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NBA 2008-09 Regular Season Discussion Thread


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#1 of 378 Ockeghem

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Posted December 04 2008 - 05:08 AM

I searched for an NBA thread, but could not find one.

Is there any interest in the NBA? Basketball is my favorite sport to play, and is among one of four sports I watch regularly (the others being baseball, basketball, and tennis). As a fan of the Celtics since around the time Bill Russell played his final games with the team, I've seen a lot of thrills over the years, filled with ups and downs, and cherished memories. No. 17 for the Green is my all-time favorite player.

Who will win it all this year? How strong are the Cavaliers this season? Are the Lakers a better team this year with Bynum back in the lineup? If Gasol and Odom play to their potential, can they win it all? I have my opinions, but I'd love to hear what others have to say.

#2 of 378 Brandon_T

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Posted December 04 2008 - 08:27 AM

I think you missed the height of NBA stuff on the HTF a few years ago. We used to have great debates about the West vs. the "leastern" conference when the Pistons and Pacers were the only real threats from the east. Since about 2005 there has been little talk of it here. I am a Pistons fan and haven't been to happy with their performance since the Iverson trade. I will try and write more in a little bit.

#3 of 378 Andy Sheets

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Posted December 04 2008 - 08:40 AM

I think the Cavs are for real. I don't see them winning it, but every team in the east will be scared to death of them in the playoffs. I know they've been saying that since they went to the finals but this time it's really serious Posted Image

The Lakers are certainly playing very well and they have the potential to win it all, but I still wonder at their mental toughness. Gasol and Odom are such pansies, and while Bynum will be quite good, I don't think he's nearly there yet.

Right now I think Boston will repeat. Most of the really good teams are built around dominant scoring wing players like Kobe and Lebron, whom Boston specializes in shutting down thanks to Tom Thibodeaux's defensive coaching, and otherwise the Celtics are simply too physical for most other contenders.

#4 of 378 Ockeghem

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Posted December 04 2008 - 02:43 PM

Thanks, guys. I love talking sports, and it seemed good to create a thread devoted to the NBA.

The Celtics are looking good, especially defensively. I realize that they've been about defense for years, but it's really good to see people like Garnett and a couple of others take it really seriously. And there's some serious talk now about Rondo becoming part of the big three ... er, big four. Posted Image

I would like to see someone challenge the Lakers in the west. I am liking Billups on the Nuggets (apologies to Brandon); if I had my druthers, though, he would have stayed with Detroit. I also love Stuckey -- I'd take him in a flash if he were available. He reminds me in some ways of Andrew Toney, esp. offensively. (For those who might not know the name, Toney played for the Sixers in the 1980s, and was a tremendous scoring threat from just about anywhere on the floor.) Maybe I'm thinking too highly of Stuckey, but I don't think so.

#5 of 378 Kirk Tsai

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Posted December 04 2008 - 06:42 PM

Checking in here. Now we're just missing Scott, Jan and a couple others for the few remaining HTF NBA fans.

Cavs do look good, but it still seems like a collision course between the Celtics and Lakers to me. They are the two most balanced, deepest, and outright scary teams in the league. Getting ahead of myself here, but I can't wait for the Christmas day game, and then the rematch in the Finals.

I knew 6 was Russel, 14 Cousy, 33 Bird, 32 McHale, 00 Parish, but had to look up #17 to see Havlicek. For a player of his stature, it seems like he is one of the more forgotten or least talked about great players in the league.

#6 of 378 Scott Merryfield

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Posted December 04 2008 - 11:44 PM

I think the Celtics will repeat, too. Boston's inside game with Garnett presents too tough a matchup for Cleveland, Detroit or the Lakers.

The Pistons appear to be in a mini rebuilding phase. I still like the Iverson trade, even though the team has not played that consistently since his arrival. Detroit was not going to beat Boston by bringing back the same starting lineup, and Billups has not played well in the last few playoffs seasons. Even if Iverson does not get them past the Celtics this season, both his and Wallace's contracts expire after this season, so Dumars has positioned the team well to go after one of the big free agents hitting the market over the next two years. I think Stuckey is going to be an excellent player, and hopefully Hamilton (who is still young) will come out of his funk if Iverson leaves next season. The team also has some other decent young role players like Maxiell and Afflalo, but they need to continue to upgrade the starting lineup. Rasheed is the next one that needs to go. They need a big man who is willing to play down low, and Wallace doesn't want to do that.

