NBA Season 2012-13. Draft and off-season 2013.

Agreed that Stern is out of line on this call. I wonder if he just needs to flex his tyrant muscles, otherwise they atrophy?

Despite that I can't agree that Stern is an awful commissioner. Do I think he's shown himself to be a tyrant over and over again? Sure, but so have the others. Does he work on behalf of the owners, rather than fans or athletes? Yep, that's his job. Did he openly screw the Lakers in the Chris Paul trade debacle last year? Yes to that too. I'm undermining my own argument here, but despite all that I still think Stern has been great for the NBA overall, but I won't mind when Adam Silver takes over.

I've gotta disagree about the other commissioners not appearing corrupt, or Goodell actively protecting the league rather than being reactionary. It's not a perfect source, but check out the NFL Concussion Timeline starting from 1994. I have trouble believing Goodell has been more proactive than reactionary after that.

Also, the best article I've read on the NFL Concussion issue is here: Jane Leavy's piece. (Warning: It's long.)

I haven't read the Jane Leavy piece yet, but to me it looks more like Goodell is much more proactive about labeling certain players as villains rather than proactive about concussion prevention/treatment.

Double post for more NBA talk.

Was Stern just benignly overlooking the time Pop gave Duncan a "DNP - Old"? I know it happened such a long time ago, maybe it's not relevant. /sarcarm

Also, are we glossing over the Rondo/Humphries shoving match?

IMAGE(http://i.minus.com/i2USM1dvuT4zc.gif)

I love it when the Celtics show their true colors. So much for Rondo's assist streak.

I can't find the picture but there's a pretty clear still that shows Garnett hooking Humphries ankle. I suspect the suspension would have been less if Humphries didn't go down. I also find it hard to believe that Garnett didn't overreact there.

S0LIDARITY wrote:

I haven't read the Jane Leavy piece yet, but to me it looks more like Goodell is much more proactive about labeling certain players as villains rather than proactive about concussion prevention/treatment.

Goodell and the NFL are so sanctimonious and disrespectful of player safety it's disgusting. I agree that Stern is kind of out of his mind on punishing the Spurs here, though.

On Pop sitting the Spurs core, I want to play the devil's advocate here for a second and say I see where Stern is coming from. First, we have to recognize that NBA is a show business at heart. Its revenues depend on viewership and merchandise. I'm willing to bet that outside of a dedicated minority, people watch NBA for the stars. They want the excitement and drama that follow those media personalities. They purchase tickets and subscribe to league pass to watch amazing athletes perform. They buy the jerseys of their favorite players out of admiration. NBA stars drive sales, but they can only do it when they actually play.

As I understand it, Pop's decision to leave out the core is to allow those players some respite from a "schedule loss" game in preparation for the rest of the season. But consider the logical extreme of Pop's approach. Suddenly, there is a whole new part of the game that involves the strategic deployment of a team's marquis players. How the strategy will pan out I cannot say with any specificity, but it will likely result in star players seeing less time on the floor. Coaches already do similar things when they deploy bench players during garbage time. We all know that's the time when many fans leave the arena or turn off the television. Just think how the scenario will play out if coaches extend the same practice to entire games, sitting their best players when the chance of winning seems too high or too low. Reduced ticket sales are only the beginning, I think.

Again, I see where Stern is coming from. The Spurs/Heat game was one of only two games aired on TNT last night. No doubt some TV executives aired their frustrations at Stern during and after the game. The situation must have raised all sorts of red flags in Stern's mind regarding the points I made above. Still, I don't agree with Stern's decision. It seems that factors including the age of the Spurs' core, their particularly grueling schedule in the short term, and legitimate concerns for serious injury all make this a pretty special case. Pop hasn't crossed that line from "responsibly managing the health of his players" to "gaming the league schedule." So to me, the resolution in this case seems clear - do nothing. That doesn't answer the bigger question though, which is what should the league do when coaches do start gaming the schedule on a frequent basis? What rules and guidelines should it set? Even if the league manages to set sufficiently clear guidelines, does it have the means to implement them?

But teams do it during the final week or two of the regular season every year, with no penalty at all. If your playoff seed is set, it's ok to rest your starters, but on the 4th road game in 5 days it's not ok? Can't make that distinction.

Besides, the Heat had only one game this week, on Sat, and then 5 days rest. Sure seems like NBA scheduling was teeing up the Spurs for a loss last night.

And it was a one possession game in the final 20 seconds. Don't think it could have been any more competitive with the Spurs stars there.

I don't get it at all. Let the coaches coach. Whether for injuries or fatigue or whatever, they should be allowed to manage their team as needed. It's a product, but that product happens to be a sport. If Duncan, Ginobli and Parker are injured then the product will get much much worse than them strategically sitting out games.

Stele wrote:

Sure seems like NBA scheduling was teeing up the Spurs for a loss last night.

I think this is key. Again, the Spurs were playing their 4th game in 5 nights and the second half of a back-to-back against a Miami team that was playing its first game in 5 days. Where's the fairness in that?

If the NBA wanted this to be a showcase game and one of only two featured on TNT last night, then they should have scheduled it appropriately. If it's in the league's best interest to have high-profile games like this on national television, then isn't it also in the league's best interest for the two teams to be at their best for that game?

