pretty great it, shooting the best percentage from midrange of any team in the league.

    So, the Rockets, the team that was 'built to beat the Warriors', didn't. Interesting exchange after the game:

    Mike D'Antoni: "If we'd had Chris Paul, we would've won Game 7!"

    Steve Kerr (GS coach, upon hearing about D'Antoni's comment): "If we'd had Andre Igoudala (out hurt for Games 4 thru 7), we would've won the series in five."

    Both coaches are likely correct.

    Where does Houston go from here? They need to re-sign some key free agents, such as rising star center Clint Capela, Trevor Ariza, Gerald Green, and yes, Chris Paul.

    Then they need to get a deeper bench full of good two-way players (i.e. guys who can both score and defend, not one or the other), so D'Antoni can run a longer rotation and not get his guys so ground down that they consistently fold late-game against a team that stresses them on both ends of the floor, i.e. the Warriors (and anyone who plays like them).

    Now THAT might be a team that is actually 'built to beat Golden State'.

    Next stop, Warriors-Cavs IV. Surprisingly, feels like it might be kind of a fight, as GS has been unfocused and inconsistent quite a lot this year.

    But, Warriors in 6. And if so, Peter's likely right, LeBron goes elsewhere next year. Word is that'd likely be LA.

    .
    Monkhouse: I want to go like my Dad did peacefully, in his sleep, not screaming in terror like his passengers.

    System: Fake news?? Trump's a Fake President, for God's sake.

    Plat: I'd rather fellate a syphilitic goat than own a Cervelo.

    Homer: I believe that children are our future. Unless we stop them now.

    Seam: Saw Bjork poop onstage back in the day. It blew my teenage mind


  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by SystemShock View Post
    Also think that Houston's reliance on 'analytics ball' i.e. shooting nothing but 3s and layups or dunks hurt them a LOT in the second half.
    Welcome to the NBA.

    2017-18 league averages:

    Shooting percentage = .460 Three point shooting percentage = .362 Guess which has a higher expected points per shot outcome? Yep. Given that reality, the low percentages on 18-20' jumpers just does nothing for a team over the long run.

    There was a time in the 4th where Houston hit a couple mid range jumpers. GS hit 3s in response to both.

    Houston struck me mostly as a team playing regular season ball during the playoffs. They lacked intensity at times, they lacked fire. Not once did I think they had a chance in the series.

    I have a feeling the finals will be a pretty quick affair, sorry to say. Unless Love returns and gets hot, and a role player per game gets hot, it won't even be close. 4-1 at a guess, and only because GS tends to have off nights.
    .
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  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiQuaeQuod View Post

    ...I have a feeling the finals will be a pretty quick affair, sorry to say. Unless Love returns and gets hot, and a role player per game gets hot, it won't even be close. 4-1 at a guess, and only because GS tends to have off nights.
    While I agree that "should" be the result, the conspiracy theorist in me has the Cavs winning. I feel like it's setting up like that year Lance was sandbagging in that mountain stage in the Tour...Cavs support players will start contributing for the finals.

  20. #70
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    Curry and Harden ruined basketball jacking up 3s from everywhere, even double teamed or in trouble they jack up 3s .

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by colnagoG60 View Post
    While I agree that "should" be the result, the conspiracy theorist in me has the Cavs winning. I feel like it's setting up like that year Lance was sandbagging in that mountain stage in the Tour...Cavs support players will start contributing for the finals.
    Conspiracy?

    LOL, that would be the most exciting thing to happen to Cleveland in a long time (outside of Lebron & the Cavs somehow winning 2016 Finals). Being consigned and resigned to be both a Brown's and Cavalier's lifelong fan, outside of 2016 it has been a journey through permanent purgatory for both of these teams. If Lebron hadn't come out of St. V-St. Mary. and then discovered the secret-sauce that (like MJ) allows him to play 48 minutes a night non-stop, for years on end, we'd still be in that purgatory.

    Only problem with this Finals is that, with KD, GS is a totally different beast. KD can go head to head with Lebron, but there is no one on the Cavs that go go head-to-head with both Curry and/or Klay. I see GS taking this in 5, if were lucky maybe 6. Unless, that is, your CONSPIRACY kicks in---maybe POTUS decrees the Warriors as heathen criminals or something, and gets refs placed into games that call nothing on the Cavs but everything on the Warriors---then we Cleveland-ers can look forward to having half-a-chance.


    P.S. A "true" conspiracy maybe would occur if something happened in a game where either Curry and/or KD was removed from the series. Then, I think, I'd believe your theory completely because in hoops that should never happen because of something else an opposing team does. But these are strange times---i.e. have to look no further than the WH to see/know this

  22. #72
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    As a Houstonian, it was sad to see it end the way that it did. I wouldn't have minded so much if they had gone down swinging with the full contingent, but losing Paul in the last minute of game 5 was a terrible way to end the season.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by SystemShock
    Also think that Houston's [over]reliance on 'analytics ball' i.e. shooting nothing but 3s and layups or dunks hurt them a LOT in the second half.
    Quote Originally Posted by QuiQuaeQuod View Post
    Welcome to the NBA. 2017-18 league averages:

    Shooting percentage = .460 Three point shooting percentage = .362

    Guess which has a higher expected points per shot outcome? Yep. Given that reality, the low percentages on 18-20' jumpers just does nothing for a team over the long run.
    Hey Q, nice to see that you're following the playoffs closely in your 'non-fan' capacity.

    And yah, I'm very well-aware of the statistics, and why the analytics guys think every team should huck up as many 3s as humanly possible in a game.

    But here's the thing: Yes, over the long-haul, i.e. the 82-game regular season, being very-heavily-dependent on the 3-point shot does tend to work. The math over that many shots taken is indisputable, as you point out. And (Houston coach) Mike D'Antoni's team do indeed tend to do well during the regular season.

