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Son of Skeletor

Brownlow Medallist
May 23, 2012
14,254
12,811
Smoothie King Central
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspur, New Orleans Pels
Yes folks, it's that time again.

Spring is in the air, earthquakes are shaking the ground, COVID is running riot and civilisation is collapsing... and that means it's time to prepare for another NBA season. Well everyone except Ben Simmons that is.

We'll start in the East, and then work our ways West, much like LeBron James and the AFL Grand Final. I can't promise the info will be completely reliable or the execution perfect, but on the plus side it won't cost you anything to view. Think of it as the OKC Thunder vs Orlando Magic of previews.

So buckle up and enjoy this aforementioned 100% free content - mainly because peternorth won't let me put a paywall around it. Thanks, Mao Tse Pete.

1632360461920.png


The most eagerly anticipated preview of the season.
 
Last edited:

peternorth

Moderator
May 6, 2005
110,768
62,524
AFL Club
Richmond
Yes folks, it's that time again.

Spring is in the air, earthquakes are shaking the ground, COVID is running riot and civilisation is collapsing... and that means it's time to prepare for another NBA season. Well everyone except Ben Simmons that is.

We'll start in the East, and then work our ways West, much like LeBron James and the AFL Grand Final. I can't promise the info will be completely reliable or the execution perfect, but on the plus side it won't cost you anything to view. Think of it as the OKC Thunder vs Orlando Magic of previews.

So buckle up and enjoy this aforementioned 100% free content - mainly because peternorth won't let me put a paywall around it. Thanks, Mao Tse Pete.



View attachment 1243849

The most eagerly anticipated preview of the season.
Fix the attachment and then we'll chat about your 10 day contract
 

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Son of Skeletor

Brownlow Medallist
May 23, 2012
14,254
12,811
Smoothie King Central
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspur, New Orleans Pels
1632361184702.png



Résumé

41-31 (5th in East, 1st in Southeast), lost 4-2 to Bucks in Eastern Conf Finals

Off Rating: 8th

Def Rating:
21st





Free agent signings: Gorgui Dieng (Spurs) Timothe Luwawu (Nets)

Free agent re-signings: John Collins (5/125), Lou Williams (1/5), Solomon Hill (min), Trae Young (extension), Clint Capela (extension)

Trades: Delon Wright (Kings)

Draft: #20 Jalen Johnson, F


The Cap:


Atl1.png



Worst case scenario:

Last season's memorable playoff run was fool's gold based on extraordinary circumstances (injuries, Ben Simmons meltdown). John Collins was overpaid on the back of it, and doesn't prove to be the second banana Trae needs. Collins and the newly re-signed Capela prove to be a problematic pairing up front, while Gallinari and Bogdanovic's inconsistent playoff performances come back to haunt them again. Reddish and Okongwu, both high draft investments, prove unplayable for periods at the offensive end. Meanwhile the team's offensive weapons prove slipshod at the other end of the court, as they did last year.





Best case scenario:

The Hawks themselves reach the post-season at full strength, something that it's forgotten didn't happen last season (Hunter, Trae in ECF). Nate McMillan, with a full pre-season to work with the team, finds a way to sprinkle some of the youth, length and defence (Hunter, Reddish, Okongwu, Jalen Johnson) to balance out the rotations with the sweet shooting but defensively challenged Young, Gallinari, Bogdanovic and Huerter. Sweet Lou Williams finds enough in his legs for one more season, and together with Delon Wright snatch enough minutes rest for Trae, who shouldered a Herculean offensive load last season.


2022 Hawks in song:


I know the truth, and I know what you're thinking
Down, down, down, down, down, down, down






Back by popular demand: 2022 Mailbag


Bonjour,

As a famous French novelist, my magnum opus was translated and published under the English title 'Remembrance of Things Past'.

On that subject, can we all agree to try and forget that I once said that Cam Reddish is better than Luka Doncic?

M. Proust, c/o the afterlife

I'm afraid we can't do that around here, Mr. Proust.

However given the Hawks' need for athleticism and defensive length at the wing, I suspect we might be seeing more of your man this season. Although he'd want to shoot better than 26% from three.


G'day mate,

I must say I preferred it when what happened in Atlanta stayed in Atlanta. When the Hawks were invisible.

Do you think those days will return soon? After all, if someone passes up an open dunk and nobody cares enough to witness it, does it end a process?

Ben S., formerly of Philadelphia

Sorry Benny-Boy, but in my humble opinion the Hawks are set up to be a playoff team for the foreseeable future. Too much talent on that roster.

In fact I haven't seen ATL fans this excited since Dominique Wilkins was dunking for fun. Imagine being 6'8 and actually wanting to dunk the basketball.
 

