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[Modern] [Discussion] Death's Shadow in an Uro/Prowess World

Alright, I've been working on a bit of a project for a couple months now. This project is to break down actual game play of Death's Shadow in modern, rather than focus on theory. What does this mean? Essentially, I got tired of hearing "x matchup is a bye. We just thoughtseize their threat, drop a shadow, and battle rage. GG." Sure, why didn't I think of that? That sounds fantastic! For the 5% of games that play out exactly like that... But what about the rest? How are these matchups playing out when our lines get muddled, or they have a second threat, or our creature is answered? That's what I hope to uncover in this dive. For the purpose of this experiment, we'll be looking at the current hotness, 4 color Death's Shadow. I'm going to go over the general setup of this project, some interesting matchup breakdowns, and end on some closing thoughts as well as brief experience from Grixis Shadow.

The data collected has come from personal play of approximately 300 matches over about 55 Modern leagues on MTGO and a few Modern Challenges/Preliminaries (300 sounded like a pretty rounded number to stop and give an update). Over this span, we achieved a 206-94 record, good for a 69% win rate. Here is an "average" list to give an idea of what we were working with. I'll go over changes from traditional 4 Color Shadow lists.
4 Death's Shadow
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Street Wraith
1 Lurrus of the Dream-Den
4 Mishra's Bauble
2 Cling to Dust
4 Stubborn Denial
4 Fatal Push
3 Inquisition of Kozilek
4 Thoughtseize
3 Traverse the Ulvenwald
1 Drown in the Loch
2 Temur Battle Rage
2 Dismember
1 Breeding Pool
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Watery Grave
1 Blood Crypt
3 Nurturing Peatland
4 Polluted Delta
4 Verdant Catacombs
2 Bloodstained Mire
1 Swamp
Sideboard:
2 Ceremonious Rejection
2 Nihil Spellbomb
2 Veil of Summer
2 Assassin's Trophy
2 Collective Brutality
2 Ashiok, Dream Render
1 Plague Engineer
1 Aether Gust
1 Kolaghan's Command

Let's go over some general questions before we get in to the meat and potatoes.

Why 4 Color over Grixis/Jund/other Shadow variant?
Short answer: It boils down to personal preference. For me, 4 Color provides a strong balance between threat density/consistency, and the additional disruption and protection from late game top decks that stubborn denial provides. The general rule of thumb is that grixis is going to provide the best disruption and protection, but lowest threat consistency. Jund provides the highest threat density and explosiveness, but at the loss of threat protection and general disruption. 4 Color finds itself somewhere in the middle, with the ability to lean one way or the other.

Any changes from stock lists?
3 Peatland instead of the popular 4. Shadow decks have always had a propensity for flood, simply due to your deck being so efficient that any extra lands become extremely noticeable. My personal opinion is that if the game goes long for you to need to crack multiple peatlands, your odds of winning against the grindier decks is so low that it doesn't particularly matter. Redrawing off a peat land is great, but less so when your opponent has a Jace/ seasoned pyromance Uro/ Liliana out. In its place, I've opted for the 4th Stubborn Denial in the main. I've seen lists moving the 4th to the board, as well as some cutting the 4th altogether. In my opinion, stub is one of the top 3 reasons to play Death's Shadow at all, and leaving home with less than 4 is nothing short of blasphemy. Force of Negation is the only card doing the same job more efficiently, and we don't have to lose an extra card to use ours.

Surprising matchup results:

Temur Uro: 13-5 (72%)
This is one that has evolved a bit since I started testing 4 color. In the beginning, these decks were running Ice-Fangs, which is a nightmare card for shadow to beat (can't stub, gives them card advantage, trades 1 for 1 with our threats). However, when Ice-Fang started getting replaced with reclamations and fact or fictions, our win rate skyrocketed. Who has two thumbs and preys upon 4 mana sorcery speed spells? This guy. (Insert picture of thumbs pointing at self). Some keys to the matchup include getting threat down under remand. We need to get on the board quickly. They don't have good answers for our creatures, especially shadow (aether gust often comes in for goyf), so keeping a hand that allows for a turn 2 threat on the play, or hand disruption in to a threat on the draw can often put them on the back foot quickly. That makes the second priority preventing Uro from causing nightmares. Spellbomb, Ashiok, any non-dismember removal can accomplish this. Pushes aren't where you want to be in the matchup, but sometimes leaving 1 in if you don't have more to board is fine. We often don't care about Uro hitting the field from hand or escape, we just don't want it sticking around and road blocking us. Veil of summer gets significantly better if they're on archmage's charm, but is pretty unnecessary if they aren't.
Sultai Uro (3-2, 60%) is a much tougher matchup, as their interaction lines up way better against our threats. Veil really shines here.

UR Prowess: 15-6 (71%)
Another matchup that has evolved in recent months, since the printing of Stormwing Entity. Hands that were fantastic against Mono R (think push, inquisition, stub, drown, goyf) are pretty disastrous in the face of a 3/3 prowess flyer with a 5 cmc body that dodges everything but dismember. This is one of the primary reasons I'm running trophy in multiples out of the board. Understanding that we can play patiently is crucial here, and putting emphasis on finding goyfs can be a game changer. Since we don't have to lower our life aggressively for a goyf, we can often force opponents to point multiple spells to get it off the field (hopefully in to a stub). Post board, answering a stormwing is huge. I'd almost go as far as saying I would mull the VAST majority of hands simply because they didn't have an answer to it in one way or another (dismember, thoughtseize, trophy). The first couple of turns are often the most critical, so give your opponent as few openings as possible. Some examples include: if you have the fatal push for the 1 drop, consider fetching on your turn. Fetching on your opponents' turn to kill a creature turns on spectacle for light up the stage, even if they didn't hit you. A soft stub on a manamorphose turn 2 can prevent a huge turn, often giving you time to get a threat down or stop a stormwing from hitting the battlefield for another turn or 2. Siding in a single spellbomb isn't terrible to force inopportune lava darts and prevent bedlam reveler from sealing the late game. Focus on the creatures. You don't want them getting extensive chip damage with guys, or the likelihood of a top deck sprite dragon/swifspear with a couple sandbagged burn spells being lethal goes up tremendously. Don't forget, if you board out all 4 wraiths, you can board out Lurrus and use it as a companion. This can be extremely useful if you find yourself wanting to board in at least 5 cards (ex: 2 trophy, 2 brutality, 1 aether gust).
Mono R Prowess (6-1, 86%) much easier since they aren't running stormwing. Be careful of blood moon post board, and again, focus on knocking off creatures aggressively. RB Prowess (2-5, 29%): ugh... this matchup feels atrocious. Their ability to hit you with hand disruption if you sandbag threats and let them hit you, combined with their ability to grind out games with abbot, lurrus, cling to dust, and holding cards like seal of fire on board makes it very difficult to interact optimally. Stopping the grave becomes much more important, and holding a piece of hand disruption for lurrus can shift things in your favor a bit.

Eldrazi Tron: 14-6 (70%)
Much better matchup for 4 color than for Grixis. A thoughtseize or inquisition on turn 1 often means our goyfs will be bigger than smashers (since artifacts, planeswalkers, and the occasional tribal all is dust are all solid hits). Best stub targets include mazemind tome, Karn, the Great Creator, and chalice of the voice (though we're far less susceptible to Chalice than grixis). Don't be afraid to diversify your creatures. "But traversing for a second shadow gives me two really big guys!", but their ability to top deck expedition maps and blast zones can make that quite the dangerous move. "So just get two tarmogoyfs." E map also get scavenger grounds. So prioritizing one of each can help protect you from a larger number of top decks. Post board, we want to prioritize hands with a dude. If that hand also has a piece or two of interaction, fantastic, but we need to get on the board to turn on stubs, and make chalices worse. If you're running damping sphere, please don't bring it in here. You're taking a turn off to slow them down a turn. It's not worth it. But cards like trophy, rejection, and k command totally are. I often board out some of our grave-relient pieces like a traverse, drown in the loch, as well as some number of fatal pushes. Inquisition has become more acceptable recently due to mazemind tome and their need for cards like dismembewarping wail/chalice to stay alive. Even if they assemble tron on turn 3, I likely wouldn't lean towards using trophy on a land. The amount of times I've seen nat tron in to matter reshaper makes me care way less than just holding the trophy for Karn/smashebridge.

UW/x Control (non-Uro, path and planeswalker based): 8-4 (67%)
First off, this matchup is NOT as good as the record indicates. I was fortunate that I ran in to UW multiple times during a period where I was explicitly testing out multiple cards as hate for UWx, including Autumnal Gloom, Lazotep Plating, and Thrun, the Last Troll. That being said, I'll try to get some decent pointers to even out the matchup as much as possible. You often have to overextend in to verdict and "hope they don't draw it." Unfortunately that's a big part of our plan, as they are able to answer our threats 1 for 1 on an extremely efficient basis. T3feri has made the matchup significantly more difficult, as stubborn denial is often our best way to interact by a mile. Cling to dust has given us some game against mystic sanctuary, but we absolutely cannot let them resolve a planeswalker unless we already have multiple threats on board. Stealing game 1 is a huge part of winning the match, as they often keep hands that are lacking in some area, and we have the opportunity to exploit that. Maybe it's a hand with 4 lands, path, cryptic, and Jace, and we can take path and get under their walker. Maybe it's a hand that needs to draw white mana and we can get pressure early while we hold up stub for when they do. Post board, these opportunities dwindle and it becomes far more important to keep solid, all around hands. Don't be afraid to board out every piece of removal in your deck, you can always leave a piece or two in if you expect or have seen stoneforge. Veil of summer isn't great here. We get under their counters, and you might get to stop a t3feri or jace bounce, but they still have a value engine on board that we have a tough time dealing with. Their white based removal just ignores veil completely. If you're looking for spice, Lazotep Plating has been discussed in the discord as a replacement that also stops field of ruin tempo turns, consider giving it a try and see if it works for you. Otherwise, trophy, k command, spellbomb, and ashiok are board-in considerations to deal with planeswalkers, grind ability, and mystic sanctuary, respectively.

Gruul Midrange: 9-5 (64%)
Oh, where to begin. So many directions this matchup can go. I think it's one of the more fun matchups in modern at the moment. We'll have some notes about play patterns a little later that apply here. For example, in the blind, on the play game 1, holding up stub is often better than thoughtseizing turn 1. This applies here, as being able to stub a utopia sprawl before untapping and seizing a second sprawl/impactful 2/3 drop can often act as a pseudo time walk. From here, it progresses to a bit of a priority system. Number 1) can I do something to get a threat down. Red based removal is often terrible against Shadow and Goyf, so getting a dude down often means it's sticking around forever. Number 2) do they have something that stops me from playing the game? Blood moon and magus of the moon are typically the first cards that come to mind here (potentially klothys if your grave is taxes and you're relying on traverse. Taking these before they land or having answers lined up in hand helps make sure you're not just stopped in your tracks. Number 3) where is their advantage coming from? Bloodbraid and Pyromancer allow them to rebuild after hand disruption/removal/counters early. If you can deal with the rest, consider taking the value pieces to reduce their ability to grind back in the mid game. Post board, I've seen a few different suggestions, so I'm going to give what's working alright for me. Don't keep a hand without a threat or the ability to find one quickly. You need to protect yourself from a blood moon + veil/ability to pay for stub. The best way to do that is to get a threat down before that happens. They love boarding in a bunch of veils and relics, so Lurrus and traverse can often become liabilities. I wouldn't board out traverse if you're on a basic forest, but I board out 2 with just the swamp. Between relic, scooze, and klothys, the second traverse if often completely dead. Play to your hand. If you're sitting on a shadow, you probably don't care about klothys at all, but if you have goyf, it can really nerf your clock. Tag a chandra and you can often be looking at a 7/8 goyf. Seasoned pyromancer is probably the best card against us, as the blockers it provides can buy them several turns. You can consider bringing in plague engineer to help, but it's often too slow on the draw. Otherwise, trophy and gust are pretty solid boards. Don't be afraid to trophy a utopia sprawl'd land early on, as it can slow things down long enough to get a dude under prison pieces. Example, trophying a turn 1 sprawl'd forest on the play means you can have a goyf down on turn 3 plus hold up a stub, while they get to untap for their third turn and gain access to their third mana, instead of 4th for moon + veil.

General tips:

Turn 1 in the blind, if you have the option to seize/inquisition or hold up stub, go with stub. The amount of turn 1 non-creature pieces that create a huge advantage in modern is nuts. Play to that. Vial, sprawl, amulet, map, stasphere, inquisition/seize, neoform, shriekhorn... you get the idea. The decks that aren't playing these pieces, I can just about guarantee that the thoughtseize you're sitting on is just as, if not more, impactful on turn 2. The amount of times that I could have prevented getting burned by holding up stub, as opposed to seizing in to double vial/ star + sphere with stirrings and scrying and no green source/ double amulet/ double neoform with rider + pact is insane. Stub allows you to get value on turn 1 plus more from your thoughtseize, where that stub could just be dead from that point on if you seize in to duplicate 1 drops. We play on such tight margins that we can't afford to not get value from our cards.
You don't have to be aggressive every single turn. Let me repeat that for those who didn't hear me. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE AGGRESSIVE EVERY SINGLE TURN. "But you're playing shadow, you want a lower life total to make a bigger shadow." Makes sense. What if they thoughtseize your shadow and you took yourself down to 5? What if you never draw the shadow? Know the matchup. Up against burn? Don't fetch and shock without a good reason. Up against tron? Fetch and shock away, just be weary of ballista. But the amount of times I've played the mirror and had opponents fetch and shock and wraith 3 times and play a shadow on turn 2 just to have it pushed, and then die to 1 swing off a goyf because they didn't have a plan, is through the roof. The last thing you want to do is give your opponent a free win because you didn't have a goal. The deck has a lot of ways of lowering life, sand bagging a few can often be more useful than using them without purpose.
If your opponent is playing hand hate, please have a very, VERY, good reason before you pop that bauble on your turn. Opponent tapped down and you can turn on delirium to traverse for a shadow this turn? Absolutely, go for it. You have a fetch and want to scry? You can do that on your opponent's turn and not run the risk of drawing in to something you can't afford to lose. Goes along with that "don't have to be aggressive" comment. Just because you have things you CAN do, doesn't mean you SHOULD do them. Maximize your value, not your plays per turn.
Final words: if you've made it this far, this might be the deck for you. It takes reps and dedication to get a feel for how games are going to play out. But it is by far one of the most rewarding archetypes in all of modern. Unfortunately I don't have links to the discords, but I'm sure people in chat can leave them if necessary. Otherwise, if you're looking for another resource for game play content and discussion, feel free to come check out my stream: https://www.twitch.tv/the_cntrlfreak where we play Shadow variants and test new options/underplayed cards Monday-Friday from 2pm CST until we decide to stop. Vods also available for previous leagues if you'd like some current content. We have a fantastic community of Shadow enthusiasts and new players to keep the discussion flowing wherever you decide to get your fix. As always, thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings and thoughts. Looking forward to the next innovator to come along and redefine the archetype.
submitted by the_cntrlfreak to spikes [link] [comments]

My experience so far with the new 2020 Spectre x360 (Max config, OLED)

So since I've finally got my new Spectre x360 in (I powered through and stuck with the delays on HP's site, lots of folks on here got me worried about quality issues with Best Buy/MS models, plus the exact config I wanted wasn't available), I figured I'd make a post about all the things I love about it!

My Specs

So the specs I got specifically are:
Further, I'd also like to clarify that in the end, HP's site was indeed wrong about the Thunderbolt ports! I was worried that there would only be one Thunderbolt and one USB-C on the US model (unlike other models), but it turns out that the eb0000 does indeed have TWO Thunderbolt ports!
A number of people were also wondering about the RAM speed. I downloaded CPU-Z to check. Not sure what I'm looking for exactly, but NB Frequency hovers around 3200 MHz at idle, so I'm guessing that means it's 3200 MHz RAM? It peaks up to like 3900 MHz though. (The SPD tab is blank.)

SSD Upgrade!

Now you may be thinking to yourself... "Why on earth did he buy the max specs but go for the smallest 256GB SSD?" Well, I'll tell you why... It's called a Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1TB! This is pretty much regarded as the absolute fastest SSD on the market, even trading blows with some of Intel's PCIe offerings! Now that's impressive.
On CrystalDiskMark, I previously got around 3110/1430 MB/s (Seq Read/Write), while I'm now getting 3560/3290 MB/s. Plus that performance should be more sustained thanks to a larger cache. Nice!
However, as you can see, the SSD that was in the machine previously actually isn't too terrible on paper (I expected worse), though the thing is, that doesn't tell the whole story. There was definitely some noticeable stuttering/waiting for disk access in practice when using the PC for regular tasks, ex. opening and working on large PSD files.

Fresh Windows

Long story short, my advice is 100% install a fresh copy of Windows. This alone sped up my PC like double and eliminated the chug that it had at first (leaving me a little concerned initially). Fortunately it seems to have been due simply to bloatware. That sheer measurable performance difference fresh Windows the absolute number 1 way to speed up your PC, in my eyes.
The SSD swap by comparison (I installed fresh Windows twice, on both SSDs, for testing purposes), did speed up my computer by a noticeable margin, and eliminated that slight chug/overall system slowdown whenever trying to open a large file... Not something you notice that much until it's gone... But overall I'd say it was a much smaller boost in performance (especially relative to the risk of damage to the PC) than a fresh Windows install. Granted it was also a big cost saver versus the overpriced hot garbage HP will toss in there if you pick the 1TB option!
Between both upgrades, my PC is now literally fully usable and logged in with Windows Hello within 8.2 seconds of pressing the power button after replacing the SSD, timed, down from 18 seconds out-of-box.
Another recommendation of mine is, after installing all your software, to run msconfig.exe and switch to the services tab. This has the advantage over the regular Services app of having a "Hide all Microsoft services" checkbox. Very helpful to avoid disabling anything that you probably shouldn't have! Now just avoid anything that says Intel, NVIDIA, etc, and you should be fine to disable whatever you please!
And while you probably already know this, my final tip is after installing fresh Windows, you can go to HP's support site at any time to redownload any HP utilities you think you'll actually use.
Bang & Olufsen EQ will also be installed automatically by Windows Update. I find having an audio EQ pretty useful, as I like to tweak it till it's just right. Also loving the quad speakers on this PC, the sound stage is fairly expansive, and I'm not disappointed by the audio quality at all, it's not tinny at all, and fairly well balanced, in that voices are clear and easy to understand, while music also pops.
Beyond that, I'm also surprisingly pleased with the pen input! Whether it be due to the digitizer or just simply having more horsepower, the pen latency feels like almost half my Surface Book! A rather significant improvement for an artist.

