2019 NBA Offseason Discussion

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Re: 2019 NBA Offseason Discussion 

Post#681 » by Dr Spaceman » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:35 am

eminence wrote:Haven't followed the whole discussion, but I wouldn't say I had a major problem with KD 'going-iso' too often or at the wrong times (obviously it doesn't work all the time, no strategy does). Steph/Klay/the whole feng shui of the offense will be off at times and KD isos are a very strong option to fall back to. I was more disappointed in how he fit in when things were gelling and going well. A bit of the old floor vs ceiling debate. It may just be the true ceiling wasn't much higher than where the Warriors were already at, but I have to say I was a bit disappointed in how little their best lineups/results improved switching from Barnes to Durant.


I guess then I’d ask you what practical things you want him to do to raise that ceiling. What could he have done better to make them gel more? There’s really very little ways for a star scorer to fit into an established offense like that other than be extremely efficient with his touches, which KD absolutely was.

The team was unbeatable at its peak. They basically went undefeated over an entire playoff run which is virtually unheard of. That’s a damn high ceiling.

KD is right in that Warriors fans treated him like an outsider. When Steph had bad games it’s because KD is a ball hog and when KD had bad games it’s because KD is a ball hog. To some degree this is inevitable because the core is already “proven” but people way overreacted to the Warriors’ rise and decided their style of play was the unimpeachable way to basketball nirvana and anything KD did would ruin that. I mean there’s a lot of people here that still think this way.

The truth is the Warriors offense has periods where it really struggled before KD, after KD, with KD, without KD. And the Warriors have had to bail themselves out with iso ball before like for example game 5 against the Cavs in 2015 or game 6 against the Thunder in 2016.

The Warriors are a fun team to watch when they’re vibing but people take that too far. They don’t have some unbelievable advantage over the rest of the league because they pass a lot.
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Re: 2019 NBA Offseason Discussion 

Post#682 » by eminence » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:21 pm

To note, I'm not sure how much any criticism should be directed at Durant vs at Warriors coaching and it's all relative, they obviously put up great offensive results in spite of whatever issues they had. I feel a larger effort to fit KD in was made in his 1st season with the team and I have few if any criticisms of that team and KDs fit within it.

Dr Spaceman wrote:I guess then I’d ask you what practical things you want him to do to raise that ceiling. What could he have done better to make them gel more? There’s really very little ways for a star scorer to fit into an established offense like that other than be extremely efficient with his touches, which KD absolutely was.


It's about making quick decisions, whether a touch pass or catching and shooting or making a move of his own. When he catches and takes a couple seconds to make a decision and then moves the ball the offense is being gummed up. I'm not expecting KD to be Bird out there, but I feel I saw real improvement in '17 and then regression in '18/'19 (this is largely reflected in time/dribble per possession #'s). Possessions where KD/Steph/Klay wind up putting up a shot slightly out of rhythm are still good possessions because they're great great shooters/scorers, but the Warriors missed easy looks for tertiary players because KD was dawdling. I'm not asking him to find the great pass directly as I don't feel that's something he's capable of, but to be more open to moving the ball on to Draymond and to a lesser degree Curry to find that great look (which I do feel KD showed he was capable of in '17).
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Re: 2019 NBA Offseason Discussion 

Post#683 » by Peregrine01 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:04 pm

eminence wrote:To note, I'm not sure how much any criticism should be directed at Durant vs at Warriors coaching and it's all relative, they obviously put up great offensive results in spite of whatever issues they had. I feel a larger effort to fit KD in was made in his 1st season with the team and I have few if any criticisms of that team and KDs fit within it.

Dr Spaceman wrote:I guess then I’d ask you what practical things you want him to do to raise that ceiling. What could he have done better to make them gel more? There’s really very little ways for a star scorer to fit into an established offense like that other than be extremely efficient with his touches, which KD absolutely was.


It's about making quick decisions, whether a touch pass or catching and shooting or making a move of his own. When he catches and takes a couple seconds to make a decision and then moves the ball the offense is being gummed up. I'm not expecting KD to be Bird out there, but I feel I saw real improvement in '17 and then regression in '18/'19 (this is largely reflected in time/dribble per possession #'s). Possessions where KD/Steph/Klay wind up putting up a shot slightly out of rhythm are still good possessions because they're great great shooters/scorers, but the Warriors missed easy looks for tertiary players because KD was dawdling. I'm not asking him to find the great pass directly as I don't feel that's something he's capable of, but to be more open to moving the ball on to Draymond and to a lesser degree Curry to find that great look (which I do feel KD showed he was capable of in '17).