    BUT, that math becomes less and less reliable over a shorter span of games, i.e. cold-shooting streaks matter more. As in, say, during a best-of-7 playoff series.

    And even more so for a single, must-win, do-or-die game in said playoff series. As Houston found out to their misery Monday night.

    And it should be noted that D'Antoni, for all his regular season success, and 14 seasons as a head coach for five different NBA teams, has never gotten a team to the NBA Finals. Much less won one.

    So, Houston this year followed the familiar D'Antoni/3-point pattern: Great regular season. But the playoffs were a different beast.

    Houston shot 31 percent from 3 during the Golden State series, well below their average, and more than enough to hurt them, considering that they shoot such a tremendous number of threes (about 40 a game).

    And they shot a simply awful 16 percent from beyond the arc in the key Game 7, including an historic 27 misses in a row.

    So, what to do then, Q? Accept the limits of analytics regarding small sample sizes? Resign themselves to be a good regular season team that can't quite go all the way, except perhaps with some help from Lady Luck?

    Or, you could do what the Warriors do and have a back-up plan, i.e. have a credible mid-range game that you can use if the 3s aren't falling.

    I mean, sure, you could just drive to the basket every single time instead, but that gets predictable, and one-dimensional attacks are easier to stop. Having multiple options when your 3s aren't falling works better.

    The Warriors don't huck up as many 3s as the Rockets do (no one really does), but they do hit them at a significantly higher percentage than the Rockets. In fact, they're #1 in the league in 3-pt shooting percentage, at a pretty great near-40-percent clip.

    Some of that is them having terrific 3-pt shooters (Steph, Klay, KD), but some of that is that they don't HAVE to shoot the 3 every time. They can wait for more open looks, and if they're not there, they have other options. Plus, if you can score at all three levels (3s, midrange, layups/dunks), it puts even more stress on the other team's defense. They can't take everything away.

    Whereas Houston, by contrast, is so 3-happy they'll even shoot the 'deep 3', early and often, from several feet behind the line, just so they can get even more 3s up if the arc and corners are well-defended. I guess anything to avoid the midrange game.

    In any case, the limitations of this approach are well-demonstrated. 3s are great over the long-haul of the regular season. But it's 'Live by the 3, die by the 3', in a playoff series.

    Houston died by the 3 in Game 7.


    There was a time in the 4th where Houston hit a couple mid range jumpers. GS hit 3s in response to both.
    A couple of midrange jumper obviously does not a game make, since teams take about 80-85 shots per game (and Houston over the regular season took only 8 percent of their shots from midrange). And GS certainly didn't have to stop shooting 3s in Game 7, as theirs were falling.

    But if they had needed to, GS at least would've had other options. While Houston is pretty much just 3s and Harden driving to the basket... and by the second half, Harden was gassed.

    This is why Houston scored only 38 points in the second half, and just could not sustain any runs once their 3-pt shooting deserted them.


    Houston struck me mostly as a team playing regular season ball during the playoffs. They lacked intensity at times, they lacked fire.
    That was the fatigue showing, at least during the GS series. The six-player rotation D'Antoni employed once Chris Paul got hurt left little time for rest, and defending GS's players and their ball-movement offense is both a physically and mentally exhausting challenge.

    IOW, you need a deep bench full of good two-way players to beat the Warriors. Houston didn't have that. Their off-season personnel moves will be interesting.

    .
    Monkhouse: I want to go like my Dad did peacefully, in his sleep, not screaming in terror like his passengers.

    System: Fake news?? Trump's a Fake President, for God's sake.

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    Homer: I believe that children are our future. Unless we stop them now.

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  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by SystemShock View Post

    But here's the thing: ...
    I do note how you both use, and discount, long term stats and in the moment swings in the game... when they suit your purposes.

    I get what you are saying. It boils down to "the team that lost should have done something different." This is not an unusual way to make your case, people do it all the time.

    Should a team that did well in the regular season, and made the conference finals, change their play? Usually, no. Would suddenly trying to make mid range jumpers, which they did not do a lot all year, and which their offense (and rebounding scheme) is not set up for, have led to the win? I doubt it.

    Yeah, they missed a lot of shots. Open threes included. But the counterfactual that they WOULD have made those midrange jumpers is up in the air.

    GS is the best team ever, in the opinion of some, and in the conversation for many. Houston took them to 7 and was up on them in game 7. With CP out.

    The only thing Houston did wrong is miss their shots. Shots they made all year, shots they made in the wins in the playoffs. I get why they say they would do the same thing again, because they would not miss that many shots again.

    I think Houston has the game, and the personnel to win it all. What they don't have, to my eye, is the attitude and the grit to fight every minute of the playoffs against opponents who have been there, done that. Maybe they learned their lesson, maybe not.

    And maybe Harden will figure out why he sucks so often in the 4th quarter. That would be a good thing for Houston if he found a way to bust that tendency.
    .
    Stout beers under trees, please.

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by plag View Post
    Curry and Harden ruined basketball jacking up 3s from everywhere, even double teamed or in trouble they jack up 3s .
    They're not really the ones who made 3s such a huge deal, it's more offensive schemes starting at least 15 years ago that emphasize passing the ball around the perimeter to find wide-open 3-point looks (which is good/valid), PLUS the league's unwillingness so far to move the 3-point line back a bit in response to such schemes' success (which is bad, IMO).

    Guys like Curry are just a consequence of the process (and its acceleration in recent years), not the originators of it.

    But I miss the post-up game, and the midrange game is danger of nearly disappearing, despite a few successful 'black sheep' teams sticking with it (Golden State, San Antonio, Indiana).

    .
    Last edited by SystemShock; 05-30-2018 at 11:49 PM.
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