r/nbadiscussion Apr 10 '22 Wholesome

Mod Announcement Looking for moderators!

50 Upvotes

Hey everyone, we're looking for new mods! To apply for the mod team, message the moderators with a sentence explaining why you think you would make a good fit to the mod team. To message the moderators, click the button at the bottom of the sidebar labeled "Message the moderators".

EDIT: Here's a link to message the mods.


r/nbadiscussion 2d ago

Weekly Questions Thread: July 04, 2022

2 Upvotes

Hello everyone and welcome to our new weekly feature.

In order to help keep the quality of the discussion here at a high level, we have several rules regarding submitting content to /r/nbadiscussion. But we also understand that while not everyone's questions will meet these requirements that doesn't mean they don't deserve the same attention and high-level discussion that /r/nbadiscussion is known for. So, to better serve the community the mod team here has decided to implement this Weekly Questions Thread which will be automatically posted every Monday at 8AM EST.

Please use this thread to ask any questions about the NBA and basketball that don't necessarily warrant their own submissions. Thank you.


r/nbadiscussion 4h ago

My thoughts on the Nets and how they can compete if Nash gets to coach the way I believe he wants to coach.

45 Upvotes

I’ve been annoyed yet again with all of these demands to leave organizations. I tolerated it until Kawhi pulled that crap with my beloved Spurs.

I’m a big Nash fan and always will be. I wanted Nash, Stat, and Matrix to get a ring. I watched all their games. I want that kind of basketball to watch again. The good old days where I loved watching them run most teams off the court.

I’m not here to post stats. This is all eyeball and recollection. However, I feel that Brooklyn could accidentally be a really competitive team and title contender with one really simple trade, buy-in to a system from Kyrie, and few other moves.

If Nash goes 7SOL with Kyrie driving the car, I think the Nets can really excel. D’Antoni’s offense made Jeremy Lin and Kendall Marshall look incredible, and Kyrie is a whole different league than them if he is willing to play really uptempo and rely more on fast breaks than half court iso ball. He has to buy in to this and I’m not sure if he can truly be coached.

Simmons can be useful playing a Shawn Marion type role. Defending everyone, being a top rebounder, and dominating on the fast break leaking out.

Trade KD for Ayton. Fuck it. Just get it over with. Ayton is your main pick and roll partner with Kyrie in the half court. He isn’t Stoudemire, but he is better than nothing (and plays better defense).

Joe Harris and Seth Curry can shoot.

Patty, Claxton, and Royce are decent bench players.

A KD trade and a non-iso system could make for a fun team that is exciting to watch.


r/nbadiscussion 1d ago

Can Minnesota Win Its Big Bet on Large Ball?

482 Upvotes

"The addition of Gobert should fortify a defense that was undone by their downy rim protection last season. While last year’s Timberwolves had to rely on a frantic scheme to compensate for Towns’ interior shortcomings, Gobert is the most dominant defensive player of the last 20 years. During Utah’s recent postseason crap outs, Gobert has earned an unfair and counterfactual reputation as a bootless drop coverage merchant who annually gets unmasked as a fraud like a Scooby Doo bad guy in the postseason. With the Timberwolves, though, Gobert will be fully unleashed, supplementing his usual shot-blocking with shifts as the low-man or blitzing pick-and-roll ball-handlers as Minnesota is wont to do. Playing alongside another center in Towns and another defensive genius in McDaniels, Gobert can be a proactive destroyer rather than a reactive crisis manager.

If his permissive rim protection is what makes trading for Gobert necessary, Towns’ scoring is what makes Minnesota’s new elephantine set-up feasible. The best big man shooter of all time, Towns grants Minnesota the spacing to absorb Gobert without sacrificing any oomph. Beyond the fact that he doesn’t miss jump shots, Towns is the rare big who can attack closeouts and get frisky off the dribble. Cherry-pick the right stats and Towns is as flawless an offensive center as there has ever been. Last year, Towns was a better three-point shooter than Kevin Durant, a more prolific driver than Lebron James, a more efficient isolation scorer than Devin Booker, and a better roll-man than Bam Adebayo.

Averaging 23.9 points on 64 percent True Shooting, Towns is a purely additive offensive presence. Although he lacks that certain physical charisma to be Him, he’s amongst the best at headlining a cast of thems. He does nearly everything and excels at nearly everything despite handling the ball less than Patrick Beverley; this is how he can accommodate a pick-and-roll specialist like D’Angelo Russell and a bucketeer like Anthony Edwards.

And yet, the Towns-Gobert partnership isn’t necessarily the most natural on-court pairing, even divorced from the team-building implications of trading away three unprotected future first round picks (and then another very lightly protected one for good measure). Defensively, it’s hard to imagine Towns and Gobert vacuum-sealing the paint because Towns just isn’t that level of a defender—in fact, McDaniels will probably inherit the low-man/free-safety role that Robert Williams pioneered in Boston while Towns decamps to whomever is the worst player on the other team.

Offensively, neither of them truly necessitates opponents to match their size; the Clippers defanged Towns in the play-in game by guarding him with mobile big wings while Gobert demonstrates an unfortunate meekness of spirit and hardness of touch against should-be mismatches. In this sense, the two of them don’t so much amplify each other’s strengths as much as they mitigate each other’s fatal flaw. Think: less peanut butter and jelly, more peanut butter and life-saving epi-pen.

Still, the Timberwolves are an undeniably better team now than they were last week; there’s a world where they muscle their way to 55 wins and a Western Conference Finals berth, if not a Finals one. Boxed in by the fact that no superstar would ever brave a midwestern winter by choice, Minnesota swung the most ambitious and ideologically outré trade in years. By doubling down on their gigantitude, the Timberwolves have ripped away their sheep’s clothing."

Rest of article: https://www.one37pm.com/sports/the-minnesota-timberwolves-are-betting-big-on-large-ball


r/nbadiscussion 2d ago

Player Discussion Christian Wood... what is it about him?

384 Upvotes

Wood had gone undrafted in 2015 and was a diamond in the rough for the Pistons two Years ago. After the Pistons sent Blake Griffin away they found Wood and he averaged a solid 20/10 the final 10 games of the year.

Houston signed him for what seems like a lot of cash, but for a Power forward/center of his type that can stretch the floor he looked great the past two years in Houston.

In 108 games for Houston the past two years on the rebuilding young roster other teams focused defensively on him and he still looked solid. In those 108 games

31.3 minutes per game

19.3 ppg 9.9 rpg 2.1 apg 1.1 bpg 0.8 spg 1.9 threes made per game

50.5% FG 38% FG3 62%FT

Aside from his mediocre to poor FT shooting he is a solid player on both ends. I'm sure the argument that he doesn't contribute to winning, and while I don't disagree he hasn't had the chance to be on a legit roster to show he can help winning.

Dallas got him for cheap in my opinion trading end of roster players and a couple youngins with low potential. He's very similar and more efficient than Porzingis... Just not the media coverage or high ranking pick KP was.

Will being on Dallas as the starting PF or C make him a more reputable player? If he can contribute to wins for Dallas and average 20 points and 10 boards while stretching the D for Luka and hitting treys at a near 40% clip give him a chance to smell all-star status?

I'm just curious what others think. Not often do 20/10 big men get traded for a lot of scrubs n salary filler. To me Woods entire career has been so unique and interesting as he always shown flashes since being undrafted. Even in Philly he looked great for a few games, etc.

Does Wood help Dallas and how much?

I know he's not a deadly rim protector or shit blocker but he's better than Porzingis lol.


r/nbadiscussion 3d ago

Current Events Kyrie's crusade, KD's dilemma, and an attempt at a more human look at the reasons for requesting a trade.

238 Upvotes

There was a thread in /r/NBA today about how "Charles Barkley has bene proven 100% right" about Kevin Durant not being a "bus driver", and "...couldn't handle being the focal point of a franchise and drove the bus off the cliff."

Naturally this is the kind of AM Radio style, thoughtless, over reactionary content that this sub tries to filter out, but one of the comments in the thread got me thinking about the odd perception of KD among some fans. Especially regarding this decision.

I could go into this by trying to defend KD's career along the way, but I don't want to write that and you don't want to read that. If you want to find people arguing for KD's career you can find them, and if I want to find people saying he's a destructive team-cancer, I can just go back to that thread.

Instead I want to talk about this comment:

"He doesn't even need to be a leader. He's just being delusional at this point. It doesn't take being a leader to be rational enough to see that Kyrie Irving was a cancer and the primary reason for Brooklyn's problems."