The Display

And finally the display... Oh yes, the display, the absolute best part of this machine! I won't lie, this was part of the reason I went with the Spectre, primarily the XPS 2-in-1... And I'm not disappointed! The OLED is absolutely stunning in person!
Now you'll want to pay attention to this part, if you're getting a machine with an OLED display... The first thing I did when I got it out of the box was a gray uniformity test, then a color uniformity test. Make sure all your pixels, red, green, and blue work, and ensure that the picture is even at very low brightness levels! Do this in a dark room to make sure you don't miss anything.
The second thing I did was go into display settings in Windows and set the display from 59Hz to 60Hz. I'm not sure why this is a thing that happens, but many, many laptops seem to do this and I don't know why. Just make sure it's set to true 60Hz or you could get minor screen tearing during video playback.
Finally the last thing I did was an HDR test. I did post about one issue, here, but other than that, I'm fairly satisfied with the HDR, and with the display overall! It's absolutely gorgeous.
As for some other things you might want to consider... Make sure to set your PC to dark mode under Personalization -> Colors. I also set my Chrome theme to black (New Tab -> Customize -> Color and Theme -> Black), and downloaded an extension that forces websites into a dark mode!
I've tried a few extensions that do this, and so far I'm happiest with this one: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/dark-mode/dmghijelimhndkbmpgbldicpogfkceaj

How does it game?

Surprisingly well! The thermal management in the Spectre is no joke, two fans and some nice thick vapor chamber heat pipes, plus a pretty good layout for the vents, I'd say it manages to stay cool better than most high-spec laptops I've seen/used, especially thin and sleek ones.
Granted, by that I mean it barely manages to stay cool at idle, but again, that's better than most. This is hardly my first high end laptop, haha.
Anyway, I may update this portion with benchmarks later on, but subjectively, I can tell you the 1650 Ti has a lot more horsepower than I was expecting! The Surface Book 2 was a total moot point as far as gaming went... Like seriously, that thing struggled to handle Minecraft Optifine at native res 60fps.
This thing will run MC at a cool 4K 60 smoothly... More than that, it'll take mid-range shader packs without breaking a sweat! It's also handled a few other games I threw at it, including Far Cry 5 (4K Medium), and Tetris Effect (4K Epic with AA).
I'll test soon whether or not it can handle VR, taking advantage of this newer reprojection tech that's come out... Who knows!

Keep It Cool Baby

Also, I should clarify my results here... If you expect to game on a laptop that isn't designed for it, USE AN EXTERNAL COOLING SOLUTION. The Surface Book 2 performed poorly even with one, but that was about the only exception. The Spectre's cooling is quite impressive, but even that isn't enough on it's own.
Here's the solution I went with... I bought this USB fan to help cool my previous PC (a Surface Book 2 as I mentioned), which did tend to get pretty toasty (tended make my fingers sweaty while drawing, as an artist). It works great for this purpose, and having three fan speeds means it can either stay quiet or suck a ton of air.
https://amazon.com/gp/product/B083TL8P4K
I also tried a laptop cooling pad, but they can be a bit bulky and cumbersome, I ended up not using it much.
submitted by Pecacheu to spectrex360 [link] [comments]

Weekly Match-up Discussion: Sett

Hi all! We're thinking of bringing back the Weekly Match-ups to help all who find the island that is top-lane a little easier when playing our boy, Darius. This week it's Sett and I'll try to sum up the match-up as best I can.
Introduction
Sett is a melee bruiser who has a very strong early game. He deals AD damage from his abilities with the exception of his W being a True Damage nuke. Sett favours duels in the early laning phase and is more than capable of out-trading Darius so watch out.
Abilities
Passive: Sett's basic attacks alternate between a Left Punch and a Right Punch on-attack. The right Punch gains 50 attack range and has quicker attack speed and damage scaling than his left punch.
Healing Passive: Sett regenerates 0.25 / 0.5 / 1 / 2 (based on level) health per second for every 5% of his missing health. The lower his HP the more health he gains per second making him a great at sustaining in the early game fights.
Knuckle Down: When activated will give him a speed boost and empower his next 2 attacks to do bonus damage plus a % of the enemies maximum HP. COOLDOWN: 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5.
HayMaker: When damaged, Sett stores the damage as Grit which he can turn into true damage against the enemy while also giving him a shield upon activation. The more damage Sett takes, the higher the true damage and shield HP. COOLDOWN: 18 / 16.5 / 15 / 13.5 / 12.
FaceBreaker: Sett pulls in enemies at his front and back, dealing physical damage and slowing them by 50% for 0.5 seconds. If FaceBreaker affects at least one enemy on each side, all enemies are stunned for 1 second. COOLDOWN: 16 / 14.5 / 13 / 11.5 / 10.
ShowStopper: Sett RKO's an enemy champion like he's a WWE star, carrying them a short distance before slamming them into the ground like the dirty Vayne Main they are. The more maximum HP the enemy has the more damage it does to surrounding targets. COOLDOWN: 120 / 100 / 80.
Pro's
Sett's wave clear isn't as good as Darius. His abilities are very single target meaning you can easily out push him. Sett also can't roam effectively.
Sett is very reliant on cooldowns. His W and E cooldowns are very high. If you manage to bait them out you can easily E him in and punish him. ABUSE those cooldowns fellow Dunkers.
Sett has very low mobility, if you're running ghost you can easily kite around him and even run him down if you're ahead.
Sett lacks consistent damage, make the fight last as long as possible and avoid his short trades.
If you side step his W he loses a lot of his damage.
Darius outscales Sett in the late game and if Sett is beaten early his mid should be quite weak compared to Darius.
Sett's E is very inconsistent and can be hard to land. If you fight without minions he has no way of stunning you.
Sett has no disengage or escapes. Ghost that rat down.
Cons
Sett is pretty tanky and his passive that gives him more hp regen per missing hp gives him great sustain in lane.
Sett's only consistent damage is his Max HP % damage from his Q, with that he will always deal decent damage no matter if he's behind or ahead.
Sett has very strong AoE CC. His E stun allows him to easily win short trades against you.
Sett W provides very high true damage early on if his grit is stacked, allowing him to win trades by a large margin if he lands it. It also provides a meaty shield for him that can easily soak up Darius's ultimate damage.
Sett's early game is very strong and he has good dive potential. If he manages to snowball he will be very strong in the mid game.
Sett can reset his auto attacks with his Q very easily which will maximise his damage against you.
In team fights Sett can deal massive damage to your team with a well placed ult.
Sett has good tower shred. He can easily take your plates with his Q.
Tips and Tricks
Look to avoid fighting Sett in the early game unless you're confident. Sett is looking for those duels so he can snowball to mid game.
Make those fights last as long as possible. Darius will out damage Sett in the long run.
Conqueror is the best rune against Sett as it gives you sustain in the long fights. You probably want to start D blade against him as Dorans shield won't do much for you.
Bone plating is good for reducing Sett's combo damage. Ninja tabi is a good buy if you're struggling.
Wait for Sett to use his W shield before ulting him. He can easily deny your reset in a fight with it.
As Sett has no disengage jungle ganks are quite effective. Just watch out that he doesn't 2 v 1 you since he has high burst damage.
That should do it for this match-up. Please post your thoughts on the match-up in the comments and tell me what I've missed!
submitted by SamD-B to Dariusmains [link] [comments]

BOAT BBOAT BOATS-MASTERCRAFT & MALIBU

Long time investor, less of a time lurker, permanently a virgin.
For all of us who don’t know shit about boats, let me lay it out for you on a silver platter in the market overview below and then show you why MasterCraft and Malibu can reap.
Important Dates: Mastercraft (MCFT) Earnings expected 9/10 for the months of April May and June. Malibu (MBUU) Earnings expected 8/27 for the months of April May and June.
The Market
Pre COVID Boating was steadily climbing both in terms of amounts of boats purchased, as well as a healthy increase of new and existing customers to the boating world. The sectors that were growing the fastest were sport, fishing, and day recreation. The industry was chugging along and each player was trying to slowly but surely outmaneuver the other. Mastercraft was launching (and still is) their new luxury day boat brand Aviara in an attempt to capture market share away from Malibu’s luxury brand of Cobalt. The head retailer in the space, MarineMax was growing their online business that allows for customers to shop the boats they had online. AKA. This is where Jordan Belford is still chilling in Amalfi before going in for some “light chop”.
March Boating was initially predicted to take a severe hit due to COVID. Quarterly guidance by boating executives, trade magazines, retailers all thought the same. So in early March, manufacturers shut down operations and ceased to build any boats. Noting that they anticipated a decrease in demand as well as for the safety of their employees. Mastercraft paused building for 1-2 weeks and Malibu shut down operations for between 4-6 weeks. But guess what the fuck happened next, there wasn’t any light fucking chop, it was flat as glass with dolphins and mermaids giving out head instead. April began and there started to be an unusual uptick in boat sales.
April – Today Exact figures regarding the increase market share of the industry are impossible to know at this time, though it is without a doubt that all projections about the future of boating were exceptionally incorrect. April - June (Q3) set records for the boating industry. Before earnings, it was clear that boating was going to be a blowout sector. Industry executives were tipping off on interviews that they had seen a strong resurgence of demand, retailers were quickly running out of inventory, the New York Times ran stories about how impossible it was to purchase a boat and conducted numerous interviews of retailers, manufactures, repair shops, and customers who all gave similar accounts as to the apparent run on boats. Boat brands did not fire any employees and had to hire additional employees to keep up with demand. This anticipated jump was confirmed when the lead retailer MarineMax announced earnings two weeks ago. Same store sales jumped 37%. Imagine fucking 37% more in a quarter, I’m hurting just thinking about it.
Lessons from MarineMax In addition to same store sales jumping, revenue beat all expectations, profit beat all expectations, margin was the only important mark that was hit but that is because many customers were buying lower margin boats instead of higher margin parts. Marine max and other retailers can expect to do 1/3 of their business during a local 10 day boat show. What makes these earnings even more impressive is that all of the boat shows were cancelled. Initial indications for the month of July are strong (deposits on boats are at similar rates to initial projections)...nice.
An objection that was raised by a caller on the Marine Max earnings report suggested that while same store sales were great, the caller was worried that they were pulling ahead and cannibalizing sales for next year. The response to this question by management is crucial for our understanding of the future of the boat industry. When a friend buys a first time or an upgraded boat and puts it on the dock in their backyard, the neighbors notice. (Similar to the new car in the driveway theory) sales beget more and more sales as neighbors recognize that their neighbors are enjoying an upgrade. In addition, the more boats that are on the water, the more friends are able to experience boating for the first time/have a great experience on a boat, this too leads to more boat sales. (Translation, if you see Jordan on a boat, you gonna wanna be on a mother fuckin boat)- Tpaine or some shit. Maybe Tupoc.
But before getting into the companies...WHO THE FUCK IS BUYING A BOAT RIGHT NOW At a time when unemployment has neared 25% and at a time where friends and relatives are dying by an invisible virus, how in the world someone can buy a boat.
If you are poor and drive your $6,000 pontoon boat, this family in rural Ozarks or Wisco doesn’t have the discretionary capital to purchase a new boat. While some of these families may have saved up on trips to Disney world and have instead repurposed this money for pontoon boats, I have to imagine that they are not the ones who are buying boats. Maybe crack.
The fishing sector stands to be somewhere in the middle here. Eliminating freshwater fishing as this is a class of boats that are not serviced by Mastercraft or Malibu, salt water fishing boats are neither luxury day cruisers nor dinky fishing vessels. These boats, depending on make size model etc. can fetch roughly 65K. For the owner of a fishing boat who understands that they are about to spend a lot more time on the water then ever before, I think it would make sense for them to spend the money they were saving for a new boat and buy it this year instead of waiting longer.
This leaves us with the rich. Figure this, a family with two kids would normally spend $16K on summer camp, $20K on an international trip, plus additional spending on trips for spring break and fall break. In addition to all of the money they would have spent this year, this family also likely has savings for a new car, a new house, etc. This is the type of family that can afford to impulse buy a new boat. Throw in the fact that gas prices are stupid low, and interest rates are low, and you have a family with money to spend, who wants to escape the realities of our world today, who wants to spend their money on a safe activity, and you have boating. And at that, you have a family that is likely going for your top of the line sport boat ($100K) or your top of the line luxury day cruisers ($150K++). The rich are getting richer and spending their richness on boats and hoes, minus the hoes.
The Companies
Mastercraft Q3 Earnings The bread and butter of Mastercraft its their sport boats. Not only are they recognized as the industry leader in this area, but they also rely on it heavily for their overall revenue stream. You will note that they lack a luxury day cruiser brand. They in fact do have one but it only recently launched at the end of last year and as such, is not yet reflected as revenue for their earnings.
Malibu On the other hand, Malibu is also recognized for their ski sport boats, but relies heavily on their luxury day boats. Cobalt boats are able to serve many purposes they hit on every priority for our target “DADDY BUY ME A BOAT PLEASE” consumer. Easy to use touch screen control panels. They have the power and wake shape that make them excellent sport boats.
Enjoy respective tendies on your dingies
Sept 18. MASTERCRAFT 22.5 MALIBU 60
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I really like how each of the elite bigs in the league have their own strengths and weaknesses. No two unicorns are the same!

This post consists of me rambling about Embiid, Jokic, KAT, AD, Giannis, and Porzingis. (Be warned, it's pretty long.)

Giannis, AD, and KP have primarily played PF this season, but they're still bigs.

(EDIT: Added Bam and Siakam.)

By the way, why mention Porzingis, you might be thinking, since he hasn't been as good as the other players on the list this season? Well, I thought it would only be appropriate to include KP, as he was the OG "Unicorn" as crowned by KD in 2016, as a 7-footer who can shoot and defend at a high level:
"He can shoot, he can make the right plays, he can defend, he's a 7-footer that can shoot all the way out to the 3-point line," Durant said, according to ESPN's Royce Young. "That's rare. And block shots -- that's like a unicorn in this league."

For the purposes of this post, a "unicorn" is a tall player with All-NBA potential who spends a decent amount of time defending bigs and possesses a strong offensive skillset (hence someone like Rudy Gobert is omitted, as he's a defensive monster but has a more limited offensive skillset).

Embiid is a borderline case with his more old-school, post-oriented offensive skillset, but he's at least a decent and willing shooter from midrange and 3, separating himself from the bigs of yore, and besides, he also makes for a nice contrast with some of the others on the list.
Before we begin...
This post steals/references numerous ideas from the excellent Thinking Basketball YouTube channel, run by Ben Taylor. I highly recommend you also watch these highly informative, well-made, and entertaining player breakdowns (note, some of these were made in 2019, so some statistics they reference might not reflect these players' 2020 production):
Some terms I'll be using:
per 75 = per 75 possessions, i.e. points per 75 possessions = measure of a player's scoring rate. Each season and each team has a different pace, so adjusting for pace like this allows us to compare players' scoring more fairly than PPG. (Why 75 possessions? There isn't any grand reasoning- the average *(edit) high-usage modern NBA player simply uses roughly 75 possessions/game, so "per 75" stats are perhaps easier to intuitively understand for most people than "per 100" stats, which are available on Basketball Reference.)
TS% = true shooting percentage, i.e. a player's scoring efficiency, basically FG% but accounting for 3-pointers and free-throws
rTS% = relative true shooting percentage, i.e. how efficient a player's scoring is compared to league average scoring efficiency, which is 56.4 TS% in 2019-20 according to Basketball Reference
ORTG and DRTG are a team's offensive and defensive rating, respectively, with numbers taken from Basketball Reference.
rORTG = relative offensive rating, i.e. how good a team's offense is compared to league average offensive rating, which is 110.4 in 2019-20 according to Basketball Reference.
PnR = Pick and roll, DHO = Dribble hand-off

Joel Embiid | "The Process", "Do-a-180"

In a nutshell: Philadephia 76ers C, 7-0, 250lb, All-Star. Basic stats: 23.4/11.8/3.1/0.9/1.3 with 3.1 TOVs on 47.4/34.8/81.4 splits (59.3 TS%), 44 games played. Advanced: 0.203 WS/48, 5.2 BPM.
The good:
  • Monster low-post scorer: Embiid has an excellent scoring rate (~28 points per 75). He does most of his damage on offense by being the most prolific post-scorer in the league (91st percentile in post scoring efficiency, 1st in frequency by a large margin), where Embiid's massive frame and Hakeem-esque post-game allow him to make opposing big men look helpless and draw fouls at a heady pace with his relentless bully ball.
  • Decent scoring efficiency: +3.0 rTS%, it mostly results from a monstrous free-throw rate (10.5 FTA per 75, 81.4 FT%) and elite scoring in the paint (72 FG% from 0-3 feet). His midrange shooting has improved to an acceptable 41% too, and his 3P shooting is a decent 35%. He's been slightly less efficient in the playoffs (56TS%, +1.1 rTS%), with the caveat being that he was afflicted by injury and that the Raptors had an all-time-great playoff defense and former DPOY Marc Gasol, who made his life a nightmare (18/9/3 on 53TS% that series).
  • DPOY-level defender: Embiid is an amazing defender, stemming from his elite rim protection (1.3bpg, Sixers defense improves by 7 points when he enters a game). His mammoth frame, length, and first-class shot-blocking instincts at the rim have given him a Gobert-like deterrent-effect on offenses, making opponents thinking twice about attacking the basket. The Sixers have 105.1 DRTG with Embiid on the floor, which would rank 3rd in the league. Even when he's having a bad day on offense, he can recover his impact on the other end - he was a +84 over 7 games against the Raptors last playoffs despite shooting poorly from the field, testament to his incredible defense.
The not-as-good:
  • Heavy feet: Embiid can be slightly lead-footed when switching onto perimeter players, and can be blown past on closeouts. He's still a decent perimeter defender overall, as his length and timing can allow him to recover well with strong contests from behind.
  • Spotty vision/passing: JoJo has as many turnovers as assists. His decision-making falters somewhat under defensive pressure. His dribble is a bit loose, too, which doesn't help in this aspect. He can make basic passes out of double-teams, though more advanced reads are beyond him for now.
  • 3P-shooting has some room for improvement: He came into the league shooting 37% in his rookie year, so he's regressed somewhat since then. He's shown marked improvement this season though, making 34.8% of his threes. Joel's next step will be attempting more 3s, since he currently takes fewer than 4 threes a game. His excellent FT% (81.4%) and passable midrange efficiency (41 FG%) bode well for future improvements in his 3P shooting.
  • Durability: Health will perhaps always be the biggest concern with Embiid- he's consistently missed an average of 20 games/year over his past 3 seasons. When he does see the court, he's generally been great.

