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desi tmac91 is offline Old 11-05-2012, 10:36 AM   #1
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Nothing groundbreaking but a very good read.

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I can’t remember another NBA moment where a team added three players whose contracts were so openly questioned. Jeremy Lin? A flash in the pan that reflected brighter under those New York lights. Omer Asik? You’re entrusting $25 million to a guy who can’t catch a basketball? Are you an idiot or just stupid? And James Harden, man, I don’t know about him. He just doesn’t strike ya as ya know, a number one guy. An Alpha Dog. The MAN. If he’s your No. 1, you’re never winning anything. You’re seriously going to max out a reserve?

In paying all three, Daryl Morey trusted something quite simple; He trusted what they did. Because, James Harden, Jeremy Lin, and Omer Asik were tangibly good when they played. These guys were doing decent work out in public. It was just a matter of someone trusting that public track record. We’re only three games in, but it would appear, at the very least, that Daryl Morey wasn’t a complete fool for going this route.

It would be ironic if stats-conscious Morey found value in ignoring small sample size concerns. Jeremy Lin’s critics fairly cite his too-brief track record, though some of them will ironically harp on Lin’s one Miami game as more meaningful than the body of work. It is difficult to know just how good Jeremy Lin will be, but we would do well to remember that his late winter success was the result of basketball skill, and not some fairy godmother’s wand wave. Just because “Linsanity!” felt magical, doesn’t mean it was magic. This was just a productive collegian, running a mean pick and roll at the next level.

Players like Lin are always battling against another statistical term–confirmation bias. If a guy goes undrafted, we keep looking for signs that validate the initial assessment. In the other direction, look at how underperforming high draft picks keep finding buyers. Jeff Green has been consistently disappointing in his career so far. The Boston Celtics saw fit to give the 26 year-old a $36 million dollar contract, and he was subsequently hyped by fans and media in the run up to this season. Ask yourself: Does the undrafted version of Jeff Green get this contract or these expectations? Does DeMar DeRozan eventually get $42 million if he fights his way to the NBA through the D-League?

Jeremy Lin also battled a different kind of perception problem. While Lin’s ethnicity brought about a whole lot of positive attention upon his success, it also caused others to jump to some negative conclusions. As I see it, Jeremy’s flaws are, “shaky high dribble, balky jumper.” And yet, I keep hearing and reading about his lack of athleticism. Interesting assumption, that.

In any organization, in any endeavor, people can get locked into a placement. For Lin, that placement was, “Not drafted.” For James Harden, that placement was, “Sixth man.” Ask yourself this: Why was James Harden, and not Russell Westbrook, the sixth man? Westbrook is far more the prototypical bench scorer than Harden. Was there any special reason why the more productive player came off the bench, apart from incumbency?

Make no mistake: James Harden was the more productive player in relatively fewer possessions. This is a different conversation from “better” or “projects to be better eventually.” We’re talking raw efficiency. In his time with the ball, Harden maximized his contribution with three pointers and free throws. Westbrook produced free throws, but he also dominated the rock en route to many turnovers and missed shots.

But James Harden wasn’t specifically battling Russell Westbrook for playing time. He was backing up Thabo Sefolosha, somewhat ludicrously. I wonder what it would have taken for James to ever supplant Thabo in that lineup, considering that Harden, unlike Manu Ginobili, was young and healthy enough to play full games. Granted, Harden got more minutes than Sefolosha, but 31 MPG wasn’t exactly worthy of the production James garnered. The Beard tallied an absurd 66% true shooting mark and a Durant-equivalent .230 win shares per 48 minutes. By all indications, the Thunder planned on keeping up this arrangement in perpetuity.

Then, after Harden was traded to Oklahoma City, various pundits remarked on why he didn’t strike them as “a franchise guy.” They could still be right, but I would like such statements to be backed by tangible assessments, something better than, “he just doesn’t seem like the type.” Explain why James Harden can’t be who he was with Thunder–but with more minutes and more touches. Related, there seems to be this fallacy that an efficiency drop off for promoted players equals an efficiency cliff (credit Aaron McGuire for this observation). Just because a guy might get worse with more responsibility doesn’t mean he’ll get awful. If James Harden plays 39 minutes per night and gives you a .200 win share mark instead of a .230, you still spent that max contract money wisely.