#7 of 378 Ockeghem

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Posted December 05 2008 - 01:48 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirk Tsai
Checking in here. Now we're just missing Scott, Jan and a couple others for the few remaining HTF NBA fans.

Cavs do look good, but it still seems like a collision course between the Celtics and Lakers to me. They are the two most balanced, deepest, and outright scary teams in the league. Getting ahead of myself here, but I can't wait for the Christmas day game, and then the rematch in the Finals.

I knew 6 was Russel, 14 Cousy, 33 Bird, 32 McHale, 00 Parish, but had to look up #17 to see Havlicek. For a player of his stature, it seems like he is one of the more forgotten or least talked about great players in the league.
Kirk,

Yeah, Havlickek is one of my sports heroes. Back in 1974 or so, I went to a couple of Celtics home games. I saw Hondo play, and loved every minute of it. This was the team of Dave Cowens, Jo Jo White, and Don Nelson (the latter the current coach of the Golden State Warriors, and another great 'sixth man' for that Celtics team).

Havlicek (as well as Johnny Kelly) indirectly got me into marathoning, if you can believe that. I read a couple of articles and books on Hondo a few years after I attended those games in 1974, and found out that his resting heart rate was around 40 beats per minute. So, I endeavored to find out more about aerobic exercise, coronary collateral blood vessels, and the like. Posted Image

The Celtics have a tough game at home tonight against Portland. I still get a little miffed that the Trail Blazers defeated Boston on their home court one December evening back in their 1985-86 season. No one knew it at the time, but it was the only blemish for the Celtics at home that year (40-1). Posted Image

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotty Merryfield
The Pistons appear to be in a mini rebuilding phase. I still like the Iverson trade, even though the team has not played that consistently since his arrival. Detroit was not going to beat Boston by bringing back the same starting lineup, and Billups has not played well in the last few playoffs seasons. Even if Iverson does not get them past the Celtics this season, both his and Wallace's contracts expire after this season, so Dumars has positioned the team well to go after one of the big free agents hitting the market over the next two years. I think Stuckey is going to be an excellent player, and hopefully Hamilton (who is still young) will come out of his funk if Iverson leaves next season. The team also has some other decent young role players like Maxiell and Afflalo, but they need to continue to upgrade the starting lineup. Rasheed is the next one that needs to go. They need a big man who is willing to play down low, and Wallace doesn't want to do that.
Scott,

That's a shame about Wallace, because IMO he's an excellent player and a formidable force on the court. As a Celtics fan, believe me when I tell you that we know he's out there when playing against us. He's one of those guys who seems to play quietly in the shadows of a couple of other great players, which seems to be an advantage (like an unknown quantity, if you will). But I'd say the secret's out these days. Posted Image Any idea why he doesn't want to play down low?

#8 of 378 Philip Hamm

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Posted December 05 2008 - 04:03 AM

I live near washington dc and I've started following the Wiz the last few years, attending a few games and watching some on TV. They appeared to be an up-and-coming team with a good core of players, a good coach, poor defense.

Now... Not so enthusiastic.....Posted Image
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#9 of 378 Walter C

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Posted December 05 2008 - 04:18 AM

There hasn't been much to cheer for, in Philly, with the Sixers getting off to a slow start. And it looks like Elton Brand will miss tonight's game.

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#10 of 378 Scott Merryfield

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Posted December 05 2008 - 04:37 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ockeghem
Scott,

That's a shame about Wallace, because IMO he's an excellent player and a formidable force on the court. As a Celtics fan, believe me when I tell you that we know he's out there when playing against us. He's one of those guys who seems to play quietly in the shadows of a couple of other great players, which seems to be an advantage (like an unknown quantity, if you will). But I'd say the secret's out these days. Posted Image Any idea why he doesn't want to play down low?

I don't think anyone really knows what motivates Rasheed. He's one of those guys that seems to march to a different drummer. Wallace can be a real force at times, and completely disappear at others. The guy has a tremendous amount of talent. If he had the same drive and put forth the same consistent effort as Garnett, I think he would be one of the best players in the league. It's really frustrating to watch him hang out at the 3 point circle all the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Hamm
I live near washington dc and I've started following the Wiz the last few years, attending a few games and watching some on TV. They appeared to be an up-and-coming team with a good core of players, a good coach, poor defense.

