Goodbye, [BLANK] Jones; Hello, NBA!

On today’s first installment of The Jones’ 2012-13 NBA preview podcast, the guys begin tackling 101 questions pertaining to the upcoming season. Who will win the “Battle of the Boroughs” — Knicks or Nets? Which lottery teams have the best shot at cracking the playoffs? Who will be the first player fined for flopping? Will should the Thunder do with James Harden? And which fan base is going to hate their new player addition the most?

All that, plus marathons, cricket, weird players, new unis, alley-oops, and many more NBA questions.

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Comments (85)

  1. great stuff, are the daily shows going to be in video format

    • It’ll still be in video format – you can watch it live or afterward, both on YouTube. This link is where the archived version will be on YouTube – http://bit.ly/xdKwZ1 – not 100% sure of the livestream link, but it could be the same one.

  2. If (Once) the Knicks beat the Nets in the Battle of the Boroughs can Trey set up a bookoff-payoff type deal with the rest of the crew?

  3. Long time listener, first time caller here. Thanks for a great show throughout the years, I’m looking forward to the season, etc. etc. etc….

    One question: Will the audio show be available for direct download as it has been? Please don’t make me deal with I-tunes. Just thinking about it makes me depressed.

  4. I don’t think the Bulls will make the playoffs this year, but if they do shouldn’t Thibadou be the coach of the year? Especially if they end up with a decent seed.

  5. Hell yeah, tbj is back!

  6. rondo deserves a mention for 5×5

  7. Celtics offensive efficiency keeps going down because Rondo uses more and more possessions. The last 4 years are his highest in shot attempts, FT attempts, and turnovers. His PER is below league average for point guards. All that equals poor offensive efficiency. The Celtics are at their best when Rondo isn’t shooting.

    • Eff the numbers. And Eff PER. Seriously, people need to stop quoting PER like its an actual gather-able stat. It’s just some guys valuation/analysis of gatherable stats. There’s a huge difference. So please please please stop using it like its the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Seriously.

      Also, did you watch the ECF?

      • Not using it as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I did watch every game. As a Celtics fan, Rondo is just a maddening player.

        It’s simple math. He never makes 3s and is a bad free throw shooter. He also had one of the worst FG% from at the rim in the league (see ESPN’s heat maps). It’s about efficiency on offense, and he’s a liability as a scorer — his eFG% was very low for PGs who played 15+ min/game, even below other noted “horrible” shooters like Tyreke Evans.

        Have Rondo stick to creating, passing, and playing matador on the ball defense.

        Hope Leigh Ellis enjoys this.

        • I did, Brett, thanks. – Leigh

        • Okay Brett, but you didn’t really answer my question. I mean did you watch the ECF?

          I agree that Rondo can be maddening, but when it matters he’s usually unreal. I know, I know the numbers don’t lie and stats don’t differentiate between when it really matters and when it doesn’t. But you know what? They should.

          I dare you to re-watch the ECF and tell me Rondo is bad for the celtics. He outplayed the best player on the planet for most of this series and this wasn’t a case of another Lebron disappearing act, it was a case of Rondo being simply unreal.

          And numbers? The problem with numbers is it’s never just the numbers its the importance you place on them. This is as true of basketball as it is of economics and moral philosophy.

          • I agree with your analysis of Rondo. He also imho outplayed Lebron but Lebron’s team outplayed Rondo. He had a tendency to take too many hesitation jump shots which is probably due to Doc’s offensive playbook.

            Rondo has his weaknesses unlike Paul and D-Will who are almost flawless when they’re on, but he excels in many other facets of the game. He’s also got intangibles that exceed those of veteran players on his team and he’s learned to carry the celtics through the ECF.

            This season will be much more difficult for Rondo. He will be frustrated with missed passes from Melo and Sullinger (rarely will we see a backup PG unless they slot Terry at 1 and Bradley at 2). Unlike the ECF last season, he will need his team to play well in order to win.

  8. Listening to all of the predictions for coach of the year I realized that Leigh is right and the award is stupid. Every prediction was wholly dependent on the situation the coach was in and not necessarily the quality of coaching you would be seeing. It’s more political than merit-based.

    Here’s a better question: who will do the best job coaching yet will not win the coach of the year award?

  9. How did no one talk about Pierre AKA JaVale McGee as being the weirdest player in the NBA?

    Disappointed.

  10. On the subject of Rondo, if he ever does develop a consistent jump shot (granted, a big IF) would that make him a top-5 player in the NBA?–considering all his other crazy attributes.

    • Rondo’s jump shot has looked good this pre-season. If it’s consistent, I’d consider him for Top 10 in the league.

