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BI's Underrated / Underperforming

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blackice
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BI's Underrated / Underperforming

Post Author: blackice » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:03 pm

Underrated / Underperforming


So I wanted to take a look at a few teams and assess whether they are underrated and those teams who are underperforming. This is simply my opinion and as such I am open to critiques and hopefully it sparks some debate. We all know the top teams but I wanted to delve into the “others” so to speak that don’t necessarily get the attention they deserve.


Underrated

Washington Wizards

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The Wizards started off slow but have picked it up, winning 3 in a row with notable victories over Miami and Atlanta and are 6-2 in the month of December. The catalyst behind the recent surge is the play of their star combo guard Milos Teodosic. In an inspired move their GM has committed to playing Teodosic off the ball and allowing Bryce Cotton to handle the point guard spot and has delegated playmaking duties to Cotton allowing Teodosic to concentrate on scoring and providing secondary playmaking. The key to their recent success falls on the shoulders of Ike Anigbogu who is quietly putting together an incredible season and might be the front runner for MIP, averaging a surprising 18/10 on 56 FG%. He doesn’t provide much in the way of shotblocking and rim protection but Willie Cauley Stein has that covered and it has allowed his frontcourt partner to thrive in a set role. The pieces just seem to fit nicely and the bench has proven to be quite formidable. Unfortunately, Roy Devyn Marble is now injured with a broken finger and out for 46 days but this is a team that went from a potential rebuild to now firmly in the race for a playoff spot in an increasingly tough Eastern Conference.

Charlotte Hornets

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Shockingly (at least for me), the Hornets are playing well above expectations and there are a few reasons for this – namely fit/roster construction and a balanced scoring attack led by up and coming youngsters in the backcourt led by Trae Young and Kris Dunn. Essentially both players are combo guards and they’ve split playmaking duties with Young lighting teams up from 3 (53 3P% on 6.2 3PA) and Dunn proving a more varied scoring attack with a combo of shooting and slashing. Oh, and both players are still quite young (ages 20/26). Dunn also provide strong perimeter defense, and with Jakob Poltl anchoring the defense providing weakside shotblocking and solid man defense it has allowed the supporting cast to concentrate on set roles in which they are performing quite admirably. Given that the team doesn’t own their 1st this season they have no reason to tank and this might be the year this franchise finally sees a playoff berth. The core of the team is also very young and the ceiling long term is quite high in my estimation. Harrison Barnes playing as a small ball 4 man was a great move and recent lotto pick Mikal Bridges looks to be a keeper and as a rookie is already providing solid 3&D capability.

Denver Nuggets

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The Nuggets started off slow, much to my surprise as the roster is super talented and a big 3 of Wall/Tatum/Drummond can go toe to toe with any team in the league. In the month of December so far they are 6-3 but have dropped the last 2 games to the Pelicans and Spurs. This is more of a projection moving forward but I wouldn’t mind buying stock in this team as I only see them getting better after a brutal November. Tatum has developed into a 1st option and a guy that can score at all 3 levels, averaging an impressive 24/5/2 on 44/44/80 splits. The question remains, can the second year phenom carry a team to a playoff berth in a loaded Western conference? John Wall isn’t getting any younger but he’s still in his prime and plays on both ends of the court, but he isn’t a disruptive defensive force who is going to generate a ton of turnovers from other opposing point guards. He’s a guy who will play disciplined defense and can stay in front of his man, and with Andre Drummond as the last line of defense this is a team that should be top 10 on both offense and defense. Outside of James Young the bench is a bit underwhelming but I feel at the end of the season this is a team that should make the playoffs and put a scare into their first round opponent.

San Antonio Spurs

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The Spurs saw quite a bit of roster turnover this offseason and it seems to have paid off. Again, similar to the Hornets, this is a team that is led by a potent backcourt of Frank Ntilikina and Terry Rozier with sharpshooter Dion Waiters backing them up. Their disruptive defense and gambling style of defense has both starting guards combing for 4.3 steals per game and their stifling perimeter defense with rim protection in the form of supremely underrated Montrezl Harrell and veteran Serge Ibaka provide the base for a strong defensive identity and although many have been down on Terry Rozier he’s proving to be a guy who can do a bit of everything offensively with the ability to get to the line and pressure opposing guards who struggle to contain the mini dynamo. We are seeing a trend with many teams splitting playmaking duties between a number of players instead of a ball dominant point guard who controls the offense (see: Lonzo Ball in Philly).