Son of Skeletor

Brownlow Medallist
May 23, 2012
14,254
12,811
Smoothie King Central
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspur, New Orleans Pels

Son of Skeletor

Brownlow Medallist
May 23, 2012
14,254
12,811
Smoothie King Central
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspur, New Orleans Pels
1632372819744.png



Résumé

36-36 (7th in East, 4th in Atlantic), lost 4-1 to Nets in first round

Off Rating: 10th

Def Rating:
14th





Free agent signings: Dennis Schroeder (1/6), Enes Kanter (min)

Free agent re-signings: Marcus Smart (4/77 extension), Robert Williams (4/48 extension)

Trades: Al Horford (Thunder), Josh Richardson (Mavs) Juancho Hernangomez (Griz) Bruno Fernando (Hawks), One big fat juicy trade exception

Draft: #45 Juhann Begerin, G


The Cap:


Bos2.png



Sum Total:

The Celts have effectively replaced Walker, Fournier, Thompson and Ojeleye with Horford, Schroeder, Richardson, Kanter & Hernangomez.

Schroeder's a passable budget option to replace some of Kemba's production, while even a diminished Horford is a much better chemistry fit than the departed TT. On the other hand, Richardson has a lot of overlap with Tatum and Brown, and is not nearly the outside threat that the likes of Fournier pose.

Oh, and Brad Stevens is the GM now. They're built different in Boston.





Worst case scenario:

The Celtics finally discover that, after locking them in for at least two more years, Smart and Richardson are not the droids that they are looking for to play alongside Tatum and Brown. Moreover, Boston might find Schroeder in (another) contract year brings back bad memories of Terry Rozier in a contract year, circa 2019. If Al Horford wasn't enough to move the needle when Kyrie and Hayward were around, in old age it's asking too much for him to help return the Celtics to the upper echelons of the East. New GM Stevens goes to dip into Boston's hallowed war chest of assets, only to discover there's none left.

Best case scenario:

Tatum and Brown rediscover their defensive chops, and the Celtics become a decent defensive team again. Horford, Schroeder and Richardson, all with critics to prove wrong, get back to being productive players. Robert Williams becomes more than a flash in the pan and justifies his contract extension, and Boston's 2020 draftees, Nesmith and Pritchard, continue to improve while not being asked to carry the bench again. Finally, Danny Ainge's departure means the end of Boston fans being fed false hope of nearly-trades.


2022 Celtics in song:

I looked out this morning and the sun was gone





2022 Boston Mailbag


Hey! Pay attention!

Why haven't you written about Boston's biggest off-season acquisition - another big trade exception?!

Just think of the possibilities. I smell a championship!

Regards,

Circumspect, humble Celtics fan, the interwebz

Oh I am sorry. Allow me to make good my careless omission here.

The trade exception is the essence of the proverbial can-kicking. The cap room and draft assets of the beginning of the Tatum/Brown era have turned from splashy free agent signings and years of draft assets into... well, this freaking trade exception.

The Celts have essentially spent a lifetime's supply of second round picks keeping this can going down the road, because they don't have many avenues to improving the team outside of trades now. It could be something... or it could turn up the next Josh Richardson.


Guten tag,

I'm moving to Boston this year, and I know it's famous for tea. Can you recommend something to go with my tea? Preferably something economical?

Sincerely,

Dennis S, formerly of Los Angeles

I'm partial to a bit of Boston bun myself, Dennis.

However, in your case I'd definitely recommend a slice of humble pie instead. Probably won't cost you $80 million either.


Hello, mere mortal.

What do you make of Brad Stevens becoming Boston's GM?

I think he's a rank amateur, myself. Where are the extra draft picks? The failed trades for superstars? The suspicious press leaks?

Overrated I say, just like racism in Boston.

Dealer Danny, Massachusetts

Well Dealer Danny, 'overrated' was the first thing I thought of when I saw your name pop up in the mailbag too.

Perhaps Stevens has been too busy trying to clean up other people's messes to pretend to trade for stars? Just a thought.
 

Son of Skeletor

Brownlow Medallist
May 23, 2012
14,254
12,811
Smoothie King Central
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspur, New Orleans Pels
1632522457577.png



Résumé


48-24 (2nd in East, 2nd in Atlantic), lost 4-3 to Bucks in second round

Off Rating: 1st

Def Rating:
23rd





Free agent signings: Patty Mills (2/12), Paul Millsap (min), James Johnson (min)

Free agent re-signings: Kevin Durant (extension), Bruce Brown (1/5), LaMarcus Aldridge (min)

Trades: Sekou Doumbouya (Pistons), Jevon Carter (Suns)

Draft: #27 Cam Thomas, G, #29 Day'Ron Sharpe, C


The Cap:


BRK1.png



Sum Total:

Goodbye Dinwiddie, Green, Shamet and Jordan, hello a bunch of very old guys and very young guys.

