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Duke vs. Wisconsin Betting Odds 2015: Point Spread, Over/Under For NCAA Championship Basketball Game

Duke vs. Wisconsin Betting Odds 2015: Point Spread, OveUnder For NCAA Championship Basketball Game submitted by rotoreuters to betternews [link] [comments]

Portland, Blazing A Path Towards A Promising Future

Over the last 6 years, Portland has been nothing but consistent, it’s been in the playoffs year after year with little signs of slowing down till this year. In a season following a Western Conference Finals appearance many people, me included, had high expectations for this Blazers squad. With Dame at the helm and CJ, Nurk, and the rest of the squad to back him up a top-three finish in the wild western conference didn’t seem outrageous. Hell, maybe they’d catch a break with another team suffering an injury and make a run at the Finals. Instead, this season, the Blazers were the ones getting injured. Nurkic missed the whole season due to a gruesome leg injury that he experienced towards the end of last season. C.J. struggled to stay on the court consistently. Similarly, Collins missed extended time due to a shoulder injury that required him to have surgery, said surgery would sideline him for four months. These injuries, along with the loss of defensive stalwarts Mo Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu decimated any hopes Portland had of being a contender this season. Instead, Dame was forced to spend a majority of the season backpacking the whole team, in an attempt to blaze his way towards the playoff (see what I did there). Despite Dame going demigod mode and dropping averages of 28.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 8.9 assists on 45.7/39.4/88.8 splits it’s not looking like the Blazers will be making their seventh consecutive trip to the playoffs. But it’s not all bad for Blazers fans. Dame is signed through the 2024-2025 season, C.J. is locked up through the 2023-2024 season, and Nurkic is on a team-friendly deal for the next two years. But what I wanted to talk about is the young blazers. The youngsters that will shape this franchise's future and ultimately decide whether Portland will be in the race for the title in the coming years. So without further delay let's talk some Blazers!
Anfernee Simons:
Simons is perhaps the most hyped up of the young blazers. The 21-year olds game is reminiscent, funnily enough, of C.j.’s. He projects to be a three-level scorer, who can get you a bucket from anywhere. He uses his speed and crafty ball handling to break down defenders, creating separation so he can get his shots off. Simons, in limited minutes, has shown to be able to get to the basket with relative ease, his shots don’t always fall when he gets there but he shoots solidly enough at the hoop. He’s shown glimpses of an ability to finish through contact, giving Blazers fans hope that he could one day be something more as an interior scorer. His shooting from both the midrange is impressive for his age. He’s shooting 45.2% from 15-19 feet away from the basket. To get these buckets he uses his arsenal of stepbacks and fakes to create separation and get his shot off. Can’t get to the midrange, no problem. Simons has shown the ability to be a high-end three-point shooter despite his career 33.9% shooting from behind the arc, he just needs to be more consistent. There are nights like April 10, 2019, where Simons shot 7-11 from downtown, scoring 37 points when it was all said and done. But there are also nights like December 3, 2019, where he will 1-5 from three. His shot looks good and he looks confident taking them which gives me hope that he will figure it out. He is a career 78.7% free-throw shooter as well, which points to him being able to one day knock down threes at a high clip. If Simons can improve upon his finishing at the basket and improve from deep I could easily see him being a three-level scorer who puts up 20+ points a night at his peak.
How’s the passing? Well, his 1.5 assists a game this season may not stand out but in his limited minutes, he has shown to be at least an adequate passer. Similarly to his shooting he just needs to be more consistent. For every full course pass or perfectly placed lob pass, he makes there will be another moment where he misses the open cutter or shooter in the corner. It’s more of his pass perception that needs some work, not as much his passing fundamentals. Despite the stats, I have faith that Simons will develop into a 4-5 assist guy in his prime.
What about his defense? For now, it’s pretty poor, but I do have hope for Simons on the less glamorous end of the court. Simons is an elite athlete which points to defensive upside. He has the lateral quickness to guard the perimeter while still having the hops to get up and contest shots around the rim. He lacks the strength to be an effective interior defender but with some NBA weight lifting training, that problem could be solved in no time. Simons is yet to fully understand how to defend opposing offenses and isn’t too great and reading passing lanes which limits his ability to disrupt the other team's offense and come away with steals. If Simons can figure out how to read other team's offense and get more steals it could be huge for the Blazers as Simons is an absolute menace in transition. If he can get on a fast break with the ball few players can stop him as he uses his speed blow by defenders and throws down some rim rocking dunks. His biggest fault on defense is his inability to be reliable on that end. He lacks awareness on that end, often losing his man and forgetting to provide help defense for his teammates. In the long run, I think Simons could be a strong perimeter defender and a blah interior one. His strength will likely always hold him back on the inside but if he can figure it out on the perimeter he will at least be serviceable on that end.
So the Blazers have a potential star on their hands. If Simons realizes his potential I could see him putting up 20+ points, 4-5 assists, and 4-5 rebounds on strong efficiency. All while being a solid defender. Of course, there are a lot of questions with Simons, but if it all works out I believe the Blazers have a star on their hands.
Nassir Little:
Coming out of high school Nassir Little was one of the nation's top-rated prospects (#2 overall). He had an underwhelming season at UNC which led him to fall to the 25th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft where the Blazers snagged him up. His first season in the big leagues was a mixed bag. His stats were rather underwhelming and if you didn’t watch the games you’d think this guy is a bonafide scrub. After all, he did put up just 3.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 0.5 assists on some garbage efficiency (23% from three). But where some see a dumpster fire I see potential. So what does he have going for him? Let's talk about it!
Little's biggest draw as a prospect is his freakish athleticism. We're talking about a 6’5, 220lb small forward with some serious bounce. I mean pretty much every highlight of this guy is either a dunk or a put-back. He’s got the ability to quickly accelerate and then just like that, stop on a dime. That same acceleration allows him to rapidly reach top speeds, making him a potential force in transition. He’s also pretty strong considering his 6’5 frame, however, a few extra pounds may not hurt.
His athleticism alone has allowed Nassir to be an average defender thus far in his career but it’s clear he has room to improve. He’ll use his speed to keep up with most players on the perimeter and use his strength, agility, and bounce to get up to contest shots at the hoop. He’s even shown to be able to get up multiple times in short succession, allowing him to block multiple shots in quick succession. He’s adept at covering for his teammates and being in the right position to assist his teammates on defense. Like many rookies Little struggles to consistently give 100% on defense all the time but on most nights he manages to stay locked in for the most part. He will hustle for open balls and try to make plays on defense, even if it doesn’t always work out. He’s also not too great at reading opposing offenses. He’ll miss out on steal opportunities because he’s unable to predict what the offense will do next. Similar to Simons, it would be huge if Little could improve upon his defensive awareness as it would lead to more steals which would result in more transition buckets for Little. Little could be a really good defender given some time, he has all the physical tools to effectively guard other forwards, he just needs to learn the mental part of the game.
Offensively Little is pretty limited. He’s proven to be an effective lob and put back threat, he’s shooting 59% at the rim. He’s also been able to use his athleticism to help him burst past defenders and get shots up 5ft-9ft away from the basket where he shoots 66.7%. That's it, there's not much to his offensive game. His playmaking in both College and thus far in the NBA is non-existent. His shooting has been poor from three-point range and from the line. His handle is okay, but not good enough to reliably create space and get shots off. I see some potential with Little as a shooter simply because his form looks solid enough, but it’s not assuring that he’s shooting 63.6% at the charity stripe. Still, I wouldn’t be shocked if he managed to shoot something like 33% from three in his prime (he’s 20, he has time). I see Little as a player that will need his offense made for him, whether it’s through lobs, cuts to the basket, or put backs off the rim.
I seriously doubt Little is ever going to be a star. He’s got all the physical tools to be a proficient offensive player but it’s his skills that are keeping him back. I think Little, at his peak, will be a 10-12 point scorer who operates mostly down low for his points. As I said previously I don’t think his shot can’t improve, I'm just not sure it will ever be even average. I have faith in his ability to become an above-average defender due to his physical prowess however it’s the mental aspect of the game that will decide if he will be a good or great defender. Ultimately I think Little’s best-case scenario is a fourth or fifth starter on a good team. If the Blazers can turn this athlete into a basketball player, they could have a very solid player under their wings.
Zach Collins:
Coming out of college Collins was seen as a perfect player for where the league was going. His crazy 47.6% from three in College to go along with his high-end blocking ability had scouts drooling over the possibilities with this near 7-footer. But thus far in his career, only one of those skills has come to fruition. That would be his shot-blocking. In his two full seasons as the Blazers center Collins has routinely shown the ability to keep up with ball handlers on the interior and swat away their shots at the basket. This has been his hallmark skill so far in his career but if he ever wants to be the player people projected him as coming out of college he’s gotta start hitting from outside. Between his rookie and sophomore season Collins has shot just 32.1% from three, not bad for your average center but a far cry from his 47.6% in college. So his shooting isn’t there yet but is he likely to improve. Hell yeah, he is. For one his shot looks clean and he seems to be fairly comfortable taking them (both of which are good signs). His free throw percentage, while not great at 72%, is still solid enough to make you think that he just hasn’t hit his shooting stride yet. He’s also improved all his shooting percentages from his rookie year to his sophomore year, giving further hope that he will figure his shot out.
Collins scores most of his buckets on the interior. He’s very skilled at using fakes, turns, hook shots, and even the occasional fade away to score within ten feet of the basket. Collins also uses his 6’11 stature to his advantage, always cutting to the basket or positioning himself to throw down a well-placed lob pass. Collins doesn’t have a go-to move, rather he uses a wide variety of post moves to get his shot up around the rim. Despite not being the fastest player on the court Collins still manages to be a threat in transition as he uses his size and length to his advantage, throwing down dunks with little regard for the defenders in front of him.
As a ball-handler Collins is subpar. He lacks the acceleration/burst to blow by defenders and he doesn’t have a crafty enough handle to make up for it. I don’t think being a shot creator will ever be one of Collin's main skills. But I do see some hope for him being a playmaker out of the post. In games, Collins has shown the ability to see cutters and get them the ball for an easy bucket. He hasn’t shown to be a good outlet pass to the perimeter but any sort of playmaking from the center position is a positive (even if he’s never anything special as a playmaker).
Collins isn’t a great rebounder for a center. He has the length and athleticism to be a solid rebounder however it’s his strength that has held him up to this point. He’s not weak, he’s just not as large as many other centers. Like if it’s between Collins or Karl-Anthony Towns to grab a rebound you can bet nine times out of ten Towns is getting that rebound simply because of his size and strength. This leads me to my main concern with Collins. I’m not sure that he’s ever going to be big enough to hang defensively with the upper tier of bigs in this league. He gets bodied by the larger bigs in the post and it makes me wonder if he can play the five long term. Ideally, Collins puts on some muscle to address this problem (hopefully he does) but even then I’m skeptical that he will be able to hold his own against the Embiid’s, Jokic’s, and Giannis’s of the league (then again few big men can). On the perimeter, Collins can hold his own against most other bigs but I would by no means call him a lockdown perimeter defender at this point in the league.
So what do the Blazers have with Collins? Well if he figures it out I believe they will have an ideal modern NBA big man who can score from both the interior and stretch the floor while playing plus defense. He could be the type of player that any team could want, not because he’s a star, but because he does everything you want your center to do. If he doesn’t figure it out he has at least shown to be a solid bench big who can score a bit and play some solid defense in limited minutes. Collin’s future is in question, his potential is not.
Gary Trent Jr.:
Gary Trent Jr. showed out this season. He emerged as a bench scoring option when the Blazers needed it. With McCollum missing time in the middle of the season, Trent showed what he could do to the tune of 7.7 points on 38.8% three-point shooting on 3.8 threes a game. This shooting ability along with some semi-respectable defense made him an attractive option off the bench for the crippled Blazers squad. His shooting from the rest of the court also impressed, shooting 45.8% from 10-14ft and 56% at the basket and 83.3% at the line. His handles are nothing to brag about but it was good enough to occasionally break down his defender and get an open shot off. He’s also a threat in transition as his speed allows him to cruise down the floor and get open for attacks at the basket or transition threes. Other than his shooting, transition scoring, and occasional shot creation Trent didn’t bring much more to the offense. But I mean our boy was selected in the second round (37th overall) so let's cut him some slack. Him being a contributor at all is a dub. He lacks the passing vision and accuracy to be an effective playmaker and isn’t much of an offensive rebounder (or rebounder, in general, to be honest).
Defensively Trent is just okay. His perimeter defense is better than his interior defense, which is not surprising considering his 6’5 stature and 210lb weight. He’s light on his feet which allows him to keep up with most guards. The problem comes when bigs get switched onto him as he’s not exceptionally strong or lengthy, leading him to being pushed to the side like Will Smith in his relationship with Jada (poor Will). He seems to have a solid idea of how to read opposing offenses as he’s been pretty good at identifying where passes are going and accumulating steals.
Of all the young Blazers we’ve talked about Trent is probably the least interesting in terms of long term potential. I don’t know that he will be anything better than a solid bench shooter who provides a bit of defense but that's alright. Considering his draft position (37th overall) the Blazers getting Trent was absolutely a win. I think Trent will be a 9-10 point scorer on good efficiency for years to come. That’s not bad for a second-round pick.
The Young Blazers:
If we look at all the young Blazers it’s pretty impressive what Portland has been able to do with their late lottery and non-lottery picks. Simons is a young, athletic guard who has all the potential in the world as a scorer. Collins has the makings of the perfect modern NBA big man. Little has starter potential with his interior scoring and high-end defensive upside. Trent was a nice pick up in the second round a couple of years ago. The Blazers have done an impressive job not only competing in the present but setting themselves up for a promising future. Maybe one day these young players could blaze Portland towards their second championship.
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[OC] The Chicago Bulls rebuild imploded again this year. How can they pick up the pieces and make it better next time?