I don't know much about the Wizards, other than they have the ugliest uniforms I've ever seen in the NBA. Yuck!

#11 of 378 Andy Sheets

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Posted December 05 2008 - 05:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Hamm
I live near washington dc and I've started following the Wiz the last few years, attending a few games and watching some on TV. They appeared to be an up-and-coming team with a good core of players, a good coach, poor defense.

Now... Not so enthusiastic.....Posted Image

The Wizards can be fun to watch if they're healthy, but they haven't been healthy in a long time, and it sometimes feels like Arenas isn't going to play again. They might still be okay if they could help out Caron Butler by replacing Jamison with someone that's more interested in winning games than making sure he's got a certain number of shot attempts. But they've had crap management for a long time.

#12 of 378 Ockeghem

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Posted December 05 2008 - 02:03 PM

Wizards fans-- Your team came roaring back in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Lakers by 13 points and almost won the game! What a great effort by Washington (106-104). Posted Image

BTW, Washington defeated the Celtics three-out-of-four last year (one of two teams to win the season series with the Green). I hope Boston isn't forgetting that, as they have a game with the Wizards on December 11th. That game is on TNT. Posted Image

I wish the Knicks/Hawks game had been broadcast in our area. What a barnburner! I really thought the Knicks were going to catch them, but the Hawks prevailed, 98-95.

Scott,

It is frustrating watching players play out of what could be one of their best elements. It's hard to know what Detroit's relatively new coach is going to do with the team. Is McDyess officially back with the team?

#13 of 378 Scott Merryfield

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Posted December 06 2008 - 12:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ockeghem
Scott,

It is frustrating watching players play out of what could be one of their best elements. It's hard to know what Detroit's relatively new coach is going to do with the team. Is McDyess officially back with the team?

McDyess cannot officially be resigned until either December 6th or 7th (can't remember the exact date). The local news has been reporting that he is expected back "sometime next week".

Hiring Curry as head coach was quite a gamble, considering he had only one season experience as an assistant coach. Dumars needed to make a change, though, since the team did not respond to Flip Saunders at all after Larry Brown left. Only time will tell if Curry will grow into the position. He is certainly well thought of by the Piston organization after spending many seasons here as a bench player. He was also president of the player's union at one time.

#14 of 378 Walter C

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Posted December 06 2008 - 02:14 AM

Wow, no Elton Brand, and somehow, the 76ers are able to pull out a road victory against the Pistons.

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#15 of 378 Ockeghem

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Posted December 06 2008 - 02:48 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Merryfield
McDyess cannot officially be resigned until either December 6th or 7th (can't remember the exact date). The local news has been reporting that he is expected back "sometime next week".

Hiring Curry as head coach was quite a gamble, considering he had only one season experience as an assistant coach. Dumars needed to make a change, though, since the team did not respond to Flip Saunders at all after Larry Brown left. Only time will tell if Curry will grow into the position. He is certainly well thought of by the Piston organization after spending many seasons here as a bench player. He was also president of the player's union at one time.
Scott,

When McDyess was released, the first thing I thought of was how Boston could get him. Posted Image I had no idea that he was going right back to the Pistons.

My opinion at this point is that Billups and McDyess ought not to have been traded. I like Iverson, but I just think the Pistons (7-7 since Iverson arrived) were a very strong team -- perhaps the second or third strongest in the NBA -- until this trade. I'll tell you this: Last year, when the Pistons gave Boston their first (and only) loss on the parquet floor and tied the series at 1-1 (Boston had yet to win a road game in the playoffs), I was very concerned. I had no idea that the Celtics would win games three and six in Detroit. We'll see how it goes this year. If teams have to win a game in Cleveland (currently 11-0 at home), things could get a little dicey. Posted Image

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter C
Wow, no Elton Brand, and somehow, the 76ers are able to pull out a road victory against the Pistons.
Stuckey almost brought the Pistons back last night against the Sixers. The highlights showed some of that long-range jump shot that I admire of his. That was a very impressive road victory for Philadelphia.

