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View Full Version : Tbird Topics: Under the radar type acquisition possibilities I like, thoughts in Roy Hibbert, my scouting grading system



thunderbird1245
07-06-2012, 03:04 PM
The summer’s first edition of “Tbird Topics” starts today,with just some random thoughts on a variety of Pacers and NBA topics that happen to be on my mind today. None of them I thought merited their own individual thread, so I am putting them all in this catch all type of format.
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First of all, the free agent frenzy and the panic mode thatseems to be overcoming some of you.

In general, most free agent money from the 30 NBA teams will be spent in the early days of the free agent period. There is this giant rusof energy that is created as teams and agents scramble around trying to find a place for themselves before the music stops.

But just like shopping on the day after Thanksgiving,sometimes if you wait just a bit, you can get a lot more bang for your buck if you are smart enough to wait out the masses, then sweep up afterwards and pickup bargains later.

75% or more of the players signed in early July will be overpaid as free agents if you look ahead a year from now, and teams will be regretting all the money they spent on guys who don’t make enough of a difference for them, or who are bad fits for their team from a style of play or chemistry point a view.

Everyone needs to just chill out, trust me, waiting out some of these extravagant deals puts us in good position to come in in late July and pick up better bargains, and guys who fit our current team structure and personality better.

Many of you were pining for Brandon Bass, for example. Whywould you want to pay big bucks for a one dimensional backup power forward who can’t play more than one position? Likely, he wouldn’t have wanted to come here anyway. We are spending way too much time as fans worrying about mediocre guys who wouldn’t start for us either short or long term.

We need to look for some bargains and positions of need,guys who can fill roles for specific reasons and needs, and who would fit inour team personality and salary structure.

As I see it, here are our team needs:

1. WE STILL NEED A BACKUP BIG MAN, PARTICULARLY WESTILL NEED A PLAYER WHO:
-Is young (mid 20’s)
-fairly cheap
-who can be good enough to( a) plaalongside West as a backup to Hibbert, (b) play alongside Hibbert as a backuto West (c) fill a short term need as a starter at either position if needed.

2. WE STILL NEED A BACK UP WING MAN WHO CAN EITHERGET HIS OWN SHOT OR CREATE SHOTS FOR OTHERS.

3. WE MAY NEED A BACKUP POINT GUARD LONG TERM TO GROOM BEHIND HILL, IF WE HAVE TO MOVE COLLISON TO GET ANOTHER PIECE.

So, as I see it, here are some guys worth acquiring,and the ways I’d go about it:

1. MARRESSE SPEIGHTS, MEMPHIS
Some of you may remember that I really really liked Speights coming out of the draft a few years ago, but he got drafted in totally the wrong situation for him in Philadelphia, the same year they gave Elton Brand that ridiculous contract, basically blocking him.

They moved him to Memphis, where he is blocked by Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph now.

While he hasn’t been as effective as I thought he’d be so far, I still believe in him as a player, and he is still a young big man who could be had for cheap money or in a sign/trade deal.I think he can back up both the center and power forward positions, giving us a potential “player x” that I have talked about for a long time. Worst case, he is a backup big man better than anyone we have currently who can score with hisback to the basket, and being around a professional like David West would begood for him. Best case, he can be your long term starter at the 4 spot for cheap money after West’s contract expires.

TBIRD PROPOSED DEAL: SIGN/TRADE WITH MEMPHIS,3 YEAR, 12 MILLION WITH THE 3RD YEAR A TEAM OPTION…….MEMPHIS TRADES US SPEIGHTS AND A FUTURE NUMBER ONE DRAFT PICK FOR DARREN COLLISON

2. LOU WILLIAMS, PHILADELPHIA
If we truly want a scorer off the bench who is a professional with high character, I think Williams is a better player than either Mayo (who I don’t like as a player, I disagree with Larry Bird on him) or Courtney Lee (my second choice).

This move has the added benefit of hurting a rival team in the East. Plus, I have a feeling that Williams is going to sign for a bargain at the end of the day, when you see what other players he is better than may get.
TBIRD PROPOSED DEAL: FREE AGENT SIGNING, 3 YEARS, 19.5 MILLION DOLLARS.

