NBA Best And Worst Contracts Part VI: Pacific Division

As we wrap up our look at NBA contracts, a few things—good and bad—about Wiggins Factor as a stat start to come through in the analysis. In one case, it’s a sins-of-the-father argument… This really should say ‘the Wolves HAD one of the worst front offices in the league’. None of those bad contracts were signed by the current regime. — Jake Paynting (@jakepaynting) August 23, 2019 It’s going to take the new front office awhile to take out the trash. And in another case, it’s an example of Stewart’s Maxim: “It’s not funny anymore when it’s your guy.” @RealFoxD …

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Devin Booker: Is He Any Good?

Devin Booker is, in the sense that the object of basketball is to score points and he once scored 70 points in a game, good at basketball. But on the other hand, basketball is a team sport and it doesn’t matter if you put up numbers higher than some professional golfers routinely put up in their sport if your efforts do not ultimately lead to your team scoring more points than the other team. The Phoenix Suns are, to put it as charitably as possible, a garbage fire. I’ll leave it to your imagination to find less charitable ways than …

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Breakfast Special: The Pacers Stink on National TV

Smart Pacers fans knew to watch anything besides ABC yesterday, as smart Pacers fans saw the 106-89 beatdown—featuring 30 second-half points and some of the worst shooting the team’s put up all year—coming down Broad Street in Philadelphia with its doors open. Take a returning Joel Embiid, on the road, on national TV, and that’s a perfect storm for the 76ers to dominate, and so (at least after halftime) they dominated, all while Pacers fans resigned ourselves to wishing we had the dulcet tones of Chris Denari and Quinn Buckner on Fox Sports Indiana/League Pass to soothe our souls instead …

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Breakfast Special: Achtung Panzer!

The New York Knicks just played the most important game of their season, a showdown in Phoenix with the future of the franchise at stake. And the Knicks gloriously lost the game 107-96, getting out on the dance floor to do the Prokhorovka Shuffle and pull a game and a half ahead of the Suns for last place in the NBA; the Knicks are 13-52 against the Suns’ 15-51. Great work, New York. Devin Booker, a guy who exists in a weird vacuum where he puts up All-Star scoring numbers and does absolutely nothing beyond that to help his team …

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Breakfast Special: Upset With the World

Upset mania was in full swing in the NBA Monday night, as the Phoenix Suns beat the Milwaukee Bucks, the New Orleans Pelicans went on the road and smacked the Utah Jazz, and the San Antonio Spurs showed the Denver Nuggets that there will be no easy outs in the playoffs (which seems to always be the case in the West, doesn’t it?) And we’ll get to all of those games. But regular readers of Pace and Space know that I can’t resist an opportunity to crack open a bottle of Haterade, and you know what that means… #LOLakers The …

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Breakfast Special: Get Rich or Die Tryin’, James Harden

James Harden dropped a 50-cent piece on the Lakers, and just for good measure, he added 10 rebounds and 11 assists because he’s playin’ 2K on the XBone while the rest of us are all playing “Lakers Vs. Celtics and the NBA Playoffs” on the old Sega. Of course, it helps that Harden is the darling of the referees, as he shot 18-of-19 from the free throw line, but any time you go 14-of-26 from the field, even if you shoot like hot garbage on three-pointers (4-of-12), you done good, son, especially since the reeling Rockets proved one of the …

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Trevor Ariza Breaks NBA Advanced Stats

As a general rule, advanced stats tend to move in, if not lockstep, at least some reasonable degree of correlation with each other. Higher PER, higher win shares. Higher Win Shares/48, higher Box Plus/Minus. Better BPM, better VORP. And in any combination thereof, when one stat moves, so do the others. But there’s one very notable exception; PER tends to undervalue catch-and-shoot wings. Need examples? Well, earlier this week I pointed out that Bojan Bogdanovic has a PER better than league average (15, by definition and baked in the stat) in just one season in his career, namely this one, …

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Breakfast Special: Devin Booker’s Fragile Body

Devin Booker continues to suffer the slings and arrows of one minor injury after another. He left the Suns’ 120-96 loss to the Lakers Sunday with Los Angeles up 49-43 in what would prove to be a 40-15 outburst in the second quarter. Booker was plus-6 for the game. No good can come of this for an already gods-awful Phoenix team that now stands 4-19 in the standings, a 14-68 pace by record and 12-70 by point differential. On the Lakers’ side of things, Kyle Kuzma led the scoring with 23, LeBron James had 22, six Lakers scored in double …

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Are the 2018-19 Phoenix Suns Good?

The Phoenix Suns finally hit rock bottom just in time for the DeAndre Ayton Sweepstakes in 2017-18. They should, if the NBA’s insistence—as in other sports—that parity is powered by the draft is true, be a much better team before too long. But “before too long” and “one year after going 21-61” aren’t quite the same thing. Is there anything on this roster than can actually contribute right away to getting off the floor? Or are we about to settle in for a Philadelphia Process in the Pacific Division? 2017-18 record: 21-61 2018-19 over/under: 28.5 Ayton All The Donuts Ayton …

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NBA Breakfast Special: The Pistons’ Letdown Game

When the Detroit Pistons had a big win over the Golden State Warriors on the road, it was only a matter of time before they suffered one hell of a letdown game. Sure enough, that deal with the devil came due on Halloween night, as Staples Center became a house of horrors against the Los Angeles Lakers. LA shredded the Pistons for a .495/.462/.786 slash line, shot 14 free throws to the Pistons’ 3, won the rebound battle 53-44 and the assist battle 30-21, and watched HERO OF SERBIA get a DNP-CD in a 20-point game (free the Boban!) Avery …

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