As we continue to wait for real basketball to happen (or not?), it may be a good time to monitor teams that will definitely be missing out on all the playoff bubble hijinks.
Here's a look at the CHICAGO BULLS, with a special shoutout to true Bulls' fans like celsius_two_3_two for helping me review the content.
PART ONE: From Playoff Challenger to Challenger space shuttle
Like any proper degenerate, I like to make a few Las Vegas "oveunder" bets before the season (note: don't try it at home, it's usually a waste of time and money.)
Still, a few win totals jumped out at me. Among them: the Chicago Bulls, oveunder 33.5 wins.
Now, the logical move may have been to pound the "under" here. After all, this was a team coming off two seasons with 27-55 and 22-60 records. However, I couldn't help but overthink this one. Sure, the Bulls had a very bad 2018-19 season (highlighted by Fred Hoiberg getting fired and Drill Sergeant Jim Boylen taking over). At the same time, they played better in the second half of the season. Boylen (douche or not) would presumably keep improving their defense. Moreover, Boylen and the front office were on shaky ground in terms of their job security, which usually motivates an organization to push forward and win as much as possible.
The front office clearly had that in mind as well, signing Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young to sizable $10M+ contracts. Neither are great players, or perhaps even good players, but they're solid and reliable veterans whom the team could immediately plug into a rotation. These Bulls felt deep, balanced, and perhaps ready to strike. After all, star Zach LaVine would be set to enter Year 6 in the league. Otto Porter would be entering Year 7. Some of their other "young" pieces weren't that young; for example, Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine are both 26 right now.
Overall, this felt like a recipe for success. Or at least, semi-success. The Bulls were ready to take a jump. Making the playoffs may have been unrealistic, but 35-38 wins felt doable. "OVER" it is!
Flash forward nearly a year later, and I've got so much egg on my face that vegans won't even talk to me anymore. Turns out, these "new Bulls" were the "same ol' Bulls." They'll end the season with a 22-43 record, which would have put them on pace for 27.8 wins over 82 games, well under the 33.5 set by Vegas.
So what went wrong? How did this potential darkhorse run so far off the rails that it needed to get shot and turned to glue? Let's take a closer look.
PART TWO: Missing Otto Porter III + D
One of the major reasons the Chicago Bulls disappointed in 2019-20 was injuries. Center Wendell Carter missed time, and Otto Porter III barely played due to lingering hip injuries. He appeared in 14 games, and only drew 9 starts (averaging 23 minutes per game.)
On the surface, Porter shouldn't feel like a huge loss. After all, this is a player who's never averaged as much as 15 PPG in any season in his career and has never sniffed an All-Star team.
That said, the loss of Porter had a trickle down effect that hurt the team in numerous ways.
Offensively, Porter is a low-usage player who's about as efficient as anyone in the league. For his career, he shoots over 40% from three (40.4%). Better yet, he's only averaged 0.8 turnovers per game (1.1 TO per 36 minutes.) He's what you'd call a role player / assassin. He gets in, hits his target, and slips out without being noticed. Porter actually has a little more versatility to his offensive game than the average catch-and-shoot player (he can take you down on the block, for example), but most often, he's used as a spacer and he thrives in that regard. Without Porter's shooting, the Chicago Bulls' offense looked even more sluggish than usual. Their offensive rating ranked 27th out of the 30 teams in the league.
Porter's loss also showed up in other ways. Porter's not a great defender -- he's probably "above average" -- but that's still an asset to have in your lineup. He's a savvy player who's usually locked in defensively, despite one infamous Shaqtin' A Fool moment. He also has good size and length for his position at 6'8" with a 7'1" wingspan.
That size is a key element to this discussion. Porter has "plus" size as a small forward. In his absence, the Bulls struggled to fill that void with the same. They ended up shifting Zach LaVine (6'6", 6'8" wingspan) over to small forward quite a bit. LaVine played 67% of his minutes at SF this past season according to basketball-reference. You can take those positional play-by-plays with a grain of salt because it's not easy to track and label, but that's still a notable difference in terms of the roster composition. The Bulls were smaller than average at SF, and smaller than average at SG with rookie Coby White (6'4", 6'5" wingspan) playing the majority of his minutes there.
The natural follow up to this may be: so what? Even with those size limitations, Jim Boylen's Bulls still finished with the 14th best defense (up from 25 last year.) However, the lack of size on the wings helped contribute to the Bulls' problems on the glass. They finished 30th (out of 30 teams) in total defensive rebounds, and 28th in rebounding differential (-3.6 per game). Using rebounding totals isn't always the best metric to use because bad teams miss more shots (and thus allow their opponents more rebounds). However, if you dig deeper, the numbers still aren't pretty. The Bulls' grabbed 75.6% of their potential defensive rebounds -- 5th worst in the league. Overall, they grabbed 47.9% of all potential rebounds -- 2nd worst in the league. "Rebounds" may be not be an en vogue stat in general, but it's a weakness that still hurt the team at the margins. When you're a mid-level team, those extra few possessions per game could mean the difference between a win and a loss.
The good news? Porter will likely be back and healthy next season. The bad news? He's not cheap. He'll almost certainly pick up his oversized $28M player option. In another circumstance, he may try to rip it up and renegotiate a long-term deal with the Bulls or another team instead, but the murkiness around the cap and around his health makes that too difficult to imagine. Barring a trade, he'll be back with the Bulls next year, and will help the team win a few more games.
PART THREE: Misusing their offensive weapons
The Chicago Bulls are a young team, built around young stars like Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen. Both LaVine and Markkanen have some limitations overall, but they're both gifted offensive players. So given that, how is it that the team only finished 27th in offensive efficiency?
In terms of the national media, a lot of the blame tends to fall on Zach LaVine. After some inefficient play early on in his career, the narrative has stuck that LaVine is an "empty calorie" or "volume" scorer. However, the results on the court don't really justify that anymore. Sure, LaVine shoots a lot, but he doesn't take as many bad shots as you may expect. He takes 8.1 threes per game (and makes an above-average 38%). He takes 5.6 free throw attempts per game (making 82% for his career.) Overall, that's a winning formula. LaVine's efficiency and true shooting is above league-average, no small feat for a player averaging 25.5 points per game this year. You'd like to see him hammer his way to the line even more, but he's not the problem for this team (offensively.)
Meanwhile, Markkanen has some work to do. For a 7-footer, he's a gifted shooter. He shot 42.3% from three in college (and even flirted with 50% early in the season.) He carried that success over to the NBA for his first two years, netting over 36% from three each year. His results at the free throw line (84% then 87% as a second-year player) illustrated his potential to keep improving from there. 7-footers tend to get labeled as "stretch bigs" if they can get anywhere over 30% from three; Markkanen has the potential to get closer to 40%.
However, that leap didn't happen in Year 3. Markkanen sagged to 34.4% from three, and "only" 82.4% from the free-throw line. But those percentages aren't what bothers me. Percentages will go up and down over smaller sample sizes like that. What's more concerning is how Markkanen's role shrunk offensively. After averaging 15.3 field goal attempts last season, he slipped down to 11.8 attempts this season per game. Even if you account for a few less minutes, he dropped from 17 FGA to 14 FGA in terms of "per 36" numbers.
As mentioned, Markkanen is an offensive player. He's a shooter. I'm no coaching genius (and neither is Jim Boylen apparently), but I'd encourage a shooter to SHOOT. Because if Markkanen isn't a focal point of your offensive attack, then he's not doing much good for your team. He's not a good defender -- he's not a good rebounder. This is like the Justice League sending Aquaman off to the find evil aliens in the desert; we're misusing his talents here, people.
Practically speaking, the next Bulls' coach needs to rethink the approach with Markkanen. Personally, I believe he has more in the tank offensively than he's been allowed to show so far. Maybe he's not Dirk Nowtizki, but he's still an extraordinary talent as a shooter for his size; I'd make a point of funneling him the ball. And if the problem is that he's getting marginalized by ball-dominant LaVine, then Markkanen should come off the bench as a 6th man scorer instead. He needs to be an offensive priority whenever he's in the game. And consequently, a better offensive philosophy and system needs to be installed in order to allow that to happen.
PART FOUR: Natural growing pains
When the Chicago Bulls' playoff chances slipped away, Jim Boylen and the front office finally unleashed their rookie, Coby White.
White took advantage of that greenlight and turned up the gas as a scorer. He'll end the season with a modest 13.2 points per game, but that undersells his impact as a scorer. Per 36 minutes, he averaged 18.5 points per game. That trended upwards over the course of the season as well. White averaged over 20 points per game in February and March (albeit over a limited 14 game size.) If White can do that as a 20-year-old rookie, then it's fair to suggest that he could be routinely scoring over 20 PPG in his prime.
While Coby White has some obvious virtues -- highlighted by his quickness and his cool hair -- there are some natural concerns and growing pains that he showed. He scored, but he didn't necessarily do that with efficiency. He shot only 39.4% from the field, and netted only a 50.6 true shooting percentage that's well below the league average.
Defensively, White also struggled. Playing "up" at SG for 71% of his minutes (and even at SF for 17%!), White's limited size and limited experience showed. ESPN's real/plus minus metric graded him as -1.9 impact per 100 possessions. If you wanted to count White as a point guard, that would rank 89th best (out of 94 qualifiers.) If you envision him as a shooting guard, that would rank 134th (out of 137 qualifiers.)
That debate -- is Coby White a point guard or shooting guard? -- is an important one. Sure, we're in an era of "position-less" basketball to some extent, but players still have certain roles offensively and certain assignments defensively. White's limited size and length (6'5" wingspan) projects best as a point guard. However, he's more of a scorer than a natural distributor. He only averaged 3.8 assists per 36 minutes this season, not far removed from the 5.2 assists per 36 minutes he averaged back in college at UNC. His playmaking can improve, but he's more of an attack dog by nature.
This combination of strengths and weaknesses makes you wonder about the long-term fit next to Zach LaVine. If the Bulls' long-term plan is to play White at SG and LaVine at SF, then they're always going to be behind the eight-ball in terms of length and rebounding (especially with Lauri Markkanen at the 4.) If their plan is to start White as a point guard, then they're going to have to rely on LaVine to be more of a lead facilitator, or on the entire team to adopt more of a ball-moving offense 1-5.
Most realistically, White projects best as a super-scorer off the bench, a la Lou Williams. To excel in that role, he'll need to continue to draw more free throws (he was at only 2.0 FTA per game as a rookie), but the potential is there to improve his shot selection and become a big-time scorer. Staggering White and LaVine would also allow them to be aggressive as scorers without stepping on each other's toes.
PART FIVE: Done with Dunn?
The other reason that it'll be important for the new Bulls' coach and front office to devise a long-term plan for Coby White is because it will affect other decisions on the roster. Among them: the fate of Kris Dunn.
Like Coby White, Dunn has some extreme strengths and weaknesses -- they just happen to be in opposite order. He EXCELS defensively. He has a big frame (6'9" wingspan) and natural instincts on that end. He nabbed 2.0 steals this season in only 24.9 minutes of action. A lot of times, "steals" can be misleading because they amount to gambling. For Dunn, it's more reflective of his actual talent. He has extremely quick hands; he could have made a lot of money as a gunslinger back in the Old West. In some ways, he reminds you of Andre Iguodala on the ball defensively, combining length, strength, and savvy.
The rest of Dunn's game is a mixed bag. He's not a bad distributor (averaging 6.0 assists in both 2017-18 and 2018-19), but he's a poor shooter. He's also had injury issues flare up over the course of his career. As mentioned, he's already 26 years old, so it's unrealistic to expect him to become a wholly different player in the next few years. With Kris Dunn, you mostly know what you're getting to get. So the question is: do you want it or not?
The Bulls will have to make that choice this offseason, as Dunn enters his (restricted) free agency. There's a chance that COVID will infect the cap and allow them to retain him on his one-year qualified offer of $7M. Alternatively, there's a chance that another team will swoop him and sign him to an offer sheet. He'd make some sense for a team like the Detroit Pistons, who could invest in him as an heir apparent to Derrick Rose at PG. If a team like that offers Dunn a deal in the 3 year, $8-10M per year range, will the Bulls match it? TBD.
Again, a lot depends on their views regarding Coby White. If they envision White as a future starter at PG, then there's less of a need for Kris Dunn. The Bulls would be able to start White at PG as soon as next year, with Tomas Satoransky as a combo guard off the bench and Ryan Arcidiacono serving as a third point guard and insurance policy. If the team envisions Coby White as a SG (or combo guard off the bench) then there's more of a need for Kris Dunn to platoon with Satoransky as a lead guard.
This game of musical chairs may be getting more crowded, because there's also another element at play: yet-another lottery pick.
PART SIX: Drafting some Help
Currently, the Chicago Bulls are slated in the # 7 position in terms of the NBA Draft order. They have a 9% chance of moving up to # 1, and a 32% chance of moving into the top 4. If they can make that leap, then that would mean adding another potential star to the fold. It's not a strong draft by any stretch, but SG Anthony Edwards (Georgia) and C James Wiseman (Memphis) have the potential to be good starters. If they can land someone like that, you ignore "fit", take the potential stud, and work out the rest later.
More likely, the Bulls will be picking in that 7-8 range. That's still a good pick, of course, but not one that should cause you to throw the baby out with the bath water and ignore the composition and needs of your team.
Again, this is why the "Do the Bulls need a PG?" question becomes so critical. This is a poor draft, but it's strongest in terms of its point guard depth. According to ESPN's draft experts, 5 of the top 13 prospects are point guards (LaMelo Ball, Tyrese Haliburton, Killian Hayes, R.J. Hampton, Cole Anthony). A few of those -- namely Hayes and Anthony -- are "pure" point guards who don't have enough size to switch around and play minutes at the 2.
Among the crop that's likely to be available around pick 7, here are some potential fits.
PG TYRESE HALIBURTON, IOWA STATE (# 8 on espn). Haliburton is one of the easiest "fits" for the Bulls and for basically every team, because he offers a versatile set of skills. He's technically a point guard (averaging 15.2 points and 6.5 assists last year) and can capably fill that role. Better still, he can be effectively off the ball. His three-point shot looks a little wonky, but he converts it well, hitting 42.6% of his threes in college. Defensively he's got good size (6'5" with a 6'10" wingspan) and instincts (2.5 steals, 1.3 fouls last year). In a sense, Haliburton can be a "3 + D" point guard that plays alongside a ball-dominant player, be it Zach LaVine or Coby White. If the team drafts him, you figure it'd be with the intention of using him as an upgrade on Dunn (slightly worse defense but better offense.)
SG DEVIN VASSELL, FLORIDA STATE (# 16 on espn). Like Haliburton, Devin Vassell is another player who could fit well on virtually every team because of his 3+D potential. He's hit 41.7% of his threes in his two years at FSU with a good-looking form that's aided by good size for his position and a higher release than Haliburton. Right now, Vassell is listed around 6'6" with an estimated 6'10" wingspan, but he looks bigger than that to my eye. That's crucial because it would allow him to play both SG and SF and draw some different assignments defensively. I also like Vassell's personality off the court; he seems like a good kid that should continue to improve. Like Haliburton, Vassell is the type of player that should easily into a lineup with LaVine and/or White.
SF DENI AVDIJA, ISRAEL (# 5 on espn). I'm not going to pretend to have as much confidence in my projection of Avdija, who's played in the international youth circuit and has been a rising star with Maccabi Tel Aviv. Based on what I do know, he could be an intriguing boom/bust pick around # 7. He's a big forward (6'9") who can convert inside, and better yet, has a real knack for playmaking. The Bulls' young stars -- Zach LaVine, Coby White, Lauri Markkanen -- are all better scorers than passers right now, so perhaps Avdija can operate as a de facto point forward and help the offense click into place. Right now, his shooting results have been shaky though, so he's not someone you can just throw out there and tell to stand in the corner as a 3+D option. If you take him, you need an actual plan to highlight his skill set. The Bulls' top exec Arturas Karnisovas is from Lithuania originally, so you presume that he'd have no qualms about selecting an European like Avdija (whose dad is Serbian) if need be. Of course, that logic didn't quite work out for Sacramento GM Vlade Divac and Luka Doncic.
SHAKIER FITS. Alternatively, there are some players in the Bulls' draft range that may not be ideal fits. As mentioned, Killian Hayes and Cole Anthony are more of traditional ball-dominant point guards; I don't love the idea of that next to Coby White and Zach LaVine. I'd also be wary of Dayton's PF Obi Toppin. Toppin has strong scoring potential with a decent shot and good athleticism inside. That said, he's a little stiff in the hips defensively, and may duplicate Lauri Markkanen in that regard.
PART SEVEN: Buh-Buh Boylen
One of the Chicago Bulls' biggest decisions will be among their first. Technically, the new front office has not fired coach Jim Boylen yet, but it appears that his clock is ticking on that decision. It's only a matter of time.
Candidly, Boylen gets too harsh of a rap from national media and fans. He's not a complete asshat. He's had success as a defensive assistant in the past, and did help the Bulls' defense improve some over the past few years. He'd be a fine assistant coach somewhere in that limited capacity.
However, he does seem woefully out of his depth as a head coach. He's never had success in that role before, and he didn't have any now. His offensive system is virtually nonexistent, and his attitude is boarish. Usually those "Drill Sergeant" coaches get a short-term year or two of improvement from a young team, but he couldn't even do that. We need to pull him out of there before there's a full-on Full Metal Jacket rebellion here.
Looking ahead, the Bulls need to pick a coach that can get the team back on track, especially in terms of their offensive philosophy. That said, the Bulls have to be careful not to "zigzag" too much in their coaching hires. They went from Tom Thibodeau (the gruff, defensive-heavy coach) to the Anti-Thibodeau in Fred Hoiberg (likable, low-key former player), and then jumped on the seesaw again with the complete opposite in Boylen. There's always a tendency to go for the opposite of your last coach, but presumably there's a happy medium in between these two poles. Goldilocks was happy to find something "just right," so Karnisovas should be as well.
According to media reports, Ime Udoka is a top candidate, and would be a natural fit. While Udoka doesn't have head coaching experience yet, he's about as "ready" as any first-time coach would be. He's a former player, and a long-time assistant under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio (and now has worked the last year in Philadelphia.) The Spurs' philosophy is an ideal template for the Bulls to use, both in terms of their offensive ball movement and their locker room culture.
I'd also recommend Kenny Atkinson as a viable candidate. He didn't mesh with the new superstars in Brooklyn, but he'd done a great job prior to that in terms of rebuilding a broken Brooklyn team. He specializes in pace and space offense, and player development. That sounds ideal for this team right now.
There are a few other candidates out there that would be worth interviews (Chris Finch, Wes Unseld Jr., Chris Fleming, Nate Tibbetts, Alex Jensen, Dave Joerger, etc) but Udoka and Atkinson represent a very solid top two. Hiring either of them would be a great first step for this new administration.
TL;DR
The Chicago Bulls' "breakout" didn't happen; instead, they broke down. However, the foundation isn't bad here. If the new front office wants to push for the playoffs next year (manifested by keeping Otto Porter and continuing to play veterans) then it's not unrealistic that they can get up to 35-40 wins with better health and a better offensive system. Conversely, the team may decide they're further away than that, and take a step back to collect their bearings.
submitted by ZandrickEllison to nbadiscussion [link] [comments]

