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The Phoenix Suns had a fantastic offseason (crossposted to r/nba)

Trigger warning: this post is super long, but I try to really break down each of the Suns' moves over the past month and explain how they all fit into the grand plan that James Jones has for the organization going forward. It was really written for NBA fans who don't follow the Suns super closely, and who may not understand what's happening here in Phoenix.

*********\*

For those of you who are not Suns fans or who don't closely follow the team, you may not have noticed that the Suns — contrary to popular opinion — have actually had a fairly successful offseason. It's true that if you look at each move individually, they don't necessarily make a ton of sense. Paying Indiana to take TJ Warren is a good example of this, and we will talk more about this transaction later. Paying Ricky Rubio $51 million for three years is another example. But if you look at all of their moves together, and consider both where the organization was coming from and what they've said publicly about their plan going forward, then a different picture emerges.

The Past
I won't even go into the years of dysfunction that has marked the Phoenix Suns organization. We all know how bad it's been. We all know about the turnover, the losses, the goats. Instead, to provide a base level of context for what we've done as a team over the past month, let's just look at the Suns roster from the end of last season:
  1. PG: Tyler Johnson / Elie Okobo / De'Anthony Melton
  2. SG: Devin Booker / Josh Jackson / Jamal Crawford / Troy Daniels / Jimmer Fredette
  3. SF: TJ Warren / Kelly Oubre / Mikal Bridges / George King
  4. PF: Dragan Bender / Ray Spalding
  5. C: Deandre Ayton / Richaun Holmes
Although this is actually a much-improved roster from the beginning of last season, I think we can all agree that it was still poorly constructed at best. Several players were playing out of position or in ill-defined roles, and the overall level of talent was severely lacking. Our bench was possibly the worst in the league. Tyler Johnson was our best point guard, but he's not a point guard. Okobo was just outplayed in summer league by undrafted rookie point guard Jalen Lecque, who played high school ball last season. Melton spent time in the G League as recently as February. Jimmer Fredette came over from China, went 0-13 on threes in six games, and ball-hogged Devin Fucking Booker out of a 60-point game. (The Warriors, sensing an opportunity, picked Jimmer up for their summer league team. He quit after two games.) Jamal Crawford has said he doesn't want to retire, but remains unsigned, even by the Lakers. The Lakers did take Troy Daniels, who shoots well when open, but does absolutely nothing else. Josh Jackson skipped a fan meet-and-greet (which was treated as a huge deal locally), got arrested at a music festival, and was recently accused of hot-boxing his baby. On the court, not only did Jackson show little improvement from his rookie season, he often looked worse. One gets the feeling that he never plays basketball outside of mandatory team practices. And when he does go to practice, sometimes he is so hungover that he throws up on the basketball court.
So that takes us through the guard positions. At small forward, we actually had some talent. TJ Warren developed a three-point shot out of nowhere and was suddenly our most reliable perimeter shooter, hitting 43% on 4.2 attempts per game, which is actually elite. (He missed Basketball Reference's eligibility cutoff by 20 attempts, but had he been eligible his percentage would have ranked in the top 10 league-wide.) But he was a black hole on offense (1.5 assists in 32 minutes per game), played zero defense, and always missed tons of games. During his five seasons in the league, he has averaged 52 games per season, and has never played more than 66. Last year he played 43. Our winning percentage was exactly the same in the games he didn't play as in the games he did: 23%. He was a ultimately a non-factor.
Our other two small forwards were Kelly Oubre, Jr. and Mikal Bridges. Both were (and continue to be) fan favorites and both had an obvious positive impact on the team. The Suns went 6-6 with Oubre in the starting lineup last season, during which stretch he averaged 20 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block. James Jones getting Oubre for Trevor Ariza mid-season was nothing less than a miracle — compare our 50% win rate with Oubre in the starting lineup to Ariza's win rate of 15%. You read that right: in games that Ariza started, the Suns were 4-22. If the Suns had won games at Ariza's rate all season, we would have finished with 12 wins instead of 19. If you are wondering why Suns fans were so adamant about re-signing Oubre — and so happy when we finally did — it's because of how noticeably everything changed once he got here. On top of his on-court impact, he was a huge boon to our team culture. He embraced the city, became close with Booker and others, had a positive attitude, and played his heart out every single game. Plus, he's super cute.
Bridges is also super cute, but more importantly, in case you didn't know, he's already an elite defender. This is not hyperbole — as a rookie, he was one of the most intuitive defenders in the entire league. Just take a break here for the next 11 minutes and watch his defensive highlights, they're incredible. (Also, 11 minutes of defensive highlights from just the first half of his first season? Come on!) He's really in tune with the rhythm of the NBA game. He gets his hands on seemingly every ball, he stays in front of everyone, he reads passes and cuts before they happen, he rotates on a tight string, and even when his gambles don't pay off, he is usually somehow able to recover his position — the dude is a generational stud on defense. He was our best defender by far with plenty of room to get even better. His shot wasn't quite as good as we'd hoped (34% from three), but his mechanics and decision-making are solid and he projects to be a top-tier 3&D player in this league for a very long time. He was the only Suns player to play all 82 games and he led the team in total minutes played. As a rookie. If you watched every Suns game last year like I did, you saw Mikal Bridges more than any other player on our team.
At power forward we had Dragan Bender and Ray Spalding. Ray might make this year's team? Who knows, but he's currently in summer league trying to make his case. Dragan Bender is an unsigned free agent who I'm starting to believe never actually existed... but who is nevertheless maybe being considered by the Cavs? I'm sure that will work out well.
At center, we had Deandre Ayton, who was historically efficient and frustratingly under-utilized. He averaged 16 points and 10 boards, with an effective field goal percentage of 58.5% (16th in the league). In NBA history, there have been 26 rookies who have averaged 10+ points and 10+ rebounds per game. Ayton has the highest true shooting percentage of all of them, at .608. Other names on this list include David Robinson, Karl-Anthony Towns, Alonzo Mourning, Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard, Hakeem Olajuwon, Blake Griffin, and Larry Bird. Ayton was more efficient than all of them.
Backing up Ayton, and often also playing the 4, was Richaun Holmes, who brought a ton of energy, especially in the form of highlight blocks and alley-oops, but little in the way of basketball IQ or skill. He was picked up in free agency by the Kings. (So was Trevor Ariza, by the way.... for $25 million over two years! Kings, listen, you're taking this 'Sun Kings' thing a little too seriously. Stop sifting through our trash.)

