2020-21 NBA Season Discussion

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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1481 » by eminence » Wed Apr 7, 2021 8:44 pm

Continuing to bang the drum for a high MVP finish for Gobert. Jokic is my current winner, but I'd have Rudy #2. Embiid/LeBron have missed a bunch of time. Then it's guys like Giannis/Kawhi and the like and I'm just not super impressed.

Jazz have been great all season and Rudy is at the center of everything they do. Impact numbers at the top of the league. 9-1 without Conley in case you're worried about Mike being the dominant part of that pairing/co-linearity. I really don't see an argument against Rudy finishing high other than offensive bias.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1482 » by bondom34 » Wed Apr 7, 2021 8:47 pm

He's not my number 2 I don't think but won't lie, he's climbing my list currently and is somewhere top 5. Think I'm a bit higher on Giannis there but at some point just have to look at Utah and Gobert and the numbers and it sorta adds up.

Also wanted to post this, saw it elsewhere and thought a good reference for COVID games missed by team/player/date:

https://public.tableau.com/views/NBACOVID-19Dashboard/NBACOVID-19?:language=en&:display_count=y&:origin=viz_share_link&:showVizHome=no
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1483 » by eminence » Wed Apr 7, 2021 8:55 pm

True enough on Giannis, I'm not necessarily low on him (I'd have him 3/4 with Kawhi), but just a bit of a situation where if I think a guy has a half decent case over him I'm going to go with them over him 3peating.

And cool table!
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1484 » by Doctor MJ » Wed Apr 7, 2021 10:10 pm

eminence wrote:True enough on Giannis, I'm not necessarily low on him (I'd have him 3/4 with Kawhi), but just a bit of a situation where if I think a guy has a half decent case over him I'm going to go with them over him 3peating.

And cool table!


I've been thinking the potential of Giannis & Harden MVP picks. Not saying as if they are my picks, but would I vote for them if I thought their play deserved it?

In the case of Giannis, I have to say I'm kinda like you. If I thought Giannis were the clear choice, I'd have no problem picking him, given that I know the only reason people don't want to pick him is that they are trying to compensate for the outsized importance we give regular season MVP in a sport where the playoffs are king. The award is the problem, but the logic is clear.

So I have this Jokic, Gobert, Giannis top tier and I'm siding with Jokic there so long as they all remain in tier with each other, but if Giannis ends up alone, my vote goes to him.

Harden? Nope. Would not vote for him for #1. Probably wouldn't vote for him in anywhere 1-5. What he did to Houston this year matters this year. Simple as that. When evaluating a player's season, if one of the two teams he played for gives a letter of reference that says "He burned down the building on the way out", it matters.

Interestingly, when it comes to POY, I'm not so sure I see it the same way. Not entirely sure if I'm okay with this distinction, but it has to do partly with the fact that I see all official NBA awards as awards done in service of the NBA. Were I the NBA, I would want to set a precedent where players know that behaving in this way will come back to bit them.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1485 » by eminence » Wed Apr 7, 2021 10:16 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
eminence wrote:True enough on Giannis, I'm not necessarily low on him (I'd have him 3/4 with Kawhi), but just a bit of a situation where if I think a guy has a half decent case over him I'm going to go with them over him 3peating.

And cool table!


I've been thinking the potential of Giannis & Harden MVP picks. Not saying as if they are my picks, but would I vote for them if I thought their play deserved it?

In the case of Giannis, I have to say I'm kinda like you. If I thought Giannis were the clear choice, I'd have no problem picking him, given that I know the only reason people don't want to pick him is that they are trying to compensate for the outsized importance we give regular season MVP in a sport where the playoffs are king. The award is the problem, but the logic is clear.

So I have this Jokic, Gobert, Giannis top tier and I'm siding with Jokic there so long as they all remain in tier with each other, but if Giannis ends up alone, my vote goes to him.

Harden? Nope. Would not vote for him for #1. Probably wouldn't vote for him in anywhere 1-5. What he did to Houston this year matters this year. Simple as that. When evaluating a player's season, if one of the two teams he played for gives a letter of reference that says "He burned down the building on the way out", it matters.

Interestingly, when it comes to POY, I'm not so sure I see it the same way. Not entirely sure if I'm okay with this distinction, but it has to do partly with the fact that I see all official NBA awards as awards done in service of the NBA. Were I the NBA, I would want to set a precedent where players know that behaving in this way will come back to bit them.


