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.
After giving Rob a week off to talk Jazz with Ben Dowsett, we're back at it for the end of the beginning. By which I mean we hand out our versions of the NBA awards. Well, I hand out versions of them and Rob cheats to fit his favored guys into the mix. He also wrote (!) about some of his picks at PPP. I take some final shots at this seasons' Timberwolves, but it's not my fault, I was goaded into it by what Rob had to say (after the jump) about Kevin Love!
Slowly but surely, the air is leaking out of the Timberwolves season. Not so much a punctured balloon, but an unattended bagpipe, complete with discordant moans and sighs. The realization is dawning that despite high hopes and a quick start, this is going to be yet another year of squandered opportunities and frustration. With only so many mulligans available in the competitive West, matchups against teams which would be just as happy, organizationally speaking, to never win again are actual rather than cliche "must wins." To put it in less overwrought terms, you have to beat the ****** Pelicans when they're missing 3 of their top 6.
Rob and I ended up not having time to talk about it like we planned last week, so we spent the whole time this week (and then some) talking about our picks for the All-Star reserve squads. I have an epic brainfart in considering Eastern Conference candidates in Part 1, but I have my revenge in Part 2, oh yes I do. Interested to hear thoughts on our 7 and 8-man selections for the respective conferences.
Also, not only do we have a name for the pod, the Make or Miss Podcast (explanation within), but some extremely appropriate bumper music as I'm sure you'll agree, after the jump.
One of the biggest issues with theIsolated Rim Protection metric has been been adjusting for shot "deterrence" and pace. Basically, from the defensive perspective, the best shot at the rim is the one not taken at all. And while I had accounted for this previously with a team adjustment, that was fairly blunt, as it is clear as day that there is a great difference in the intimidation factor presented by a Dwight Howard and by his current backup Donatas Motiejunas .
In this edition, Rob and I spend about twice as long as we thought we would talking about one topic: guys around the league who should play more. Both of us tend to focus on the same type of player - the promising young player stuck behind a below average veteran on a team going nowhere. But Rob especially has some wild cards to discuss. There's a little audio glitch about 25 minutes in but I think we stitched it together. Pod and downloadable file after the jump.
Just a quickie here. as blogging and watching 3 month-olds doesn't mix particularly well. I really enjoyed the great play Monty Williams drew up for the game winner on Monday night, but a play like that only works once. So when put in a similar situation last night against the Mavs, he was going to come up with something different.
Last night's Portland-Indiana thriller was certainly the evening's main event, but we also had a triple OT "thriller" and a Tim Duncan game winner that threaten to get lost in the shuffle. So I wanted to quickly breakdown each end of game play. San Antonio's relatively simple pindown, and New Orleans' gorgeous running pick-and-pop backscreeny thing that is probably the single best thing Monty Williams has ever done as a coach.
The Pelicans came into this season with high hopes, counting on an improved and more experienced Anthony Davis, a healthy Eric Gordon, the addition of Tyreke Evans and the "upgrade" (note possible scare quotes) at point guard from Grevis Vasquez to all-star Jrue Holiday at the point to make a serious playoff run. Despite a ridiculous early season from Davis, the 'Cans have been a mild disappointment, starting 5-6 despite a fairly soft early schedule (of their opponents only the Pacers and possibly Grizzlies look like playoff teams).