Any sports fans?

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Re: Any sports fans?

Postby Dazza » Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:45 pm

You're right about Shaq but Dwight doesn't have that physical freak edge. He still needs to work in order to dominate and his physical leg up on opponents is only going to get less and less. In 2017 when he's being paid 23 million and his body is presumably several pegs lower...well it's hard for me to see how that would be anywhere near a decent contract. In order for the signing to make sense they have to be competing NOW.
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Re: Any sports fans?

Postby Extreme Allah » Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:03 pm

Shaq was better, but Howard is still a freak. Athletic, powerful 7-footers almost don't exist, and he is a force. He is a perennial contender for best rebounder and most efficient scorer. Because he is bigger and stronger and more coordinated than everyone else.

There is not a better place to spend that money. He is the best player who is willing to intentionally live in HOU for the foreseeable future. Maybe Love, but I think Love is a horrible fit for a team that next year will already feature 30 million $ in guards that don't play on D. Adding an elite center was probably the best option, even ignoring that it happened to be the position played by the best available player. Like, maybe you could theoretically use it to upgrade a few different positions a little, but the max salary makes one elite talent better value, and finding a couple $10mil players who are noticeable upgrades over some of their current guys is easier said than done.

And I don't think the cost of his deterioration on the last year of a reasonably long contract is all that steep. Even eating Kobe shit, he lead the lead in rebounding and scored with elite efficiency. There will still be plenty left by then, the cost for his last few great years is the difference between his value in 2017 and the value of the best free agent who would be willing to go there for 20some million in 2017. There is probably a cost, but it's not so high that I think it suggests you have to be a title favorite right away to justify it. What he gives them this year is being a middle seed that everyone dreads ending up against, and the next couple years will probably be marginally more promising.

When you have a playoff team and a chance to add a player of his caliber, and it doesn't effect any immediate plans, it seems like a no brainer. KD ain't coming, I think your options are to grab DH and hope you can figure it out, or just dismantle the team.
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Re: Any sports fans?

Postby Dazza » Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:25 pm

Always hard to know how the money can be better spent. A player can be awful one season and great the next. But with Dwight you can really see his stats drop back massively the last few years. 3 years ago he was worth being one of the top paid players in the league because he was. Now? He's not. Still a very effective player but he used to dominate categories, particularly the defensive ones. Now his defensive rating is 15th. His defensive win shares are just above Gortat and Curry. There are guys who can do just as good a defensive job, although granted, on the nights he's ON IT then he's a different class. And offensively he obviously adds a lot although FT shooting can also hurt the team. Ibaka is a similarly strong all rounder when it comes to defense and offense. His numbers are very close to Dwights and it wouldn't be crazy to make the case that they should be worth about the same (based on talent on the floor) yet Ibaka is earning around half of what Dwight is making.

I dunno, I just get caught up in the worth of a player because of the cap system. The contract for Parsons is so good I guess that offsets the bad ones a tad.
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Re: Any sports fans?

Postby Extreme Allah » Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:23 pm

If Ibaka were a similarly good player to Howard, that would be an argument for Ibaka being worth more (on the market), not Howard being worth less. That said, he really, really isn't. I love Ibaka, but even just by the numbers, it's a big step up. Ibaka gets a lot more blocks and is a good FT shooter for 6'10 guy, and Howard is really bad. But other than that, it's a really clear and sizable advantage. Having numbers that are a quarter to a third higher in rebounding and points per, while maintaining better efficiency, the last couple years is a big difference. That's ignoring the effect quadrupleteams KD's been drawing all year.

(He also has a big passing edge)

Maybe Ibaka should make more than half as much, but that doesn't mean Howard isn't worth close to the max or more.

Yeah, the CBA makes things really stupid, and the conversation isn't about what a player is worth exactly as much as it is about the strategy of cap manipulation. Howard's value to the Rockets is whatever his value is over how that money would otherwise we spent. If they didn't sign Howard, there isn't really anyone else's to look at. Even if they waited a year and let time tick away on some of their slave labor contracts, most studs on the market will commend max deals and either not be interested in playing there, or will be worse players/fits.

Even if you just really hate Dwight's game and don't think he brings much value, the costs of signing him doesn't really come into play until after Parsons is gone, the Lin contract is off the books, and it's basically a different situation. It seems crazy to me to not grab a stud like him when the only reason not to is that in two or three years, a different, by-then-better max-level player would be available and interested. I think it was a good signing in general, but situationally I think it was the only play.
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Re: Any sports fans?

Postby Dazza » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:54 pm

I don't think it's that big a difference. A difference sure but adjusted to per 36 and it's just 3 more pts and rebounds. Almost 1 more assist but almost 2 more turnovers. Their defensive rating is almost identical. Ibaka has more def win shares. Howard has a very high fg % but Ibaka actually takes jump shots and is now able to actually spread the floor (only attempted 60 but his 3pt % is just a shade below Durants this season) as well as finish at the rim (he should be better at this than he is given his athleticism).

But anyway, this is about Howard not Ibaka. My point remains that he is a top 5 paid player but maybe only a top 20 player these days (and I'm guessing he will get worse not better but I could be wrong). If he drags Houston to the conference finals or something then will happily eat some humble pie. And they may well be able to jig the team so he's maybe their 3rd best player and if they get some good deals like Parsons then it wouldn't matter. But it does limit what the team can accomplish, especially if his performances decline in coming years.
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Re: Any sports fans?