Indianapolis Colts Top 5: Quarterbacks

Indianapolis Colts Top 5: Quarterbacks
With the season (hopefully) on the way I thought I'd put together some lists for top 5 players at each position in Indianapolis (not Baltimore) Colts history. I'll start with QB, and work my way through. This list is purely my opinion as a die hard fan since the early Manning days, and if you think I have no clue what I'm talking about, please feel free to let me know.
Fun fact, out of the 26 QBs to start a game for the Indy Colts there are only 7 players that have a winning record. Three of them are Colts legends Josh Freeman, Gary Hogeboom, and Craig Erickson.

5. Jack Trudeau

https://preview.redd.it/a54mr7g9g3b51.jpg?width=361&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=2d086a51719ff08e2c1a8cb651100c0a37f8458f
Years Record Playoffs Comp % Yards TDs INTs Y/A Rating
198-93 18-29 0-1 52.9 9,647 41 62 6.3 64.4

How He Got Here

After the complete disaster that was attempting to draft John Elway #1 in 1983, the then Baltimore Colts stuck with Mike Pagel at QB, who had just led them to a winless season in 1982. Team owner Robert Irsay decided to move the team to Indianapolis before the 1984 season the team stuck with Pagel as their main QB despite him clearly not being their future at the position. This led to 2 season with losing records and last place finishes in the AFC East. Entering the 1986 draft, the Colts were clearly looking for a franchise player at QB. The obvious choice was Jim Everett out of Purdue, but unfortunately he was selected #3 to the Houston Oilers when the Colts had the #4 pick. Instead of drafting the only other franchise QB in the draft, Mark Rypien, the Colts decided to select promising Illinois QB Jack Trudeau in the 2nd round. Trudeau had shown a lot of promise in his career, leading Illinois to a Rose Bowl in 1984 and finishing 2nd in the Davey O'Brien Award (Best College QB) to Doug Flutie. Unfortunately for him and the Colts, this talent would not translate well to the NFL

Colts Career

After trading Mike Pagel to the Browns the starting job was set for Trudeau entering the 1986 season. Unfortunately the Colts were still a very bad team overall and Trudeau was not set to overcome that. In 11 starts he had 8 TDs, 18 INTs, and a 48.9% completion rate for an 0-11 record. It was immediately clear he was not the savior the Colts needed to bring legitimate football to Indy.
Fortunately, a contract dispute between Hall of Fame RB Eric Dickerson allowed the Colts to trade for Dickerson midway through the 1987 season. Dickerson was an immediate breath of life to the fledgling Indianapolis Colts franchise and helped lead them to their first playoff berth. Trudeau shared starting duties with Gary Hogeboom, and both were successful in not screwing things up too bad, giving the ball to Dickerson, and staying out of the damn way. Trudeau started in his only playoff game and actually played decently well: 251 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT, but it wasn't enough as the Colts lost 38-21 to the Bernie Kosar led Cleveland Browns who would eventually lose in via "The Drive" in the AFC Championship.
It was clear the Colts would need a better QB to compliment their new superstar in Dickerson, and thus they drafted future Pro Bowler Chris Chandler in the 3rd round in 1988. However, Chris Chandler was most definitely not a Pro Bowler for the Colts. Chandler didn't impress despite an 9-7 overall record, and was replaced by Trudeau following a bad start to the 1989 season. Trudeau had his best year as a pro in 1989: 2,317 yards, 15 TDs, 13 INTs, but the Colts still finished 8-8 and outside of the playoffs.
Trudeau was improving, but was still clearly not the QB of the future, which they hoped to get by trading All-Pro Tackle Chris Hinton, Future All-Pro WR Andre Rison, and the #3 Pick in 1991 for the #1 Pick in 1990 which they used to draft QB Jeff George (Wow). Trudeau was kept as the backup and was a spot starter for the Colts from 1990-93. Despite the horrific play of George, Trudeau couldn't muster much better in his limited playing time and was released in 1994.

My favorite highlight

https://youtu.be/kM0APJieAME?t=678

Legacy

Jack Trudeau was at best a mediocre QB you could somewhat rely on to manage the game and allow more talented players to make plays. Unfortunately the late 80s, early 90s Colts didn't have too many of those so his play suffered as well. His numbers aren't great and he wasn't much beloved by Colts fans, but he did help lead the Colts to their first playoff appearance which helped me put him on the list over Matt Hasselbeck and others. Trudeau has actually hung around Indy doing various radio and TV appearances talking about the Colts and even has a couple of DUIs as well.

4. Jacoby Brissett

https://preview.redd.it/96cmm0sag3b51.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=4a578fcdd25c1a0830d6d6b7fc8b5dde43309455
Years Record Playoffs Comp % Yards TDs INTs Y/A Rating
2017- 11-19 0-0 59.8 6,042 31 13 6.6 84.6

How He Got Here

The Colts had their franchise QB in Andrew Luck, but leading up to the 2017 season it was revealed during the preseason Luck had a shoulder injury which would eventually lead to him missing the entire 2017 season. This left the Colts scrambling as they knew QB Scott Tolzien was not the answer at QB, so 8 days before the start of the season the new GM Chris Ballard traded 1st round bust Phillip Dorsett for 3rd string QB for the Patriots Jacoby Brissett. Brissett had looked at least competent spot starting for the suspended Tom Brady and hurt Jimmy Garoppolo in 2016, so he was the best option the Colts had available so close to the beginning of the season.

Colts Career

Bringing in a new QB for a team 8 days before the start of the season and asking him to play is like asking a train engineer to launch a rocket to the moon, so Tolzien started week 1 for Colts. He continued to not impress going into week 2, and was replaced for Brissett. Brissett was an improvement, but it was clear he was overwhelmed by the change of scenery and the rest of the Colts roster and staff was not talented enough to make up for it. He finished with competent numbers: 3,098 yards, 13 TDs, 7 INTs, 58.8% completion rate, 6.6 Y/A, but was merely a game manager for a bad team as the Colts finished 4-12.
Andrew Luck was ready to return in 2018 and the Colts were willing to give Brissett the benefit of the doubt and kept him on as the backup. The Colts saw a major resurgence with Luck and an incredible draft and free agent class by Chris Ballard, leading to their first playoff appearance since 2015, eventually losing to the Patrick Mahomes led Chiefs. The Colts were looking to improve going into 2019, but a now too familiar announcement led up to the season when it was revealed a calf injury was going to cause Andrew Luck to retire 2 weeks before the start of the regular season. The spotlight was once again shown on Jacoby Brissett, who was asked to take over Luck's team. Fortunately this time Brissett was able to get all the first team reps in the preseason leading up to week 1 and was much more familiar with the system.
That familiarity paid off as Brissett led the Colts to a 5-2 start, including wins over playoff teams like the Texans and Titans along with the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Brissett was not putting up All-Pro numbers, but had clearly improved from 2017 and was still not making game losing mistakes. Through week 9 he had 190 YPG, 11 TDs, and 6 INTs, and and the eye test had shown he was a good leader and could occasionally make big plays when needed. However, after a knee sprain in week 10 he was clearly not the same player. His injury either hampered his physical abilities or his confidence but his poor play for the rest of the season allowed the Colts to fall to 7-9, including an embarrassing 34-7 loss to the Saints that I made the trip over to New Orleans for and watched as Brissett sailed the ball over every receiver's head. Brissett will likely be the backup for the 2020 season behind free agent Phillip Rivers, but he's shown enough flashes of ability that his career is long from over, whether that ends up being on the Colts or somewhere else in the league.

My favorite highlight

https://youtu.be/Q1bFNE0CGXY?t=287

Legacy

I believe I'm with the majority of Colts fans in that when I see Jacoby Brissett I see somewhat of a tragic figure. He got thrown to the wolves in 2017 and did the best he could, but was basically set up to fail. It's honestly not too much of a stretch to say his play through week 9 of 2019 was the best QB play by an Indy Colts QB not named Manning, Luck, or Harbaugh. You could tell he was well-liked by both fans and teammates, especially through the first half of 2019, but his limitations as a player were clear. Colts fans have been spoiled in the 21st century by 2 all-time great QBs, so any deviation from that, especially when it's not by a QB we drafted #1 overall, will be seen as a major failure. I think people came down a little too hard on Jacoby by the end of 2019, and that he's still a solid pro capable of being the QB on a winning team in the right situation. However, he showed in the 2nd half of 2019 that situation is probably not in Indy going forward.

3. Jim Harbaugh

https://preview.redd.it/ka0f9imcg3b51.jpg?width=300&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=f34fa86258b0e403bfe000b84ba246bcf11dfc42
Years Record Playoffs Comp % Yards TDs INTs Y/A Rating
1994-97 20-26 2-2 60.7 8,705 49 26 7.1 86.6

How He Got Here

The Colts had come out of the Eric Dickerson/Jeff George era looking like an absolute dumpster fire. The Colts had been in Indy for 10 years and Indy was still very much a basketball town. The only signature player the Indy Colts had was Eric Dickerson, and he had a very sour exit in 1992 after 2 bad years. The Indianapolis Colts were still in the woods, searching for the player that could give their franchise hope that they would be treated as a legitimate threat in the NFL and generate significant interest from the fanbase. That hope came from an unlikely source in Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh had led the Chicago Bears to 2 playoff appearances in the late Mike Ditka-era, but his play had fallen off and by 1994 he looked somewhat washed. The desperate Colts made a surprisingly wise decision in not drafting QBs Heath Schuler or Trent Dilfer. Instead they drafted future Hall of Fame RB Marshall Faulk to replace Eric Dickerson (this is the "Who the hell is Mel Kiper?" draft) and signing Jim Harbaugh.

Colts Career

Harbaugh didn't come out guns blazing in 1994 as he traded starting duties with Green Bay castoff Don Majkowski. Harbaugh put up decent numbers but the Colts finished 4-5 in games Harbaugh started, 8-8 overall. Harbaugh entered the 1995 season as no sure thing, the Colts actually traded their 1996 first round pick for young Tampa QB Craig Erickson in another baffling trade for an unproven QB. Erickson and Harbaugh competed for the starting position in training camp and Erickson was selected as the starter by head coach Ted Marchibroda.
Erickson played poorly the first 2 weeks, being replaced and outplayed by Harbaugh in both games. By week 3 Harbaugh was the full time starter and didn't look back. Harbaugh was showing that he meshed well with new Offensive Coordinator Lindy Infante as Harbaugh put up some of the most efficient passing numbers of any QB in the NFL in 1995: 2,575 yards, 17 TDs, 5 INTs, 63.7% completion rate, and a league leading passer rating of 100.7 (ahead of guys like Brett Favre, Troy Aikman, Steve Young, and Dan Marino). Even more importantly he was a becoming the tough effective leader to energize the entire team, leading the Colts to 4 game winning drives that season, including one over the 1994 Super Bowl champion 49ers. The Colts were just outside of the playoffs going into week 17, but Harbaugh led the Colts to a win over the Drew Bledsoe led Patriots in the RCA Dome to sneak the Colts into the playoffs at 9-7. Harbaugh earned his first Pro Bowl appearance along with NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
The Colts were going into the playoffs as 5.5 point underdogs against the San Diego Chargers, a team they had just lost to in week 16. However, thanks to 3 TDs from Harbaugh and an out-of-nowhere 147 yard, 2 TD performance from rookie FB Zach Crockett, the Colts overcame the odds. They were heading into a gauntlet of Arrowhead stadium against the best defense in the league and a Marcus Allen led 13-3 Kansas City Chiefs. In an ugly game where the wind chill was -15oF, luck worked in the Colts favor. Harbaugh didn't throw well, but picked up several key 1st down with his legs. He had 1 INT and 3 fumbles, but fortunately lost 0. Chiefs QB Steve Bono had 3 INTs and K Lin Elliot went 0/3 on field goals in a season where he made 80%. Colts K Cary Blanchard made 1/3, and that was enough to upset the heavily-favored Chiefs 10-7. Harbaugh's most defining moment as the Colts QB would come in the AFC Championship against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Harbaugh's cinderella story continued on against Bill Cowher and Neil O'Donnell's Steelers. The Colts and Steelers traded scores throughout the game. With 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter, Harbaugh threw a dime to WR Floyd Turner for a 47 yard touchdown to put the Colts up 16-13. Unfortunately the Colts couldn't run out enough clock on their next drive and the Steelers rushed down the field for the go-ahead score to put them up 20-16. Harbaugh wasn't done yet. With 88 seconds needing 84 yards, Harbaugh willed the Colts down the field to the Steelers' 29-yard line for a hail mary shot with 5 seconds left. Harbaugh tossed up a prayer that was very nearly caught by Colts WR Aaron Bailey, but he couldn't come up with it. The Cinderella story was over, but it was a defining moment for the Colts franchise. The 1995 Colts were within a hair of making the Super Bowl, and that 1995 playoff run led by Harbaugh created a real fanbase for them.
Harbaugh's stats regressed some in 1996, but he still led the Colts to a 9-7 record and the playoffs, this time getting whooped by the Steelers in the wild card. In 1997 his stats improved some but the wheels fell off of the team as they started off 0-10, eventually falling to 3-13. Fortunately their record would net them the #1 pick in the 1998 draft. After it was clear the Colts were using the pick on QB they traded Harbaugh to the Ravens.

