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@  majik19 : (13 October 2015 - 09:09 PM) Apparently we claimed Arsalan Kazemi off waivers from the Hawks today... yet another undersized (6'7") power forward for Morey's cupboard.
@  Mario Peña : (10 October 2015 - 01:12 PM) If your part if the Red94 Fantasy Basketball League check the thread to vote for the date and time for the draft event. Thanks y'all!
@  jorgeaam : (07 October 2015 - 08:47 PM) Guys we need 1 more owner for the Red94 fantasy league, if interested please comment on the post in the fantasy basketball thread
@  slick shoes : (07 October 2015 - 06:50 PM) Kobe ranked one spot higher than Ariza? Is this based on legacy or...??
@  slick shoes : (07 October 2015 - 04:13 PM) It was hard to keep up with both the Astros and Rockets at the same time. Should be interesting on Thursday with the Texans and Astros on simultaneously.
@  Mario Peña : (07 October 2015 - 04:09 PM) It was fun to have the Rockets on last night! Right now I'm watching the Celtics versus Milan and Alessandro Gentile is impressive.
@  jorgeaam : (06 October 2015 - 07:47 PM) Well, thinking twice about it, I'd rather have him score less and have the team as a whole do better. Lawson should take a lot of his load off
@  jorgeaam : (06 October 2015 - 07:47 PM) Loving that, hope he hits 30 PPG this year
@  thejohnnygold : (06 October 2015 - 06:15 PM) Someone is feeling confident :) : LINK
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@  Mario Peña : (06 October 2015 - 02:35 PM) Alright guys, if anyone is interested in joining the Red94 fantasy basketball league we could use one more player to get us to 10 teams (or three to get us to 12 teams). Just check the thread in the Fantasy Basketball forum. Thanks!
@  thejohnnygold : (05 October 2015 - 06:23 PM) I use leaguepass here in Austin with no problems...
@  skip 2 my lou : (05 October 2015 - 03:14 PM) Hey fellas, I'm a rocket fan but I live in the heart of Dallas. Does anybody know if I buy NBA Leaguepass if it's too close to be subject to blackouts?
@  Losthief : (02 October 2015 - 02:24 AM) tks jg
@  thejohnnygold : (29 September 2015 - 05:16 AM) FYI, it was media day today. Interviews are up at NBA.com
@  slick shoes : (23 September 2015 - 06:37 PM) kind of late in the day but NBATV is broadcasting classis Rockets games all day today.
@  SadLakerFan : (16 September 2015 - 04:37 AM) Man, as a Laker fan, I'm learning how little you care about the off season when your team sucks. Anyway, a quick moment to remember Moses. Still remember watching the 81 team as a kid - losing record, NBA Finals. I would have cried w/joy if they could have beaten the Celtics.
@  jorgeaam : (15 September 2015 - 08:30 PM) http://bleacherrepor...ist-after-crash
@  jorgeaam : (15 September 2015 - 08:30 PM) So to celebrate his new contract, Montrezl Harrell saved someone's life on monday
@  thejohnnygold : (14 September 2015 - 04:36 PM) A good article from Blinebury talking about when Hakeem and Moses used to play in the park. LINK

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The Ups and Downs of "Tanking"

tanking draft trades player evaluation

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#1 Alituro

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    Posted 29 March 2012 - 06:05 PM

    Here is an article courtesy of "Voecklen" that discusses and traces the history of successes and failures of the tanking philosophy. It starts with a questioning of the Blazer's motives in their recent trades. It sheds light on and, at least for me, dispels the philosophy that many think we should get behind. It reinforces my support of Morey's system of player acquisition and Les's stand on tanking.

    http://www.freakonom...d-in-the-nba-2/

    Tremendous topic for debate and discussion...

    GO!
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    #2 Sir Thursday

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    Posted 29 March 2012 - 06:44 PM

    Interesting article. The numbers quite clearly indicate the dynastic nature of the NBA. I would have liked to have seen the charts going back further though, because I don't think 4 years is long enough for the purposes of what he's trying to look at. Also, it feels like his dataset is kind of unbalanced - if you have a team that was 'excellent' for 5 years, then in the first table they are going to count 4 times as excellent the previous year and 1 as something less. Given that you would expect a team that was excellent one year to stand a reasonable chance of being excellent the next year, you are going to see a lot of these, and it's going to naturally result in a lot of excellent teams remaining excellent.

    ST
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    #3 Voecklen

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      Posted 29 March 2012 - 07:51 PM

      Sir Thursday,

      Two things. Firstly, I'm unsure of the benefit of going back more than four years. Causality is difficult enough to determine when all facts are in front of you and the further back in time you go the "facts" start to get muddled. Secondly, your argument against the tables is exactly what the table are trying to show. The fact that a good team keeps being a good team is really the point of the article (as well as bad team largely stay bad). If the tables show that, wasn't that the objective?

