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Howard to Lakers, is the NBA becoming La Liga?

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  • Howard to Lakers, is the NBA becoming La Liga?

    The Spanish top soccer league is basically the Real Madrid and Barcelona and then everyone else.

    We have a situation now in the NBA where it looks like it's the Lakers and Heat, and then everyone else.

    I think Howard Kobe Nash is a team that can win the next four championships. You might say Nash and Kobe are old, but the thing is that Howard is the main guy on this team now, it takes a lot of pressure off Kobe.

    Plus, Nash is primal, and he was playing at an All-Star level last season at age 37 or 38; I don't see why he wouldn't keep playing at a very high level for the next three or four years.

    But my main concern is the loss of parity in the league. Who can honestly challenge the Heat with Allen and Lewis and the Lakers with Nash Kobe and Howard? AND PAU!!

    You might say the Thunder, and they're a great team, but I don't see them matching the Lakers starting 5.

  • #2
    I'm sorry I meant to post this in odds and ends, I don't know if we can move it.

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    • #3
      I also want to take this opportunity to tell you guys that I just started a Primal Basketball Players group on the forum, so you should join it. The season is only a few months away.

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      • #4
        I can't dismiss OKC from the top level teams in the NBA conversation. I also think Boston still has life left (especially if Sallinger can play) and the Heat don't match up that well with them and the Heat still haven't addressed the center position. Brooklyn could also find their way into the top level and San Antonio will do what they do. Clippers will improve, Bulls will be back if Rose is able to play much. So all in all, I see where you are coming from with the stars acclumuting in certain markets but it's not as bad as it seems and really, how different is it than its ever been? Always been a have/have not league.

        On the Lakers, yes Howard makes them better, particularily defensively, but I don't see that much of an overall upgrade from Bynum. Bynum at times was the better player. He's a headcase, injury prone and disappeared at times but still when it comes down to it, he's closer to Howard as a player ability and impact wise than some think imo. Key is Nash and how much he has left. I agree with you that he seems to have plenty left but, and this goes for Kobe as well, some guys get old fast so we will see how that goes. Either way, I can't crown them yet as OKC should get better too in the West.

        Good thred.

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        • #5
          (Disclosure: Philosophy of sport is my area of specialization, and I've written about competitive balance in sports leagues before...)

          Actually, the NBA has pretty much always been this. Of the three major American sports leagues (NBA, NFL, MLB), it has the worst measurable competitive balance and the fewest different championship teams during the Super Bowl era.

          There are a number of reasons for this. Structurally, the fact that one or two players can dominate a league for extended periods of time (Jordan and Pippen; Shaq and Kobe, Magic/Kareem & Bird/McHale, etc) means that comparative ratios of wins and losses get skewed much more so than in either MLB (where you can just pitch around players, and starting pitchers can only go every few games) or the NFL (players don't play both ways, 22 players on the field at the same time). The NFL is also helped structurally by the fact it only plays 16 games in its season, whereas the NBA has 82 and MLB has 162. Interestingly, though, and despite hype to the contrary, MLB is very close to the NFL in terms of its statistical competitive balance, and ahead of the NFL in terms of the number of different teams to have won World Series in the Super Bowl Era.

          Economically, the NBA, with its revenue sharing model, has an interest in large market teams winning more than they lose, and going deeper in the playoffs than small market teams. The best thing that happened to the NBA, from a revenue standpoint, was basically 10 years of Lakers/Celtics finals in the 1980's. The worst thing that happened to the NBA, from a revenue standpoint, was the mid-to-late seventies, when many different teams of no national consequence won championships (Portland, Seattle, Washington, etc). During the oughts, the dominance of San Antonio significantly impacted the leagues overall revenue, as did the fact that Tim Duncan was drafted by San Antonio instead of Boston.

          Television ratings tend to bear this sort of thing out.

          Now the fact that keeping the Lakers powerful for economic reasons makes economic sense isn't necessarily an argument for why the league should be that way. It's just an analysis of why it tends to be that way.

          Something else to consider, though, is the following. If we don't want super-teams (Miami, Boston, LA Lakers, etc), then what is the remedy? Is it to limit or ban free agency? If so, why is that fair to players? Shouldn't they have a right to go where they want for their own reasons - particularly given the individual caps already in place (which means that location and interest will make a big difference in endorsements)?

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          • #6
            I also can't help thinking it's going to be down to the Lakers and the Heat. The Thunder and the Celtics are both formidable teams. Durant is a beast. Really, there all so many great players on all 4 of those teams.

            I find it interesting as a newer NBA fan.
            "Carbs are the victim, not the crime" - ChocoTaco

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Philosopher Dan View Post
              Actually, the NBA has pretty much always been this. Of the three major American sports leagues (NBA, NFL, MLB), it has the worst measurable competitive balance and the fewest different championship teams during the Super Bowl era.
              Yes.