My favorite highlight

https://youtu.be/FT4vF24WanE?t=155

Legacy

“A lot of people use (the word) ‘culture,’ but the attitude, everybody was team-first, from the front office, together with the coaches, together with the ownership, together with the players, the equipment staff, the training staff, I mean it felt like we were family.” - Jim Harbaugh on 1995
I don't think enough can be said about the effect of Harbaugh and that 1995 team had on the Colts. He gave us our first source of pride in the Colts and set the tone for the franchise to not be the laughingstock of the league. He paved the way for the decades of excellence that came after. Harbaugh will never be a HoF QB, but his effect on the Colts is severely underrated.
For more details on the 1995 Cinderella season, read this IndyStar article: https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nfl/colts/2016/01/21/1995-indianapolis-colts-jim-harbaugh-aaron-bailey-afc-championship-game-ted-marchibroda/78291676/

2. Andrew Luck

https://preview.redd.it/8nh7p6pdg3b51.jpg?width=1800&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=bc67a67720b82f9294b9283924f61d9f261e4d85
Years Record Playoffs Comp % Yards TDs INTs Y/A Rating
2012-18 53.33 4-4 60.8 23,671 171 83 7.2 89.5

How He Got Here

After a serious neck injury to franchise stalwart Peyton Manning, the Colts went from perennial playoff contender to nearly winless in 2011. It was unknown if Manning would ever be the same QB again, so the Colts opted to release their most valuable player and use their #1 pick in 2012 on a QB. There was some debate on possibly drafting the Heisman winner out of Baylor, Robert Griffin III, but new GM Ryan Grigson made no doubt in the fact that he was drafting Andrew Luck. Son of former Oilers QB Oliver Luck, Andrew Luck blossomed under head coach Jim Harbaugh to revitalize the Stanford football program while also graduating with a bachelor's degree in architectural design. Luck was hailed by nearly every scout as a can't miss prospect, having nearly every physical tool you want from a QB along with a clear handle on the mental and intangible aspects of the game.

Colts Career

Expectations for Luck were high going into 2012, but not so for the team overall. Many experts put the Colts at or near the bottom of all power rankings. Not only had the team lost Peyton Manning that year, but also many key pieces from the Manning era such as Pierre Garçon, Joseph Addai, Dallas Clark, Jeff Saturday, and Gary Brackett. To make matters worse, new head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia and missed weeks 5-16. However, despite all odds, Luck led the Colts to an 11-5 record. Interim Head Coach Bruce Arians proved to be a diamond in the rough by helping Luck turn a 2-14 team that lost multiple starters into a playoff team. Luck's stats weren't always pretty: 23 TDs, 18 INTs, 54.1% completion rate, and a 76.5 rating, but he could clearly make plays happen with an absurd 7 game winning drives. The miracles came to an end with a shellacking by the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs, but this season proved Luck would be no bust, he was a force to be reckoned with.
Luck continued to grow in 2013 and 2014, improving in every category to crescendo in 2014 with a league-leading 40 TDs, 16 INTs, 61.7% completion rate, and a 96.5 rating. In 2013 he led the Colts to his first playoff victory in spectacular fashion. After being down 38-10 early in the 3rd quarter to the Alex Smith led Chiefs, Luck led a furious and unbelievable comeback 45-44 victory. Any Colts fan could tell you after seeing all the comeback victories Luck had led to never count him out, and he cemented that in this game. In 2014 Luck led the Colts past their old god of Peyton Manning in Denver in the divisional round, but were given a thorough ass-whooping in the AFC Championship by the soon-to-be Super Bowl champions New England Patriots in what is now infamously known as the "Deflategate Game."
Andrew Luck was a very physical player and was known to take many hits, sometimes making spectacular plays through those hits. However, that punishment started to pile up and wasn't helped by GM Ryan Grigson's poor draft classes and inability to build a competent offensive line to block for Luck. This culminated in the injury plagued 2015 and 2016 seasons. Luck only played 7 games in 2015 and severely regressed in every statistical category, clearly hampered by various injuries such as a lacerated kidney. Luck's stats improved in 2016, but the team did not as they finished 8-8, partially due to an astounding 7% sack of Luck. Either some of Luck's good fortune had finally run out or the team and culture built by GM Grigson had completely failed to support their superstar QB. Owner Jim Irsay bet on Luck and fired Grigson after 2016.
Hopes were high heading into 2017, but unfortunately an unknown snowboarding accident aggravated a previous shoulder injury for Luck. News was very slow to come out, but fans were shocked to find out he would likely miss the entire season 8 days before week 1. New GM Chris Ballard made a quick trade for Jacoby Brissett, but fans were worried after 3 years of being hampered by injuries Luck may never be the same player.
In 2018 we believed those doubts were proven wrong. Luck had an incredibly resurgent season, leading the new look Colts back into the playoffs for the first time since 2014 with a 10-6 record. Luck's numbers were back to form: 39 TDs, 15 INTs, and career bests of 67.3% completion rate and 98.7 rating. Fans were pleased to finally see Luck playing behind a solid offensive line that prevented which prevented him from being sacked for 5 weeks and giving him a career low 2.7% sack rate. Luck led the Colts to a Wild Card win over the Deshaun Watson's Texans, but were stopped in the cold in Arrowhead against Patrick Mahomes' Chiefs. However, hopes were high leading into 2019 that the structure given by GM Chris Ballard would protect Luck and allow him to lead us to our Super Bowl.
Sadly that did not work out as Luck appeared to have a calf injury leading up to the 2019 season. Fans held out hope he would be ready to go for the start of the season, but after the years of rehabbing Luck had finally had enough. 2 weeks before the season opener during a preseason game against the Chicago Bears it was leaked that Luck planned to retire. Fortunately his backup Jacoby Brissett was put in a better position to take his place as opposed to 2017, but the sudden and unexplained retirement of their franchise QB right before the season led to some fans to boo Luck as he left the field at Lucas Oil Stadium for the last time.

My favorite highlight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teNLH0p6WHs
or
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBHhO2yWRMo
or

Legacy

Andrew Luck will forever be one of the greatest "what if?" stories in American sports history. Unlike many "what if?" stories, we got to see what we could have had with Luck. What the Colts had in Luck from 2012-14 along with 2018 was nothing short of incredible and it was clear he was improving to potentially become one of the greatest QBs in NFL history. Instead he's a tragic story where fans will forever be left to wonder what could have been with Andrew Luck. Would Luck have brought the Colts back to the Super Bowl if he he didn't play the majority of his career under the poor management of GM Ryan Grigson and HC Chuck Pagano? All we do know is that his sack rate under Grigson was 5.5%, and in one year on GM Chris Ballard's team it was 2.7%, coincidentally also one of his best statistical seasons. Peyton Manning's sack rate for his career? Tied for the NFL record with Dan Marino at 3.13%. Maybe if Luck had been better protected and coached better to avoid hits he could have made it up there with Manning, but as fans he'll forever be a "what if?" Luck seems like a smart and content man who's just starting a family, so I doubt he will ever return for any team. Even if he did we'll forever be robbed of what the best version of Andrew Luck could have been. However, in his short time here, he delivered enough incredible moments to give us hope and make us love the team. I, along with hopefully many other fans, will forever love Andrew Luck for his time with the Colts and am grateful for a helluva run.

1.Peyton Manning

https://preview.redd.it/5lr1v2heg3b51.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0b42edf31a7f2e4910e9adc0dcceb11b045a8630
Years Record Playoffs Comp % Yards TDs INTs Y/A Rating
1998-11 141-67 9-10 64.9 54,828 399 198 7.6 94.9

How He Got Here

The Indianapolis Colts under Jim Harbaugh had finally established themselves as a legitimate team, but the Colts knew Harbaugh wasn't the long-term answer at QB. He was 35 going into the 1998 season and had just led the Colts to a 3-13 season, bad enough for the #1 overall pick. There was some debate about drafting Heisman finalist out of Washington, Ryan Leaf, but new GM Bill Polian made no doubt in the fact that he was drafting Peyton Manning. Leaf had some incredible athletic abilities, but there were some doubts raised about his ability to handle the mental aspects of the game. He also basically made the decision for the Colts when he skipped their draft interview, a passive-aggressive declaration he wouldn't play for the Colts. Peyton Manning, son of former Saints QB Archie Manning, was also a Heisman finalist out of Tennessee. No scout doubted Manning's ability to become a franchise QB in the NFL, but some wondered about his potential ceiling due to a complete lack of running ability and some arm strength concerns. However, he was clearly one of the most mature and mentally ready players to ever come out of college for any position.
"I'll leave you with this thought. If you take me, I promise you we will win a championship. If you don't, I promise I'll come back and kick your ass" -Peyton Manning to Colts GM Bill Polian on the day before the 1998 draft

Colts Career

The 1998 Colts were still a pretty bad team overall, and the rookie Manning was not enough to overcome that. He had one of the best statistical rookie seasons ever: 3,739 yards, 26 TDs, 28 INTs, 6.5 Y/A, and a 56.7% completion rate, setting records for yards, TDs, and INTs (yards and TDs are currently held by Andrew Luck and Baker Mayfield respectively). However, the deficiencies of the team and Manning's record number of interceptions helped give the Colts a 3-13 record, including a week 5 win over Ryan Leaf's San Diego Chargers.
Fortunately Manning helped lead one of the biggest turnarounds in NFL history in 1999, turning the 3-13 Colts in 1998 into the 13-3 Colts in 1999. People weren't exactly ready to give up on Manning after 1998, but 1999 was critical for showing Manning could improve and be at the helm of a winning team. Partially this was helped by sending Hall of Fame RB Marshall Faulk to St. Louis in exchange for the draft pick to select Hall of Fame RB Edgerrin James, who had a phenomenal rookie year. The Colts ended up losing to the Tennessee Titans in the playoffs, who had just completed the Music City Miracle the week before and would come within an ass hair of winning the Super Bowl against the Greatest Show on Turf St. Louis Rams.
Manning was up and down from 2000 to 2002, still posting good stats but missing the playoffs in 2001 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oSFYxDGKy8 ) and having first round exits in 2000 and 2002. Whispers started turning into legitimate arguments about how Peyton Manning was a good stats, dome team, regular season QB that just didn't have it in the playoffs. In 2003 Manning started his absurd streak of 12+ win seasons (7 years) and picked up his first MVP award, the first (and still only) Indy Colt to win it. He also got his first playoff wins in 2003, but was quickly put to shame in a 4 INT performance in the AFC Championship against the Patriots, now known by Colts fans as "The Ty Law Game."
The 2004 season is well known by Colts fans for cementing Manning among the all time greats. Manning was white hot all year, throwing for 4,557 yards 49 TDs, 10 INTs, and a 121.1 rating while only getting sacked 13 times. The 49 TDs was a record, which has since been broken by Tom Brady and Manning again while a member of the Broncos. Manning won MVP for the 2nd year in a row, but once again disappointed in the playoffs with a 0 TD, 1 INT performance against the Patriots in the divisional round, losing 20-3. Those arguments of Manning's postseason jitters were starting to feel more and more like reality for Colts fans. They knew they had their franchise QB, but his inability to perform in the playoffs continued to be baffling.
2005 was supposed to be the season that changed all that. Manning's numbers came back to earth somewhat, but he still posted a very efficient performance (104.1 rating) for a much improved overall team. GM Bill Polian had proved his days building the "Four Falls over Buffalo" Bills dynasty was no fluke, he now had a team with the #2 scoring offense and the #2 scoring defense. This was the year to break the Manning postseason curse. Unfortunately in one of the most upsetting games of my life, the Colts could not break that curse against the Steelers in the divisional round. Manning played relatively well: 58% completion rate, 290 yards, and 1 TD with no INTs, but watching the game the Colts struggled to maintain momentum and get stops against the rookie Ben Roethlisberger. Despite the inconsistent play, the Colts still had a shot. Steelers HoF RB Jerome Bettis attempted to ice the game with a goal line carry, but fumbled for the first time all year. With the entire Steelers offense stuffing the line, Colts CB Nick Harper was free to pick up the ball with a nearly open field ahead of him. Normally Nick Harper is one of the faster players on the field, however, as every Colts fan knows, Harper had been stabbed in the leg by his wife in a "supposedly accidental" altercation the night before. This possibly allowed the falling down Ben Roethlisberger to catch Harper by his shoe strings, preventing the nearly sure thing TD by Harper to put the Colts ahead. Instead Manning led the Colts into basically chip shot field goal position for one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history (Mike "Idiot Kicker" Vanderjagt) to tie the game. We all know what happened next. It was a shocking loss to say the least, and it was hard to blame it all on Manning, but it still felt like there was some sort of mystical VooDoo curse hanging over Manning and our franchise.
If the Colts couldn't win it all in 2005 it felt like they never would. 2006 wasn't looking like anything special compared to the past few seasons, especially considering the defense regressed from #2 in scoring in 2005 to #23 in 2006. Manning was still putting up great numbers, but those were starting to feel like an exercise in futility. Fortunately the Colts caught fire at the right time, with oft-injured All-Pro Safety Bob Sanders getting healthy towards the end of the season and the trade deadline addition of Buccaneers DT "Booger" McFarland. That momentum pushed them to an AFC Championship, where Manning would match up against the source of his ultimate playoff failures, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Fortunately, this time it was in the RCA Dome, not Foxborogh, MA. Manning and the Colts started off cold, being down 21-3 at one point after a Manning pick-6, but the Colts rallied behind some incredibly orchestrated drives by Manning to finally get the monkey off his back. On a last second drive, Manning drove the Colts down the field to put them ahead 38-34 with 1 minute to go. A Marlin Jackson interception of Tom Brady sealed it, Manning and the Colts were going to the Super Bowl for the first time in Indy history. Manning played well in the Super Bowl, winning the MVP against the league-best Chicago Bears defense.
Manning continued his solid play in 2007 and 2008, including his 3rd MVP in 2008. Both seasons ended with heartbreaking first round playoff exits to the San Diego Chargers, 2008's being the "Sproles and Scifres Game." 2008 also showed the first signs of physical weakness from Manning, having a knee surgery before the season that led to a slow start for the Colts. That was not the case in 2009, as Manning led the Colts to start the season 14-0. In a decision that's still derided today, new head coach Jim Caldwell decided to effectively bench Manning along with many other starters rather than go for the perfect season to prevent any injuries. Many had seen the Patriots in 2007 nearly complete the perfect season, but fall in heartbreaking fashion in the Super Bowl against a less talented Giants team. Caldwell, like many others, decided that any rust from not playing for nearly a month was worth the decreased risk of injury to his stars. That decision nearly backfired in spectacular fashion as the Colts were behind the New York Jets (a team they effectively let into the playoffs by letting them win in week 16) in the AFC Championship game until Manning led a furious comeback. It all ended poorly in the Super Bowl however as Manning threw a pick-6 to Tracy Porter that still haunts my dreams to Tracy Porter, allowing the Colts to lose to Drew Brees and his stupid baby and the New Orleans Saints.
2010 was one of the first signs of weakness from Manning. He had apparently injured his neck on this play in 2006 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gjdmww3vgM ) on a hit that would now be extremely illegal. Manning apparently aggravated that injury in the lead up to the 2010 season, and it showed in the stats as he had how lowest rating since 2002 (91.9). For most other QBs a rating of 91.9 is a pretty solid season but for Manning it was a massive fall. This led to a quick playoff exit to the Jets in the first round. In the lead up to the 2011 season, Manning had several surgeries to relieve the pain in his neck which led to him missing the entire season. It was unknown if he would ever be the same QB again, or even play again. Manning's absence showed how incredibly important he was to the franchise, the only major difference between the rosters in 2010 and 2011 is Manning, yet the Colts went 10-6 in 2010 and 2-14 in 2011. This poor record led to the Colts earning the #1 pick in the 2012 draft, which fueled their decision to release Manning and draft a QB in 2012 (Chandler Harnish...and Andrew Luck).

