Posts Tagged ‘Denver Nuggets’

Oh, the ‘sweet irony’ of what often flows from supposed ‘stats gurus’

Friday, October 1st, 2010

There has considerable debate in the on-line hoops community recently, regarding the actual worth of Carmelo Anthony/SF-PF, as a supposed “top drawer” NBA player.

Examining this cacophony of mostly nonsense, perhaps, no other single article stands out as much as this one:

———————————–

What Carmelo Anthony Might Have Cost the Bulls (besides money)

Let me close by noting an article on Red Auerbach by Beckley Mason.  One suspects — after reading this article — that Auerbach wouldn’t have been fooled by Carmelo Anthony.  Consider the following quote (from something I posted three years ago and very similar to what Mason noted):

Auerbach said that the Celtics represent a philosophy that in its simplest form maintains that victory belongs to the team. “Individual honors are nice, but no Celtic has ever gone out of his way to achieve them,” he said. “We have never had the league’s top scorer. In fact, we won seven league championships without placing even one among the league’s top 10 scorers. Our pride was never rooted in statistics.”

———————————–

when it comes to representing accurately the practical dilemma associated with an over-reliance on “statistical” information in the proper evaluation of what is truly important in a NBA game, in the first place.

The only meaningful question which remains, at this point, is this:

Q1. Do you think David Berri actually understands the irony involved with his use of the final 7 words of Red Auerbach’s cited quotation? … in a mostly fruit-less attempt to be-little the skill-set of a stalwart scorer/player like Carmelo Anthony.

A1. FWIW, yours truly is of the belief that he actually does not.

———————————–

PS. IMO, if Red Auerbach was in charge of the Chicago Bulls today … although he would have no interest in trading Luol Deng/SF + Joakim Noah/C, straight-up for Carmelo Anthony/SF/PF, at this time … he would, in fact, have no qualms, whatsoever, in trading a slightly different package of Luol Deng/SF [$11.3 M] + Ronnie Brewer/OG-SF [$4.7 M] + Kurt Thomas/PF [$1.8 M] + a future 1st Round Draft, to the Denver Nuggets, in exchange for Melo [$17.1 M] … on Dec 16, 2010, after the various trade restrictions on a few of these specific players will have expired. :-)

More examples of ‘poor personnel decisions’ made by the Raptors

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

First …

The Raptors selected Ed Davis [PF] with the No. 13 [overall] Selection of the 2010 NBA Draft, when he was not the best player still available on the board.

Second …

The Raptors chose to acquire Solomon Alabi [C], as the No. 50 [overall] Selection of the 2010 NBA Draft, when he was not the best available Center still on the board.

Third …

The Raptors announced the re-signing of Amir Johnson [PF] for $35.0 M over 5 years.

Fourth …

The Raptors have now announced that they have submitted an ‘offer sheet’ to Linas Kleiza [SF/PF] – the Denver Nuggets’ RFA who played in Greece last season - for $18.8 M over 4 years.

Fifth …

The New Jersey Nets announced that they have signed Travis Outlaw [PF/SF] - as an UFA – to a 5-yr contract for $35.0 M.

Now …

The key question becomes:

===============================

Which of these last 3 individuals ... each of whom was on the market this summer ... will prove to be the best basketball player for the Raptors, Nuggets or Nets, in return for his salary?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

===============================

[Hint: If your answer is, "Not either of the ones currently involved with the Toronto Raptors," then there's a pretty good chance you will turn to be correct.] 

How the Lakers SHOULD attack the Celtics in Game 6

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

The Triangle Offense is a thing of beauty … when it’s executed properly.

—————————

Q1. Which specific option is the best one for the Lakers to use in Game 6, considering the difficulty Los Angeles has had scoring efficiently?

A1. The option which they have steadfastly refused to go to in each of their 3 losses!

i.e. The Wing/Corner Pick and Roll/Pop [with Kobe Bryant as the ballhandler]

—————————

Fig. 1 -  Initial Alignment

Fig. 2 – Wing/Corner Entry Pass

Fig. 3 – UCLA Backscreen and Weak Side Triangle

Fig. 4 – Wing Pick and Pop

Fig. 5 – Wing Drives Into the Lane to, either, Shoot or Pass

What Boston showed in its series with Orlando is just how vulnerable the Celtics are to a team that will repeatedly put the C’s into Pick and Roll/Pop situations.