The Present
So that's where we were going into this offseason. On April 11th of this year, the Suns named James Jones as the new GM. He had been the interim co-GM with Trevor Bukstein since the firing of Ryan McDonough last October, but now the title was his alone (Bukstein was named Assistant GM). Jones has outlined his general vision for the team on several occasions; most recently, he said this:
"We set out in the summer to fill our power forward and point guard position. We did that via the draft (and free agency). We wanted to add positional depth and balance. We did that by adding Frank (Kaminsky), adding Aron Baynes. The addition of Ricky Rubio addressed the point guard position, Dario Saric addressed our power forward position."
“And then from there, in the draft adding Cam (Johnson) and Ty (Jerome), as well as Jalen (Lecque), gave us some more guard depth and we made some moves, some transactions that kind of cleared some cap space for us to be able to make these moves happen and to kind of clear a pathway for guys to compete for an opportunity to move forward for us.”
It has become clear that, despite what you think of the moves the Suns have made, they have made them according to a plan: to fill the aforementioned weaknesses at the point guard and power forward positions, to draft mature rookies who are high-character guys who can shoot, to construct a balanced roster with clearly defined roles, and to build a team that complements the talents of Ayton and Booker. This is exactly what they did.
It's important to keep in mind that having a plan and executing that plan are two different things. Sometimes you don't execute your original plan because you're incompetent, or you failed to foresee some key element that made your plan unlikely or impossible. Other times, your plan doesn't work out because of factors beyond your control. In the Suns' case, the favored plan going into this offseason revolved around getting either the first or second pick in the draft. Immediately, that would meet our power forward (Zion) or point guard (Ja Morant) needs and make us both instantly better and more attractive as a free agent destination. Not only would we have incredible young talent, but we would have additional cap room that wouldn't have to be used on whichever position we selected in the draft. Instead of having to pay for both positions, we would only have to pay for one, allowing us to splurge and still have balance. Getting the first or second pick would have been a game-changer, obviously. As it was for the Pelicans, and as it would have been for any team.
What is encouraging is that the Suns treated this plan like the long shot that it was, and developed backup plans for the statistically likely event that we didn't get one of the first two (or three, or four) picks. Having a backup plan may seem like a fairly normal thing for a GM to have, but the fact that we had one — and more than one — has been a revelation.

Anyway, here is a timeline of our moves over the past month:

The Future
After all of these moves, here is what our roster looks like right now:
  1. PG: Ricky Rubio / Ty Jerome / Jevon Carter / Elie Okobo / Jalen Lecque
  2. SG: Devin Booker / Tyler Johnson
  3. SF: Kelly Oubre / Mikal Bridges / Cameron Johnson
  4. PF: Dario Saric / Frank Kaminsky
  5. C: Deandre Ayton / Aron Baynes
One immediate takeaway is that the Suns improved at nearly every position. Let's start with the guards. Rubio, obviously, is a massive upgrade at the point guard position. I mean, come on: our starting point guards last year included Isaiah Canaan, De'Anthony Melton, Elie Okobo, and my 10-year-old daughter. Tyler Johnson, our most effective point guard last year, only played in 13 games and is not actually a point guard. With Rubio on the team, Johnson is now back in his more natural two-guard spot, and a backup at that, giving us much-needed guard depth. He can still run backup point if he has to, but that responsibility will fall primarily to Ty Jerome, who can learn the role under Rubio's tutelage while primarily facing other teams' second units. Speaking of point guards, at first glance it looks like we have once again swung the pendulum and now have way too many of them, but this will likely thin out a bit before the season starts. My guess is that we will let Okobo or Carter go and assign Lecque to the G League, unless Lecque continues to impress through camp and preseason play.
At the shooting guard spot, Devin Booker will have his best season yet, and why wouldn't he? He's improved every season so far, he's still only 22, and he's on by far the best team of his career, with his best coach to date. Statistically, I think he will score about the same as last year, but on fewer shots and much improved efficiency — if you don't follow the Suns and are wondering why his three-point percentage was not great last season, let me tell you: he took a ton of forced shots late in possessions, and not because he wanted to. He was consistently double-teamed, and although Booker is a willing passer with good court vision, we just didn't have the personnel to punish those double teams. With Rubio handling the ball most of the time, Booker will almost certainly average fewer assists next season, but go back to doing what he does best: coming off screens and getting the ball in rhythm for nice, clean looks. If he gets doubled coming off screens, he can and will make the easy next pass to either Ayton on the block or the shooter in the corner, which will actually be a shooter this time around. This is much different than being doubled way out past the three-point line, with no angle to Ayton and no shooters on the wings. Look for his efficiency to really make a jump.
At small forward, we lost some offensive punch by getting rid of TJ Warren, but we maintain consistency with Oubre and Bridges, either of whom could end up starting, and either of whom would be killer on the second unit. Neither of them are the pure natural scorer that Warren is, but they are both better all-around players who contribute on defense, crash the boards, and aren't hurt all the time. They are also both young and improving, and both should be better across the board than they were last season. Oubre is the better offensive player, although Bridges has higher shooting upside, while Bridges is easily the better defender. Which one ends up starting will likely come down to whether new head coach Monty Williams prefers to emphasize offense or defense in that first unit.
Speaking of Williams, he recently said that the starting power forward spot is also up for grabs, but I think everyone would be pretty surprised if Saric wasn't in that role for game 1. I said it before and I'll say it again: this is a significant upgrade for us, regardless of what you think of Saric. He brings savvy and shooting, and provides Rubio and Booker with yet another offensive option who can knock down shots but doesn't need the ball a ton. His presence on the floor will really let us space things out and give Rubio all the passing angles he could wish for, while at the same time making it easier for us to punish double-teams by whipping the ball around to the open man.
Perhaps even more impressive than the upgrades to our starting five are the upgrades to our bench, which actually consists of recognizable NBA players now. Last season, you might have turned on a Suns game and saw Elie Okobo paired with Jamal Crawford in the backcourt, while Josh Jackson and Dragan Bender spotted up on the wings. Those days, thank the lord, are gone. Now our second unit is Ty Jerome running point, Tyler Johnson at the 2, Bridges or Oubre at small forward, and Kaminsky and Baynes as our bigs. (It's rare that first and second units play in clear-cut five-man rotations like that — there's usually a lot of overlap in substitution patterns — but you get the point.) Aside from Jerome, who is an unproven rookie, those are actual competent NBA players who can hang with and even outplay other second units.
On top of all that, we have Monty Williams as our new head coach. Like so many of our other moves, this may not seem like that big of a deal to outsiders. Ho hum, right? Let me tell you: it's a big deal, and not just because the Lakers wanted him, too. Williams is Booker's fifth head coach in five years. Three of the coaches Booker played for were Earl Watson, Jay Triano, and Igor Kokoskov. Not exactly a bunch of Popoviches. Jeff Hornacek (oh my god) was probably the best of the bunch. Booker has played for more head coaches than Dirk Nowitzki (21 seasons), Tim Duncan (19 seasons), John Stockton (19 seasons), Dwyane Wade (16 seasons), Michael Jordan (15 seasons), and Bill Russell (13 seasons). I guess Booker can comfort himself with the fact that Jamal Crawford has played for 19 coaches in 19 seasons — truly a mark of greatness. Williams has impressed so far in interviews, is gelling well with GM James Jones, and has the full respect and command of the team — a far cry from the situation last year, where the assistant coaches were running the show and players couldn't understand what Kokoskov was even saying.
Finally, not only have the Suns drastically improved their roster from last year, they have done so in a way that enables them to continue improving in the future. They have a better GM, a better head coach, and better players. They have Devin Booker locked up through the 2023-24 season. They have avoided long-term albatross contracts, enabling them to maintain flexibility going forward: the only other players besides Booker who have contracts beyond the next three seasons are the rookies we just acquired, who will still be on their rookie deals. Our new state-of-the-art practice facility will be complete in 2021, Booker and Ayton will be entering their primes, and the Suns will have the flexibility to create max cap space and lure a top free agent.
A huge caveat here is that the West is a bloodbath. The Suns could have a dramatically better team this season, which we do, and still not sniff the playoffs. Which of these teams are the Suns going to finish ahead of in the standings?
  1. Nuggets
  2. Clippers
  3. Jazz
  4. Rockets
  5. Lakers
  6. Warriors
  7. Blazers
  8. Spurs
The answer is none of them, barring major injuries. Even if the Suns outplay every other team in the western conference — the Mavs, Kings, Grizzlies, Pelicans, Timberwolves, and Thunder — that would still leave them in 9th place. And some of these other teams might be better too, on top of already having been better than the Suns last year. It's a tough hill to climb.
And yet.
The Suns, at the end of the day, got better. Maybe that only translates to 30 wins this upcoming season, maybe it translates to 35. That's not world-beating, but that's still a big step forward, and if they improve on that record with another 5-10 wins in the 2020-21 season, suddenly the Suns are an actual playoff contender with two established stars, two years of consistency and improvement under their belts, a surprisingly competent front office, a stable coaching staff, an attractive new practice facility in Scottsdale, and cap space to sign another stud.
I mean, at the end of the day, who really knows. Things in the NBA can and often do change overnight. But at least the Suns, for once, have a plan.
submitted by nonanonymo to suns [link] [comments]

The Phoenix Suns' offseason was better than you think

Trigger warning: this post is super long, but I try to really break down each of the Suns' moves over the past month and explain how they all fit into the grand plan that James Jones has for the organization going forward. It was really written for NBA fans who don't follow the Suns super closely, and who may not understand what's happening here in Phoenix.