Finally, Omer Asik dealt with the NBA’s strangest perceptual issue: He suffered from anti-defense bias. I swear, it sometimes seems like this league is in a price fixing conspiracy against its defenders. There are these odes to “defense winning championships,” but then Taj Gibson gets a lesser contract than the aforementioned DeMar DeRozan. David Lee gets over $15 million in 2016 and Ronnie Brewer struggles to stay on any one team. Unless you’re a big man with soft hands, good luck getting paid for defensive brilliance.

Asik was a big man, but his hands were made from WD-40-soaked apple jugs. Asik struggles to catch the softest of passes and gets thwarted at the basket more than Yogi Bear. The cherry on top is that .480 on free throws.

He also happens to play the kind of defense that can cripple an entire offense. Mobile, long, and smart, Omer protects the rim while hounding ball-handlers on pick and roll. Since frontcourt D matters disproportionately, this is no small value. When people scoffed at his $25 million contract, I wondered, “Why isn’t defense worth that much money?”

Asik also contributes offensively, but in subtler ways. He’s a nasty (illegal) screener who can set anyone up from anywhere. This doesn’t get talked about often, but mobility helps a screener. For all the touting of Kendrick Perkins’ screen ability, he’s too slow to get certain places. Omer creates space for Harden in a flash. After setting the pick, Asik juts his butt backwards, like Chris Paul, warding off a defender. This walls off Harden’s man as James sprints towards the hoop. Omer Asik can’t catch a ball, but he can play some offense.

To watch Houston flourish would feel like a revolution. Houston’s Big Three is also the NBA’s Freed Three, because basketball orthodoxy imposed glass ceilings on Harden, Lin, and Asik. Then, Daryl Morey broke the glass apart.
http://hoopspeak.com/2012/11/daryl-m...g-freed-three/
 
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phantoman is offline Old 11-05-2012, 10:43 AM   #2
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like it... it is true about the part about being pegged into a role and the perception it causes.

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durvasa is online now Old 11-05-2012, 10:45 AM   #3
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Great read. Thanks.
 
Nero is offline Old 11-05-2012, 10:51 AM   #4
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The only thing I might question is the notion that Lin had some kind of 'glass ceiling' placed on him, as the author says in the last paragraph.

Had Lin stayed in NY, nobody would have been questioning him, or claiming he didn't belong, or 'wasn't good enough'. All of that came about as a result of him signing a large deal and leaving New York.

But overall, a good read.

Oh and F comcast.

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jimmyv281 is offline Old 11-05-2012, 10:52 AM   #5
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F...................COMCAST!!!!!!!!!!
 
jevon3012 is offline Old 11-05-2012, 10:55 AM   #6
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good article, this guy should write on grantland
 
vlaurelio is offline Old 11-05-2012, 10:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nero View Post
The only thing I might question is the notion that Lin had some kind of 'glass ceiling' placed on him, as the author says in the last paragraph.
if JHarden had some kind of 'glass ceiling' why wouldn't JLin?
 
Coban Hutton is offline Old 11-05-2012, 11:35 AM   #8
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Players like Lin are always battling against another statistical term–confirmation bias. If a guy goes undrafted, we keep looking for signs that validate the initial assessment. In the other direction, look at how underperforming high draft picks keep finding buyers. Jeff Green has been consistently disappointing in his career so far. The Boston Celtics saw fit to give the 26 year-old a $36 million dollar contract, and he was subsequently hyped by fans and media in the run up to this season. Ask yourself: Does the undrafted version of Jeff Green get this contract or these expectations? Does DeMar DeRozan eventually get $42 million if he fights his way to the NBA through the D-League?
This is a great point. I think it's more important than race as a factor.
 
Da_Spark is offline Old 11-05-2012, 11:36 AM   #9
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The Replacements sequel!

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CarolNYC is offline Old 11-05-2012, 01:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Nero View Post
The only thing I might question is the notion that Lin had some kind of 'glass ceiling' placed on him, as the author says in the last paragraph.