3. JORDAN FARMAR, NEW JERSEY
Farmar makes sense to me as a nicepotential backup point guard with some upside, who we should be able to poach away from New Jersey fairly easily. He has gotten to play regular minutes forthe Nets at times and has been a fairly decent player, who should fit in well and be hungry for minutes in Indiana.
TBIRD PROPOSED DEAL: FREE AGENT SIGNING, 2 YEARS, 7 MILLION, LAST YEAR A TEAM OPTION.


4. DARIUS MORRIS, LOS ANGELES LAKERS
The Lakers appear to be in “all in”mode, and have just signed Steve Nash for big money. Morris is a 6’4 youngpoint guard out of Michigan who will never get a chance to play in Los Angelesand will just languish on their bench…..no way will Mike Brown trust Morris in big moments in Lakerland. With his contract actually being penalized at a high rate under the new CBA, I am thinking the Lakers might like to save a slight bit of cash, or rather have a veteran type guy on their bench instead of Morris.
I really liked Morris in college,and loved his court vision and size….I’d like a chance to groom him here and see if we can develop him as a long term backup point guard.
Much like a few years ago when we had an opportunity (as did every other team) to pick up Aaron Afflalo cheaply,I think Morris can be had for as little as a 2nd round pick out into the future. Kevin Pritchard needs to make a call and see if I am correct.

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On to Roy Hibbert, and where Istand on his contract.
I hate the headline that we have going on our site, stating that Portland has offered him “max money”. That is true only for them, but for us the maximum money we could have offered him issomething like 5 years 79 million, instead of the reported 4 years 58 millionPortland has offered him.

Matching Portland instead of maxing him out ourselves saves us a year of commitment and 21 million dollars over thecourse of the contract, making matching him in my view an absolute no brainer….we simply have to do it.

But more than that, signing Hibbert is WORTH IT. If you aren’t going to sign guys who work hard and improve their games at the NBA level, integrate themselves into the community, who arepersonable and outgoing with the fanbase, who you have developed and drafted at a premium position……then who the hell ARE you going to sign?

Not signing Hibbert doesn’t mean the Pacers will save any money by the way, it just means they will spend thes ame amount or more eventually on other, less deserving players.

As a Cubs baseball fan, I remember well when Cubs then General manager Larry Himes though that, instead of re-signing Greg Maddux as a free agent, that he would instead take that money and sign 4 other mediocre to bad free agents….anybody remember Willie Wilson as a Cubs centerfielder that year??? I didn’t think so….

You are ALWAYS better off in sports buying really good things for a dollar, rather than spending 3 quarters 2 dimes and a nickel for a variety of spare parts.

I will say this: WE SHOULD WAIT UNTIL JULY 14 TO ACTUALLY MATCH the contract legally, just to leave theTrailblazers in as much limbo as possible. And I think it is smart to publically let the issue and doubt continue, just to paralyze the Blazers as much as possible.
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THE TBIRD IDEAL METHOD OF BUILDING AN NBA ROSTER AND GRADING PLAYERS I SCOUT:

1. PG: a defensive minded point guard who is agreat chemistry guy.

2. Wing 1: an assassin type scorer who consistentlycan score every night, preferably someone who can break defenses down off thedribble to get his own shot.

3. Wing 2: a big time wing defender who can guardthe opponents best player, it helps if this guy has at least one above average offensive skill as well.

4. Post 1: someone who can score in the low post with his back to the basket. Someone who is a legitimate threat every night andwho needs to be double teamed consistently on the block. One of your top scorers.

5. Post 2: A player who can rebound, defend, and run the floor. Probably can guard multiple types of players, as many types aspossible. Someone who can play on the low block but who is mobile and talented enough to move around offensively to various places on the floor.

6. Back up Post 1: A player who can back up both big spots…..big enough to guard centers, but able to play alongside them aswell. Needs a variety of skills so he can back up both spots….ideally a guy who brings slightly different skill sets than your 2 starting bigs, but defensively he needs to be able to play both spots.

7. Back up Wing 1: A player who can score inbunches in some particular way. Whether as a slasher, spot up shooter, driver,or a guy running off screens, this guy needs to be able to score for you. Goodenough on offense to start in a pinch, good enough defensively to start ifnecessary. Ideally big enough to play defensively either wing spot.