      • I don’t think Rondo’s jumper is the problem. The problem is his reluctance to take it. Watching at home, I can always predict when he’s shooting the jumper because he looks around a few times for better options and he takes forever to shoot it. He needs to get it off faster and not tip his hand with all the hesitation.

  11. I think Anthony Davis could get a 5 x 5. I figure the assists would be the harder part but I’m assuming the Hornets are going to play hard and the Brow is going to be flying all over the place.

  12. What is it with the whole world being obsessed with the nets? They havent shown anything yet they are better than the knicks who had a bad year and still finished 7th. Now with a coach that has proven to get the players behind him and total defensive effort they’re seen as a team who just might make the playoffs. Shake my head.

    Cant wait for the season to start and mop the floor with those wannabee contenders.

  13. great preview! Whats with the grim outlook for the Mavs? Even if Dirk gets the surgery now, they are still a lock for the playoffs, just look who they added:

    Kaman
    Brand
    Mayo
    Collison

    Those new pieces along with a still productive Marion and an aging (good for one breakout game a month) Vince and Carlisle’ coaching gets you in the playoffs for sure

    • My biggest ??? for the Mav’s success is their speed. I remember them getting OUTRUN during too many second halves last year. Granted, getting rid of Terry and Kidd brought their average age down, but outside of Mayo and Collison, this team still looks slow.

  14. I can’t believe no one mentioned Michael Beasley among the new players fans are going to hate. I think you’re being way too kind to the Suns. They could be the worst defensive team in the league. I’ve watched a lot of Rockets games, and Luis Scola is horrible defending in space. They have no good defenders in the frontcourt! Jared Dudley is their only plus defender, and he’s not athletic enough to be an elite stopper. Their small forward position is among the worst in the league, ask any Wolves fan about Beasley and Wes, their bench is horrible (the remnants of Jermaine O’Neal, Markieff Morris, Wes Johnson, Shannon Brown, Kendall Marshall), and Scola is clearly on the decline. For them to reach 30 games, Dragic is going to have to put up a career year.

    To put this another way, without Nash on the court last year, the Suns were outscored by nearly 7 points a game, making them the worst team in the Western Conference. They subtracted three decent role players from that horrible team, and added a young point guard who’s had half a good season, a 32 year old power forward who can’t rebound or play defense any more, a mid first round rookie, and two of the most actively harmful players in the NBA. I think they’re easily the worst team in the West. At least the Rockets have some big guys who can play defense.

    • ^^^^ This.

      Suns look like a lottery team to me and it surprised me to hear you thought otherwise. Not “Bill Simmons doesn’t think the Pacers are a playoff team” surprised me. But surprised.

    • Beasley is a good pickup, scola is the problem, he’s a good player at a time we need to tank.

  15. Great start to the preview, refreshing format. I’m gutted they’ll be no video download option, which I use for all daily shows thro Downcast, rather the awful iTunes podcast setup. My broadband speed is terrible and now am I right in thinking my only options for video are streaming – whether that be direct on score.com or YouTube? As a UK based viewer I can’t help thinking this will affect a fair few fans – plenty of UK areas where streaming is too painfully slow, hence why a download (just as slowly) and watch later is a lifeline! Anything I’m missing?
    Thanks
    Greg

    • Hey Greg, we appreciate your concern. You are correct that the only video option will be streaming (on our blog or directly via YouTube). There are browser add ons that allow you to download from YouTube. Perhaps you could look into those. If we come up with another workaround, we’ll let you know.

  16. You guys like the Nets’ jerseys? They look like something from Old Navy…
    http://gotemcoach.com/image/33329226042

  17. I loved the blank jones this off season. You guys should consider doing bonus blank jones throughout the season or a small blank jones segment on the overdoses!

    • Once a Month Blank Jones? Quarterly? Something in a regular pattern that you can plan for and fans can anticipate?

  18. the Oracle of Mississauga hahaha

  19. “That wasn’t a worm! That was a stick-bug!”

    I nearly peed myself.

  20. Awesome to have you back talking about hoops, guys. Quick technical question/issue. I notice a lot of background hum when listening to the podcast and I was wondering if this is the case for other listeners. It isn’t even close to deal breaking because TBJ is one of my favorite things on the internet and it has been for years now- but the hum IS distracting. Aty least to me. Anyone else run into this?

  21. This is why TBJ is better than other previews. Love the format and the mix of “weird” and legit questions.

    Shame on you Tas. Where’s the faith? Raps going to the playoffs

    • Nope. I’ve waffled a little bit on the Raps chances since recording this show and watching the force that is Kyle Lowry (vs the Wizards ‘B’ team), but I am now comfortable with this prediction.