Had Lin stayed in NY, nobody would have been questioning him, or claiming he didn't belong, or 'wasn't good enough'. All of that came about as a result of him signing a large deal and leaving New York.
Not exactly, tho...He was being questioned and, really kind of trashed, even as he was helping the Knicks to more wins, when it looked like he would be a Knick forever...

This is from an article from March of last year, after a Knicks win that Jeremy played a significant part in:
Quote:
Here’s the thing though: Even as Lin was providing the Knicks with the energy and the offense to win a third straight game, even as he was electrifying the Pacers crowd and drawing his own share of arena-rattling roars, there was a small gaggle of NBA scouts sitting behind the baseline who were, to be kind, unimpressed.

“Still a D-League player,” one of them said.

“Nothing special,” said another.

......

So it’s hard to just dismiss commentary like that. Most scouts know what they’re talking about. They’ve watched more basketball than any 40 of the most rabid hoops junkies you know. It’s their life. It’s their livelihood.

And they still think Jeremy Lin is a D-League player?

.....

And on the other hand, it makes you wonder what, exactly, Lin needs to do to be viewed as a legitimate NBA point guard, unburdened by the extremes tugging him on one end (skeptical scouts, cynical fans, point guards across the league who relish the idea of treating him like a piñata) and the other end (the unchecked adoration that stalked him for a full month, and which still pops up in arenas, like at the Fieldhouse the other night) whenever he’s playing well.

“I think it was a little crazier here than it normally is,” Lin said. “That’s cool. I didn’t know I had any fans in Indiana.”

Well, he had some. But he also had — has — detractors, prominent ones, who still question, and will question, what they’re seeing and what he’s doing. You wonder what he has to do to impress them. If he ever can. And if it really matters.
http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knick...a5fMPDovPtrhoM

Fact of the matter is, the kid is going to have his detractors....and worse....no matter what he does or where he does it. That's just the way it is.
 
RockSC is offline Old 11-05-2012, 01:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nero View Post
The only thing I might question is the notion that Lin had some kind of 'glass ceiling' placed on him, as the author says in the last paragraph.

Had Lin stayed in NY, nobody would have been questioning him, or claiming he didn't belong, or 'wasn't good enough'. All of that came about as a result of him signing a large deal and leaving New York.

But overall, a good read.

Oh and F comcast.
I thought people had doubts when he was in NY. IMHO he would have been questioned but placed with a higher ceiling. The ceiling will be there.
 
BraveFox is offline Old 11-05-2012, 03:00 PM   #12
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very good read...thnx bro
 
roxxy is offline Old 11-05-2012, 03:17 PM   #13
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I think if you look at Lin adn you look at Damian Llilard it is pretty interesting. Both were strong high school prospects. Went to small colleges because they didn't get many offers. The only difference is that Dame was drafted & Lin wasn't. Both have experienced a significant amount of hype during the first shot at meaninful NBA starting time. Now I just recently read an ESPN 5 on 5 and everybody had come to the conclusion that Dame was the real deal based on 3 NBA games. Just three. One of the same guys that said that also said that Lin still has a lot to prove after 28 NBA starts.

That just boggles my mind the double standard. How is one player after 3 games the real deal & the other player after 28 starts unproven, on what planet is that logical. Now the question is, is it because Lin was undrafted (as the author alludes too). I don't know.

My question is that if Lin were a top draft pick & was playing well would everybody be calling him the real deal or still saying he still has a lot to prove? If it is the latter then people have to wonder if his race plays a part in the discourse.

Thoughts?

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either that or Harden is being vastly underrated by a so called Rockets fan who supposedly watched majority of the Rockets games last season where Harden night in and night out carry the Rockets offense and torch whatever defense the opposing team throws at him
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stats are only credible if they point to jlin as the better player
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Aruba77 is offline Old 11-05-2012, 03:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by roxxy View Post
I think if you look at Lin adn you look at Damian Llilard it is pretty interesting. Both were strong high school prospects. Went to small colleges because they didn't get many offers. The only difference is that Dame was drafted & Lin wasn't. Both have experienced a significant amount of hype during the first shot at meaninful NBA starting time. Now I just recently read an ESPN 5 on 5 and everybody had come to the conclusion that Dame was the real deal based on 3 NBA games. Just three. One of the same guys that said that also said that Lin still has a lot to prove after 28 NBA starts.