Postby Extreme Allah » Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:06 pm

Well if you rate Howard in the top 20, I'm not even sure what we are fighting over anymore. I'm pretty sure I could fire off 15 guys I think are better. Salary caps and the market keep salary and ranking from being related that closely. Plus, he is a center in a league with like three good centers, which helps.

I guess we are just arguing over the oppertunity cost of that contract, which I think is incredibly low givenen the market and unknowns.

Re: Howard's ranking: out of bordem, off the top of my head, here is who I think I better:

1. LBJ
2. KD
3. Blake
4. Davis (equity more than value today, possibly)
5. CP3
6. Noah
7. Rose
8. Love
9. RWB
10. Baby Dragon
11. Threesus

Maybe I'm more like top-15 on Howard, lately.

I'm sure I'm missing some and the order is wrong. Curry is on that list because I am irrationally holding out hope that he can learn to do something (anything) on D to contribute. But basically, there are a ton of guys who could get max deals in a perfect world, or get more than DH in a free market without cap or team needs to consider. But Howard was the only quality free agent, at a position needed by a team who had the cap room, at a time when that team had nothing else to do with the money. He could be a way worse player and the deal still be fine.
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Re: Any sports fans?

Postby Dazza » Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:19 pm

You know a center who seems strangely underrated - Boogie Cousins. Look at his numbers. The rest of the team being shit and his anger issues aside, was there a better more complete center than him this season?

The argument for me is more have Houston done the right thing for the long term. Short term adding a top player is obviously great, but the aim for all teams should be to win and have they helped that cause by getting Dwight? Certainly more so than teams who give near max deals to legitimately bad players. But I just struggle to picture Dwight lifting a trophy. I had the same feeling about Carmelo when he moved. NY were rolling at the time, had a young team that seemed to be going places. Carmelo is a great player but when you look at the stats you see that he can take a team so far but is unable to take them further than that without key pieces filling in for the deficiencies in his game. I think Melo's best shot as a title is when he gets older and goes to a team as maybe the 3rd best player.
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Re: Any sports fans?

Postby Extreme Allah » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:02 pm

I agree about Melo. I think it's hard to overcome the level of defense and efficiency at he provides at that price. Those are very different situations, thought.

I think Melo is worth the max to someone, but the Knicks might be best off letting him walk. It won't happen, but there is an argument for it.

Boogie is a favorite of a lot of basketball guys. Bill Simmons and Jalen have been calling him their guy since long before he put things together. No one wants to play with him, but no one wants to play against him either. I'm a fan, although I haven't seem him play a ton in that market.
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Re: Any sports fans?

Postby Extreme Allah » Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:44 pm

I thought Dirk was going to steal one there. That's deflating. Love me some Dirk.

Not a lot of surprises so far. If you didn't see the (terrible) Hawks coming, you don't watch basketball.
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Re: Any sports fans?

Postby Dazza » Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:57 pm

Had high hopes for Indiana this season but the train has gone off the tracks and rolled into a volcano.
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Re: Any sports fans?

Postby Extreme Allah » Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:22 pm

Pretty much. People all figured they just coast in and then everything would be fine in the playoffs for a while. Clearly it's a lot more serious than that.

LeBron is such a treat to watch. Who the hell just does every single thing well? It's not even fair. Posting, slashing, every kind of shooting, passing, lockdown D, movies like a ghost without the ball on both ends...I don't think even basketball fans generally understand just how special he is, and this isn't even a good game for him.

In the 90s, MJ would add a component to his game almost every off season. LeBron already ran out of things to add. Maybe more post moves. But still..
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Re: Any sports fans?

Postby Extreme Allah » Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:05 pm

What an amazing round one so far. Plus, the Rockets aren't going to be swept, which is pretty cool.

Lillard and Aldridge picked a great time to stop missing jumpshot altogether. Couple of studs.

Sadly, it looks like it's lights out for my Warriors. Clippers are just too much for an overrated, underperforming, miscoached team, missing Bogut.
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Re: Any sports fans?

Postby Dazza » Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:15 pm

Thunder games have been ugly but epic. Scotty really earning his money. Not.
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Re: Any sports fans?

Postby Extreme Allah » Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:21 pm

Dazza wrote:Thunder games have been ugly but epic. Scotty really earning his money. Not.


Yeah. The plus side is that it's impossible for them to win a title with him at the helm of this (great) core of players, so getting bounces by MEM instead of the Clippers, Spurs, or, god forbid, the Heat, he might actually get fired. Just kidding, they will never do that anyway.

MEM is not to be underestimated, though. Z-Bo is a weird combination of terrifying thug and savvy post technician, and they have the tools to defend. They shouldn't win this series, but it's not a joke if they do. MEM would be the second best team in the east, and if not sure underperforming all year should be like a 5 seed.

I know you aren't a Rockets fan, but how cray was that last game? The Vipers and their basketball philosophy has been one of the most interesting storylines in post-casual basketball, so it's fun seeing it become a subplot in this amazing series in the big league.

I really liked what Portland was doing their before Daniels knocked the 3, btw. They got unlucky missing several opportunities to bury Houston the same way Daniels buried them.
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Re: Any sports fans?

Postby Dazza » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:22 pm

Tony is so damn good. What a pest. Even his offensive game is ticking.

I only have time to watch Thunder games unfortunately. NBA.com highlights for the rest.
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