Underperforming

Orlando Magic

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In terms of talent this is a team that should be a shoe in for the playoffs and the roster is loaded with exception players who just can’t get the fit to work. We’ve been saying for years now that the team needs to surround their potent core with 3 point shooting and famously, this is team that struggles with zone defenses. The roster consists of the “Canadian’, Andrew Wiggins who has proven to be a tough defender who plays both ends of the court and has historically been a pretty efficient player but his numbers are down this season and he’s struggling to compensate for the fact that no one on this roster can hit the 3 consistently, forcing Wiggins to increase his 3PA (29 3P% on 7.7 3PA). The frontcourt is perhaps the most talented in the league with stars like Joel Embiid, Derrick Favors and offseason acquisition Hassan Whiteside. Clearly the team is not lacking in talent but trading for Donovan Mitchell, while adding more talent and a potentially special player didn’t solve the spacing issue. The core is under performing and until we see an emphasis on acquiring shooting I’m not sure this team will make the playoffs this year. We’ve said this year after year but those 9 zones won’t go away until we see a change in players and philosophy.

Utah Jazz

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This might be a case of a GM who isn’t as active as he’s been in the past but playing Kyrie Irving while he was injured tanked the first month and it’s a shame because Kristaps Porzingis is having an MVP level season, averaging 29/9 w/ 1.3 stls & 1.9 blks on an incredible 52 FG%. Given his USG% that’s pretty impressive and Daniel Hamilton might be the most underrated players in the league, he’s putting up 19/7/7 and doing his best to win games. The core is pretty good and the big 3 is unbelievable but the depth is shaky and if their GM doesn’t make adjustments I’m not sure this team will make the playoffs given the competition.

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WillyJakkz
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Re: BI's Underrated / Underperforming

Post Author: WillyJakkz » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:07 pm

Eh, we'll be alright
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Re: BI's Underrated / Underperforming

Post Author: drumr » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:09 pm

WillyJakkz wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:07 pm
Eh, we'll be alright
How? Just banking on the new engine? I wouldn't.
Last edited by drumr on Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BI's Underrated / Underperforming

Post Author: wms02a » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:11 pm

Thank you for the shoutout... really happy how our backcourt is performing and will be interested if they can pick up the scoring laod w Bertans injured for a month.
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Re: BI's Underrated / Underperforming

Post Author: drumr » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:11 pm

What the Jazz did to Kyrie WHILE LOGGING IN no less was ridiculous. He could have easily typed in a depth chart and you have to think like the other tanking teams everyone just wants in the draft class. So many willing doormat teams this season. Really don't like it.
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Re: BI's Underrated / Underperforming

Post Author: Dennis » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:19 pm

drumr wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:09 pm
WillyJakkz wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:07 pm
Eh, we'll be alright
How? Just banking on the new engine? I wouldn't.
Did the admins exclude 3pt shooting for the next engine?
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Re: BI's Underrated / Underperforming

Post Author: drumr » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:30 pm

Dennis wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:19 pm
drumr wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:09 pm
WillyJakkz wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:07 pm
Eh, we'll be alright
How? Just banking on the new engine? I wouldn't.
Did the admins exclude 3pt shooting for the next engine?
I'm just wondering if he's counting on zones not working as well or differently in the next engine? I'm actually curious as I haven't even played my copy a single time yet, but I'm pretty sure shooting is even more important now.
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Re: BI's Underrated / Underperforming

Post Author: hardenwithnod » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:37 pm

Great stuff man, and I agree with the assessments on these teams. Charlotte has really turned it around, as that +10 boost to Trae was huge. Now Trae, and Dunn forms an absolute disgusting backcourt, meanwhile they have guys who can fill their roles in Wood, Bridges, Poetl, and Barnes. Meanwhile the Spurs have made some big time moves, and looks like they are paying off. Perfect time for them to cash in too, as the West is not as deep as it usually is.