There's no way that Stern can back down now after what he said, but I think anything other than a token fine against the Spurs organization would be ridiculous. And fining Pop personally? To me, that would be even more ridiculous.

Guys, guys! I think you are looking at it from the wrong angle.

Perhaps it would be better not to schedule 4 road games in 5 days... (also applies to 4 homes games in 5 days for that matter)

At the level these athletes compete at, I think everyone is at risk with that aggressive schedule, young and old.

I agree fang. I don't even like 2 games in 2 days if they are both road games in two different cities. But to do that, they'd probably have to cut the season down by 10-15 games. And they don't seem willing.

Stele wrote:

I agree fang. I don't even like 2 games in 2 days if they are both road games in two different cities. But to do that, they'd probably have to cut the season down by 10-15 games. And they don't seem willing.

$$$

I agree fang. I don't even like 2 games in 2 days if they are both road games in two different cities. But to do that, they'd probably have to cut the season down by 10-15 games. And they don't seem willing.

Yeah for sure. Though I could probably orchestrate something like that not too horrible.

Like say Phoenix playing at Golden State on thursday and then at Sacramento on saturday and sunday. It would be much different if you replace phoenix with the Knicks and the thursday game is in portland, saturday is sacramento and sunday is LA.

I think regional clumping and proximity to the traveling team's home are key factors.

I think they should only do it if it's Lakers/Clippers and Knicks/Nets.

Yeah, I was thinking of a dire situation. (act of nature) Like a makeup of a canceled game.

Scaphism wrote:

Agreed that Stern is out of line on this call. I wonder if he just needs to flex his tyrant muscles, otherwise they atrophy?

Despite that I can't agree that Stern is an awful commissioner. Do I think he's shown himself to be a tyrant over and over again? Sure, but so have the others. Does he work on behalf of the owners, rather than fans or athletes? Yep, that's his job. Did he openly screw the Lakers in the Chris Paul trade debacle last year? Yes to that too. I'm undermining my own argument here, but despite all that I still think Stern has been great for the NBA overall, but I won't mind when Adam Silver takes over.

I've gotta disagree about the other commissioners not appearing corrupt, or Goodell actively protecting the league rather than being reactionary. It's not a perfect source, but check out the NFL Concussion Timeline starting from 1994. I have trouble believing Goodell has been more proactive than reactionary after that.

Also, the best article I've read on the NFL Concussion issue is here: Jane Leavy's piece. (Warning: It's long.)

I pretty much agree. Stern has been a tyrant not a moron.

The fact the NBA is still going strong after one of their refs was implicated in a gambling scandal is pretty amazing.

Hes done some pretty heavy handed things but for the most part he comes out ahead more often then the other comishes IMO.

Also this isn't the baseball thread but honestly what has Bud Selig done wrong since maybe calling the all star game? Of all the comishes he seems to be the do nothing one. For better or worse. At the very least hes not screwing up by sticking his nose in.

DSGamer wrote:

I don't get it at all. Let the coaches coach. Whether for injuries or fatigue or whatever, they should be allowed to manage their team as needed. It's a product, but that product happens to be a sport. If Duncan, Ginobli and Parker are injured then the product will get much much worse than them strategically sitting out games.

Agreed. I think that's a very good counterpoint to my "it's a product" argument. Importantly, you put things in terms of money, a language that the league understands well. I suppose if I must give a rebuttal, DS, I'd say that "the league cannot decide which of the two options clearly trumps the other, so it's safer to go with the tried-and-true. That is, don't allow coaches to forfeit games by sitting their star players just because their teams are going through tough schedules," and then qualify that general decision with a bunch of conditions and exceptions. I'm not sure how far that line is going to take me.

B Dog wrote:
Stele wrote:

Sure seems like NBA scheduling was teeing up the Spurs for a loss last night.

If the NBA wanted this to be a showcase game and one of only two featured on TNT last night, then they should have scheduled it appropriately. If it's in the league's best interest to have high-profile games like this on national television, then isn't it also in the league's best interest for the two teams to be at their best for that game?

Fair point as well. I don't know what else anyone would expect with this outrageous setup. Maybe there was a miscommunication between the scheduling and network-dealing departments.

The NBA has fined the Spurs $250,000 for resting players in a manner contrary to the best interests of the NBA.

Stoopid.

As many have mentioned on Twitter and elsewhere, this ranks pretty low on the list of things that are contrary to the best interests of the NBA, including the league's ownership of the Hornets last season, Donald Sterling's ownership of the Clippers for the past several decades, James Dolan's man-crush on Isaiah Thomas, Joey Crawford's officiating on most nights, etcetera, etcetera.

IMAGE(http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/JOEY-CRAWFORD.gif)

B Dog wrote:

The NBA has fined the Spurs $250,000 for resting players in a manner contrary to the best interests of the NBA.

Stoopid.

As many have mentioned on Twitter and elsewhere, this ranks pretty low on the list of things that are contrary to the best interests of the NBA, including the league's ownership of the Hornets last season, Donald Sterling's ownership of the Clippers for the past several decades, James Dolan's man-crush on Isaiah Thomas, Joey Crawford's officiating on most nights, etcetera, etcetera.