Nikola Jokic | "Joker", "Big Honey"

In a nutshell: Denver Nuggets C, 7-0, 253lb, weak MVP candidate. Basic stats: 20.2/10.2/6.9/1.2/0.7 with 3.1 TOVs on 52.8/31.4/81.3 splits (60.4 TS%), 65 games played. Advanced: 0.209 WS/48, 7.6 BPM.
The good:
  • Passing prodigy: Best playmaking big in NBA history and one of the best passers in the league, period - Jokic's vision is reminiscent of a 7-foot Magic Johnson. He makes every single pass in the playbook quickly and accurately, never looking at his target in order to throw off defenders, adept at using his eyes to manipulate defenses. His outlet passing is the envy of any point guard - throwing outlets like this mid-rebound is unfair. Jokic runs Denver's offense from the high post, as the Nuggets' bevy of guards and wings whir around him for DHOs and PnRs. He rarely ever misses high-% layup-passes, and his otherworldly vision (helped by his 7ft frame allowing him to see over defenders) encourages his teammates to move and cut off the ball because he'll almost certainly get the ball to them the moment they make themselves open. Joker's height and wingspan allow him access to passing lanes not available to most guards and wings, deftly flicking it to teammates around the outstretched arms of defending bigs. Jokic can lob to his more athletic teammates, pitch bounce-passes to cutters through the tiniest of passing windows, no-look skip-passes to 3P-shooters, and is even capable of blending in passes with his shooting motion as he reads the help and rifles the ball neatly into a wide-open teammate's shooting/scoring pocket. For me, he's right up there as one of the finest passers in the game.
  • Very good, efficient scorer: 23.2 points per 75 on +4 rTS%, mostly stemming from his versatile post game and decent midrange scoring (45 FG%). He's also got excellent touch around the rim, mixing in some floaters and hooks (elite 60.2 FG% from 3-10 ft), along with throwing his weight around in the post and pump-faking defenders into oblivion to get easy looks at the rim (elite 73 FG% from 0-3 ft). He also likes following his own/opponent misses- he has 3 offensive rebounds a game. Encouragingly, there exists some precedent for Joker elevating his offensive production when the team requires it - he put up 25/13/8 on +4.8 rTS% in 2019 playoffs, up from 20/11/7 on +2.9 rTS% in the 2019 regular season.
  • Not a bad team defender! : Sound positioning and good hands(healthy steal rate for a big, ~2%) + his size and length allow him to retain good value on defense. Denver's defensive rating actually improves by +1.6 points when he's on the court.
  • Clutch play: Jokic has been one of the most clutch players in the league this season- he even had two game-winners against the Sixers and Wolves. The Nuggets are ranked 5th in clutch-win% in the league (26-14 record in clutch situations) largely due to Jokic's play.
  • Durability: Jokic has always been highly durable, having yet to miss a game this season. He's missed a grand total of 20 games in his entire 5-year career.
The not-as-good:
  • Paint-defense: Jokic doesn't offer too much in the way of rim-protection (low block rate for a big, opponents shoot a pretty high 63 FG% in the paint when Jokic is the nearest defender). Although, as mentioned previously, his good positioning and size/length plus IQ/anticipation make him an adequate/decent team defender, often making smart rotations to stall opponent forays to the rim.
  • Perimeter-defense: He also suffers from some of the the same heavy-footedness that Embiid has when switched onto non-bigs, albeit to a higher degree.
  • 3P-shooting: Jokic's outside shooting has been pooinconsistent (31.4% from 3), though with some flashes of potential (he shot 40% in 2018, 39% in 2019 playoffs). His solid shooting from the midrange (45%) and from the FT line (81%) bodes well for him stretching out more succesfully in the future.
  • Is perhaps too selfless on offense: Especially compared to the other behemoths on this list, Joker could probably afford to call on his own number slightly more often when it comes to scoring. I doubt his coaches or teammates would mind him scoring more, given how efficient and unselfish he normally is, and given Jamal Murray is a much less efficient scorer (-0.5 rTS%) than Jokic despite taking more shot attempts than Nikola. Jokic is clearly capable of elevating his scoring, as mentioned earlier. Given that Denver's offense is generally quite good (+2.1 rORTG this season, +2.6 rORTG last season), I don't think Jokic will necessarily change what he's doing as it's been working decently so far. However, if he wants to run a truly elite offense or be considered one of the league's best offensive players (along with Steph, LeBron, Harden, Doncic etc.), he could think about starting to score more.

Karl-Anthony Towns | "KAT"

In a nutshell: Minnesota Timberwolves C, 6-11, 248lb, All-Star level. Basic stats: 26.5/10.8/4.4/0.9/1.2 with 3.1 TOVs on 50.8/41.2/79.6 splits (64.2 TS%), 35 games played. Advanced: 0.205 WS/48, 7.8 BPM.
The good:
  • Elite, multi-level 3-point threat: KAT is already probably the best 3-point shooting big in NBA history, taking into account volume and efficiency - he's shot 41.2% from 3 on 7.9 attempts per game this season. (For reference, Klay Thompson, from 2015-2019, averaged 42.3% from 3 on 7.7 attempts per game.) The only players to shoot more accurately than Towns on at least as many attempts this year were Duncan Robinson (44.5%, 8.4) and Dāvis Bertāns (42.4%, 8.7). KAT's shooting is is in rarefied air. He doesn't just stand in a corner and wait for Jeff Teague or DLo to pass him the ball, either. He shoots these off-the-dribble, catch-and-shoot, stepbacks, pick-and-pop, diving around screens like he's some oversized Reggie Miller. The spacing and gravity he provides the Minnesota offense with his shooting and off-ball movement is tremendous. He destroyed the Jazz once earlier this season by hitting 7 threes and pulling reigning DPOY Gobert all the way out to the 3-point line, pushing their paint-centric defensive scheme to the breaking point. The Wolves improve by 12 points on offense when he's on the court.
  • Well-rounded, exceptionally-efficient scorer: His offensive impact isn't limited to shooting, not by a long shot- close out on him too hard and he'll drive to the rim, where he's finishing at an elite 72 FG%. He barely takes any midrange shots- only 7% of his total shots come from there. His post game, however, is decently efficient (61st percentile), though he doesn't utilise it as much as Embiid or Jokic. Overall, due his incredible outside shooting, rim finishing, and decent foul drawing(8.8 FTA per 100, 79.6 FT%), his scoring output is extremely impressive- 27.2 points per 75 on amazing efficiency (+8 rTS%).
  • -Decent passer: KAT's passing has come along this year (4.4 APG), making good reads when he's doubled in the perimeter or in the post and finding cutters with regularity. He has a passable AST/TO ratio for a big (1.4:1).
  • Good post-defense: He's good at defending other post scorers (eg. Embiid, AD), where he can take advantage of his length and strength.
The not-as-good:
  • Not great at most other aspects of defense: His blocks (1.2 bpg) are more the result of block-chasing than good positioning. He's poor at navigating pick-and-roll defense. He's possibly the most laterally-challenged of the bigs in this list, his transition defense is bad, and he often falls for pump fakes. He shows potential for becoming a good rim protector- when he does manage to get in front of his man and get his hands up in time, his opponent rim DFG% is pretty great (~50 FG%)! However, his motor and defensive-IQ aren't the best- he can be found ball-watching sometimes or falling behind opponent plays, losing track of cutters or getting stranded in no man's land. Overall, Minnesota are nearly +8 points better on defense with Towns off the court. (The usually defensively-challenged Wolves were a top 10 defense for a period when KAT missed 15 games earlier on in the season, thought that was also partly because his replacement Gorgui Dieng was a defensive god.)
  • Some holes in passing game: There's still room for improvement in this aspect. He's still relatively turnover-prone, and misses open high-% passes under the rim sometimes.
  • Durability: Prior to this season, this was one of Town's greatest strengths- he didn't miss a single game during his 1st 3 seasons and only 5 games his 4th season (last year), and that was only because he got into a car accident. This year, however, the script has changed- he's missed 30 games with a sprained knee followed by a fractured wrist.

Anthony Davis | "AD", "The Brow"

In a nutshell: Los Angeles Lakers PF/C, 6-10, 253lb, weak MVP candidate. Basic stats: 26.7/9.4/3.1/1.5/2.4 with 2.5 TOVs on 51.1/33.5/84.5 splits (61.4 TS%), 55 games played. Advanced: 0.262 WS/48, 8.5 BPM.
The good:
  • Excellent all-round volume-scorer: 27.8 points per 75, on ~ +5 rTS%. AD has a versatile scoring arsenal, capable of shifting his offensive game to fit cleanly within different offensive schemes (e.g. higher pace in NOLA vs. LeBron's more methodical half-court style). Possesses a variety of post-moves, hooks, spins, fakes, stepbacks, turnarounds, etc.; has a passable face-up game with a good handle, moves like a guard and capable of athletic finishes at the rim. This season he's been skilled at leaking out in transition to receive LeBron's outlet passes. His scoring has translated well to the playoffs- he's averaged 27.3 points per 75 on ~ +5 rTS% in his 3 playoff series.
  • Vertical spacer: All-time lob-finisher (75 FG% from 0-3 feet). Davis's catch-radius is one of the best in NBA history. Just throw it up in the general direction of the rim and he'll make it work somehow with his touch and athleticism. His addition to the Lakers is a major reason why LeBron's leading the league in assists (2.8 of LeBron's 10.6 assists/game go to AD). It's an underrated part of his game as it allows him to fit with a variety of teams and mesh well with ball-dominant stars.
  • Decent passer: This is mostly based on his last season at New Orleans, which was his peak year as a passer. In the 2019 season, with their starting PGs missing significant time due to injury, the Pelicans leaned on Jrue Holiday's versatile playmaking gifts more, but they also parked AD in the high post and ran offense through him from there, letting him weaponise his own threat to score by feeding cutters with neat interior pocket passes or spraying kickout passes to shooters when he got doubled. He averaged 4.4 assists and only 2.0 turnovers prior to his trade request, producing a very efficient 2.2:1 AST/TO ratio. However, AD's playmaking has regressed this season (only 3.3 APG, uninspiring AST/TO ratio of 1.25:1) as he's gone more off-ball than in 2019 with LeBron manning point full-time in LA.
  • DPOY-level defender: Highly likely to finish in the top-2 in voting this season. His weakside rim-protection is elite - the Lakers have had a top-3 defense due in no small part to his efforts. He's highly switchable, too, capable of jumping onto guards and wings as required and scaring them silly. His motor has been excellent and he closes out hard on shooters. He's handsy as well, with good defensive instincts- he has a good eye for anticipating plays and jumping passing lanes. His steal-rate is elite for a big, and he hasn't gambled too much this year, either. He often cleans up mistakes by teammates, allowing them the freedom to play aggressive defense on the perimeter because they know that he's always got a watchful eye out to pounce on any perpetrators who make it past them. Works well in tandem with the Lakers bigs (Dwight/McGee) so that if either of them gets beat, he is still there to protect the rim. Strangely enough, the Lakers' defensive rating actually improves when he sits, likely because LeBron paired with Dwight/McGee are too much for weaker opponent bench units to handle.
  • Surprisingly healthy: The opposite of KAT - durability is generally considered a weakness of AD's, but this season he's missed only 8 games. Good stuff!
The not-as-good:
  • 3P/Midrange Shooting: Much like Embiid, AD's 33.5% 3-point shooting on 3.5 attempts/game isn't awful, but it isn't good enough to consistently garner defenders' respect either. His midrange efficiency isn't great, either, too, at about 38 FG%. The latter isn't too detrimental to his overall scoring game, however, as it at least allows him to keeps defender honest in the post. Regardless, his foul drawing (8.3 FTA per 100, 85 FT%) and elite rim finishing does allow him to compensate for his relatively weaker jumper.
  • Ability to run an offense: It remains to be seen whether AD can run an efficient team offense as a primary initiator, like a slasher like Giannis/LeBron/Kawhi or a full-time high-post operator like Jokic in Denver or Kevin Garnett back in the day on the Wolves. Perhaps further improving his handle or his strength will allow him to do so, since he already proved he possesses decent playmaking vision in New Orleans last year. When LeBron's been off the court this season, his decision-making on-the-ball has been inconsistent at times. Even so, as things stand, the Lakers still have a good offense (+2.6 rORTG) with AD playing primarily off-ball, so I doubt that's going to change much in the foreseeable future.
  • Some areas for improvement on defense: Ball-watches every so often, though greatly improved from last season. Quicker guards can still occasionally blow by him. Misses the odd help scenario. Gambles sporadically for steals, though it works out for him more often than not. The KAT's and Embiid's and Giannis's of the world have sometimes caused him trouble before, though he often holds his own too.

Giannis Antetokounmpo | "The Greek Freak"

In a nutshell: Milwaukee Bucks PF/C, 6-11, 242lb, strong MVP candidate. Basic stats: 29.6/13.7/5.8/1.0/1.0 with 3.7 TOVs on 54.7/30.6/63.3 splits (60.8 TS%), 57 games played. Advanced: 0.282 WS/48, 11.5 BPM.
The good:
  • All-time-level slasher and rim-finisher: Elite drive-and-kick game that is the crux of Milwaukee's 7th-ranked offense. A monster in transition, and getting increasingly comfortable as a shooter in half-court situations. Has some post-moves too, with some basic fadeaways, flip shots, and hooks, made all the more dangerous with his incredible wingspan. Has started taking more midrange and three-point jumpshots off-the-dribble this season.
  • Elite volume scorer: Giannis has the highest scoring rate in the league (yes, higher than James Harden), on good efficiency: 32.9 points per 75 on ~ +4.5 rTS%. He is the likely MVP, leading a historically good Bucks team while averaging only 30.9 minutes per game. There are some worries that elite playoff defenses (most famously, the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 ECF) can limit his scoring output (22/14/6 on 52 TS% that series), but it's really only the very very best of defenses, with ideal personnel and scheme, that have proven that they can slow him down. He mowed down Boston's 1st- and 7th-ranked defenses in consecutive postseasons, to the tune of 26/12/5 on 62 TS% in 2018, and 28/11/5 on 62 TS% in 2019. What the Raptors accomplished in 2019 isn't easily replicable.
  • Transition terror: The most prolific transition scorer in the league, with his long, long strides, speed, length, and poweskill around the rim. Also, shoutout to his huge hands and underrated handle for letting to him to move as fast as he does with the ball.
  • DPOY-level defender: The favourite to win the award this season, he's a high-level rim-deterrent with his length, instincts, and athleticism. Opponents score an anemic 41% at the rim when Giannis is the closest defender, the best mark in the league. He's also a skilled perimeter defender. Milwaukee improve by +8.0 points on defense when he's on the court (they have a ridiculous 98.7 DRTG when Giannis plays), and he rates very highly on the majority of available defensive impact metrics. 2019-20 Milwaukee are one of the best defensive teams ever, and Giannis is the best overall defender on the team. He's long, fast, twitchy, and strong, capable of switching 1-5 without batting an eye. With the Lopez twins walling off the rim, Giannis is free to roam and generally wreak havoc where needed, scaring shooters off the line, providing weakside rim-help as required, shadowing ball-handlers step-for-step and occasionally stamping their layups onto the glass with his huge paws or simply clouding their vision with his massive reach. When he is beat by a guard/wing on the perimeter, he doesn't chase blocks, instead staying grounded and disciplined, often funneling these slashers to the equally-long waiting arms of human fly-swatter Brook Lopez at the rim as the Bucks' game-plan decrees, while he stalks them from behind, helping effectively make the paint a no-fly zone. Much like AD, his condor wingspan shrinks passing lanes and deters high-leverage interior passes.
  • Decent passer: An adept and willing passer for a 7-foot human, gathering 5.8 APG this season. He's skilled at lasering kickouts to Milwaukee's armada of shooters if his initial penetration fails/draws help defenders, and has some success making tight interior passes near the rim.
  • Durability: Giannis is rarely injured.
The not-as-good:
  • Some areas to improve in terms of passing/vision: Has room to improve in terms of interior passing, sometimes doesn't recognise open cutters or the passes themselves can be off-target etc.. Turnover-prone at times, has imperfect decision-making if he's under intense ball-pressure by elite defensive bigs/wings (guys like Bam, Embiid, Jonathan Isaac). Notably, the Raptors' monster playoff defense led by the length and IQ of Kawhi/Gasol/Siakam greatly tested his passing ability and decision-making last playoffs, leading to him turning the ball over much more often than usual (5.5 assists : 4.2 turnovers).
  • Poor outside shooting: Giannis has become much more comfortable taking these shots, attempting nearly 5 a game this season, but he's still not very good at making them (30.6 3P%). Defenses still heave a sigh of relief when they see him pulling up for 3. He's also shooting 38% from midrange, which isn't much better.
  • Some areas for improvement on defense: Has occasional lapses on off the ball, arriving late on help, whether due to motoball-watching or not recognising plays until it's too late; can get blown past by quick guards due when he closes out sometimes (though his length/athleticism helps clean up some of his own errors); has trouble navigating screens sometimes because he's so large. Like AD, elite post-players can still overpower him on occasion, but luckily for Giannis there aren't that many elite post players any more.
  • FT shooting: This could be an aberration, but his FT-shooting has greatly regressed this season, at 63 FT%. This can limit his effectiveness on offense in clutch situations (notably, he shot a ghastly 58% from the line against the Raptors in last season's ECF), and put a cap on his overall scoring efficiency. Prior to 2020, he's shot 74% in the regular season, so he's certainly capable of being a decent FT-shooter.