      Ultimately, to me, the article has worth not to prove that tanking doesn't work but to give merit to the notion that trying to win now and improve has real merit. There are clearly situations where it's possible that tanking would work but in the end that possibility is less attractive to me than staying competitive and improving with good coaching and management.
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      #4 Rahat Huq

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        Posted 29 March 2012 - 09:37 PM

        Still have not yet gotten a chance to read this. Thanks for posting it though, guys. I'll share my thoughts on this later tonight.
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        #5 Lyfestyle

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          Posted 29 March 2012 - 09:37 PM

          Ultimately, to me, the article has worth not to prove that tanking doesn't work but to give merit to the notion that trying to win now and improve has real merit. There are clearly situations where it's possible that tanking would work but in the end that possibility is less attractive to me than staying competitive and improving with good coaching and management.


          How many seasons like these past three will you endure before you sour on 'staying competitive', though?

          Let's look at the top 5 teams (based on current record), their top contributor and that contributor's draft position:
          1) CHI - Rose (#1 overall)
          2) OKC - Durant (#2) (and Westbrook #4)
          3) MIA - James (#1) (and Wade #5, Bosh #4)
          4) SAS - Duncan (#1)
          5) ORL - Howard (#1)

          So while Berri's piece is an interesting read, my lying eyes have to disagree with its conclusion (if that conclusion ultimately works out to, "Stay the course, Rockets!").

          To perhaps over-simplify: In my mind, you win in the NBA with great players. A large, large percentage of the time, those players are taken at the top of the draft. You're arguing for a strategy that would never have the Rockets land near that position, and I'm just not on board with that.
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          #6 Sir Thursday

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          Posted 29 March 2012 - 09:39 PM

          Voecklen:

          I thought the tables were meant to illustrate an idea about how to become a title contender. "Title contenders remain title contenders" isn't a particularly useful fact in that context. I would argue that a team that has been consistently great for several years is a single entity, not 5 separate ones as Berri has counted them. I don't see how the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Lakers teams were different enough that they shouldn't be treated as three separate examples of how teams became great. There's likely to be a very strong skew based on the domination of the Spurs - between 2000 and 2008 the Spurs will have been considered an 'excellent' team by Berri's metric...should they really count 8 times?

          I find his conclusion attractive - that tanking is not necessarily the way forwards. And personally I'm all for staying competitive and improving incrementally (although I'm very much of the view that it is never appropriate for a sports team to actively sacrifice winning games this season for winning games in the future). But I don't really think the article is particularly thorough in that regard - the interesting points it highlights are more an illustration of how the winners keep winning rather than how the losers can aspire to become winners. Which is a fine point of investigation, but not what he was claiming to explore.

          ST
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          #7 Voecklen

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            Posted 29 March 2012 - 11:01 PM

            How many seasons like these past three will you endure before you sour on 'staying competitive', though?

            Let's look at the top 5 teams (based on current record), their top contributor and that contributor's draft position:
            1) CHI - Rose (#1 overall)
            2) OKC - Durant (#2) (and Westbrook #4)
            3) MIA - James (#1) (and Wade #5, Bosh #4)
            4) SAS - Duncan (#1)
            5) ORL - Howard (#1)

            So while Berri's piece is an interesting read, my lying eyes have to disagree with its conclusion (if that conclusion ultimately works out to, "Stay the course, Rockets!").

            To perhaps over-simplify: In my mind, you win in the NBA with great players. A large, large percentage of the time, those players are taken at the top of the draft. You're arguing for a strategy that would never have the Rockets land near that position, and I'm just not on board with that.


            Indeed, you are oversimplifying. You take a very small sample (this year's standings) and draw conclusions based on one selective fact, draft position of it's best players. I'm not one of these people who likes to go on and on and offer up a wall of text to convince others of my POV. I'm not trying to convince you of anything as I'm sure your mind is made up. (BTW, you attributed conclusions to me which i never arrived at or stated.) Just answer one simple question, to yourself if you'd like. Who had the greater impact on Chicago's team last year? Rose or Thibodeau?

            As to enduring, I'm not having any problems. I'm rather enjoying the year. To me, the journey is more important than the destination.
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            #8 Rahat Huq

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              Posted 30 March 2012 - 12:50 PM

              I just read through it. It was interesting, but argued a strawman. I haven't read Henry Abbott's piece, but I don't think anyone has argued that the purpose of tanking is to get the #1 pick. Sure, you'd like to have the #1 pick. But the purpose of tanking is just to get one of the top picks, or at least a pick higher than what you had. I at least have never argued that we should tank so we can get the #1 pick. He did his entire record analysis on #1 picks which didn't really prove anything.

