2020-21 NBA Season Discussion

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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1521 » by Doctor MJ » Thu Apr 8, 2021 4:47 pm

bondom34 wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
bondom34 wrote:I'm going to be brutally honest. Part of why I'm convinced of them winning is because they're the team I'm wanting to win least (sorry Nets fans), and they're running through good competition pretty easily so far. They haven't really hit any road blocks at all so far, which is pretty odd.


lol, well I understand that feeling of bracing for the worst, and I'll also say that I'll be cheering against the Nets at every step along the way despite the fact that my guy Nash is the coach and the fact that prior to this year, I was someone cheering for Harden his whole career.

What do you mean by "running through good competition"?

The play in the East.
They beat Milwaukee by a bucket in the only game they played against Milwaukee.
They lost to Philly in their most recent game against them.
Everybody else in the East is effectively G-league.

So just from a "Can they get to the Finals?" perspective, it doesn't seem like we've seen them actually "run through good competition" at all. What we've seen them do is enough that everyone should take them seriously as a threat, but that's it.

Just using Cleaning the Glass, since the trade (1/15), they've got the 4th best point differential vs top 10 teams, behind Utah, Phoenix, and Denver. And if nobody but those 2 teams in the East really matter, there's a pretty distinct chance they only need to beat 1 of the 2 then get to the finals. The Lakers have had some health issues (though I favored them when healthy), the Clippers they did also beat.

The defense is a legitimate concern, but I'm having a tougher time really poking holes in their resume than pretty much anyone else other than maybe the Sixers in just regular season basketball games.


So they have a worse point differential against Top 10 teams than Phoenix.
And what would you say the odds are that Phoenix wins the title?

Re: Good chance only have to beat one of Phi/Mil to get to the finals. Yes, but they're going to have to beat one of them, and there's not really any reason to this point to think they've proven themselves more than those other two teams.

I'll put it this way: If the question is "Which is more likely Brooklyn makes the finals, or one of Philadelphia or Milwaukee makes the finals?", I'd have to side with the Phi/Mil combo.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1522 » by bondom34 » Thu Apr 8, 2021 5:21 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
bondom34 wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
lol, well I understand that feeling of bracing for the worst, and I'll also say that I'll be cheering against the Nets at every step along the way despite the fact that my guy Nash is the coach and the fact that prior to this year, I was someone cheering for Harden his whole career.

What do you mean by "running through good competition"?

The play in the East.
They beat Milwaukee by a bucket in the only game they played against Milwaukee.
They lost to Philly in their most recent game against them.
Everybody else in the East is effectively G-league.

So just from a "Can they get to the Finals?" perspective, it doesn't seem like we've seen them actually "run through good competition" at all. What we've seen them do is enough that everyone should take them seriously as a threat, but that's it.

Just using Cleaning the Glass, since the trade (1/15), they've got the 4th best point differential vs top 10 teams, behind Utah, Phoenix, and Denver. And if nobody but those 2 teams in the East really matter, there's a pretty distinct chance they only need to beat 1 of the 2 then get to the finals. The Lakers have had some health issues (though I favored them when healthy), the Clippers they did also beat.

The defense is a legitimate concern, but I'm having a tougher time really poking holes in their resume than pretty much anyone else other than maybe the Sixers in just regular season basketball games.


So they have a worse point differential against Top 10 teams than Phoenix.
And what would you say the odds are that Phoenix wins the title?

Re: Good chance only have to beat one of Phi/Mil to get to the finals. Yes, but they're going to have to beat one of them, and there's not really any reason to this point to think they've proven themselves more than those other two teams.

I'll put it this way: If the question is "Which is more likely Brooklyn makes the finals, or one of Philadelphia or Milwaukee makes the finals?", I'd have to side with the Phi/Mil combo.

Wasn't saying this is a be all end all, but they've been better than any team that people seem to be taking much more seriously at this point. I was initially skeptical of the defense, and still am. But guess I'm both seeing the numbers and they've been pretty good and am mentally preparing myself for it.

I've been actively avoiding watching them b/c I don't really get behind teams that get this much hype, but all the indicators seem to be pretty fine, and at minimum as good as or better than the rest of the east and the major teams in the west considered contenders.

Just think I was also not really putting them quite in this tier until a bit after the trade, and they've been very good. Guess I shouldn't say they're a lock in serious discussion. A bit reactionary I'll admit.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1523 » by Peregrine01 » Thu Apr 8, 2021 7:34 pm

Jazz's offense seems weird to me. They have two guys in the top 10 in field goal attempts per 100 (and higher even than Curry), Mitchell and Clarkson, who both score at below average efficiency. Yet they have ultra efficient guys like Ingles, Gobert and Conley that probably don't get enough touches.