I've been thankful that it feels like Harden's play is a step down from where it's been in the past, kind of letting me dodge having to answer that very question.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1486 » by bondom34 » Wed Apr 7, 2021 10:49 pm

Think I kind of agree with both of you in a sense. The end in Houston definitely was enough of a souring that I couldn't really put him there (its 10ish games, and it was 10ish games of actively tanking on court value). Also don't know if he's really had quite the same level of play either, just a bit better team success in the East, though the numbers may be slanted a bit on his whole season by the Houston bit.

Re: Giannis....I'm struggling now with my top 5 the more I think. I still say Embiid was the MVP to me if it were a per minute award, and prior to missing the last 10 games, but he's missed so much time I don't know what to do. Jokic seems fairly clear at 1st given that, and I'm stuck with a mix of Giannis/Kawhi/Gobert/Embiid after him in the 2-5 mix.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1487 » by Doctor MJ » Wed Apr 7, 2021 10:59 pm

bondom34 wrote:Think I kind of agree with both of you in a sense. The end in Houston definitely was enough of a souring that I couldn't really put him there (its 10ish games, and it was 10ish games of actively tanking on court value). Also don't know if he's really had quite the same level of play either, just a bit better team success in the East, though the numbers may be slanted a bit on his whole season by the Houston bit.

Re: Giannis....I'm struggling now with my top 5 the more I think. I still say Embiid was the MVP to me if it were a per minute award, and prior to missing the last 10 games, but he's missed so much time I don't know what to do. Jokic seems fairly clear at 1st given that, and I'm stuck with a mix of Giannis/Kawhi/Gobert/Embiid after him in the 2-5 mix.


So, just occurred to me add this:

bball-index's LEBRON stat has 4 players in the Tier 1 in terms of per minute impact:

Gobert, Jokic, Giannis, Embiid

But when you go by Wins Added in total, their leaderboard looks like:

1. Jokic
2. Gobert
3. Giannis
4. Kawhi
5. LeBron
6. Lillard
.
.
15. Embiid

It's certainly up to you to decide how to weigh missed time, but Embiid's got a major minutes issue overall the way I see it.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1488 » by bondom34 » Wed Apr 7, 2021 11:08 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
bondom34 wrote:Think I kind of agree with both of you in a sense. The end in Houston definitely was enough of a souring that I couldn't really put him there (its 10ish games, and it was 10ish games of actively tanking on court value). Also don't know if he's really had quite the same level of play either, just a bit better team success in the East, though the numbers may be slanted a bit on his whole season by the Houston bit.

Re: Giannis....I'm struggling now with my top 5 the more I think. I still say Embiid was the MVP to me if it were a per minute award, and prior to missing the last 10 games, but he's missed so much time I don't know what to do. Jokic seems fairly clear at 1st given that, and I'm stuck with a mix of Giannis/Kawhi/Gobert/Embiid after him in the 2-5 mix.


So, just occurred to me add this:

bball-index's LEBRON stat has 4 players in the Tier 1 in terms of per minute impact:

Gobert, Jokic, Giannis, Embiid

But when you go by Wins Added in total, their leaderboard looks like:

1. Jokic
2. Gobert
3. Giannis
4. Kawhi
5. LeBron
6. Lillard
.
.
15. Embiid

It's certainly up to you to decide how to weigh missed time, but Embiid's got a major minutes issue overall the way I see it.

I think its Jokic's barring anything super weird happening, but after that pretty much up to voters and how they weigh it as you said. On one hand I can't really argue much about Embiid in terms of overall/non per-minute stuff, but struggle with leaving him too low just because he's been so amazing. I'd have him considerably over anyone after those guys I think, Lebron was up there too but has missed some time now as well and the rest I'm not sure are just as good in and of themselves.

Though I'm going to caveat this whole thing with the one guy I won't entirely discount. Luka, with Dallas having an easy remaining SOS and maybe climbing the standings, if Denver falls a bit you never know (I doubt it highly but just have a feeling it will become a late season media talking point).

Also don't think I ever realized how well Zion rated out via their metric until now. Haven't totally looked into it or decided how I feel on it as an impact metric yet, though I kind of like the site layout.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1489 » by Doctor MJ » Wed Apr 7, 2021 11:16 pm

bondom34 wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
bondom34 wrote:Think I kind of agree with both of you in a sense. The end in Houston definitely was enough of a souring that I couldn't really put him there (its 10ish games, and it was 10ish games of actively tanking on court value). Also don't know if he's really had quite the same level of play either, just a bit better team success in the East, though the numbers may be slanted a bit on his whole season by the Houston bit.

Re: Giannis....I'm struggling now with my top 5 the more I think. I still say Embiid was the MVP to me if it were a per minute award, and prior to missing the last 10 games, but he's missed so much time I don't know what to do. Jokic seems fairly clear at 1st given that, and I'm stuck with a mix of Giannis/Kawhi/Gobert/Embiid after him in the 2-5 mix.