              Furthermore,

              All of this illustrates how teams find “excellence.” The top pick in the draft is one place. But there are top players found elsewhere in the draft. And free agents and trades are also a place where one can find “excellent” players.

              We knew that. We're not finding free agents any time soon and we haven't been able to make a trade. One of my big reasons for wanting to have a high pick is so we have fodder for trade.
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              #9 Alituro

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                Posted 30 March 2012 - 02:52 PM

                Here's an interesting fact:

                Only ten lottery selections have gone on to win an NBA title with the team that selected them.



                Taken from: http://sportsdelve.w...ery-selections/
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                #10 Lyfestyle

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                  Posted 30 March 2012 - 02:56 PM

                  Indeed, you are oversimplifying. You take a very small sample (this year's standings) and draw conclusions based on one selective fact, draft position of it's best players. I'm not one of these people who likes to go on and on and offer up a wall of text to convince others of my POV. I'm not trying to convince you of anything as I'm sure your mind is made up. (BTW, you attributed conclusions to me which i never arrived at or stated.) Just answer one simple question, to yourself if you'd like. Who had the greater impact on Chicago's team last year? Rose or Thibodeau?

                  As to enduring, I'm not having any problems. I'm rather enjoying the year. To me, the journey is more important than the destination.


                  While my sample is small, I do think it's telling. Kobe and Dirk weren't high picks, but my point was that great players tend to be found towards the top of the draft and following your preferred method would never have us drafting there. That's a valid point.

                  Also, I'm not sure my "mind is made up" as you say. I do know that I'm enjoying being a Rockets fan less these past few years, and given lagging attendance and atrocious local ratings, most Houstonians seem to be with me on that.

                  As Rahat pointed out before the season began, choosing to sign a Dalembert and feature veterans like Scola and Martin prominently pretty much guaranteed we'd be exactly where we are: a fringe playoff team with no real blueprint for moving beyond our stasis. You advocate "staying competitive and improving with good coaching and management." How do you define improving? Going from the 8-9 seeded team to the 6-7 seeded team? Hoping that someone we've stashed in Europe pans out? What's your vision for us improving?
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                  #11 Sir Thursday

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                  Posted 30 March 2012 - 03:18 PM

                  Here's an interesting fact:

                  Only ten lottery selections have gone on to win an NBA title with the team that selected them.



                  Taken from: http://sportsdelve.w...ery-selections/


                  I think we also need the converse fact here for this to be useful. How many teams have won NBA titles without a player that they selected in the Lottery? Suspect that number will be pretty low also.

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                  #12 Rahat Huq

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                    Posted 30 March 2012 - 03:33 PM

                    I want to see a list of trades for stars that didn't involve a mid to high lotto pick going back. I think we're all missing the point here, as Dave Berri did. It's not about winning the lottery and getting the #1 pick. No one tanks just for the #1 pick. It's about currency. The Rockets haven't been able to make a trade for a star because they don't have what teams want back - former lotto picks aka blue chip prospects.
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                    #13 Voecklen

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                      Posted 30 March 2012 - 04:02 PM

                      I just read through it. It was interesting, but argued a strawman. I haven't read Henry Abbott's piece, but I don't think anyone has argued that the purpose of tanking is to get the #1 pick. Sure, you'd like to have the #1 pick. But the purpose of tanking is just to get one of the top picks, or at least a pick higher than what you had. I at least have never argued that we should tank so we can get the #1 pick. He did his entire record analysis on #1 picks which didn't really prove anything.

                      Furthermore,


                      We knew that. We're not finding free agents any time soon and we haven't been able to make a trade. One of my big reasons for wanting to have a high pick is so we have fodder for trade.


                      To say that the author's argument is essentially a strawman because one of his points (and there are many) somewhat incorrectly zeroes in on the concept of tanking as getting the number one pick is itself nothing more than a strawman. To think that the author doesn't understand that tanking is a greater concept than just getting the number one pick is questionable. Surely he doesn't think the Blazers are tanking to try to get the number one pick.

                      But beyond that, you're missing the real point of the argument. And it's simple. "You don't need to be bad to be good in the NBA." That's the point of the story. I think it paints a reasonable picture. Not perfect, not definitive but one that should be considered when advocating a plan to tank. I will say through that the author did himself a disservice by not presenting the yearly table information in a graphic form. The trend that he is showing is clearer in that format.
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                      #14 Voecklen

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                        Posted 30 March 2012 - 04:43 PM

                        As Rahat pointed out before the season began, choosing to sign a Dalembert and feature veterans like Scola and Martin prominently pretty much guaranteed we'd be exactly where we are: a fringe playoff team with no real blueprint for moving beyond our stasis. You advocate "staying competitive and improving with good coaching and management." How do you define improving? Going from the 8-9 seeded team to the 6-7 seeded team? Hoping that someone we've stashed in Europe pans out? What's your vision for us improving?