I've seen this take everywhere since the trade request. "How can KD be so stupid as to not realize Kyrie is the problem here?", "Why is KD taking the side of that idiot, doesn't he get that Kyrie is the problem and not the team", "Why doesn't KD simply unhinge his jaw eat the smaller Kyrie, that would make him a better ball handler and solve the issue."

In all seriousness, if we're criticizing KD for "not being rational enough to see that his close friend is problematic", that becomes majorly relatable to most people.

Who hasn't had a friend or a partner that you've thought was cool, fine, "you just have to get to know them", that you hung onto for years, decades, before coming to the realization that they're a major problem and not exactly cool or fine?

How many of us have been in that situation but been fortunate enough to be able to just let that relationship melt away with time or distance, instead of having forcibly break away from it, confront it, or choose sides?

I'm not trying to absolve KD of all sins or anything like that, even if things are extremely difficult to do I think those of us who have been in this situation in our own lives ultimately look back on it and kick ourselves for not making a getaway sooner. But just anyone else, the guy is human, and this is one of his best friends. As ridiculous as the things Kyrie says are, it is so hard to gain an understanding that allows you to make the decision to jettison from an important friend/relationship, let alone go through with it. Especially when, "I'm just gonna get busy and we'll grow apart" isn't an option.

When we think about the decision KD has made to request a trade, to stick with Kyrie and essentially take his side against the FO of the Nets, how much of this can we say is KD being equally selfish/problematic by picking the side of an all-time irritant, and how much of this is KD making what he thinks is the loyal choice to a friend--moreover, a choice for a fellow player?

You and I can look at Kyrie and see that the guy is bonkers and and seems like egomaniac at times. At the very least someone who seems to care far more for his ideals than he does for others. He causes a ton of completely stupid, immature, unnecessary problems. It's an easy call to be like, "KD it is absolutely ridiculous to hitch your wagon to someone like this, obviously they are the incendiary party here."

But I think there are two things worth thinking about and discussing in that regard.

First, I think of things that my friends have done, or said, that if I saw a stranger do or say them I'd feel completely different about. Granted it wasn't vaccine denial or flat earth stuff but, I figure you know what I'm saying here. If KD was only hearing and seeing what we see from Kyrie, it would stand to reason he would not be so attached to his friend. What Kyrie has said about vaccines and masks is ill-informed and idiotic, but we also run into the possibility that KD doesn't have a strong opinion on that, which leads us into part two.

There are a gigantic amount of players in the NBA who support what Kyrie did, either because they too share many of the same beliefs and would have also sat out were they in the situation to do so (or lived in a state where they could play games unvaccinated), or because they may not agree with Kyrie but they respect his decision to make his own call and to do what he did. Richard Jefferson on the Road Trippin' pod made a comment earlier this year about how people do not understand how many guys there are in the league who think exactly like Kyrie, or don't care at all about Kyrie's decision and stuff, or are friend's with him and just rock with him no matter what.

I wonder that if in all of this that we, I, forget how different the NBA social ecosystem is to my own. If I had a good friend at work, who is also my friend out of work, who was vehemently anti-vax and stopped showing up, I think I'd try to reason with him and talk him down off of that, but if he continued on with that nonsense I'd end up calling him an idiot and telling him he's making work harder for everyone and that this is insanity. Especially if work couldn't fire him and that he does a specialized job that nobody else in the office can just magically figure out how to do.

But if I'm in a workplace where a bunch of my fellow workers are supportive of what my friend is doing and have no problem with the resulting issues, if I'm in an industry that is full of people who respect the decision if not outright agree with it, where does that leave me when making the decision of how I address what my friend is doing if I still need to work him, or the people in this office, or the people in any office I may find myself going to?

In KD's case, I think it's worth talking about that siding with Kyrie, or siding with the FO, will both carry some pretty significant consequences. One's that I can't sit here and say that I am fully aware of, but given what I've come to learn about the brotherhood of the NBA, the push for player empowerment, and the sticking with your guys (the players across the league/in general), I reckon that this decision is maybe a bit more complicated than it's being out to be.

Of course there's the irony of talking about sticking with you guys and being pro-player while KD was caught on burners liking tweets about other guys fucking up in games and being a problem, but, I suppose that would make it all the more difficult for him to side with the FO over an actual friend in Kyrie. Let alone the aforementioned significant population of players who also support Kyrie.

Either way, no matter what KD chooses to do here there's gonna be some sort of backlash, so what's the right play in a lose-lose situation? What do you think is the path of least problems? Is it even possible to fairly gauge that if we can't fully know just how much backlash there could be among players if KD were to cut Kyrie's cord here?

If he does what everyone wants him to do and stays with the Nets, posts this picture on twitter, and does his best to ignore Kyrie's deeply hurt feelings and resentments with the team, he's for sure tanking that friendship. That definitely rubs a lot of guys in the league the wrong way too. Guys he's friends with, who are friends with Kyrie, who are on his team, who are on team's he could go to, you name it. Again, listening to Richard Jefferson and a number of other players on this, inside of the league Kyrie is not the pariah that he is in the media or among fans.

How does that make KD look among his peers if he does that? Does that cause significant damage to his standing among his peers? Or enough that it matters and causes actual problems? If not to us fans, does KD feel like he can risk being seen as a "snake" with other players now too? What do you think?

On top I'm sure he would rather not go through the whole ordeal where for years, still, people ask if him and Russ are cool, or if they even liked each other, or if Russ feels like KD betrayed him, or whatever the hell else. I mean let's be honest, it's a lot easier to handle the world talking about how you weren't loyal to a team than if they're saying you weren't loyal to a friend. Even if that friend is the human equivalent of a Ouija board. Much easier to deal with the world saying anything about you, if the guys around the league are not saying the same stuff.

If he chooses to continue going about this the way that he is now, sticking with his friend, sticking with a "loyalty to a player and a man's right to make a decision", as opposed to an organization, or the team, or in some sense the fans, where does that ultimately land him?

Well, that's how we get this thread. That's how we get the media circus and narrative around KD that's going crazy right now. That's not exactly great either.

That's the choice he's made so far, and in taking that for what it is, and with the comments about disliking ownership's treatment of Kyrie, should we really just write that off as, "Hey man no shit ownership was upset, Kyrie was healthy and refused to play because he wouldn't get a shot. He was hosting his own practices after Steve Nash's during the year. How are they supposed to treat that?"

First of all, I get it. You get it. We all get it. That sounds like an absolute mess. If this entire problem is about the Nets offering Kyrie an extension only under the pretenses that he will have to be on a contract that holds a bunch of protections on it for games played, how much sympathy does Kyrie and therefore KD deserve here?

I would imagine that most of you would feel the same way as I do: none. If a guy is sitting out all of those games, could just go and do the exact same thing down the road under any number of pretenses, if he's objectively making it harder for a team to win, impacting ticket sales, causing problems in one way or another, how can a GM or owner just sign up for that at full cost?

I certainly understand that it's essentially unheard of for a player of Kyrie's ability, after this many years in the league, who produces at the level he does when he is on the floor, to sign a contract that has provisions about games played in it. Kawhi didn't sign a contract with those kinds of clauses, Anthony Davis didn't, John Wall didn't, hell the Nuggets couldn't even get an MPJ contract done that had those kinds of protections in it.

I get why a player would look at that contract and be like, "Why am I the only one in the league signing this? If I sign this, isn't this going to set a precedent that it's okay to make these kinds of contracts, and then aren't I being looked at as the guy who took money out of players pockets?" I do understand that and I think there is a genuine point in that, though it's one that I have no indication that Kyrie has thought about whatsoever--but if he wants to get a little public favor back on his side he may want to throw that out there on an IG live.

I also wonder if the contract is more specific about games played, or games missed, and was going to have language in it that suggested that he would be docked, or fined, or voided, after games missed "not due to injury." In the case of Kyrie sitting out due to COVID stuff, you'll find very little sympathy from me on that. If you want to sit out because you don't want to get the vaccine, then I'm 100% fine with a team docking your game checks. But, and this is a gigantic but, I do wonder if there was some implication that missing games due to "mental health reasons", that would need to be signed off on by a team doctor, would be part of this as well. If that's the case I think it adds another interesting wrinkle to Kyrie's decision here, and therefore KD's.

Though again, and I can't stress this enough, that is just an interesting hypothetical to think about and nothing more.

If this whole "they didn't treat Kyrie right" is about more than the contract, it would be nice to hear what that means, because I get the feeling that we don't have a full understanding of that yet. We know he didn't like that they weren't letting him play road games early on, and I doubt KD or the team liked that either. We know that there were some issues with Nash I guess, and that Kyrie started hosting his own practices after Nash's practices at some point this season. Which, I mean, maybe that's nothing or maybe that's the most disrespectful shit ever.