Kristaps Porzingis | "KP", "Unicorn"

In a nutshell: Dallas Mavericks PF/C, 7-3, 240lb, Sub-All Star. Basic stats: 19.2/9.5/1.7/0.7/2.1 with 1.6 TOVs on 42.0/34.9/77.6 splits (54.0 TS%), 51 games played. Advanced: 0.129 WS/48, 1.5 BPM.
The good:
  • Potential elite shooter: Porzingis's offensive potential still lies mainly in his incredible shooting (40% from 3 in 2018), though he's yet to recover that elite form this season. However, he remains highly dangerous, taking a wide variety of threes at a very high rate (7.1 attempts per game) and hitting a decent enough percentage of them (35%) that defenders have to respect his shot. In his last 14 games, he averaged 37% on 9.1 attempts per game. Much like KAT, he's a dynamic shooter, shooting off movement, off-the-dribble, off-the-catch (& pick-and-pop), pulling up from well behind the 3-point line, etc., spacing the floor for Dallas's resident offensive genius Luka to go to work.
  • Good rim finisher: He finishes very well at the rim (72 FG%).
  • Elite paint defender: Porzingis flashes All-Defensive value with his rim-protection (led the league in blk% in 2018, is 6th in blk% and has very good paint DFG% of 49.5% in 2020), and defensive instincts. The Mavs improve by 3.2 points on defense with Porzingis on the floor. His oft-maligned rebounding has greatly improved this season, too, snagging almost 10 boards a game, up from 6.6 in his last healthy season on the Knicks.
The not-as-good:
  • Very limited playmaking: KP's passing/vision remains his weakest suit (1.7 assists/game). He's actually improved slightly this season, being a more willing passer and participant in Dallas's dynamic offense, but his assist rate still lags in the single digits, at 8.6% (for reference, AD's is about 15%, KAT 23%, Jokic 34%), and he has almost as many turnovers as assists.
  • Scoring efficiency/shooting: His poor shooting to start the season coming off a serious injury hurt his efficiency, which is currently 2 points below league average (-2 rTS%). He averaged an excellent 60TS% in his final 14 games, though, signs that he was rounding into form before the quarantine hit.
  • Not a great perimeter defender, but still decent: With his lanky 7'3'' frame, he's not the best at closing out to shooters (opposing players hit 40% of their threes when he's the closest defender), and while he can move his feet decently for a big and he's surprisingly athletic, his fundamentals defending the perimeter and effort can seemingly be lacking sometimes: he's often "flat-footed, erect", and doesn't always have his hands up.
  • Durability: KP has missed a season and a half prior to this one with a torn ACL, and missed 15 games this season too. His health remains a huge asterisk, though it's promising that he was healthy and playing games up until the quarantine hit - he played 20 of the Mavs' last 25 games.
That's it for today. Thanks for reading!
**JUST KIDDING, I FORGOT ABOUT BAM.

Bam Adebayo | "Bam", "Bam Bam"

In a nutshell: Miami Heat PF/C, 6-9, 255lb, All-Star. Basic stats: 16.2/10.5/5.1/1.2/1.3 with 2.8 TOVs on 56.7/7.7/69.0 splits (60.6 TS%), 65 games played. Advanced: 0.175 WS/48, 3.6 BPM.
The good:
  • Versatile inside scorer: 17.6 points per 75 on +4.2 rTS%. Bam was a revelation for the Heat this season, utilising his length and explosive athleticism well to finish at the rim (both from half-court and in transition), scoring at an elite rate (73.5 FG%) from 0-3ft. He's an adept lob-finisher from Miami's guards, with about 72% of his total baskets being assisted - for comparison's sake, AD, a similarly adept off-ball rim-finisher (albeit on better efficiency and much higher volume), has about 64% of his total baskets assisted. Similar to AD, Bam's far from a one-trick pony when it comes to scoring, often running pick-and-rolls and hand-offs with Miami's army of guards and wings (he has especially good chemistry with Duncan Robinson and Jimmy Butler) to find clean looks at the rim. He often employs his 7.1ft wingspan and athleticism to rebound team misses (including his own), with 2.5 offensive rebounds/game either resulting in tip-ins or neat passes to open teammates. He's got surprisingly deft touch further away from the rim, too, with little floaters, finger-rolls, and hooks in the paint (outside the painted area), finishing there at an impressive 45% rate (his hooks are especially efficient, going in 56% of the time). Outside of the paint, his short-midrange game is money, too, for a big, finishing 42% of his short midrange attempts. Going any further than that, though, yields diminishing returns for Bam - he shoots a woeful 19 FG% outside 16 feet. Fortunately for Miami, though, Bam sticks to his strengths, with only 7% of his total shot attempts coming from outside 16ft.
  • Elite passer for a big: Outside of Jokic and Draymond, there isn't a better passing big in the game today. His 5.1 assists/game are impressive enough, but it's the way he goes about getting these dimes that stands out. Coach Spoelstra has effectively given him the keys to Miami's offense this season for a reason- his offensive IQ is excellent, and he routinely makes quick and smart decisions with the ball in his hands. As stated earlier, he's Miami's primary high post operator, with Bam's dribble handoffs (DHOs) and PnRs with their guards being one of the primary features of their offense. His low post passing is great, too, often setting up Miami's other bigs with adept interior bounce passes and lobs when the help commits to him, and he can drive-and-kick to the Heat's shooters as well, Giannis-style. In transition, he's fully capable of and willing to grab a defensive rebound and start the break on his own - he's got a really good handle for a big - either creating his own score with that elite paint finishing we talked about, or making quick kickouts to Duncan Robinson for transition 3s. If a transition score doesn't happen at first, he will push for a quick DHO with a guard, with Bam's elite screening and Miami's elite shooters meaning that said 3PA is highly likely to go in. Bam is highly active on offense, too, always either scoring, setting a screen, or orchestrating from the elbows.
  • Elite, multi-positional defender: In the words of Zach Lowe's excellent piece on Bam, he is "addicted" to defense. Bam is an incredibly high-motor and versatile defender, and is already an All-Defensive lock in his first season as a starter. His steal rates (elite for a big) and block rates speak for themselves, but his versatility is what stands out the most - he's equally capable when switched onto Stephen Curry as he is Giannis Antetokounmpo. Opponents shoot worse from every spot on the floor when Bam is the closest defender (43 FG% overall), be it from 3 (33.8%) or in the paint (55.8%). Bam's footwork and fundamentals guarding the perimeter are impeccable, shuffling perfectly along with guards and wings as they try to dribble past, reminiscent of Draymond or KG, and his strength and wingspan allows him to bang down low with the behemoths of the league as well, despite standing at 'only' 6-8. He's a ferocious and competitive rebounder, too, a major contributor to Miami's 3rd-ranked defensive rebounding rate.
  • Durability: Bam has played in every single game for Miami the past two seasons.
The less good:
  • Some gaps in playmaking: He's a bit too excitable sometimes, and can turn the ball over trying to squeeze the ball through tiny gaps between defenders' arms near the rim. I love his aggression and offensive ideas, though - these high percentage passes put a lot of pressure on opponent defenses. His AST/TO ratio of 1.8:1 is still fantastic for a player who's helping Jimmy Butler run a strong Miami offense (+2.3 rORTG) for the first time. He can miss the shooting pocket occasionally too, and his vision isn't perfect, missing open teammates on occasion. With more experience and once he becomes a more dangerous scorer, he will presumably become a more effective passer as passing-lanes become more open when he starts to command more defensive attention.
  • Non-existent 3P shooting: Bam is (correctly) completely ignored by defenders on the perimeter (once again, he shoots a horrendous 19 FG% outside 16 feet). The Heat's system masks these flaws, making great use of his physical gifts as a fantastic and physical screener and elite passing big in DHOs and PnRs. His shot selection helps issues, too, as the vast majority (93%) of his shot attempts come inside 16 feet. On other teams with fewer offensive weapons, his lack of spot up shooting would likely become a larger issue.
  • Lower scoring rate than peers: Bam's scoring rate pales in comparison to some of the other guys in this list, and there will be a ways to go before he becomes a primary scoring option. His post game is below average (40th percentile), his ISO-scoring is only barely passable (50th percentile). In the PnR he's proficient as both a roll-man (67th percentile) and, amusingly, on very low volume, as a ball-handler (84th percentile). Perhaps expanding his post-game will allow Miami to run more offense through him like Denver do with Jokic, or Philly with Embiid/Lakers with AD. Alternatively, he could practise and develop his handle and outside-shooting more, lean into the more guard-like qualities of his game.
  • Some defensive flaws: Bam's rim protection lags behind the best (Gobert, AD, Lopez, Embiid, Giannis, Draymond, Isaac etc.), and larger centers can still finish over him on occasion- his 6'8" frame probably comes into play here. While Bam's man defense is impeccable, his team defensive impact seems to lag behind slightly- he's possibly a touch slow on help rotations occasionally or ball-watches sometimes. Miami's defensive rating with Bam on the floor would rank around 12th in the league (109.6 DRTG, +0.8 rDRTG), and it "only" improves by +1.7 points when Bam enters the game. However, defense, of course, is a team effort- the Jazz's seemingly perpetual top-5 defense dropped to 11th this year, even though Gobert hasn't missed a step - losing defensive stalwarts in Favors and Rubio probably contributed to the descent. In Miami's case, key starter Duncan Robinson isn't a great defender, and they lack good defensive bigs outside of Adebayo; backup Cs Leonard and Olynyk (primarily shooters) are woeful rim protectors, and Jones Jr is decent but mostly plays SF. It's perhaps to Bam's and Butler's (and Spoelstra's) credit that the team has a positive defensive rating at all.

EDIT 2:

- Mike Prada of SB Nation on JAREN JACKSON JR.

- PASCAL SIAKAM

submitted by KagsTheOneAndOnly to nba [link] [comments]

[GUIDE] 33 Gampley Tips and Tricks for New and Veteran 75-cap FFXI Players

Hey everyone, this'll be a long post. I started this out as a script for a Youtube video but I don't have the time anymore to continue recording and editing it so I decided to adapt it into a Reddit post here so that it doesn't get lost. This is going to be geared towards both returning and seasoned players in the FFXI private server scene and is going to be pretty general so that it is applicable regardless of which server you choose to play on (for the most part). So, here it is, 33 gameplay tips and tricks for 75-cap FFXI servers:

1. Signet Accuracy and Evasion

Tip one: while it is widely understood that Signet gives you conquest points and crystals when fighting, did you know that Signet also gives you accuracy and evasion when fighting monsters that are the same level or lower level than you? You will gain these bonuses when fighting a monster that checks as TW/EP/DC/EM. This only applies to the target you are currently engaged with and gives a bonus of 15 evasion and 15 defense. You can see this yourself if you open your character sheet in the equipment menu and checking your defense before and after engaging a monster while having Signet on. This will only apply to Signet and not to the ToAU or WotG equivalents: Sanction or Sigil.

2. Spend your CP

For tip #2, speaking of conquest points, don't forget to spend them. This is an extra boost of income for newer players that you get pretty much for free since you'll getting EXP anyway. When you start out you'll be rank 1 and the rank 1 items are not that great. I'd recommend doing the rank missions to get to rank 2 pretty quickly, you can do them at level 10 pretty easily for every nation. The rank 2 items cost 2000 conquest points and the most desirable ones from each nation tend to be
W: Merc. Knife (conquest ranking 2nd+ place)
W: Merc. Hachimaki
B: Decurion's Shield (conquest ranking 1st place)
B: Decurion's Dagger (conquest ranking 2nd+ place)
S: Royal Spearman's Spear
S: Royal Spearman's Horn (conquest ranking 2nd+)
but be sure to visit the auction house to check the going rate for all of the point items available to you and make the decision what will net you the most gil OR if you see something that you like for your job you can spend points and keep it. When you get to rank 3 later it will open up more items to spend points on (like the desirables: M.C. Belt, Cent. Sword, R.S. Mufflers) so definitely keep that in mind. If you do not know where to spend your points, it's the same NPCs that give you signet, the guards in your home nation that stand at the gates to the wilderness areas.
If you ever want to reference the conquest point item lists without having to be at the gate, the following wiki pages will help you out:
https://ffxiclopedia.fandom.com/wiki/Windurst_Conquest_Points_Items
https://ffxiclopedia.fandom.com/wiki/Bastok_Conquest_Points_Items
https://ffxiclopedia.fandom.com/wiki/San_d'Oria_Conquest_Points_Items

3. +2 Accuracy = +1% Hit Rate

During the first tip I mentioned an accuracy boost for having Signet on. If you do not know how accuracy works, every +2 accuracy is 1% hit rate bonus. Every 1 point of evasion your target has is -1 accuracy for you. When accuracy and evasion are exactly equal, the attacker has a 75% chance to hit the target. If an attacker has 110 accuracy and his target has 100 evasion, the chance to hit is 80%.
Every level difference between two entities is also + or - 2% hit rate. For example, if you are fighting a monster 5 levels above you, you take a -10% hit rate penalty down to 65% rate if acc and eva are equal.
This should give more clarity on what an item does when you come by it and see the the accuracy or evasion stat on it. For example, on the very popular Battle Gloves when you see the +3 accuracy and +3 evasion stats on it, it should come to mind now that what these gloves are giving you is +1.5% hit rate against monsters and -1.5% hit rate for the monsters against you.
This should also give clarity on why it feels like Incredibly Tough (IT) monsters can feel so evasive in EXP parties. At the lower levels, monsters that check as IT in EXP camps are typically about 7-10 levels above your party. I'm going to use the number 8 as an easy, round number to work with... what this means is that before accuracy and evasion are even considered, your base hit rate against an EXP party mob post-level-penalty is going to be about 75% - 8*2% or 59%. That's not a great rate at all and the only significant way to compensate for it is to build up your accuracy stat. This is why accuracy is so important in EXP groups.
There is a hard floor and hard cap to any player or monster's hit rate. The minimum possible hit rate is 20% and the maximum is 95%. Getting a metric on what your hitrate is during a fight can be done using the Deeps plugin which will be discussed more in tip 12.

4. STR, DEX and AGI affect combat stats

For this tip, some of the core stats affect your combat stats. STR affects attack. Every point of STR is +0.5 attack for one-handed weapons and +0.75 attack for two-handed weapons (this two-handed setting may differ from server to server but this is the most popular setting). Every point of DEX is +0.5 accuracy for one-handed weapons and 0.75 accuracy for two-handed weapons. Every point of AGI is +0.5 evasion. A good example of these stats in action is in the item Emperor Hairpin which has +3 DEX, +3 AGI and +10 evasion:
For one-handed users, the total bonuses work out to be:
+1.5 Accuracy (this is +0.75% hit rate!)
+11.5 Evasion (remember, this is the native +10 but with the AGI bonus factored in as well)
For two-handed users:
+2.25 Accuracy (this is +1.125% hit rate!)
+11.5 Evasion
Now, since +4 DEX/AGI = +2 acc/eva = +/- 1% hit rate, then, transitively, you can think of every 4 DEX equalling +1% hit rate and every 4 AGI equalling -1% hit rate for your target against you.
Another thing to note is that your 3-letter stats are often modifiers for weapon skills and that DEX is a modifier for Thief's Trick Attack (+1 DEX = +1 flat damage for TA if THF is main job) and AGI is a modifier for Thief's Sneak Attack (+1 AGI = +1 flat damage for SA if THF is main job).
Each weapon skill has its own stat ratios which can be found individually on the wiki. For example, Fast Blade has a 20% modifier on both STR and DEX so if you have 40 STR and 50 DEX, you are getting 40*0.2+50*0.2 which is a +18 DMG stat bonus added onto the DMG listed on your weapon for the damage calculation of this skill. The application of these stats for magical weapon skills works a bit differently and will not be covered here. Take note that there is an "oldid" in the URL linked for Fast Blade on the wiki. With the release of Adoulin, all weapon skill modifiers were changed which is outside the scope of 75-cap... so to get accurate information you'll need an older version of the wiki page. More on that in a minute.
In addition to aaaaalll this, STR in particular has one more bonus and applies to all physical weapon skills: every +4 STR is equal to +1 weapon damage for weapon skill and normal attack calculation. This, on top of the fact that STR also gives +attack and is very frequently listed on weapon skills as their modifier, is the main reason that the strategy of stacking absurd amounts of STR is so popular when you get to higher levels. At this point I don't think anyone needs to guess to figure out which stat was SE's special favorite. As a disclaimer, this mechanic is a bit more nuanced than +4 STR = +1 DMG and there is a cap to this bonus based on your weapon rank but for new and intermediate players... don't worry about it too much. If you want to read more on it, the article is here.
In conclusion, STR = damage, DEX = accuracy. For ranged attacks, it's STR = ranged damage, AGI = ranged accuracy. Notice it is AGI instead for ranged weapon accuracy. This is why you'll often see rangers wearing a pair of Drone Earrings. That combined +6 AGI is equating to +1.5% to ranged hit rate and +1.5 to Sidewinder's weapon damage calculation (that WS has a 25% AGI modifier) which is really good for ear-slot equipment.