My favorite highlight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DttfyOeU3vw
or
https://youtu.be/al13DoOFp78
or
https://youtu.be/UE4UgMc2QqA?t=581

Legacy

"Fellas, if 18 goes down, we're fucked, and we don't practice fucked." -Offensive Coordinator Tom Moore on why the backup QBs don't get more reps
Nothing to me cements Peyton Manning's role in Indy as much as this quote. Even his first 5 years before he became an all-time great, that was still the best sustained stretch of QB play in Indy Colts history. Once he ascended to another level in 2003, it was clear we needed to put every egg we could find into his basket. Manning was the perfect franchise QB: a steady presence on and off the field, consistent delivery of either incredible numbers or game winning performances (usually both), and he made nearly everyone else on the team a better player. His drive and commitment to team victory made him the guy every franchise needs if they want to field a consistently great team. Peyton had somewhat of an authoritarian leadership style, my way or the highway, but you can do that when you show that you're willing and able to give every ounce of yourself to the team and deliver the kind of results that he can.
I think some people are disappointed in the Manning Era considering how historically great his stats are but he was 1-1 in Super Bowls in 12 years here. Honestly I think that's not too far off for any all-time QB. Drew Brees is 1-0, Brett Favre is 1-1, Aaron Rodgers is 1-0, Fran Tarkenton is 0-3, Jim Kelly is 0-4, Dan Marino is 0-1, all of these guys are all-time great franchise QBs but it's not abnormal for them to only win 1 or lose several. There are some exceptions: Tom Brady (6-3), Joe Montana (4-0), Terry Bradshaw (4-0), and Troy Aikman (3-0), but honestly you could trade any of the former QBs for Terry Bradshaw and they would also probably be 4-0. There's lots of luck in every playing career, and some get luckier than others. The only season I'd say the Colts were "robbed" of a Super Bowl is 2005, otherwise I think Manning's Colts career went about as good as it could have.

Honorable Mentions: Matt Hasselbeck (5-3 record, probably our best backup ever) and Dan Orlovsky (just for saving us from a completely defeated season).
Dishonorable Mentions: Jeff George and Kerry Collins (being very bad at QB isn't very uncommon for Indy Colts QBs, but these guys were so bad and toxic they dragged down the abilities of everyone on the team and are actively hated by most fans)
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Full Mock Draft in honor of what should have been draft day

The NBA draft should have been on June 25th. Even though we're going to be waiting another few months, I thought a mock draft would be fun. I didn't do a Tankthon spin. I didn't make any trades. I tried to go based on what I thing teams will do, not necessarily what I think they should do, though my opinions obviously impact the decisions as well.
  1. GS - Anthony Edwards SG (UGA) - Adds depth to their backcourt that is lacking in talent outside of Steph and Klay. Gives them another ball handler to take some pressure off Draymond. Could potentially play in a small-ball lineup with Steph and Klay as well, where he wouldn't have as much on-ball responsibility and could take advantage of his underrated cutting abilities. Best player available, imo.
  2. CLE - James Wiseman C (MEM) - Though I think LaMelo should be the pick, they have drafted guards in the last two drafts, plus KPJ has shown a lot of promise, so that might lead their front office away from drafting a guard. Wiseman helps beef up their frontcourt, which could be essential if they lose Thompson and/or Drummond isn’t in their future plans.
  3. MIN - LaMelo Ball PG (NBL) - BPA at this spot. Defense is concerning, as is the offensive fit, but I buy LaMelo a bit as an off-ball guy and when he has the ball, the two-man game w/ KAT could be lethal. The potential offensive upside is too much to pass up at this spot given the lack of suitable alternatives.
  4. ATL - Deni Avdija SF (BSL) - His stock might rise due to the BSL starting back up, to the point where he’s viewed by most as a top 5 guy. He adds another ball-handler for them, plus some wing depth that is always nice to have. If the playmaking is there, he could be a good fit as a secondary initiator next to Trae.
  5. DET - Killian Hayes PG/SG (BBL) - Not sure if he’ll be able to carry a roster so bereft of talent, but they’re in a multi-year rebuild, they need a PG, and he’s a reasonably safe bet to be an effective player with some enticing upside given his development trajectory over the last few years. He’s a good building block, he fits well with a lot of the top 2021 guys, and he should be an important piece for their future.
  6. NY - Tyrese Haliburton PG/SG (ISU) - Not my favorite choice for them considering his limited ability to be a primary creator, but if they are high on Barrett’s ability to initiate offense, then this fit makes some sense. They’re in a multi-year rebuild and Haliburton is a great fit as the 3rd or 4th best player on any team.
  7. CHI - Obi Toppin PF (DAY) - Could potentially be viewed as the BPA here, though he isn’t imo. Could come off the bench and provide a scoring punch or slide into the starting lineup if Markkanen isn’t part of the future. WCJ is a good fit next to him to cover for the clear defensive issues.
  8. CHA - Onyeka Okongwu PF/C (USC) - BPA and the best fit for Charlotte. Allows them great roster flexibility in the future and could be a good PnR big for their current backcourt tandem. Gives them a paint presence that they otherwise lack.
  9. WAS - Isaac Okoro SF (AUB) - Adding a really impactful defender to one of the worst defensive teams in the league this year is always a good thing. He could fill a secondary playmaking role if they move on from Wall or Beal. The shooting is a concern especially playing next to Wall, Rui, and Bryant, but the defensive upside and well-rounded offensive game is a worthwhile bet.
  10. PHX - Devin Vassell SG/SF (FSU) - Best team defender on the board and someone who can open the floor up for Booker. Add in Ayton’s improved defense and another solid defender in Bridges and you’re left with a promising defensive core to surround Booker with. If the off-the-dribble shot-making flashes that he’s shown are real, he could be a valuable wing creator for a team that needs more self-creation.
  11. SA - Patrick Williams SF/PF (FSU) - Maybe a bit of a reach here for the Spurs, but I trust their development staff to mold him into a really effective player on both ends. He feels like a Spurs player. They needed to bolster their front court and he can provide that with his elite weak-side rim protection. I also trust their medical staff to figure out the muscle imbalances in his legs, which could lead to him becoming a more effective wing defender.
  12. SAC - Tyrese Maxey PG/SG (UK) - Probably not the best fit next to Fox, but with one of Bogdanovic or Hield likely not being in their long-term plans, I think Maxey can slide in and play the 2 pretty effectively. He’s the best player left on the board imo and they could benefit from his good defensive instincts, solid outside shooting projection, and high level burst & finishing.
  13. NO - Cole Anthony PG (UNC) - A great fit in my eyes for a team that doesn’t have a ton of holes, but bench scoring is certainly one of them. Playing him with Lonzo or Jrue, where he won’t have to make a ton of decisions and could focus less of his energy on the defensive end would work great for him. Also the best player left in my view.
  14. POR - Saddiq Bey SF/PF (VILL) - Fills a real need for the Blazers in their frontcourt and he’s among the more pro-ready prospects, which is great for a team that will want to make the playoffs next year. His shooting will be really valuable for them as well.
  15. ORL - Kira Lewis Jr. PG (ALA) - For a team that doesn’t have a ton of young offensive talent, Kira could be a very welcome addition and he fits reasonably well next to Fultz. His rim pressure could certainly help break defenses down and create open looks for shooters or dump-offs to Isaac/Vuc/Bamba. The small frame isn’t a huge concern when placing him on a team with such a deep and defensively versatile frontcourt.
  16. MIN (via BKN) - Aaron Nesmith SG/SF (VAN) - Certainly would have liked to have addressed the defense here, but there isn’t anyone that is particularly enticing on that front in my eyes in this range. Adding Nesmith to a team that struggled to make 3s could be very valuable. His movement off the ball will create open looks for himself and bend the defense for his teammates, which should help LaMelo/D’Lo.
  17. BOS (via MEM) - Aleksej Pokuševski PF (GBL A2) - For a team with 3 first round picks and not a ton of roster space, taking a swing on someone like Poku makes a lot of sense. He may want to come over immediately, where they can put him in the G-League and work on his physical strength, or they can stash him and bring him over later on to bolster their frontcourt.
  18. DAL - Precious Achiuwa PF/C (MEM) - I see Precious as a center in the NBA due to his offensive limitations and poor floor-spacing ability. I like the fit next to Porzingis as Precious can switch on the perimeter on defense and then play on the inside on offense. They probably need to address their frontcourt after the Dwight Powell injury as well.
  19. MIL (via IND) - RJ Hampton PG/SG (NBL) - Milwaukee can take a swing here because of how well their roster is already built. RJ can develop his shot and decision-making in the G-League as a rookie and can then slide into a bigger and bigger role as Bledsoe gets older and he gives them the option to move on from George Hill at the end of next season if RJ can develop as I think that he can.
  20. BKN (via PHI) - Josh Green SG (ARIZ) - Brooklyn could definitely benefit from some wing depth, and with a backcourt of Kyrie and Dinwiddie, they’re gonna need some guys who can defend the other team’s guards. Green might be the best on-ball wing defender in the class, and if his shot comes around, this is a really good pick for them.
  21. DEN (via HOU) - Jaden McDaniels SF/PF (WASH) - Because of their depth, Denver can take a swing on a high-risk, high-reward prospect in McDaniels. Maybe a bit redundant with MPJ already in their future plans, but McDaniels has some defensive potential especially on the interior and could learn from Paul Millsap in that regard. If they can work on his shot and decision-making, he provides them with some more frontcourt depth and another competent shot-maker to put next to Jokic.
  22. PHI (via OKC) - Tyrell Terry PG (STAN) - Basically a perfect fit. One of the better shooters in the class and someone who can score from the outside both off the catch and off the dribble. Has some playmaking ability and fits very well next to Simmons. His lack of strength and generally poor frame aren’t huge issues considering how much size the Sixers have, both in their starting lineup and off the bench.
  23. MIA - Théo Maledon PG (LNB) - Though Kendrick Nunn had a good year and Butler has shown some ability to play PG, Maledon is a good fit for Miami to strengthen their backcourt, which could be pretty thin if they don’t hold onto Goran Dragic. If they can develop him, Maledon could turn into a very effective guard for the Heat with his potential to dribble, pass, and shoot at a high level.
  24. UTAH - Isaiah Stewart PF/C (WASH) - Though I disagree with the selection and I believe they could benefit from adding a point guard, Stewart definitely has some appeal for the Jazz. With a frontcourt that is pretty shallow after Gobert, Stewart makes sense as a natural backup in the short term, and if his shot can improve, he may be able to give the Jazz a different offensive dimension out of their frontcourt than what Gobert currently provides.
  25. OKC (via DEN) - Desmond Bane SG/SF (TCU) - With Gallinari potentially walking this summer and the Thunder being near the bottom of the league in terms of 3PT attempts, Bane makes a lot of sense as a 3 and D player who may end up being the best shooter in the draft. Couple that with the playmaking flashes he has shown and you’re left with a really solid player who fills a clear need for the Thunder.
  26. BOS - Leandro Bolmaro PG/SG (ACB) - The inclination may be for the Celtics to address their frontcourt with this pick, but Bolmaro is definitely worth a swing here. He is unlikely to come over next year, but when he does, provided he’s able to add some strength and hopefully improve upon his jumpshot, the Celtics could be left with a really enticing and young guard prospect to add to their bench and back up Kemba, Couple that with their success in improving the shots of Smart, Brown, Baynes, Olynyk, Horford, and others, and Bolmaro could be set up for success in the Celtics system.
  27. NY (via LAC) - Jalen Smith PF/C (MD) - The Knicks were near the bottom of the league in terms of 3PT attempts and percentage this past season. Adding Smith would be a great fit for the Knicks, as his "3 & rim protection" archetype is very valuable. In addition to being a solid backup to Robinson, Sitx should also help open up the floor for RJ Barrett and others.
  28. TOR - Grant Riller PG (COFC) - There are no guarantees that Fred VanVleet will be with the Raptors next year, and Lowry’s contract is also coming to an end after next season. Enter Riller, who would be ready to contribute now to one of the best teams in the league and who will certainly make their offense more potent with his ability to get to the rim and finish, which is unparalleled in this class.
  29. LAL - Devon Dotson PG (KU) - The Lakers have struggled to find a backup point guard who can reliably run their offense when LeBron isn’t in the game. Though Dotson might not be the consistent decision-maker or facilitator that you might want from that position, he has a multitude ways to impact the game and can get to the basket incredibly well, which is another thing their offense lacked this year outside of their top talent. They can bolster their backcourt in the short term while simultaneously adding a piece that can help them in the future.
  30. BOS (via MIL) - Xavier Tillman PF/C (MSU) - The Celtics lack size in their frontcourt (Both Theis and Williams are under 6'11") and 6'8" Xavier Tillman does not solve that issue, but he can provide a lot of what Horford provided them in the past. He is the smartest defender in the class and will add physical strength to the interior of their defense. He’s also the best screen setter in the class in my opinion, to go along with his above average passing and ball handling for a big. If they can teach him to shoot, then Celtics will have acquired a very useful and versatile frontcourt piece.
  31. DAL (via GS) - Robert Woodard II SF (MSST) - Though I’m not the biggest fan of Woodard, he is ranked in the top 25 on ESPN and top 30 on The Ringer, so it’s doubtful that he falls far outside the first round in a draft that lacks depth in terms of second round wings. He fills a position of need for the Mavericks and can provide more spacing for Luka alongside Kleber and DFS, as well as potentially aid their defense on the wing.
  32. CHA (via CLE) - Isaiah Joe SG (ARK) - Potentially a bit of a reach considering he sits at 60th on ESPN’s board, but Joe’s stock seems like it might be on the rise as of late (and justifiably so, imo). Adding a shooter of Joe’s caliber could greatly improve Charlotte’s offense both in the short and long term and could add another scoring threat on the perimeter that they could benefit from.
  33. MIN - Paul Reed PF/C (DEP) - After committing wholeheartedly to the offensive end of the court with their first two picks, the Timberwolves grab possibly the best defensive player left on the board and someone who can fit really well next to Towns. His shot blocking ability should translate well and his general athleticism could enable him to play the 4 or the 5 at the NBA level. KAT’s spacing might make it less essential for Reed to develop a reliable jumpshot as well.
  34. PHI (via ATL) - Tyler Bey SF/PF (COLO) - Tyler Bey adds another athletic body to the Sixers frontcourt. There are some questions about how his shot will translate, but his leaping ability and high IQ will still allow him to be an effective player in their offense as a cutter. Having him on the floor with Horford, Thybulle, and Simmons could allow for an incredibly formidable and switchable defense that could hold leads with Embiid on the bench.
  35. SAC (via DET) - Daniel Oturu C (MINN) - With Harry Giles hitting free agency, Dwayne Dedmond getting traded, and some reasons to be concerned about Richaun Holmes’ durability, it makes sense for the Kings to invest in a big man who can grab rebounds, potentially space the floor, and add some depth. Though I am skeptical of Oturu’s defensive IQ and his offensive projection at the next level, he can slide into a fairly comfortable role with Sacramento where he doesn’t have a ton of responsibility.
  36. PHI (via NY) - Killian Tillie PF/C (GONZ) - With their third pick, the 76ers add one of the smartest players in the entire class. The injury concerns are evident, but it wouldn’t be a Sixers season without a rookie missing significant time due to injury. His floor spacing and passing abilities would greatly help Simmons, and Tillie could prove to be a valuable backup to Embiid should the Sixers try to move on from Horford.
  37. WAS (via CHI) - Nico Mannion PG (ARIZ) - If the NBA season starts around December or January, John Wall would be coming back to basketball after having missed nearly 2 full years of play due to an injury that may zap him of some of his athleticism, his most valuable attribute. Adding Mannion as a solid backup point guard who has shown some ability, particularly at lower levels, to play off the ball, could be a prudent move by Washington. If they choose to move on from either Beal or Wall, Mannion could step into the starting lineup, where they could benefit from his passing creativity, solid decision-making, and off-ball value. If they can straighten out his shot and work on his physical strength, they could be getting a 1st round quality talent in the 2nd round.
  38. NY (via CHA) - Cassius Stanley SG/SF (DUKE) - Stanley is a fairly high-risk prospect given how raw his game is, but there are reasons to be optimistic about his outside shooting, a skill that the Knicks desperately need. Add to that his ridiculous vertical explosiveness and the Knicks could end up with a competent wing player with top-tier athleticism that will help their team-building pursuits and get fans more excited, provided the Knicks are able to develop him properly, which is a big if given their track record and Stanley's age (he'll be 21 on draft day despite only being a freshman).
  39. NO (via WAS) - Jahmi'us Ramsey SG (TTU) - With JJ Redick probably not being in the Pelicans’ long-term plans, it makes sense to bring in a guard who has had success as a catch-and-shoot 3PT shooter. He doesn’t move super well off the ball, is a negative on defense, and doesn’t shoot especially well off the dribble, but getting him into an NBA system with a number of other creators around him could help him hone his skills as a 3PT specialist with some offensive upside due to his athleticism.
  40. MEM (via PHX) - Ty-Shon Alexander SG (CREI) - Possibly a reach (ranked 91st overall by ESPN), but I think this is a pick Memphis might be willing to make. ESPN is certainly underrating him at 91st due to his potential as a solid 3 & D prospect with some ball-handling upside. Memphis has also done a great job in acquiring young talent over the past few years, as Brandon Clarke, De’Anthony Melton, John Konchar, and Marko Gudurić have all been contributors despite being somewhat under the radar, and the risk they took on Jontay Porter makes me confident in their front office when it comes to finding undervalued young talent. Adding a shooter like Alexander could help to round out Memphis’ young core very nicely.
  41. SA - Elijah Hughes SG/SF (CUSE) - After grabbing the youngest American prospect in the draft in Williams, the Spurs should look to add a competent, experienced wing in Hughes who can help space the floor and may have some upside as a shot creator. Hughes could realistically get a decent amount of minutes as a rookie and has the chance to be a solid offensive contributor. His defensive ability is a bit hard to evaluate because he played in a zone with Syracuse, but I trust Pop to get him to buy in on that end.
  42. NO - Zeke Nnaji C (ARIZ) - It’s very possible that the Pelicans trade the pick or go with an international player, but Nnaji could be a very solid center for them. Between he and Jaxson Hayes, the Pelicans will have a ton of versatility in terms of the defensive coverages they can run due to their mobility. If Nnaji can be a realistic floor spacer, then there is good reason to believe he could even get starting minutes later in his career once Favors is gone.
  43. SAC - Tre Jones PG (DUKE) - Tre might not make the eye-popping plays that will win you the game, but he won’t lose you the game either, as he will play good defense at the point of attack and he won’t turn the ball over. Yogi Ferrell’s contract expires after this year and Cory Joseph’s contract isn’t guaranteed after next year. Tre could easily slide into the backup point guard role and fill that role perfectly. Adding both Tre and Maxey might not be ideal due to their lack of size, but both are good players who can help the Kings in the short and long term.
  44. POR - Reggie Perry PF (MSST) - For a Portland team that seems to already have its backcourt figured out barring a CJ trade, it makes sense to add to their frontcourt, especially considering the injuries they suffered through this year. At least in theory, Bey should be able to play the 3 or the 4 and Perry should be able to play the 4 or the 5. Perry may be able to be used as a passing hub on the offensive end, or to play a similar role to Caleb Swanigan, should they choose to move on from him.
  45. ORL - Cassius Winston PG (MSU) - Double dipping at PG might not be the best decision, but Winston and Lewis fill different roles. Winston’s outside shooting is something the Magic could be lacking in the future, particularly if Fournier doesn’t re-sign. Winston also proved to be a great PnR playmaker with Tillman this year, and I expect him to have similar levels of success at the NBA level off the bench with Gordon, Vucevic, or even Bamba. Though they probably won’t ever play together, Winston and Lewis could be a very interesting contrast of offensive styles.
  46. BOS (via BKN) - Nate Hinton SG/SF (HOU) - Hinton is probably not viewed by most as a mid-2nd rounder, I see him as another good value pick for Boston. He competes hard on every possession and has great defensive instincts which show in his ability to get into passing lanes. He is one of the best rebounders at 6'6" or shorter that we’ve seen in the draft in a long time. He’s probably a 2-way guy his first year in the league, but if his shot can consistently fall, he could be one of the more valuable second rounders in this draft.
  47. CHI (via MEM) - Skylar Mays SG/SF (LSU) - Mays has improved a bunch as an outside shooter and has some real value as a defender. For a team that could really benefit from a mature, solid 3 & D player, Mays fits right in and could provide value immediately off the bench for a team that could stand to add one or two more competent wings. He’s also very crafty and could have some on-ball value for them as well.
  48. GS (via DAL) - Malachi Flynn PG (SDSU) - The Warriors don’t run a ton of traditional PnR, which might make it hard to fit Flynn onto the Warriors, but he can provide another offensive avenue for the Warriors to score, as he is one of the best PnR guards in this draft. The idea of him playing next to Klay with Steph on the bench is a really exciting one in particular. His shotmaking could be really valuable and he could improve their bench, which looked weak this year.
  49. PHI - Jordan Nwora SF (LOU) - If Nwora were just an average shooter, he probably wouldn’t even be a G-League caliber player; he doesn’t have a lot of tools outside of his shooting, in my view. For the Sixers, though, there is nothing wrong with taking a 3-point specialist given how desperately they need outside shooting. Given the talent they have at other positions, they can make up for his deficiencies and allow him to just make shots.
  50. IND - Naji Marshall SF (XAV) - I doubt Naji Marshall will get drafted, but this is one of my favorite fits in the second round. He really improved his 3PT shooting as the year went on and has some creation equity off the dribble. He has good touch around the rim and has shown some finishing ability. He’s one of the better wing defenders in the draft and may realistically be able to guard 1-4, making him a great fit for Indiana, a team that desperately needs a wing stopper.
  51. OKC - Vernon Carey Jr. C (DUKE) - 51 is low for Carey, but I found it hard to justify selecting him earlier because he needs a specific situation to succeed. In OKC, he can get real minutes at center where he plays a role in their offense, where he can utilize his post scoring and face-up game to create for himself. He’s an underrated passer and someone who can provide real value in the regular season as a bench big.
  52. ATL (via HOU) - Jared Butler PG (BAY) - Butler doesn’t solve any of Atlanta’s defensive issues, but he’s still a good pick nonetheless. One of the better players available at this slot and someone who can provide real self-creation value when Trae isn’t in the game, which the Hawks lack. Atlanta shot a league-worst 33.3% from 3, so adding Butler to their thin backcourt rotation should improve that number.
  53. SAC (via MIA) - Boriša Simanić PF (KLS) - With their 4th pick in the draft, the Kings will probably take a draft-and-stash candidate. Simanić is a solid stretch big with really high level shotmaking instincts. He could potentially fill a role similar to Bjelica should the Kings move on from him in the future, and if Simanić can be more aggressive offensively and improve defensively, he could be a welcome addition to their frontcourt.
  54. GS (via UTAH) - Mamadi Diakite PF/C (UVA) - After addressing the backcourt with their first 2 picks, the Warriors grab a mature stretch big who can help them win now and fits very well next to Draymond. His defensive versatility should allow him to stay on the floor in the playoffs, and he knows what it takes to win a championship. His shooting will open the floor for Wiggins, Edwards, and Draymond as well.
  55. BKN (via DEN) - Immanuel Quickley SG (UK) - Quickley’s high-level shooting projection makes him an enticing prospect at this point in the draft. Although he lacks the creation ability desired from that position and could struggle on defense at the next level, the shooting will prove to be valuable, particularly if the Nets cannot re-sign Joe Harris.
  56. CHA (via BOS) - Mason Jones SF (ARK) - After selecting his Arkansas teammate at the start of the second round, the Hornets grab one of the more unique prospects in the draft to add some wing depth. Jones gets to the rim exceptionally well for someone with his athletic ability (or lack thereof) and can provide another avenue for offensive production for Charlotte with his on-ball creation.
  57. LAC - Udoka Azubuike C (KU) - One of the biggest weaknesses in the Clippers roster is their lack of a true rim protector. Though Azubuike may not get much playing time during high leverage moments, his size and shot-blocking capability should be attractive for the Clippers and can allow them to play different coverages that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. He is fairly polished already and should be ready to contribute in a small role right away as a lob threat and rim protector.
  58. TOR - Kaleb Wesson PF/C (OSU) - With both Gasol and Ibaka hitting free agency this offseason, the Raptors should look to add to their frontcourt. Wesson doesn’t project to be an intimidating paint presence or top-tier shot blocker, but he’s a versatile player on both ends of the court with a fairly enticing shooting projection as far as the bigs in this draft are concerned and could allow the Raptors to play a different style of offense and open the floor up for Siakam, Anunoby, and Riller in the future.
  59. PHI (via LAL) - Rokas Jokubaitis PG/SG (LKL) - This is their 5th pick of the draft, so it is only natural that the Sixers will look overseas. I view Jokubaitis as the best 2nd round draft & stash prospect and he’s someone who will fit into Philadelphia’s future plans very well, as he can play either next to Simmons or as the primary initiator due to his combination of off-the-dribble shot-creating and decent playmaking chops.
  60. NO (via MIL) - Abdoulaye N’Doye PG/SG (LNB) - With their 4th pick of the draft, the Pelicans should also look overseas. Though there is an argument for other talented foreign prospects, N’Doye is the one who should excite New Orleans the most. Kalaitzakis and Simonović are among those worth a look here, but N’Doye’s passing, ball-handling, and defensive versatility give him the edge.

