OKC ThunderDome

Beyond…Waaaay Beyond…

12/29 Daily Links

Rebound game tonight.  Let’s see how things shake out.

What the pros are saying:

What I’m saying:

  • It is impressive that the entire Thunder team has raised its collective free throw shooting percentage, and as the SI article attests, is a huge reason why they have a winning record now.  Equally important, I think it underscores the fact that the team is willing to be coachable. They listen to what their Coach has to say about things, and then have the desire to implement it.  It tells me that the odds are good that they will do the same in other areas as well.
  • Be sure to check out that SBNation link.  It gives you a very good graphical representation of which teams that struggle have youth to blame, and therefore can have a bit of optimism for the future.  Granted, if you ran this chart every year you’d probably find the same teams in the same quadrants. Why?  Because they keep drafting high, which keeps putting young players on their bench.  It also goes to show how much of an anomaly the Thunder team is, because they’re younger than the youngest team on that chart (Wolves) and yet they’re right in the midst of fighting to host a playoff series at home.  They’ve done very well, but this chart helps us to keep our expectations.  The chart also tells us exactly where teams don’t want to be – right in the middle, where the players are old and not quite good enough to make the playoffs.  Older players are more likely to have longer contracts, which means the team is locked into their current state for a longer period of time and with little reason to hope for anything other than a lottery pick.  Which would, of course, make them younger and worse.  Quite the pickle.

2 responses to “12/29 Daily Links

  1. Spock December 29, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    The Thunder will most likely enter the middle age segment of the league in 2-3 years. More players will have longer contracts, which means somewhat locking the team into at most of that mix for a longer period of time and with little reason to hope for anything other than low 1st round picks from the draft. Somewhat the pickle. You could turn to trades and free agency but first you have to be willing to do so and realistically. And hopefully before it is past time for doing so.

  2. Spock December 29, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    If you get to the conference finals you don’t mind being locked into your core.

    If you don’t get there then you have a somewhat similar problem as the lower ranked teams that are too old.

    It looks like about 1/3rd of teams who won 50+ games in the last 6 years have failed so far to make the conference finals even once, much less regularly.

    It is generally pretty hard to solve that riddle after getting to the 2nd round and hitting the 2nd round wall. Some might have had a better chance to advance further if they had done something different a couple years earlier to fix whatever eventually caused them to come up short. But back then most were surely saying we are on the rise, just be patient. It is a guessing game whether you have enough to eventually advance to the conference finals or not. But that challenge and trying to solve it is what the management jobs are ultimately about and the budget goes for.

    Is Atlanta ever going to get to the conference finals with this group? I seriously doubt it. They are mid-aged or even a bit more already though they probably think they are still relatively young. They’ll probably eventually try late moves but if they don’t work then after trying long enough they’ll have to essentially start over.

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