5. FFXI Wiki

Tip number 5 is going to be your most valuable resource on Final Fantasy XI information for quests, items, missions, maps, monsters, just about everything. You can visit FFXIclopedia (often referred to as the wiki) and type whatever article you need into the search bar at the top right. Whenever you run into a roadblock and find yourself stuck on anything in the game chances are the wiki will be able to help you.
The best feature of the wiki that you will be utilizing constantly is the History button which will let you see a snapshot of any page from past edits. The History button can be found at the far right in a drop down right next to Edit, see this picture if you can't find it. From there, pick the revision you need (refer to following paragraph). At the bottom you can change the view to show 500 entries at a time if the date doesn't go back far enough. For an example of how the History feature can keep you from getting incorrect information, as you can see on the normal Ranger page it shows A+ archery but if we go to a mid-2007 revision then it will correctly tell me A- (accurate to 75-cap FFXI) and also all those level 99 cap abilities and such are gone and out of the way.

6. Combat Skill

Keep your combat skill up! If you are a warrior using a great axe, try to skill up your great axe as much as possible before joining a group. If you are a thief using a dagger, skill that up. Skill will only go up so far when fighting Easy Prey only so it will be a good idea to seek out a few, harder fights on Decent Challenge or Even Match before heading out to Valkurm Dunes or Qufim Island or wherever so that your skill will catch up some more.
Combat skill is the biggest factor that decides how effective you are as a fighter when playing as a physical damage class in a party. The reason for this is that each of your weapon's combat skill is +1 attack and +1 accuracy. This means if you show up to a group and are 15 skillups away from the cap, you are at a -15 attack and -15 accuracy disadvantage to someone else who has their skill up to cap for that level which is absolutely huge. One small caveat: for combat skill past 200, each point gives you +0.9 attack and accuracy instead of +1.0 each.
A huge consequence of this relationship for fresh 75 characters is that combat skill merits are insanely important and you want to dump points into them before other merits in most cases. Each merit into a combat skill increases it by 2 and maxes out at +16 so once you upgrade it eight times you are earning yourself a bonus of +14.4 attack and +14.4 accuracy at the relatively low cost of 210k limit points... WOW!

7. Food is essential!

For anyone past level 10, if you are fighting whether solo or in a party, but especially in a party, always use food! It is a massive damage boost so as soon as you can afford it I would pick up some Meat Jerky to start (you can find it on basic merchants in every starter city for cheap) and upgrade later to accuracy food or Meat Mithkabobs (found on the auction house). Newer players, I encourage to test this yourself and go out and fight a monster without food, use a piece of meat jerky and notice the damage difference. It is very noticeable.
If you are unsure when it is a good time in your levelling journey to upgrade from Jerkies to Kabobs, check your stats in your equipment menu BEFORE using food and AFTER the party's level sync is applied. Meat Jerky's attack bonus will cap out at 136 pre-food attack so if you have 137 or more attack, it's going to be a good idea to snack on the Kabobs instead.
If you are having accuracy issues, Jack-o'-Lantern is good in the Dunes only and other accuracy food is pretty expensive. Bream Sushi (RoTZ, CoP, ToAU servers) and Crab Sushi (WotG servers) seem to be the cheapest and if you are willing to spend more cash, just take a look around in the Seafood section on the auction house.
If you are primarily using ranged attacks instead, Sausage is the main cheap early-game ranged attack food that can be found on Bastok NPCs for 140 gil each. Later on, Coeurl Subs are the best for ranged attack. At higher levels, Rangers get a ton of free ranged accuracy from gear from things such as Archer's Knives, a Ranger's Necklaces and Hunter's Jerkins so I'd stay away from food that gives only ranged accuracy such as sushi. If you do need to mix in a bit of ranged accuracy though, Flounder Meuniere provides a good mix for the early levels and Pot-au-feu (WotG servers only) provides a good mix for the later levels after Flounder caps out.
For mages, Ginger Cookies are great from 10 to 75 for regaining MP. For BLM, you will have better success with baked pies such as Rolanberry Pie for the added INT.

8. INT, MND and Resistance

If you mages are feeling left out so far, don't worry, I've got you covered. For this tip, each point of INT will increase the damage of elemental magic by exactly one point unless you've reached enough INT to reach the soft cap, at which point every point of INT afterward is +0.5 damage. This soft cap depends on your target's INT and is generally not reached against monsters much higher level than you (VT, IT) without the aid of level 70+ equipment, so it's safe to ignore the soft cap before then for grouping and just consider +1 INT = +1 spell damage. INT also affects the magic accuracy of most black magic, including all elemental magic. So it sort of double dips for elemental magic, increasing both damage and accuracy. This is why the stat is so crucial for Black Mage.
Magic accuracy affects the resistance rate of spells. If you don't know how resist works, any spell can be half, quarter, eighth or full resisted. On status spells like Rasp, it is the duration that is either halved or quartered and such. For damage spells, it is the damage that gets halved, quartered and so on. Most status spells, including Slow, Blind, Sleep, Paralyze and Bind either take full duration or half duration; any resists beyond a quarter will count as a full resist, causing the spell to not stick at all. This means a spell like Sleep can only ever land for 60 seconds, land for 30 seconds, or just get resisted. Lullaby is a bit of a weird exception and will always land for 30 seconds if it's not resisted.
MND works in a very similar way, increasing Banish damage by one point per point of MND and increasing magic accuracy of most white magic spells. MND has very little effect on cures mostly due to the ease of hitting the soft cap on the HP restored formula. Cure V is an exception here due to its lack of soft cap: no matter what, every +1 MND equates to about +1.4 HP restored for this spell. On the other Cure spells, MND is pretty negligible. For the most part, the main reason a White Mage would want MND gear in the earlier levels would be to increase the magic accuracy of Slow and Paralyze.
One last very interesting thing is that MND and INT will actually increase your resistance to their respective status effects and magic nukes if you are on the receiving end of the spell. If you are instead being hit by a monster TP move, the modifier will always be INT, even if the status effect is typically associated with white magic, like Chaotic' Eye's Silence (Coeurls) or Palsy Pollen's Paralyze (Flytraps), and so on. They will roll with your INT as the modifier. It is rare for anyone to ever itemize MND or INT just for resistance but it is something to note and may be something you keep in mind now for jobs that have a low base MND or INT.

9. Resting MP Ticks

After you first sit down to rest, the first tick of MP will come in at 20 seconds and then every tick after will be 10 seconds apart. This is something that healers can use much to their advantage to get in extra MP here and there when needed which can really add up. For example, if one of your party members needs a cure while you are resting and you are 7 seconds into the current tick, consider waiting that extra 3 seconds to get another, say, 20 MP before you get up and toss the cure if it's not an emergency. But if you just sat down 4 seconds ago and your next tick is going to be 16 seconds away you may want to get up regardless. Always consider the current situation at hand with the monster your team is fighting to make the call when you need to stand up from resting to cast spells. Early and mid game WHM is a lot about how well you manage your rest cycles. As for how much MP you actually get per 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. tick, below is a link to the article that shows the exact values along the right side of the page.
https://ffxiclopedia.fandom.com/wiki/Clear_Mind?oldid=1053195

10. Mog Wardrobes

Use your Mog Wardrobes!!! Most 75-cap private servers have these enabled (Nasomi has Sack/Satchel instead). If you do not know what these are, they are extra storage options in your mog house at the very bottom and they can only be used to store equippable items. The unusual thing about them though is that they can be accessed from anywhere in Vana'diel. Out in the field, open your minus-key menu and then hit the right key and go to view house and you'll be able to move your equipment freely back and forth.
The biggest boon from the wardrobe system however is your ability to equip your items directly from your wardrobes instead of from your inventory. This frees up 16 slots from your main inventory which alone is huge. In your equipment screen after you select one of the slots, hit the storage options button at the very top to change the equip view from current inventory to a wardrobe slot instead.
Mog wardrobes are conveniently auto-detected when using equip macros, meaning /equip main "Light Staff" will look in all your wardrobes for a light staff to equip, and the macro will not break later if you move that staff to other wardrobes or your inventory. The same goes for equipsets.
Some servers may require you to unlock your Mog Wardrobes before you can use them. On the Eden 75-cap private server in particular, Mog Wardrobes must be unlocked by completing content: getting Mog Wardrobe 1 by achieving rank 3 in your nation and Mog Wardrobe 2 by achieving rank 6 in your nation.

11. 60 FPS

Next up are a few tips for Ashita which is a loader for Final Fantasy XI that lets it run in windowed mode and to connect to private server IP addresses. If you use Windower there are alternate ways to use plugins for Windower to achieve the same effects. For tip 11 we have FPS. By default, FFXI runs at the choppy 30 frames per second. The game was originally designed to run at this rate but this plugin allows you to up the framerate to a smoother 60 per second by typing in "/fps 1" into your game's chat line and hitting enter.

12. Deeps

Deeps is a basic damage parser that will show accumulated damage over a parse and percentage of contribution for nearby players. Once downloaded through Ashita in the plugins tab, type "/load deeps" in game and "/dps reset" to start a new parse. The window can be moved by holding the shift key and dragging it with the mouse.
The most powerful part of Deeps in my opinion is the ability to see your hit rate percentages on attacks and weapon skills. When you have had a parse going for long enough to have a decent sample size, you can click on the damage bar for yourself (or anyone in your party) to see a damage breakdown. From there, click on either "attacks" or the weapon skill you have been using. Right click will take the menu back one step. This will give a metric on what percentage of swings have missed, hit, or scored a critical. This is VERY useful for adjusting your build or changing up bard/corsaifood buffs. If your miss rate is around 5% (within reasonable margin of error due to sample size) then you are likely at or beyond the accuracy cap, meaning that some of the accuracy you have in your build is going to waste and can be traded out for more haste, attack or STR. As a physical damage dealer, do not let this important tool go to waste!

13. Recast

Probably the most game changing will be the recast plugin. Normally the only way to check your magic and ability cooldowns is by checking the menu or by making dedicated recast macros per ability/spell. With this plugin you'll be able to see all of your cooldowns in real time on the screen. Like before, it can be moved by holding the shift key and dragging it.
That's all for Ashita plugins but I'd encourage you to read through the plugins list in Ashita itself to see what else you might put to good use. Be sure though to check the rules of the server you are playing on -- not all plugins or addons may be allowed within server rules.

14. Equipsets

Next up are a couple tips related to your macro bars. #14 covers equipsets. You may or may not already be familiar with changing your equipment through macros that use "/equip" for each individual piece. Well, now there is a much easier way to do it within the game client. In your minus key menu under macros there is a second button here called equipsets, hit that and you will have an entire book of equipment sets that you can edit and save. Each one is a snapshot of all sixteen equipment slots and once you have one set up, you can put into a macro in simply one line "/equipset 1" to equip that set and it will update all sixteen slots to match it. Equipsets will automatically detect where that piece is located so if you move gear between your different wardrobes or inventory then it will not break the set.

15. Inline Wait Command

Some macro'd actions cannot be used consecutively without a delay between them (i.e. Boost, then Combo) which can be remedied with a "/wait 1" line between them, however this limits your macro to only using up to three lines instead of six. Sometime down the line, Square added the functionality of an inline wait command at the end of any line using the angled brackets. There are a few applications where this is immensely useful, such as this lastsynth macro that will set up your character to automatically craft for two minutes straight without any additional input while you do something else. The macro for that would look like:
/lastsynth
/lastsynth
/lastsynth
/lastsynth
/lastsynth
/lastsynth

16. Keyboard Shortcuts

Tip #16 -- did you know there are several keyboard shortcuts for some of the most used actions and windows in the game? You can use
CTRL+A to engage an attack
CTRL+W to open the weapon skill menu
CTRL+J to open the job ability menu
CTRL+B to open the pet commands menu
CTRL+I to open your inventory window
CTRL+E to open your equipment window and
CTRL+R to reply to the last tell received
Another neat thing is that every single one of these CTRL shortcuts will also work if you use the ALT key.

17. Aspect Ratio

Now for a few tips within your Final Fantasy game settings. If you first loaded into the game and felt like the game is stretched lengthwise, that's because it is. The default setting for the game is an aspect ratio of 4:3 which was the most common monitor aspect ratio in the early and mid 2000s so, for tip 18, you can go into your Config menu under Misc. 2 and change the ratio to better match your monitor. 16:9 is the most common nowadays so it is likely the option you'll want to choose. The Config menu can be found by double tapping the minus key to get the second page of the minus key menu.

18. Auto Sort

Tip 18 will be the auto sort function inside Config under Gameplay. The default setting is off which means your inventory will fill with loot one slot at a time until it is at max, even if the items are able to stack on top of each other. Enabling this setting makes it so every time an item enters your inventory it will automatically sort and stack if possible. It is something you cannot live without in my opinion.

19. Tell Notifications

A decent bit of Final Fantasy 11 is going to be seeking party with your invite flag up and you might be AFK or tabbed out for a lot of that. For tip 19, did you know you can safely alt+tab out of the game and not have to check back constantly for invites? In the Config menu under Chat Filters there is an extra option to turn on a sound notification that plays when you get a tell. Find "Tell" in the long list of chat channels, hover over it and then keep pressing enter until you see the musical note. You can test it by sending a tell to yourself if you want to hear what it sounds like. Be careful though, this sound will ONLY play if you tab out of the game from windowed mode but if you MINIMIZE the game it will turn off all sound from the game. If you alt-tabbed out of the game in the proper way, you should still hear footsteps of people running by and general background noise. You can actually turn the in-game sound setting all the way down and you will still get a full-volume tell ping if this bothers you. Which leads into the next step...

20. Don't Use

Please, never use or or or any of the very jarring call sounds for that matter. This is a courtesy for the people in your party. The reason for this is that they ignore the in-game sound slider. If you leave the sound settings in-game alone but adjust the windows sound it will sound normal... but some people do it the other way around -- they leave the windows sound maxed and use the in-game sliders. Since calls ignore the slider and always play at max volume, if you ALSO have windows sound maxed too it is insanely loud and will destroy the eardrums of headphone users. In general, use calls sparingly, and if you want to use one, use one of the softer sounding ones like or or . And if you did not know you can test what each one sounds like using party chat even when playing solo. They go up to 21.

21. Avatar Blur Effect

Next up is a rather niche tip mostly for SMNs. When you summon an avatar you'll notice a really pixelated glow effect around the edges of your avatar. This effect happens because, for whatever reason, the blur effect is locked at rendering at the game's native resolution and you are running the game at a higher resolution. You can turn this off by typing "/localsettings blureffect off". This will make the avatar look much cleaner in my opinion. You can turn it back on by just doing the same thing but just typing "on" instead. This is also insanely useful in Dynamis if you are getting a lot of framerate lag during a pull with a lot of summoner monsters that have their avatar out... the blur effect is the culprit for the lag.

22. Aggro Detection Ranges

Many monsters across Vana'Diel are aggressive towards the player, most often by sight or by sound, as long as they check to the player as "Easy Prey" or higher. At higher levels, the lower end of Easy Prey will no longer aggro you. For tip 22, I'd reccommend picking up the distance plugin in Ashita to better understand the detection ranges I am about to mention. The maximum detection range for monsters detecting by sight is 15 yalms and the maximum detection range for monsters detecting by sound is 8 yalms. However, if you are a ninja or have ninja as your sub job and you have the accompanying stealth job trait learned at level 5 ninja, the sight detection range is reduced from 15 to 12 and the sound detection range is reduced from 8 to 5. Definitely keep these numbers handy next time you're trying to path around aggressive monsters in tight spaces. Keep in mind also that there is a minor lag in playemonster position in FFXI so where you see the mob in your game is where it actually was about half a second ago. It's the same reason that players have trouble initiating battle with a melee attack on a monster that is moving around.

23. Running Ahead of Moving Monsters

This is a quick one. Due to the lag mentioned above, if you want to hit a moving monster, you can run in front of it while facing the same direction it is moving in to land your first hit.

24. Jobemotes

You may be familiar with some common emotes such as /wave /bow and /clap. For tip 24 there are also additional emotes you get when you unlock each job. There is one for every single job and they can be used with the command "/jobemote job" such as /jobemote whm or /jobemote war. It's just a little extra bit of cosmetic fun added to the game and adds to the social aspect of the game which is always a bonus. Also in case you did not know, you can find a list of all the normal emotes in the minus key menu under Communication and then Emote List. /jump is the only one that does not work on private servers.

25. Displayhead

For 25, just a quick stylistic tip. If you have a helmet on that covers your character's face or just in general doesn't really match the rest of your armor, you can type "/displayhead off" to turn off your helmet or headgear display without taking off that piece of armor and losing its stats.