*********\*

For those of you who are not Suns fans or who don't closely follow the team, you may not have noticed that the Suns — contrary to popular opinion — have actually had a fairly successful offseason. It's true that if you look at each move individually, they don't necessarily make a ton of sense. Paying Indiana to take TJ Warren is a good example of this, and we will talk more about this transaction later. Paying Ricky Rubio $51 million for three years is another example. But if you look at all of their moves together, and consider both where the organization was coming from and what they've said publicly about their plan going forward, then a different picture emerges.

The Past
I won't even go into the years of dysfunction that has marked the Phoenix Suns organization. We all know how bad it's been. We all know about the turnover, the losses, the goats. Instead, to provide a base level of context for what we've done as a team over the past month, let's just look at the Suns roster from the end of last season:
  1. PG: Tyler Johnson / Elie Okobo / De'Anthony Melton
  2. SG: Devin Booker / Josh Jackson / Jamal Crawford / Troy Daniels / Jimmer Fredette
  3. SF: TJ Warren / Kelly Oubre / Mikal Bridges / George King
  4. PF: Dragan Bender / Ray Spalding
  5. C: Deandre Ayton / Richaun Holmes
Although this is actually a much-improved roster from the beginning of last season, I think we can all agree that it was still poorly constructed at best. Several players were playing out of position or in ill-defined roles, and the overall level of talent was severely lacking. Our bench was possibly the worst in the league. Tyler Johnson was our best point guard, but he's not a point guard. Okobo was just outplayed in summer league by undrafted rookie point guard Jalen Lecque, who played high school ball last season. Melton spent time in the G League as recently as February. Jimmer Fredette came over from China, went 0-13 on threes in six games, and ball-hogged Devin Fucking Booker out of a 60-point game. (The Warriors, sensing an opportunity, picked Jimmer up for their summer league team. He quit after two games.) Jamal Crawford has said he doesn't want to retire, but remains unsigned, even by the Lakers. The Lakers did take Troy Daniels, who shoots well when open, but does absolutely nothing else. Josh Jackson skipped a fan meet-and-greet (which was treated as a huge deal locally), got arrested at a music festival, and was recently accused of hot-boxing his baby. On the court, not only did Jackson show little improvement from his rookie season, he often looked worse. One gets the feeling that he never plays basketball outside of mandatory team practices. And when he does go to practice, sometimes he is so hungover that he throws up on the basketball court.
So that takes us through the guard positions. At small forward, we actually had some talent. TJ Warren developed a three-point shot out of nowhere and was suddenly our most reliable perimeter shooter, hitting 43% on 4.2 attempts per game, which is actually elite. (He missed Basketball Reference's eligibility cutoff by 20 attempts, but had he been eligible his percentage would have ranked in the top 10 league-wide.) But he was a black hole on offense (1.5 assists in 32 minutes per game), played zero defense, and always missed tons of games. During his five seasons in the league, he has averaged 52 games per season, and has never played more than 66. Last year he played 43. Our winning percentage was exactly the same in the games he didn't play as in the games he did: 23%. He was a ultimately a non-factor.
Our other two small forwards were Kelly Oubre, Jr. and Mikal Bridges. Both were (and continue to be) fan favorites and both had an obvious positive impact on the team. The Suns went 6-6 with Oubre in the starting lineup last season, during which stretch he averaged 20 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block. James Jones getting Oubre for Trevor Ariza mid-season was nothing less than a miracle — compare our 50% win rate with Oubre in the starting lineup to Ariza's win rate of 15%. You read that right: in games that Ariza started, the Suns were 4-22. If the Suns had won games at Ariza's rate all season, we would have finished with 12 wins instead of 19. If you are wondering why Suns fans were so adamant about re-signing Oubre — and so happy when we finally did — it's because of how noticeably everything changed once he got here. On top of his on-court impact, he was a huge boon to our team culture. He embraced the city, became close with Booker and others, had a positive attitude, and played his heart out every single game. Plus, he's super cute.
Bridges is also super cute, but more importantly, in case you didn't know, he's already an elite defender. This is not hyperbole — as a rookie, he was one of the most intuitive defenders in the entire league. Just take a break here for the next 11 minutes and watch his defensive highlights, they're incredible. (Also, 11 minutes of defensive highlights from just the first half of his first season? Come on!) He's really in tune with the rhythm of the NBA game. He gets his hands on seemingly every ball, he stays in front of everyone, he reads passes and cuts before they happen, he rotates on a tight string, and even when his gambles don't pay off, he is usually somehow able to recover his position — the dude is a generational stud on defense. He was our best defender by far with plenty of room to get even better. His shot wasn't quite as good as we'd hoped (34% from three), but his mechanics and decision-making are solid and he projects to be a top-tier 3&D player in this league for a very long time. He was the only Suns player to play all 82 games and he led the team in total minutes played. As a rookie. If you watched every Suns game last year like I did, you saw Mikal Bridges more than any other player on our team.
At power forward we had Dragan Bender and Ray Spalding. Ray might make this year's team? Who knows, but he's currently in summer league trying to make his case. Dragan Bender is an unsigned free agent who I'm starting to believe never actually existed... but who is nevertheless maybe being considered by the Cavs? I'm sure that will work out well.
At center, we had Deandre Ayton, who was historically efficient and frustratingly under-utilized. He averaged 16 points and 10 boards, with an effective field goal percentage of 58.5% (16th in the league). In NBA history, there have been 26 rookies who have averaged 10+ points and 10+ rebounds per game. Ayton has the highest true shooting percentage of all of them, at .608. Other names on this list include David Robinson, Karl-Anthony Towns, Alonzo Mourning, Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard, Hakeem Olajuwon, Blake Griffin, and Larry Bird. Ayton was more efficient than all of them.
Backing up Ayton, and often also playing the 4, was Richaun Holmes, who brought a ton of energy, especially in the form of highlight blocks and alley-oops, but little in the way of basketball IQ or skill. He was picked up in free agency by the Kings. (So was Trevor Ariza, by the way.... for $25 million over two years! Kings, listen, you're taking this 'Sun Kings' thing a little too seriously. Stop sifting through our trash.)