Mock Draft Results by team (& my personal grades)
Atlantic:
Celtics - Aleksej Pokuševski (17), Leandro Bolmaro (26), Xavier Tillman (30), Nate Hinton (46); GRADE: A-
Nets - Josh Green (20), Immanuel Quickley (55); GRADE: B
Knicks - Tyrese Haliburton (6), Jalen Smith (27), Cassius Stanley (38); GRADE: C+
76ers - Tyrell Terry (22), Tyler Bey (34), Killian Tillie (36), Jordan Nwora (49), Rokas Jokubaitis (59); GRADE: A-
Raptors - Grant Riller (28), Kaleb Wesson (58); GRADE: A-

Central:
Bulls - Obi Toppin (7), Skylar Mays (47); GRADE: B-
Cavaliers - James Wiseman (2); GRADE: C
Pistons - Killian Hayes (5); GRADE: B+
Pacers - Naji Marshall (50); GRADE: B+
Bucks - RJ Hampton (19); GRADE: A

Southeast:
Hawks - Deni Avdija (4), Jared Butler (52); GRADE: B-
Hornets - Onyeka Okongwu (8), Isaiah Joe (32), Mason Jones (56); GRADE: A-
Heat - Théo Maledon (23); GRADE: B+
Magic - Kira Lewis Jr. (15), Cassius Winston (45); GRADE: B+
Wizards - Isaac Okoro (9), Nico Mannion (37); GRADE: B+

Northwest:
Nuggets - Jaden McDaniels (21); GRADE: B
Timberwolves - LaMelo Ball (3), Aaron Nesmith (16), Paul Reed (33); GRADE: B+
Thunder - Desmond Bane (25), Vernon Carey Jr. (51); GRADE: B+
Trail Blazers - Saddiq Bey (14), Reggie Perry (44); GRADE: B-
Jazz - Isaiah Stewart (24); GRADE: D+

Southwest:
Mavericks - Precious Achiuwa (18), Robert Woodard II (31); GRADE: B-
Rockets - N/A; GRADE: N/A
Grizzlies - Ty-Shon Alexander (40); GRADE: B+
Pelicans- Cole Anthony (13), Jahmi’us Ramsey (39), Zeke Nnaji (42), Abdoulaye N’Doye (60); GRADE: B+
Spurs - Patrick Williams (11), Elijah Hughes (41); GRADE: B+

Pacific:
Warriors - Anthony Edwards (1), Malachi Flynn (48), Mamadi Diakite (54); GRADE: B+
Clippers - Udoka Azubuike (57); GRADE: C+
Lakers - Devon Dotson (29); GRADE: B
Suns - Devin Vassell (10); GRADE: A-
Kings - Tyrese Maxey (12), Daniel Oturu (35), Tre Jones (43), Boriša Simanić (53); GRADE: B-
submitted by temetrius2edrice to NBA_Draft [link] [comments]

Perception and the Betting Line

Note* I initially wrote this lesson about 8 months ago.
Quick Lesson on Perception
This lesson is about perception and oddsmakers posting lines with perception factored in, I’ll explain. In baseball you can pretty much assume the totals for every game will be as low as 8 and as high as 11, with exception to games played in Colorado it can be upwards to 14 and we see some 7/7.5’s on occasion with either struggling lineups or two aces pitching. For the most part it’s right between 8-11. Hypothetically, Let’s say an oddsmaker runs the numbers on their model or whatever the process is for their operation. This MLB Game and this particular matchup is showing a low scoring game, let’s say their “true number” for the o/u is showing 5.5. Of course they can’t list a total at 5.5 because it’s outside the norm and might invite blind one way over action. Or say their “true numbers” on an NBA total are 252, if they listed it that high it may invite under action because it’s just a number much higher than we are used to seeing.
Of course I’m not saying to look to bet overs when the total is high or unders when it’s low. It’s just interesting to note that oddsmakers are limited in some cases to deal a true number and as bettors we have to think outside the box and realize the number isn’t high enough or low enough and have the balls to make that uncomfortable situation going against the norm. Don’t be afraid to go against the grain. In sports betting unconventional thought is better more times than not.
Just the other night in college basketball we saw Virginia with a total closing at 101 which is about as low as we will see a CBB total. I know it looks tempting to bet over that number, well the game finished well under the 101 total.
I just back tested some random numbers on the lower and higher end of the spectrum. In the past 5 years in the NBA totals that closed 206 to 210 which are considered low, the under has a slight edge at 529-474-14 /52.7% and in MLB totals listed at 10 or 11 the over has a slight edge. Of course these aren’t examples to use as systems to bet but just know that because a total is low doesn't mean there is value on the over and Vice versa with high totals. The oddsmakers do have to consider what the normal range is and posting numbers outside that norm may result in one way action
Again, there are some people that will read this and think I’m saying to bet every time these situations arise. As always it’s just something to consider and as much info as possible is best when placing a bet and hardly anything I will write is enough in itself as a stand alone reason to bet.
submitted by bettingnetwork to sportsbetting [link] [comments]