      Miami, Boston, NY, Brooklyn, Indiana, Chicago, Atlanta, Philly, a better Bucks (who just missed the playoffs) … Nope, not gonna happen.

      • bucks are definitely gonna have one of those stretches where everything goes wrong. if toronto can steer clear of that, they have justas good a shot as milwaukee.

        and chicago is a bubble team without rose. if the raptors are plucky, they got a shot.

  22. Long time listener. First time commenter. Luv discovering ur show thru Grantland last season. As being an Aussie mad props to Leigh & all his Aussie references. How about I trade u a copy of the 98 All star game for ur copy of the 87 All star game?

    • Thanks for the offer, Tony, but I’d be getting hosed in that deal! – Leigh

      • i’ve got a copy of the 1990 all star game, including slam dunk competition and 3 point shoot out we can trade. i just have to remember where i’ve got my vcr tapes stored…

  23. Looking forward to the Jones again this year.

  24. THANK YOU TAS MELAS FOR ACKNOWLEDGING JAMEER NELSON AS AN ALL STAR(even if you initially forgot his name)
    I’m tired of people talking about him as if he’s been a scrub his whole career.

  25. ill bet trey kerby a soft chocolate chip cookie from the moomilk that the rockets wont be the worst team in the West

  26. The first thirty seconds are the best in anything I’ve ever heard in anything(!) Treal Talk!

  27. Cool that you guys are talking ball again. Dongs were cool too though.

  28. I think you guys are underestimating the Kings. Dont get me wrong they are a bad team but I think the team has potential of turning some heads and annoying some good teams. I agree the team has a log jam with the guards but non of them seem to mind. They seem comfortable with coming off the bench. They will most likely move Evans to the 2 while keeping Thomas at point with Thorton and Brooks on the second unit and in my mind thats a decent second unit compared to the rest of the bottom feeder teams. Non existent defense but those guys will add points fast. Jimmer shouldn’t see the floor as far as i’m concerned. I think they are lacking a steady veteran presence but they seem to all buy into Boogie and Thomas being the leaders so much so they’ve been practicing as a whole team countless times this summer. Defense is an issue but they know it and I think they want to change that. If they can is a different question but the offense is there and I cant tell you how many games last season came down to small margin losses. If they do the defense to even being mid level there is no reason they couldn’t tuck into the bottom playoff seed. Im a fan but honestly I think they have a better team then Phoenix and a better first string then Golden State.

    • Coooooooool story Breh….

      • Says the gooch commenting on a comment at nearly 3 in the morning without something productive to say. The Kings are pretty terribad this year but the chips could fall in their favour with some progression from players like Evans and Cousins.

        Also, Kieran sounds like the name of a kid that always got picked on in school. You got picked on a lot as a kid, didn’t you?

  29. Some of these answers are so bad guys!

    Doug Collins will be up there for COTY

    Cousins is the clear choice over Munroe

  30. mark waugh, owner of one of the best nicknames in sport history imo – “afghan” – because (particularly early on in his career) he wasn’t as well known as his twin brother steve waugh, so mark became the “forgotten waugh (war)” – a reference to the soviet invasion of afghanistan in the late 70s.

  31. Shane Warne is the man!

  32. Weirdest player, can’t believe no one else mentioned him. Meta World Peace!!
    My favorite game is Brandon Roy, Portland native Kevin Love, former Portland coach Rick Adelman and former Oregon Duck Luke Ridnour with former Portland journalist David Kahn in Portland at the Rose Garden. BRoys return to the Rose Garden is going to be interesting!
    Coach of the year may just end up being George Karl.

    • Kevin Love brings it whenever he plays in Portland. Plus the Wolves made the Blazers overpay for Batum after all that drama this offseason. Rivalry brewing!

  33. Great great show guys!

  34. Luv to see the Aussies represent. Long like TBJ

  35. i love it when Leigh name drops some Aussie sporting legends and the rest of the guys have absolutely no idea who he’s talking about

  36. TBJ is great and I’m happy it’s back. But someone please teach Trey Kerby what a humblebrag is. You must try to sound humble while really blatantly bragging about something. Saying you simply met Demarcus Cousins is not a humblebrag!!!!! Got your back Leigh

  37. Maybe it’s just me but I’m not that excited about the Nets’ new jerseys. They look so boring and really look just like the spurs uniforms. meh

  38. I kind of want you guys to talk about the Jazz more just so that we can keep hearing that snappy sound drop. Or just use it every time someone on this show shuts down someone’s idea like Trey did to poor Tas. I’d support that.