The Present
So that's where we were going into this offseason. On April 11th of this year, the Suns named James Jones as the new GM. He had been the interim co-GM with Trevor Bukstein since the firing of Ryan McDonough last October, but now the title was his alone (Bukstein was named Assistant GM). Jones has outlined his general vision for the team on several occasions; most recently, he said this:
"We set out in the summer to fill our power forward and point guard position. We did that via the draft (and free agency). We wanted to add positional depth and balance. We did that by adding Frank (Kaminsky), adding Aron Baynes. The addition of Ricky Rubio addressed the point guard position, Dario Saric addressed our power forward position."
“And then from there, in the draft adding Cam (Johnson) and Ty (Jerome), as well as Jalen (Lecque), gave us some more guard depth and we made some moves, some transactions that kind of cleared some cap space for us to be able to make these moves happen and to kind of clear a pathway for guys to compete for an opportunity to move forward for us.”
It has become clear that, despite what you think of the moves the Suns have made, they have made them according to a plan: to fill the aforementioned weaknesses at the point guard and power forward positions, to draft mature rookies who are high-character guys who can shoot, to construct a balanced roster with clearly defined roles, and to build a team that complements the talents of Ayton and Booker. This is exactly what they did.
It's important to keep in mind that having a plan and executing that plan are two different things. Sometimes you don't execute your original plan because you're incompetent, or you failed to foresee some key element that made your plan unlikely or impossible. Other times, your plan doesn't work out because of factors beyond your control. In the Suns' case, the favored plan going into this offseason revolved around getting either the first or second pick in the draft. Immediately, that would meet our power forward (Zion) or point guard (Ja Morant) needs and make us both instantly better and more attractive as a free agent destination. Not only would we have incredible young talent, but we would have additional cap room that wouldn't have to be used on whichever position we selected in the draft. Instead of having to pay for both positions, we would only have to pay for one, allowing us to splurge and still have balance. Getting the first or second pick would have been a game-changer, obviously. As it was for the Pelicans, and as it would have been for any team.
What is encouraging is that the Suns treated this plan like the long shot that it was, and developed backup plans for the statistically likely event that we didn't get one of the first two (or three, or four) picks. Having a backup plan may seem like a fairly normal thing for a GM to have, but the fact that we had one — and more than one — has been a revelation.

Anyway, here is a timeline of our moves over the past month:

The Future
After all of these moves, here is what our roster looks like right now:
  1. PG: Ricky Rubio / Ty Jerome / Jevon Carter / Elie Okobo / Jalen Lecque
  2. SG: Devin Booker / Tyler Johnson
  3. SF: Kelly Oubre / Mikal Bridges / Cameron Johnson
  4. PF: Dario Saric / Frank Kaminsky
  5. C: Deandre Ayton / Aron Baynes
One immediate takeaway is that the Suns improved at nearly every position. Let's start with the guards. Rubio, obviously, is a massive upgrade at the point guard position. I mean, come on: our starting point guards last year included Isaiah Canaan, De'Anthony Melton, Elie Okobo, and my 10-year-old daughter. Tyler Johnson, our most effective point guard last year, only played in 13 games and is not actually a point guard. With Rubio on the team, Johnson is now back in his more natural two-guard spot, and a backup at that, giving us much-needed guard depth. He can still run backup point if he has to, but that responsibility will fall primarily to Ty Jerome, who can learn the role under Rubio's tutelage while primarily facing other teams' second units. Speaking of point guards, at first glance it looks like we have once again swung the pendulum and now have way too many of them, but this will likely thin out a bit before the season starts. My guess is that we will let Okobo or Carter go and assign Lecque to the G League, unless Lecque continues to impress through camp and preseason play.
At the shooting guard spot, Devin Booker will have his best season yet, and why wouldn't he? He's improved every season so far, he's still only 22, and he's on by far the best team of his career, with his best coach to date. Statistically, I think he will score about the same as last year, but on fewer shots and much improved efficiency — if you don't follow the Suns and are wondering why his three-point percentage was not great last season, let me tell you: he took a ton of forced shots late in possessions, and not because he wanted to. He was consistently double-teamed, and although Booker is a willing passer with good court vision, we just didn't have the personnel to punish those double teams. With Rubio handling the ball most of the time, Booker will almost certainly average fewer assists next season, but go back to doing what he does best: coming off screens and getting the ball in rhythm for nice, clean looks. If he gets doubled coming off screens, he can and will make the easy next pass to either Ayton on the block or the shooter in the corner, which will actually be a shooter this time around. This is much different than being doubled way out past the three-point line, with no angle to Ayton and no shooters on the wings. Look for his efficiency to really make a jump.
At small forward, we lost some offensive punch by getting rid of TJ Warren, but we maintain consistency with Oubre and Bridges, either of whom could end up starting, and either of whom would be killer on the second unit. Neither of them are the pure natural scorer that Warren is, but they are both better all-around players who contribute on defense, crash the boards, and aren't hurt all the time. They are also both young and improving, and both should be better across the board than they were last season. Oubre is the better offensive player, although Bridges has higher shooting upside, while Bridges is easily the better defender. Which one ends up starting will likely come down to whether new head coach Monty Williams prefers to emphasize offense or defense in that first unit.
Speaking of Williams, he recently said that the starting power forward spot is also up for grabs, but I think everyone would be pretty surprised if Saric wasn't in that role for game 1. I said it before and I'll say it again: this is a significant upgrade for us, regardless of what you think of Saric. He brings savvy and shooting, and provides Rubio and Booker with yet another offensive option who can knock down shots but doesn't need the ball a ton. His presence on the floor will really let us space things out and give Rubio all the passing angles he could wish for, while at the same time making it easier for us to punish double-teams by whipping the ball around to the open man.
Perhaps even more impressive than the upgrades to our starting five are the upgrades to our bench, which actually consists of recognizable NBA players now. Last season, you might have turned on a Suns game and saw Elie Okobo paired with Jamal Crawford in the backcourt, while Josh Jackson and Dragan Bender spotted up on the wings. Those days, thank the lord, are gone. Now our second unit is Ty Jerome running point, Tyler Johnson at the 2, Bridges or Oubre at small forward, and Kaminsky and Baynes as our bigs. (It's rare that first and second units play in clear-cut five-man rotations like that — there's usually a lot of overlap in substitution patterns — but you get the point.) Aside from Jerome, who is an unproven rookie, those are actual competent NBA players who can hang with and even outplay other second units.
On top of all that, we have Monty Williams as our new head coach. Like so many of our other moves, this may not seem like that big of a deal to outsiders. Ho hum, right? Let me tell you: it's a big deal, and not just because the Lakers wanted him, too. Williams is Booker's fifth head coach in five years. Three of the coaches Booker played for were Earl Watson, Jay Triano, and Igor Kokoskov. Not exactly a bunch of Popoviches. Jeff Hornacek (oh my god) was probably the best of the bunch. Booker has played for more head coaches than Dirk Nowitzki (21 seasons), Tim Duncan (19 seasons), John Stockton (19 seasons), Dwyane Wade (16 seasons), Michael Jordan (15 seasons), and Bill Russell (13 seasons). I guess Booker can comfort himself with the fact that Jamal Crawford has played for 19 coaches in 19 seasons — truly a mark of greatness. Williams has impressed so far in interviews, is gelling well with GM James Jones, and has the full respect and command of the team — a far cry from the situation last year, where the assistant coaches were running the show and players couldn't understand what Kokoskov was even saying.
Finally, not only have the Suns drastically improved their roster from last year, they have done so in a way that enables them to continue improving in the future. They have a better GM, a better head coach, and better players. They have Devin Booker locked up through the 2023-24 season. They have avoided long-term albatross contracts, enabling them to maintain flexibility going forward: the only other players besides Booker who have contracts beyond the next three seasons are the rookies we just acquired, who will still be on their rookie deals. Our new state-of-the-art practice facility will be complete in 2021, Booker and Ayton will be entering their primes, and the Suns will have the flexibility to create max cap space and lure a top free agent.
A huge caveat here is that the West is a bloodbath. The Suns could have a dramatically better team this season, which we do, and still not sniff the playoffs. Which of these teams are the Suns going to finish ahead of in the standings?
  1. Nuggets
  2. Clippers
  3. Jazz
  4. Rockets
  5. Lakers
  6. Warriors
  7. Blazers
  8. Spurs
The answer is none of them, barring major injuries. Even if the Suns outplay every other team in the western conference — the Mavs, Kings, Grizzlies, Pelicans, Timberwolves, and Thunder — that would still leave them in 9th place. And some of these other teams might be better too, on top of already having been better than the Suns last year. It's a tough hill to climb.
And yet.
The Suns, at the end of the day, got better. Maybe that only translates to 30 wins this upcoming season, maybe it translates to 35. That's not world-beating, but that's still a big step forward, and if they improve on that record with another 5-10 wins in the 2020-21 season, suddenly the Suns are an actual playoff contender with two established stars, two years of consistency and improvement under their belts, a surprisingly competent front office, a stable coaching staff, an attractive new practice facility in Scottsdale, and cap space to sign another stud.
I mean, at the end of the day, who really knows. Things in the NBA can and often do change overnight. But at least the Suns, for once, have a plan.
submitted by nonanonymo to nbadiscussion [link] [comments]