Was Michael Jordan actually "rusty" coming out of his first retirement?: Let's see what professional basketball players on the court with him at the time have to say, and others who witnessed it first hand

Some of this has already been out there since MJ came back out of his first retirement, but just from a few portions of the most recent episode of Last Dance, it's pretty much quite clear what the verdict is on that among professional basketball players with him on the court at the time and those who actually watched him play prior to retirement and after he returned:
“No. 45 is not No. 23. I couldn't have done that to No. 23.” - Nick Anderson
[on the court with MJ at the time]
https://www.espn.com/blog/nba/post/_/id/2648/flashback-20-years-ago-today-anderson-forces-mj-back-to-no-23
"You could just tell he was rusty, but you could tell he was a bad dude... Once he got that year under his belt and got his feet back wet, he went right back into pitbull mode and it was over." - Penny Hardaway
[on the court with MJ at the time]
https://old.reddit.com/nba/comments/fy6c2p/penny_on_mjs_return_you_could_just_tell_he_was/
"I knew Michael, he was still working himself back into condition." - Horace Grant
[on the court with MJ at the time, 3-peated with MJ prior to the retirement - The Last Dance, Episode 8, 24 min mark]
"He was not 100% himself that year. He was 80-something percent of him self. And obviously he's not in great shape. He's in 'I've been playing baseball for 21 months' shape. He didn't have time to get his legs underneath him and I think that was reflected in some of the postseason games that year." - Chip Schaffer, Bulls Trainer 1990-98
[The Last Dance, Episode 8, 27 min mark]
"You're looking at an exhausted Michael Jordan" - Game Announcer
[The Last Dance, Episode 8, 27 min mark]
"I don't remember seeing Michael Jordan this tired." - Game Announcer
[The Last Dance, Episode 8, 28 min mark]
"I spent 15 months turning my body into a baseball body. Basketball is a little bit more shoulders, chest, so I had to reconstruct my body, which was hard." - MJ
[The Last Dance, Episode 8, 32 min mark]
"I had to excel my talents, get my talents back." - MJ, speaking about the pickup games at the Space Jam Jordan Dome
[The Last Dance, Episode 8, 34 min mark]
"Jordan is not like he used to be. He done got got a little aged. He was off of basketball. I think my best bet is to really get him tired." - Gary Payton
[The Last Dance, Episode 8, 46 min mark]
If some of his numbers pop out that year - not all do - or if he puts up 55, it's because he's the best scorer there ever was - and in particular in the post season when it matters most - and well, in the view of most NBA players polled for example last year, the best player of all time. The fact that he can do all that even when rusty - as the above players and people who witnessed it first-hand at the time state as fact - just gives further weight to the argument/view of those who see him as the greatest player to play the game. The above sentiments from professional basketball players with him on the court at the time seem pretty clear on the matter, thought it was worth sharing.
EDIT:
A lot of responses are regarding how the Magic would have won anyways even if MJ was not rusty, due to a lack of post presence. The focus of this post was just dealing with the issue of rust and MJ himself, since some appear to think all the above from some of the best to ever play and who were on the court with MJ at the time can somehow be negated, not the Magic series itself. Apart from that, when it does come to the Magic series, the matter of a lack of post presence is a very valid argument for the Bulls still potentially losing that series even had MJ not been rusty. Here is a response I gave somewhere else here:
No they actually noted they missed a stronger post/defensive presence that was in in Horace Grant, maybe it was Horace who mentioned it himself irrc in Episode 8, but would have to check, but I just watched Episode 8 and that is certainly in there. This post is simply regarding MJ himself being rusty. Say hypothetically he was in an alternate timeline and was no longer rusty, they still may not have won and that's a very valid argument, but it is an unknown. But if he was 100% back to his abilities - as well as shape - of course the people at the time would not have been saying all they said as quoted above.
submitted by babbagack to nba [link] [comments]

Pool Snark

TL;DR at the bottom
This is one of those moments I relive when I'm having bad days.
Picture this, beginning of summer, 2013. I am 19 years old and a lifeguard. The company I worked for noticed that I was talented with suburbanite mothers, so they offered me a managerial position at one of the "problem pools". I didn't really know what that meant, but they were offering a nice pay raise for the summer, so I took it! Boy howdy, I didn't get paid enough to be the pool manager that summer. It's also important to know that I'm a female with an androgynous name.
My first encounter was three days after the pool opened. There's me, my two guards, and a group of teenagers hanging out at the pool. A mother and a young child come in and start setting up a chair close to the guard office. The little boy goes and jumps into the pool and his mother starts to leave. Our pool had a rule that anyone under the age of 13 had to be accompanied by someone over the age of 16. I had been in the office and saw this mom start to leave. I leave the office at the back door and catch her at her car.
Me: "Hey ma'am? I'm so sorry, but how old is your son?"
EM: *getting into her car* "He's only ten, but he's really mature for his age, I promise."
Me: "That's great! Unfortunately, you're going to have to stay with him or take him with you. He needs to have someone over the age of 16 present with him."
EM: "Oh, I know. That's why I put his stuff by the guard shack, you guys always watch him."
Me: "I'm sorry, but the guards here are to run the pool, not baby sit your child. Please either come back into the pool with him, or take him and go home if you cannot stay."
EM: *getting out of her car* "Look, there's a bunch of teenagers here, they can just watch him, right? I have things I need to go do."
Me: "If one of them comes and says they'll stay at the poolside with him, that's fine with me."
EM goes back into the pool and starts talking to the teenagers. They're not even swimming, they're playing basketball in the courts behind the pools. I head back into the office so I can watch and make sure she doesn't try to dip out again. EM argues with teenagers for a while and eventually comes stomping up to the office.
EM: "Look, I really have to go, and none of them want to leave their game to come sit with him. It won't be more than a couple hours or something, can't you just make an exception?"
Me: "Ah, I'm sorry, but I can't. It's not just a pool policy, but I'm pretty sure like a state law. You're going to have to take him with you."
EM: "Okay, I didn't want to have to say this, but \slightlyslytherin** is the manager, and HE lets me leave him here all the time, no problem."
Now, I was the new manager at the pool, and our pool had just opened, so we didn't have any staff pictures up, just my name in a slot that said "pool manager" with my phone number posted below.
Me: "Are you sure it was \slightlyslytherin**? It doesn't sound like something they would do."
EM: "They've been the pool manager for years, so yes. I've been leaving my son here since he was five. I would hate to have to call and tell him that you're barring his favorite little kid from his favorite summer activity."
Me: "You know what? I think it would be best if you called the pool manager. You know where the number is, right?"
EM: "Oh, sweetheart, you bet I do."
She heads to the board, gets MY phone number off the list and comes back over with a super smug look on her face.
EM: "It's ringing."
Me: "Oh, good!"
My phone starts to ring sitting on the desk in front of me. I lock eyes with EM, reach down, grab my phone, and answer it.
Me: "This is \slightlyslytherin*,* manager of \redacted** pool. How can I help you?"
EM stared at me for a second, looked down at her phone and back up at me.
Me: "Soooo... Are you taking him with you or are you staying with us this afternoon?"
EM stormed out of the office, screaming for her kid to "get his shit" and come with her. I waved bye from the office. We only saw that family a few more times that summer. She definitely had some competition for the most entitled parent that I saw, but no interaction gave me the same adrenaline rush as the moment I answered my phone.

TL;DR: Entitled mother insists that pool manager lets her underaged kid stay at the pool by himself all the time without realizing that I AM THE MANAGER.
edit: punctuation
submitted by slightlyslytherin to entitledparents [link] [comments]

The 100 FUNNIEST gamer jokes

1. My favorite game is Grand Theft Auto, you can do virtually anything.
I was able to experience raping a child, robbing a charity shop and killing a Jew with my steel crowbar.
Then I went home to play Grand Theft Auto.
2. My girlfriend told me to stop playing Pokemon as it was childish.
I started thrashing about and roared “You don’t have enough badges to control me!”
3. You know when you walk into a room and forget why you went in there?
That’s God playing Sims, he just canceled your action.
4. My friend and I were talking about Call of Duty earlier and he said, “I bet Hitler would have been a better player than you ever will.”
Confused, I asked him why.
He replied, “Well, because he’s got a kill-to-death ratio of 6 million to 1.
5. Hitler was one of the most evil men in history.
He ordered the mass genocide of 6 million Jews and was pretty much responsible for kicking off World War II.
Although, on the plus side, if he hadn’t have done all that there would be no Call of Duty: World at War
6. Dating a single mother:
It’s like continuing from somebody else’s saved game.
7. A religious person came up to me the other day and asked me if I believed in evolution or creationism.
I replied “I believe in evolution. How else would Charmander become Charizard?”
8. Describe your sex life using pokemon moves
Mine;
Leer Flash Harden…but it failed Withdraw Sleep
9. My smartass 14-year-old son challenged me to a game of Tekken the other day, in front of his mates.
I finished him off with a killer combo in under 30 seconds, before proudly exclaiming, “Who’s your Daddy?”
He replied, “Mum says it was probably the milkman.”
The little bastard.
10. Q: WHERE DOES SPIRIT BREAKER GO PEE???
A: THE BARATHRUM
11. Lina is red CM is blue Don’t take my farm Cyka fuck you.
12. Q: Whats the river’s name in dota?
A: I’m pretty sure it’s The River Fag. I’ve been told I few times ‘don’t cross the river fag’
13. Yo momma is so fat, when Rubick tried to steal a spell from her all he got was diabetes.
14. Spirit breaker would make a horrible salesman.
Because he’d charge too much.
15. Your mom is so dumb if silencer kills her, he loses int.
16. Yo mama so fat, the chat wheel can’t decide on which lane she is.
17. Yo mama so fat, that when Bounty Hunter tracks her, he has a vision all over the map.
18. Yo mama so fat, if Naix infests her it takes him ten minutes to get back out.
19. What’s Tidehunter’s least favorite game?
Command and Kunkka
20. So. Ursa walks into Roshan’s den and says, “Roshan, I haven’t seen you in Aegis!”
21. Q: What do you call a Pokemon who can’t move very fast?
A: A Slow-poke
22. What is the national sport of Minecraft?
Boxing.
23. Yo mama so fat, SHE is a board on the MARIO PARTY GAMES!
24. Wives are like computer games.
When you get bored you cheat…
25. Yo mamma so fat even Kirby can’t eat her
26. If there will ever be a Minecraft movie, then it would be a blockbuster.
27. Q: What did Wario name his art supply store?
A: World of Wario Crafts
28. Yo mama so fat that she counts as a 5 kill streak on Call Of Duty.
29. My girlfriend just left me because of my overwhelming obsession with Assassin’s Creed…
I tried to explain I can’t Altair the past!
30. Q: What do you get if you tape a stick of dynamite to a hedgehog? A: SONIC BOOM!
31. What is a pigman’s favorite cereal?
Golden nuggets.
32. Yo mama so fat she broke the 64 block limit on Minecraft.
33. Who is the cleanliest Street Fighter?
Dudley, because he always takes out the gutter trash.
34. I was having a hard time decorating all the parts in my mycelium build; there was just too mooshroom.
35. Q: What do you call the Nintendo Wii in France?
A: A Nintendo Yes
36. How many silvers does it take to change a lightbulb?
None, they can’t even climb the ladder.
37. Yo mama so fat when she plays Mortal Kombat, Sub Zero cant freeze her.
38. Yo mama is so fat that when she sat on my 3DS she turned it into a 2DS.
39. How good is Minecraft?
Top-Notch!
40. Q: What did Shang Tsung say to the Aztec witch doctor?
A: Your soul is Mayan.
41. How do you get Pikachu on a bus?
You poke-em-on!
42. I’m a massive computer game geek, and people keep telling me to get a life.
Then I thought to myself, I don’t need to get a life, I’m a gamer so I have lots of lives.
43. After I took the wool off a sheep, it told me, “Sheariously?”
44. A sad horse walks into a bar. The villager that is the bartender says: “Now, why the long face?”
45. Yo mamas so fat if you slice her in fruit ninja, you automatically win the game!
46. Why can’t the Ender Dragon read a book?
Because he always starts at the End.
47. Q: What does a gorilla wear to the beach?
A: Donkey thong.
48. What did the Minecraft turkey say?
cobble, cobble, cobble!
49. Did you hear about the murder of the snow golem?
It became a cold case.
50. How do you make people change direction in Minecraft?
You Block their path.
51. Yo mama so ugly when she plays Mortal Kombat, Scorpion said “Stay over there”
52. Q: Why did Dante not cut onions?
A: Because he was afraid of the Devils May Cry.
53. You’re so bad at RPGs when somebody asks you where you’re stuck, you say, “The file select screen.”
54. What did the teacher say to the curious jungle cat?
You sure do Ocelot of questions.
55. What is a creeper’s favorite subject?
HisssSSSSStory
56. Your momma is so stupid, she won’t play Candy Crush cause she has diabetes.
57. What did the chicken say to the cow?
Pleased to meat you.
58. Q: Where did Mario buy his lunch?
A: Mario Mart.
59. What kind of parties do Minecraft players have?
“Block” parties.
60. What is sonic the hedgehog’s favourite season?
Spring.
61. Q: How did Sagat cure Ryu from the measles?
A: By giving him a Tiger Shot.
62. Q: Why did Mario cross the road?
A: Because he couldn’t find the warp zone!
63. What’s Ryo Hazuki’s favorite drink?
Hi-C.
64. Q: What is Mario’s favourite play?
A: Mamma Mia!
65. Q: What was Bomberman arrested for?
A: Indecent Explosure.
66. Q: What’s Samus’ favorite food?
A: Metroid Prime Rib.
67. What did Steve say to his girlfriend?
I dig you.
68. Why does Donkey Kong always brush his teeth?
To prevent tooth DK.
69. Where did Noble Six go for a vacation?
Halo beach.
70. Q: What is a Tomb Raider’s favorite after school snack?
A: Croft’s macaroni and cheese
71. You’re so bad at Castlevania Adventure that you say you need a slow-motion controller to play it well.
71. Q: Which video game system is always late for school?
A: Atardi
72. What’s a Street Fighter’s favorite car?
A ’91 Honda.
73. A zombie walks into work, and his boss tells him, “Did you get enough sleep last night? You look a bit dead this morning…”
74. Where did Captain Price buy his car?
Modern car fair.
75. You’re so bad at Tetris, on two-player mode, a guy can beat you with a controller that has broken left and right buttons
76. Why does Donkey Kong eat bananas?
Because he finds them a-peeling!
77. Why did the enderman cross the road?
He didn’t, he Teleported.
78. How does Steve chop down trees with his fists?
How wood I know?
79. Q: Why did Ash get arrested?
A: Because while you were in the bathroom he took a Pikachu.
80. While driving yesterday, I saw a banana skin in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it.
Thanks, Mario Kart.
81. So I was playing Skyrim, the dragon roared at me, I ignored it and carried on.
The beast, again, roared in a violent temper. Pissed off, I threw my controller down.
“Okay, I’ll go and look for a fucking job”, I told her.
82. How does Steve get his exercise?
He runs around the block.
83. My 8-year-old son got the Sims for Christmas, he was showing me around his house where he showed me his wife sleeping in her bed, in the kitchen. I’m so proud of that boy.
84. Yo mama so ugly, when she played Minecraft all the enderman teleported away to another server.
85. Q: What did Link use to win the basketball game?
A: His hookshot.
86. What do you get when you cross the Madden NFL video game and a sick hamburger?
A: Madden Cow Disease
87. What’s Cobblestone’s favorite music?
Rock music.
88. Q: What’s a Street Fighter’s favorite dessert?
A: Abel Pie.
89. Have you heard of the creeper that went to a party?
He had a BLAST!
90. Why don’t blazes ever make businesses?
They keep firing people!
91. How did Steve feel when he spent hours mining only to find nothing but coal?
Shafted.
92. What did the chicken say to the ocean?
Nothing, it just waved.
93. What did the chicken say to the sheep?
Pleased to meet ewe.
94. What do you get if you push a music box down a mineshaft?
A flat minor.
95. Q: How did Snake save on car insurance?
A: By switching to Gekko!
96. Why did the Creeper cross the road?
To get to the other sssssssssSSSSSSSSSsside.
97. So, Pokemon Black came out this weekend.
Gotta Catch Jamal.
98. Yo mama so ugly she broke fix-it-Felix Jr.’s hammer.
99. I’ve just been playing The Sims.
My wife keeps getting into arguments because I don’t have much of a social life. My fish just died. My son keeps coming up to me telling me he’s hungry. So I built a little square room on the side of our house and put him and my wife in it, locked the door and went back upstairs to play The Sims.
100. What’s an enderman’s favorite band?
Imagine Dragons!
submitted by LostBug to copypasta [link] [comments]