I can really see this lack of optimization coming back to bite them in the playoffs. People have been drawing comparisons with this Jazz with the 15 Warriors, but I just don't see it. The Warriors had a generational offensive talent and even he didn't jack up shots like Mitchell and Clarkson are doing right now.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1524 » by Doctor MJ » Thu Apr 8, 2021 7:55 pm

Hey,

Someone asked me to give data of on-court ORtg/DRtg leaders down to 1000 minutes. I can't find the post, but I think it was in this thread so I'll put it here:

ORtg:
1. Kawhi Leonard 123.0
2. Kyrie Irving 122.8
3. Michael Porter 122.7
4. Nikola Jokic 122.2
5. Paul George 121.1
6. Marcus Morris 121.1
7. Jamal Murray 121.1
8. Will Barton 121.0
9. Reggie Jackson 120.9
10. Rudy Gobert 120.8

DRtg:
1. Mike Conley 104.3
2. Rudy Gobert 104.8
3. Kyle Kuzma 105.7
4. Shake Milton 105.9
5. LeBron James 106.2
6. Montrezl Harrell 106.5
7. Jimmy Butler 106.8
8. Patty Mills 107.1
9. Joel Embiid 107.5
10. Cameron Johnson 107.5
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1525 » by Statlanta » Thu Apr 8, 2021 8:26 pm

Peregrine01 wrote:Jazz's offense seems weird to me. They have two guys in the top 10 in field goal attempts per 100 (and higher even than Curry), Mitchell and Clarkson, who both score at below average efficiency. Yet they have ultra efficient guys like Ingles, Gobert and Conley that probably don't get enough touches.

I can really see this lack of optimization coming back to bite them in the playoffs. People have been drawing comparisons with this Jazz with the 15 Warriors, but I just don't see it. The Warriors had a generational offensive talent and even he didn't jack up shots like Mitchell and Clarkson are doing right now.



I see it a different way. You need risk takers on offense and what better risk takers than the two young guys with and ball-handle mobility behind them. This is one of the boons of prime Russell Westbrook. Prior to 2016 when the league caught up to his playstyle he was the one to sponge the random possessions you'd get from role players doing too much. Instead of Kendrick Perkins doing post moves he doesn't have, Serge Ibaka isolating, Kyle Singler taking someone off the dribble or Andre Roberson taking midrange jumpers you'd have Westbrook doing these things. In the playoffs the post 1st round defenses take away the ultra efficient guys and make them super uncomfortable and this is where the volume guys shine.

The real problem is that there's no young Derrick Favors/Paul Millsap/Al Jefferson type to relieve the other two with comparable volume on the inside and that will be their downfall.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1526 » by bondom34 » Thu Apr 8, 2021 8:55 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:Hey,

Someone asked me to give data of on-court ORtg/DRtg leaders down to 1000 minutes. I can't find the post, but I think it was in this thread so I'll put it here:

ORtg:
1. Kawhi Leonard 123.0
2. Kyrie Irving 122.8
3. Michael Porter 122.7
4. Nikola Jokic 122.2
5. Paul George 121.1
6. Marcus Morris 121.1
7. Jamal Murray 121.1
8. Will Barton 121.0
9. Reggie Jackson 120.9
10. Rudy Gobert 120.8

DRtg:
1. Mike Conley 104.3
2. Rudy Gobert 104.8
3. Kyle Kuzma 105.7
4. Shake Milton 105.9
5. LeBron James 106.2
6. Montrezl Harrell 106.5
7. Jimmy Butler 106.8
8. Patty Mills 107.1
9. Joel Embiid 107.5
10. Cameron Johnson 107.5

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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1527 » by Clyde Frazier » Thu Apr 8, 2021 9:41 pm

On the topic of Paul, this is insane:

Read on Twitter


Graph enlarged:

Image

As an aside, I'd call these last 2 seasons for Paul an unexpected resurgence in production and health. In 18-19 with the rockets he looked to finally be declining with a decrease in production and missed 24 games. Impressive to see him bounce back from that when a continued decline was more likely.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1528 » by Doctor MJ » Thu Apr 8, 2021 10:01 pm

Clyde Frazier wrote:On the topic of Paul, this is insane:

Read on Twitter


Graph enlarged:

Image

As an aside, I'd call these last 2 seasons for Paul an unexpected resurgence in production and health. In 18-19 with the rockets he looked to finally be declining with a decrease in production and missed 24 games. Impressive to see him bounce back from that when a continued decline was more likely.