bathrobeDFS - A List of Links and Sources to Aid in your Research (NBA Edition)

Hey everyone. bathrobeDFS here. People often ask me about the sources that I use, and I want to put together a list for everyone that gives a bunch of free resources that will help you learn, and make your choices from day to day. I hope to keep this updated as new and better links become available/known to me.
NBA Schedule
ESPN’S Schedule - Simple schedule layout. List format which I like. Will also show you if the game is on national TV, which I also like. If you go back, you can check box scores, which is also extremely helpful if you want to dive into some counting numbers.
Player Health/Lineup News - The first thing you should look at. No use playing someone if they are going to be Out. Also helps you understand who would play for people that are going to miss.
Basketball Monster’s Depth Chart Page: It shows you every player, on every roster. Will let you know who is IN, Questionable, Probable, and if someone is out (as well as their expected return date). Not as good as Rotoworld's old site, but will get you by if needed. Most importantly, though, is it accurately (to 95%) shows you who is Questionable/Probable/Out, etc.
RG’s NBA DFS Twitter List - If you want to stay up to date with everything as it breaks, this is a constant stream of NBA Beat Writers that tell you injury news and other lineup news. If you are waiting pre-lock for something to break, this is the first place you are going to see/hear anything.
RG’s Starting Lineup Page - Will give you the projected starting lineup, as well as the Vegas line/spread, for every game. You can also go forward one day to check tomorrow’s potential starting lineups. One of the reasons I love this, in particular, is if you click on a players name, it gives a detailed game log, including what his individual per game USG rate is.
Popcorn Machine - If you want to see who is on the court with who, and check what a person’s normal rotation looks like (For example, Embiid plays 5 minutes to start a game and then sits out for a bit), this is one of the coolest tools you can find. Great information when you mouse over the lines too.
Statistics
Vegas Spreads/Lines - Another one of the first things to check. While this is always only a guide, and no one can predict how everything will go 100% of the time, there is a reason that Vegas and these other books make money
All of the Vegas and Offshore Odds - I will start this off by saying that, if you want to know what the single be-all end-all book to look at, the best single authority, the answer is Pinnacle. If you want to see their odds, you can click on “Offshore Odds” and they are listed there. I like checking them after I check what the average line is (there is a very small difference constantly between the “VI consensus” and Pinnacle).
Offensive Statistics - In order to know who we should play, we should know the numbers that can point to who has the best chance of performing on any given night. Basketball is a high variance sport, but has much less variance than others. Minutes and usage are king in the NBA. We should know who is going to get both of those
Usage Rate: - What I would consider the single most important factor in determining how good a play someone is.
1- ESPN LINK : I like this one the best. It automatically only uses Qualified players. It is sortable by position, as well.,
2- NBA LINK - this will automatically Remove anyone who has played less than 10 games, and will show you usage over the last 15 games. This is a function not available on ESPN. You can change the values if you would like on the top.
Pace: - Another one of the most important factors. Higher pace = more possessions. More possessions = more of a chance to score fantasy points.
Sortable Pace Rankings - This is the site I use to get pace. The link I have provided will show you season long pace numbers. I like to go to the “season segment” drop down menu on the top and look at the last 15 games for a better idea of how teams have been playing recently.
Fantasy Points Per Minute
FPPM for FD and DK - This shows FPPM for FD and DK, by player. It is sortable by their last 5 games, 10 games, or season long. This will only show you the information for players that are playing that current day. You can’t just look up people, as far as I’ve seen (unfortunately).
NBA With Out/With You - Despite the domain name, a free website that will let you check an incredible amount of information with regards to how different people produce with or without teammates on the court. This, by far, gives the most comprehensive information you are going to find with regards to this, anywhere.
Defensive Statistics: - It is important to know that no single Defensive statistic can adequately tell you everything you need to know. You have to try to look at a plethora of information, and try to learn for yourself who is good, and use that to make your own analysis. My favorite websites for defensive stats are:
DvP and FPPG - This is my go to site. It has DK, FD, Yahoo, DRAFT, Fantasydraft and a few other sites I have never even heard of. It also lets you select a range of dates you want (1, 2, 4, or custom select however many games you want to look at). In addition, there are two options that let you look at only the teams playing today, and an option that lets you add last year’s information to this years and average it all together (for teams that have the same rostecoach/playing style).
DRPM - what I would consider the best individual defensive metric (although, again, nothing is perfect). The only problem here is there is no way to filter out players who have only played 1 or 2 games (or who only get a couple minutes per game) so you have to do a little extra work. Still, allows you to sort by position, so you can see how everyone faces up against one another.
DEF WS - A different look at individual Defense by the NBA. This one doesn’t have as much of a tilt towards Centers. Interesting to also take a look at.
TEAM D EFF - A measure of a team’s defensive efficiency. This is a much better metric than others because it accounts for pace. This is sortable for this season, the last 3 games, the last game, home and away, and also lets you look at last season’s D EFF ratings.
Fouls Per Game - One of the other team stats on this site (I would dig into all of them if you can), this is crucial information when deciding if you are going to pay up for a James Harden or not (among others). If he is going against a team that is prone to foul, he is going to have a higher chance of hitting his ceiling. If he is going against a team that doesn’t foul very often, he will have a lot of his potential points taken away.
Opponents’ Total Rebounds per Game - A great way of gauging how much upside your big men might have tonight, here you can see how many rebounds a team typically gives up on the season (as well as over more recent stretches- same as with D EFF).
Free Things from Paid Websites
Awesemo’s Youtube Channel - Multiple free videos every day. Not required to stream it in order to watch it. They do videos about most sports that are played, with great analysis about stats and process. Videos are also for DK, FD and Yahoo. I strongly recommend the (former redditor JoshEngleman) morning video where they go over everything with a fine toothed comb, with numbers and projected ownerships displayed.
RG’s LineupHQ - A free tool for helping you build lineups. There are certain restrictions, but it is free and gets the job done. This also provides free point projections in case you just want to see how they are projecting everyone out.
RG’s CourtIQ - Similar function to NBAWowy. Much faster, but less information.
FantasyCruncher Lineup Rewind - As someone who loves to look back and see what we can learn, this tool allows to see what the absolute best lineup could have been for any sport, any slate. It is a great tool to learn how lineups are constructed, and how a winning lineup could be put together. Additionally, it’s great to see how everyone has been doing recently
New Stuff
From this point on in the article, I want to list new sites either shown to me by other people, or that I stumbled on myself.
StatMuse - If you have any specific questions, StatMuse will help you. "What are the Eastern Conference Standings?" "How tall is Vucevic?" "How have the Bucks done against the Magic this season?" "Who shoots the most 3s for the Pistons?" All these questions and more are quickly answered in an easy to read format. They did a great job here, and I use it for questions like I listed above. This was shown to me by a reader, so I am just learning it myself. I am sure I have barely scratched the surface here.
submitted by bathrobeDFS to dfsports [link] [comments]