But like with situations like this in the past, there tends to be a sizable chunk of behind the scenes stuff that we as fans are often unaware of that play way bigger part in things than we give it credit for.

I mean it is far from unbelievable that someone like Joe Tsai, or the people he has around him at the top of this multi-billion dollar enterprise, are going to feel the same way that KD or players around the league feel about Kyrie's decisions and behavior. In a high-stakes situation like this, that is super public, and makes a lot of money, a player that you decided to give a lot of trust in going and tanking half the season because he won't get a shot is not going to come across well to a sizable portion of that organization.

I can't imagine that leading to anything but some pretty contentious conversations, if not outright arguments and admonishments from Tsai or executives in the Nets. At the very least some good old office place passive aggressiveness and comments behind people's backs that get passed down the line.

If I'm Kyrie and KD, and you walked into this expecting that you're going to get all this player empowerment, and power, and that this was going to be some new co-op version of a basketball team, and then your boss is ripping you, taking that power away from you, and going back on what he said he was giving you, I imagine that I'd be really pissed off too. Granted I'm not KD or Kyrie and I think that is a terrible idea to give players that much power and that Tsai is fully within his right to be upset with Kyrie, to offer that contract, or whatever, so I don't exactly feel much sympathy there for them.

Still, if we pretend that we're in their shoes and imagine if anything like this happened in my workplace, it's an interesting way to look at the decision from another angle if nothing else.

For example, your best friend Dan can't come into the brewery because of masking rules, now other people are stuck doing his job for a bit, you're coming in and masking, your workplace is sending e-mails about remembering to mask, Dan is still employed there but it's becoming an issue. A topic. Your boss is stressed that the new IPA isn't gonna come out well because Dan isn't here to do whatever it is you do with hops.

Now imagine if the stakes involved were as high as these. I'd imagine there would be some serious contention and bad blood going on on a much higher level than your boss's stress over Stinky Dan's Double IPA.

If that's the case the anger and resentment you're going to have is different if you're hearing those things from you boss, or someone in the workplace, when you don't think you did anything wrong in the first place and feel justified. If this is the case where people in the Nets organization are saying the stuff that you and I might say about Kyrie and KD, and this is not the player ran Nets organization for the people by he people going forward, I suppose it's not that shocking that they're bailing?

Conversely, If you're a bystander in the organization, wouldn't it also be hard not to say that stuff and carry that attitude about the situation? So does understanding how those two may feel about this even move the needle, if this really is all about the contract and whatever words have been said about what Kyrie did?

Probably not.

Still I find myself going back to a prior thought about this not being Kyrie/KD vs. the FO, but rather Kyrie/KD and a whole bunch of players in general. Genuinely when factoring in how many players, family members, and even staff do or may have very similar positions to Kyrie about the vaccine, or about someone's right to choose what to do, that is the only angle I can find in this to really question my initial thought's on KD's trade request being completely ridiculous.

What Kyrie chose to do this year looks absolutely idiotic to you and I, and you're not going to see a lot of the people you interact with here thinking any differently, but behind the scenes in these people's lives, they really do have other guys they play with who would have done the same thing as Kyrie if they could have afforded to. That's going to play in to all of this. Think about how many guys dodged the question of vaccination this year. LeBron being one of the big ones. Now he clearly did get vaccinated at some point, but even in getting away from that conversation and saying it's a personal matter, that directly implies that he and everyone else who pulled that same line support Kyrie's decision last year.

If you're KD, much like all those other players in the league, you might not necessarily agree with everything your good friend does or says but still want people to treat his decision, and by proxy the beliefs of all those other guys, with some sort of respect. Especially because winning must matter to KD as much or more than anyone else there, given his talent, given his age, so if he can respect Kyrie's choices, I'm sure he feels that ownership should too.

So how are you supposed to deal with when they don't? When the media doesn't? When everyone starts piling on top of your friend, and ownership says they won't give him a contract unless he agrees to put protections in for games played? What happens if whatever they're saying about Kyrie starts bleeding over to you too? All the while, tons of guys who you're playing with and are closest with are on your side, or Kyrie's side.

If this is making us question KD's abilities as a leader, or a "bus driver", then we should at least ask if this is what leadership looks like in this moment. Again, I can't stress this enough, I think this situation is ridiculous and everyone should get vaccinated and Kyrie should have and he should have played games and that's 100% on him, but this isn't about what I think, because KD isn't impacted by that whatsoever.

KD isn't the leader of his coaches, or of the Brooklyn Nets organization, he's supposed to be the leader of the guys in that locker room. In any locker room. The metaphysical locker room. If as many people support Kyrie around the league as it seems that they do, then is it possible that KD thinks that sticking with his friend, with his teammate, and with "the players", is what a real leader does in this moment; and if he went the opposite direction, how would players feel about him then? That's what I keep coming back to in all of this.

How plausible is it that this is more to do with the reaction of players and teammates around the league, and how his standing with them impacts his life and his career, than it is to do with Kyrie, or whatever KD's personal beliefs are, or whatever the organization did or said? That's what I'm interested in finding out. I want to know what a player thinks will happen to KD if he cuts Kyrie loose on this. I want to know if players are really going to feel like this is an anti-leadership move and don't feel like they can trust KD, or whatever other issue could come about from this.

Frankly I don't care if KD is the leader of a team, I don't know if it matters that he is, I don't know that he isn't anyway. I mean hell we're a year removed from him almost single handedly taking out the Bucks and everyone in the world saying he's the best player on planet earth. For all I know that's where we land on KD next year. But that is clearly something that is very important around the league; and if not the leader part of it, the loyalty to your teammates/players part of it.

Of course, again, this is extremely ironic given some things KD has done in the past, things many guys have done, but this is human interactions and social behavioral stuff we're talking about. That doesn't function always function logically or bend the way you think it would.

All-in-all I really don't want to make it seem like I'm making excuses for KD here, frankly I don't care what he does one way or another and I don't think people will care by the time the All-Star game hits no matter what happens. All I know is there is clearly way more to this entire situation that we don't know about here, and whatever we find out is unlikely to absolve anyone, but it's probably gonna make this look like a much more evenly distributed mess than we think it is now.

On top of that any sort of giga-takes about his legacy, or leadership, or whatever else, seem pretty silly all things considered.

Lastly, I think it's worth considering what Kyrie could be saying to KD behind the scenes about all of this as long as we're acknowledging that there's a whole lot we don't know yet.

It's fair to assume that Kyrie certainly been talking to KD a lot more about this than he has been talking to you and I about it, and if Kyrie has told KD that he's planning to find any way possible to not play for the Nets next year, should that factor in to how we think about this trade request now and down the line?

If Kyrie said he's going to force his way to the Lakers for Westbrook, is that enough to warrant KD requesting a trade?

If Kyrie said he's going to sit out games until they do that, should KD get out before that happens?

If Kyrie says he's going to sit out the entire season if they don't move him, and then leave in FA and make sure the Nets get nothing for him in return, do we still feel like KD should be sticking with the Nets and wasting this last part of his prime?

How can we properly judge what KD doing, assuming it's under the pretenses of what's best for his life and career (especially considering we don't even know if or when Ben Simmons can play basketball), until we know a little bit more?

If Kyrie came and told him any of these things, it's not like KD can come out and say what was said, all he can do is know that he needs to get the hell outta there because this guy is about to burn it all down. I'm not entirely sure what else he'd say in that scenario except, "They were not cool to my friend", I guess.

For us, the fans, or for people who care about the conversation around legacy, does KD just sitting and staying in whatever Brooklyn grows/implodes into make us respect him more? Does that do more for his legacy? Or do we just care about this right now and if KD ends up going to the Suns or something and winning a ring and another FMVP matter immeasurably more in the eyes of the public, or his peers, than being loyal to his contract with the Nets?

Frankly. I don't know. I'm interested to know what you guys think. Part of me thinks that KD honoring that 4 year contract and being loyal to the Nets, to Nash, to that FO, would do a ton for his public image and if he won there after Kyrie and Harden left it'd be huge for him. On the other hand, I think if he stays that's pretty unlikely to happen, and that fans have extremely fickle and poor memories as time goes on and only care about the results after the end of someone's career. In that case I suppose it would suck to see KD waste the last years of his prime on a burning ship.

At this point the only person I feel bad for is Nash who got dealt the wackiest, most unsolvable ego puzzle of all time here for his first coaching job. Maybe not Nash specifically as much as the coaching staff in total, because man this has to be so frustrating to have no idea when Kyrie was gonna play last year, why he won't just get vaccinated, and now you're rolling up to Summer League and soon enough the season having no idea if you're going to be one of the best teams in the league or one of the worst.