The Nets now have a veritable Dad's Army up front with Griffin, Millsap, Aldridge and Johnson. Looking at that group, now either rim protection isn't going to be a thing in Brooklyn this season, or Claxton and/or Sharpe are going to playing a lot more than we might otherwise suspect.

We might also finally get to see how Durant, Harden and Irving go together this season... could be interesting. What happens when they play basketball might be worth a watch too.





Worst case scenario:

Teams stop buying out large contracts and giving Brooklyn an endless supply of extremely cheap help. Seriously though, worst case scenario is that any two of the three amigos suddenly decide they don't like each other. Or gets jealous by someone hogging the ball too much. That aside, the Nets are practically guaranteed to put up 120 per night, so opponents would want to hope that Brooklyn's defence stinks. If not, there's always injuries again.


Best case scenario:

The team hires a really, really good psychologist and persuades their superstar trio to use their powers for good, instead of evil. Kyrie doesn't contract COVID, despite still not being vaccinated, apparently. Harden doesn't contract COVID despite keeping New York's brothels and clubs in business, single-handedly. Durant and his various alter egos all decide to put Twitter away for a while. And the senior citizens masquerading as Brooklyn's front line manage to block enough shots with their walking sticks and whatnot to keep the Nets' defence passable enough to garner a long-awaited championship.


2022 Nets in song:


The grabbing hands, grab all they can
All for themselves, after all
It's a competitive world






2022 Nets Mailbag


Uh yeah, hi

What's all this I hear about the NBA looking at changing the way officials call fouls? Asking for a friend.

Regards,

D.A. Beard, New York

Thanks for your question, Mr. Beard.

Tell your friend not to worry, as I understand it the league is only looking to cut down manipulated, phantom fouls. Defenders actually committing a foul will still be called for fouls.

And if he's still worried, tell him that star calls will still probably be a thing.


I come in peace, my child

From far away, I have heard strange tales of the miraculous occurring in the village of Brooklyn. Can you confirm or deny these rumours?

Blessings upon you

J. Christ, Nazareth

Always happy to take questions from folks in remote, lesser known areas of the world.

I cannot provide absolute proof for miracles, but strange things have indeed happened by the hallowed waters of the East River. A man named LaMarcus had his basketball career pronounced dead, only to confound everyone via resurrection. They say a large man travelled all the way from distant Detroit and was miraculously cured of his inability to dunk the ball. And finally, a bearded warrior who was held captive by the hostile tribes of Houston suddenly changed his shape and transformed from a rotund pumpkin into a professional athlete upon his arrival in the blessed city of Brooklyn.

Of course Kyrie's still a flat-earthing, anti-vaxxer who has apparently converted to Islam, so I guess the supply of miracles is not endless.


G'day mate,

I'm moving to New York this year for work. I used to work in a little city in the south. It wasn't a glamourous place, but we all worked hard, maintained professionalism and achieved great things together by working as a team.

Brooklyn's pretty much the same, right? Cheerio,

Patty M, formerly of San Antonio

Oh you poor sweet child... what have you gotten yourself into?
 

Son of Skeletor

Brownlow Medallist
May 23, 2012
14,254
12,811
Smoothie King Central
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspur, New Orleans Pels
1632717454213.png



Résumé


33-39 (10th in East. 4th in Southeast), lost play-in

Off Rating: 22nd

Def Rating:
18th


1632717740810.png



Free agent signings: Kelly Oubre (2/25), Ish Smith (2/9)

Free agent re-signings: Terry Rozier (4/97 extension)

Trades: Mason Plumlee (Pistons), Wes Iwundu (Pels)

Draft: #11 James Bouknight, G, #19 Kai Jones, C, #37 J.T. Thor, F


The Cap:


CHA1.png



Sum Total:

Cult figures Oubre, Plumlee and Smith join, replacing former Hornet draftees Graham, Monk, Zeller and Biyombo.

The Hornets may not have got much bigger over the off-season, but they may still be better served by their bigs now. That's a low bar to clear anyway, with the Hornets allowing a league worst 55% shooting inside the arc, and finishing third last in defensive rebounding.

In the meantime, Charlotte will continue to fire away from the perimeter and trust their scouting, having hit the draft again heavily this year. Hayward aside, this remains a pretty young roster, albeit one with the potential to surprise you...





Worst case scenario:

They revert to being the Bobcats, literally and figuratively. Opponents start working out Charlotte's defence, which last season was predicated largely on forcing turnovers. The Hornets' glut of 'tweener forwards (think Hayward, Washington, Oubre, Bridges, etc) start getting in each other's ways, especially with new contracts to play for. The LaMelo hype-train casts such a glare that mistakes begin to creep in. Mason Plumlee doesn't prove any more effective a paint deterrent than Zeller/Biyombo were.