8. Back up Point guard: preferably a guy who brings different skill sets to the position than your starter does, to give you acontrast. Has to be consistent. Preferably he gives you enough size and ability that he can play with your point guard simultaneously if need be at times. Needsto be either a really good defender OR a really good scoring type guard if possible.

9. Backup Post 2: this guy is preferably a smaller,quicker more perimeter oriented post player, someone who gives you some positional flexibility in a pinch. Or, maybe he just excels in one particularlyaspect, either as a jump shooter, rebounder, defender, etc. Your 4throtational big guy who plays around 10-15 minutes per game but who could play more if needed.

10. Backup Wing 2: this guy is your 10thman on your team, preferably a guy who has a special one skill that keeps himin the league. Preferably a team oriented guy, because he may not play regularrotation minutes.

11. Backup PG2: your 11th guy, a developmental backup, 3rd string point guard. Maybe an old grizzled veteran instead of a rookie, but this guy needs to be cheap and happy just being on the team, if he is young you are hoping he can move up the chain and be a quality back up for you someday.

12. Backup Post 3: This is your backup center, atrue big guy with mammoth size, and enforcer type or a project type. Reallyonly needs to be able to play against the biggest guys in an emergency, but he dresses every night in case you need a hard foul or if your center gets injured or something. This guy needs to be able to physically defend bigger centers in short stretches.

13. Project wing: a rookie or someone else you want to develop.

14. Project post: a rookie or someone else you want to develop.

Within that structure, you give guys letter grades on how well you think they fit the ideal. <o:p></o>
So, Kevin Durant for example would be a “2A+”. LeBron James is a “3A+”, and would get an A grade at almost any number.

Taking that criteria is a rough plan for what you are hoping to have, how well do you think our current roster fits in?
Here are the numbers I’d assign our guys:
1. George Hill is a 1B
2. Danny Granger is a 2B-, but would be a 7A+ or9A+ on some teams.
3. Paul George is a 3A-, but would be a 2C+
4. Roy Hibbert is a 4B+
5. David West is a 5C+, but would be a 6B- or a 9B+
6. Tyler Hansbrough is a 6D or 9C+
7. Darren Collison is an 8A-, would be a 1B- or C+
8. Dahntay Jones is a 10A, but would be a 7D
9. Miles Plumlee is a 12B I think, maybe can get to a 9B level eventually in time
10. Orlando Johnson is a 13A starting out, but with a ceiling of a 7B I think.
Just for fun, above I listed 4 potential players I like for us….I grade them as:
1. Marresse Speights is a 6B+, and would be a 5B-or a 4B
2. Lou Williams is a 7A-
3. Jordan Farmar is an 8C+
4. Darius Morris an 11A, 13A+, 8C- currently.

I hope you found some of this interesting and enlighteningtoday. Sometime this weekend I hope to write a full scouting analysis of MilePlumlee, so be ready for that.
Tbird

Heisenberg
07-06-2012, 03:17 PM
Speights re-signed with Memphis

thunderbird1245
07-06-2012, 03:23 PM
[QUOTE=Speights re-signed with Memphis

Really? I must have missed that. Ive been gone for a day, I guess that's what I get for not reading everything all day long.

I still think they are a good trading partner for us, they need a backup PG badly....I wonder if they'd reconsider the exact deal I threw out there?

Heisenberg
07-06-2012, 03:25 PM
2 years, 9 million

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2012/jul/06/marreese-speights-signs-two-year-contract-grizzlie/

wintermute
07-06-2012, 04:10 PM
Very interesting view of roster positions. Do you have some kind of criteria for a contending team? Like how many A's, how many B's do you need? What's the minimum score for positions 1-5? Etc



I hope you found some of this interesting and enlighteningtoday. Sometime this weekend I hope to write a full scouting analysis of MilePlumlee, so be ready for that.
Tbird

Much anticipated :)

ESutt7
07-06-2012, 04:28 PM
What do you not like about Mayo? On court stuff, or off court?

Naptown_Seth
07-06-2012, 04:49 PM
I see West as a 4 B+. His game has tons of low block back to basket moves that demands lots of doubles. He gave Miami more scoring issues than Roy did.

Roy is a defensive specialist learning to be an offensive post player. He's kinda getting the hooks in shape, but he has nothing in the way of great drop steps, up and unders, spins, etc. He often gets off balance going to the runner across the lane.