Unlike Orlando, however, what the Lakers need to do … instead of having their Picker roll to the basket repeatedly, ala Dwight Howard … is have Pau Gasol set the Wing Pick … ala Bill Wennington [Chicago Bulls],

e.g. like what you see at the 4:40 and 4:50 marks of this video clip

… and then Pop Out to the Wing/Corner, in order to stretch the Celtics defense and allow their best player, i.e. Kobe Bryant, to facilitate the remainder of their half-court offense with their:

i. Other PF/C [i.e. Bynum/Odom/Powell] in the Weak Side Screening position;

ii. PG [i.e. Fisher/Farmar/Brown] in the Weak Side Corner position; and,

iii. SF [i.e. Artest/Vujacic/Walton] in the Weak Side Free Throw Line Extednded position.

Instead of having Kobe Bryant establish his initial position as the Weak Side Pinch Post player [i.e. #4, in the diagrams above] … which is precisely what the Lakers have done repeatedly, in all 5 games, thus far … Los Angeles needs to:

i. Put their best “Pick and Roll/Pop artist” in the Ball Side Wing/Corner position [i.e. #3, in the diagrams above];

ii. Get him the ball [i.e. either, via pass or dribble-handoff] after their initial Offensive Transition has failed to generate a high percentage FGA;

and, then,

iii. Allow him to go to work against the Celtics’ Defense, off the dribble, from the Wing position, with the rest of the floor spread in this manner.

If the Lakers execute this part of the Triangle Ofense … which Michael Jordan’s Bulls teams did so exquisitely with largely average Centers like Wennington, Luc Longley and Bill Cartwright … then, Los Angeles has a very good chance to force a Game 7, in what would go down in NBA history as an epic Finals series.

—————————–

PS. Dr. Phil is the winningest head coach in NBA history and it will be up to him to figure this out, and then make the Lakers execute this option within their offense. 

Related:

Five ways for the Lakers to win it all, again

Q. What time is it?

Friday, April 16th, 2010

A. GAME TIME!

… with the NBA Playoffs set to tip tomorrow afternoon.

—————————————-

EASTERN CONFERENCE

ROUND 1 SERIES [BEST OF 7]

 

8

Chicago Bulls

+2000

1

Cleveland Cavaliers

-3000

 

6

Milwaukee Bucks

+606

3

Atlanta Hawks

-720

 

5

Miami Heat

+154

4

Boston Celtics

-171

 

7

Charlotte Bobcats

+778

2

Orlando Magic

-960

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE

ROUND 1 SERIES [BEST OF 7]

 

8

Oklahoma City Thunder

+496

1

Los Angeles Laker

-575

 

6

Portland Trail Blazers

+476

3

Phoenix Suns

-570

 

5

Utah Jazz

+180

4

Denver Nuggets

-201

 

7

San Antonio Spurs

+146

2

Dallas Mavericks

-162

 

 

EASTERN CONFERENCE WINNER

 

1

Cleveland Cavaliers

-185

2

Orlando Magic

+340

3

Atlanta Hawks

+1300

4

Boston Celtics

+1600

5

Miami Heat

+3400

7

Charlotte Bobcats

+6500

6

Milwaukee Bucks

+6500

8

Chicago Bulls

+8800

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE WINNER

 

1

Los Angeles Lakers

+118

3

Phoenix Suns

+500

2

Dallas Mavericks

+540

4

Denver Nuggets

+850

7

San Antonio Spurs

+1300

5

Utah Jazz

+1350

8

Oklahoma City Thunder

+3400

6

Portland Trail Blazers

+5000

Enjoy the ride!