Week 48; Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

The humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico worsened with the inadequate response by the federal government. Amid criticism, Trump threatened to pull out, but later backed off. Although the death count officially stands at 45, reporting revealed possibly hundreds more preventable deaths related to the Hurricane Maria.
Trump remains silent on both California’s deadliest wildfires and the deadliest combat incident since he took office. He continues to focus on undoing Obama’s legacy, piece-by-piece. The Mueller investigation hit Trump’s inner-circle, and social media’s role in aiding Russia continues to unfold.
  1. On Saturday night, Richard Spencer led another white supremacist torch-lit rally at University of Virginia. The rally lasted 10 minutes and 40-50 people attended. Spencer vowed, “we will keep coming back.”
  2. On Sunday, Trump attacked former ally Sen. Bob Corker in a series of incendiary tweets, saying “Corker “begged” me to endorse him for re-election” and “wanted to be Secretary of State.” Trump claimed to have said no to both.
  3. Corker responded, tweeting it’s a shame the WH has become an “adult day care center,” and that someone “missed their shift this morning.”
  4. On Sunday, Pence left a Colts game after a protest during the national anthem. Pence later issued a full statement opposing the protests. The Colts were playing the 49ers, a team known to protest.
  5. Before the game, Pence tweeted a photo of him and the Second Lady wearing Colts gear. The photo was one he originally tweeted in 2014.
  6. Shortly after, Trump tweeted he had asked Pence to leave the game “if any players kneeled,” and said he was proud of Pence and the Second Lady.
  7. The pool of journalists covering Pence were not allowed into the stadium, and were told, “there may be an early departure from the game.” ABC estimated Pence’s flight cost taxpayers nearly $250k.
  8. Bowing to pressure from Trump, the Cowboys’ Jerry Jones, after kneeling with players in week 3 of the season, changed course saying any player who “disrespects the flag” by kneeling will not be allowed to play.
  9. On Tuesday, Trump threatened the NFL over protests saying the league is “getting massive tax breaks” and the law should be changed. This claim is false: the NFL gave up its 501(c)(6) tax-exempt status in 2015.
  10. On Tuesday, bowing to pressure from Trump and fans, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who previously had said players had the right to voice their opinions, sided with owners opposed to letting players demonstrate.
  11. On Monday, Pence headlined a fundraiser in CA for Republicans including controversial, Kremlin-ally Rep. Dana Rohrabacher. Rohrabacher had a previously undisclosed meeting in Russia with Veselnitskaya described in Week 47.
  12. University of Wisconsin approved a policy which calls for suspending or expelling students who disrupt campus speeches and presentations. The policy mirrors Republican legislation passed by the state Assembly.
  13. On Columbus Day, unlike Obama, Trump celebrated the “arrival of Europeans,” but did not mention of the suffering of Native Americans.
  14. On Sunday, the Trump’s DHS allowed the Jones Act waiver, which helped speed relief to Puerto Rico, to expire. No explanation was given.
  15. Trump’s EPA announced it would repeal the Clean Power Plan, Obama’s signature policy to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The statement described the regulation as the “so-called Clean Power Plan.”
  16. On Friday, Trump addressed the Value Voters Summit hosted by the Family Research Council, which has been classified by SPLC as an anti-gay hate group. Trump is the first US leader to address the group.
  17. Reuters reported the Trump regime has been quietly cutting support for halfway houses for federal prisoners, severing contracts with as many as 16 facilities, necessitating some inmates stay behind bars longer.
  18. ABC reported the Treasury Dept’s inspector general is looking into allegations reported by BuzzFeed in Week 47 that agency officials have been illegally looking at private financial records of US citizens.
  19. A report compiled by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) at House and Senate Democrats’ request, found the Trump transition team ignored ethics officials and refused to cooperate with the GAO.
  20. Trump named Kathleen Hartnett White to the WH’s Council on Environmental Quality. Hartnett White, a climate science denier, once also said, “fossil fuels dissolved the economic justification for slavery.”
  21. In response to a filing by CREW, Trump’s DOJ told a court in DC that Trump can destroy records without judicial review, including tweets.
  22. Brian Brooks became the second candidate under consideration for deputy Treasury Secretary to withdraw from consideration. Mnuchin said he has no plans to fill the number two slot in his agency.
  23. WAPO reported at the Interior Dept, when Zinke enters the building a staffer takes the elevator to the seventh floor, climbs the stairs to the roof and puts up a special flag. The flag comes down when he leaves.
  24. On Wednesday, NBC reported Tillerson calling Trump a “moron” was provoked by Trump suggesting a tenfold increase in the US nuclear arsenal during a July 20 meeting with the high-ranking national security leaders.
  25. In response to the story which he called “Fake News,” Trump tweeted a threat to revoke the broadcasting licenses of “NBC and the Networks.”
  26. Later that afternoon, at a news conference, Trump again lashed out at the independent news media saying it’s “frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write.”
  27. In a statement Wednesday night, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse asked Trump if he was “recanting” his oath to protect the First Amendment.
  28. Indiana Republican lawmaker Jim Lucas drafted a bill that would require professional journalists to be licensed by state police.
  29. Under pressure to confirm Trump’s judicial nominees, McConnell will no longer allow “blue slips,” used by senators to deny a nominee from their state a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing and vote on confirmation.
  30. The Trump regime withdrew from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), citing anti-Israel bias and a being in arrears on a $550 million payment. Israel remains part of UNESCO.
  31. NYT published an interview with Corker in which he said Trump is treating his office like a “reality show” with reckless threats at other country that could put our country “on the path to World War III.”
  32. Corker said he is concerned about Trump, and Trump’s behavior should concern “anyone who cares about our nation.” He added there is no ‘good cop, bad cop’ underway with Tillerson — Trump is undermining diplomacy.
  33. Corker said nearly all Senate Republican share his concerns: “the vast majority of our caucus understands what we’re dealing with here.”
  34. WAPO reported Trump is frustrated by his cabinet and that he is not getting enough credit for his handling of three hurricanes. Trump is lashing out and rupturing alliances with both Republicans and Democrats.
  35. One confidant said Trump is like a whistling teapot, saying when he does not blow off steam, he can turn into a pressure cooker and explode: “I think we are in pressure cooker territory.”
  36. Politico quoted 10 sources current and former WH aides who employed strategies like delays and distractions as “guardrails” in trying to manage Trump’s impulsivity.
  37. Vanity Fair reported sources say Trump is “unstable,” “losing a step,” and “unraveling.” They say the WH is in crisis as advisers struggle to contain Trump who is increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods.
  38. Trump allegedly told his former bodyguard Schiller, “I hate everyone in the White House!” Kelly is allegedly miserable in the job, and is staying on in a sense of duty and to keep Trump from making disastrous decisions.
  39. One former official speculated Kelly and Mattis have discussed what they would do if Trump ordered a nuclear strike — “would they tackle him?”
  40. According to sources, Bannon said the risk to Trump’s presidency wasn’t impeachment, but the 25th Amendment. Bannon thinks Trump has only a 30% chance of making it the full term.
  41. In a column “What Bob Corker Sees in Trump,” conservative columnist Peggy Noonan urged Republicans they have a duty to speak on the record about what they see happening with Trump.
  42. On Thursday, at a signing ceremony for his health care executive order, Trump nearly walked out of the room without signing the order. Pence pulled him back in.
  43. On Tuesday, Trump said in an interview with Forbes that he could beat Tillerson in an IQ test. Trump met with Tillerson later that day at the WH.
  44. On Friday, Corker called out Trump for his effort to disempower Tillerson saying: “You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state without giving yourself that binary choice.”
  45. CNN’s Fareed Zakaria said, “It’s very clear now that we essentially have no diplomacy going on in the United States,” adding the way Trump has treated Tillerson is “the most dramatic example of it.”
  46. On CBS’s 60 Minutes, Parscale claimed he fine-tuned ads on Facebook to directly reach voters with the exact messages they cared most about. He also claimed he handpicked Republican Facebook employees to help.
  47. Daily Beast reported the Kremlin recruited two black video bloggers, Williams and Kalvin Johnson, to produce incendiary YouTube videos calling Hillary a racist. The videos were spread on social media platforms.
  48. WAPO reported Google has uncovered evidence about $100k of ads purchased by Russian agents to spread disinformation on across the company’s many products, including YouTube, during the 2016 election.
  49. Google said the ads do not appear to be from the same Kremlin-linked troll farm that bought ads on Facebook. Some ads touted Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Jill Stein, while others aimed to fan the flames of divisive issues.
  50. Rep. Devin Nunes, who recused himself as Chair of the House Intel Committee’s Russia probe, unilaterally signed off on subpoenas to Fusion GPS, the research firm that produced the Steele dossier. Democrats were not consulted.
  51. Reuters reported Chuck Grassley, the Republican chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is also taking steps to discredit the dossier according to Democrats on the committee.
  52. Carter Page told the Senate Intel Committee that he will not cooperate with any requests to appear before the panel on Russia, and will plead the Fifth.
  53. Daily Beast reported the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is looking at Cambridge Analytica’s work from the Trump campaign as part of its Russian probe.