One thing I'd note is that while the initial comment is about Paul's defense, the graph shows him truly being an outlier on turnover reduction as an offensive player. Yes the graph says he helps create opponent turnovers, but the insane part of the graph is Partnow going off on a tangent.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1529 » by Clyde Frazier » Thu Apr 8, 2021 10:10 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
Spoiler:
Clyde Frazier wrote:On the topic of Paul, this is insane:

Read on Twitter


Graph enlarged:

Image

As an aside, I'd call these last 2 seasons for Paul an unexpected resurgence in production and health. In 18-19 with the rockets he looked to finally be declining with a decrease in production and missed 24 games. Impressive to see him bounce back from that when a continued decline was more likely.


One thing I'd note is that while the initial comment is about Paul's defense, the graph shows him truly being an outlier on turnover reduction as an offensive player. Yes the graph says he helps create opponent turnovers, but the insane part of the graph is Partnow going off on a tangent.


Exactly, I had to do a double take when I first looked at it. Unreal.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1530 » by Doctor MJ » Thu Apr 8, 2021 10:24 pm

Clyde Frazier wrote:Exactly, I had to do a double take when I first looked at it. Unreal.


True, but I'd note:

1. This has always been Paul's competitive advantage. He's not someone who makes his teammates better in their individual stats - he's not getting them amazing shots the way a Magic or Nash would - he's someone who reduces turnovers.

2. He reduces turnovers by slowing things down and micromanaging everything. This is why the putative "Lob City" in LA never materialized despite his two best teammates being young, fast, super-jumpy guys who could have destroyed opponents in transition. And this is why he's now joined a team full of young super-athletes and they're playing slow now.

I don't want to imply that Paul is anything other than an all-time great, but I think that the optimal way to play offense in both places would be to take better advantage of transition.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1531 » by BIGJ1ER » Thu Apr 8, 2021 11:31 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
Clyde Frazier wrote:Exactly, I had to do a double take when I first looked at it. Unreal.


True, but I'd note:

1. This has always been Paul's competitive advantage. He's not someone who makes his teammates better in their individual stats - he's not getting them amazing shots the way a Magic or Nash would - he's someone who reduces turnovers.

2. He reduces turnovers by slowing things down and micromanaging everything. This is why the putative "Lob City" in LA never materialized despite his two best teammates being young, fast, super-jumpy guys who could have destroyed opponents in transition. And this is why he's now joined a team full of young super-athletes and they're playing slow now.

I don't want to imply that Paul is anything other than an all-time great, but I think that the optimal way to play offense in both places would be to take better advantage of transition.


I've noticed this Paul teams too, and he's one of my favourite players ever. Does anyone have pace stats for his teams historically on hand?

It seems strange that someone with seemingly such a high bbalIQ would not maximise offensive efficiency by pushing the pace with young athletic teammates. Perhaps it's something to do with a lack of trust in others to make sound decisions, which ultimately may slightly lower his ceiling/his team's ceilings?

And I say this as someone who has him as a top 20 player of all time, which would make the claim that a 6'0 pg not reaching his true ceiling (although injuries may have hurt there too) seem slighly outlandish.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1532 » by bondom34 » Fri Apr 9, 2021 12:26 am

Clyde Frazier wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
Spoiler:
Clyde Frazier wrote:On the topic of Paul, this is insane:

Read on Twitter


Graph enlarged:

Image

As an aside, I'd call these last 2 seasons for Paul an unexpected resurgence in production and health. In 18-19 with the rockets he looked to finally be declining with a decrease in production and missed 24 games. Impressive to see him bounce back from that when a continued decline was more likely.


One thing I'd note is that while the initial comment is about Paul's defense, the graph shows him truly being an outlier on turnover reduction as an offensive player. Yes the graph says he helps create opponent turnovers, but the insane part of the graph is Partnow going off on a tangent.


Exactly, I had to do a double take when I first looked at it. Unreal.

Note to this to add, he's been pretty darn good in terms of turnovers on both ends. 5 year TO APM:

Image

It's wild how high he rates out on offense by this, but defense he's still pretty darn good.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1533 » by MO12msu » Fri Apr 9, 2021 2:43 am

BIGJ1ER wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
Clyde Frazier wrote:Exactly, I had to do a double take when I first looked at it. Unreal.