                        Improving would be defined largely based on record but would also have to consider assets such as the worth of the players on the roster and draft picks. Yes I would define going from a 8-9 to 6-7 as improvement. Obviously, a higher seed, perhaps a fourth would be more the goal.

                        As to my plan, it's basically as the article states. Largely keep the players the team has and make incremental improvements for the next year. Right now (meaning post trade deadline) I see this team as a 47-50 win team for a whole season given a reasonable (average) amount of injuries. I really want to keep Dragic and Lowry next year and then figure out who to keep between Lee and Martin. Using that nucleus, bringing Motiejunas in and improvements to Parsons game plus whatever the draft brings (if anything) would yield a team capable of winning 50-54 games. At that point, you're knocking on the door and the options available for the future expand.I'm sure you don't like it and that's fine.The likelihood of it happening is slim. We will see what Morey has planned.
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                        #15 Alituro

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                          Posted 30 March 2012 - 04:45 PM

                          I think we also need the converse fact here for this to be useful. How many teams have won NBA titles without a player that they selected in the Lottery? Suspect that number will be pretty low also.

                          ST


                          Great point I haven't even considered.. Those 10 people named account for 18 rings out of 26 possible, so that leaves 8 rings unaccounted for by lottery picks. those 8 rings came from Pistons, Celts and Lakers... Kinda makes me rethink things. Sure as hell worked for the Spurs to tank.
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                          #16 Lyfestyle

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                            Posted 30 March 2012 - 07:23 PM

                            Just answer one simple question, to yourself if you'd like. Who had the greater impact on Chicago's team last year? Rose or Thibodeau?


                            Uh, Rose. You take Rose off that team and good luck to you, sir.
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                            #17 Voecklen

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                              Posted 30 March 2012 - 07:35 PM

                              Uh, Rose. You take Rose off that team and good luck to you, sir.


                              With that response I can safely conclude as I said previously. You're mind's made up.
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                              #18 Lyfestyle

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                                Posted 30 March 2012 - 07:49 PM

                                With that response I can safely conclude as I said previously. You're mind's made up.


                                I'm not sure what your point is. The years that Phil Jackson didn't have Jordan and Pippen together, Shaq and Kobe and then Pau and Kobe, he didn't win any titles. Coaching can only do so much.
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                                #19 Sir Thursday

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                                Posted 30 March 2012 - 07:49 PM

                                Great point I haven't even considered.. Those 10 people named account for 18 rings out of 26 possible, so that leaves 8 rings unaccounted for by lottery picks. those 8 rings came from Pistons, Celts and Lakers... Kinda makes me rethink things. Sure as hell worked for the Spurs to tank.


                                I think you're forgetting high draft picks from before the starting period in your calculations. The Pistons had Isiah Thomas (#2 overall, 1981), the Celtics had Larry Bird (#6 overall, 1978) and the Lakers had James Worthy (#1 overall, 1982). They may not have been in a lottery to get these players, but you have to include them all the same if you're talking about the value of high draft picks. That leaves the Lakers from 2000-2002 as the only championship teams not to have a lottery pick that they selected on their team.

                                Of course, there are couple of other adjustments that should probably be made. Counting the Pistons in '04 because they had Darko isn't really relevant since he wasn't much of a contributor to their success. You really can't count Kidd since he was traded around before coming back to the Mavs, but you should count Nowitzki since he came to the Mavericks on draft day.

                                Even with those caveats, I think this shows that almost every team in the last 25 years who has won a title has won it with a lottery selection of their own playing a major role on their team, the exceptions being the Lakers (who poached Shaq and drafted Kobe low) and Detroit (the model we're hoping to emulate at the moment).

                                Now, the bright-side is that we do have someone on our team (Patrick Patterson), who we drafted in the lottery. Whether that will be enough though...

                                ST
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                                #20 Rahat Huq

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                                  Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:07 PM

                                  To say that the author's argument is essentially a strawman because one of his points (and there are many) somewhat incorrectly zeroes in on the concept of tanking as getting the number one pick is itself nothing more than a strawman. To think that the author doesn't understand that tanking is a greater concept than just getting the number one pick is questionable. Surely he doesn't think the Blazers are tanking to try to get the number one pick.

                                  But beyond that, you're missing the real point of the argument. And it's simple. "You don't need to be bad to be good in the NBA." That's the point of the story. I think it paints a reasonable picture. Not perfect, not definitive but one that should be considered when advocating a plan to tank. I will say through that the author did himself a disservice by not presenting the yearly table information in a graphic form. The trend that he is showing is clearer in that format.

                                  So what do the Rockets need to do, in your opinion, to jump from mediocre to elite?
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