Best case scenario:

Featuring multiple shot creators and efficient spacing, the Hornets' starters prove a nightmare to guard. The bench bunch - presumably Oubre, Bridges, Smith and the youngsters - develop enough chemistry to keep Charlotte competitive when the starters need a breather. Kai Jones justifies the gamble and provides the team with a badly needed injection of athleticism up front. The Hornets, back in their dapper threads, making smarter moves and moving with the times with their mosquito mob, continue to prove the old adage...


2022 Hornets in song:





2022 Hornets Mailbag


The LaMelo hype is real!!!!

L. Ball, Hollywood

That's not a question Mr. Ball, but like Mr. Squiggle we'll try to salvage something from the wreckage.

Is the LaMelo hype justified? Possibly. You can do a lot with a big, pass-first guard, although it doesn't always work out (see Simmons, Ben.).

What I will say is that LaMelo looks to have more start potential than his brother Lonzo, based primarily on his off-the-dribble game. While Lonzo rarely goes to the basket, LaMelo's ability to attack the paint opens up far more avenues for him to use his greatest gift - court vision and passing ability. The rest is up to Charlotte and LaMelo himself.


Hi,

Mason Plumlee seems to get passed around more than you-know-what at a party.

Is he the answer to the Hornets' big-man woes, or will he give me another reason to cry?

Michael J, North Carolina

Hi Michael, thanks for your question.

Honestly, Plumlee shares a lot of the same characteristics as the departed Cody Zeller, only he's more athletic and stays healthy. He'll help out on the boards, stay honest on defence, be a willing and able passer and finish competently enough around the basket.

On the other hand, he's not really great in any one area, is not a noted shot-blocker and has no shooting range to speak of. He might be able to help unlock Charlotte's offence further by giving them one more sleek passer, but that's way down the list of priorities in his job description.

At least he's not Bismack Biyombo or Frank Kaminsky though.


Good afternoon,

If Ish Smith finds P.J. Washington cutting for an easy lay up at any stage this season, will Hornets announcer Eric Collins - who already has a reputation for letting it all hang out - have the wherewithal to call the play as 'Mr. Smith goes to Washington'?

Regards,

D. Cometti, Perth

We can but dream sir, we can but dream.
 

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Son of Skeletor

Brownlow Medallist
May 23, 2012
14,254
12,811
Smoothie King Central
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspur, New Orleans Pels
Son of Skeletor

As your thread is COVID free, will you mention players who have previous contracted the rona?
I'll let you in on a secret: when we say this area is COVID-free, we only mean it in the sense that the NSW government did. Namely, we have no idea of whether we're COVID-free, but we want to be open for business regardless.

I mean, what's the worst that could happen?
 

Son of Skeletor

Brownlow Medallist
May 23, 2012
14,254
12,811
Smoothie King Central
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspur, New Orleans Pels
1632803788305.png



Résumé


31-41 (11th in East, 3rd in Central Div)

Off Rating: 19th

Def Rating:
11th





Free agent signings: DeMar DeRozan (3/82), Lonzo Ball (4/80), Alex Caruso (4/37), Stan Johnson (min), Tony Bradley (min), Alize Johnson (min)

Free agent re-signings: Javonte Green (2/4)

Trades: Derrick Jones (Blazers)

Draft: #38 Ayo Dosunmu, G, #44 (2020) Marko Simonovic, F


The Cap:


CHI1.png



Sum total:

Say hello to some scoring punch, glamour and championship experience in the form of DeRozan, Ball and Caruso, and say sayonara to messers Markannen, Young, Theis, Satoransky, Temple, Valentine, Aminu, Arcidiacono, Felicio, Hutchinson, Kornet and... is that it? God damn, that's a lot of turnover.

The depth chart has taken a bit of a hit, but there's no denying the firepower at the top end though.

Given that you have to go all the way back to 2015 - the time of Thibs and Garpax, Pau Gasol, Jo Noah and Captain Kirk - to locate a Bulls team that last finished in the top half of the league offensively, then perhaps you can't blame Chicago fans and management for hoping that adding DeRozan and Lonzo to Lavine and Vuc finally makes watching the Bulls more interesting than paint drying.

Although in truth, Jim Boylan press conferences had a certain car-crash watch-ability to them...





Worst case scenario:

The Bulls score too much to suck, but can't stop opponents doing likewise often enough to rise above the .500 threshold. With several future first round picks sent away, .500 is not a good place to be. The new parts don't mesh together well, and with DeRozan and Lonzo on pricey contracts, Lavine figures the easiest way to solve the dilemma is to cut and run. Someone lets GarPax and Jim Boylan back in the building.


Best case scenario:

Having a playmaking wing in DeRozan and playmaking big in Vucevic allows Lonzo to settle into his optimal off-ball role. Added talent leads Lavine to have a Booker-esque career year. Having clearly defined, backseat roles allows Pat Williams and Coby White more breathing room to develop their NBA games. The Bulls score some points, win some playoff games and generally re-engage with an apathetic fan base. After years in the doldrums, it's clear that Chicago's management thinks it's time to throw caution to the wind; that the franchise forgets the past and starts...