True, but I'd note:

1. This has always been Paul's competitive advantage. He's not someone who makes his teammates better in their individual stats - he's not getting them amazing shots the way a Magic or Nash would - he's someone who reduces turnovers.

2. He reduces turnovers by slowing things down and micromanaging everything. This is why the putative "Lob City" in LA never materialized despite his two best teammates being young, fast, super-jumpy guys who could have destroyed opponents in transition. And this is why he's now joined a team full of young super-athletes and they're playing slow now.

I don't want to imply that Paul is anything other than an all-time great, but I think that the optimal way to play offense in both places would be to take better advantage of transition.


I've noticed this Paul teams too, and he's one of my favourite players ever. Does anyone have pace stats for his teams historically on hand?

It seems strange that someone with seemingly such a high bbalIQ would not maximise offensive efficiency by pushing the pace with young athletic teammates. Perhaps it's something to do with a lack of trust in others to make sound decisions, which ultimately may slightly lower his ceiling/his team's ceilings?

And I say this as someone who has him as a top 20 player of all time, which would make the claim that a 6'0 pg not reaching his true ceiling (although injuries may have hurt there too) seem slighly outlandish.

Do we have any data that suggests that Paul isn't maximizing offensive efficiency? I see this point argued a lot on this board that Paul's style didn't maximize offense, yet the dude was at the top of the list in team offensive efficiency while he was on the court every year from like 2012-2018. Just because he doesn't do it like Magic or Nash doesn't mean it's actually less effective.

Regarding the defensive impact, I wonder how much Paul's low turnovers have on that. In general turnovers lead to the most efficient form of offense the other way (fastbreaks) so I would think that a player who is elite at limiting turnovers would see some residual effects on the other end. And I say this as someone who views Paul as a phenomenal defender.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1534 » by bondom34 » Fri Apr 9, 2021 4:16 am

Bookmarked this on Twitter and thought it just an interesting visual, in case anyone is interested. A comparison tool for shot profiles between teams and over different seasons, compares expected and actual points per shot, shots by area, and can do shot charts too.

https://dash-gallery.plotly.host/bball-shot-explorer/
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1535 » by Doctor MJ » Fri Apr 9, 2021 4:40 am

BIGJ1ER wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
Clyde Frazier wrote:Exactly, I had to do a double take when I first looked at it. Unreal.


True, but I'd note:

1. This has always been Paul's competitive advantage. He's not someone who makes his teammates better in their individual stats - he's not getting them amazing shots the way a Magic or Nash would - he's someone who reduces turnovers.

2. He reduces turnovers by slowing things down and micromanaging everything. This is why the putative "Lob City" in LA never materialized despite his two best teammates being young, fast, super-jumpy guys who could have destroyed opponents in transition. And this is why he's now joined a team full of young super-athletes and they're playing slow now.

I don't want to imply that Paul is anything other than an all-time great, but I think that the optimal way to play offense in both places would be to take better advantage of transition.


I've noticed this Paul teams too, and he's one of my favourite players ever. Does anyone have pace stats for his teams historically on hand?


Relative pace by year:

NO:
'05-06: -1.5
'06-07: -1.7
'07-08: -2.5
'08-09: -3.9
'09-10: -0.1
'10-11: -3.4

LAC:
'11-12: -2.1 (had been +0.7 the previous year)
'12-13: -0.9
'13-14: +2.0 (Paul's fastest year
'14-15: +0.8
'15-16: 0.0
'16-17: -0.3 (would go to +1.4 the next year)

HOU:
'17-18: +0.3 (had been +3.6 the previous year)
'18-19: -2.1 (would go to +3.4 the next year)

OKC:
'19-20: -1.5 (was +2.8 the previous year, is +1.2 this year)

PHX:
'20-21: -1.8 (was +1.0 the previous year)

BIGJ1ER wrote:It seems strange that someone with seemingly such a high bbalIQ would not maximise offensive efficiency by pushing the pace with young athletic teammates. Perhaps it's something to do with a lack of trust in others to make sound decisions, which ultimately may slightly lower his ceiling/his team's ceilings?

And I say this as someone who has him as a top 20 player of all time, which would make the claim that a 6'0 pg not reaching his true ceiling (although injuries may have hurt there too) seem slighly outlandish.


Well, one thing here is that there's inherent risk in pushing the pace and not just in terms of your teammates making mistakes. What Paul is doing is using a particularly conservative approach to floor generalship, and the result have been effective enough to make him an all-timer.

But I do also see signs of him being something of rigid personality who either lacks the awareness, or lacks the care, to adapt more to those around him. He strikes me as the sort of guy who's been used to always being the smartest guy in the room in the sense of noticing stuff before other people, and pointing out to them what they should do.