26. Skillchains with FFcalc

Skillchains in Final Fantasy are one of the many cooperation mechanics that encourage you to coordinate with your party members. Certain weapon skills can be performed in succession for a skillchain that does bonus damage. This works off of each weapon skill having its own skillchain properties that are each associated with an element and when certain elements are mixed it will result in one of the many types of skillchains. Knowing exactly which skills will chain with which other skills can be pretty confusing. There are some charts you can find if you search around online but for this tip I am going to be recommending a very useful third party program that will help immensely with planning skillchains. It is called FFcalc and can be downloaded here:
http://www.ffxicalculator.com/
Extract everything to a folder and then open the .exe and click the skillchain tab. In the first drop down at the top left, put your own weapon and in the second drop down put your party member's weapon. On the right side, uncheck "Empyrean" and "Merit" weapon skills (they are not 75-cap) and most likely "Relic" as well unless someone has a relic weapon. After that, it gives you a simple list of all the skillchains you can perform with your party member if you go in this order (i.e. Dagger into Sword). If you swap the order (i.e. Sword into Dagger) it's possible to get entirely different results. Level 1 skillchains deal 50% bonus damage, level 2 skillchains deal 75% bonus damage and level 3 deal 100% bonus damage. Continuing a chain with additional skills will add another force multiplier, dealing even more damage than this.

27. Statistics Calculator

For tip #27 we have another external tool, this one is a website instead of a program so it is easier. Just go to this link here:
http://ffxi-stat-calc.sourceforge.net/cgi-bin/ffxistats.cgi
This is a stat calculator that will tell you the base stats of a character of any given level, race and job combination. This is immensely useful when planning out what your starting race will be and how your sub job affects what your stats are for whatever main job you choose to go with. It will give you information on things like how much HP a Galka PLD will have over an Elvaan PLD... how much INT/MP a Tarutaru BLM will have over a Hume BLM... or how much AGI/DEX you gain playing a Mithra THF over a Hume THF. Your race choice is PERMANENT in Final Fantasy and on top of that each race actually has pretty substantial stat difference from other races. If you are stuck on being unsure what exactly those stat differences will be when trying to plan out what character you want to create, this website is 100% going to be a huge help.

28. Searching by Area

Tip 28, if you see multiple people with their flags up and plan to build an EXP party, make sure a camp spot is open before starting. Many people are going to be familiar with the common comands /sea and /sea all but there is also a search window in the minus key menu that will let you check any area in the game as long as you've visited it at least once. If you know the area's "short name" you can search it up by the chat command as well. Some common ones you may want to get familiar with will be /sea Valkurm, /sea ZiTah, /sea Qufim, /sea YuhtunJng, /sea Bhaflau, /sea Wajaom, /sea MtZhayolm, /sea . This way you can check if a spot is taken. If you see a party there but unsure where they are at... the party leader's name will be marked in yellow so give them a /tell.

29. Provoke is All VE

This tip is focused on Provoke which is the primary enmity-controlling ability, at least in the early and mid levels. If you are a tank and are not a Warrior, likely you are subbing Warrior solely to get this ability. Provoke is ONLY "Volatile Enmity" meaning 1/30th of its effect fades off every second so it is fully gone by 30 seconds when the ability is back off its cooldown. What this means to you as the tank or off-tank is that Provoke is at its highest usefulness the moment it is used and for several seconds afterward since it starts fading immediately. For this reason it is important to NEVER Provoke a monster while it is bound or sleeping -- you are wasting the best part of your Provoke's effects. Again, to clarify, a Provoke that happened 30 seconds ago has absolutely zero effect on enmity. Keep this info in mind when using Provoke to control the pace of a fight for your party.

30. AH Slight Undercutting

This one is a bit controversial since some people despise undercutters but I'm going to cover it since I'm not one of those people and I feel it'll answer a common new player question of "why won't my items sell?" The AH is really basic -- the lowest price item will always sell first regardless of list date of any of the listed items. If a sword is listed at a rate of exactly once every day for 4,950 and is sold at the exact same rate of one per day while a few other ones sit up for 5,000, then the higher priced ones will never be sold due to their price. Because of this simple system, sellers who have an intent to list for a price, like 5,000, will list for slightly under to get the item to sell faster, like 4,950, 4,901 or 4,999 so it is within your interest as a competitor to do the same to get your own items to sell. If there is enough competition for people to sell their items before others, you can take advantage of this as a buyer and put in bids for numbers like 4,800 which might fail but maybe you'll get some hits with 4,900. Once enough sell at 4,900 the price history will basically say "this item is worth 4,900 not 5,000" and the process could continue if there is still competition at the lower price. This is pretty much the basics of how prices fluctuate on the auction house. If you've had something listed for a week or more you may want to go back and check on the price again -- you might need to relist for lower.

31. Camera Control

Next up are a few camera tricks using the shift key on the keyboard. When you are locked onto a monster with the H key, your arrow keys go from turning the camera to selecting options in the battle menu. You can hold down the shift key while locked to allow usage of the arrow keys to adjust the camera angle. Once you let go of shift you are back to the menu options. Another neat quirk about the shift key is when you are running around out of battle your camera naturally recenters itself behind your character. You can hold the shift key to stop it from doing that. It's useful for taking cinematic shots and also useful if you are trying to avoid aggro and need the camera pointed in the direction where you need to see enemy monsters while you are moving around.
The game starts with the camera zoomed in patially. You can use the comma key to zoom all the way out for a wider field of view, or the period key to zoom in further. Also, the Home key will quickly recenter the camera directly behind your character.

32. Monster TP

For tip 32, the way monsters gain and use TP is much different from players. Monsters have a TP gauge that starts at 0 and fills up to 3000 just like players, but they will only use TP moves when they reach the full 3000 points. This changes, however, once the mob hits 25% hp or lower, where it enters sort of a rage mode, using its TP moves immediately once it has at least 1000 TP. This can have the effect of often making the TP moves very predictable in EXP parties since a mob will typically have around 2000~2500 TP at 30% so if it drops to 25% it will use its move right then which will help you time your defensive abilities or even preventative abilities and spells such as stunning or sleeping the monster right at 25% to interrupt its move. Whether the mob consistently uses a move at 25% or not is going to depend on your own party's damage output and weapon type since one handed weapons will feed TP faster. If you did not know, while players get a negligible amount of TP when hit, monsters get much more TP when they get hit. The amount of TP a monster gets when you hit it is the same amount you got for hitting it, plus 30. So if I strike with a Brass Dagger, I get 50 TP but the monster gets 80 TP, meaning it gets TP at 80/50 or 160% of the rate that I do. If I strike with a Greataxe instead, I get 137 TP but the monster gets 167 TP, meaning it gets TP at 167/137 or 122% of the rate that I do. This constant +30 per hit is why faster-attacking one-handed weapons feed TP much more.

33. Checkparam

For the 33rd and final tip of this post, you can see extra information about your character that isn't normally displayed on your equip screen character sheet through the use of /checkparam . The me is in angled brackets. This will let you most importantly see your accuracy, ranged accuracy, ranged attack, and evasion stats that are normally invisible to you. Don't know if you are hitting the bonus cap on a ranged attack food? Now you can check. Unsure of how much accuracy or evasion you're adding with the bard songs Madrigal and Mambo? Now you can test it out. Another neat trick you can do with this command is put in angled brackets instead to see your pet stats on any pet job. This is particularly useful to see what level your summoned jug pet is as a beastmaster.

And that is everything. I had to cut quite a few tips (the original video script had 45) and many URLs due to Reddit's 40k character limit. Maybe in the future I can get into those on other posts. If there was something here you don't understand or something missing you were hoping to see, let me know and I'll try to answer questions. I hope this was helpful and enjoyable to read to someone out there,
submitted by caelicffxi to FFXIPrivateServers [link] [comments]

[12 Month Review] E-Commerce High End Men's Shoes | Reflections, Improvements & Case Study

Hi everyone,
I am a more of a lurker here and in sweatystartup. I made a post there about 7 months ago that documented the start of my journey. If you want to check it out later here it is. Long post incoming, so apologies I don't do this often. Also, English is not my native language so bear with me.
Super Quick Background:
My name is Kostas, originally from Greece living in Sweden for the last 6 years. I am a water engineer with an MSc. but the job sucked and I hated taking orders from bullies, slowpokes and unqualified people. Let alone the racism I went through. In April/May 2019 I quit in the span of a week to pursue my true interest: Selling Goodyear Welted Men's Shoes Online. To be master of my own self. The shop is called The Noble Shoe.
I didn't want to be a wantepreneur but I knew I had to be diligent. I had saved up 10000$ enough for 12 months of survival, then got a part time job for the first 4-5 months in Suitsupply, a Premium RTW Suit Store. The manager was yet another bully, so I gave him 6 months to stay as a boss when I quit in the 28th of December. He was fired a few weeks ago. The pay was great but I decided it was time to go full time, which i do for the last 7 months.
Sum of Start Up:
I also do photography, SEO, maintenance and promotions myself. Packing, including a handwritten note is done in house by me. I also run for the last 2 years a Style/Review Blog and a recently started YouTube Channel. More later.
Current Situation
Let's start with the important stuff everybody wants to read. As mentioned, I have quite a healthy margin on my products. I currently carry physically 3 Brands:
and a few more MTO/MTM brands that I don't need stock of. I included a link to each collection so you can see the differences between each brand/looks etc. If inappropriate, let me know and I will delete the links. You are most likely not my niche target, but it is important to showcase what I do.
The bulk of my sales (90-95%) comes from the first Portuguese value brand. They are great people to work with and deliver a great product for the price. I was their customer before, so for me to quit my job and start with them was a testament to how much I believed in them.
My initial projection for the year 2020 (Jan to Dec) was $100000 however I shattered it already in April, increasing my projection to $300000. I am however a very ambitious person and never satisfied. My advice is to set the bar as high as you can. So my current goal is $500000 in sales for the year.
In retrospective, I have sold 673 pairs of shoes for a combined gross revenue of $265000 with a 14.5% return customer rate. For comparison, $170000 of that came in the last 6.5 months. My conversion is not as great down to 0.45% but I am working on it, plus I am advertising to increase my traffic, awareness and reach at the moment. I have developed a strong following of return buyers and word is that I offer the best prices and best service they have dealt with. 90% of my customers are in the USA. It's very appealing since they don't pay VAT or import taxes under $800 and shipping is free.
My goal for next year is to bring $2000000 in revenue and start getting paid properly as a lot goes back into the company right now, plus my mom's got cancer so I pay for the treatment. I will also try to hire some freelancers to help with some trivial tasks as I am burning out.
Covid hasn't affected me much as I am online, plus people looked to refresh their wardrobes after quarantine and big companies with physical stores got hammered hard. I believe whoever comes out of this crisis will come out stronger than ever before.
In the meantime, let me share my tips and lessons learned from a few different areas.
Customer Service Is KING
So here's the thing. I am not just an owner, I am a customer. I bough many shoes before and it SHOCKED me how shitty the customer service was/is in many high end shoe brands. Reaching out to ask for sizing and receiving a message 4 months later, or none at all means I won't recommend your brand anywhere and also never buy from you again.
So this was my big opportunity. I love talking and interacting with people. I never leave an email hanging in my inbox and reply as soon as I can. Sometimes at 3 am in the night. I don't care, the only thing that matters is the mission. And my mission is to be the best in the world at what I do and offer the best service you have ever seen.
Feedback is great. You know, sometimes when I spot something strange in an order, or a made to order has arrived I give a quick call to the customer. They are mostly shocked, telling me they have never had such service before. If they don't reply, a very quick email works too.
Additionally, I write a handwritten note in every box. Sometimes I include a dad joke (ex. why are there no cats on mars? Because "curiosity" killed them all), sometimes I just thank them, or tell them how to properly take care of their shoes. This will be a challenge when the numbers increase, but I have some ideas already.
TLDR: Genuinely Care for your customer, and they will be your champions and ambassadors. Got a shitty customer? Deal with it and don't be afraid to say no. I have had only a handful of customers that I never want to hear from again and I can spell their names in a heartbeat. Don't sacrifice your integrity for a few $$$.
You Can Never Prepare Everything, Be Hungry To Learn Yourself
Think you can control and prepare everything pre/post launch? Impossible. I hired the website designers and they sucked. Waste of money. So I learned how to build my own website. Shopify has limitations but it is rather intuitive. I don't know code, but I learned how to find workarounds or notice patterns.
Last week I had to deal with bugs of products not showing as "Sold Out". It took me hours and hours but I did find a way.
If you are a lazy ass and think you will make a quick buck or have the money flow in you are in for a tough ride and shouldn't be in it alltogether. The goal is to work on what you love, find partners and workers you can trust and outsource the things you don't like, so you can focus on the important parts like business growth. But it takes time.
I also learned photography and photoshop, and lightroom, and illustrator. Because I had to. A cornered fox is more dangerous than a jackal. Don't give up, fight back and the smile on your face when you manage something as simple as uploading the SVG logo in your header on your website is worth it.
TLDR: Be ready to learn. A Jack of all trades is ok but in the long run you need focus and specialization. Nobody remembers the middle wheel of a truck. Be prepared for a rough 1-2 years.
Logistics Are As Important
I worked with the local post. It was my biggest source of anxiety. God damn sometimes it took 7 days to reach the US, sometimes 1.5 month. I contacted DHL and now I ship for super prices all over the world. 1 business day to New York. Unreal. Delivered to your door.
From my engineering days, we said that in a 3D model if the data that goes in is shit, the data that goes out will be shit. Same here, if your infrastructure is terrible, then you are sabotaging your whole brand/product.
Don't Be Afraid To Negotiate
My DHL prices are great. However I reached out to them a month ago and told them about my progress. They invited me to renegotiate to a better rate after the summer.
I also called my phone provider and reduced my phone bill for the exact same data by $10 a month. That's $120 a year.
I increased my stock a lot and asked for a discount on orders, I got a 3% off big orders. It quickly adds up. But nothing would happen if I didn't chase it or ask. Do it!!!!
Attracting Investors
During my last day at Suitsupply I met by sheer luck a guy. He loved my shoes and we ended up going for a coffee. Turns out he was a big investor. We reached an agreement yesterday.
We will make something great out of this. Always be ready to pitch your brand and products, have focus and know what makes you unique. Show true enthusiasm and some knowledge. Good investors will invest in YOU not the product only. It's the difference between "doing ok" and success.
One thing to note, having investors is a partnership for the long term. If you don't trust or have a good feeling about that person, don't go into it even if you need the money.
Finding investors if you have something good is not hard, finding the correct investors is. Always be prepared!
Notice What Competitors Do & Do It Better
Cliche I know, but find something you can do better and you already have a head start. For me customer service was one thing and the other was photography. Now, I am by no means a pro but when I went to a shop that sells my shoes and I couldn't see what color the shoes truly are, It means I would never buy. All of them have those annoying product photos with fake light. Well, I take my pics outside in the real world in natural light and conditions.
There's always something to improve in the formula, even if it's tiny.
Invest In Yourself
I don't pay myself right now apart from the basics. However, I do spend $700 a month right now for a personal trainer. It's worth every penny for me. It keeps me sharp, healthy and looking/feeling good. Working in the office made me a "fat blob" as I sank in my ridiculous cubicle looking at excel sheets and slowly dying by the day.
Keep learning, keep growing and find some time for yourself. Otherwise you will burn out.
Social Media Is Important But Sucks Ass
Everything these days is pay to win. You are more often than not not going to drive any sales organically. I have 25K followers on IG but most of those who follow can't afford my shoes. What it IS important for though is BRAND EXPOSURE. Be consistent and be active. It is a time pit though so if and when you can outsource it.
Don't bother with influencers or anyone that calls themselves this. They won't net you a dollar. Instead, look for small niche people like I did on YouTube etc specializing in your field. If you are truly big then you can work with brand ambassadors but don't waste your money. Those mongrels can't even spell a sentence right or pitch their products. I charge influencers 50% more when they ask for free stuff.
I gave a total of 3 pairs of shoes to a 8k subscriber guy on YouTube and he has netted me $50000 in return. Laser Focus over quantity.
Build A Community
It all started for me 2 years ago with a blog about style and shoes (Misiu Academy). It allowed me to build a small audience so when I launched my shop I already had some buyers/preorders.
I now also launched my YouTube channel 2 months ago as visuals are important in such industries.
It's a hobby for now but it will help me learn a lot. You don't need such things, but if you have laid the foundation, your growth can be much quicker.
Paid Advertising
It varies from each industry. Most of you can do the Google Ads by yourselves. Their interface is unbelievably bad, but don't waste too much money on it.
The real conversion seems to be on Facebook and Instagram. HOWEVER. Don't do it by yourselves unless you are a pro. Otherwise it is a colossal money pit. Finding a good agency is super tough and you need to be prepared to spend to make money.
I would focus 20-30% on Google and the rest on FB/IG depending on industry. I currently spend about $5000 on ads in total. Crunch the numbers based on profit and spend/roi to figure out if you are actually making/losing/breaking even.
Also, if you thought that you will hire an agency and then they do all the work...reconsider. You have to be on top of things as very rarely they will get your brand message correctly. In one of the test ads a guy sent me a template that had my shoes and the moto "keep slayin". Not even joking. I died inside a bit. Be active and review everything initially until you are on auto pilot.
Future?
Always plan two steps ahead so you never end up one step back. If that makes any sense. I am hungry for success and improvement. Currently I am changing my company to an LLC and will apply for a bigger credit line for safety with my bank.
I plan to delegate some social media handling, find better storage and optimize my marketing.
Sorry, it was a long post and I got a little tired so I will write a little less now :)
Do It, But Be Prepared
It is worth to take the plunge only to do something you enjoy. You don't need passion, passion disappears after a while. Going all in without any plan however is a surefire way to fail for most of us. Don't see problems, see opportunities and challenges.
Because the sense of freedom, financial security, financial independence and not being anyone's puppets, while giving people a smile and making their day is worth every penny.
I work around 100-110 hours a week now. It is not easy, I am almost burnt out but I know that in the next 6 months I can take a lot off my shoulders. I do have the blog/youtube however so it doesn't mean you are going to do that much. But the more time and effort you are willing to spend, the bigger rewards you will reap.
I hope it was ok to post this and I hope you enjoyed a first timer's/amateur's adventures over the course of 13 months.
I will be more than happy to answer any questions or just discuss with you.
Best, Kostas
submitted by methanol88 to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]

I really like how each of the elite bigs in the league have their own strengths and weaknesses. No two unicorns are the same.