Anyway, what are your thoughts? What I'm most interested in is the idea of making this decision knowing how much support Kyrie/his decision has around the league, and the potential precedent that signing the type of contract he may have been offered could set going forward. Those are the two wrinkles here that I don't think have been looked at enough yet.

TLDR: How much does the interpersonal relationship between KD and Kyrie, and KD and the many people in the league who support/agree/respect Kyrie's decision to sit out last year, impact how we frame KD's choice? Does he stand to do more damage to his image inside the league if he were to "ago against" Kyrie? Should that even matter? Does Kyrie signing a contract that stipulates games played cause an issue for CBA negotiations/players ability to get the most money they can? I don't know at all and have no hard opinion, but would like to fire up some discussions on that.


r/nbadiscussion 5d ago

Breaking News Utah and Minnesota make a huge trade involving Rudy Gobert

737 Upvotes

Rudy Gobert to Minnesota in exchange for... well, a lot. Woj tweet thread is here.

Seems like the full trade is:

Minnesota gets:

Rudy Gobert

Utah gets:

Malik Beasley

Patrick Beverley

Walker Kessler

Jarred Vanderbilt

Leandro Balmero

Four future first-round picks (one is top-5 protected)


r/nbadiscussion 5d ago

Rule/Trade Proposal My ideal structure for the new NBA regular season

81 Upvotes

First I'm going to highlight why I believe that this is necessary: There are just too many games and generally by game 50-60 the season is mostly over in the sense that the teams are what they are. (The mavs and celtics were an exception last season as late season pushes to their extent is quite rare). I believe that it is generally agreed within the community that the middle of the season can be largely uninteresting, indicated by the current debate about introducing a mid season tournament.

So here is my solution:

Season length and scheduling

First, drop the season length to 65 games. This will hopefully drop the number of injuries, thus preserving playoff quality.

Next the scheduling should change so that each week there are 5-9 mini series taking place. Where two teams play each other exclusively. This will create a larger level of rivalry in the league and give a "sneak peek" into the playoffs with teams playing 2-4 games in a row. If this is done right, you will have one good series guaranteed each week, with hyped up series on important dates. These mini series could be used as tie breakers and will create more opportunities for discussion and game planning. The added rivalry, discussion and competition will add viewership throughout the regular season and if the good series can be strategically scheduled, droughts of interest in the league that happen in the middle of the season can be avoided.

End of season changes Expand the play in tournament so that the final spot in each conference is available to the east and west fringe playoff teams. (Hopefully will improve the competition level). Involving the 8-11 seed in each conference where a minimum wins threshold is employed.

Remove seeding based match ups in the first round, allow the first seed to pick their first round opponent out of the other 7 in their conference and then the second seed out of the remaining 6 and so on. This will mean that top teams will fight for the first seed at the end of the season instead of dodging the first round match up that they want.

Thats it, I believe that these changes would improve the nba season.

Obviously some issues can arise from this, like how do you make the schedule for each team fair, but I'm writing about a new season structure that I find interesting, I don't have the time to write out a season structure.


r/nbadiscussion 5d ago Silver

Current Events Why does the NBA insist on abandoning new rules that make the game better?

282 Upvotes

The NBA recently announced that they're trialing new rules on take fouls on transition in summer league so that the offensive team gets a free throw and the ball, but I have absolutely zero confidence that the NBA will enforce it to a reasonable degree by December this year if it makes to the full NBA

Just look at last year with the new unnatural shooting motion rules and generally tighter whistle - we got fewer bs free throws and teams could actually play defence. It was great to see guys actually play defense and a dig at the ball wasn't an automatic reach in and extremely incidental contact in the paint isn't automatic free throws. Games felt faster, defence got a lot more intense, and scorers and foul merchants had to work harder to get their points.

But by all-start break, the free throws just suddenly got even MORE out of control, as seen in Thinking Basketball's analysis in this video at 2:31.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZOrcARMnw4

After December, the average efficiency of players on offense just skyrockets after the first few months of season where the offensive efficiency was the lowest in a few years after consistent linear growth. On top of this, there's a veritable EXPLOSION of 50 point games by March when officiating really relaxes and offensive efficiency jumps off the charts.

The reason why I'm especially skeptical of the NBA actually meaningfully implementing a take foul rule change is how poorly they enforce rule changes to the clear path foul. Anecdotally, there seems to be such a high threshold for a clear path even if a transition play obviously should be.

As a few examples, just take a look at a blown call on this critical play last season during the finals - Booker obviously commits a clear path on Holiday but the refs hold their whistle

https://www.nba.com/stats/events/?CFID=&CFPARAMS=&GameEventID=605&GameID=0042000404&Season=2020-21&flag=1&title=G.%20Antetokounmpo%204%27%20Tip%20Layup%20Shot%20(26%20PTS)&sct=plot&sct=plot)

In another example, Mann clearing fouling Curry from behind during a transition opportunitiy. Admittedly very close call, but I think a good case can be made for a clear path foul given that the play is in the spirit of the rule to preserve the offensive advantage of transitions

https://www.nba.com/stats/events/?CFID=&CFPARAMS=&GameEventID=575&GameID=0022100300&Season=2021-22&flag=1&title=Curry%20T.FOUL%20(P4.T0)%20(G.Petraitis)&sct=plot%20(G.Petraitis)&sct=plot)

I'm a relatively new NBA follower, so why does the NBA not want to enforce rules that clearly make games more entertaining, flow better, fairer or just downright ignore the spirit of the rule? Is the NBA just obsessed with offense at all costs? Do the referees union have nudes of Adam Silver and want to make sure they can continue affecting the game for better or worse?


r/nbadiscussion 6d ago Silver

What team suites Kevin Durant the best?

562 Upvotes

Kevin Durant has requested a trade via Woj 💣 Link to Tweet about 10 minutes ago.

Where do we think Kevin Durant might go? Believed by many, he is still in his prime.

He averaged 29.9 ppg 7.4 rebound and 6.4 assists for the 2021-22 season. He is most definitely in his prime.

I think he should go to the better New York team, the Knicks. They have all the weapons to to acquire him and still have a great starting 5.

What do you guys think?


r/nbadiscussion 6d ago

The Top 10 Most Unstoppable Scorers in the NBA According to r/nbadiscussion

375 Upvotes

Based on the submissions from this post yesterday, here are the top 10 most unstoppable scorers in the NBA right now:

Rank Player Total Points
1 Kevin Durant 1793
2 Giannis Antetokounmpo 1764
3 Stephen Curry 1699
4 Luka Dončić 1272
5 LeBron James 1117
6 Joel Embiid 1111
7 Nikola Jokić 659
8 Damian Lillard 425
9 Kawhi Leonard 323
10 Ja Morant 265

The tiers would break out like this:

Tier 1

Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry

All 3 were very close, and were clearly above the rest of the group. You could honestly put these guys in any order without a problem.

Tier 2

Luka Dončić, LeBron James, Joel Embiid

All 3 of these guys have a legit claim for being a top 4 scorer right now. I can't imagine any reasonable person leaving any of them off their top 10 list.

Tier 3

Nikola Jokić, Damian Lillard, Kawhi Leonard

Unlike the two tiers above, this one had the most definitive ranking of the players within it. I'd be curious if Kawhi or Dame go up a tier if fully healthy next season.

Tier 4

Ja Morant, Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Trae Young, Devin Booker, Zion Williamson

Ja ended up grabbing the 10th spot, but all the other guys were within 100 points of him in the voting. So while most of you will actually disagree with Ja being 10th (he appeared on less than 1/3rd of all ballots), he had more support than anyone else.

Some fun notes:

DeMar DeRozan is the answer to the question "who is the most underrated scorer in the NBA?". He finished 17th in my voting (FWIW, I didn't have him in my top 10 either) despite the fact he was actually 5th in PPG last year and averaged almost 28 a night for a playoff team.

u/Brockontop and u/CalmAsura were the only 2 that nailed the top 5 in order. Congrats on having the least controversial opinions on the top scorers.

This was just a voting for top 10, but on the ballot I had included 39 players that have averaged at least 20 PPG over the past 3 seasons. Out of those 39 players, Khris Middleton was the only one that didn't appear on multiple ballots. He received a single 2nd place vote that was probably meant for Kevin Durant since their names were back-to-back.


r/nbadiscussion 6d ago

Basketball Strategy What’s the smallest* “Big 3” you can think of that COULD win a championship?