End of NBA Regular Season, Quality Index Rankings, #1-30

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

At the conclusion of an 82 game schedule …

 

LEGITIMATE CONTENDERS TO WIN THE NBA CHAMPIONSHIP

[as of Thursday April 15, 2010]

 

TEAM

W

L

W%

EAST

WEST

PDR

PAR

RDR

QR

QIR

Cavaliers *

61

21

.744

1

 

2

5

1

8

1

Magic *

59

23

.720

2

 

1

4

4

9

2

Spurs *

50

32

.610

 

7

4

8

3

15

3

Jazz *

53

29

.646

 

5

3

12

5

20

4

Blazers *

50

32

.610

 

6

11

3

7

21

5

Lakers *

57

25

.695

 

1

6

9

7

22

6

Heat *

47

35

.573

5

 

13

2

11

26

T-7

Bobcats *

44

38

.537

7

 

15

1

10

26

T-7

Thunder *

50

32

.610

 

8

10

11

6

27

9

Hawks *

53

29

.646

3

 

6

9

16

31

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bucks *

46

36

.561

6

 

14

7

17

38

11

Celtics *

50

32

.610

4

 

9

5

25

39

12

Bulls *

41

41

.500

8

 

18

13

9

40

13

Grizzlies

40

42

.488

 

 

17

24

2

43

14

Suns *

54

28

.659

 

3

5

26

13

44

15

Nuggets *

53

29

.646

 

4

8

20

22

50

16

Mavericks *

55

27

.671

 

2

12

15

24

51

17

Pistons

27

55

.329

 

 

27

13

12

52

18

Rockets

42

40

.512

 

 

16

21

21

58

19

76ers

27

55

.329

 

 

24

18

18

60

T-20

Clippers

29

53

.354

 

 

28

19

13

60

T-20

Wizards

26

56

.317

 

 

26

16

19

61

22

Kings

25

57

.305

 

 

25

25

15

65

23

Hornets

37

45

.451

 

 

20

21

26

67

24

Raptors

40

42

.488

9

 

19

27

22

68

25

Pacers

32

50

.390

 

 

21

23

29

73

T-26

Nets

12

70

.146

 

 

29

17

27

73

T-26

Knicks

29

53

.354

 

 

23

27

28

78

T-28

Timberwolves

15

67

.183

 

 

30

29

19

78

T-28

Warriors

26

56

.317

 

 

22

30

30

82

30

LEGEND: W – Wins; L – Losses; Win% – Winning Percentage; PDR – Points Differential Ranking; PAR – Points Allowed Ranking; RDR – Rebounding Differential Ranking; QR – Quality Rating [i.e. PDR + PAR + RDR = QR]; QIR – Quality Index Ranking [i.e. QR/#1-30]; * – Clinched playoff position.

there are now 10 teams left with a legitimate opportunity to win this year’s league championship … none of which are the Mavericks [W2], Suns [W3], Nuggets [W4], Celtics [E4], Bucks [E6] or Bulls [E8], according to the recent history of the NBA.

Related:

What it takes to win the NBA Championship

And, the band played on …

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

… around a fallen Carmelo Anthony?

In the category of strange but true …

Here’s the game recap for last night’s Denver Nugget’s 4th quarter comeback victory at Oklahoma City:

Nuggets rally past Thunder 98-94

And, here’s the video of what actually happend to Melo, in the final minute of the 3rd quarter …

—————————————–

—————————————–

In 30+ years of watching NBA games … this is the first time, IIRC, something like this has ever happened!

Legitimate contenders in the NBA, as of April 5

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

With a little more than 1 week left in the regular season schedule …

 

LEGITIMATE CONTENDERS TO WIN THE NBA CHAMPIONSHIP

[as of Monday April 5, 2010]

 

TEAM

W

L

W%

EAST

WEST

PDR

PAR

RDR

QR

QIR

Cavaliers *

60

17

.779

1

 

1

5

2

8

1

Magic *

54

23

.701

2

 

2

4

4

10

2

Spurs *

47

29

.618

 

7

4

7

4

15

3

Jazz *

50

27

.649

 

4

3

12

6

21

T-4

Lakers *

55

22

.714

 

1

5

9

7

21

T-4

Blazers *

47

30

.610

 

8

11

3

8

22

6

Thunder *

48

28

.623

 

6

10

10

3

23

7

Heat

43

34

.558

5

 

12

2

10

24

8

Bobcats

40

36

.528

7

 

15

1

11

31

9

Hawks *

49

27

.645

3

 

6

10

18

34

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bucks

42

34

.553

6

 

14

8

17

39

11

Celtics *

48

28

.632

4

 

9

6

25

40

T-12

Grizzlies

39

37

.513

 

 

16

23

1

40

T-12

Bulls

37

39

.487

9

 

