FanDuel - WFBC

May 22, 2007

Which NBA lottery team built up the most positive karma during the season,: thereby earning them a shot at Oden or Durant?

posted by gradys_kitchen to basketball at 02:32 PM - 105 comments

Poor intro to the article, but a fun premise. Take it for what it is.

posted by gradys_kitchen at 02:32 PM on May 22

Currently enjoying the Celtics misfortune.

posted by chmurray at 08:01 PM on May 22

I'm with chmurray....gotta love seeing the Celtics drop to 5th. I do wonder if Seattle getting the second pick will be enough to keep the team in town. Always hate to see a super wealthy owner trying to hold a town hostage in an attempt to make even more money.

posted by dviking at 12:13 AM on May 23

gotta love seeing the Celtics drop to 5th Why? The last time the Celtics beat anybody in a meaningful game was like 1990. Long time to hold a grudge.

posted by yerfatma at 05:56 AM on May 23

Why? The last time the Celtics beat anybody in a meaningful game was like 1990. Long time to hold a grudge. Not wanting to speak on behalf of dviking but I think most fans are happy about what happened to the Celtics dropping to 5th because even though people don't want to talk about it, we all know the Celtics tanked their season in order to have a chance at either Oden or Durant. It's just a pleasure to see that all of their effort or lack of, finally pay off and they were given the shaft. The Boston fans deserved more than what the Celts brought when they weren't given it they're all and they reaped what they sowed.

posted by BornIcon at 06:29 AM on May 23

Nobody tanked it harder than the Bucks, and I don't see you guys gloating over their tumble to 6th...

posted by Venicemenace at 06:40 AM on May 23

The Bucks didn't make it so blatantly obvious like the Celtics did. Any team that purposely tanked in order to have the opportunity for Oden or Durant, like the Celtics and Bucks, and didn't win, makes any NBA fan really happy...except for maybe the fans in Boston or Milwaukee.

posted by BornIcon at 06:58 AM on May 23

You're giving the Celtics too much credit. They did actually suck.

posted by jerseygirl at 07:20 AM on May 23

You're giving the Celtics too much credit. They did actually suck. I totally agree. The Celtics sucked more than Jenna Jameson doing a double-feature. The difference is, is that when player(s) on the team question what's the motive for them not playing, eyebrows were raised. Just ask Celtics Forward Ryan Gomes.

posted by BornIcon at 07:40 AM on May 23

Yeah, as a C's fan, that team didn't tank anything. They flat out sucked. The Ainge Era has been a total failure as far as I'm concerned, and I'm sick of his incompetence. I just wish they could draft a new GM, or VP of Basketball Operations, or whatever the hell it is that he calls himself nowadays? Dictator for Life of Basketball Operations?

posted by The_Black_Hand at 07:40 AM on May 23

I don't know Ryan Gomes. Why don't you ask him for me?

posted by jerseygirl at 07:40 AM on May 23

I assume you're talking about comments that Gomes made after a loss to the Bucks. Obviously, his extensive NBA experience led him to believe that he was sitting out the fourth quarter because the Celts wanted more ping-pong balls in the draft lottery. In fact, Gomes finished that game with 24:38 of playing time, which is a whopping 2 minutes less than his career average. If you want to build a conspiracy theory, it helps to have more than comments from a kid who's been in the league all of two years. Plus, tanking ain't as easy as it looks.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 08:12 AM on May 23

I don't know Ryan Gomes. Why don't you ask him for me? Don't have to. He already said it for the whole world to listen.

posted by BornIcon at 08:26 AM on May 23

What? The Celtics didn't tank any games? You're nuts. They absolutely did. Yes they sucked, but they all suck. You kinda have to suck. They all tried to tank - Millwaukee, Charlotte, Seattle, Memphis (actually, I don't think the Blazers or Philly really did). C'mon - faced with the opportunity to pick in the top 2, you are basically obligated when you have Oden and Durant coming out. Obligated. It's not to be shamed for, it's the system. The denial is such passive lip-service, no one believes it. Except some of you, apparently.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:26 AM on May 23

If you want to build a conspiracy theory, it helps to have more than comments from a kid who's been in the league all of two years. Guy flat out says they don't really want to win the games, and you decide that he doesn't have the experience to be believed? Dude....

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:31 AM on May 23

I don't understand the argument that publicized tanking is more offensive than subtle tanking. Is there any real difference? You can't really tank unless your team is hopeless anyway. The April 14th game between Portland and Seattle certainly looks like a tank-fest to me - Damien Wilkins, Mike Wilks, and Fred Jones playing way more minutes than seems kosher. Does that offend me? No, it's a meaningless game. I really don't care if an already bad team bound for the lottery decides to sit some of the few assets it has in a pointless contest. My question is, at what point does the cure for tanking become worse than the disease? What's worse, the possibility of a hopeless team tanking its way to a top draft pick, or the possibility of a truly terrible team that never picks in the top 3 thanks to random draft order selection? The Eastern Conference is far worse than the Western, yet the good players keep falling to the West through the luck of the ping pong balls, all in the name of anti-tanking. Now there's talk of opening up a shot at the #1 pick to even more teams...how does it help the league to reduce its worst teams' chance at redemption? The Sixers, Knicks and Celtics outright suck. That can't be welcome news to any NBA fan.

posted by Venicemenace at 08:32 AM on May 23

Ah, they won't suck forever. Go 40 years without winning and get back to me about franchise's sucking. I will say this: The Celtics have been fucked by the draft and the draft system harder than any other team I can think of. From Len Bias to Greg Oden.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:40 AM on May 23

I will say this: The Celtics have been fucked by the draft and the draft system harder than any other team I can think of. From Len Bias to Greg Oden. The Celtics organization only have themselves to blame for this fiasco. I rather have seen Oden or Durant in the East Coast instead of the Pacific West but I just find it ironic how both teams with the lowest win percentages actually weren't even in the Top 3.

posted by BornIcon at 09:06 AM on May 23

I don't know what happend to the Celtics. Ever since they traded Antoine Walker they have steadilly declined to the sucky state thier in. But this season was just discusting. I find it hard to believe that they didn't tank a few games.Thier the only team that really is willing to lose to try to get Durant or Oden. All the games I cared to watch were just the highlights of when the Bulls were wearing green at home for St. Paty's day while the Celtics were wearing white. I got to tell you the Bulls crushed them that game.

posted by TelamarketersBeware at 09:21 AM on May 23

The Celtics organization only have themselves to blame for this fiasco. How do they have themselves to blame for not getting a higher draft position? So you're saying they should have sucked more during the season? It was a lottery drawing. They played the odds of the drawing percentages and lost. I'm not defending the upper management, because Ainge sucks. But to say it's their own fault for not drawing a higher lottery number doesn't make sense.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:22 AM on May 23

Thier the only team that really is willing to lose to try to get Durant or Oden. Ever since they traded Antoine Walker they have steadilly declined to the sucky state thier in. I'm having a hard time figuring out which of these statements reveals your limited perspective more damningly.

posted by Venicemenace at 09:32 AM on May 23

What's worse, the possibility of a hopeless team tanking its way to a top draft pick, or the possibility of a truly terrible team that never picks in the top 3 thanks to random draft order selection? I say tanking is about the worst thing one can do in sports. It undermines the sport if the teams don't want to win. That's why I like the lottery. Tanking may or may not be rewarded. All the lottery teams need a player that can change the franchise. Unfortunately, there aren't enough to go around. If they got rid of the lottery, the tanking would be even worse. Sacrifice one season for a player that can change the fortunes of your team for the next 10 years - it would be hard for a team to pass up. This year it seemed that a few teams were willing to sacrifice one season for even a chance at such a player.

posted by bperk at 09:32 AM on May 23

What will the Blazers do with LeMarcus Aldridge if they draft Oden? I think Durant would fit in better with the team that they already have. They have Zac Randolph as their low post threat, Brandon Roy hitting mid-range jumpers, and then you throw in a guy like Durant, with Aldridge blocking everything in sight. They could be tough in a couple of years with that team.

posted by yay-yo at 09:35 AM on May 23

Jerseygirl, If you think the Celtics suck. Try looking at the Lakers with Jim Buss at the controls. He knows nothing about Basketball and it now looks like his father is going to give him complete control. My guess here is the Lakers will be worst than the Celtics in less than 2 years. He will try to give the farm away for someone that won't be able to help anybody win. Oh for the good old days of Magic and Byrd, Kareem and Parish and Hale and Worthy. Fun and strong basketball to watch not this lazy, sloppy crap watered down version that is being given to use today by a commissioner who knows jack about basketball. The NBA looks like it is going the way of baseball...too many teams, watered down talent and rules and guidelines that change for player to player and game to game by officials that make the worst calls and are out of place most of the time in games. Outside refs making calls they can't see and inside making calls they are not completely sure about......Make Charles the President of the NBA and sit back and watch what happens. At least he knows what the game is all about and would institute a program to train the refs to know there jobs..

posted by The Old Man at 09:49 AM on May 23

Yea Durant would be a better fit then Oden. Aldridge is starting to show some prospect in the future. He can have a breakthrough game or just a sucky game. I had him on my fantasy team late in the season. He put up something like 36 points and 6 rebounds in one game, then he had 8 points and 18 rebounds the next. The next week he averaged 3 points and 4 rebounds a game. Though a little streaky, great piece for the Blazers.

posted by TelamarketersBeware at 09:50 AM on May 23

I think they slide Aldridge to either the 4 or think about trading him for some shooting. Really - I don't think you pass on Oden. Durant is wicked and fun, but Oden is a franchise centre. Just too rare to pass on. Fuck me - Portland is going to be freaking awesome in the years to come.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:55 AM on May 23

I say tanking is about the worst thing one can do in sports. It undermines the sport if the teams don't want to win. My opinion is that it undermines the league far more when bad teams can't improve to become contenders, alienating entire fan bases, than when lottery-bound teams are mailing in games at the end of the season, alienating those who feel as you do.

posted by Venicemenace at 09:56 AM on May 23

How do they have themselves to blame for not getting a higher draft position? So you're saying they should have sucked more during the season? Well, they have themselves to blame not because of what happened in the lottery (out of their control) but with what happened with their 2006-2007 season. Losing the ways that they did only made themselves look even worse considering they didn't even get a chance at the top 2 picks.

posted by BornIcon at 09:56 AM on May 23

the Lakers will be worst than the Celtics in less than 2 years. He will try to give the farm away for someone that won't be able to help anybody win. That's not possible as long as they have #24... If they lose Kobe because of the front office's stupidity, you may be right.

posted by yay-yo at 10:13 AM on May 23

Weedy, Gomes' comments that were linked to above say nothing about the team wanting to lose. My point was that Gomes can't speak for what the entire organization was thinking. If the Celts tanked, it certainly came from higher up than Ryan Gomes. I'll see your "Dude..." and raise you a "Wassup?" All the games I cared to watch were just the highlights of when the Bulls were wearing green at home for St. Paty's day while the Celtics were wearing white. So, you've watched highlights of one game out of 82, and somehow you're able to get a handle on the Celtics' entire season from that 30 seconds? You're obviously very perceptive.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 10:15 AM on May 23

So, you've watched highlights of one game out of 82, and somehow you're able to get a handle on the Celtics' entire season from that 30 seconds? You're obviously very perceptive Sorry for not being clear. I meant that it was the only whole game of the Celtics I watched. All the rest were highlights, halfs and quarters. And trust me I watch all NBA highlights, parts of games, and get all of the latest news so I know a little about what i'm talking about.

posted by TelamarketersBeware at 10:22 AM on May 23

Well, they have themselves to blame not because of what happened in the lottery (out of their control) but with what happened with their 2006-2007 season. What are you even on about? That makes no sense. I watched probably 30-50 Celtics games this year and I can say they did tank and they might have been 5-10 wins better if they didn't, depending on how badly Paul Pierce was actually hurt, which was never clear to me. With the exception of a handful of games (v. Milwaukee late in the year comes to mind), the "tanking" that you all find so repulsive amounts to them not playing a banged-up Paul Pierce in a bunch of meaningless games. If it were your team, would you have wanted your one established All-Star grinding out games instead of recovering? I make no apologies for the Celtics' approach to the second half of the season, mainly because I don't see anything wrong with it. I assume you all get a hair across your ass during September Call Ups in baseball when the second division teams aren't trying to win because they're working in rookies. Or maybe during the last weeks of the NFL season when playoff teams don't try to win when there are no playoff spots to move up. And trust me I watch all NBA highlights Well shit, Dr. Jack, sign me up for your Celtics Season Preview next year. The point was, and still is, how are you telling the world about the Celtics season when you didn't see it? Ever since they traded Antoine Walker they have steadilly declined to the sucky state thier in. Apparently you don't watch Heat games either. I loved 8 when he was here, but he is f'in done and Danny got him back for a song and traded him for something, which is more than he's worth nowadays.

posted by yerfatma at 10:51 AM on May 23

I watched probably 30-50 Celtics games this year and I can say they did tank and they might have been 5-10 wins better if they didn't That's what I'm talking about, you just said it yourself. They tanked so that they can improve on their chances in the lottery. Which we now know that them losing meant nothing since they have just the 5th pick.

posted by BornIcon at 11:03 AM on May 23

The April 14th game between Portland and Seattle certainly looks like a tank-fest to me ...Does that offend me? No, it's a meaningless game. I really don't care if an already bad team bound for the lottery decides to sit some of the few assets it has in a pointless contest. I think I'd care if I was shelling out money to watch the game live, and I didn't get to see the best performance from either/both team(s).

posted by grum@work at 11:05 AM on May 23

I assume you all get a hair across your ass during September Call Ups in baseball when the second division teams aren't trying to win because they're working in rookies. Or maybe during the last weeks of the NFL season when playoff teams don't try to win when there are no playoff spots to move up. Those two situations are not even remotely similiar to "tanking" games to try to win the Draft lottery. If the Celtics were 20 games ahead with 10 to play, sitting Paul Pierce to avoid injury would make sense. The guy had a whole summer to recover from his "ailments" whatever they may be. I guess it makes it hard to beleive when you see Dwayne Wade and Lamar Odom getting surgery done, AFTER giving their all in the playoffs. If Pierce was really hurt, why wasn't he getting any surgeries performed so that he could get a head start on his rehab? The C's got what they deserved for throwing in the towel too early. but Oden is a franchise centre. How does everyone think that Oden is going to be this great center when he wasn't even close to dominant in college? The guys he is being compared to were MONSTERS in college (Shaq, Duncan, Robinson etc...). I'm not saying that he sucks or won't be a decent player, but I just don't see the "dominant big man" tag working on this dude. I would pick Durant over Oden any day of the week.

posted by yay-yo at 11:05 AM on May 23

And trust me I watch all NBA highlights Well shit, Dr. Jack, sign me up for your Celtics Season Preview next year. The point was, and still is, how are you telling the world about the Celtics season when you didn't see it Uhhhh that wasn't my point on the Celtics. That is the point that I know more about the NBA then I do about any other sport. I watch every NBA show, pregame, parts of games, whole games, highlights, box scores, I also get emails on NBA topics such as, fantasy, scores, transactions, columns, latest stories. I don't just blab aimlessly just to talk. Apparently you don't watch Heat games either. I loved 8 when he was here, but he is f'in done and Danny got him back for a song and traded him for something, which is more than he's worth nowadays. Yea I do watch Heat games. He doesn't play thats why he can't score or play long anymore. He can still drop threes and still has some athleticism left to be a role player for a lot of teams. And the Celtics could use about anybody who can step up and do thier job. And if memory serves me well. When they had Walker, they were in the playoffs.

posted by TelamarketersBeware at 11:09 AM on May 23

Wanna know something interesting? There is so little buzz here in Seattle about this. I wonder what color jersey Durant will be wearing in Kansas City.

posted by vito90 at 11:33 AM on May 23

How does everyone think that Oden is going to be this great center when he wasn't even close to dominant in college? The guys he is being compared to were MONSTERS in college (Shaq, Duncan, Robinson etc...). I'm not saying that he sucks or won't be a decent player, but I just don't see the "dominant big man" tag working on this dude. Agreed, but we have the clichéd yet truthful statement that centers are a disappearing breed so Oden gets a pass for just being very damn good. From the OSU games that I did get to watch he seemed to be one of the best shot blockers I've seen in awhile. I’m not a coach but it did appear Oden needed to develop more court awareness but those are issues easily corrected with additional experience. That said, I would love to draft either Oden or Durant given that my beloved Pistons took Darko Milicic with the second pick only a few short years ago.

posted by gradys_kitchen at 11:33 AM on May 23

What will the Blazers do with LeMarcus Aldridge if they draft Oden? There is so little buzz here in Seattle about this. "Oh, I just think I'm gonna barf! ...well, that passed. Now I'm hungry again."

posted by Venicemenace at 11:36 AM on May 23

I do believe that Greg Oden has the possibility on being a great center. I agree that his only year in college wasn't Player of the Year-caliber but considering he played basically the whole season with a broken right hand, the kid put up decent numbers playing one-handed. Like Durant, he's young and his body will fill out (anyone remember the young & skinny Shaq in LSU?). It's going to take some time to adjust to the NBA but both Oden & Durant are going to be just fine....at least for the sake of the fans in Portland and Seattle.

posted by BornIcon at 11:36 AM on May 23

And if memory serves me well. When they had Walker, they were in the playoffs. They were when they had Bill Russell too. But you know what? He got old. And so did 'Toine. Please don't tell me Riles benched him because it was unfair to unleash Antoine's 2" vertical leap on the league. Assuming the Celtics won him in a poker game, who would the Celtics take minutes away from to get Antoine on the floor? Jefferson? Gomes? Perkins? Green? He's too slow to defend at any spot other than 4 or 5, too small to play 5 and refuses to play down in the post at all. Given the Celtics need better defense and more boards, I fail to see how cutting 'Toine loose was a bad move. That is the point that I know more about the NBA then I do about any other sport. You'll note this sort of relative measure is a double-edged sword. That's what I'm talking about, you just said it yourself. They tanked so that they can improve on their chances in the lottery. No, what you said was, "The Celtics organization only have themselves to blame for this fiasco", but you have yet to explain how. What were their other options? Go to the playoffs and win a championship? Nope. Regardless of what they did or didn't do, assuming the lottery isn't rigged, how are the Celtics "to blame" for getting the 5th pick, which they had a smaller chance of getting than #1 or #2? If the lottery is random, how can causality ever come into play?

posted by yerfatma at 11:40 AM on May 23

Wanna know something interesting? There is so little buzz here in Seattle about this. I wonder what color jersey Durant will be wearing in Kansas City. Don't tease me! That isn't nice. What a coup that would be for the new Sprint Center. From your lips to God's ear.

posted by hawkguy at 11:42 AM on May 23

Being from Indiana, I saw alot of Oden playing. He was a monster in High School. He looked less intimidating in college and will be even less of a factor in the pros. He is already prone to injury and fatigues easily, he was constantly in foul troubles against good teams. He was gased for most of the college season, how will he fare when he is in an 82 game season on a bad team that will want him on the floor for every possible minute right away? I don't wish any ill on Oden but he has been pumped up to levels I don't see him achieving.

posted by Familyman at 11:53 AM on May 23

If the lottery is random, how can causality ever come into play? Karma?

posted by bperk at 11:53 AM on May 23

Regardless of what they did or didn't do, assuming the lottery isn't rigged, how are the Celtics "to blame" for getting the 5th pick... Not saying anything about them having the 5th pick, I'm talking about the whole 'losing to try an get the best chance' on getting the #1 or #2 pick, that's what they have themselves to blame for. If the lottery was 'rigged' then the Celtic's probably would've probably had the top pick. I don't know for a fact that the Celtic's intentionally tanked their season but it just looked that way when the coach decides to sub (bench) guys that are producing for guys that aren't.

posted by BornIcon at 11:55 AM on May 23

Assuming the Celtics won him in a poker game, who would the Celtics take minutes away from to get Antoine on the floor? Jefferson? Gomes? Perkins? Green? Who said anything about him starting? The thng is players get tired and have off nights and need a decent back-up to give them a brake.

posted by TelamarketersBeware at 12:07 PM on May 23

Someone stop this carousal.

posted by jerseygirl at 12:09 PM on May 23

The Celtics organization only have themselves to blame for this fiasco. Not saying anything about them having the 5th pick, I'm talking about the whole 'losing to try an get the best chance' on getting the #1 or #2 pick, that's what they have themselves to blame for. How are those two different things? And what would have been the better course? Who said anything about him starting? The thng is players get tired and have off nights and need a decent back-up to give them a brake. Who would he take minutes away from? Only one of the players I mentioned was a full-time starter for the Celtics last season. I really don't think one backup, especially one whose skills have diminished as much as Antoine's would have made a difference. I don't see that as a mistake on the part of management.

posted by yerfatma at 12:11 PM on May 23

Tanking is such a strong word. The Celtics were, quite plainly, not going to qualify for the playoffs. In what was, at best, a fractured season they played the young guys to determine who was going to come back to the team next season. Happens in baseball (as yerfatma mentioned), happens in football when struggling teams let the rookie QB get a few reps under center, and it happens in every team sport where playing the starters isn't working. As for Pierce, well, players decide when to have surgery, not the teams. The only good reason for celebrating the Celtics not getting the top pick would be to see Bill Simmons cry. Aside from that, I feel for the few Celts fans who are left. You have a stooge for a GM, a bad coach ( who just got re-signed), an all-star who might not get back to the playoffs before he retires, and a mixed collection of young talent. There's always free agency. I guess. Jerseygirl, If you think the Celtics suck. Try looking at the Lakers with Jim Buss at the controls. He knows nothing about Basketball and it now looks like his father is going to give him complete control. My guess here is the Lakers will be worst than the Celtics in less than 2 years. He will try to give the farm away for someone that won't be able to help anybody win. Actually Jim Buss is the complete opposite. He has been Andrew Bynum's biggest supporter, and may be the only reason Bynum is still a Laker (Bynum was his pick). It was Phil Jackson who wanted to trade the younger players (ostensibly for Jason Kidd), but Jim Buss refused to part with Bynum. Kupchak, at this point, looks to be little more than a rubber-stamping yes-man.

posted by lilnemo at 12:38 PM on May 23

Hibbert is withdrawing from the draft. Guess he didn't want to play for the "real" sucky teams.

posted by lilnemo at 12:42 PM on May 23

Hibbert is withdrawing from the draft. That's just a report at this point. Hibbert and Green are holding a press conference this afternoon. Camille Powell knows the Hoyas pretty well, though...

posted by Venicemenace at 12:47 PM on May 23

...happens in football when struggling teams let the rookie QB get a few reps under center... I don't think Brett Farve got that memo. Aaron Rodgers anyone?

posted by BornIcon at 12:53 PM on May 23

I don't think Brett Farve got that memo. Aaron Rodgers anyone? The Packers are closer to playoff contention than the Celtics.

posted by lilnemo at 12:56 PM on May 23

You have a stooge for a GM, a bad coach I'll give you "bad coach", but I still don't know on Danny (which may be the result of his playing days). Either way, don't fire him until after the draft. He's good at that. Now if he could just swing us a decent player in free agency or a trade.

posted by yerfatma at 01:08 PM on May 23

If the Celts tanked, it certainly came from higher up than Ryan Gomes. Of course. But it's not a secret. Shutting down Paul Pierce, watching the 4th quarter of games from March on - patently obvious. His statements match pretty closely with the result of that game and others. I figure here's a second year guy who understood what the team (and other teams) were trying to do, but just didn't quite understand that you just don't talk about it. You honestly think there was no tanking going on? You're most assuredly in the minority. Again, it's not a condemnation of the Celtics - that's the system. They put themselves in a good position and the ping pong balls didn't work for them. But they tanked.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:24 PM on May 23

I'll give you "bad coach", but I still don't know on Danny (which may be the result of his playing days). Either way, don't fire him until after the draft. He's good at that. Now if he could just swing us a decent player in free agency or a trade. I don't know if I'd give him that much rope. Dude signed Scalabrine for 5 yrs $15M. He traded for such luminaries as Raef Lafrentz, Michael Olowokandi, Qyntel Woods, Curtis Borchardt, Michael Stewart, and the Ghosts of Gary Payton, Brian Grant and Tom Gugliotta. Ainge has shown a propensity for shuffling large numbers of players around, and taking back cash considerations instead of players (though this may have been an early mandate of new ownership). He's also traded away the rights to 11 picks over the past four years, including 2nd rounders that could be used to secure the rights of Euros who need to stay overseas (Ginobli or Jaric anyone?), or non-guaranteed contracts for college players. You can't talk about a youth movement if you keep paying exorbitant contracts to stiffs but are unwilling to take a flyer on a 2nd rounder who you don't have to pay unless he makes the squad (which, even then is for the minimum).

posted by lilnemo at 01:44 PM on May 23

I really don't think one backup, especially one whose skills have diminished as much as Antoine's would have made a difference. I guess we'll never know, but the Celtics obviously need something to get them out of this little pit they seem to can't get out of. Maybe Walker could have helped maybe not. But saying that all his skills have diminished is a little harsh. In the Bulls series the guy was making these crazy "And 1" layups and drillen threes in one of the games. He caused more problems for the Bulls then Shaq did.

posted by TelamarketersBeware at 02:06 PM on May 23

But saying that all his skills have diminished is a little harsh. ??? I watched him from Kentucky through the Pitino and O'Brien Administrations and into the Ainge Era. He was a monster at one time. He's not now. He traded for such luminaries as Raef Lafrentz, Michael Olowokandi, Qyntel Woods, Curtis Borchardt, Michael Stewart, and the Ghosts of Gary Payton, Brian Grant and Tom Gugliotta. You didn't have to put them all in one sentence. That kinda hurts. In his defense, some of those moves got rid of worse contracts. And a couple of them didn't cost a whole lot (Kandi). And I'll always treasure those times Qyntel Woods and I met in the Public Gardens to take our dogs for a walk.

posted by yerfatma at 02:28 PM on May 23

You didn't have to put them all in one sentence. That kinda hurts. Sorry. But I think the point is made. In his defense, some of those moves got rid of worse contracts. True. But you make those moves to free up cap space. Danny made these deals annually, thereby eating up valuable cap. If he'd acquired any of those guys in order to secure cap space the following season shouldn't he have signed a marquee, hell, a mid-range free agent with that cash? Did he? NO. He splurged on more cap-eating crap contracts either by trade or bad free agent signings. He traded for Olowokandi (to get Sczerbiak, and get rid of Banks and Davis) and then proceeded to trade for Brian Grant and Theo Ratliff. Its like he's got some weird GM salary-coprophagia. And a couple of them didn't cost a whole lot (Kandi). Seriously. Read that out loud and ask yourself why you typed it. Kandi was a sunk cost incurred in the Sczerbiak trade. I'm on board with that. Sometimes you have to do these things to get the deal done. But why re-sign him to even a non-guaranteed contract? He's got no value and he's proven to be bad in the locker room when his season goes south (which seems to be every season). And I'll always treasure those times Qyntel Woods and I met in the Public Gardens to take our dogs for a walk. I can see it now. Was Sinatra singing "Strangers in the Night"? Honestly. I don't think Danny is "too" bad. But he's had 3 years going on 4, and I seriously have no idea what his blueprint is for this franchise. Look at what Danny has done in his tenure, and then look at what Colangelo did in Toronto. In a year. Does Danny really deserve much more slack? I think he has a good eye for talent, but I think he might be cowtowing to pressures from above when he should be trying to amass talent (a common affliction among GMs) . Make him a scout, or a consultant.

posted by lilnemo at 03:35 PM on May 23

Either way, don't fire him until after the draft. He's good at that. The way I am reading it, Ainge is actually a lot like Isiah Thomas: they are both pretty big-name former players, both won championships and both are great at finding hidden talent. But neither are worth a goddam when it comes to the strategic planning and financial management of being a professional NBA GM.

posted by smithers at 03:41 PM on May 23

*taps nose*

posted by lilnemo at 03:44 PM on May 23

Damn, lilnemo, I have to agree with yerfatma...when you string them all together in one sentence like that, it really makes my heart ache. And yerfatma, given the choice, I'd jettison Ainge and keep Doc. But he's had 3 years going on 4, and I seriously have no idea what his blueprint is for this franchise. Yep. It's funny, because before I made it down to lilnemo's post, I was thinking, They ought to just make Ainge a damn scout. He's turned into a shorter version of McHale. Hell on the court, crap in the front office. Although, to his credit, Ainge never broke league rules to sign Joe Smith.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:07 PM on May 23

And the obligatory Simmons post-mortem.

posted by lilnemo at 04:19 PM on May 23

And yerfatma, given the choice, I'd jettison Ainge and keep Doc. No coach is good enough to win without talent. Therefore it is unfair to judge Doc's performance over the past few years. If he actually had a team with competent players, and still lost, show him the door. But he's had 3 years going on 4, and I seriously have no idea what his blueprint is for this franchise. My sentiments exactly...

posted by yay-yo at 04:59 PM on May 23

Through all of this, the one thing I am glad about is that both Oden and Durant seem to be headed to the Western Conference. Go 40 years without winning and get back to me about franchise's sucking. Detroit Lions. I would be very suprised if there has ever been a team as sucky as the Lions. When you can't win with Barry Sanders something is seriously wrong.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 07:22 PM on May 23

I see a lot of arguments about how overrated Oden is, but little in response? Pros and cons? Anyone?

posted by everett at 10:51 PM on May 23

I hope Las Vegas noticed all this tanking.

posted by Newbie Walker at 02:29 AM on May 24

I see a lot of arguments about how overrated Oden is, but little in response? Pros and cons? Anyone? Well, I would let the players speak for themselves, but I absolutely believe that Oden will be a franchise player. He dominated the championship game when they managed to give him the ball and his tool box is full of classic all-time great centre moves. That guy is 7 feet of hops, shots and blocks. He'll have foul trouble to start, but I figure he's a mainstay as an All-Star in three years, maybe less. I think people are just focusing on his numbers and they don't seem too impressive. They're right (the numbers aren't great) - but wrong about what that really means. I hope Las Vegas noticed all this tanking. They did. There were no lines on most of the final games of the season. Straight pick 'ems. On the last day of the season, I believe that some took the NBA off the boards and weren't taking bets.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:29 AM on May 24

I see a lot of arguments about how overrated Oden is, but little in response? Pros and cons? Anyone? No shot from outside 10 ft. (free throws are from 15') Not strong enough to work his way inside on an NBA center. Good shot blocking ability. Foul Prone. But he does have a pretty good personality...

posted by yay-yo at 10:31 AM on May 24

I'd take him on my team for the next 15 years or so. Here's hoping you have the ears of 4 GMs. In a bag.

posted by yerfatma at 10:58 AM on May 24

With all of the negative comments about Oden's game, maybe someone did the Celtics a favor. Now they will have to really look at who's available in the draft, consider who they already have, and make a sound decision. As good as Durant will someday be, I can't see the Celtics being able to make the best use of him in the short term. They have Al Jefferson who seems to be ready to become one of the better power forwards. Pierce, Gomes, and Gerald Green occupy the small forward/shooting guard spot (although Gomes can't play at the 2), and Green might someday learn the game. Rondo is an up-and-comer at the point. Delonte West can swing between the 1 and 2 spots. If there is a serviceable center available at #5, maybe Boston will have made out by missing Oden. If not, is there a decent defensive center available through trade? If so, perhaps using the draft pick as part of a package would make sense. There will be a lot of talent available toward the lower end of the draft. It just won't be a big man.

posted by Howard_T at 11:09 AM on May 24

Howard, your roster analysis only emphasizes the fact the Celts need a big man. No Oden and Hibbert went back to school. I dunno what they can trade, but I'd be happy to see them lose some draft picks for somebody who can clog the middle but isn't a statue.

posted by yerfatma at 11:55 AM on May 24

Hibbert isn't ready to save the Celtics anyway, in my opinion.

posted by Venicemenace at 11:59 AM on May 24

The Celtics can hope to get the next Chinese giant. The guy seems to have a pretty good all-around game to go with his height. He could stand to gain a few pounds, but so could everyone else who is comingout of the draft.

posted by yay-yo at 12:08 PM on May 24

No shot from outside 10 ft. (free throws are from 15') Not strong enough to work his way inside on an NBA center. Good shot blocking ability. Foul Prone. I don't think he needs an outside shot - loads of HoF centres didn't shoot from outside 10 feet. He is strong enough to work his way through most of the centres in the league already. Give him a couple years and he'll get through all of them - but he's quick. Very quick for a seven footer. Couple important points on Oden: - he plays back to the basket. He has post moves. Moreso than Howard, Ming or any other great centre prospect since Ewing. - he can go to either hand. - he has ungodly shot-blocking ability. His biggest impact to start his career will be on the defensive end with his blocking and rebounding. - he will foul out a lot. I think Durant will have the flashier numbers early on, but barring injury or the unforeseen, I think Oden has the chance at the better career in terms of winning championships. That's just good basketball sense - Big centres who control the paint are more rare than scoring.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:26 PM on May 24

Hibbert isn't ready to save the Celtics anyway, in my opinion The way that he improved his game since his freshman (5.1 ppg & 3.5 rpg) to his sophmore year (11.6 ppg & 6.9 rpg) was pretty amazing. It was a smart move for Hibbert to go back to Georgetown for his junior season. If his first two years is an indication of what's to come, his game will show some dramatic improvements. The Celtics can hope to get the next Chinese giant You're talking about Yi Jianlian. Before the draft, ESPN was showing Yi practicing and for a guy that's well over 7 feet, he showed the speed & quickness that a lot of centers in the NBA lack. It should be an interesting draft.

posted by BornIcon at 12:36 PM on May 24

- he plays back to the basket. He has post moves. Moreso than Howard, Ming or any other great centre prospect since Ewing. Ewing didn't have too many post moves. He had the running hook an up-and-under and the fade-away. An astounding amount of Ewing's points came from facing up and using the triple-threat or rocker-step. Anyway, I haven't seen enough of a repertoire from Oden to be too enamored, but I won't be dismissive. On speed and athletecism alone he's probably better than 75% of the league's centers now. He'll probably average close to a double-double and a couple blocks right out of the gate. I don't see him being a scorer in the Olajuwon/Robinson/Ewing/Shaq mold.

posted by lilnemo at 12:41 PM on May 24

You're talking about Yi Jianlian. Before the draft, ESPN was showing Yi practicing and for a guy that's well over 7 feet, he showed the speed & quickness that a lot of centers in the NBA lack. Yeah, because he's a small forward. He plays wing and shoots 3s. Not what the Celtics need.

posted by yerfatma at 12:48 PM on May 24

I think Oden will come into the league and averge somwhere around ten or less points, nine or more rebounds, and a little over two blocks. He will upgrade the defense of whatever team he gets drafted by. In a few years he will probably step up to around fift-teen points, eleven rebounds, and two or three blocks.

posted by TelamarketersBeware at 12:55 PM on May 24

Yeah, because he's a small forward. He plays wing and shoots 3s. Not what the Celtics need. Actually, I thought he played the power forward position, at least that's what position he's listed as. Being that he's a 7 footer with speed can only help him as well as being able to knock down the jump shot. IMHO, the Celtics need all the help they can get.

posted by BornIcon at 01:02 PM on May 24

Yeah, because he's a small forward. He plays wing and shoots 3s. Not what the Celtics need. I don't think the Celtics can afford to draft a project like Jianlian. We know Durant and Oden will be off the board. Whether Seattle or Portland want them or not (and why wouldn't they), they're both off the board. From the 3rd pick on its a crap shoot. Brandan Wright, Al Horford, Yi Jianlian, Joakim Noah, Spencer Hawes, Al Thornton, and Tiago Splitter are all there. There's no telling who could fall into your lap, especially with Billy Knight picking for the Hawks at #3. Just pray Danny doesn't get antsy and try to shop the pick.

posted by lilnemo at 01:09 PM on May 24

I think Durant will have the flashier numbers early on, but barring injury or the unforeseen, I think Oden has the chance at the better career in terms of winning championships. That's the big issue. Do you draft on potential? Oden has the higher ceiling. Durant is ready to make a bigger contribution right now.

posted by bperk at 01:10 PM on May 24

I don't think he needs an outside shot - loads of HoF centres didn't shoot from outside 10 feet. He is strong enough to work his way through most of the centres in the league already. Give him a couple years and he'll get through all of them - but he's quick. Very quick for a seven footer. Can you name one HoF center who has played in the last 15 years (not including Shaq) who couldn't make an outside shot? Here's a few that could: Hakeem Ewing Robinson Duncan

posted by yay-yo at 01:26 PM on May 24

Can you name one HoF center who has played in the last 15 years (not including Shaq) who couldn't make an outside shot? Sorry to say but in the last 15 years, there's been but a handful of Hall of Famer centers, with Shaq being the dominant big man in the middle and like you pointed out, he has no jump shot at all.

posted by BornIcon at 01:30 PM on May 24

Can you name one HoF center who has played in the last 15 years (not including Shaq) who didn't have an outside shot? Why can't I include Shaq? There aren't any HoF centres in the last 15 years beyond Shaq and Dream. And Dream, yes, had a shot. But Bill Russell didn't shoot. Kareem barely shot. My point was/is - it's not the thing he needs most. His game clearly isn't going to be one that really needs a fade away. He can be a presence as a centre - a classic centrepiece. They play low. They are foremost defenders. They eat glass. Oden has a chance to be included in that discussion, I think. Celtics - Corey Brewer? No love for a guy who could step in, score (and better) defend anyone on the floor?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:39 PM on May 24

Why can't I include Shaq? Because Shaq couldn't shoot a free throw let alone a jump shot.

posted by BornIcon at 01:43 PM on May 24

Oden's free throw shooting at OSU was at 62 percent. That with a broken right hand (wrist?) that may or may not be healed properly. I expect that Western Conference teams have found their Hack a Shaq equivalent with Hack a Oden. Wonder if Portland and Seattle will do some behind the scenes lobbying to stop Oden and Durant from trying out for Team USA. Truly the ghost of Sam Bowie watches out for the Portland.

posted by Newbie Walker at 01:58 PM on May 24

Why can't I include Shaq? Because Shaq is an exception to the rule. His sheer size made it possible for him to back people down and go THROUGH double teams. Oden will NEVER be as big or as strong as Shaq.

posted by yay-yo at 02:09 PM on May 24

I thought he played the power forward position, at least that's what position he's listed as. Being that he's a 7 footer with speed can only help him as well as being able to knock down the jump shot. Regardless of where he's listed, check him out on Youtube. He plays out on the wing. No way he's banging under the boards with that body. Besides which, PF is one place the Celtics are ok. We don't need 2-4, we need 1 and 5, at least until Rondo turns into an All-Star. Just pray Danny doesn't get antsy and try to shop the pick. Really though? Without a definite big "presence" in the draft, would it be a horrible thing for them to get a little older?

posted by yerfatma at 02:51 PM on May 24

No, he won't. True. But I think he has the ability to put together an NBA game on offense. I see him finishing around the rim more often than not, hitting a high percentage and generally being able to take most guys in the post. There will be exceptions, for sure. He's clearly not going to be Shaq - but I bet his game will be more along those lines (like Dwight Howard). Plus, I think he's capable of developing a jump shot. He's just got that athletic gene. I just don't think he's really going to have to. Durant is probably the rookie of the year. His game seems more NBA ready. But I would draft Oden for the ultimate prize of championships.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:53 PM on May 24

He plays out on the wing. No way he's banging under the boards with that body. Besides which, PF is one place the Celtics are ok. We don't need 2-4, we need 1 and 5, at least until Rondo turns into an All-Star. . . Jianliang doesn't seem to have great ballhandling yet, and the linked draft profile suggests that he still relies on a "rythym dribble" for his shot, thats gonna make it tough to get off a shot in the League. Without a definite big "presence" in the draft, would it be a horrible thing for them to get a little older? In theory, no it wouldn't be horrible. Except we've already outlined what Danny's idea of a veteran is, and it ain't good. Not to mention the fact that if he's going to go after someone good he's gonna have to give up a combination of players and picks to make a deal work. I'll give you an example: If Danny had the audacity to try and deal for Jason Kidd he would probably have to deal the #5 pick, Theo Ratliff's salary, and probably a player the Nets could actually play who makes less than or equal to the MLE (or another pick which isn't very appetizing either). Its possible they would take Telfair or Scalabrine, but more likely they would ask for Green, which would probably kill the deal. Thats the thing about these "BIG" deals, there are too many moving parts. But you never know. There are some real dumb GMs out there.

posted by lilnemo at 04:25 PM on May 24

There are some real dumb GMs out there. You're talking to Celtics fans. We know.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:41 PM on May 24

If Danny had the audacity to try and deal for Jason Kidd he would probably have to deal the #5 pick I don't see Jason Kidd willingly going to Boston. He wants to win, now. He's tired of just making the playoffs, so I doubt he would want to take 3-4 steps backward.

posted by yay-yo at 04:45 PM on May 24

I don't see Jason Kidd willingly going to Boston. He wants to win, now. He's tired of just making the playoffs, so I doubt he would want to take 3-4 steps backward. Thats why its a hypothetical. I'm merely illustrating the point that if Ainge truly wants to trade for a veteran who can actually contribute its going to cost him more than a pick and a salary-dump. Other teams are going to want to get at one of the Celtics cheap, productive players.

posted by lilnemo at 04:58 PM on May 24

What if we threw in, say, the rights to: Alaa Abdelnaby Acie Earl Thomas Hamm

posted by yerfatma at 06:14 PM on May 24

Ahhh, Alaa Abdelnaby... First round pick of my beloved Blazers... in the hayday I might add. I had a shirt that said: "Dunk like an Egyptian," you know, like the Bangles.

posted by everett at 06:44 PM on May 24

Alaa Abdelnaby Ain't that the guy frome Duke? If so he coached me at Duke basketball camp a couple years back. He marched the sidelines spitten tobacco in a cup and callin' the plays like coach K. Got his autogragh too.

posted by TelamarketersBeware at 08:34 AM on May 25

Why would he want Coach K's autograph? That's what all that dope will do to a guy, I guess.

posted by yerfatma at 08:43 AM on May 25

Why would he want Coach K's autograph? Noooooo. I meant that I got Alaa's autogragh.

posted by TelamarketersBeware at 08:54 AM on May 25

funny thing is, when I added my comments a few days ago, I wasn't really referring to the Celtics tanking it. (mind you, they did, but that is not the point) What I was referring to is the non-stop whining that comes out of bean town. First it was the curse in baseball, and now it's about the Celtics. The Celtics have won championships in my lifetime, so I don't feel that bad for their fans. Personally, I hate the ping-pong ball method of selection. It doesn't stop teams from tanking, and often rewards teams that were almost .500 on the season while penalizing others that were far worse.

posted by dviking at 03:55 PM on May 25

It doesn't stop teams from tanking, and often rewards teams that were almost .500 on the season while penalizing others that were far worse. That statement is a contradiction. Teams who played just under .500 would be the ones who didn't tank. There are too many issues present to create a perfect system for the draft unless you do it completely randomly. Otherwise if the teams who lose the most always get the highest chance to win, tanking is inevitable.

posted by yay-yo at 04:03 PM on May 25

or a league-wide playoff... (only in our wettest dreams)

posted by yay-yo at 04:15 PM on May 25

Yay-yo, the statement is not contradictary in the least. What is to stop a team from tanking a game or two if they realize that they are closing to getting into the lottery, and won't make the playoffs if they win. What good is going 41-41 if 40-42 gets you in the lottery? So, a just under .500 team has a chance to win the top pick, which would mean that a far worse team was bumbed down in the order, thus penalized. In other sports the worse teams do have the ability to tank a few games, but .500 teams are out of the running for the top pick. I wouldn't mind having the bottom 4 or 5 teams involved in lottery, just not ones that almost make the playoffs.

posted by dviking at 09:23 PM on May 25

In other sports the worse teams do have the ability to tank a few games, but .500 teams are out of the running for the top pick. I wouldn't mind having the bottom 4 or 5 teams involved in lottery, just not ones that almost make the playoffs. That kind of makes sense. I'll give you that. However whats to stop the bottom 4-5 teams from tanking? Also, why would you care about the lottery if you had a chance to make the playoffs? I'm convinced that the "tanking" problem is impossible to fix.

posted by yay-yo at 09:33 PM on May 25

totally agree with that, but as it is now, too many teams have some incentive to tank. I actually don't think most teams really throw games, too much at stake for players if they are up for new contracts, etc.

posted by dviking at 11:38 PM on May 25

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