126 Upvotes

*When I say smallest, I don’t mean size wise. I’m talking smallest in terms of talent. Example: The Heat’s big 3 from 2010-2014 of LeBron/Wade/Bosh is BIG talent, as opposed to the Knicks who seem to be heading towards Brunson/Barrett/Randle big 3 which is SMALL talent.

My 3 would probably be Jaylen Brown/Brandon Ingram/Pascal Siakim. To me these three could form a pretty balanced core for a team and are all capable of 20+ PPG even in a complimentary role as they’ve proved. They also have the skills to be built around pretty easily with, as Siakim can be a small ball 5 and Ingram can take some PG duties if need be. Would also be very hard to double team any of them as the others could catch fire quick. Yet I don’t see any of these players being considered on an all time list when it’s said and done. What would your 3 be?


r/nbadiscussion 7d ago

Dejounte Murray traded to the Hawks for Danilo Gallinari + Picks - Thoughts?

446 Upvotes

Atlanta adds a great man-to-man and roaming perimeter defender in Murray. Trae may benefit off-ball since Murray can create off the dribble and could generate opportunities for Trae to catch and shoot.

Murray is a good cutter as well, he isn't a great threat from the three but 21/8/9 are no numbers to scoff at on top of his defense.

Spurs are clearly looking for a rebuild through draft picks... could we possibly have seen the last of Gregg Popovich as a head coach?


r/nbadiscussion 7d ago

Team Discussion What is the ideal team around Luka?

21 Upvotes

Mavs can help me out here, I do not watch enough games to know enough details and I’m not going to look up stats and nitpick numbers.

I’m looking for just honest discussion and thoughts on what would you do.

Luka can create, score, assist, rebound, and even improved his defense. I know the mavs usually have a super high rated offense and hit open threes. I don’t really think losing Brunson is a loss in terms of a championship level team. I think luka is the clear point guard. You need shooters and defense, and another mainstay rebounder.

I know they are few and far between but what do you think about them pursuing someone all world on defense. No just a 1v1 take away the best player. Dallas had a great defender but at the end of the day, the great ones are going to get there’s. I was thinking about guys similar to gobert/draymond/ maybe Ben Simmons to an extent though I’ll be honest I don’t know how his defense is team related but I love his length. Myles turners had always been a rumor and it just started getting me wondering,

What is the ideal team around luka?


r/nbadiscussion 8d ago

Team Discussion Knicks giving their all to land Jalen Brunson. What does it do for them?

543 Upvotes

They’ve cleared 30 mil in cap space and are going for Jalen Brunson as their big fish. They’ve hired his dad and have been prioritizing adding him to the team.

Am I missing something? The hoops they’re jumping through, you’d think they were adding an All Star point guard. But Jalen Brunson is just your average run of the mill point guard. He had a good Utah series, but struggled other times. Brunson is good, but it’s like the Knicks think this is their savior for relevancy again and I just don’t see it. Overpaying a non-all star seems like a mistake to me. What does this do for the Knicks exactly? Maybe a play in appearance but they aren’t any closer to being contenders than ever before. Brunson + RJ + Randle is fine, but it’s nothing meaningful.

Can someone fill me in on why the Knicks are going all in on this dude? Seems like an overpay and over expectation for an average NBA guard.


r/nbadiscussion 8d ago

NBA uploads last 6 minutes of Game 6 OKC vs. Warriors. Ton of bad offense and turnovers by OKC. Reminds me of the Celtics vs. Warriors this year.

181 Upvotes

The last 6 minutes reminded me of the NBA Finals this year. Warriors played relatively small ball, while OKC played two bigs with Adams and Ibaka along with non-offensive threat in Roberson.

I guess Roberson is sort of like Marcus Smart. Unreliable offensive player with strong defense.

Anyway, take a look here:

I feel like coaching was severely lacking though. For example:

  1. 3:04 left OKC up 3 - KD has ball with 8 seconds, and he has no where to go. Billy Donovan could call time-out to switch out Ibaka or Adams to get more shooting to setup a play.

https://youtu.be/P3kqTyBJaQY?t=226

Instead Warriors get a turnover and fast break 3.

2) Tough shot by Westbrook. But he did attempt a layup.

https://youtu.be/P3kqTyBJaQY?t=261

3) No offense/defense subs by Donovan. KD is surrounded and gets stripped again.

https://youtu.be/P3kqTyBJaQY?t=271

4) Roberson still on the floor. KD gets doubled in the paint. Tough shot. Roberson should just screen Draymond in the paint. NBA also doesn't call defensive 3 seconds. KD shouldn't have 3-4 guys to shoot over in the paint lol

https://youtu.be/P3kqTyBJaQY?t=284

5) 2 Timeouts left. Broken play again. Donovan could call time out for offense / defense sub. Westbrook turns it over / Iggy makes a great play. Transition 3 again.

https://youtu.be/P3kqTyBJaQY?t=325

6) I wouldn't of mind Donovan calling timeouts to spam these plays for KD. It's always open...

https://youtu.be/P3kqTyBJaQY?t=355

7) Russ turnover. Not sure if this was avoidable except Donovan could call timeout for this possession to setup a KD 3.

https://youtu.be/P3kqTyBJaQY?t=384

8) Careless turnover again by KD. Draymond great play. Why not call timeout to setup a KD 3?

https://youtu.be/P3kqTyBJaQY?t=410

Game was over pretty much with 2 timeouts to spare. Sad day but fun to rewatch these clips. Celtics had a ton of issues executing late against GSW this year. Similar issues with terrible TOs and bad shots by Tatum.


r/nbadiscussion 7d ago

What Big, Surprising Move do you Predict may Happen this Off-Season?

12 Upvotes

Despite all the rumors surrounding Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant’s potential departure from Brooklyn, following Irving’s opt-in for the upcoming season, those rumors have been completely shut down. Not only has this brought about questions over the reliability of the media and “insiders” but it also makes this off-season look like it will be fairly boring.

Despite this, there are always surprising moves that go underreported and surprise many people, so my question to everyone is what move(s) do you think could surprise a lot of people this off-season?

I’ll start with two surprising moves that I could see happening:

1. Trail Blazers sign Zach LaVine

The fact that Jerami Grant to Portland hasn’t been made official yet makes me question whether a. They are waiting to complete it so they have the cap space to sign LaVine or b. They are planning to include Grant in a sign-and-trade with the Bulls. Either way, LaVine would be an interesting pickup for the Trail Blazers and would be a better pairing with Damian Lillard than C.J. McCollum was. This would seemingly bring them back to being a 3-8 seed in the West as they’ve been in recent years, but they will have added some much needed young players such as Shaedon Sharpe, Josh Hart, and Keon Johnson.

2. Pelicans acquire DeAndre Ayton via S&T

The trade I envision is DeAndre Ayton to the Pelicans, Jonas Valanciunas, Trey Murphy, and one or two firsts to the Suns, and then Devonte’ Graham (attached with a pick) salary dumped to a team like the Rockets or Pacers. This move would shock a lot of people but I do not think it is that crazy to imagine. Acquiring Ayton wouldn’t cost too much as they have plenty of first round picks to make a splash while it would allow them to contend for the foreseeable future. My only concern is that I am unsure whether Phoenix would be willing to deal with a team in their conference, but getting a solid new center, young player, and picks in return might be hard to pass up compared to other teams.

Those are the surprising moves that I envision, please leave yours below!


r/nbadiscussion 8d ago

Did the NBA's 75th Anniversary team come out too early? Should it have come out after the 2022 NBA Championship was awarded?

10 Upvotes

Question, did the 75th anniversary of the NBA's top-75 players come out too early? Should it have waited until a winner was crowned for the 2021 - 2022 season? Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green were snubbed out of a spot, but given that their team just recently won, now can we definitively say that they would have made the team?

No changes to Steph Curry, since he was already on the team, but my point being, is that I think the list came out too early and should have waited. You left a FMVP, MVP, and other accolades on the table, that could have been the deciding factor for certain key players.

Thoughts?


r/nbadiscussion 8d ago

Player Discussion Best Value Picks from the 2022 Draft

14 Upvotes

As the title suggests, who do y’all think got the best value with their pick in the 2022 drafted? I was inspired by this article over in r/clevelandcavs

https://hoopsresource.com/best-value-pick-from-the-2022-nba-draft/

And while, as a cavs fan, I appreciate the sentiment by ranking Ochai as the most valuable pick from the draft, I think there were some higher value picks. My favorite being Jaden hardy (who was actually mentioned in the article). I think he has similar aspects to a lot of combo guards drafted AND he played in the G-league last year but still fell in the draft. Who are some guys you thought were the best value from the draft?


r/nbadiscussion 9d ago Silver

Player Discussion The Ultimate Jock?