19

14

9

42

14

Nuggets *

50

27

.649

 

3

8

20

20

48

15

Suns *

50

27

.649

 

5

7

28

14

49

16

Mavericks *

50

27

.649

 

2

13

15

24

52

T-17

Pistons

23

53

.303

 

 

27

13

12

52

T-17

76ers

26

50

.342

 

 

24

17

16

57

19

Rockets

38

38

.500

 

 

17

21

22

60

T-20

Clippers

27

50

.351

 

 

28

19

13

60

T-20

Kings

24

53

.312

 

 

25

25

15

65

T-22

Wizards

23

53

.303

 

 

26

16

23

65

T-22

Raptors

38

38

.500

8

 

18

27

21

66

24

Hornets

35

43

.449

 

 

20

22

26

68

25

Pacers

29

48

.377

 

 

21

24

28

73

T-26

Nets

11

66

.143

 

 

29

17

27

73

T-26

Knicks

27

49

.355

 

 

22

26

29

77

28

Timberwolves

15

62

.195

 

 

30

29

19

78

29

Warriors

23

53

.303

 

 

23

30

30

83

30

LEGEND: W – Wins; L – Losses; Win% – Winning Percentage; PDR – Points Differential Ranking; PAR – Points Allowed Ranking; RDR – Rebounding Differential Ranking; QR – Quality Rating [i.e. PDR + PAR + RDR = QR]; QIR – Quality Index Ranking [i.e. QR/#1-30]; * – Clinched playoff position.

there are 10 teams with a legitimate opportunity to win this year’s league championship … none of which are the Mavericks, Nuggets, Suns, Celtics, Bucks, Raptors or Bulls.

Related:

What it takes to win the NBA Championship

Raptors’ line-up that would have likely stopped the Nuggets’ late comeback

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

If you take a look at these 2 sets of video highlights from Friday night’s Toronto loss against Denver, what you should be able to see is that:

1. The Raptors used a specific 5-Man Unit for the defensive possession when Chauncey Billups made his step-back 3PT shot, in the Left Corner, to tie the score, 95-95, with 33.9 seconds remaining in the 4th quarter:

Jack [6-3, 200] vs Billups [6-3, 202], PG
DeRozan [6-7, 220] vs Carter [6-2, 195], PG
Weems [6-6, 205] vs Smith [6-6, 220], OG
Wright [6-7, 215] vs Anthony [6-8, 230], PF
Bosh [6-10, 245] vs Nene [6-11, 250], C

and,

2. The Raptors used the same 5-Man Unit when Carmelo Anthony missed his initial attempt at a game-winning jump shot … which came after Denver’s final time-out, trailing by 1 point … and was followed by the Nuggets’ offensive rebound, pass back to Anthony and his 2PT dagger that ultimately killed the home team:

Jack vs Carter [inbounds passer; 2nd screener for Smith]
DeRozan vs Smith [shooter cutting below the strong side staggered screens]
Weems vs Billups [receiver/passer positioned at the top of the key]
Wright vs Anthony [shooter isolated at the right elbow]
Bosh vs Nene [1st screener for Smith].

——————————————–

QUESTION

What specific line-up SHOULD the Raptors have used instead of this one?

ANSWER

Weems [6-6, 205] vs Billups [6-3, 202]
DeRozan [6-7, 220] vs Carter [6-2, 195]
Wright [6-7, 215] vs Smith [6-6, 220]
Johnson [6-9, 210] vs Anthony [6-8, 230]
Bosh [6-10, 245] vs Nene [6-11, 250]

If the Raptors had played these last 2 defensive possessions with this different 5-Man Unit, in all likelihood:

Possession #1

Billups would not have been able to get his step-back 3PT jump shot off vs an equally quick but taller defender like Sonny Weems [shot No. 1]; 

and,

Possession #2

Carmelo Anthony would not have been able to get his stand-still 2PT jump shot off vs an equally quick but taller defender like Amir Johnson [i.e. shot No. 2]; and, if he was, then, Toronto would have been in much better position to retrieve the defensive rebound and prevent Anthony from getting off his 1 dribble going left 2PT jump shot … against a smaller defender like Jarrett Jack, or Antoine Wright [shot No. 3].