This is how I feel about it as well. You’d think that he’d gel even more but that first year was the team’s peak in terms of fit. Every year thereafter there was regression. Kerr was almost outright begging KD to pass more in that 2018 Rockets series and he has a rep for being hands off and letting guys play.
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Re: 2019 NBA Offseason Discussion 

Post#684 » by Dr Spaceman » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:34 am

eminence wrote:To note, I'm not sure how much any criticism should be directed at Durant vs at Warriors coaching and it's all relative, they obviously put up great offensive results in spite of whatever issues they had. I feel a larger effort to fit KD in was made in his 1st season with the team and I have few if any criticisms of that team and KDs fit within it.

Dr Spaceman wrote:I guess then I’d ask you what practical things you want him to do to raise that ceiling. What could he have done better to make them gel more? There’s really very little ways for a star scorer to fit into an established offense like that other than be extremely efficient with his touches, which KD absolutely was.


It's about making quick decisions, whether a touch pass or catching and shooting or making a move of his own. When he catches and takes a couple seconds to make a decision and then moves the ball the offense is being gummed up. I'm not expecting KD to be Bird out there, but I feel I saw real improvement in '17 and then regression in '18/'19 (this is largely reflected in time/dribble per possession #'s). Possessions where KD/Steph/Klay wind up putting up a shot slightly out of rhythm are still good possessions because they're great great shooters/scorers, but the Warriors missed easy looks for tertiary players because KD was dawdling. I'm not asking him to find the great pass directly as I don't feel that's something he's capable of, but to be more open to moving the ball on to Draymond and to a lesser degree Curry to find that great look (which I do feel KD showed he was capable of in '17).


I and-1’d you because it’s a good point but I would question the cause behind what you’re observing. I think there’s a big place for visual analysis like this of course, but there are underlying reasons to be explored here.

For one thing: 3 years of regular season offensive performance of KD/Steph lineups:
2017: 121.5
2018: 121.4
2019: 121.1

So statistically there is a negligible difference between the three seasons.

The big difference comes in the playoffs, and as I’m sure you’re aware Steph was injured for a large portion of the 2018 playoffs and was largely ineffective (especially against the Rockets) when he returned. Steph’s own production was very poor by his standards and it’s largely because of a combination of him being slowed by the injury and the Rockets’ scheme.

It makes a lot of sense KD would be dawdling with the ball more when the Warriors other main scorer was missing for a big stretch and then you have to adjust on the fly to his returning while the guy clearly still isn’t close to 100%.
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Re: 2019 NBA Offseason Discussion 

Post#685 » by Baski » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:30 pm

Dr Spaceman wrote:
Peregrine01 wrote:It’s a credit to his finishing ability of course. But that wasn’t what I was getting at. He said in the WSJ article that he “had” to go iso and do more individually for the Warriors to succeed when that was the chief reason why they almost got eliminated by the Rockets.


I hear you man, I just disagree. I think the Rockets were just the only team they played that was good enough that they needed all hands on deck to pull out the victory. KD is right in some ways. Houston developed a very unique switching system and played with incredible discipline which prevented Curry from ever getting open in that series. In that sense KD going iso isn’t all that bad an outcome for a possession.

Other times, like when HOU would play Ryno or started making defensive mistakes Curry could smell blood in the water and went into attack mode and could explode for 15 in a quarter. KD didn’t hold him back from doing that.

They needed all of it. In the third quarter of game 7 Steph had 14 points and Durant had 10. In the 4th quarter KD had 11 and Steph had 5. The efforts of both guys were desperately needed because they still almost lost to a short handed Rockets team. And there’s frankly now a very big sample of Curry just not being all that good against the Rockets for various reasons.

I feel this way as well. Do we really know for sure that the ball movement would've yielded better results for the Warriors? By that I mean:
1. Did Houston force GSW to go iso? As in did they take away their ball movement thus necessitating KD's antics? Or was it KD just making the game easier for Houston?
2. And were the spurts of Curry-ball that seemed to save GSW from Houston's ugly ball because the Ws decided to play differently? Or did it have something to do with Houston's defenders letting up (through fatigue or subbing in poor defenders) and allowing the screen runners to breathe?
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Re: 2019 NBA Offseason Discussion 

Post#686 » by Baski » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:33 pm

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Re: 2019 NBA Offseason Discussion 

Post#687 » by Dr Spaceman » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:03 pm

Baski wrote:1. Did Houston force GSW to go iso? As in did they take away their ball movement thus necessitating KD's antics? Or was it KD just making the game easier for Houston?