A Few Basketball Betting Strategies (written by a 20+ yr gambling industry vet)

\A few basketball betting strategies* from an excerpt of a betting lesson I wrote last week\*
We are in the heart of basketball season so I wanted to make this lesson useful for right now so you can start applying it to help you win money. I’ve listed below some simple situational spots to look for that are proven long term as profitable positions. As always these systems shouldn’t be used as the only factor when forming an opinion on a game but let’s say you like a bet and realize it fits one of these strategies well then you’ll be onto something. Just don’t make it your start and end point.
Oddsmakers tend to not cross a certain barrier when making totals. For example, let’s say they have two very high scoring teams playing each other and their calculations lead them to a likely probability that there will be 260 points scored on a game. Well they can’t exactly make the total 260 because that would be outside the norm and might automatically create blind under action just because of how abnormally high the total is.
Working off this theory we have a system: Betting OVERS on High Totals, simple but effective and has been something I’ve been looking at on a nightly basis this year with the increase in scoring, 3pt shooting and pace. Of course there are exceptions to the rule and other factors have to align. Definitely not saying to go out and bet every over when you see a high total. Systems and theories similar to this will be the topic of this week's lesson

The Blowout System

When an NBA team wins by 15 or more points, you might think that they’ve got momentum and will win their next game by double-digits as well. However, the opposite is usually true. When you see a home favorite of ten points or more who are fresh off of 15-point win they only beat the spread just 41.9% of the time from 2015 to 2018.
So keep in mind, teams that blowout their opponents one game are unlikely to do so the following night. The reason could be a result of player fatigue or over confidence or more likely that oddsmakers and public bettors are overreacting to that impressive one game blowout and inflating the line on that team, creating value on the opposing team.

The Bounce Back System

This one is the flip side of the situation above but related to the total. Teams coming off poor offensive performances have a knack for bouncing back during their next game, particularly when it’s at home game. Teams coming off a poor offensive performance (defined poor below) found that their next games surpassed the projected point total nearly 62% of the time(on average, varies a little from NBA/CBB).
▪️~ Look for good teams that shot under 40% from the field in their previous game and then bet the over on their next home game. ▪️~ Look for any team that shot below their season average from the field and 3pt range and look over the total in their next game ▪️~ Look for teams that in their previous game shot poorly and the game still went over and look for the over in their next game.

The 3 in 4 System

The NBA has gone out of its way to reduce the number of back-to-back games in recent years, but we still see back 2 backs and teams playing 3 games in 4 nights. A really good spot is when we see both teams playing their third game in four nights. Under this scenario we see the teams go over the projected point total 58.8% of the time.
The most likely explanation is that defense takes far more effort than offense, and most players play D with far less intensity when they’re tired. Whatever the case, you’d be well advised to pick the “over” when this scenario presents itself on the schedule. Of course this situation is something oddsmakers are aware of but it’s important we are also equipped with knowing it as well so we can apply it to our research.

Back-to-Back System

Along the line of the system above, we all know that NBA teams struggle to win the second game of back-to-backs, but they don’t all struggle at the same rate. Since 2016 teams playing in back 2 back spots that have winning records lost 5% more than their average on the second night of a back-to-back, while teams with losing records lost 11% more often than usual on the second night of a back-to-back. Going a step further and looking at home and away plays a huge factor in a team’s performance. Teams playing the second game of a back-to-back on the road were 18% more likely to lose.
These are invaluable insights to consider when making your next bet. You may also want to consider a team’s average age, its pace of play, and whether the team has had to adjust to multiple time zones during its latest stretch of games. All of these factors can cause a tremendous drop off from one game to the next.

The D’Alembert System

This is a money management system similar to the more popular Martingale systems (If you aren’t familiar with the Martingale system you can google it) but I prefer The D’Alembert System much more as another progressive betting strategy that definitely is similar to the Martingale System. I prefer it more mainly because it carries much less financial risk due to its more conservative nature. When using this strategy, you select a bet amount and increase it by the same increment in the event you lose, and decrease it by the same increment in the event you win.
For example, let’s say that you determine your bet amount is going to be $10. Using this sum as your starting point, you bet $10 on the outcome of a game. If you lose, you bet $20 the next night on the outcome of another game. If you lose again, you bet $30 on the following game. If you win that game, then you go back to a $20 bet on the next game, and so on.
The D’Alembert System is generally less lucrative than the Martingale System, but it appeals to betters with smaller bankrolls who are more risk-averse and in my opinion is generally more applicable for bettors here in The Betting Network. When using these types of progressive money management strategies I encourage discipline on bet volume, quality over quantity. It can get dangerous when trying to apply this over several wagers a night, it’s more of a selective bet strategy rather than something you use for every bet made, maybe use it for just your strongest bet of the night.

I know this information can help some gamblers out there (and may go over some gamblers' heads). It's just a few basketball systems that you may want to keep in mind. It can be very effective for long term profit in NBA when applied correctly.
I’ve worked in this gambling industry for 20+ years and work in a sportsbetting community. If you’re interested in joining and learning more strategies like this. Don’t hesitate to message me. Cheers 🍻
submitted by bettingnetwork to sportsbetting [link] [comments]

Team-by-team candidates for investment (Non-Superstar Version)

I've been involved in sports media, have worked for a couple teams and, most importantly, been following stats via fantasy basketball for about a decade now and like to dig into the data while watching the games to help identify players I feel are going to hold long-term value. Below is a team-by-team list of guys I feel will be steady for years to come and may be in consideration for card investment. These are only my opinions, so feel free to chime in without attacking the messenger :)
Atlanta - John Collins, double-double machine before Capela showed up. Has a 3pt shot, good FT shooter. Should be a front-court anchor for years and is still young and cheap.
Brooklyn - Jarrett Allen is ok, but I'll go with Dinwiddie here. He's shown he can run the show and would have the chance to break out if he ever landed a starting spot on another team
Boston - It's Tatum for now, possibly Brown but I think he's shown to be a known commodity. I'd also give a vote to Robert Williams, but with so much of the play coming from the guard positions, I think the C spot in Boston will be limited
Charlotte - Miles Bridges and PJ Washington. PJ had a nice start to the season and leveled off, which should be expected from a rookie. Bridges had a few bright spots and should continue to grow. Not a fan of Rozier or Graham, personally
Chicago - Wendell Carter Jr, particularly with a coaching change that could help his playing time. Injuries derailed the end of the season, but he was really picking up and I like his game for the future
Cleveland - Collin Sexton, nice little scoring machine, just wish he could pass more. Should continue to develop.
Dallas - It's just Luka. I wish I could point to some other guys, maybe Brunson, but it's all about Luka here
Denver - Jokic has the game to be a generational-type player. MPJ, barring injury, had a few good moments this season but will continue to fight for minutes with vets still ahead of him right now. I'm very high on Jokic.
Detroit - Christian Wood, if he's re-signed. HUGE numbers once unleashed and is still pretty raw. Also a fan of Bruce Brown, but Wood is my pick for Detroit - scoring, boards, blocks and takes 3s. Good, modern center that's just now starting out. Could be a cheap investment.
GSW - I think a lot of the young guns saw the benefit of increased playing time this year due to injuries and tanking, but Marquese Chriss looks to be their C of the future. GS doesn't play through their center much, but with passers like Green and Curry on the team, Chriss will have his easy chances to score and be a solid option defensively.
Houston - not a fan of much after Harden and Westbrook, but like Covington as a player. I think the investments on this team lie with Harden and Westy.
Indiana - Domantas Sabonis came on really strong this season and I like the way he plays as a double-double guy well into the future. Big fan of Oladipo as well, but the injuries and signing of Brogdon may limit his upside, though he should still be really solid. Myles Turner should be better than he is. I like Goga long-term, but that may take a couple years.
LAC - This is all about Kawhi and PG for now
LAL - Same as the Clippers in being top-heavy with LeBron and AD. Sorry.
Memphis - Give me Jaren Jackson Jr. over the value of Ja Morant at this time. Foul trouble has gotten him a few times, which should be expected for a rookie. Bright future for a few guys on this team, but if there's a cheaper investment on what should be a solid player for years to come, it's JJJ.
Miami - Bam Adebayo, though that train may have already left the station. Herro and Nunn both have a lot of obstacles in their way to gain more playing time, but that will open up if Dragic leaves and the team doesn't add another PG. Herro still played a healthy 27 min/game this year and scored 12 pts with a couple 3s and not much else. Bam averaging 5 assists/game from the C position is something I would want on my team.
MIL - Khris Middleton and Donte DiVincenzo. Middleton has a high $ contract and is one of the most efficient players in the entire league, shooting for the coveted 90/50/40 distinction. Even with Giannis there, Middleton has found a good role and should continue to improve with more playoff experience. For Donte, if the Bucks move on from Wesley Mathews next year and he gets more minutes, he can easily improve on his 9/4/2 stats as a defensive-minded player that can score with good efficiency
Minnesota - Malik Beasley. Cheap player that didn't have much of a role in Denver but should get the time on a high-scoring squad next year. Can play the PG/SG/SF spots, so very versatile.
New Orleans - Brandon Ingram. There's obviously a ton of hype around this team but the commodity I'd like most to invest in will be the future of Ingram. He's just 22 and put up 24/6/4 with a steal and a couple 3s a game. Also high on Ball, but I like the scoring punch from Ingram more
NYK - Uh, I don't know. There's so much hype around Barrett but he really struggled in his rookie season, particularly with efficiency. The best bet from the Knicks may be a FA they sign this offseason. Not high on Barrett long-term, so I think it's crazy to see the prices on some of his cards right now and think a lot of that is Knicks/NY hype
OKC - SGA all day long
Orlando - Gimme all the shares of Jonathan Isaac, maybe Fultz. Isaac was really coming on strong before a knee injury and Fultz had something click late in the season. People also sleep on Vucevic, but he's as steady as they come if you value the C position
Philly - continue to invest in Embiid at value prices. Shake Milton earned a little more playing time after seeing how he played when Simmons was hurt and may be a good PG or 6th man in the future
Phoenix - Others are loving Booker, but Ayton has just scratched the surface so gimme more of him. Same with Oubre, who seems to have found a good home and can be cheap when investing
Portland - Lillard for days, but the team has found a great anchor in Whiteside. Outside of that, Meyers Leonard was slated to start for them this season before a shoulder injury. Could be a good guy in the Bertans-type role next year or beyond.
Sacramento - De'Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovich. Hield, too, if he stays and continues his role off the bench as a main scorer. So-so on Bagley as he's had some injuries, but that may also see his cards lower in price right now. I like BogBog as a Ginobili-type if he can see his minutes increase in Sacramento or elsewhere.
SAS - This is tough, but maybe Dejounte Murray. With Aldridge nearing the end of his career and the team figuring out their guards between Murray and White, it's Murray that stood out when given the minutes. With the Spurs, there's also a chance their next big player is currently overseas and they'll sneak him over at some point
Toronto - Fred VanVleet. We all know what Siakam can do and his cards are priced accordingly. Others are high on what they saw from Powell and OG this season, but they were inconsistent. Might be good, cheap buys. Long-term, I think FVV has a good future in the NBA and can be handed the keys from Lowry or start at SG if they wanted
Utah - I'm a fan of Gobert's defensive game, but that doesn't translate to a good card collection. Donovan Mitchell is the guy here.

Washington - Bradley Beal. There's still a lot of hype around Rui, but he played the 2nd most minutes on the team and still only averaged 13pts. I would have wanted more out of a guy they were wanting to highlight as a foundation. Defense wasn't great, but had some moments. Doesn't take a lot of 3s, which is a big part of the modern game. I'm not a Rui guy, personally, and like what Beal has done since taking over the team with Wall going down. Wall, by the way, may also take away from Rui if he returns to form and can also be a cheap gamble if there's faith in his health.

Anyway, just wanting to share some thoughts on guys that are currently under the radar and not receiving all the hype right now and can be found a good values or discounts. Thanks.
submitted by Shanknuts to basketballcards [link] [comments]

Over / Under Betting Odds Explained. Betting on the over/under point total of a game is quite popular when making a sports wager. Bettors tend to really like betting on over/under because they don't really have a rooting issue for one team or the other, but rather offense or defense. How To Bet NBA Over Under. Given its high scoring nature, another popular NBA bet type is Over Under basketball betting, also known as point totals, or just totals. What is a NBA Over Under bet? While point spreads can be a little confusing to the unintiated, Over Under betting is more straightforward. OVER/UNDER Explained. A sports betting OVER/UNDER is a bet where you have to correctly predict the combined score of both teams. You have to pick if the total score will be lower or higher than the number set by oddsmakers – the people at betting sites who set the lines and odds. For example, let’s take a Philadelphia Eagles vs Dallas While all sports employ an over/under betting option, by far the most money wagered on this bet is in football and basketball. Sports like baseball and hockey offer over/under options, but the vast majority of bets on those sports in based on the established “ money line ” to pick a winner at a set price. In over/under betting, you are simply wagering whether the total score is going to be over or under a certain number predicted by a basketball betting site. If it is higher than the predicted number, then the over wins; if it is lower than the predicted number, then the under wins. The sportsbooks odds are obviously available. I actually did a

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