This post consists of me rambling about Embiid, Jokic, KAT, AD, Giannis, and Porzingis. (Be warned, it's pretty long.)

Giannis, AD, and KP have primarily played PF this season, but they're still bigs.

(EDIT: Added Bam and Siakam.)

By the way, why mention Porzingis, you might be thinking, since he hasn't been as good as the other players on the list this season? Well, I thought it would only be appropriate to include KP, as he was the OG "Unicorn" as crowned by KD in 2016, as a 7-footer who can shoot and defend at a high level:
"He can shoot, he can make the right plays, he can defend, he's a 7-footer that can shoot all the way out to the 3-point line," Durant said, according to ESPN's Royce Young. "That's rare. And block shots -- that's like a unicorn in this league."

For the purposes of this post, a "unicorn" is a tall player with All-NBA potential who spends a decent amount of time defending bigs and possesses a strong offensive skillset (hence someone like Rudy Gobert is omitted, as he's a defensive monster but has a more limited offensive skillset).

Embiid is a borderline case with his more old-school, post-oriented offensive skillset, but he's at least a decent and willing shooter from midrange and 3, separating himself from the bigs of yore, and besides, he also makes for a nice contrast with some of the others on the list.
Before we begin...
This post steals/references numerous ideas from the excellent Thinking Basketball YouTube channel, run by Ben Taylor. I highly recommend you also watch these highly informative, well-made, and entertaining player breakdowns (note, some of these were made in 2019, so some statistics they reference might not reflect these players' 2020 production):
Some terms I'll be using:
per 75 = per 75 possessions, i.e. points per 75 possessions = measure of a player's scoring rate. Each season and each team has a different pace, so adjusting for pace like this allows us to compare players' scoring more fairly than PPG. (Why 75 possessions? There isn't any grand reasoning- the average *(edit) high-usage modern NBA player simply uses roughly 75 possessions/game, so "per 75" stats are perhaps easier to intuitively understand for most people than "per 100" stats, which are available on Basketball Reference.)
TS% = true shooting percentage, i.e. a player's scoring efficiency, basically FG% but accounting for 3-pointers and free-throws
rTS% = relative true shooting percentage, i.e. how efficient a player's scoring is compared to league average scoring efficiency, which is 56.4 TS% in 2019-20 according to Basketball Reference
ORTG and DRTG are a team's offensive and defensive rating, respectively, with numbers taken from Basketball Reference.
rORTG = relative offensive rating, i.e. how good a team's offense is compared to league average offensive rating, which is 110.4 in 2019-20 according to Basketball Reference.
PnR = Pick and roll, DHO = Dribble hand-off

Joel Embiid | "The Process", "Do-a-180"

In a nutshell: Philadephia 76ers C, 7-0, 250lb, All-Star. Basic stats: 23.4/11.8/3.1/0.9/1.3 with 3.1 TOVs on 47.4/34.8/81.4 splits (59.3 TS%), 44 games played. Advanced: 0.203 WS/48, 5.2 BPM.
The good:
    • Monster low-post scorer: Embiid has an excellent scoring rate (~28 points per 75). He does most of his damage on offense by being the most prolific post-scorer in the league (91st percentile in post scoring efficiency, 1st in frequency by a large margin), where Embiid's massive frame and Hakeem-esque post-game allow him to make opposing big men look helpless and draw fouls at a heady pace with his relentless bully ball.
    • Decent scoring efficiency: +3.0 rTS%, it mostly results from a monstrous free-throw rate (10.5 FTA per 75, 81.4 FT%) and elite scoring in the paint (72 FG% from 0-3 feet). His midrange shooting has improved to an acceptable 41% too, and his 3P shooting is a decent 35%. He's been slightly less efficient in the playoffs (56TS%, +1.1 rTS%), with the caveat being that he was afflicted by injury and that the Raptors had an all-time-great playoff defense and former DPOY Marc Gasol, who made his life a nightmare (18/9/3 on 53TS% that series).
    • DPOY-level defender: Embiid is an amazing defender, stemming from his elite rim protection (1.3bpg, Sixers defense improves by 7 points when he enters a game). His mammoth frame, length, and first-class shot-blocking instincts at the rim have given him a Gobert-like deterrent-effect on offenses, making opponents thinking twice about attacking the basket. The Sixers have 105.1 DRTG with Embiid on the floor, which would rank 3rd in the league. Even when he's having a bad day on offense, he can recover his impact on the other end - he was a +84 over 7 games against the Raptors last playoffs despite shooting poorly from the field, testament to his incredible defense.
The not-as-good:
    • Heavy feet: Embiid can be slightly lead-footed when switching onto perimeter players, and can be blown past on closeouts. He's still a decent perimeter defender overall, as his length and timing can allow him to recover well with strong contests from behind.
    • Spotty vision/passing: JoJo has as many turnovers as assists. His decision-making falters somewhat under defensive pressure. His dribble is a bit loose, too, which doesn't help in this aspect. He can make basic passes out of double-teams, though more advanced reads are beyond him for now.
    • 3P-shooting has some room for improvement: He came into the league shooting 37% in his rookie year, so he's regressed somewhat since then. He's shown marked improvement this season though, making 34.8% of his threes. Joel's next step will be attempting more 3s, since he currently takes fewer than 4 threes a game. His excellent FT% (81.4%) and passable midrange efficiency (41 FG%) bode well for future improvements in his 3P shooting.
    • Durability: Health will perhaps always be the biggest concern with Embiid- he's consistently missed an average of 20 games/year over his past 3 seasons. When he does see the court, he's generally been great.

Nikola Jokic | "Joker", "Big Honey"

In a nutshell: Denver Nuggets C, 7-0, 253lb, weak MVP candidate. Basic stats: 20.2/10.2/6.9/1.2/0.7 with 3.1 TOVs on 52.8/31.4/81.3 splits (60.4 TS%), 65 games played. Advanced: 0.209 WS/48, 7.6 BPM.
The good:
    • Passing prodigy: Best playmaking big in NBA history and one of the best passers in the league, period - Jokic's vision is reminiscent of a 7-foot Magic Johnson. He makes every single pass in the playbook quickly and accurately, never looking at his target in order to throw off defenders, adept at using his eyes to manipulate defenses. His outlet passing is the envy of any point guard - throwing outlets like this mid-rebound is unfair. Jokic runs Denver's offense from the high post, as the Nuggets' bevy of guards and wings whir around him for DHOs and PnRs. He rarely ever misses high-% layup-passes, and his otherworldly vision (helped by his 7ft frame allowing him to see over defenders) encourages his teammates to move and cut off the ball because he'll almost certainly get the ball to them the moment they make themselves open. Joker's height and wingspan allow him access to passing lanes not available to most guards and wings, deftly flicking it to teammates around the outstretched arms of defending bigs. Jokic can lob to his more athletic teammates, pitch bounce-passes to cutters through the tiniest of passing windows, no-look skip-passes to 3P-shooters, and is even capable of blending in passes with his shooting motion as he reads the help and rifles the ball neatly into a wide-open teammate's shooting/scoring pocket. For me, he's right up there as one of the finest passers in the game.
    • Very good, efficient scorer: 23.2 points per 75 on +4 rTS%, mostly stemming from his versatile post game and decent midrange scoring (45 FG%). He's also got excellent touch around the rim, mixing in some floaters and hooks (elite 60.2 FG% from 3-10 ft), along with throwing his weight around in the post and pump-faking defenders into oblivion to get easy looks at the rim (elite 73 FG% from 0-3 ft). He also likes following his own/opponent misses- he has 3 offensive rebounds a game. Encouragingly, there exists some precedent for Joker elevating his offensive production when the team requires it - he put up 25/13/8 on +4.8 rTS% in 2019 playoffs, up from 20/11/7 on +2.9 rTS% in the 2019 regular season.
    • Not a bad team defender! : Sound positioning and good hands(healthy steal rate for a big, ~2%) + his size and length allow him to retain good value on defense. Denver's defensive rating actually improves by +1.6 points when he's on the court.
    • Clutch play: Jokic has been one of the most clutch players in the league this season- he even had two game-winners against the Sixers and Wolves. The Nuggets are ranked 5th in clutch-win% in the league (26-14 record in clutch situations) largely due to Jokic's play.
    • Durability: Jokic has always been highly durable, having yet to miss a game this season. He's missed a grand total of 20 games in his entire 5-year career.
The not-as-good:
    • Paint-defense: Jokic doesn't offer too much in the way of rim-protection (low block rate for a big, opponents shoot a pretty high 63 FG% in the paint when Jokic is the nearest defender). Although, as mentioned previously, his good positioning and size/length plus IQ/anticipation make him an adequate/decent team defender, often making smart rotations to stall opponent forays to the rim.
    • Perimeter-defense: He also suffers from some of the the same heavy-footedness that Embiid has when switched onto non-bigs, albeit to a higher degree.
    • 3P-shooting: Jokic's outside shooting has been pooinconsistent (31.4% from 3), though with some flashes of potential (he shot 40% in 2018, 39% in 2019 playoffs). His solid shooting from the midrange (45%) and from the FT line (81%) bodes well for him stretching out more succesfully in the future.
    • Is perhaps too selfless on offense: Especially compared to the other behemoths on this list, Joker could probably afford to call on his own number slightly more often when it comes to scoring. I doubt his coaches or teammates would mind him scoring more, given how efficient and unselfish he normally is, and given Jamal Murray is a much less efficient scorer (-0.5 rTS%) than Jokic despite taking more shot attempts than Nikola. Jokic is clearly capable of elevating his scoring, as mentioned earlier. Given that Denver's offense is generally quite good (+2.1 rORTG this season, +2.6 rORTG last season), I don't think Jokic will necessarily change what he's doing as it's been working decently so far. However, if he wants to run a truly elite offense or be considered one of the league's best offensive players (along with Steph, LeBron, Harden, Doncic etc.), he could think about starting to score more.

Karl-Anthony Towns | "KAT"

In a nutshell: Minnesota Timberwolves C, 6-11, 248lb, All-Star level. Basic stats: 26.5/10.8/4.4/0.9/1.2 with 3.1 TOVs on 50.8/41.2/79.6 splits (64.2 TS%), 35 games played. Advanced: 0.205 WS/48, 7.8 BPM.
The good:
    • Elite, multi-level 3-point threat: KAT is already probably the best 3-point shooting big in NBA history, taking into account volume and efficiency - he's shot 41.2% from 3 on 7.9 attempts per game this season. (For reference, Klay Thompson, from 2015-2019, averaged 42.3% from 3 on 7.7 attempts per game.) The only players to shoot more accurately than Towns on at least as many attempts this year were Duncan Robinson (44.5%, 8.4) and Dāvis Bertāns (42.4%, 8.7). KAT's shooting is is in rarefied air. He doesn't just stand in a corner and wait for Jeff Teague or DLo to pass him the ball, either. He shoots these off-the-dribble, catch-and-shoot, stepbacks, pick-and-pop, diving around screens like he's some oversized Reggie Miller. The spacing and gravity he provides the Minnesota offense with his shooting and off-ball movement is tremendous. He destroyed the Jazz once earlier this season by hitting 7 threes and pulling reigning DPOY Gobert all the way out to the 3-point line, pushing their paint-centric defensive scheme to the breaking point. The Wolves improve by 12 points on offense when he's on the court.
    • Well-rounded, exceptionally-efficient scorer: His offensive impact isn't limited to shooting, not by a long shot- close out on him too hard and he'll drive to the rim, where he's finishing at an elite 72 FG%. He barely takes any midrange shots- only 7% of his total shots come from there. His post game, however, is decently efficient (61st percentile), though he doesn't utilise it as much as Embiid or Jokic. Overall, due his incredible outside shooting, rim finishing, and decent foul drawing(8.8 FTA per 100, 79.6 FT%), his scoring output is extremely impressive- 27.2 points per 75 on amazing efficiency (+8 rTS%).
    • Decent passer: KAT's passing has come along this year (4.4 APG), making good reads when he's doubled in the perimeter or in the post and finding cutters with regularity. He has a passable AST/TO ratio for a big (1.4:1).
    • Good post-defense: He's good at defending other post scorers (eg. Embiid, AD), where he can take advantage of his length and strength.
The not-as-good:
    • Not great at most other aspects of defense: His blocks (1.2 bpg) are more the result of block-chasing than good positioning. He's poor at navigating pick-and-roll defense. He's possibly the most laterally-challenged of the bigs in this list, his transition defense is bad, and he often falls for pump fakes. He shows potential for becoming a good rim protector- when he does manage to get in front of his man and get his hands up in time, his opponent rim DFG% is pretty great (~50 FG%)! However, his motor and defensive-IQ aren't the best- he can be found ball-watching sometimes or falling behind opponent plays, losing track of cutters or getting stranded in no man's land. Overall, Minnesota are nearly +8 points better on defense with Towns off the court. (The usually defensively-challenged Wolves were a top 10 defense for a period when KAT missed 15 games earlier on in the season, thought that was also partly because his replacement Gorgui Dieng was a defensive god.)
    • Some holes in passing game: There's still room for improvement in this aspect. He's still relatively turnover-prone, and misses open high-% passes under the rim sometimes.
    • Durability: Prior to this season, this was one of Town's greatest strengths- he didn't miss a single game during his 1st 3 seasons and only 5 games his 4th season (last year), and that was only because he got into a car accident. This year, however, the script has changed- he's missed 30 games with a sprained knee followed by a fractured wrist.

Anthony Davis | "AD", "The Brow"

In a nutshell: Los Angeles Lakers PF/C, 6-10, 253lb, weak MVP candidate. Basic stats: 26.7/9.4/3.1/1.5/2.4 with 2.5 TOVs on 51.1/33.5/84.5 splits (61.4 TS%), 55 games played. Advanced: 0.262 WS/48, 8.5 BPM.
The good:
    • Excellent all-round volume-scorer: 27.8 points per 75, on ~ +5 rTS%. AD has a versatile scoring arsenal, capable of shifting his offensive game to fit cleanly within different offensive schemes (e.g. higher pace in NOLA vs. LeBron's more methodical half-court style). Possesses a variety of post-moves, hooks, spins, fakes, stepbacks, turnarounds, etc.; has a passable face-up game with a good handle, moves like a guard and capable of athletic finishes at the rim. This season he's been skilled at leaking out in transition to receive LeBron's outlet passes. His scoring has translated well to the playoffs- he's averaged 27.3 points per 75 on ~ +5 rTS% in his 3 playoff series.
    • Vertical spacer: All-time lob-finisher (75 FG% from 0-3 feet). Davis's catch-radius is one of the best in NBA history. Just throw it up in the general direction of the rim and he'll make it work somehow with his touch and athleticism. His addition to the Lakers is a major reason why LeBron's leading the league in assists (2.8 of LeBron's 10.6 assists/game go to AD). It's an underrated part of his game as it allows him to fit with a variety of teams and mesh well with ball-dominant stars.
    • Decent passer: This is mostly based on his last season at New Orleans, which was his peak year as a passer. In the 2019 season, with their starting PGs missing significant time due to injury, the Pelicans leaned on Jrue Holiday's versatile playmaking gifts more, but they also parked AD in the high post and ran offense through him from there, letting him weaponise his own threat to score by feeding cutters with neat interior pocket passes or spraying kickout passes to shooters when he got doubled. He averaged 4.4 assists and only 2.0 turnovers prior to his trade request, producing a very efficient 2.2:1 AST/TO ratio. However, AD's playmaking has regressed this season (only 3.3 APG, uninspiring AST/TO ratio of 1.25:1) as he's gone more off-ball than in 2019 with LeBron manning point full-time in LA.
    • DPOY-level defender: Highly likely to finish in the top-2 in voting this season. His weakside rim-protection is elite - the Lakers have had a top-3 defense due in no small part to his efforts. He's highly switchable, too, capable of jumping onto guards and wings as required and scaring them silly. His motor has been excellent and he closes out hard on shooters. He's handsy as well, with good defensive instincts- he has a good eye for anticipating plays and jumping passing lanes. His steal-rate is elite for a big, and he hasn't gambled too much this year, either. He often cleans up mistakes by teammates, allowing them the freedom to play aggressive defense on the perimeter because they know that he's always got a watchful eye out to pounce on any perpetrators who make it past them. Works well in tandem with the Lakers bigs (Dwight/McGee) so that if either of them gets beat, he is still there to protect the rim. Strangely enough, the Lakers' defensive rating actually improves when he sits, perhaps because Dwight/McGee are more than weaker opponent bench units can handle.
    • Surprisingly healthy: The opposite of KAT - durability is generally considered a weakness of AD's, but this season he's missed only 8 games. Good stuff!
The not-as-good:
    • 3P/Midrange Shooting: Much like Embiid, AD's 33.5% 3-point shooting on 3.5 attempts/game isn't awful, but it isn't good enough to consistently garner defenders' respect either. His midrange efficiency isn't great, either, too, at about 38 FG%. The latter isn't too detrimental to his overall scoring game, however, as it at least allows him to keeps defender honest in the post. Regardless, his foul drawing (8.3 FTA per 100, 85 FT%) and elite rim finishing does allow him to compensate for his relatively weaker jumper.
    • Ability to run an offense: It remains to be seen whether AD can run an efficient team offense as a primary initiator, like a slasher like Giannis/LeBron/Kawhi or a full-time high-post operator like Jokic in Denver or Kevin Garnett back in the day on the Wolves. Perhaps further improving his handle or his strength will allow him to do so, since he already proved he possesses decent playmaking vision in New Orleans last year. When LeBron's been off the court this season, his decision-making on-the-ball has been inconsistent at times. Even so, as things stand, the Lakers still have a good offense (+2.6 rORTG) with AD playing primarily off-ball, so I doubt that's going to change much in the foreseeable future.
    • Some areas for improvement on defense: Ball-watches every so often, though greatly improved from last season. Quicker guards can still occasionally blow by him. Misses the odd help scenario. Gambles sporadically for steals, though it works out for him more often than not. The KAT's and Embiid's and Giannis's of the world have sometimes caused him trouble before, though he often holds his own too.

