The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

QuickThoughts: 76ers vs. Magic

– One thing I’ll never understand is the wild fear among NBA coaches of having a player foul out. It’s certainly not GOOD, but as many commentators have pointed out, often times the lengths coaches go to to avoid it have the perverse effect of creating the problem they’re trying to avoid. Tonight’s example: with Jameer Nelson out, the Magic start Anthony Johnson at PG with Courtney Lee as backup. Hubie Brown lets us know that the magic want to hold Johnson to 30 minutes in the game, but Lee has picked up 3 early fouls and if he picks up another he’ll have to be benched which would leave Hedo Turkoglu running the offense. Why, i wonder? Lee’s a third string SG/PG, does it matter much if he fouls out by the 4th quarter? Would you want him out there at that point anyway? In the end Lee played only 12 minutes and never picked up another foul, Johnson played 37, and the Magic eked out a close one. Turkoglu ran the offense on the final play.

– Dear Stuart Scott: please never call the NBA champs world champs again. They are not the champs of Spain, or Italy, or Israel, or Germany, or China, or Argentina, or anywhere else which plays basketball. The defending World Champions are the Spanish National Team. Thank you.

– Both of the ESPN halftime chuckleheads from this game, Jamal Mashburn and John Barry, agreed that Yao Ming was clearly better than Dwight Howard. Really?

Yao PER, last 3 years (final number is this year): 26.54, 22.55, 21.26.

Howard: 21.19, 22.61, 28.49.

Yao, games missed in that span: 34, 27, 0

Howard: 0, 0, 0

Adjusted +/- likes Yao a lot better on year to date, although that metric has huge volatility in these (and seemingly any…) sample sizes. I’d say the point is open as to which is better, but given the health and the relative direction of their recent career arcs I know which one I’d prefer to build a team around.

– The play which won the game for Orlando was an example of how, at their best, they beat teams by doing the very simple thing very well (as do most good teams). 20 seconds left, down by one, the Magic inbound the ball and shuffle it to Turkoglu outside the 3 point line facing the basket head on. They run a very simple screen and roll which allows Hedo to get a step and collapse the defense, and then use his passing ability to kick the ball to the corner. Rashard Lewis hits a wide open 3, and there’s your game. They ran basic plays like this all game, all on the most simple of principles- collapse the defense with penetration or demanding a double in the post, kick it out, hit the shot- and did it against a team currently ranked 5th best defense in the league. At the end of the day, basketball really isn’t that complex; keep this in mind the next time you hear the weeping and wailing about how the league is less skilled.

– If you’re wondering what the problem is in Philly, well, they’e 21st in the L in turnover ratio (25.8) and 28th in true shooting % (50.2). They have the best rebound rate in the league which is masking some of this, but well, there’s your problem, and it’s the reason why their games are such a two-way brick parade. I regard it as a sign of progress that the D and boards alone aren’t enough to keep them much above water in the suddenly improved East.

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November 27, 2008 - Posted by | Other NBA |

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