So, just occurred to me add this:

bball-index's LEBRON stat has 4 players in the Tier 1 in terms of per minute impact:

Gobert, Jokic, Giannis, Embiid

But when you go by Wins Added in total, their leaderboard looks like:

1. Jokic
2. Gobert
3. Giannis
4. Kawhi
5. LeBron
6. Lillard
.
.
15. Embiid

It's certainly up to you to decide how to weigh missed time, but Embiid's got a major minutes issue overall the way I see it.

I think its Jokic's barring anything super weird happening, but after that pretty much up to voters and how they weigh it as you said. On one hand I can't really argue much about Embiid in terms of overall/non per-minute stuff, but struggle with leaving him too low just because he's been so amazing. I'd have him considerably over anyone after those guys I think, Lebron was up there too but has missed some time now as well and the rest I'm not sure are just as good in and of themselves.

Though I'm going to caveat this whole thing with the one guy I won't entirely discount. Luka, with Dallas having an easy remaining SOS and maybe climbing the standings, if Denver falls a bit you never know (I doubt it highly but just have a feeling it will become a late season media talking point).

Also don't think I ever realized how well Zion rated out via their metric until now. Haven't totally looked into it or decided how I feel on it as an impact metric yet, though I kind of like the site layout.


Not looking to swear by any one stat, but it seems as good as anything available right now.

Zion's really something. You might remember that bkref added an Adjusted Shooting stat called TS Add that basically factors in both volume and efficiency to determine who (superficially) is adding the most value just off his scoring. Here's what that leaderboard looks like this year:

1. Zion
2. Jokic
3. Curry
4. LaVine
5. Giannis

Go further and consider that guys who are really good at getting their own rebounds and put them back in are arguably underrated by this metric, and Zion & Jokic are two of the very best at that in the league.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1490 » by bondom34 » Wed Apr 7, 2021 11:25 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
bondom34 wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
So, just occurred to me add this:

bball-index's LEBRON stat has 4 players in the Tier 1 in terms of per minute impact:

Gobert, Jokic, Giannis, Embiid

But when you go by Wins Added in total, their leaderboard looks like:

1. Jokic
2. Gobert
3. Giannis
4. Kawhi
5. LeBron
6. Lillard
.
.
15. Embiid

It's certainly up to you to decide how to weigh missed time, but Embiid's got a major minutes issue overall the way I see it.

I think its Jokic's barring anything super weird happening, but after that pretty much up to voters and how they weigh it as you said. On one hand I can't really argue much about Embiid in terms of overall/non per-minute stuff, but struggle with leaving him too low just because he's been so amazing. I'd have him considerably over anyone after those guys I think, Lebron was up there too but has missed some time now as well and the rest I'm not sure are just as good in and of themselves.

Though I'm going to caveat this whole thing with the one guy I won't entirely discount. Luka, with Dallas having an easy remaining SOS and maybe climbing the standings, if Denver falls a bit you never know (I doubt it highly but just have a feeling it will become a late season media talking point).

Also don't think I ever realized how well Zion rated out via their metric until now. Haven't totally looked into it or decided how I feel on it as an impact metric yet, though I kind of like the site layout.


Not looking to swear by any one stat, but it seems as good as anything available right now.

Zion's really something. You might remember that bkref added an Adjusted Shooting stat called TS Add that basically factors in both volume and efficiency to determine who (superficially) is adding the most value just off his scoring. Here's what that leaderboard looks like this year:

1. Zion
2. Jokic
3. Curry
4. LaVine
5. Giannis

Go further and consider that guys who are really good at getting their own rebounds and put them back in are arguably underrated by this metric, and Zion & Jokic are two of the very best at that in the league.

I've started to struggle a bit more with single year impact metrics and how comfortable I am using some of the newer ones, especially partial season, and miss PIPM being available (though I do still use them, just less sure, maybe I'm just less sure of the newer metrics but theirs seems better than tracking based ones which I just don't trust much at all). RAPM is the only other thing I really was a fan of, but am going to have to check their stuff out more as I don't care for new RPM or 538's new metric.

But yeah almost seems like Zion's hype was so big it made him become a little overlooked in analysis. Even I just did it myself b/c to be honest I'm not thinking of him at that level yet, but by this at least he's up there and the offensive numbers are there at least. He's also the source of possibly my favorite NBA graph.