Giannis Antetokounmpo | "The Greek Freak"

In a nutshell: Milwaukee Bucks PF/C, 6-11, 242lb, strong MVP candidate. Basic stats: 29.6/13.7/5.8/1.0/1.0 with 3.7 TOVs on 54.7/30.6/63.3 splits (60.8 TS%), 57 games played. Advanced: 0.282 WS/48, 11.5 BPM.
The good:
    • All-time-level slasher and rim-finisher: Elite drive-and-kick game that is the crux of Milwaukee's 7th-ranked offense. A monster in transition, and getting increasingly comfortable as a shooter in half-court situations. Has some post-moves too, with some basic fadeaways, flip shots, and hooks, made all the more dangerous with his incredible wingspan. Has started taking more midrange and three-point jumpshots off-the-dribble this season.
    • Elite volume scorer: Giannis has the highest scoring rate in the league (yes, higher than James Harden), on good efficiency: 32.9 points per 75 on ~ +4.5 rTS%. He is the likely MVP, leading a historically good Bucks team while averaging only 30.9 minutes per game. There are some worries that elite playoff defenses (most famously, the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 ECF) can limit his scoring output (22/14/6 on 52 TS% that series), but it's really only the very very best of defenses, with ideal personnel and scheme, that have proven that they can slow him down. He mowed down Boston's 1st- and 7th-ranked defenses in consecutive postseasons, to the tune of 26/12/5 on 62 TS% in 2018, and 28/11/5 on 62 TS% in 2019. What the Raptors accomplished in 2019 isn't easily replicable.
    • Transition terror: The most prolific transition scorer in the league, with his long, long strides, speed, length, and poweskill around the rim. Also, shoutout to his huge hands and underrated handle for letting to him to move as fast as he does with the ball.
    • DPOY-level defender: The favourite to win the award this season, he's a high-level rim-deterrent with his length, instincts, and athleticism. Opponents score an anemic 41% at the rim when Giannis is the closest defender, the best mark in the league. He's also a skilled perimeter defender. Milwaukee improve by +8.0 points on defense when he's on the court (they have a ridiculous 98.7 DRTG when Giannis plays), and he rates very highly on the majority of available defensive impact metrics. 2019-20 Milwaukee are one of the best defensive teams ever, and Giannis is the best overall defender on the team. He's long, fast, twitchy, and strong, capable of switching 1-5 without batting an eye. With the Lopez twins walling off the rim, Giannis is free to roam and generally wreak havoc where needed, scaring shooters off the line, providing weakside rim-help as required, shadowing ball-handlers step-for-step and occasionally stamping their layups onto the glass with his huge paws or simply clouding their vision with his massive reach. When he is beat by a guard/wing on the perimeter, he doesn't chase blocks, instead staying grounded and disciplined, often funneling these slashers to the equally-long waiting arms of human fly-swatter Brook Lopez at the rim as the Bucks' game-plan decrees, while he stalks them from behind, helping effectively make the paint a no-fly zone. Much like AD, his condor wingspan shrinks passing lanes and deters high-leverage interior passes.
    • Decent passer: An adept and willing passer for a 7-foot human, gathering 5.8 APG this season. He's skilled at lasering kickouts to Milwaukee's armada of shooters if his initial penetration fails/draws help defenders, and has some success making tight interior passes near the rim.
    • Durability: Giannis is rarely injured.
The not-as-good:
    • Some areas to improve in terms of passing/vision: Has room to improve in terms of interior passing, sometimes doesn't recognise open cutters or the passes themselves can be off-target etc.. Turnover-prone at times, has imperfect decision-making if he's under intense ball-pressure by elite defensive bigs/wings (guys like Bam, Embiid, Jonathan Isaac). Notably, the Raptors' monster playoff defense led by the length and IQ of Kawhi/Gasol/Siakam greatly tested his passing ability and decision-making last playoffs, leading to him turning the ball over much more often than usual (5.5 assists : 4.2 turnovers).
    • Poor outside shooting: Giannis has become much more comfortable taking these shots, attempting nearly 5 a game this season, but he's still not very good at making them (30.6 3P%). Defenses still heave a sigh of relief when they see him pulling up for 3. He's also shooting 38% from midrange, which isn't much better.
    • Some areas for improvement on defense: Has occasional lapses on off the ball, arriving late on help, whether due to motoball-watching or not recognising plays until it's too late; can get blown past by quick guards due when he closes out sometimes (though his length/athleticism helps clean up some of his own errors); has trouble navigating screens sometimes because he's so large. Like AD, elite post-players can still overpower him on occasion, but luckily for Giannis there aren't that many elite post players any more.
    • FT shooting: This could be an aberration, but his FT-shooting has greatly regressed this season, at 63 FT%. This can limit his effectiveness on offense in clutch situations (notably, he shot a ghastly 58% from the line against the Raptors in last season's ECF), and put a cap on his overall scoring efficiency. Prior to 2020, he's shot 74% in the regular season, so he's certainly capable of being a decent FT-shooter.

Kristaps Porzingis | "KP", "Unicorn"

In a nutshell: Dallas Mavericks PF/C, 7-3, 240lb, Sub-All Star. Basic stats: 19.2/9.5/1.7/0.7/2.1 with 1.6 TOVs on 42.0/34.9/77.6 splits (54.0 TS%), 51 games played. Advanced: 0.129 WS/48, 1.5 BPM.
The good:
    • Potential elite shooter: Porzingis's offensive potential still lies mainly in his incredible shooting (40% from 3 in 2018), though he's yet to recover that elite form this season. However, he remains highly dangerous, taking a wide variety of threes at a very high rate (7.1 attempts per game) and hitting a decent enough percentage of them (35%) that defenders have to respect his shot. In his last 14 games, he averaged 37% on 9.1 attempts per game. Much like KAT, he's a dynamic shooter, shooting off movement, off-the-dribble, off-the-catch (& pick-and-pop), pulling up from well behind the 3-point line, etc., spacing the floor for Dallas's resident offensive genius Luka to go to work.
    • Good rim finisher: He finishes very well at the rim (72 FG%).
    • Elite paint defender: Porzingis flashes All-Defensive value with his rim-protection (led the league in blk% in 2018, is 6th in blk% and has very good paint DFG% of 49.5% in 2020), and defensive instincts. The Mavs improve by 3.2 points on defense with Porzingis on the floor. His oft-maligned rebounding has greatly improved this season, too, snagging almost 10 boards a game, up from 6.6 in his last healthy season on the Knicks.
The not-as-good:
    • Very limited playmaking: KP's passing/vision remains his weakest suit (1.7 assists/game). He's actually improved slightly this season, being a more willing passer and participant in Dallas's dynamic offense, but his assist rate still lags in the single digits, at 8.6% (for reference, AD's is about 15%, KAT 23%, Jokic 34%), and he has almost as many turnovers as assists.
    • Scoring efficiency/shooting: His poor shooting to start the season coming off a serious injury hurt his efficiency, which is currently 2 points below league average (-2 rTS%). He averaged an excellent 60TS% in his final 14 games, though, signs that he was rounding into form before the quarantine hit.
    • Not a great perimeter defender, but still decent: With his lanky 7'3'' frame, he's not the best at closing out to shooters (opposing players hit 40% of their threes when he's the closest defender), and while he can move his feet decently for a big and he's surprisingly athletic, his fundamentals defending the perimeter and effort can seemingly be lacking sometimes: he's often "flat-footed, erect", and doesn't always have his hands up.
    • Durability: KP has missed a season and a half prior to this one with a torn ACL, and missed 15 games this season too. His health remains a huge asterisk, though it's promising that he was healthy and playing games up until the quarantine hit - he played 20 of the Mavs' last 25 games.
That's it for today. Thanks for reading!
**JUST KIDDING, I FORGOT ABOUT BAM.

Bam Adebayo | "Bam", "Bam Bam"

In a nutshell: Miami Heat PF/C, 6-9, 255lb, All-Star. Basic stats: 16.2/10.5/5.1/1.2/1.3 with 2.8 TOVs on 56.7/7.7/69.0 splits (60.6 TS%), 65 games played. Advanced: 0.175 WS/48, 3.6 BPM.
The good:
    • Versatile inside scorer: 17.6 points per 75 on +4.2 rTS%. Bam was a revelation for the Heat this season, utilising his length and explosive athleticism well to finish at the rim (both from half-court and in transition), scoring at an elite rate (73.5 FG%) from 0-3ft. He's an adept lob-finisher from Miami's guards, with about 72% of his total baskets being assisted - for comparison's sake, AD, a similarly adept off-ball rim-finisher (albeit on better efficiency and much higher volume), has about 64% of his total baskets assisted. Similar to AD, Bam's far from a one-trick pony when it comes to scoring, often running pick-and-rolls and hand-offs with Miami's army of guards and wings (he has especially good chemistry with Duncan Robinson and Jimmy Butler) to find clean looks at the rim. He often employs his 7.1ft wingspan and athleticism to rebound team misses (including his own), with 2.5 offensive rebounds/game either resulting in tip-ins or neat passes to open teammates. He's got surprisingly deft touch further away from the rim, too, with little floaters, finger-rolls, and hooks in the paint (outside the painted area), finishing there at an impressive 45% rate (his hooks are especially efficient, going in 56% of the time). Outside of the paint, his short-midrange game is money, too, for a big, finishing 42% of his short midrange attempts. Going any further than that, though, yields diminishing returns for Bam - he shoots a woeful 19 FG% outside 16 feet. Fortunately for Miami, though, Bam sticks to his strengths, with only 7% of his total shot attempts coming from outside 16ft.
    • Elite passer for a big: Outside of Jokic and Draymond, there isn't a better passing big in the game today. His 5.1 assists/game are impressive enough, but it's the way he goes about getting these dimes that stands out. Coach Spoelstra has effectively given him the keys to Miami's offense this season for a reason- his offensive IQ is excellent, and he routinely makes quick and smart decisions with the ball in his hands. As stated earlier, he's Miami's primary high post operator, with Bam's dribble handoffs (DHOs) and PnRs with their guards being one of the primary features of their offense. His low post passing is great, too, often setting up Miami's other bigs with adept interior bounce passes and lobs when the help commits to him, and he can drive-and-kick to the Heat's shooters as well, Giannis-style. In transition, he's fully capable of and willing to grab a defensive rebound and start the break on his own - he's got a really good handle for a big - either creating his own score with that elite paint finishing we talked about, or making quick kickouts to Duncan Robinson for transition 3s. If a transition score doesn't happen at first, he will push for a quick DHO with a guard, with Bam's elite screening and Miami's elite shooters meaning that said 3PA is highly likely to go in. Bam is highly active on offense, too, always either scoring, setting a screen, or orchestrating from the elbows.
    • Elite, multi-positional defender: In the words of Zach Lowe's excellent piece on Bam, he is "addicted" to defense. Bam is an incredibly high-motor and versatile defender, and is already an All-Defensive lock in his first season as a starter. His steal rates (elite for a big) and block rates speak for themselves, but his versatility is what stands out the most - he's equally capable when switched onto Stephen Curry as he is Giannis Antetokounmpo. Opponents shoot worse from every spot on the floor when Bam is the closest defender (43 FG% overall), be it from 3 (33.8%) or in the paint (55.8%). Bam's footwork and fundamentals guarding the perimeter are impeccable, shuffling perfectly along with guards and wings as they try to dribble past, reminiscent of Draymond or KG, and his strength and wingspan allows him to bang down low with the behemoths of the league as well, despite standing at 'only' 6-8. He's a ferocious and competitive rebounder, too, a major contributor to Miami's 3rd-ranked defensive rebounding rate.
    • Durability: Bam has played in every single game for Miami the past two seasons.
The less good:
    • Some gaps in playmaking: He's a bit too excitable sometimes, and can turn the ball over trying to squeeze the ball through tiny gaps between defenders' arms near the rim. I love his aggression and offensive ideas, though - these high percentage passes put a lot of pressure on opponent defenses. His AST/TO ratio of 1.8:1 is still fantastic for a player who's helping Jimmy Butler run a strong Miami offense (+2.3 rORTG) for the first time. He can miss the shooting pocket occasionally too, and his vision isn't perfect, missing open teammates on occasion. With more experience and once he becomes a more dangerous scorer, he will presumably become a better passer as the passing lanes become more open when he starts to command more defensive attention.
    • Non-existent 3P shooting: Bam is (correctly) completely ignored by defenders on the perimeter (once again, he shoots a horrendous 19 FG% outside 16 feet). The Heat's system masks these flaws, making great use of his physical gifts as a fantastic and physical screener and elite passing big in DHOs and PnRs. His shot selection helps issues, too, as the vast majority (93%) of his shot attempts come inside 16 feet. On other teams with fewer offensive weapons, his lack of spot up shooting would likely become a larger issue.
    • Lower scoring rate than peers: Bam's scoring rate pales in comparison to some of the other guys in this list, and there will be a ways to go before he becomes a primary scoring option. His post game is below average (40th percentile), his ISO-scoring is only barely passable (50th percentile). In the PnR he's proficient as both a roll-man (67th percentile) and, amusingly, on very low volume, as a ball-handler (84th percentile). Perhaps expanding his post-game will allow Miami to run more offense through him like Denver do with Jokic, or Philly with Embiid/Lakers with AD. Alternatively, he could practise and develop his outside shooting more.
    • Some defensive flaws: Bam's rim protection lags behind the best (Gobert, Giannis, AD, Brook Lopez, Embiid, Draymond, Jonathan Isaac etc.), and larger centers can still finish over him on occasion (his 6-8 frame probably comes into play here). While Bam's man defense is impeccable, his team defensive impact seems to lag behind slightly- he's possibly a touch slow on help rotations occasionally or ball-watches sometimes. Miami's defensive rating with Bam on the floor would rank around 12th in the league (109.6 DRTG, +0.8 rDRTG), and it "only" improves by +1.7 points when Bam enters the game. However, defense, of course, is a team effort- the Jazz's seemingly perpetual top 5 defense dropped to 11th this year, even though Gobert's arguably been better on that end than he's ever been from the eyetest - losing defensive stalwarts in Favors and Rubio probably contributed to that. In Miami's case, key starter Duncan Robinson isn't a great defender, and they lack good defensive bigs outside of Adebayo- there's only so much one man can do; backup Cs Leonard and Olynyk (primarily shooters) are woeful rim protectors, and Jones Jr is decent but primarily plays SF. It's to Bam's and Butler's (and Spoelstra's) credit that the team has a positive defensive rating at all.
EDIT 2: Some exposition on per 75 by pbcorporeal
A modern NBA game has about 100 possessions (a little more actually). An important player will usually average about 34-35 minutes a game which is a little under 75% of the total minutes.
So per 75 brings the stats roughly in line with what we're used to a player's stats being on a per game basis so recognising what a "good" level becomes more intuitive (like using per 36 instead of per 48).

EDIT 3:

- Mike Prada of SB Nation on JAREN JACKSON JR.

- PASCAL SIAKAM

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Plus500 Winning Strategy, Trade Like A Pro, Using Red Indicators .. 1st Vid ... 18.08.16 1 Hour Trading with Plus 500 Margin Trading Tips and Q & A Portfolio Margin Trading Tips 5 Tips for Leverage & Margin in Trading

However, since the trader in this scenario used margin trading to buy the stock, they must either cough up an extra $6,680 to restore the maintenance requirement and hope the stock bounces back, or sell the stock at a $6,680 loss (plus the interest expense on the outstanding balance). Before you can start trading with real money, you will have to make a first deposit at Plus500. As little as $100 is minimally required to start trading at Plus500. Before you can deposit money you will have to verify your identity. This is a legal requirement for anyone who wants to open an investment account. You can initiate intraday and positional trades in the equities derivatives and currency derivatives segments with margin against shares. You can trade options (Long and Short – Intraday and Positional) with margin against shares. You can sell Pledged shares using SAMCO StockPlus within half an hour using the “Instant Release Request” option. Plus, remember the switched on traders won’t just consider the day to day trading tips, they’ll also consider long-term trading psychology and risk management, because they know consistent profits come only to those who take a longer-term outlook, despite being a short-term trader. Margin isn't a type of investment security, like a stock, mutual fund, or bond. It's money you borrow to invest in a particular security. Before you dive into the world of margin trading, it's important to know how this investing technique works. Learn more here.

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Plus500 Winning Strategy, Trade Like A Pro, Using Red Indicators .. 1st Vid ... 18.08.16

In this bonus video, we talk about the 5 Tips for controlling the leverage with variable margin function in Trading based on the information we talked about in Lesson 3 of Shaw Academy Foundation ... Margin Plus Demo. Category Education; Show more Show less. ... What is a Margin Account? What is Margin Trading? - Duration: 10:02. Financial Education 115,428 views. 10:02. In this video, Ryan answers questions about margin trading and leverage Other topics covered in this video: Twitter Q&A in regards to Bybit -How market conditions influence the decision to use ... SJ Options has been teaching portfolio margin trading longer than any other options course. Learn about the pros and cons to trading a portfolio margin account. ... Kevin O'Leary's 5 Tips For 20 ... More Plus 500 Video: ... Trading successfully using clear cut market movement Indicators are winning strategies most traders rejects, but are the most profitable indicators on any platform.

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