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.
Make or Miss Podcast #19: Coaching Changes and Conference Finals
Way late getting this one out there. Rob and I talked on Saturday (I promise, not like I'd lie considering how silly my ECF prediction looks now, especially since I think I forgot Indy had home-court advantage during our discussion). We spent some time on the Kerr and Van Gundy hirings before previewing the Conference Finals matchups and making predictions. Audio and download after the jump
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!
As we march towards the playoffs, Rob and I took on the Hot Topics of the week, first with a little bit about the last few playoff spots, including Portland and Atlanta's late season, injury-aided swoons, whether Dallas could hang on to make it or if the Suns could come out on top of that race. We then moved to a discussion of the rather bizarre intra-coaching staff feud in Golden State which saw Brian Scalabrine demoted to the D-League.
Make Or Miss Podcast #8: Pat Beverley and Pieces of the Mid East
In this edition of the Make or Miss Podcast, Rob and I spend about 25 minutes talking about Patrick Beverley, P.J. Tucker and the guys on the hungry fringe of the NBA (with a side helping of Tony Allen). We then move on to discussing the Middle of the Eastern (conference), talking out who's best and who's the biggest threat among Toronto, Chicago, Brooklyn and Washington.
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.
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.
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 .
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.