Iso is the smartest way to beat switching. That’s why the Rockets invented cement-ball in the first place. If you just switch every time then Durant looks at a 6’ Paul or 6’3” Gordon and says “I’m just gonna shoot over this mfer”. I don’t think he’s totally wrong to do so.

The strongest counter would be if you just thought running screen after screen would just tire the Rockets out eventually. And maybe there’s something to that. But if it wasn’t working after 5 games it probably wasn’t going to work.

Fundamentally I don’t know what the Warriors could’ve done to beat that defense. Without a guy like Embiid in the middle or something you jsut don’t gain enough from the size advantage when you’re a team as small as the Warriors.
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Re: 2019 NBA Offseason Discussion 

Post#688 » by Peregrine01 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:01 pm

It's hard for me to buy the idea that isolation offense is the best counter to a switching defense because we saw what happened when KD went out in games 5 and 6 of the Houston series - the Warriors were back to playing their old style with barely a hitch.
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Re: 2019 NBA Offseason Discussion 

Post#689 » by Basileus777 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:27 am

Peregrine01 wrote:It's hard for me to buy the idea that isolation offense is the best counter to a switching defense because we saw what happened when KD went out in games 5 and 6 of the Houston series - the Warriors were back to playing their old style with barely a hitch.

That's a different series and a different Houston defense. The 2019 playoff series wasn't a defensive contest with or without Durant.
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Re: 2019 NBA Offseason Discussion 

Post#690 » by Dr Spaceman » Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:44 pm

Peregrine01 wrote:It's hard for me to buy the idea that isolation offense is the best counter to a switching defense because we saw what happened when KD went out in games 5 and 6 of the Houston series - the Warriors were back to playing their old style with barely a hitch.


But the Warriors themselves think that isolation is the best answer to switching defense. And this is before Durant got there. In 2015-16 Curry was in the top 10 in total isolations and was in the 94th percentile in PPP. He iso’d about as many times per game as Kyrie Irving. Remember when all the hype was about the Warriors “playing big men off the floor”? That’s because they’d just let Curry roast big men on switches. He just couldn’t do it against Capela and Tucker which is why those Rockets were so good.

You guys act like isolation is a contagion but it’s an important ingredient in every good offense, especially the Warriors’.
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Re: 2019 NBA Offseason Discussion 

Post#691 » by Dr Spaceman » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:16 pm

I do feel like people may have genuinely forgotten how much Curry used to go iso before Durant arrived. I mean it looks prettier than when Durant or Harden call their own number but Curry’s iso efficiency is an important part of the Warriors success. The first 1:20 of this video is essentially a Curry iso exhibition:



If I were to make a list of the keys to the Warriors offensive success, Curry’s iso ability would be in the top 3. I mean people realize how huge an advantage it is that teams can’t play traditional big men against them right? Curry in 2016 was a hair behind Harden in 2019 in efficiency per iso.

Curry started the trend of forcing bigs to switch and going at them in iso, and guys like Harden and a Paul quickly followed suit shooting threes in isolation because monkey see monkey do.

I genuinely feel like I might be taking crazy pills here that this is such an important part of the last few years that it seems most people missed or forgot.
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Re: 2019 NBA Offseason Discussion 

Post#692 » by Peregrine01 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:30 pm

Dr Spaceman wrote:
Peregrine01 wrote:It's hard for me to buy the idea that isolation offense is the best counter to a switching defense because we saw what happened when KD went out in games 5 and 6 of the Houston series - the Warriors were back to playing their old style with barely a hitch.


But the Warriors themselves think that isolation is the best answer to switching defense. And this is before Durant got there. In 2015-16 Curry was in the top 10 in total isolations and was in the 94th percentile in PPP. He iso’d about as many times per game as Kyrie Irving. Remember when all the hype was about the Warriors “playing big men off the floor”? That’s because they’d just let Curry roast big men on switches. He just couldn’t do it against Capela and Tucker which is why those Rockets were so good.

You guys act like isolation is a contagion but it’s an important ingredient in every good offense, especially the Warriors’.


I don’t think isolation offense is contagion but it should only be used in spots and when other options have been exhausted. For example, Curry took Tucker on 1v1 several times to wrap up game 6 and got good looks every time and I think a big reason why there wasn’t any good help D from the Rockets on those possessions was because the Rockets D had already been stressed and exhausted from guarding the frenetic movement offense leading up to that.

Where isolation offense becomes problematic is when the team goes to that as the first option and the iso player is going up against a set defense that’s anticipating it.