  54. Cambridge Analytica, which has ownership ties to the Mercers and Bannon, was brought in to help the campaign by Kushner. The company is also under investigation in the UK watchdog for its role in Brexit.
  55. NYT reported Israel caught Kaspersky Lab working with the Russian government to search the world for US secrets, using Kaspersky software to scan for classified words. Kaspersky software is used by 400 million people.
  56. WSJ reported that Russia’s use of the Kaspersky program to spy on the US is broader and more pervasive than the operation against one individual in Week 47. Trump continues to deny Russian meddling in the US election.
  57. Politico reported as part their posture to cooperate, Trump’s attorneys may offer Mueller a meeting with Trump. If Mueller doesn’t ask by Thanksgiving, attorneys may force the issue by volunteering his time.
  58. Legal experts were surprised by Trump’s lawyers strategy noting Trump would be speaking under oath and he routinely distorts facts, and that Trump would be interviewed in connection with a criminal investigation.
  59. CNN reported Russian operatives used YouTube, Tumblr, and even Pokémon Go as part of their effort to interfere in the election, using a campaign titled “Don’t Shoot Us” to spread a divisive message.
  60. NBC reported Manafort had a previously undisclosed $26 million loan from Deripaska through a series of transactions. It is unclear if the $26 million is a loan or an indirect payment from the Russian oligarch.
  61. The loan brings the total financial relationship between Manafort and Deripaska to $60 million over the past decade, according to financial documents filed in Cyprus and the Cayman Islands.
  62. Manafort’s spokesman, Jason Maloni, initially responded to NBC with a statement including: “Mr. Manafort is not indebted to former clients today, nor was he at the time he began working for the Trump campaign.”
  63. Maloni’s statement was later revised and that sentence was removed. Both Manafort and Maloni have received subpoenas to supply documents and testimony in the Mueller probe.
  64. Yahoo reported Andrew Feinberg, former correspondent for Sputnik, provided a guide and emails to FBI investigators looking into possible violations of the law which requires agents of foreign nations to register with the DOJ.
  65. Further, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is investigating RT and Sputnik as possible parts of the Russian state-run propaganda machine in the broader probe into Russia’s election meddling.
  66. On Friday, Mueller’s team interviewed Trump’s former chief of staff, Priebus. Priebus’ lawyer said he voluntarily met with investigators and “was happy to answer all of their questions.”
  67. Priebus was present during Trump’s efforts to limit the Russia probe, and for discussions that led to the firing of Comey. He was also asked to leave the Oval Office before the infamous Trump-Comey conversation.
  68. Politico reported Twitter deleted tweets and other user data of potentially irreplaceable value to investigators in the Russia probe.
  69. Federal investigators believe Twitter was one of Russia’s most potent weapons. Bots and fake accounts launched recurring waves of pro-Trump, anti-Clinton story lines that were either false or greatly exaggerated.
  70. AP reported Twitter has turned over 201 accounts linked to Russian attempts at influencing the 2016 election to Senate investigators. It is unclear if the posts associated with these accounts have been deleted.
  71. CNN reported an attorney for Roger Stone said he has complied with the House Intel Committee request to provide the identity of his intermediary to WikiLeaks’ Assange.
  72. WSJ reported Congressional investigators are homing in on connections between the Trump campaign, and Facebook, and Twitter. Digital director Parscale was paid $88 million during the campaign, the highest paid vendor.
  73. Every vendor that worked with Parscale on the Trump campaign signed a nondisclosure agreement, and there are no federal disclosure requirements for online ads.
  74. Both Congress and Mueller are investigating the role activity on Facebook and Twitter played in the 2016 election, and whether the Russian social-media activity was in any connected to the Trump campaign.
  75. A Morning Consult poll found Trump’s approval has fallen in every state since he took office. The swings were as high as 30 percentage points in blue-states IL and CA, to 11 points in red-state LA.
  76. A Reuters/Ipsos poll found Trump’s popularity is eroding in small towns and rural communities: in September 47 approve/47 disapprove, down from 55/39 in his first four weeks in office.
  77. WAPO reported as of October 10, Trump’s first 263 days in office, he has made 1,318 false or misleading claims.
  78. The Brookings Institute released a 108-page report which concluded Trump “likely obstructed justice” in his firing of Comey. If Mueller agrees, there are legitimate articles of impeachment that could be drawn up.
  79. In a letter to Mattis, over 100 Democrats are demanding proof that Trump did indeed consult with the Pentagon as he claimed in a tweet, prior to announcing his ban of transgender individuals from military service.
  80. A Kaiser Foundation poll found 62% of Americans say Puerto Ricans aren’t getting the help they need. 76% were aware Puerto Ricans are US citizens.
  81. On Thursday, in a series of tweets, Trump threatened to abandon Puerto Rico’s recovery effort, blaming the island for its infrastructure problems and saying and relief workers would not stay “in P.R. forever.”
  82. The tweets follow harsh criticism from Puerto Rico of the Trump regime’s response to Hurricane Maria. One Puerto Rican said, “He doesn’t think of us as Americans.”
  83. Trump also quoted a Sharyl Attkisson, a television journalist with Sinclair Broadcasting, in saying that while Puerto Rico survived Hurricane Maria, now “a financial crisis looms largely of their own making.”
  84. Later Thursday, the WH issued a statement committing “the full force of the U.S. government” for now, but adding “successful recoveries do not last forever.”
  85. At a House Energy and Commerce hearing about efforts to rebuild the island’s energy grid, Sec. Rick Perry referred to Puerto Rico as a country.
  86. Next day, Trump referred to the Virgin Islands’ governor as a president.
  87. VOX reported although the official death count in Puerto Rico is 45, they found 81 death linked to Hurricane Maria, as well as 450 more reported deaths, most of causes still unknown, and 69 still missing.
  88. Puerto Rico’s governor said four deaths are being investigated as cases of leptospirosis, a disease spread by animals’ urine through contaminated water. A total of ten people have come down with the disease.
  89. Rachel Maddow reported a doctor resigned from the disaster response team in Puerto Rico after seeing medical workers getting manicures and pedicures from residents of the island in medical triage tents.
  90. NYT reported on Puerto Rico’s health care is in dire condition, and continues to suffer from mismanagement. The US Comfort ship with 800 medical personnel which can serve 250, has seen 82 patients in six days.
  91. CNN reported Puerto Ricans are drinking water from a hazardous-waste site, having no other options for water.
  92. A Politico/Morning Consult poll found just 32% of registered voters think the federal government has done enough to help Puerto Rico.
  93. Bloomberg revealed one of its reporters was inadvertently put on the Pentagon’s internal email list which detailed how to spin Hurricane Maria to convince the public that the government response was going well.
  94. On Thursday, Trump also signed an executive order ending Obamacare subsidies for the poor. Not paying the subsidies could boost premiums for millions and send the health insurance exchanges into turmoil.
  95. NPR estimated consumers who earn 400% of the federal poverty level — $48k for individuals or $98.4k for a family of four — will see their the cost of their plans rise by, on average, 20% nationwide.
  96. Doctors, hospitals, insurers, state insurance commissioners and patient advocates denounced Trump’s move. Trump actions puts pressure on Congress to protect consumers from soaring premiums.
  97. WSJ reported if Congress doesn’t succeed, WH aides said Trump “will claim victory” for ending the Iran deal, cutting billions in payments to health insurers, and deporting hundreds of thousands of immigrants.
  98. On Friday, a coalition of attorneys general from 18 states and DC filed a lawsuit to block Trump’s halt to subsidy payments under Obamacare.
  99. NYT reported as of Friday, Trump has taken 12 actions which could weaken Obamacare and curtail enrollment, including spreading negative news releases and posting infographics criticizing the health law.
  100. On Saturday, Trump boasted on Twitter that health insurance companies’ stocks “plunged yesterday” after his steps to dismantle Obamacare.
  101. A Kaiser Health poll found 71% of Americans say the Trump regime should work to improve Obamacare, while just 21% say make it fail.
  102. On Friday, Trump slammed Iran as a “menace” and called for “decertification” of the nuclear deal, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), saying Iran is “not living up to the spirit of the deal.”
  103. Trump sent the deal back to Congress with a 60-day window to address its “many serious flaws” or see it “terminated.”
  104. Top officials on Trump’s national security team, including Mattis and Tillerson, said Iran has technically complied with its restrictions. The International Atomic Energy Association also confirmed compliance.
  105. Daily Beast reported while McMaster also wanted to save the Iran Deal, Trump consulted Fox News’ Sean Hannity and former UN Ambassador John Bolton, two neoconservatives who pushed for decertification.
  106. The leaders of Britain, Germany and France declared their commitment to stand by JCPoA. They deal was the culmination of 16 years of diplomacy.
  107. After being added to Trump’s travel ban, Chad pulled its troops from the fight against Boko Haram in Niger. US officials had warned Trump his decision would have major consequences for the fight against terrorism.
  108. California’s deadliest wildfires charred more than 221,754 acres of land in Northern CA, and left at least 35 dead and hundreds more missing. Trump has yet to publicly comment or tweet about the wildfires.
  109. Nor has Trump publicly commented on the deadliest combat incident since he took office, which took place in Niger last Saturday while Trump was golfing. The ambush by ISIS left four soldiers dead and two wounded.
  110. As the week ended, 24 days after Hurricane Maria, just 64% of Puerto Ricans had access to drinking water, and only 14.6% had electricity.
  111. Trump spent his fourth weekend since Hurricane Maria golfing. On Saturday, he visited Trump National Golf Club in VA, his 72nd day of golf since taking office.
submitted by 1000000students to TheConstitution [link] [comments]