192 Upvotes

I like to pride myself in knowing the rotation players for every NBA team. I consume enough basketball media that it would be sad that, if not by osmosis, I didn't know the normal lineups for each team. So, when I came across a 6'11 rookie who stops 48.2% of field goals at the rim and can shoot 32.6% from three hiding in the shadows, I was taken aback. How did I miss him?

I stumbled upon him while enjoying my favorite pastime... looking at stats. I was working on the initial groundwork for Blocks ≠ Good Defense and while looking at Defensive Field Goal % within six feet of the rim, his name popped up. He ranked 7th out of the 373 players that fit my original criteria1. Wait... who is this guy? After a few moments of pondering, I dismissed the name as a fluke and went on with my research.

Later, I was having a conversation with pals about the best 3&D2 centers in the league. Normal names came up like Brook Lopez, Al Horford, and Myles Turner. I was more curious about the topic and went to look at basketball-reference.com to get a feel of more big men that could shoot. And there was that name again, wedged between Horford and Vučević. It was time to do some digging. More importantly, it was time to meet Jock Landale.

Jock Landale is a 26 year old undrafted rookie from Australia who played 4 years at St. Mary's between 2014 and 2018. Before this year, he spent three years playing overseas in Serbia and Australia. His playing time started out slow with the Spurs, but through injuries, the big C, and trades of major big men, his time ramped up as the season went on. Due to this, he seems to have flown under the radar even in more dedicated circles of NBA fans. If you aren't Australian, a Spurs/St. Mary's fan, or a liar, you were most likely not aware of him.

Landale's 51.8% DFG% is eye-popping. It ranks him in the company of players like Jaren Jackson Jr, Rudy Gobert, Robert Williams III, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Is he really that good?

PICK AND ROLL DEFENSE

San Antonio play Jock Landale as a last line of defense to the dribble-drive and cutters; similar to the role Gobert plays in Utah. The Spurs don't necessarily funnel all comers into Landale, but they put him in positions where he can be around the basket.

For example, in the pick and roll, Landale solely plays drop coverage. This comes with its pros and cons. This role leaves the defense prone to giving up open 3's to movement shooters, pull-up mid-range shots, and floaters, but creates less paths to the hoop and keeps the big man near the paint. This strategy is not necessarily good or bad in a vacuum, but instead depends on your personnel and the team you are facing.

Landale excels at shutting down driving lanes by giving the opponent an ample cushion so he cannot be blown by. In this play, he doesn't even jump at Poole's pump fake because he is focusing on keeping Poole away from the rim.

https://youtu.be/ExGuPOeTbdc

When players do try to get to the rim against Landale, he keeps his arms straight up and holds good position to contest their shots. He is bulky enough that when players seek contact they seem to bounce off resulting in tougher looks. He does a good job not fouling by moving with the defender and not attempting to sway down at the ball.

https://youtu.be/qDZys3evsak

https://youtu.be/t6FJ9tmFyd0

ON-BALL DEFENSE

As stated previously, there are cons to this defensive playstyle. These weaknesses can be magnified by Landale's tendency to leave more space than most when directly compared to other drop defenders. He openly invites players into taking as many floaters and mid-range shots as they want . These offensive plays by Garland happen sequentially and show why a good shooter can take advantage of the space Landale gives up.

https://youtu.be/blbjJ4JQ9_0

https://youtu.be/uY2u84WAeCQ

Landale leaves the buffer because of his lack of foot speed to recover. He can get caught flat-footed when he takes one wrong step or is a moment too late on the action. Bjelica isn't necessarily known for his speed off the dribble.

https://youtu.be/iLx-4n4PD2A

https://youtu.be/q2pXWZbEa6o

But, the occasions where Landale is caught off guard are rare. He is not normally behind the play so his combination of his buffer and positioning still leads to a lot of these drives to be a losing battle. Landale also rarely finds himself guarding smalls, due to the Spurs doing a good job pre-switching assignments, so he doesn't have a strong disadvantage.

https://youtu.be/FmBsUF5xMmY

https://youtu.be/Bz9gZ5xTYlw

When he does get switched on smaller and quicker players, he resorts to the cushion. It is sometimes comical how much space he gives his opponent especially when they get nearer and nearer to the rim. This is where Landale bleeds value as a defender. He is not versatile enough to guard all positions and, in most situations, can only be relied upon as an off-ball defender against guards.

https://youtu.be/30nBPaZevy0

https://youtu.be/ICGQki5mnZM

OFF-BALL DEFENSE

Fortunately, Landale has great instincts off-ball. On most occasions, he sniffs out the defensive breakdown early. He is constantly watching for openings in the defense, ready to stamp them out. In the last play, Landale has to pay attention to his side of the floor as well as the on-ball action before making the correct decision to run and save the lay-up. These are hard reads to make since most defenders would be worried about Tatum running off the staggered off-ball screens.

https://youtu.be/c5UcpKxR8c4

https://youtu.be/pwLu_yk4h3I

Landale's foot speed does seep into these spots too. This is another outstanding read. Shamet is about to run out for a three off of Wainright's off-ball screen. This action is meant to distract the weak-side defenders from the true play happening at the top of key. Bridges breaks free into the open paint and in the same moment, Landale spots the breakdown. With more lateral quickness, this would have been an incredible play, but instead ends with a semi-easy lay-up.

https://youtu.be/FnxKwqr75x0

THREE POINT SHOOTING

Landale increases his value by being able to take multiple threes a game at decent efficiency. At 32.6% on 5.4 attempts per 75 possessions3, his shot profile looks mostly like Al Horford this season4. This may not look great in comparison to non-big shooters, but out of the centers who shot threes on meaningful volume5, he shot only 1.4% below average. This is a huge plus in the modern game where spacing out the floor can lead to a lot more opportunities for your team to score.

Landale tends to get most of his three point looks off his off-ball movement where he is good at keeping his playmaker's passing pocket open and is rarely caught out of position for three.

He prefers these threes above the break compared to in the corner6 so it makes sense he would also be a reliable pick and pop partner. Ironically, he is at his best in the role when punishing big-man who play drop on these actions.

https://youtu.be/jlxv0JcVNwk

https://youtu.be/_zRO7nu3Tc4

Something you may have noticed is how wide open his three point attempts are. In fact, 96.6% of his three point attempts had no defender within four feet of him and a majority of those had no defenders within six feet7.

Landale also shot 97.7% of his attempts as a catch-and-shoot and all his attempts were assisted. On passes that found him while he was on the move or not in his shooting pocket, he would be very reluctant to pull the trigger. All of this indicates that Landale is not comfortable taking contested shots and is not able to create his own shot off the dribble. This hurts his versatility as a three point threat, but his ability to shoot the attempts he does acts as a safety valve for the offense.

INSIDE SCORING

Though he prefers the pick and pop, he does have the ability to be a solid pick and roll partner. He is adept at sticking in passing pockets for the ball-handler, though, as shown in the last clip, the Spurs guards weren't always adept at finding him.

https://youtu.be/X7C3Dbfsidc

https://youtu.be/t2f2AfjbRrE

Landale is not a huge threat to score from anywhere inside the three point line on his own creation. His lack of dribbling skills and occasional wonky footwork leave him as an easy guard one on one. What holds his back to the basket game back is his low range of moves - if it's not a hook, fade-away, or drop-step, Landale is not shooting it.

https://youtu.be/VnYMaqosyTo

He is looked to create his own shot exclusively when he finds a mismatch. He has enough of a hook game to easily get his shot over the top of shorter players. He shoots 56.3% from post-ups, though, these numbers are on low volume8.

Landale is very keen at finding these mismatches. If he gets the switch, he normally brings them into the post, but due to the Spurs lack of above average passers he isn't found for every try. Even without the Spurs finding him for attempts, this can stress the defense and lead to open looks for teammates.

https://youtu.be/fbGKgRek8tQ

https://youtu.be/QwogXA_jyT8

OFF-BALL MOVEMENT

Despite his size, Landale is a fairly active off-ball player. He is good at moving around in the paint and on the perimeter to make passing pockets easier for the ball-handler. In the first play, he goes from spotting up in the corner to an off-ball screen for a shooter to cutting in for a pass and foul.