It really is astounding just how many times different NBA teams actually have the wrong individual match-ups on the floor during specific crunch-time possessions, and how often it can end up costing them a victory, in the process.

Right on the money about Johan Petro

Friday, March 19th, 2010

One of the things which yours truly specializes in doing is identifying “talent”, in advance of others.

Approximately 8 months ago, this is what was written in this space, concerning the best available free agents during the 2009 summer signing period:

———————————

ROI – Reviewing and rating current NBA Free Agents

By position, the following players are under-rated [#, indicates where they should be ranked] in this year’s Free Agent class, according to yours truly:

CENTERS
* Johan Petro [#4]

———————————

Then, 2 days ago, this is what was written by Chris Dempsey, about Johan Petro’s work, thus far, this season:

Petro rewarding Nuggets – and himself – with recent surge

When the Nuggets traded for Petro last season, it was solely as a guy to help the team get under the luxury tax threshold. And it worked. What they didn’t necessarily know at the time was they were getting a player that had potential to be a nice complimentary piece in the future.

That was until they got him on the Pepsi Center practice court.

“Almost immediately our coaching staff said ‘Hey this guy is an NBA player, give us time. He’ll be a player,’” Warkentien said. “This summer when we were looking at the bigs available at minimum (cost), this guy is a guy they asked for. Our guys asked for him and recruited him. He’s the guy they wanted all along. Johan has worked everyday and they have worked everyday to get this guy there. And for all of their efforts, that tree is bearing fruit.”

Petro nearly signed with the Hawks during the summer, but opted to sign a one-year deal with the Nuggets, which is paying him $884,881.

———————————

Below is a comprehensive list of Big Men who were on the open market last summer:

Anderson Varejao, Lamar Odom, Charlie Villanueva, Rasheed Wallace, Zaza Pachulia, Leon Powe, Drew Gooden, Brandon Bass, Rasho Nesterovic, Joe Smith, Channing Frye, Fabricio Oberto, Chris Wilcox, Chris Andersen, Jason Collins, Brian Skinner, Ike Diogu, Johan Petro, Robert Swift, Adonal Foyle, Mikki Moore, Chris Mihm, Shelden Williams, Jake Voshkul, Maceo Baston, Stromile Swift, Melvin Ely, Sean May, Sean Marks, Malik Rose, Ryan Bowen, Paul Davis, Rob Kurz, Austin Croshere, Jamaal Magloire, Antoine Walker, Chris Richard, Michael Doleac, Jelani McCoy, Dwayne Jones, Cheikh Samb, Mouhamed Sene, Donyell Marshall, Theo Ratliff, Raef LaFrentz, Shavlik Randolph, Jarron Collins, Calvin Booth, Michael Ruffin, Mike Harris, Andre Brown, Chris Taft, Lance Allred, Cedric Simmons, and Lorenzon Wright

While other NBA observers [both astute and non-astute] might not have thought that Johan Petro would be capable of becoming a productive Big Man this season, if provided with additional playing time, it is gratifying to know that yours truly cannot rightly be counted as one of them.

———————————–

PS. Also of note is the following quote from the Nuggets’ GM:

“When someone tells you that coaching doesn’t matter in the NBA, think again and check the Johan Petro files.”

Taking this perspective one step further …

Should anyone ever try to tell you that “coaching doesn’t matter in the NBA,” it’s important to recognize the fact that this person simply lacks a thorough understanding of what the NBA game is really all about. 

Feel the sunshine on your face …

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

and, just stop and think …

How great is it for YOU to be alive today?

Read the following article …

George vs The Dragon

Coaching the wildly talented but wildly uneven Nuggets is hard enough, let alone doing it with throat and neck cancer, but that’s what Karl is trying to do. Everybody tells him it’s not possible, and today, maybe he’s starting to believe them.

With only three of his torturous six weeks of treatment done, and the inside of his mouth looking like he just took 100 bites out of a lava-hot pizza slice, and his head throbbing and his eyes hollow, Karl looks like a guy who should be on a stretcher, not an NBA bench.

“George, this is only going to get harder,” a nurse tells him. “You’re not going to feel like working.” Clearly, she’s never met George Karl.

——————————

then, go and give everyone in your life who you love … a heart-felt bear-hug.

There is simply no better day than THIS in the history of the world.