This Week's Show
We talk bad management in the NBA, which means we spend a lot of time talking the Thunder. Also, are the Hawks truly "starless?"
Please subscribe to Channel NerdNumbers on YouTube and like us on iTunes!
This Week's Poll
I've tried to include time stamps next to certain topics to help out those that may want to skip around in the show.
The Short Corner Podcast - 1:00
We talk the amazing Short Corner Podcast. Hosted by the great Paul Shirley (paulthenshirley), Justin Halpern (@justin_halpern), and Phil Hay (@phillycarly), it's a must listen for any NBA fan. In fact, we debate just spending all of the show talking about their show!
We were lucky enough to have Paul Shirley on the Boxscore Geeks show way back. Some fun background. I was wary of Patrick being on the show because he didn't have a good microphone at the time. It turned out Patrick was unable to join because of work. However, halfway through the show, my microphone went out, and my audio sounded horrible. Good times. Paul was a fantastic guest in spite of that and me messing up his school's name multiple times!
Patrick has decided to start a campaign to get on the Short Corner Podcast as a guest. Tweet at @shortcornerpod with the hashtag #ShortCornerPatrick if you support this!
The Thunder's Mistakes, Starting with Jeff Green - 4:00
I was highly critical of the Thunder's management in a post on Monday. As commenter Nick points out, it might have been worse even without the Perkins trade. They might have overpaid Jeff Green instead!
Patrick notes that the Jeff Green trade was "good" in that it stopped Green and Nenad Krstic from getting minutes instead of Serge Ibaka. Still, there was no need to give him $32 million!
Patrick brings up another big move – the Kurt Thomas trade. The Thunder lucked into, essentially Serge Ibaka, because the Phoenix Suns were ordered to shed salary. The Thunder's success seems more luck than skill.
Process not Results - 7:00
We talk the Thunder not gambling on Tyson Chandler. Of course, the Mavericks made the same "mistake." It's hard to be that critical of Dallas when Steve Nash can barely move, and Tyson Chandler did not stay healthy in his time in New York. As Patrick equates – it's like having an inside straight draw in poker without the odds. It sucks to see the next card "hit", but the call was still correct.
We also thought Lamar Odom was a smart call for the Mavericks, who just didn't work out.
More Thunder Mistakes - 11:30
As Patrick points out, the Thunder can't use the "small market" argument as they made a conscious decision to move there.
Patrick is a Seahawks fan. They've made it their life mission to destroy my home teams in the playoffs. Last year I was in Colorado and this year I'm in Wisconsin. The Packers odds changed rapidly last Sunday.
The Thunder are like the Oakland Athletics, but Sam Presti is no Billy Beane!
As Patrick's harsh take last week to Minnesota said: get lots of good players then trade if you need to. Don't preemptively stop yourself from getting good players.
The Thunder probably could have kept Harden and traded Westbrook for Chris Paul. Ponder that.
The Thunder grabbed Dion Waiters, who is fine taking shots from LeBron and Love. They let go of Thabo Sefolosha for the high price of four million a year!
The Overrated Rivers Family - 25:00
Austin Rivers is overrated because he's related to Doc Rivers. The hilarious part about that? Doc Rivers, also overrated!
— Andrés Alvarez (@NerdNumbers) January 16, 2015
We're not kind to Doc or Austin Rivers. Coaches like players get overrated thanks to winning a single title. Patrick says Lenny Wilkens is in the same boat.
Doc Rivers had the best position. He was on a losing team with a GM, not in danger of being fired on Boston.
Doc Rivers is in charge of personnel and coaching for the Clippers. That makes the Austin Rivers move even more inexcusable.
The Clippers are just like the Thunder. If you have a strong core of players (Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin) then winning should be easy. Unless you surround them with bad talent. Talent like Glen "Baby" Davis.
Reminder, Austin Rivers was once a "super valuable" draft pick. Reminder, we think draft picks get overvalued.
Bad Coaches - 33:30
I say I miss Masai Ujiri in Denver. Oh yeah, Brian Shaw makes me miss George Karl. Shaw, like Kurt Rambis, just acts irrationally. Patrick even has a Rick Adelman anecdote about overreacting to a small sample.
It's hard for people to evaluate coaches because it's hard for most people to figure out what causes results on sports teams.
Remember the Kevin Garnett Celtics - 36:00
We recap the reason the '08 Celtics were successful. A topic I could talk a lot about. No, it wasn't Doc Rivers.
Patrick has some good thoughts on why rookies struggle. It has a lot to do with controlling fouls.
And no, the Celtics success had nothing to do with tanking! It wasn't assets that got them Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. It was two teams foolishly getting rid of stars at the right time.
The Houston Rockets and the 76ers - 39:00
Daryl Morey said he would have tanked like the 76ers. However, notice that the Rockets winning and waiting for a team to give away a star worked out!
Success builds on itself. Getting good players and having a winning team helps get more good players. Tune in to hear me forget this point in the span of a minute. Luckily I remember it!
Apologies, the 76ers have only been blown out by over twenty points three times this season, not five times like I thought in the show.
The "Starless Hawks" - 48:00
We've decided to name Patrick's directed rants: "Harsh Takes." He's got another good one today on this odd meme about the starless Hawks.
Another popular "starless team" were the '04 Pistons, who weren't starless!
Fun thought, maybe being a good teammate isn't some "intangible" quality. Maybe that's a good way to judge if a player counts as a star.
Jeff Teague is shooting amazingly. Kyle Korver may be the first player every to shoot 70% true shooting, 50% from three, and 90% from the free throw line.
Another reason the Hawks are flying under the radar is that they rest their players. Paul Millsap and Korver are their only players playing more than thirty-three minutes a game. Fun note, Mike Budenholzer cut his teeth on the Spurs' bench as an assistant. Funny that.
Patrick thinks the "Chauncey Billups Fallacy" is a great name for players who win games but are somehow not credited with being a star, and are given "intangible" labels instead. The "Andre Miller Fallacy" could work too.
Both of my shout outs are kind of backhanded. Sorry.
Dr. Vic Patron is a Spurs fan who I met on Twitter. I was amazed to meet him because he had Kobe stan like logic while being a Spurs fan. I didn't think such a person existed!
Iceman is a great commenter whose grammar is sometimes lacking. I enjoy their comments enough; I'll break my rule of trying to not edit too much.
Also, I looked up Patrick's question. In 2013-2014, the Spurs went 6-2 in games that Duncan sat.
Of course, we give a big shout out to the Short Corner Podcast. Remember #ShortCornerPatrick!