2022 Bulls Mailbag


Dear handsome writer,

For years I've been a closet Rudy Gay fan. Now my Bulls have signed Gay-on-steriods, a.k.a. DeMar DeRozan.

Should I be ecstatic? Or will this end up messier than my last visit to Pricey 's mum?

S. Griffen, New Zealand

Granted, the long two is more out of fashion than the average Port Adelaide fan's 1996 Target wardrobe... but do not despair yet, my friend.

The key to this thing is Vuc. Having a big who can knock down 176 treys at a 40% clip opens everything up for a guy who also specialises in getting to the line and secondary playmaking. Add Lonzo, who made 172 treys at a very respectable 38% last season, and of course the sweet-shooting Lavine, and suddenly the lanes start to look very wide indeed for the erstwhile Spur.

Only 46% of DeRozan's shots came from inside the paint last season in San Antonio. If Chicago can get that figure trending upward, both the team and the man himself could prove to be a very tough cover.


Yeah hi,

All this fancy Dan scoring is one thing, but how the hell are the Bulls going to guard a closed door, let alone other NBA teams?

Tom T., New York

Look, it's fair to say that these won't be the Phil Jackson era Bulls, the Thibodeau era Bulls, or even the Skiles era Bulls. They're not set up to win with D.

DeRozan and Lavine are notorious for giving up almost as many as they score themselves. Vuc, while somewhat unfairly tarnished with the 'soft Euro' tag on defence, also isn't going to be confused with Bill Russell or Hakeem Olajuwon any time soon. Meanwhile the Bulls' supply of back up bigs is thinner than a certain coach in Manhattan's hairline - Tony Bradley and Derrick Jones, anyone? They'll miss Thad Young, and should probably have kept Gafford.

It'll be up to Billy Donovan to earn his pay cheque and find a way to make the defensive whole more than the sum of its meagre parts.


Hey,

Who is this new Bulls back-up point guard? I like the cut of his jib.

Kirk H., Chicago

Finally, the Windy City has a cult hero they can be proud of again. Caruso may lack the goggles, but he has the dad-bod and balding noggin to cement his legend status in no time. The fact he might have to carry Chicago's bench, and possibly even their team defence, single-handed won't hurt either.
 

Son of Skeletor

Brownlow Medallist
May 23, 2012
14,254
12,811
Smoothie King Central
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspur, New Orleans Pels
1632868952998.png



Résumé


22-50 (13th in East, 4th in Central Div.)

Off Rating: 28th

Def Rating:
25th


1632870354156.png



Free agent signings: Lauri Markkanen (4/67), Kevin Pangos (min), Denzel Valentine (min), Tacko Fall (min), Kyle Guy (min)

Free agent re-signings: Jarrett Allen (5/100)

Trades: Ricky Rubio (Wolves)

Draft: #3 Evan Mobley, F/C


The Cap:


CLE1.png



Sum Total:

Welcome to some more bigs in the shape of Mobley and Markkanen and another ball dominant guard in Rubio. Bon voyage to Larry Nance, Taurean Prince and part time pro basketballer Danté Exum. More cynical Cavs fans might note that they're not saying 'hello' to some badly needed wing support, or saying 'goodbye and good riddance' to Kevin Love.

Last season the Cavs couldn't shoot, turned over the basketball too much, failed to stop opposing teams gorging themselves on their defence and couldn't grab the defensive boards on the rare occasions when they did force a miss. Apart from that it was all plain sailing by Lake Erie.

Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff now boasts a very big, and very expensive frontline in the form of Allen, Mobley, Markkanen and Love, and three diminutive playmaking guards in Sexton, Garland and Rubio. As for the wings... well, did we mention the Cavs have a lot of guards and bigs?

Meanwhile an extension for Collin Sexton is conspicuous by its absence, and Kevin Love is an angry, angry man. An angry man owed another $60 mil..





Best case scenario:

Mobley proves to be the centrepiece, both literally and figuratively, that the Cavs have been searching for - a blue-chip big man who can help cover the defensive mistakes of others. J.B. Bickerstaff finds a way to ulitise Markkanen's shooting and help evolve Cleveland's offence beyond an iso-guard extraordinaire. The Cavs buck contemporary wisdom and find a way to make the twin towers in Allen and Mobley work. Rubio's pass-first mentality begins to rub off a little on Darius Garland. The Cavs find an NBA standard wing from somewhere, anywhere.