Read on Twitter


Edit: Its also weird b/c I felt like Zion was being force fed via national TV games to a point where I couldn't care less and have preferred other teams on national TV in general (sorry Pels fans, it was just a lot at times and I'd like more Suns/Jazz/dare I say Knicks?), but still just look past it.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1491 » by parsnips33 » Wed Apr 7, 2021 11:27 pm

I'm surprised Zion hasn't been getting much hype this year.

From the perspective of a guy that doesn't get to watch much outside of Warriors games, it definitely seems like his presence was more "felt" last season, not sure why that is. Maybe LaMelo stealing a bit of the limelight?
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1492 » by LA Bird » Thu Apr 8, 2021 12:12 am

Has Gobert actually improved as a player this season or is he just in MVP talks because it would be strange to not pick anyone from a 10 SRS team? I like Gobert but he has been more or less the same player the last few years - borderline top 10 but not a MVP candidate. Except for 2020, Utah's defense has been around the same level the last 5 seasons (-3.5, -0.7, -4.7, -4.7, -3.5). Their biggest improvement is on offense where they have jumped from average to #1 in the league but that is mostly due to their outside shooting. If Utah was shooting 36% instead of 39.5% from 3, they would drop to 5~6 SRS which is not much better than where they were from 2017 to 2019. I can see a Russell-esque MVP case for Gobert if the Jazz were dominating through a GOAT level defense but they are mostly winning on offense because they are draining more 3s than any team ever.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1493 » by HeartBreakKid » Thu Apr 8, 2021 12:21 am

eminence wrote:Continuing to bang the drum for a high MVP finish for Gobert. Jokic is my current winner, but I'd have Rudy #2. Embiid/LeBron have missed a bunch of time. Then it's guys like Giannis/Kawhi and the like and I'm just not super impressed.

Jazz have been great all season and Rudy is at the center of everything they do. Impact numbers at the top of the league. 9-1 without Conley in case you're worried about Mike being the dominant part of that pairing/co-linearity. I really don't see an argument against Rudy finishing high other than offensive bias.

Why not? Who did you think was MVP last season?
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1494 » by eminence » Thu Apr 8, 2021 12:25 am

LA Bird wrote:Has Gobert actually improved as a player this season or is he just in MVP talks because it would be strange to not pick anyone from a 10 SRS team? I like Gobert but he has been more or less the same player the last few years - borderline top 10 but not a MVP candidate. Except for 2020, Utah's defense has been around the same level the last 5 seasons (-3.5, -0.7, -4.7, -4.7, -3.5). Their biggest improvement is on offense where they have jumped from average to #1 in the league but that is mostly due to their outside shooting. If Utah was shooting 36% instead of 39.5% from 3, they would drop to 5~6 SRS which is not much better than where they were from 2017 to 2019. I can see a Russell-esque MVP case for Gobert if the Jazz were dominating through a GOAT level defense but they are mostly winning on offense because they are draining more 3s than any team ever.


My short answer is yes, Gobert has improved. Playing the best D of his career imo. The Jazz have of course improved mostly on offense, but they've done that by going towards more offensively oriented players - Rubio to Conley, Crowder to Bogdanovic, Hood/Burks to Clarkson, along with Mitchell growing a bit on offense/very high team familiarity. That the Jazz have maintained their defense is super impressive (or bounced back from last season depending on how you frame it). Favors is not quite what he once was, which is a bummer, as he's my favorite guy in the league. Think about the rest of their defenders at this point, does that team have any business being a -3.5 defense? I think Gobert's providing 4-5 points of defensive value this season, which isn't quite Russell territory, but is really really impressive.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1495 » by eminence » Thu Apr 8, 2021 12:31 am

HeartBreakKid wrote:
eminence wrote:Continuing to bang the drum for a high MVP finish for Gobert. Jokic is my current winner, but I'd have Rudy #2. Embiid/LeBron have missed a bunch of time. Then it's guys like Giannis/Kawhi and the like and I'm just not super impressed.

Jazz have been great all season and Rudy is at the center of everything they do. Impact numbers at the top of the league. 9-1 without Conley in case you're worried about Mike being the dominant part of that pairing/co-linearity. I really don't see an argument against Rudy finishing high other than offensive bias.

Why not? Who did you think was MVP last season?


I had Giannis as MVP last season, and feel he was pretty notably more impressive last season than this one.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1496 » by bondom34 » Thu Apr 8, 2021 12:31 am

Entire aside and I don't know where else to even say this but if anyone hasn't seen Poku yet it's an experience and however it turns out one as a fan I'm fascinated to see play out.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1497 » by HeartBreakKid » Thu Apr 8, 2021 12:37 am

eminence wrote:
HeartBreakKid wrote:
eminence wrote:Continuing to bang the drum for a high MVP finish for Gobert. Jokic is my current winner, but I'd have Rudy #2. Embiid/LeBron have missed a bunch of time. Then it's guys like Giannis/Kawhi and the like and I'm just not super impressed.