The Jazz should not be this bad, but that's what happens when you pay 4 on 5 pretty much every single game thus far due to Kyrie's injury. Meanwhile the Magic has a ton of talent, but the fit is not working, and I think a move or two will be necessary for them to turn it around.
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Re: BI's Underrated / Underperforming

Post Author: KW » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:57 pm

100% agree on Orlando. This core without a zone buster will never work in any engine. Willy's attraction to mediocre to bad shooters Is baffling. That said... Everyone there is shooting well below their numbers. It will correct and they will be less awful, but the East is so difficult now that only internal growth isn't going to cut it.

Charlotte looks terrific. Credit to Dejan for figuring out his team and being patient.

I have a theory about the Utah situation. Kyrie refusing to take shots just means more touches to Porzingis and Hamilton and that might've been better for the offense than a raw rookie in Melton launching bricks and not passing. Doesn't make any kind of sense irl but the engine doesn't react that severely to injured guys putting up 0s for some reason.
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Re: BI's Underrated / Underperforming

Post Author: Silogical » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:22 pm

drumr wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:09 pm
WillyJakkz wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:07 pm
Eh, we'll be alright
How? Just banking on the new engine? I wouldn't.
I think this is what willy meant when he said he'll be alright.
WillyJakkz wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:07 pm
Even if we win 15 games for the next 5 years the world isnt going to end so... Eh, we'll be alright

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Re: BI's Underrated / Underperforming

Post Author: Sharkn20 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:41 pm

Terrific article man.

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Re: BI's Underrated / Underperforming

Post Author: Myles » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:18 pm

I would say we are underperforming, not underrated. We have sucked to start the year, no doubt about it. Been playing around with strats and that has led to the improved December, but giving up 146+ points two games in a row is unacceptable. We'll need to figure something out here, and fast.

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Re: BI's Underrated / Underperforming

Post Author: Flaming Homer » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:06 am

Good read!!

Have to agree with Myles on the Nuggets.
I also see them as one of the most talented in the West but they are underperforming so far. It looked like they turned the corner in December but it seems there is still something off. Or they just start very slow.

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Re: BI's Underrated / Underperforming

Post Author: emplep7 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:12 pm

Great article and I love seeing GMs make the adjustments necessary like Charlotte and it paying off huge for them. Dejan looking like GM or coach of the year so far.

It’s frustrating seeing another wasted year in Orlando with that talent where they refuse to get 3 point shooting and will give Phoenix a top 5 pick in a stacked draft. That would get a GM fires in the real NBA. And Utah is pretty much a league owned team at this point with the whole Kyrie debacle so maybe that will start getting better with some attention.
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Re: BI's Underrated / Underperforming

Post Author: Andrewu91 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:11 pm

emplep7 wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:12 pm
Great article and I love seeing GMs make the adjustments necessary like Charlotte and it paying off huge for them. Dejan looking like GM or coach of the year so far.

It’s frustrating seeing another wasted year in Orlando with that talent where they refuse to get 3 point shooting and will give Phoenix a top 5 pick in a stacked draft. That would get a GM fires in the real NBA. And Utah is pretty much a league owned team at this point with the whole Kyrie debacle so maybe that will start getting better with some attention.
PHX has Magic's pick? Jeeze c'mon Willy

Just take my shooters and trade me back the pick. Win-win situation for us both.
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Re: BI's Underrated / Underperforming

Post Author: Cleasby » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:59 pm

Yeah we have been really lucky Denver continues to start slowly. Otherwise our playoff spot would be in trouble!
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Re: BI's Underrated / Underperforming

Post Author: blackice » Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:54 pm

Myles wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:18 pm
I would say we are underperforming, not underrated. We have sucked to start the year, no doubt about it. Been playing around with strats and that has led to the improved December, but giving up 146+ points two games in a row is unacceptable. We'll need to figure something out here, and fast.
I'd say both, you are underperforming but like I said I'd buy stock in your team as I think you'll turn it around given your expertise and a talented roster. Hence, underrated (at least in my eyes).

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Re: BI's Underrated / Underperforming

Post Author: Ocons » Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:50 pm

I thought the league folded. . .
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