I'll also say in comparison to Nash and Magic:

Nash's ultra-aggressive approach banked on him constantly being able to make ultra-fast reads in situations where a momentary hiccup would cause a turnover. It's not an approach I think any coach would try to instill in their charge as it could so, so easily just go terribly wrong. You might thus argue that the question is not so much why Paul hasn't tried to be like Nash, but why Nash was what he was in the first place. I'll point out 2 things to chew on there:

1. Nash was a star athlete in soccer, hockey, lacrosse, and rugby in addition to basketball. In at least some of those sports, your control of the ball-object is far weaker than in basketball where you literally get to use your hands. The less control you have, the less time you can expect to hesitate before you attack. I think if you see Nash as a guy who played point guard like Gretzky or Zidane you start to get a sense for why he was so different.

2. Nash grew up a bit outside the radar of American Basketball Prospect Land, and I'd guess it allowed him to develop his game with more experimentation deviating from "the right way to play".

And Magic, well, I think we know that he just crafted his own game with the benefit of a much more generous passing angle than Paul due to his height. I kinda think it makes sense that small point guard might be a bit less experimental with their passing because they just can't see as much.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1536 » by Doctor MJ » Fri Apr 9, 2021 4:46 am

MO12msu wrote:Do we have any data that suggests that Paul isn't maximizing offensive efficiency? I see this point argued a lot on this board that Paul's style didn't maximize offense, yet the dude was at the top of the list in team offensive efficiency while he was on the court every year from like 2012-2018. Just because he doesn't do it like Magic or Nash doesn't mean it's actually less effective.


So, I would suggest that it's too simplistic to think of it as just maximizing or not. What's happening fundamentally, regardless of how much or how little Paul is helping his team, is that Paul is using his same basic way of running an offense everywhere he goes, and the attributes with which he does this are different from other guys.

Hence why I think it's really great to be able to say that Paul's approach could be said to be built around not making mistakes while Magic/Nash were really more about the attack. This statement doesn't tell you who was better, but it tells you something more insightful.

MO12msu wrote:Regarding the defensive impact, I wonder how much Paul's low turnovers have on that. In general turnovers lead to the most efficient form of offense the other way (fastbreaks) so I would think that a player who is elite at limiting turnovers would see some residual effects on the other end. And I say this as someone who views Paul as a phenomenal defender.


Excellent insight. Indeed, one of the things about separate ORtg & DRtg stuff is that it tends to fool us into thinking there's a clean line of causal separation between the two sides when there really isn't.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1537 » by bondom34 » Fri Apr 9, 2021 7:18 am

Looking at BBall Index's last update (and looking into it this seems similar-ish to PIPM and easy to use which I do like, plus no tracking data), Paul up to 5th defensively among PGs and 11th in wins added. He and Lebron may not retire until they're in normal retirement age for folks working desk jobs.

Also want to note the Suns really do have some nice depth. Just up and down the roster quality players.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1538 » by bondom34 » Fri Apr 9, 2021 7:28 am

Also for a wild standings note:

The 30-21 Blazers have a negative point differential (-0.3).

The 20-32 Raptors have a positive point differential (+0.1).
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1539 » by HeartBreakKid » Fri Apr 9, 2021 9:31 am

CP3's ability to not turn the ball over certainly helps his teams defense overall. CP3's style of play is very powerful - very much like a Tim Duncan of point guards; all fundamental.
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Re: 2020-21 NBA Season Discussion 

Post#1540 » by MO12msu » Fri Apr 9, 2021 3:23 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
So, I would suggest that it's too simplistic to think of it as just maximizing or not. What's happening fundamentally, regardless of how much or how little Paul is helping his team, is that Paul is using his same basic way of running an offense everywhere he goes, and the attributes with which he does this are different from other guys.

Hence why I think it's really great to be able to say that Paul's approach could be said to be built around not making mistakes while Magic/Nash were really more about the attack. This statement doesn't tell you who was better, but it tells you something more insightful.


Excellent insight. Indeed, one of the things about separate ORtg & DRtg stuff is that it tends to fool us into thinking there's a clean line of causal separation between the two sides when there really isn't.

Yeah I'm fine with the stylistic analysis of the approach but the implications that the approach are not as effective don't really hold water with me without some good data to back it up.

Completely agree on the separating of ORtg & Drtg. I think this is very important when looking at the RAPMs, RAPTORS, etc. of the world and remember reading an article from one of their architects basically saying the same thing.

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