  39. As a big fan of Rondo’s game and the way he runs the show in Boston, hearing Leigh talk about him makes my brain hurt. Amazing player to both watch and learn from. Don’t hate, appreciate.

    • I’m with you, Dan. Rondo’s one of the best in the game.

    • Less Boston, more Osten.

    • Re: Rondo, I was baffled that neither you guys nor anybody here has mentioned his abysmal free throw shooting. You guys mentioned that maybe Rondo would score more if he was more aggressive in looking for his shot but that’s a big reason why (and you also mentioned that he sometimes twists to avoid contact): he doesn’t want to take the free throws. He shot 59.7% on the season last year, which veers dangerously close to making Hack-A-Rondo a legitimate strategy (Blake Griffin, for comparison, was 52%).

      Simmons talks about this pretty frequently, since it makes him a bad option with the ball in crunch time (theoretically at least, I’m not sure if the actual clutch stats support this). He’s both edgy about shooting the jumper, but if he beats his man off the dribble he knows he’ll probably just get hammered and go to the line for two pressure shots.

      That said if he really HAS improved his jumper (and FT) then he shouldn’t have any problem becoming the best PG in the league. And either way he’s still super tough and a real iron man as far as minutes go, and among the best passers in the league (with Nash, Rubio, LeBron, CP3).

      But I’m personally pretty skeptical either of those things will improve that much. Isn’t part of the reason that he’s able to pull off such crazy ball fakes and moves is that he’s basically got the hands of a 7 footer? And hence has the free throw and jumper of the average center as well? I’m not really sure that’s logical but I’ve definitely read that somewhere.

  40. “At worst [Tyreke] is like Rodney Stuckey.”

    You guys do realize Stuckey’s been the better player the past two seasons, right? The only guard with a higher free throw rate than him is Harden, he’s a better shooter than Evans, scores more efficiently, and has beaten him in PER and WS/48 each of the past two seasons. Evans is a slightly better rebounder and defender, but that’s about it.

  41. My vision for Western Conference seeding/tiers:

    Tier 1:
    1) Thunder
    2) Lakers
    3) Spurs

    ———-

    Tier 2:
    4) Clippers
    5) Nuggets
    6) Memphis

    ————-

    The top six are locks, which leaves two open spots for the 4 teams in Tier 3:

    -Timberwolves
    -Mavericks
    -Jazz
    -Warriors

    I don’t believe in the Warriors, but for those who do, reports are that Bogut is not starting the season with the team. Get used to this. Without Bogut, I don’t see the Warriors being an above .500 team.

    Mavericks are starting the season without Dirk. Does this affect them as much as Kevin Love missing the same amount of time with the Wolves? It’s probably roughly even.

    The team that benefits from the Bogut/Love/Dirk injuries is the Jazz. But they have 9 players on the last year of their contracts, so if the team isn’t humming by the trade deadline, I’d expect some shake-up there.

    Obviously I’m picking the Twolves for a playoff spot, but it sure eases the anxiety caused by knuckle push-ups to know that Bogut/Dirk are out to start the season as well. Looks like you may get your money after all Taswell.

    • When healthy, I think the Wolves are in Tier Two. With Dirk battling injuries, I think the Mavs become longshots to make the playoffs (it’s easier for a 24 year old to recover from a broken hand than a 34 year old from knee problems.)

      I’m extremely bearish on the Warriors as well. When your second best defender is Jarrett Jack, you have problems. People seem to be assuming Harrison Barnes will be able to immediately contribute and Klay Thompson will make the leap, but I’m not convinced that either will happen. Their offense needs to be elite to survive without Bogut on the court (even for 15 MPG when he’s healthy), and while they have good scorers, I don’t see the makings of an elite offense unless everything breaks correctly.

      • I agree with everything you said. Another strike against the Warriors is that Adelman and Carlisle are much better coaches than Mark Jackson.

        God I hope Steph Curry stays healthy though. If I never get to see his ceiling because of shitty ankles, I will be crushed.

  42. Just kinda curious, why the dislike for Pelton and Doolittle’s projections?

  43. Raptors will make the playoffs, maybe well ahead of the knicks and certainly ahead of the Pistons. Detroit might not win 25 games. Drummond DOESNT look good and when someone says that I wonder if they know hoop at all. Toronto has Lowry, an improved bargnani and a very good rook in Big Val. –the two most overrated teams this year is New York and Boston. Age catches up with everyone. Add to that the Knicks are a Melo dysfunction — and I suspect Boston will struggle almost as much. The celtics are starting Darko quite possibly as the five opening night. What else do you have to say.

  44. i liked lee calling cousins a dickhead

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