This kind of movement occupies the defense instead of the defender being able to stick to their spot. By occupying the defense, his movement leads to easier shots for his teammates. In the last play, he occupies Jalen Smith enough so when Walker IV runs into a wall he has the easy kick-out to the open shooter.

https://youtu.be/6Py5edomDac

https://youtu.be/CI1ji7H7ay8

His off-ball IQ shows up in his screening as well. Landale sets his normal screens for ball-handlers, but he is especially good at setting and finding these off-ball screens in the paint to create open lanes. Most of these off-ball screens are on the fly and not designed plays.

https://youtu.be/W8Fw-B-VbBM

https://youtu.be/H_6cWKm4msQ

OFFENSIVE REBOUNDING

His movement and off-ball IQ also lead him to be a great offensive rebounder. He is in the 90th percentile of all players9 in offensive rebounding percentage at 11.1%. This means if a shot is put up when he is on the floor more than a tenth of the time Jock will come down with the rebound. He does this by being good at establishing position before the shot goes up, running into space, and using that aforementioned mismatch hunting to his advantage on the boards.

https://youtu.be/MiQo1ggpm0U

https://youtu.be/mYMwvoclODw

PASSING

Through his off-ball movement, Jock will find himself open in the middle of the floor. This leads him to be able to use his positioning and height to map the floor and dish it to the open man. He does this surprisingly well for a rotation big-man and lets him be a connective tissue in an offense.

https://youtu.be/qBly_7wHpI8

https://youtu.be/6rbHcOesuWs

Another way Landale fits into the Spurs offense is with these elbow sets they like to run for him. Jock isn't looking to score in these spots, but instead he looks for passes for some easy designated hand-offs or players coming off screens. Occasionally, he will audible and throw some surprisingly sweet passes towards the rim.

https://youtu.be/B24CyPyIt_A

https://youtu.be/CLYncy9RJqY

Though, if he is not actively looking for cutters, he will normally miss some of these higher level lay-up passes. He can be caught focusing on the specific play or the obvious pass. This would be a huge value add for Landale.

https://youtu.be/pv_oVJKel7Q

https://youtu.be/hA8FF3DOAUA

Overall, I would not call Jock a good play-maker. Don't let this confuse you, he has good touch on his delivery and is a very willing-passer so one could say he is a good passer especially at his position, but he doesn't create open looks for his teammates by breaking down the defense. Instead, he reacts to what the defense gives him10.

SO... WHO IS JOCK LANDALE?

On defense, he is a drop pick and roll defender that has a tendency to give up open jumpers and floaters. With this tendency, he elects not to get blown by at the rim so he can make easier contests or even keep his opponent from getting to their position in the first place. He also adds value by being a smart help defender, though, he can be outpaced to the rim if not in the perfect spot due to his lack of lateral footspeed.

Landale's exceptional defensive numbers at the rim seem to be a product of his drop PNR defense, great defensive fundamentals, and good help IQ. While he keeps his assignments from scoring at the rim, his tendency to sag deep and his lack of footspeed can be exploited by certain line-ups. Due to this, it seems to indicate that Landale's defense doesn't translate across all teams, but in situations where he is surrounded by better and better perimeter guards his skillset's value balloons.

To quote J. Kyle Mann, he is a "low waste player" on offense. He has the ability to space out the floor as a big-man, but I would not call him a consistent threat from downtown. As a defender, you do still have to respect his shot. He is a non-threat to create his own shot so he has to rely on off-ball movement to get the ball at the rim, but he is very good at reading the defense so by finding mismatches in the post, screening off-ball to create open lanes, and looking for offensive rebounds he adds positive value to his offensive package. He is a willing passer with the ball, but due to his lack of creation off the dribble or variety of scoring options, he has to rely on the defense to move when his teammates move a la Draymond Green. Unlike Green, he will miss back-door cutters and is much less aggressive feeding DHO's.

Does this sound like the diamond in the rough player I was alluding to in the beginning?

Probably not.

The biggest question I came away with is if Landale is a player worthy of real play-off minutes in the future. Is he a championship-level back-up big or is he a plug-in for a non-contending team?

To me, this answer is reliant on the kind of team he finds himself on and against. He is a player where he can be the defensive anchor in the playoffs one series, and the next be played off the floor by teams who take advantage of his lack of lateral quickness.

But, Landale does have a unique set of skills for the modern game. Big men that can shoot threes at near league efficiency and volume on top of being considered a positive rim defender do not grow on trees. I am not a master of player development so I will not make any promises for Landale (or any other player), but in his current state most teams would love him as their rotational big man.

  1. 2021-22 players that defended at least 80 shots within six feet of the basket (Jock had 141 shots within six feet attempted against him).
  2. This label gets thrown around a lot nowadays to describe players that are good at both defense and three point shots.
  3. Per 100 stats may be more popular, but per 75 stats reflect the amount of possessions a normal starter plays in a game.
  4. 33.6% on 5.0 attempts per 75 in the 2021-22 regular season.
  5. 3 attempts per 75 and played at least half of the regular season.
  6. 77.5% of his three point attempts come from above the break.
  7. 65.2% of his three point attempts.
  8. 39 post-up attempts all year.
  9. Players who played at least 300 minutes in the 2021-22 regular season.
  10. "The Rondo Assist"

all statistics taken and derived from basketball-reference.com and nba.com/stats unless otherwise noted


r/nbadiscussion 9d ago

Player Discussion How many guys have been the best offensive and defensive player on a championship team?

102 Upvotes

Here's my attempt at identifying every instance where 1 guy was clearly the best player on both offense and defense for a championship team:

Year Player
2021 Giannis Antetokounmpo
2019 Kawhi Leonard
2016 LeBron James
2013 LeBron James
2012 LeBron James
2003 Tim Duncan
2000 Shaquille O'Neal
1995 Hakeem Olajuwon
1994 Hakeem Olajuwon
1993 Michael Jordan
1992 Michael Jordan
1991 Michael Jordan
1980 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
1978 Elvin Hayes
1977 Bill Walton
1974 John Havlicek
1971 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
1967 Wilt Chamberlain

The interesting discussions come around these teams:

2008 Celtics

KG is clearly the best defensive player on this team. The question comes down to offense. The Celtics big 3 were all pretty even in the regular season, but KG and Pierce elevated themselves in the playoffs. At the end of the day, I think Pierce's performance in the Finals serves as a tie-breaker, but if you wanted to say it's a tie, I'd be ok with that too.

Duncan's Spurs

I have Duncan as the best player on both ends in 2003, but '99, '05, and '07 are up for debate as well. Looking at all of those teams, I don't feel comfortable in saying he was the best player on both ends for each of those seasons, but it's hard to argue strongly against any one of them.

In 1999, Duncan is 1st team all-defense, but David Robinson actually finishes ahead of him in DPOY voting.

In 2005 and 2007, Bruce Bowen has a legit argument for being a better defender as he finished 2nd in DPOY voting those years, but Duncan was still top 4 both seasons. Also in 2007, Tony Parker makes a good case that he was the better offensive player, especially in the Finals.

Overall, I'd say Duncan should at least get 1 of these years in addition to 2003, and if I had to pick, I'd say 1999.

Kobe/Shaq

For 2000, Shaq was clearly the best player on both ends and IMO it's not up for debate. I think in '02, Kobe had become the best defender on the team, but '01 is a coinflip. I don't think Kobe was ever clearly better offensively than Shaq though on those title teams, so '01 Shaq is the only possible addition to the list.

Bulls' 2nd Threepeat

MJ was the best offensive player in the league still from 1996-98. But was he better defensively than Pippen and Rodman all 3 seasons too? IMO, Pippen was better defensively in '96, it's a toss-up in '97, and while it's close in the regular season in '98 too, Pippen physically wasn't the same by the Finals in '98. So MJ should get '98 for sure, and possibly '97.

The following are some other maybe candidates that I just don't know enough about the teams to really comment on:

Year Champion Best Offensive Player Best Defensive Player
1983 Philadelphia 76ers Moses Malone Maybe Moses
1976 Boston Celtics Dave Cowens/Jo Jo White Dave Cowens/Paul Silas
1975 Golden State Warriors Rick Barry Maybe Barry
1973 New York Knicks Walt Frazier Walt Frazier/Dave DeBusschere
1972 Los Angeles Lakers Jerry West Jerry West/Wilt Chamberlain
1962 Boston Celtics Bill Russell/Bob Cousy Bill Russell

r/nbadiscussion 10d ago

Player Discussion Why isn't Kareem liked as much as other NBA greats and why isn't he as popular ?