Yeah. Just because the NBA survived Donald Sterling, the officiating scandal, the veto of the Chris Paul trade, etc. doesn't mean that David Stern isn't a buffoon. This is so heavy-handed. If I were Pop the next time I needed to rest these guys I'd have them start the game then I'd call an immediate time out and pull them.

What's the line? How many minutes does he have to play them? Can the NBA dictate how many shots Duncan takes? What if the Spurs run a slower-paced offense that isn't pleasing to the NBA? This is the kind of nonsense that makes Stern look terrible. It's a sport. And in sports you manage injuries and personnel issues and all kinds of problems as required to put yourself in a position to win a title.

This is dumb.

Stern crossed the line with the Spurs situation.

Stern is the best commissioner in the history of professional American sports*.

*I know next to nothing about the history of the NFL.

Stern must have Ginobli or Duncan on his NBA Fantasy Team. Just pissed he couldn't pick up a free agent for the night.

Watching Lakers vs. Nuggets

Is it just me, or is traveling a lot more lenient than it used to be? Seems like everyone can take 3 or 4 steps, move both feet even if slightly, etc. I haven't watched for quite a few years, but I'm noticing it. I could be crazy.

Edit: of course, right when I post this, Morris gets called for traveling. SHUT UP EVERYONE

BTW for twitter people follow @haralabob by far the best person to follow for NBA stuff.

Short story he's a gambling nut who had his life savings on the Lakers to win the title the year they went behind Portland. He now does advanced stats tracking games and betting NBA. There's a section in Nate silver's new book about him that puts him at 57% winning his NBA bets which is a ridiculous average.

Pretty much watches every game going and comments on Twitter and pulls no punches. Can be pretty hilarious cause he falls into the zone where he can speak his mind because his livelihood isn't attached to what he says.

Citizen86 wrote:

Watching Lakers vs. Nuggets

Is it just me, or is traveling a lot more lenient than it used to be? Seems like everyone can take 3 or 4 steps, move both feet even if slightly, etc. I haven't watched for quite a few years, but I'm noticing it. I could be crazy.

Edit: of course, right when I post this, Morris gets called for traveling. SHUT UP EVERYONE

Yes, guys shuffle their feet on almost every play, watch when guys catch the ball and hold it, the rule enforcement is a joke.

LeapingGnome wrote:

Yes, guys shuffle their feet on almost every play, watch when guys catch the ball and hold it, the rule enforcement is a joke.

Glad I'm not crazy

http://espn.go.com/dallas/nba/story/_/id/8699650/dallas-mavericks-owner-mark-cuban-ok-san-antonio-spurs-fine-higher

Short jist is he understands the fine because of the business implications. Then quickly blames the scheduling for it happening in the first place.

Still a firm believer that NHL/NBA would benefit from moving from the 82 model to something shorter more creative. I 'follow' the leagues during their long seasons but I hardly actually watch with any attention.

Instead the NHL is busy locking their players out cause thats more profitable and the NBA is scheduling teams 4 games in 5 days with a prime time game smack in the middle with one of their big TV partners.

I honestly wonder how some of these guys made their money in the first place but then again some of them have inherited teams (Dolan/Buss) or are so old they got the team for chump change (Sterling).

Another week down in GWJ Fantasy.

Stele's Pacers 4
equally bad team nam 5

Stele's Cardinals 6
bad team name 2

Handy Men 3
Blind_Ballers 6

Handy Boys 6
Frosted Rubi-O's 3

James Spartans 7
Citizen86's Lakers 2

Royce White-Castles 3
Citizen86's 76ers 5

And that puts me ahead in both divisions now, but only by a half game in Certis Division. Still a long way to go.

Rank....Team........W-L-T.....Pct.....Div.....GB

Certis
2.....Stele's Pacers.....21-14-1.....597......17-9-1....7
3.....Blind_Ballers.......21-15-0.....583......6-3-0.....7.5
4.....Handy Men..........21-15-0......583.....7-11-0...7.5
5.....James Spartans....19-16-1.....542.....12-14-1...9
7.....bad team name.....18-16-2......528.....7-2-0.....9.5
10....Citizen86's Lakers....12-24-0....333....4-14-0.....16.5

Elysium
1.....Stele's Cardinals.........28-7-1......792....15-3-0......-
6.....Handy Boys................19-16-1.....542....13-5-0.....9
8.....equally bad team nam...18-18-0.....500....0-0-0.....10.5
9.....Citizen86's 76ers.........17-18-1......486....11-6-1.....11
11....Royce White-Castles....11-24-1......319.....7-19-1....17
12....Frosted Rubi-O's.........7-29-0.........194.....7-20-0....21.5

As always good luck and set your rosters for tonight!

Went to the Wizards Heat game last night.. $85 for a 200 level ticket.. which is around $45 in Philly.. guess the Ownership hasnt figured out that a 1-13 (now 2-13!) team isnt exactly a hot ticket..

80% of the seats it seemed for Heat fans... or maybe they were just used to cheering.