Worst case scenario:

The twin towers approach doesn't work at all, meaning the Cavs have to find a taker for Allen. Meanwhile the flyweight backcourt experiment similarly proves a bridge too far, meaning the Cavs now also have to find a new home for Sexton, presumably. Kevin Love also refuses a buyout, meaning the Cavs are stuck trying to trade him too, and... oh wait, that part already came true. Superficially, Koby Altman has attempted to rebuild the Cavs along traditional lines, stockpiling picks and drafting a point guard, a scorer, a defensive wing and a modern big man in succession. In reality though Cleveland's starting backcourt are both 6'1, don't shoot threes in volume and can't defend. Meanwhile Issac Okoro couldn't shoot in his rookie year, and Evan Mobley and Markkanen have been heavily invested in while Allen and Love, who do similar things, remain on the books for big money. It's all too clever by half, a Cavalier anthem...





2022 Cavs Mailbag


Hey,

Why doesn't Collin Sexton get any respect?

I hope you don't think it's because he's an empty-stats/bad-team guy? I really hate that accusation.

J. Stackhouse, Vanderbiilt, Tennessee

Thanks for your question.

Let's start with the good: Sexton really upped his scoring game last season. Putting up nearly 25 per night on better than 57% TS is not to be sneezed at. It's not like leading the league in scoring while shooting 40%... *cough*. Anyway Sexton continued to pick his spots better and got to the free throw line at a decent clip. He's a legit three-level scoring threat.

On the other hand, he still has a tendency to dribble the air out of the ball, can charitably categorise creating for others as a 'work in progress', and remains damn difficult to hide on defence as a 6'1 shooting guard.

Unless the team built around him is unusually complementary, Sexton still probably projects as a career sixth man, the Jamal Crawford/Lou Williams type, whereby he can dominate the offence without causing chemistry problems and will be less likely to abused defensively. Hence the Cavs' conundrum in what kind of contract extension, if any, to offer him.



Privyet,

Why was Markkanen more unpopular in free agency than a Trotskyite with rabies??

I haven't seen a Finnish sharpshooter this badly underestimated since the calamitous Winter War of 1940.

J. Stalin, c/o The Afterlife

Privyet? Don't make me get the dictionary out - we're here to make stupid jokes, not learn things.

Nonetheless, you raise an interesting point about Markkanen. This off-season he was left waiting nearly as long as our good friend nahnah awaiting a reply from ESPN for his job application as official draft expert. Markkanen's shooting numbers were near elite in Chicago last season, so why the lack of faith?

The problem with the lanky Finn is that he has the skillset of a three, the body of a four and the footspeed of a lumbering five, so he doesn't fit anywhere particularly well. Inevitably the four will be his compromise position - whether that comes as a starter or off the bench, God only knows.

If things go well, Markkanen's shooting could open things up for Cleveland young guards, giving them wider driving lanes and an alternative pick and pop partner. Given Cleveland dead last in perimeter shooting last season, his skillset is arguably one the Cavs sorely need.

On the other hand, Markkanen doesn't really have the speed to develop into a major off-the-ball threat, nor the handles or strength to consistently get his own shot, and doesn't create for others. All of which, when combined with his underwhelming lack of traditional big man skills, still leaves the Finnish Dirk as a square peg potentially. The Cavs are taking a $67 million gamble, and probably know it.



Hi,

I keep reading all these references to Love on this forum.

I thought this was supposed to be a place to talk about basketball - what's Love got to do with it?

Tina T., Nutbush City Limits

Rest assured, dear Tina, that this is a very serious basketball place - bad puns will never take the place of detailed analysis around here. Just ignore that bit about not wanting to learn things above, I don't know how that got there.

On a completely unrelated topic, I note that Cleveland's young backcourt has been nicknamed 'Sexland', and that Valentine will accompany Love on the bench this season. If things go poorly for the Cavs, expect Fall and Guy to be the first casualties of a roster cull.
 
Last edited:

nahnah

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 26, 2012
25,625
34,649
AFL Club
Collingwood
View attachment 1248630


Résumé


22-50 (13th in East, 4th in Central Div.)

Off Rating: 28th

Def Rating:
25th


View attachment 1248640


Free agent signings: Lauri Markkanen (4/67), Kevin Pangos (min), Denzel Valentine (min), Tacko Fall (min), Kyle Guy (min)

Free agent re-signings: Jarrett Allen (5/100)

Trades: Ricky Rubio (Wolves)

Draft: #3 Evan Mobley, F/C


The Cap:


View attachment 1248645


Sum Total:

Welcome to some more bigs in the shape of Mobley and Markkanen and another ball dominant guard in Rubio. Bon voyage to Larry Nance, Taurean Prince and part time pro basketballer Danté Exum. More cynical Cavs fans might note that they're not saying 'hello' to some badly needed wing support, or saying 'goodbye and good riddance' to Kevin Love.

Last season the Cavs couldn't shoot, turned over the basketball too much, failed to stop opposing teams gorging themselves on their defence and couldn't grab the defensive boards on the rare occasions when they did force a miss. Apart from that it was all plain sailing by Lake Erie.

Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff now boasts a very big, and very expensive frontline in the form of Allen, Mobley, Markkanen and Love, and three diminutive playmaking guards in Sexton, Garland and Rubio. As for the wings... well, did we mention the Cavs have a lot of guards and bigs?

Meanwhile an extension for Collin Sexton is conspicuous by its absence, and Kevin Love is an angry, angry man. An angry man owed another $60 mil..





Best case scenario:

Mobley proves to be the centrepiece, both literally and figuratively, that the Cavs have been searching for - a blue-chip big man who can help cover the defensive mistakes of others. J.B. Bickerstaff finds a way to ulitise Markkanen's shooting and help evolve Cleveland's offence beyond an iso-guard extraordinaire. The Cavs buck contemporary wisdom and find a way to make the twin towers in Allen and Mobley work. Rubio's pass-first mentality begins to rub off a little on Darius Garland. The Cavs find an NBA standard wing from somewhere, anywhere.


Worst case scenario:

The twin towers approach doesn't work at all, meaning the Cavs have to find a taker for Allen. Meanwhile the flyweight backcourt experiment similarly proves a bridge too far, meaning the Cavs now also have to find a new home for Sexton, presumably. Kevin Love also refuses a buyout, meaning the Cavs are stuck trying to trade him too, and... oh wait, that part already came true. Superficially, Koby Altman has attempted to rebuild the Cavs along traditional lines, stockpiling picks and drafting a point guard, a scorer, a defensive wing and a modern big man in succession. In reality though Cleveland's starting backcourt are both 6'1, don't shoot threes in volume and can't defend. Meanwhile Issac Okoro couldn't shoot in his rookie year, and Evan Mobley and Markkanen have been heavily invested in while Allen and Love, who do similar things, remain on the books for big money. It's all too clever by half, a Cavalier anthem...





2022 Cavs Mailbag





Thanks for your question.

Let's start with the good: Sexton really upped his scoring game last season. Putting up nearly 25 per night on better than 57% TS is not to be sneezed at. It's not like leading the league in scoring while shooting 40%... *cough*. Anyway Sexton continued to pick his spots better and got to the free throw line at a decent clip. He's a legit three-level scoring threat.

On the other hand, he still has a tendency to dribble the air out of the ball, can charitably categorise creating for others as a 'work in progress', and remains damn difficult to hide on defence as a 6'1 shooting guard.

Unless the team built around him is unusually complementary, Sexton still probably projects as a career sixth man, the Jamal Crawford/Lou Williams type, whereby he can dominate the offence without causing chemistry problems and will be less likely to abused defensively. Hence the Cavs' conundrum in what kind of contract extension, if any, to offer him.






Privyet? Don't make me get the dictionary out - we're here to make stupid jokes, not learn things.

Nonetheless, you raise an interesting point about Markkanen. This off-season he was left waiting nearly as long as our good friend nahnah awaiting a reply from ESPN for his job application as official draft expert. Markkanen's shooting numbers were near elite in Chicago last season, so why the lack of faith?

The problem with the lanky Finn is that he has the skillset of a three, the body of a four and the footspeed of a lumbering five, so he doesn't fit anywhere particularly well. Inevitably the four will be his compromise position - whether that comes as a starter or off the bench, God only knows.

If things go well, Markkanen's shooting could open things up for Cleveland young guards, giving them wider driving lanes and an alternative pick and pop partner. Given Cleveland dead last in perimeter shooting last season, his skillset is arguably one the Cavs sorely need.

On the other hand, Markkanen doesn't really have the speed to develop into a major off-the-ball threat, nor the handles or strength to consistently get his own shot, and doesn't create for others. All of which, when combined with his underwhelming lack of traditional big man skills, still leaves the Finnish Dirk as a square peg potentially. The Cavs are taking a $67 million gamble, and probably know it.






Rest assured, dear Tina, that this is a very serious basketball place - bad puns will never take the place of detailed analysis around here. Just ignore that bit about not wanting to learn things above, I don't know how that got there.

On a completely unrelated topic, I note that Cleveland's young backcourt has been nicknamed 'Sexland', and that Valentine will accompany Love on the bench this season. If things go poorly for the Cavs, expect Fall and Guy to be the first casualties of a roster cull.
I think Garland was pass first last season he was just surrounded by spectacularly bad shooting + a 6'11 center that couldnt dunk and called for the ball in the low post instead of screen. The backboards in Cleveland have permanent dents thanks to the shooting display of Cedi, Okoro and Love. If anything Garland needs to almost double his 3 point attempts. I saw some twitter stats guy (always trust worthy) mention Garland was surrounded by the worst spacing of any player in the league last year, so I think 6 assists a game is not awful when dealing with that, I would hope it jumps to at least 7 this season though

The rest I agree with, not sure of the thought process behind Markkanen other than he at least can shoot (at least prior to coming to Cleveland where some players magically forget how to) but Fall + Guy are signings for the g league team, I dont think theyre going to make roster as two-way contracts.

