Make Or Miss Podcast: Playoff Races & Covering The Right Places
In this week's addition of the Make or Miss Podcast, bear with my scratchy throat, our usual peripatetic natures, and maybe even a dose of HotTakes as Rob and I discuss the perception versus reality of the NBA's national TV product before talking some Eastern and Western Conference playoff races, with some focus on the Hawks, Mavs and Suns.
One of the great pleasures of The Wire is watching characters grow and develop like, well, actual human beings rather than the dueling position papers you might get on other prestige shows. Anyway, one of the great moment's of the first season is when Lance Reddick's "Lt. Daniels" character finally has had enough of BPD bureaucracy and several episodes' worth of slow burn is replaced by his explosion that the chosen tactic of an officer who outranks him, to go for a quick rip rather than a detailed investigation. Basically the boss wants the equivalent of Nick Young gunning for glory on this year's Lakers.
Agreeing wholeheartedly with two seemingly contradictory opinions or theories is always a difficult quandry in which to find one's self. On the one hand, it's hard to dispute Krishna's demonstration that the midrange shot is the least desirable look, especially early in the shot clock. Many of the teams with structural offensive problems (i.e. not just they have bad offensive players but are employing the players they have in silly ways) fall victim to the trap of the early midranger. Cleveland and Golden State are prime examples.
Just a quick update for the people hanging on my every word, the blog is not dead, I'm not taking a break or anything like that. New stuff will be coming soon. Rob and I hope to do at least one pod to coincide with the Sloan Conference this weekend. In the meantime, I wrote (with help from Darryl of Backboard Blues) a lengthy piece on the new NBA.com"player tracking boxscores" for Hickory High, where they've been kind enough to put me on staff. I should have part 2 of that piece, concerning season long SportVU data and trends sometime this week or early next. Don't want to give too much away but I also have a big old piece coming later this week on BBall Breakdown talking about how some of the top scorers in the league fair versus the top defenses in the league. Finally, I've been participating in ClipperBlog's "Last Call" post games and hope to continue to do so in the future. I also have about 10 half-finished posts which need to get, well, finished as time permits and inspiration allows.
David Lee is by any reasonable accounting an excellent offensive basketball player. Whether or not he gives it all back on defense is another question, but his cutting, passing and ability to score in traffic with either hand make him highly proficient at helping his team score the ball. I feel like that needs to be restated right off the top, because from much of the reaction to last night's Warriors/Rockets OT thriller, one would be excused for thinking he was a recent D-League call up, thrown into a a pressure packed, high-leverage situation which was above his paygrade.
Make or Miss Podcast #6: Breaking Down Deadline Day Deals
Up until the Danny Granger for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen swap, we didn't think there was going to be enough to talk about to do a full podcast on just the trade deadline. But even without that, we still managed to talk, and talk...and talk. We give our thoughts on the deadline in general and say a few words about each trade in turn.
Short version, big winners for moves they made were Golden State and Washington for shoring up the backup PG slot with Steve Blake and Andre Miller respectively. I also like what Milwaukee did, if for no other reason that it indicates that they are going to see where the Nate Wolters train takes them. (Hint: good places). I also think Miami was a de facto winner both by virtue of opening up a slot for a buyout guy themselves, Oklahoma City not making a move and Indiana making a move I think hurts the Pacers.
Make or Miss Podcast #5: When to Give Up On Young Guys?
As we wind down towards the trade deadline, Rob and I talked for a good long bit about a topic very closely related to the deadline: when should a team move on from a young player? After the jump, we also talked briefly about the Nets/Kings swap of Marcus Thornton for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans, and got into it a bit about this current rookie class. Thanks to Quentin for the topic suggesting.
Mid-Season Updates to Rim Protection and True Usage Stats (SportVU aided)
As you might have noticed, NBA.COM now includes (some) SportVU player tracking data in each game's box score (e.g.). I'll have a longer piece soon on using and interpreting this box score level data. But, now that we're at the All-Star Break, now seems like a natural time to update the Isolated Rim Protection and TrueUsage/TrueTurnover Rate metrics I've been looking at all season.
Make or Miss Podcast: Firings, Firing Away, Free Styling
In a special post Valentine's Day edition of the Make or Miss Podcast, after the jump Rob and I talk about the recent firings of coaches and GMs in Detroit and Cleveland respectively; discussed the wisdom and plausibility of "making someone else beat you" with respect to LeBron's game winner at Golden State on Wednesday and finished up with a little talk about the Warriors' prospects.
Detroit Pistons' New Energy Or Just The Dead Cat Bounce?
After the surprising firing of Detroit Pistons Head Coach Mo Cheeks on Sunday, one of the big stories of this abbreviated, pre-All Star week is how Detroit would perform under interim coach John Loyer. With the important caveats that it's just one game, and they were playing a Spurs team without 3 of its top 6, Monday's 109-100 victory was nonetheless impressive. Especially noticeable was the Pistons' offensive execution. Under Mo Cheeks they ran some of the most boring, vanilla sets in the entire league. While Monday night was not perfect (Brandon Jennings still likes to pound the ball. Josh Smith still likes to take jump shots early in the shot clock), it was markedly better. One word comes to mind to describe how the Pistons were attacking, and up til now had only been associated with the variety of ways in which they squandered fourth quarter leads: