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Everything posted by Beech27

  1. An interesting angle on this matchup I hadn't though of--and didn't think of, but am stealing from Zach Lowe's preview: Bam is obviously Miami's best answer to AD. But if Davis is competent/confident from 3, Bam will have to abdicate rim protection duties, which means LeBron will attack. Given that, maybe you'd rather have him on Howard or McGee, when they're in. Regarding defending LeBron, I think a key here is Butler being assertive on offense early and consistently. He needs to make LeBron expend himself on the defensive end, or I'm not sure it will matter how Miami defends him. (Alternatively--again, stealing from Lowe--Dragic could be so good on the PNR that LeBron has to take up that responsibility, since he could also plausibly switch onto Bam. I think Miami would be happy to have him burning that candle.) Anyway, this is where I say I don't have a good prediction--because I don't--and declare that it's a make-or-miss league, so who knows?
  2. I was fairly concerned KC wouldn't be able to stop Baltimore consistently, but I'm not surprised Mahomes played so well. 1) Blitzing him is a terrible idea, but Baltimore can't get pressure otherwise, and they lead the league in blitz rate; 2) Baltimore's secondary isn't good enough to cover when singled up in man; 3) KC had run the most vanilla offense possible the first two weeks, so I assumed there would be a lot of schemed open receivers; 4) Mahomes never admits to it in interviews, but he cares about being considered the best QB in the league. I mean, there were "and I took that personally" memes when the NFL Top 100 was released. Still, I'm surprised Baltimore got away from the run as early as they did. One first-and-20 on their second possession, and the first drive's success seemed to be forgotten.
  3. I’m not sure if Okada is really trying to get it over, or if this—like his balloons before—is another prop to show he’s not the Rainmaker anymore. “Okada doesn’t know who he is without the title” is an interesting premise, but “working boring matches on purpose” is not the most compelling way to tell it.
  4. 1) Sample size. There is no reason to expect playoff basketball will match regular season trends, even if all the variables were somehow equated—which they can’t be. 2) Eye tests are biased, or at least prone to human error. There is, in any case, no reason to prefer an aggrieved fan’s eye test to another’s, or the refs’. Again: Not saying Houston did or didn’t get a fair shake. I’m saying that one stat can’t demonstrate it.
  5. The biggest fallacy commonly held by basketball fans is that equal free throw attempts equals good refereeing, and any discrepancy can only be explained by incompetence or malice, and not that teams play different styles of offense, and some legitimately commit more fouls than others. (This isn't even a commentary on the above case specifically. In a world with perfect refs, teams would--and should--shoot a different number of free throws.)
  6. Totally agree with this. (I mean, the data says what it says. I can disagree with the implications, but not that they conclude what they do.) But I think this gets back to why this sort of errand--though fascinating--can't ever reach a meaningful end. Data will say one thing--or rather, different sets will say different things. And we will all conclude other things, based on our own biases and heuristics. E.G., that Durant is Durant, that the Warriors coasted through the regular season, and so on.
  7. ELO is based on how the team played--wins/losses, considering margin and strength of opponent--not an estimation of the skill of the collected talent. Again, it's one data point. We should note that, and adjust our opinions based on the weight of all the evidence we have--that includes noting that more talent and regular season success don't necessarily corelate. Like, most everyone would argue that the Warriors were better with Durant than without. (I'd also point out that Hornacek had a significantly higher VORP and WS/48 than Russell. Even if you want to suggest he wasn't better, there's really not a case he was significantly worse at the time.)
  8. I don't know that the New Japan audience ever really treated him that way. I think his heel turn was basically a way to make something useful out of their antipathy. Plus he's had so many injuries and worked such a violent style that his explosiveness/pace is really diminished. So, I think New Japan has him slotted about right. NOAH would probably put him a little higher up the card--but honestly I'm not convinced he'd be ahead of KENOH, Go, Nakajima, or Kiyomiya, and I'm sure KENTA is happier making (I assume) better money without the weight of his and NOAH's mutual legacy. (I doubt he'd entertain trading places with Marafuji for a second.)
  9. Not that it goes back far, but he retires as the all-time leader in DRS at LF, and is a four-time Fielding Bible winner. 34.7 bWAR for his career, with an average of 5.95 from 2011 through 2014. So... hall of not-quite very good, but still whatever the tier below that is, which isn't bad. And a great story to reach that point, being the can't-miss uber-prospect at 3B (Brett said the early comparisons flattered him) who grew up a Royals fan, then busted hard, then remade himself into a deserving all-star. His game-tying home run off of Familia in Game 1 of the 2015 World Series is an all-time baseball memory, for me.
  10. Yeah, as someone who loves terminator mode Ibushi, this was easy MOTT (so far) to me. Ibushi's best limb selling in... a while, and a great (non-Ishii) example of how "no selling" can be selling, when done right. And the Taichi push continues, and feels totally earned.
  11. This is exactly what I mean when I say we have to consider context, and acknowledge nuance. Who is the star? What is the rest of the roster like? What era of NBA are we in? Who is the opponent? I mean, if this is all a roundabout way to say the Heat should have won the title that year, I think most people agree with that. I agree with it. ELO, since we've already brought it up, has it as a virtual coin-toss series, fwiw. (Most every metric I'm aware of suggests that that Mavericks team is much better than the collection of names would imply, and their eventual title win would seem to confirm that.) (Further, analytics love Jordan, and his best Bulls teams. I don't think throwing them out makes sense if, as I do, you think he's the best player ever.) Anyway, @Brian Fowlerthose videos are a good watch, and provide a useful broadening of perspective.
  12. If Dave didn’t get Yano after his tape trading match with Omega a couple G1s back, he’s never going to.
  13. I’m offering up one metric that is easily available, commonly understood, and with a baseline of credibility. It depicts, or attempts to, how strong a team was, not just how positively we rate remembered names. I’m not saying it’s right in every case, or even (necessarily) in the cases shown. I didn’t even present an argument with it; I just posted the graph. ELO also says Jordan had a much tougher road getting to the finals. Basically, it jives with the narrative most people adhere to for both careers. I think that’s interesting. (And broadly, I think it’s correct.) If you have preferred statistics, go ahead and suggest them. But I’m not going to retroactively invent League Pass for the early 90s, and watch ever Suns, Sonic, and Blazers game. Hypotheticals we can’t confirm in this case are: 1) who had better supporting casts; 2) how would Jordan and LeBron have faired against one another’s competitors; 3) whether Dan Majerle was better than post-prime Jason Kidd, etc. You’re saying Jordan would not have lost a series with Wade and Bosh; I’m just saying we can’t be sure, about that, or any of this. Pretending otherwise is extreme bias. Insults being, for one, “so called King.” It’s not overly harsh, but it’s also not productive rhetoric.
  14. Show me where I touted ELO as the be all, end all. I presented one data point, because metrics provide context that raging about eye tests don’t. (The data do not confirm my priors, and are therefor trash, is a bad argument.) Further, I think Jordan is better than LeBron. I said that above. Please explain how I’m biased and searched out a stat that would make LeBron look better. Or maybe, maybe, you could accept nuance, and not devolve into petty insults and sure statements about unknowable hypotheticals.
  15. That's my thing. I'd put Jordan number 1. I'd listen to anyone putting those three in any order, though. I just don't think anyone needs to bury LeBron (or whomever) or misrepresent facts--such as they are--to support their arguments. (I get that ELO isn't a "fact" per se, but it's more objective than playing "let's remember some guys". I love doing that. But.)
  16. Jordan/James finals opponents by ELO: https://ca.nba.com/news/the-last-dance-did-michael-jordan-or-lebron-james-face-tougher-competition-in-the-playoffs/ub0a1xhfjsff1kuizb90rbd7y Every Finals Opponent Team Rating Opponent 2017 Warriors 1850 LeBron 2015 Warriors 1802 LeBron 2016 Warriors 1790 LeBron 1998 Jazz 1762 MJ 1997 Jazz 1751 MJ 2012 Thunder 1737 LeBron 2014 Spurs 1730 LeBron 2011 Mavericks 1717 LeBron 2013 Spurs 1711 LeBron 2018 Warriors 1710 LeBron 2007 Spurs 1705 LeBron 1992 Blazers 1702 MJ 1991 Lakers 1697 MJ 1996 Sonics 1695 MJ 1993 Suns 1634 MJ
  17. If EVIL makes the final, then I don't think his title win was an experiment as much as an appetizer. Anyway, it's probably too soon for ~BC explodes~ with a White/EVIL final, but it will probably still be viable going into the final nights. SANADA could make it. Okada, of course, can always win things. But do you run back Okada/Naito already? I suppose Naito defending is a different role. (Yeah, I have no idea.)
  18. I’d choose that Cena match as his best singles performance (against some other than Taker or HHH), but if I can cheat a little I’d add the WM 30 triple threat (a good match with a great finish), and the Evolution/Shield six man as his absolute best.
  19. Maeda was around BML for a bit.
  20. There's pretty credibly evidence that he has a pattern of grooming/propositioning underage girls via social media.
  21. Jay White lives in the US, so sadly doesn't benefit from New Zealand's relative freedom from COVID. They haven't said anything about Ospreay, but I'd be shocked if the company holds the allegations against him. They just used Chase Owens, who offers them so much less value. (Not saying this is how I want it to go, to be clear.)
  22. Some newer, ongoing series that either I like, or people broadly seem to: A Chorus of Dragons, by Jenn Lyons The Burning, by Evan Winter The Poppy War, by RF Kuang Burningblade and Silvereye, by Django Wexler There is also the aforementioned Locked Tomb trilogy by Tamsyn Muir isn't epic fantasy in any classic sense, but it is excellent.
  23. If Go instigates another 30-minute staredown, a draw is definitely on the table. But I don’t see NOAH wiping the GHC history in any case. Go is winning matches now by comboing Misawa and Kobashi signature spots, Kaito’s whole thing is being a Misawa fan, and they’re one parent-company decision away from booking Jun Akiyama again. Kenoh has said a lot of things about leaving the past behind, but I think they just want him to be—or he wants to be—NOAH’s Naito, rebelling against every corporate decision in newspapers and magazines.
  24. Harrow the Ninth is out, and I think it’s better than Gideon (which was my favorite book in... a while). It’s structurally challenging, jumping around in time, tense, and POV; and you need to remember a lot of names, and deal with severely compromised narrators. But it all serves the narrative, and doesn’t feel like literary wankery. It also goes way deeper on the lore, magic system, and weird gonzo mystery plotting. So it manages to be difficult/deep, while superficially fun on a moment to moment level. Really ambitious and impressive follow up to a hit debut.
  25. He had a couple against Kawada in 91 that are really good. Kobashi was later in ascending, and Taue was still a faction underling to Jumbo at the time. Edit: I was wrong! The Tsuruta singles matches against Kobashi were more substantial than I’d recalled. Which means I know what I’m watching for the next few days.
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