Now he's a terrible transition guy too, so by your description of a 5 he wouldn't grade well. But as a guy just there for defense mostly he seems like a 5 B+ to me.



The issue is only Hill and DC can cleanly dribble drive to space for a shot. Niether Danny nor Paul have the handles for this type of play. DJones does it better than either of them even.



Lou Williams is interesting, but not with Collison here. I think they would overlap too much. And I'm not ready to just run DC out of town, he's good as a bench scoring sparkplug. I'd only move him if somehow he could be replaced AND he gets you the frontcourt help you need (as you proposed).

mrknowname
07-06-2012, 05:11 PM
where does lance grade out?

agree with the above poster about collison and williams size.

jerryd bayless would be interesting backup pg if collison were traded and his size would be a better match w/ williams

pacergod2
07-06-2012, 05:18 PM
In the line of thinking for a Memphis front court player, I like Darrell Arthur. He plays both spots and is a smart player. He can hit a jumper and is agile enough to run/defend the PnR. He had injury and depth chart issues, but had been very good in the time he did get. I think he is the type of player who you could get cheap because of circumstances. And he really fits the mold of everything you have said.

NapTonius Monk
07-06-2012, 05:52 PM
On to Roy Hibbert, and where Istand on his contract.
I hate the headline that we have going on our site, stating that Portland has offered him “max money”. That is true only for them, but for us the maximum money we could have offered him issomething like 5 years 79 million, instead of the reported 4 years 58 millionPortland has offered him.

Matching Portland instead of maxing him out ourselves saves us a year of commitment and 21 million dollars over thecourse of the contract, making matching him in my view an absolute no brainer….we simply have to do it.

But more than that, signing Hibbert is WORTH IT. If you aren’t going to sign guys who work hard and improve their games at the NBA level, integrate themselves into the community, who arepersonable and outgoing with the fanbase, who you have developed and drafted at a premium position……then who the hell ARE you going to sign?

Not signing Hibbert doesn’t mean the Pacers will save any money by the way, it just means they will spend thes ame amount or more eventually on other, less deserving players.

As a Cubs baseball fan, I remember well when Cubs then General manager Larry Himes though that, instead of re-signing Greg Maddux as a free agent, that he would instead take that money and sign 4 other mediocre to bad free agents….anybody remember Willie Wilson as a Cubs centerfielder that year??? I didn’t think so….

You are ALWAYS better off in sports buying really good things for a dollar, rather than spending 3 quarters 2 dimes and a nickel for a variety of spare parts.

I will say this: WE SHOULD WAIT UNTIL JULY 14 TO ACTUALLY MATCH the contract legally, just to leave theTrailblazers in as much limbo as possible. And I think it is smart to publically let the issue and doubt continue, just to paralyze the Blazers as much as possible.

:citizenkane:

Mourning
07-06-2012, 07:12 PM
I totally subscribe to what your stance is on Roy. IF we don't sign a guy like that then who the hell is ever worthy of signing?

Btw how is Xavier Henry doing currently? I remember he got drafted by Memphis and they had a rocky start from the get go. Is he still there? Has he improved? Has he actually gotten the chance to improve? Very curious.

Brad8888
07-06-2012, 07:44 PM
where does lance grade out?


I don't know about T-bird, but I would grade Lance out at 13 N or 13 I (N = needs improvement, I = incomplete) because he is a project wing player who has very little meaningful experience who needs a lot of improvement in virtually every aspect of the game.

mrknowname
07-07-2012, 10:00 AM
jason thompson could be a nice target as the backup post player. he can play both the 4 and 5. he might not be in the kings plans now that they have thomas robinson and signed chuck hayes last year iirc

Major Cold
07-07-2012, 10:13 AM
I don't know about T-bird, but I would grade Lance out at 13 N or 13 I (N = needs improvement, I = incomplete) because he is a project wing player who has very little meaningful experience who needs a lot of improvement in virtually every aspect of the game.

Tbird said a 13 was a project development project. So a N or I is redundant.

How capapble is Lance at developing to get a high grade as a 13?

His rookie year he was dancing on a F. Early last year I would say d. He didn't play after the benching. And when he played scrub minutes or that one game he started he play alright. So I would say 13C-, maybe a C.