That just boggles my mind the double standard. How is one player after 3 games the real deal & the other player after 28 starts unproven, on what planet is that logical. Now the question is, is it because Lin was undrafted (as the author alludes too). I don't know.

My question is that if Lin were a top draft pick & was playing well would everybody be calling him the real deal or still saying he still has a lot to prove? If it is the latter then people have to wonder if his race plays a part in the discourse.

Thoughts?
I'm sorry Roxxy, i think Llilard is already better than Jeremy Lin. I think Llillard is a special talent and will be ROY. Lin has a bright future, but i'd take Llillard in a second over Lin. In fact, i don;t think Lin is better than either of the two PGs we had on our roster last year. I hope one day he will be, but until his shooting improves, it's hard to say that he's better than Llillard, Dragic, or Lowry IMHO. Just being real. In today's NBA, your starting PG has to be able to shoot.

Last edited by Aruba77; 11-05-2012 at 03:34 PM.
 
MambaJoe is offline Old 11-05-2012, 03:34 PM   #15
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Good article. That is true about the NBA. Players that show flashes or hyped enough will get big money even though they are not worth a quarter of it. There has been so many players that are underpaid even though they bring so much to the team.

Its always about the hype of the player and the flashes he shows on the court. Like DeMar Derozan, who is more of a flashy swingman got a big time extension even though his ceiling is more of an average player. Same thing with Jeff Green. Its always about the hope and the false belief that the player will one day become a big time player because of the hype and the flashes he does on the court even though many knew that it would not happen.

Guys like Amare who's always been injured and more of a flashy dunker who rarely plays any defense gets pay big because of the hype around him. Its sad that no one cares about defense even though it is constantly preached. Great defensive players are always overlooked.

Harden is a different example on this one. People are calling Morey a fool for paying Harden that much money when they don't even realized that he's only 23 years old and one of the main reasons why the Thunder got to the finals. Harden can score, create for others and handle the ball and be a great all around player. But instead of looking at that, people seem to be locked on that " Oh Harden sucks because he choked in the Finals" crap. They don't realized that Durant and Westbrook also didn't delivered but they all blamed Harden. People just don't understand that it was Harden's 3rd year in the league and he was a big part of the Thunder making it to the Finals. His performance in the finals can be accounted for because any young player can choke or get extremely nervous in the finals. Plus the Heat are a great defensive team and they did their homework on Harden because they knew how good he was.

The thing with James is that many love to point out the little things but fail to look at the entire picture. I was also wrong before about James Harden because I didn't understand his game that well. Now I realized that people just expected so much out of him because of his accomplishment at only the 3rd year of his career. I failed to look at the fact that he help the Thunder made it to the finals, how he single handed destroyed the Mavs in the playoffs, made big time clutch shots against the powerful Spurs. For a 3rd year player, that's amazing. I mean, Tmac didn't even made it out of the first round his entire career but its ok for him to get the max contract.

All of this is just base on the standards of the NBA today. It sucks that nobody cares whether guys like Amare, Eddy Curry, heck a lot of guys that played for the Knicks got paid big money but our guys like Lin who basically got paid the league starting PG average gets bashed for it. People failed to look at what Lin brings to the court and how his skills was the big part of Linsanity and just focus on that one game against the Heat. I mean comon, the Heat shuts everyone down but they expected an undrafted player who basically still a rookie to dominate against Lebron and co.

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roxxy is offline Old 11-05-2012, 03:39 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Aruba77 View Post
I'm sorry bro, i think Llilard is already better than Jeremy Lin. I think Llillard is a special talent and will be ROY. Lin has a bright future, but i'd take Llillard in a second over Lin. In fact, i don;t think Lin is better than either of the two PGs we had on our roster last year. I hope one day he will be, but until his shooting improves, it's hard to say that he's better than Llillard, Dragic, or Lowry IMHO. Just being real.
Fair enough. Thank you for being real But I totally disagree. OMG OMG OMG. On what planet is he better that anybody right now Damian has played in 3 games. Three. And this isn't me talking from the perspective of a Lin fan (which i am by the way) but just a realist. Damian has done very little in the NBA. Like how can anybody compare Damian to Lowry. Goodness gracious Lowry is playing like a superstar right now. Like don't get me wrong I think Damian is a great talent but to sit here and to just act like he is the real deal after THREE GAMES and then to say that Lin still has a a lot to prove -_- !!!!! Like Dragic has the same amount of starts to his name how in the **** is he more proven than Lin!! COME ON. Wow the double standards just kill me like LOL I am trying to keep my emotions in check while typing this but I just ... UGHH