Lastly, the iso thing wasn’t the only problem that stuck out like a sore thumb when KD was on the warriors. In the last two years he often wouldn’t move at all when he was off ball which stagnated the offense even when the Warriors were trying to run their usual stuff. His detachment became so glaring in the Clippers series that Kerr famously told the media that he wanted him to take 30 shots in the very next game. After that it felt like the Warriors had almost permanently switched to a KD-centric offense in a way that felt like they were placating him.
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Re: 2019 NBA Offseason Discussion 

Post#693 » by GSP » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:34 pm

Are Marc and Scola both 1st ballot Hofs?
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Re: 2019 NBA Offseason Discussion 

Post#694 » by HeartBreakKid » Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:14 pm

GSP wrote:Are Marc and Scola both 1st ballot Hofs?

Marc is for sure. Scola, probably get in his 2nd or third try, but i wouldnt be surprised if he was first.
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Re: 2019 NBA Offseason Discussion 

Post#695 » by eminence » Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:54 am

I'd feel pretty comfortable with Curry's iso ability being top 3 in importance for the Warriors offensive dynasty (with the off-ball vortex created by a combination of scheme/otherworldly shooting of Steph/Klay and Dray's passing).

Never minded some good iso, Kobe's one of my very favorite offensive guys and in the zone Curry is a spectacle to see.
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Re: 2019 NBA Offseason Discussion 

Post#696 » by CumberlandPosey » Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:55 pm

GSP wrote:Are Marc and Scola both 1st ballot Hofs?



without a second thought.totally subjective opinion just like the guys at the hof do it.
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Re: 2019 NBA Offseason Discussion 

Post#697 » by Doctor MJ » Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:30 pm

GSP wrote:Are Marc and Scola both 1st ballot Hofs?


I think Marc is a lock.

Scola? Sigh. If it were up to me no modern player other than NBA all-stars would be considered.

There are no Sabonises any more. Either you’re a star in the world’s major league or you aren’t serious.


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Re: 2019 NBA Offseason Discussion 

Post#698 » by HeartBreakKid » Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:07 am

Doctor MJ wrote:
GSP wrote:Are Marc and Scola both 1st ballot Hofs?


I think Marc is a lock.

Scola? Sigh. If it were up to me no modern player other than NBA all-stars would be considered.

There are no Sabonises any more. Either you’re a star in the world’s major league or you aren’t serious.


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Luis Scola was an all-star caliber player in his prime.
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Re: 2019 NBA Offseason Discussion 

Post#699 » by eminence » Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:32 am

Nah, Scola was a solid starter at his best, never all-star worthy.
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Re: 2019 NBA Offseason Discussion 

Post#700 » by AussieBuck » Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:47 am

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AussieBuck wrote:
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Mike Conley has the exact same shooting form. I see 0 cause for concern on that front.

Re: weapons, he has a very advanced floater game, dragic-esque craft around the rim, and can shoot threes off the dribble. He lacks an in-between game but other than that he has 3/4 tools you need to be an excellent pick and roll handler. He’s not Chris Paul but he’s very advanced for a third year player.

Re: second units, that has never been a real concern unless the guy has real concerns with size or athleticism, neither of which are a concern with brogdon.

Your exact second unit concerns were brought up repeatedly in regards to James Harden on OKC, and well we know how that turned out.

https://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=1150270

Brogdon showed out in the playoffs this year even coming off a serious injury. Tools are tools and if he can get it done against one of the best defenses ever in the postseason I don’t see why this is even a concern.

Conley can shoot contested threes, Brogdon doesn't even try to shoot if a defender is anywhere near him. It's a smart move because he can't shoot over any nearby defender but it also limits his ability to create. That and his lack of footspeed means that he generally needs someone else to move the defense for him. Again I don't believe you've watched him very closely.


Conley is awful at contested threes- 16% in the 2019 season. Brogdon hits a higher percentage. Matter of fact there are basically only four players in the entire league who consistently hit threes when defenders are close - Harden, Curry, Irving and Lillard. It’s a weird point of comparison because hitting contested threes is such an elite and rare skill that it makes no sense to say a guy can’t be a star without doing it.

The point I'm trying to get across here is that against a set defense and a good defender, said defender can give Brogdon a 5 foot driving cushion and Malcolm can't shoot over it. I'm not talking about contested threes so much as the difference between that and a wide open three. Brogdon needs a paddock to get his shot off. I don't even know if he took a three last season with a defender in contestable range. You don't have to make a decision about what to guard against him because of his very odd set shot. It's legitimately unique for a non 7 footer.

I guess you could argue that having as brilliant a pick and roll partner as Sabonis will unlock his game with a ton of screens to help him and I wish him all the success in the world as he seems to be a great guy, but I just don't see him busting out given his serious limitations.
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