              I don't know what sport everyone else has been watching, but anyone who thinks this is a new phenomenon must have been asleep for the past couple decades. The NBA has always belonged to the superstars moreso than any other professional league, and the nature of the game of basketball contributes to this substantially.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Philosopher Dan View Post
                (Disclosure: Philosophy of sport is my area of specialization, and I've written about competitive balance in sports leagues before...)

                Actually, the NBA has pretty much always been this. Of the three major American sports leagues (NBA, NFL, MLB), it has the worst measurable competitive balance and the fewest different championship teams during the Super Bowl era.

                There are a number of reasons for this. Structurally, the fact that one or two players can dominate a league for extended periods of time (Jordan and Pippen; Shaq and Kobe, Magic/Kareem & Bird/McHale, etc) means that comparative ratios of wins and losses get skewed much more so than in either MLB (where you can just pitch around players, and starting pitchers can only go every few games) or the NFL (players don't play both ways, 22 players on the field at the same time).
                Also the NBA is not one-and-out in the playoffs. The best teams really do win and really do go deep. If NFL was theoretically best of 3 for example, probably New England would've won three more championships. You can't fluke a 7 game series.

                Now why MLB champions are more random than NBA champions....I don't know.

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                • #9
                  I'm don't think that makes the Lakers better than the Thunder.

                  The Thunder have such a sizeable advantage on the perimeter (where Kobe is not nearly as good as he was a few years ago, and even then was not as good as his supporters would contest). And while the lakers have an advantage on the inside, I don't know how relevant that will be in the current small ball era. If westbrook can take another step defensively (given the olympics experience) or nash takes a step back offensively, then the lakers look like a very good 2pt team but a weak 3pt team.

                  It's even possible that the Spurs are a better regular season team than the lakers as well, and I wouldn't be shocked if they defeated the lakers in a playoff series with both teams healthy (although the lakers probably do edge past the spurs assuming that all their stars click, which did *not* happen the last time the lakers did this with malone and payton).
                  Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

                  Griff's cholesterol primer
                  5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
                  Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
                  TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
                  bloodorchid is always right

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                  • #10
                    I think it makes the Lakers certainly on par with the thunder at the least. Kobe is not nearly the player he was for one thing, and there are no guarantees the same thing won't happen to Nash. Howard's back condition is a huge ??.
                    As has been noted, this is kind of how the NBA is - the nature of the game play plus the economics of the league. I don't see them guaranteed any rings at all, much less 4 championships as someone mentioned. The west is going to be good all around (Denver just got better for one and OKC will be improved next year). San Antonio, it's always a mistake to count them out. Heat will be together next year and we saw what they were capable of. I see the Lakers in the West finals for the next four years, sure, and probably one or maybe two rings for Kobe.
                    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by superseiyan View Post
                      Also the NBA is not one-and-out in the playoffs. The best teams really do win and really do go deep. If NFL was theoretically best of 3 for example, probably New England would've won three more championships. You can't fluke a 7 game series.

                      Now why MLB champions are more random than NBA champions....I don't know.
                      Most likely it has to do with pitching. Even the most dominant pitcher can usually make only 3 starts in best-of-7 series. There is also a bit more uncertainty in scoring your runs in MLB than in the NBA. No dunks in baseball!

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                      • #12
                        I want Cups for the smaller teams, give them something to play for like with the Europa League in Europe, or the smaller cups like the FA Cup.

                        If 16 teams make the playoffs, how about taking the 17-20 ranked teams and having them play a mini-cup, and maybe the reward could be something like an additional mid level exception for the next season.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Return of Dado View Post
                          I want Cups for the smaller teams, give them something to play for like with the Europa League in Europe, or the smaller cups like the FA Cup.

                          If 16 teams make the playoffs, how about taking the 17-20 ranked teams and having them play a mini-cup, and maybe the reward could be something like an additional mid level exception for the next season.
                          No way man. that's like little league where everyone gets a trophy. Go to a 12 team playoff (first round 5 game series, top 4 seeds get a bye) and give some fancy little chocolates to teams 13-20. Also, 60 games is plenty. Do we need 80+?
                          Of course, I'm a Lakers fan.....
                          If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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                          • #14
                            Love BB best of all, the players seem like the closest thing in sports as a tribe of paleo dudes.
                            Primal/Paleo is not for everyone, it's for those who have committed to understand.
                            READ THE BOOK! ...as Robb Wolf says: "Trying to convince people to save their own ass will burn you out."

                            Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, and an affront to all I stand for -- the pure enjoyment of food. Anthony Bourdain

                            and yes, calories DO count my little piggies

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