Wage
07-07-2012, 11:49 AM
Roy is a defensive specialist learning to be an offensive post player. He's kinda getting the hooks in shape, but he has nothing in the way of great drop steps, up and unders, spins, etc. He often gets off balance going to the runner across the lane.

Now he's a terrible transition guy too, so by your description of a 5 he wouldn't grade well. But as a guy just there for defense mostly he seems like a 5 B+ to me.


I honestly can't buy Roy as a defensive specialist. He just has too many physical limitations to play the part. He is usually the slowest guy on the court, which causes him fits when matched up against faster guys, and in his rotations. Hs is also very weak, meaning he has a hard time holding position ,and causing him to fall to the court every time a guard makes contact with him. He does play smart and minimize his fouling which is great. He gets a couple of blocks a game mostly as a benefit of being the tallest guy on the court, but I don't see him as a rim protector. He can really only go straight up, so faster guards just drive around him where his height advantage is lost. I've said it before, but to me Roy is pretty much Shawn Bradley minus 4 inches. That's not a bad thing, but I just have a hard time making it a cornerstone of my franchise.

Major Cold
07-07-2012, 01:08 PM
Tbird said a 13 was a project development project. So a N or I is redundant.

How capapble is Lance at developing to get a high grade as a 13?

His rookie year he was dancing on a F. Early last year I would say d. He didn't play after the benching. And when he played scrub minutes or that one game he started he play alright. So I would say 13C-, maybe a C.


You know what I was a little hard on him. Offensively he may be a project 13 C- to C. But he made some strides on defense.

Overall 13 C+. Big leap I know. But for a 13 he might get better. I just don't see him ever being a 7 or 8 in this league. I hope he proves me wrong.

Sparhawk
07-07-2012, 01:59 PM
jason thompson could be a nice target as the backup post player. he can play both the 4 and 5. he might not be in the kings plans now that they have thomas robinson and signed chuck hayes last year iirc

I've always liked Thompson, but he's already been extended a qualifying offer to keep him as a RFA. No chance the Pacers go after him now.

Eleazar
07-07-2012, 04:00 PM
I honestly can't buy Roy as a defensive specialist. He just has too many physical limitations to play the part. He is usually the slowest guy on the court, which causes him fits when matched up against faster guys, and in his rotations. Hs is also very weak, meaning he has a hard time holding position ,and causing him to fall to the court every time a guard makes contact with him. He does play smart and minimize his fouling which is great. He gets a couple of blocks a game mostly as a benefit of being the tallest guy on the court, but I don't see him as a rim protector. He can really only go straight up, so faster guards just drive around him where his height advantage is lost. I've said it before, but to me Roy is pretty much Shawn Bradley minus 4 inches. That's not a bad thing, but I just have a hard time making it a cornerstone of my franchise.

I think you are underestimating Roy's defensive impact, especially when guards drive to the basket. There was a reason why Wade and LeBron rarely drove much further than the free throw line when Hibbert was in the post, and why everyone tries to get him out of the post. Yeah part of it may just be because he is so tall, but who cares. Why he is one of the best shot blockers in the league doesn't matter, all that matters is that he is one of the best shot blockers in the league.

mattie
07-07-2012, 04:53 PM
I think you are underestimating Roy's defensive impact, especially when guards drive to the basket. There was a reason why Wade and LeBron rarely drove much further than the free throw line when Hibbert was in the post, and why everyone tries to get him out of the post. Yeah part of it may just be because he is so tall, but who cares. Why he is one of the best shot blockers in the league doesn't matter, all that matters is that he is one of the best shot blockers in the league.

With that said, it is actually a skill. There are plenty of very tall players and even very athletic tall players who can't block shots. (Yes Miles, I'm talking about you.)

ensergio
07-07-2012, 07:29 PM
Amir Johnson and Hassan Whiteside.

IndyPacer
07-07-2012, 08:12 PM
I honestly can't buy Roy as a defensive specialist. He just has too many physical limitations to play the part. He is usually the slowest guy on the court, which causes him fits when matched up against faster guys, and in his rotations. Hs is also very weak, meaning he has a hard time holding position ,and causing him to fall to the court every time a guard makes contact with him. He does play smart and minimize his fouling which is great. He gets a couple of blocks a game mostly as a benefit of being the tallest guy on the court, but I don't see him as a rim protector. He can really only go straight up, so faster guards just drive around him where his height advantage is lost. I've said it before, but to me Roy is pretty much Shawn Bradley minus 4 inches. That's not a bad thing, but I just have a hard time making it a cornerstone of my franchise.