Jazz have been great all season and Rudy is at the center of everything they do. Impact numbers at the top of the league. 9-1 without Conley in case you're worried about Mike being the dominant part of that pairing/co-linearity. I really don't see an argument against Rudy finishing high other than offensive bias.

Why not? Who did you think was MVP last season?


I had Giannis as MVP last season, and feel he was pretty notably more impressive last season than this one.

It seems pretty comparable at the very least with his first MVP season.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1498 » by eminence » Thu Apr 8, 2021 12:54 am

HeartBreakKid wrote:
eminence wrote:
HeartBreakKid wrote:Why not? Who did you think was MVP last season?


I had Giannis as MVP last season, and feel he was pretty notably more impressive last season than this one.

It seems pretty comparable at the very least with his first MVP season.


A) Sure, it's comparable, he's the same player still in his prime, but I'd go with his first MVP season 95/100 looking at each of them so far.

B) I may have worded my original post somewhat poorly, I view Giannis/Kawhi as okayish MVP contenders, not all-timers by any means, but worthy of discussion/being on the ballot. After that I don't really see anyone worth considering (LeBron/Embiid notably due to injury issues).
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1499 » by Doctor MJ » Thu Apr 8, 2021 1:32 am

bondom34 wrote:I've started to struggle a bit more with single year impact metrics and how comfortable I am using some of the newer ones, especially partial season, and miss PIPM being available (though I do still use them, just less sure, maybe I'm just less sure of the newer metrics but theirs seems better than tracking based ones which I just don't trust much at all). RAPM is the only other thing I really was a fan of, but am going to have to check their stuff out more as I don't care for new RPM or 538's new metric.

But yeah almost seems like Zion's hype was so big it made him become a little overlooked in analysis. Even I just did it myself b/c to be honest I'm not thinking of him at that level yet, but by this at least he's up there and the offensive numbers are there at least. He's also the source of possibly my favorite NBA graph.

Read on Twitter


Edit: Its also weird b/c I felt like Zion was being force fed via national TV games to a point where I couldn't care less and have preferred other teams on national TV in general (sorry Pels fans, it was just a lot at times and I'd like more Suns/Jazz/dare I say Knicks?), but still just look past it.


I think what happened is that Zion got positioned to catch a wave of crossover superstar media attention before the Bubble and he wet the bed.

Coming back this year, particularly with him not putting up huge numbers right out the gate, the buzz machine moved on before he caught fire again.

So long as he can sustain he'll get another wave and we'll forget about this unexpected valley in his ascendance.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1500 » by Doctor MJ » Thu Apr 8, 2021 1:43 am

LA Bird wrote:Has Gobert actually improved as a player this season or is he just in MVP talks because it would be strange to not pick anyone from a 10 SRS team? I like Gobert but he has been more or less the same player the last few years - borderline top 10 but not a MVP candidate. Except for 2020, Utah's defense has been around the same level the last 5 seasons (-3.5, -0.7, -4.7, -4.7, -3.5). Their biggest improvement is on offense where they have jumped from average to #1 in the league but that is mostly due to their outside shooting. If Utah was shooting 36% instead of 39.5% from 3, they would drop to 5~6 SRS which is not much better than where they were from 2017 to 2019. I can see a Russell-esque MVP case for Gobert if the Jazz were dominating through a GOAT level defense but they are mostly winning on offense because they are draining more 3s than any team ever.


Big picture point: It's possible for a player to not actually get any better but still become more valuable.

Right now Gobert's raw +/- is +518, no one else in the league is within 100 of him, and the top guy from another team is Giannis at +342.

I think we need to be prepared for the possibility that Gobert, limited though he may be, might be having more impact than anyone else in the league right now in terms of how good the team is when he's on the court and how bad they'd be if they lost him. And that alone makes him a strong MVP candidate.

Re: mostly winning because of offense. Here's a stat to chew on:

If I take only players who have played more than 1500 minutes,

Here's the league-wide leader board for best on-court ORtg:

1. Nikola Jokic 122.5
2. Rudy Gobert 121.2

Now here's the same for on-Court DRtg:
1. Rudy Gobert 104.7
2. Tobias Harris 108.4

The Jazz' success correlates a lot more with Gobert that you might realize. It's really something.
Hey: With what's going on in the world, my fuse is shorter than it used to be, and it's leading my lose my cool and then go on self-imposed breaks from things (such as RealGM). Please try to keep it civil, and I'll be looking to do the same.

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