Make or Miss Podcast #24: Finals, Love, World Cup (with draft bonus)
Long time, no see, hear or read. Along with everyone else, I took a little time to decompress from the NBA finals, as well as throw myself into the World Cup. But good news, WOH is back with a brand new invention. Or really, just a new podcast with Rob, where we spend 90 minutes, first talking about the rumored Kevin Love deals with Golden State, (I get my Klay Thompson hate ON), break down the Spurs victory in the finals, before finishing up with some World Cup talk. We recorded pre-draft and pre USA NUMBER 1's winning-by-losing effort against Germany, so that's why it might sound dated.
Naturally, as the rules of the game have changed, different player types and skillsets become more valuable. Axiomatically, other types and skills become relatively less valuable. However, many of the tropes heading into the playoffs reflect the lessons of a different era of basketball.
In the era of the three pointer and the endless pick-and-roll, "live by the jumper, die by the jumper" or "let the big dog eat" just don't have currency anymore. Yet the constant repetition of these refrains not only misinforms, it actually influences teams into playing worse.
Skipping to the end, I don't think (unlike Charles Barkley) the NBA has a substandard product. Even usual hyperbole aside, any claim that the modern day league can be considered "the worst ever" is laughable because it's been demonstrably worse in recent memory. The crackdown on perimeter physicality and glut of talented point guards (which are almost certainly intertwined factors) makes it extremely difficult to argue that the product circa 2007 is worse than it is today.
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 #3: Trade Deadline Discussion
Right now is sort of the silly season in the NBA. All the discussion of who was and wasn't snubbed for the all-star game is dying down (now that Anthony Davis has been added, Al Jefferson, Kyle Lowry, Mike Conley and DeMarcus Cousins, thanks for asking), trade talks are still just talks with the deadline weeks away, and players not participating in All-Star weekend are starting to show the focus one might expect of a bunch of bros in the 10 days before they had to Cabo for spring break. That said, the internet trade rumor mill is in full swing, and Rob and I can throw stuff against the trade machine wall as well as the next guy, so why not?
Winning the One-on-One Battle But Losing the Match-up War
I'm a big believer in the NBA being a match-up league. Players' have preferred spots and skills, and to the extent particular opponents are good or bad at stopping or attacking those things, this interaction between discrete strengths and weaknesses determines much of who has good or bad performances. However, too often we get focused on only one half of a match-up and forget that mismatches can go both ways.