Like just scratch Lin how in the hell can you put Dame in the SAME SENTENCE as Kyle Lowry. Matter fact how is anybody putting Dragic in the same sentence as Kyle Lowry. Like I am not attacking you & please don't take it as such but OMG I have seen this everywhere on twitter & it just drives me out of my mind. UGHH!! Like are you are really big Damian Llillard fan or something like please just help me comprehend?!!

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either that or Harden is being vastly underrated by a so called Rockets fan who supposedly watched majority of the Rockets games last season where Harden night in and night out carry the Rockets offense and torch whatever defense the opposing team throws at him
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stats are only credible if they point to jlin as the better player
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thegary is offline Old 11-05-2012, 03:41 PM   #17
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lin may end up being the better compliment to harden. they seem to already be playing well together and if this improves and we get some offensive cutters to the rim, our PnR will be pretty unstoppable.
 
fallenphoenix is offline Old 11-05-2012, 03:42 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by BraveFox View Post
very good read...thnx bro
does anyone else's head start nodding when watching this?
 
Aruba77 is offline Old 11-05-2012, 03:49 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by roxxy View Post
Fair enough. Thank you for being real But I totally disagree. OMG OMG OMG. On what planet is he better that anybody right now Damian has played in 3 games. Three. And this isn't me talking from the perspective of a Lin fan (which i am by the way) but just a realist. Damian has done very little in the NBA. Like how can anybody compare Damian to Lowry. Goodness gracious Lowry is playing like a superstar right now. Like don't get me wrong I think Damian is a great talent but to sit here and to just act like he is the real deal after THREE GAMES and then to say that Lin still has a a lot to prove -_- !!!!! Like Dragic has the same amount of starts to his name how in the **** is he more proven than Lin!! COME ON. Wow the double standards just kill me like LOL I am trying to keep my emotions in check while typing this but I just ... UGHH

Like just scratch Lin how in the hell can you put Dame in the SAME SENTENCE as Kyle Lowry. Matter fact how is anybody putting Dragic in the same sentence as Kyle Lowry. Like I am not attacking you & please don't take it as such but OMG I have seen this everywhere on twitter & it just drives me out of my mind. UGHH!! Like are you are really big Damian Llillard fan or something like please just help me comprehend?!!
Didn't mean to upset you. Completely agree that Lowry is an all-star. Should have left him out of the conversation. If we didn't have Harden right now, i'd still be bitter that we converted Lowry into a late lotto pick.

As far as Llillard, you are right that there isn't much of a track record. I was just giving my opinion from having seen him live a few times now. I think he is a special player. One of those rare players who can get his own shot, can take care of the ball, and also has enough court vision and passing ability to get other players involved. The kid is a pure scorer with solid PG skills. Right now Lin can't shoot, and Llilard can. that's a big part of being a successful point guard in today's NBA.

We'll compare stats at the end of the season. I'm confident Llilard's will be superior in most of the important categories, except maybe steals.

I'm not a Lin hater or a Llilard fan, i just think Lin's got a lot of holes in his game, and i'm amazed at how few holes Llilard appears to have for being such a young player. He's gonna be special.
 
don grahamleone is offline Old 11-05-2012, 03:51 PM   #20
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don grahamleone is James Harden -- racking up the pointsdon grahamleone is James Harden -- racking up the pointsdon grahamleone is James Harden -- racking up the pointsdon grahamleone is James Harden -- racking up the pointsdon grahamleone is James Harden -- racking up the pointsdon grahamleone is James Harden -- racking up the points
Since: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,139
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Thx, I never would have thought about Omer's screening ability to be a significant strength. Something to keep my eye on during games.

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