Should have traded Sexton on draft night and drafted a wing, even our cheap signing are never wings. I think it will be Koby's last season in charge, I dont think he can build a team
 
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Son of Skeletor

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I think Garland was pass first last season he was just surrounded by spectacularly bad shooting + a 6'11 center that couldnt dunk and called for the ball in the low post instead of screen. The backboards in Cleveland have permanent dents thanks to the shooting display of Cedi, Okoro and Love. If anything Garland needs to almost double his 3 point attempts. I saw some twitter stats guy (always trust worthy) mention Garland was surrounded by the worst spacing of any player in the league last year, so I think 6 assists a game is not awful when dealing with that, I would hope it jumps to at least 7 this season though
Haha, you're giving my half-arsed analysis more respect than it deserves, my friend.

I actually like Garland, but as you say he hasn't been surrounded by the best fitting pieces. If anything his usage has been a little lower than you'd ideally like, especially on a rebuilding team. Don't think he has problems with his court vision, but Rubio could probably mentor him on how to control tempo, etc.

but Fall + Guy are signings for the g league team, I dont think theyre going to make roster as two-way contracts.
I choose to believe they were signed entirely for the making of bad puns...

Should have traded Sexton on draft night and drafted a wing, even our cheap signing are never wings. I think it will be Koby's last season in charge, I dont think he can build a team
Tbh I think circumstances conspired against you a bit.

Ordinarily trading for Jarrett Allen would be solid move. It's just unlucky that you subsequently landed a high pick in a draft where you'd couldn't afford not to take Mobley. The Love thing was always really strange though.

Sadly free agency didn't offer you much recourse with regard to a wing. The kind of player you need is going to be heavily in demand from playoff teams, even the likes of Reggie Bullock.
 

nahnah

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Haha, you're giving my half-arsed analysis more respect than it deserves, my friend.

I actually like Garland, but as you say he hasn't been surrounded by the best fitting pieces. If anything his usage has been a little lower than you'd ideally like, especially on a rebuilding team. Don't think he has problems with his court vision, but Rubio could probably mentor him on how to control tempo, etc.



I choose to believe they were signed entirely for the making of bad puns...



Tbh I think circumstances conspired against you a bit.

Ordinarily trading for Jarrett Allen would be solid move. It's just unlucky that you subsequently landed a high pick in a draft where you'd couldn't afford not to take Mobley. The Love thing was always really strange though.

Sadly free agency didn't offer you much recourse with regard to a wing. The kind of player you need is going to be heavily in demand from playoff teams, even the likes of Reggie Bullock.
I am very serious when it comes to the cavs.
Once labelled Ricky the worst starting pg in the NBA on here much to the disagreement of many (there were probably worse tbf), I have never been a fan of those guys that just get assists but cant shoot/score.
I think Allen is important early for Mobley, there is no way Mobley can play center this year at but after this year probably a clash unless Mobley's 3 point shot really comes along..
There have been so many cheap wings we could have signed/drafted recently and just didnt.. Keldon Johnson, McDaniels x2 etc
We resemble the gold coast suns, probably will start the season decent, look promising then die half way through and barely win another game
 

Son of Skeletor

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There have been so many cheap wings we could have signed/drafted recently and just didnt.. Keldon Johnson, McDaniels x2 etc
We resemble the gold coast suns, probably will start the season decent, look promising then die half way through and barely win another game
Yeah, I hear you.

Even the likes of Houston signed up Nwaba, and the Pistons are punting on Diallo. Then again, I guess you're attempting develop Okaro from more or less a similar position.

My Pels have been trying and failing at finding cheap 3 & D wings for years. Hoping Trey + Naji Marshall finally break our run of outs there.
 

stewie griffen

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Look, it's fair to say that these won't be the Phil Jackson era Bulls, the Thibodeau era Bulls, or even the Skiles era Bulls. They're not set up to win with D.

DeRozan and Lavine are notorious for giving up almost as many as they score themselves. Vuc, while somewhat unfairly tarnished with the 'soft Euro' tag on defence, also isn't going to be confused with Bill Russell or Hakeem Olajuwon any time soon. Meanwhile the Bulls' supply of back up bigs is thinner than a certain coach in Manhattan's hairline - Tony Bradley and Derrick Jones, anyone? They'll miss Thad Young, and should probably have kept Gafford.

It'll be up to Billy Donovan to earn his pay cheque and find a way to make the defensive whole more than the sum of its meagre parts.
Im optimistic on the defensive end. Iirc DDR was trending up in defense at the Spurs - correct me with stats pls

Lavine showed some signs at the Olympics of focusing defensively - maybe now he doesnt need to carry all the load offensively...... maybe
 

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