Hibbert's footspeed is a clear weakness, but that doesn't mean he can't be effective defensively if he's used the right way. If he's expected to chase around guards, then no, he's not going to be very effective. If stays close to the basket and can eventually be paired with an athletic, shotblocking PF who can play a bit further out, opponents who score their points in the paint would despise playing the Pacers.

I personally wouldn't label Hibbert a "defensive specialist," although if your #2 in the league in blocks per game in the Playoffs, you're doing something right defensively. He does have a huge impact on our defense. The Pacers are different team defensively (ugh; this admittedly sounds uncomfortably similar to the notorious Dunleavy "team defense" business, which I despised) when Hibbert is on the floor.

Wage
07-07-2012, 09:54 PM
I think you are underestimating Roy's defensive impact, especially when guards drive to the basket. There was a reason why Wade and LeBron rarely drove much further than the free throw line when Hibbert was in the post, and why everyone tries to get him out of the post. Yeah part of it may just be because he is so tall, but who cares. Why he is one of the best shot blockers in the league doesn't matter, all that matters is that he is one of the best shot blockers in the league.

It does matter why he blocks shots. Blocked shots without context don't mean much at all. Hibbert only averaged .7 more blocks per game this season than D Wade, yet I don't think anyone is going to be calling Wade a rim protector. And your memories of Wade and LeBron not driving the lane are different than mine of Wade knocking Hibbert to the floor on multiple occassions. My memories of Hibbert's blocked shots are of him blocking big baby 4 times in one possession, then next possession Davis shrugging it off and scoring right over Hibbert.

So since I have an admittedly bad memory I looked up some stats. For the Heat series the Heat went 83/155 in the paint with Hibbert in the game for a FG% of 54%. With Hibbert on the bench they were 48/83 for 58%. As far as how often they attacked the rim, Hibbert was on the court for 194 minutes and on the bench for 94. That means the Heat took .8 shots per minute in the paint with Hibbert on the court, and .88 with him on the bench. All things being equal, these stats both show the big fella does have a positive impact on paint defense while in the game, but I am hesitant to call them extremely impactful.

My other issue is that I do not think Hibbert can ever be a go to low post scoring threat. He simply does not have the strength to hold position long enough to fill that role. It is certainly something he is capable of from time to time, I'm just not sure you can ever count on it with the game on the line. With that said, with Roy's work ethic I do believe that he could add a face up game to his arsenal and become much more effective offensively.

My opinion out of the way, I have come around and do hope we match his offer and keep the big guy around. He is my favorite Pacer and that is part of the reason I may be being hard on him. I was very disappointed in his playoff performance. For the Rik Smits comparisons he gets around here, he is nowhere close at this point. Smits would have embarrassed Big Baby and Haslem and forced a double team or a free basket on every single possession.

pacer4ever
07-07-2012, 10:02 PM
I honestly can't buy Roy as a defensive specialist. He just has too many physical limitations to play the part. He is usually the slowest guy on the court, which causes him fits when matched up against faster guys, and in his rotations. Hs is also very weak, meaning he has a hard time holding position ,and causing him to fall to the court every time a guard makes contact with him. He does play smart and minimize his fouling which is great. He gets a couple of blocks a game mostly as a benefit of being the tallest guy on the court, but I don't see him as a rim protector. He can really only go straight up, so faster guards just drive around him where his height advantage is lost. I've said it before, but to me Roy is pretty much Shawn Bradley minus 4 inches. That's not a bad thing, but I just have a hard time making it a cornerstone of my franchise.

I agree good teams can take advantage of Roy on defense. Spo just ran high PnR every play vs us in the playoffs and it put Roy in no mans land defensively. In the NBA I cant consider a guy a defensive specialist unless he is at least decent in the PnR which is a huge weakness for Roy and the Pacers. Mainly due too the amount of PnR is run in the NBA if Roy played in Europe(where the rules and play style are different ie less PnR more motion) I would consider him a defensive specialist but for the NBA game I just cant.