This Week's Show
James Dolan is terrible for the NBA, your backup matters in the NBA and former players have amnesia.
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James Dolan's Letter
Patrick confuses James Dolan with James Taylor, which is a pretty easy mistake to make.
James Dolan got a letter from a fan, who was inflicted by what future scientists will call: "The ability to perceive reality." Dolan's response was to send an angry letter back to the fan that insulted them and told them to cheer for the Nets instead.
Patrick puts on his Grammar Nazi hat and tears apart the flaws in Dolan's letter. It's a great rant!
I show up right after Patrick's rant. Luckily Brian doesn't give me the Jared Sullinger treatment.
Patrick's point about Dolan's grammar reminded me of the Hawks letters earlier. Namely, the content was terrible, but the grammar also angered me.
The NBA won't punish James Dolan for his comments. Of course, they'll fine teams for worrying about older players health.
A note, the NBA will also penalize owners like Mark Cuban for arguing about referees. It's odd to fine owners for being concerned about the product, while letting owners that actively hurt the NBA image (like Dolan) off the hook.
The NBA has an odd decision to let anyone own an NBA team and then let them make major decisions. For example, Glen Taylor was on the committee that kept the Kings in Sacramento. This prevented the Kings from going to a bigger market (good for the NBA) and hurt the Kings' owners (one decent thing happened) from making an additional $200 million.
The Knicks made the NBA finals in 1994 (we all forgot the exact year) and 1999. In 1999, James Dolan took over the Knicks. How appropriate that the last time the Knicks were contenders was with the last team Dolan had no control over?
Marcus Camby was a "classic Dolan Knicks" move. He was traded with Nene and Mark Jackson for a decimated Antonio McDyess.
Reminder, the "young Duncan" Spurs were dream killers. Both Marcus Camby and LeBron James had absurd playoff performances and led subpar teams to the finals. Then the Spurs snuffed their dreams mercilessly.
James Dolan may have been Tweeting at me in disguise.
James Dolan, is that you? MT @NesanelCohen It's a game for stars not valuable players
— Andrés Alvarez (@NerdNumbers) February 9, 2015
Blake Griffin and Relative Goodness
Blake Griffin is not that good this season. However, the Clippers bench is terrible. As a result, losing Blake will hurt.
When I bashed DeMarcus Cousins, a typical response was to use his on/off statistics. To evaluate if a player is a star, you need to compare them to other good players in the NBA, not players on their team!
Slight Tangent on the "Stats Movement"
We're not upset at being considered contrarian by the "stats movement" if the movement is going to use bad stats.
In regards to Defensive Win Shares, in 2014 the Pacers had five players that were considered better defenders than Anthony Davis! Reminder to many that haven't checked the math, Defensive Win Shares are primarily based on your team.
Jerry Rice and Amnesia
Jerry Rice admitted to cheating -- yes, when the rules directly outlaw what you do, it's cheating! He also said, "everyone was doing it." Several other players have contradicted this. Then, he had the audacity to criticize the Patriots!
Ex-players seem to forget what they did. Charles Barkley is a great example. During his career, he was "not a role model", but will regularly criticize player decisions. Heck, he kept chasing a ring, but still insulted LeBron James for leaving Cleveland!
Patrick pains me by saying Magic Johnson is another former player that seems to not know why he was great. Sadly, I agree.
J.R.'s been in NBA 11 years. RT @MagicJohnson JR Smith could help the Cavs if he becomes more consistent and improves on his shot selection.
— Andrés Alvarez (@NerdNumbers) January 6, 2015
We reminisce about Darko Milicic and Michael Beasley and how funny it was to watch the fans of each new team get optimistic that they would figure "finally" figure it out.
Of course, we talk a little Klay Thompson. A note, if you think a player is going to improve, they need to show a skill set to justify it. Klay's three-point shooting was ridiculous. Yet, players that do nothing well still get hype.
It's possible if Klay went to Minnesota; he'd still be terrible. That said, I still would have loved to see Kevin Love on the Warriors.
A rough draft of a shirt idea for this year's Sloan (sorry, most of us aren't going!) was "Variance Happens" to describe the Warriors.
In regards to Klay Thompson's shooting, a ton of his threes are assisted. However, I'd argue this is a skill. Klay can get open on the three-point line, which obviously not every player can do.
Patrick brings up Tyson Chandler, who also has good skill at getting into position for assisted shots. Not every player can do this -- e.g. Mark Madsen
Paul Shirley(@paulthenshirley) and the now defunct Short Corner Podcast(@shortcornerpod) gets our shout out. The Short Corner Podcast was one of our favorites. Sadly it was dropped by Podcast One. I also got to meet Paul in person, and he was just as impressive as I expected.