#16 of 378 Philip Hamm

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Posted December 06 2008 - 06:14 AM

I will say this to get on topic for the forum... Basketball on OTA HD is absolutely fabulous (even with my ED resolution TV). You can see the grain on the floor. Shame there are so few games broadcast OTA these days.
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#17 of 378 Mark Leiter

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Posted December 06 2008 - 09:33 AM

Hey all. Here's a sad pathetic Orlando Magic fan reporting in. though I do have to have some hope as the teams they've put together is much better than in past years.

As far as the Pistons are concerned. it always amazed me when a team that is in the conference finals every year for the past 5-6 years, hell made it to the finals twice winning once, feels the need to break the team up because they can't win it all. it seems to me to be a little bit of spoildness. They should count there lucky stars they dont have injury problems simliar to Washington or Orlando have had in the past. There are plenty of teams that would love to have the Pistons problems.

That being said, i think I like the Iverson/Billips trade. For the Nuggets, Iverson and Anthony never did play well together, trading AI away for a more team oriented player like Billips might fit that team better. For the Piston's, they finally have a true "Go to" player that might just take them over the top. And in the end if it dosen't work out well AI's contract is almost up, they can just let him go and make a run at one of those Big name free agents next year or year after.
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#18 of 378 Ockeghem

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Posted December 06 2008 - 09:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Leiter
Hey all. Here's a sad pathetic Orlando Magic fan reporting in. though I do have to have some hope as the teams they've put together is much better than in past years.
Mark,

A healthy Orlando Magic team is IMO a scary thought. They are the other team that took the season series from Boston last year. I expect them to get at least into the second, if not the third round, this year (provided they are healthy).

#19 of 378 Scott Merryfield

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Posted December 06 2008 - 09:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ockeghem
My opinion at this point is that Billups and McDyess ought not to have been traded. I like Iverson, but I just think the Pistons (7-7 since Iverson arrived) were a very strong team -- perhaps the second or third strongest in the NBA -- until this trade. I'll tell you this: Last year, when the Pistons gave Boston their first (and only) loss on the parquet floor and tied the series at 1-1 (Boston had yet to win a road game in the playoffs), I was very concerned. I had no idea that the Celtics would win games three and six in Detroit. We'll see how it goes this year. If teams have to win a game in Cleveland (currently 11-0 at home), things could get a little dicey. Posted Image

After watching the team fail at the same point the last three seasons -- and lose to inferior teams (Miami and Cleveland) in two of them -- there was no reason to think Detroit could get by a superior Boston team this season. So, Dumars did the only sensible thing and made a move that had potential for this season and would help the team long term. Billups has been slowing down and has several years left on his contract, so he was the logical one to be traded. As I said earlier, if Iverson does not work out the Pistons will now have a great deal of salary cap money to spend -- something like $33 million between AI and Wallace after this season.

Personally, Scott, I do not think the Celtics were ever in danger of getting beat by Detroit in the conference finals last season. I've watched this team for a long time, and it's quite easy to see when they are going to lose. The team just stands around on offense, waiting for the shot clock to count down, and then launches a jump shot. You are not going to win in the playoffs that way.

#20 of 378 Ockeghem

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Posted December 06 2008 - 01:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Merryfield
After watching the team fail at the same point the last three seasons -- and lose to inferior teams (Miami and Cleveland) in two of them -- there was no reason to think Detroit could get by a superior Boston team this season. So, Dumars did the only sensible thing and made a move that had potential for this season and would help the team long term. Billups has been slowing down and has several years left on his contract, so he was the logical one to be traded. As I said earlier, if Iverson does not work out the Pistons will now have a great deal of salary cap money to spend -- something like $33 million between AI and Wallace after this season.

Personally, Scott, I do not think the Celtics were ever in danger of getting beat by Detroit in the conference finals last season. I've watched this team for a long time, and it's quite easy to see when they are going to lose. The team just stands around on offense, waiting for the shot clock to count down, and then launches a jump shot. You are not going to win in the playoffs that way.
Scott,

Whoops--I meant that the Pistons gave the Celtics their only home loss in the playoffs, but I'm sure you knew that. Boston was 35-6 at home during the regular season last year.

Well, you certainly know Detroit a lot better than I do. What I saw was a team that came in and defeated Boston in its first game between the two of them during the regular season, and then take a game off of the Celts in the playoffs. I should have phoned you to alleviate any of my fears. Posted Image

That's quite a lot of salary cap money! It will be fun to see where they end up spending it -- could be two or three more players over the next two years, which will make it very interesting considering who the free agents will be at that time.


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