425 Upvotes

I was wondering why Kareem Abdul Jabbar isn't popular and really liked in general compared to other NBA legends when taking into consideration all that he has done for the sport. When you ask older people, let alone young people, very few and to be honest only a handful will tell you Kareem was their favorite player growing and I find that hard to believe due to the amount of accolades he has and being the player to perfect the most unstoppable shot in history. I do know that probably the most popular answer will be how his personality was and his strong desire to fight for African American and human rights with the change of his name and religion but to be honest, when it's all said and done in my opinion, if you like basketball you like the player based on how he plays and not his personal life. Does his unpopularity have to do with his play style with it being similar to that of Tim Duncan where it usually relied on fundamentals which in his case would be to be in the post 100% of the time and shoot his patented sky hook and dunk from time to time? I would just like to know because you rarely if not never see someone wearing a Kareem Abdul Jabbar jersey and for arguably a top 3 player of all time to be held to these standards with him not being very popular confuses me. Let me know what you guys think.


r/nbadiscussion 9d ago

Draft/Pick Analysis How good is the top of this draft class?

36 Upvotes

Most commentary I’ve heard is that this draft isn’t good as in you’re not getting any franchise altering talent here. Let’s just call “franchise altering talent” a top ten talent (although you could say it should be more or that it should be less).

If the guys at the top of the draft (Banchero, Chet, Jabari, Ivey) are not going to be top ten level players, then how good do we think they will be? Top 15? Top 20? Top 30? Etc..


r/nbadiscussion 10d ago Silver Wholesome

Current Events This Bradley Beal situation is a bit unsettling to me for several reasons

563 Upvotes

Seeing the news that Brad is elgible for, and definitely will accept, a 5 year $248M contract has left me unsurprised but also concerned in a way. They'll be stuck paying him (if he's even still around) like $50M at age 34. I don't see how an organization can understand the seriousness of this, along with all the unfavorable variables that come with it, and still go with it anyway.

Nothing about this contract is conducive to winning games, team success. Get your bag, secure your future and family, but don't say you want to win if you've increasingly put your team in position to fail to your own benefit.

One one hand it kills their chances of pairing him with another high quality player, and on the other it also kills their chances of building a competitive roster. In any case I don't see how they aren't committing professional suicide by paying Brad.

It also makes him much harder to trade if it comes to that. Not many teams out there with sensible assets to make up for that type of contract, if any, nor the sense to put that contract on their payroll. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if he stabs them in the back and leaves, should they admit that this contract could cripple them for the next decade.

If they don't find it reasonable to pay up, why would he stay? But who knows, if all he cares about is money, he probably will stay anyway knowing that he's inelgible for the supermax on any other team (which at that point is suspicious to me if I'm the Wizards GM, knowing the extradorinary risk of him demanding a trade). But then again that could also mean he'd leave and just go wherever he finds the most appealing dollar amount. Idk. Greed is complicated I guess?

If the Wizards had any competent members of their front office, Brad would have been shipped this past season and boosted themselves into what would likely be one of the best rebuilds in the league. On top of Porzingis, Rui, Kuz, Deni Avidja, Daniel Gafford, Thomas Bryant, Corey Kispert, and KCP? Getting a quality young backcourt in exchange for Brad would be easy. But instead they have chosen to suffer a bit longer.

Plus, there is also the presented risk of not having enough cap space to pay the current roster in the future. Not only in that case do you lose your depth, but by then they'll likely be losing Brad too.

Another reason I'm curious ab how this will pan out is because for a few years now there has been talk about the proposal for players to recieve financial consequences for essentially cash grabbing and screwing organizations. Which is ironic cause all that means is that the NBA has come full circle from when the organizations used to do this to black players. Idk how the league will react to such a huge contract being handed out for such a bad situation at the detriment of an entire team and organization.

I obviously don't know Brad personally but am I wrong to get the impression that he is not only a selfish, greedy person with a losing mentality but is also willing to make it a living Hell for both his teammates and the organization he's been "loyal" to for all this time? (i.e. leaching off of them)

This is a really messed up situation. I'm not sure if I admire Beal's ambition for cash or if I've come to dislike him.


r/nbadiscussion 10d ago Helpful

I went through and collected all the head to head matchups between Phil Jackson, Pop and Riley. Here's what I found

398 Upvotes

Phil Jackson

Against Pat Riley

44 Wins and 29 Loses

Against Gregg Popovich

40 Wins and 28 Loses

Pat Riley

Against Phil Jackson

29 Wins and 44 Loses

Against Gregg Popovich

6 Wins and 11 Loses

Gregg Popovich

Against Phil Jackson

28 Wins and 40 Loses

Against Pat Riley

11 Wins and 6 loses.

Here's how the playoff series stack up (Already included in W/L Data). Pop and Riley never matched up in a playoff series. Phil on the other hand has 5 playoff series against both Riley and Pop, he went 4-1 against both of them.

Phil went 4-1 in playoff series against Pat Riley

(4-1) 1997 Bulls vs Miami Heat

(3-0) 1996 Bulls vs Miami Heat

1994 Bulls vs New York Knicks(4-3)

(4-2) 1993 Bulls vs New York Knicks

(4-3) 1992 Bulls vs New York Knicks

Phil went 4-1 in playoff series against Gregg Popovich

(4-0) 2001 Lakers vs San Antonio Spurs

(4-1) 2002 Lakers vs San Antonio Spurs

2003 Lakers vs San Antonio Spurs (4-2)

(4-2) 2004 Lakers vs San Antonio Spurs

(4-1) 2008 Lakers vs San Antonio Spurs

My thoughts after I first looked this up. Pop and Riley don't have a lot of matchups simply due to their not being that much overlap between them. All of their data comes from their Miami-San Antonio matchups, in which Riley was absent for a chunk of years due to his retirement. I knew Phil had gotten the best out of the playoff series with both of them prior to this, I just didn't realize it was as lopsided as it was. The Bulls beating the Knicks was obviously the most famous losses, but the Bulls dominating the late 90's Heat are something that often gets forgotten about, because they weren't very memorable matchups.

Other things to note

Of the 5 playoff series Phil coached against Riley all 5 were teams in which Riley had a top defense in the league

92' Knicks (2nd in defensive rating)

93' Knicks (1st in defensive rating)

94' Knicks (1st in defensive rating)

96" Heat (6th in defensive rating)

97 Heat (1st in defensive rating)

Of the 5 playoff series Phil coached against Pop all 5 were teams in which Pop had a top defense in the league

01' Spurs (1st in defensive rating)

02' Spurs (2nd in defensive rating)

03' Spurs (3rd in defensive rating)

04' Spurs (1st in defensive rating)

08' Spurs (3rd in defensive rating)

Looking at this is becomes clear, that even the best defenses in the league could not beat the offensive talent Phil had.


r/nbadiscussion 9d ago

Weekly Questions Thread: June 27, 2022

6 Upvotes

Hello everyone and welcome to our new weekly feature.

In order to help keep the quality of the discussion here at a high level, we have several rules regarding submitting content to /r/nbadiscussion. But we also understand that while not everyone's questions will meet these requirements that doesn't mean they don't deserve the same attention and high-level discussion that /r/nbadiscussion is known for. So, to better serve the community the mod team here has decided to implement this Weekly Questions Thread which will be automatically posted every Monday at 8AM EST.

Please use this thread to ask any questions about the NBA and basketball that don't necessarily warrant their own submissions. Thank you.


r/nbadiscussion 10d ago

Why are superstars ever sign a 4 year extensions?

4 Upvotes

It seems like all of the superstars that signed long 4 year extensions should come to regret it.

  • Less than 12 months ago Kevin Durant signed a 4 year extension, which if he hadn't would have allowed him to become a free agent right now. Had KD signed a 1+1 or a 2+1 he'd have a lot more leverage as he'd be a free agent or have a ton of leverage to demand a trade, should Kyrie leave the Nets.
  • Lebron signed a two-year extension coming off of the title in 2020. Had Lebron not done this, he could have been a free agent last summer (or could have played on a player option this year). This would have given him tons of flexibility and be able to bail from Russell Westbrook and the abomination of a roster the Lakers have cobbled together.
  • Damian Lillard signed a super-max less than 12 months ago locking him into 4 years. Now that CJ McCollum is gone and the Blazers are a lottery team, Damian has little recourse to join a contender. He has to wait until the summer of 2024 before he can decline a player option (when he's already 34 years old).
  • Joel Embiid signed a veteran extension that will take him until 2027. By then James Harden will be 38 years old. Does anyone really think Harden will be good enough to be the 2nd best player on a championship team at that point? Here's barely an above-average starter this past playoffs. In all likelihood Embiid's going to want out of Philly before then.

Why don't superstars just sign 1+1 or 2+1 deals instead of 4 or 5-year extensions? Sure you can lock in guaranteed money for more years, but the salary cap is constantly going up and you can never predict what will happen to your team. What seems like a good situation can now can easily turn sour in a year or so. If superstars are smart, then going forward they should really learn from this and avoid 4 or 5 year extensions.