Using IV to calculate a good buy-in point

I've been getting hammered lately buying calls when IV is too high and then losing money out of the gate because IV falls. Not necessarily due to earnings-related crush... I don't play earnings for the most part. I just have a tendency to get caught up in FOMO and then regret it when the excitement dies down or a stock drops from its high shortly after coming to my attention. I recognize this as a fatal weakness in my trading strategy and am taking active steps to fix it... hence this question.
I'm looking at IQ this morning (ATM December calls), and as expected with all the hubbub around it lately, the IV as listed on Yahoo is over 90%. So obviously these calls are going to be expensive. But then again, the high IV means that options traders are also expecting big moves in the stock between now and December. So, I'm confused about how to read this. Is it better to wait for IV to drop before buying, or is it better to buy now because of the expected increase in the underlying? Obviously the correct answer to this question would require a crystal ball, so my real question is: How do you all use IV to determine when to enter a position? Do you prefer to look for underlyings with low IV but great potential? Or do you look for underlyings with high IV because it indicates the expectation that a stonk is going to shoot up?
Thanks!
submitted by AmbivalentFanatic to options [link] [comments]

I'm suicidal because I fear I am unintelligent, convincing evidence that this is the case. It's completely taken over my self-esteem.

Abstract/TL;DR:
I'm a 23 years old. I've been generally socially isolated (lack of consistent communication/barely-no friends) for 10+ years, and deal with various mental health issues because of it. I'm suicidal because I'm very worried that I'm unintelligent (below average/average IQ) and I may have evidence to prove that I am, despite what people say. In autistic fashion - I'm obsessed with this, it's exclusively tied to my self-esteem. I'm suicidal because I feel like I've failed in life: I feel like I'm never going to be fulfilled because I had an autistic obsession over something as a child, and turned it into a life goal. I've realized I failed, and there's no turning back. Now, I feel like my only purpose to live at this point is to contribute to humanity in some way, which will likely involve tons of research. A high IQ will be needed to power through it all, and I may have evidence that points to my cognitive abilities rendering my only purpose to live invalid. If I don't have the capacity to score above average on a IQ test (don't have to be gifted, though that would be ideal; I'd be comfortable with 110-115+, preferably 120+) I don't think I can live with myself at all. Here's why:
First off...
Why am I posting this here?
Disclaimer:
I'm aware that IQ testing isn't the be-all end-all in regards to intelligence, however, in my (limited) research, it appears to be a very valid indicator of one's capabilities in life, how valuable that person is to society, and most importantly - it seems to correctly indicate how fast someone can pick up on new information and patterns (which is how I define intelligence). That's why this is a big deal to me. I'll get into that later.
Also, sorry this sounds so ridiculous and self-absorbed, but I'm in a lot of pain at the moment; I'm freaking out, totally isolated with no one to talk to, and feel like I'm about to end my life at any moment because of the high degree of self-doubt. I need some insight from an alternative source. Plus, sorry that this is going to be TL;DR as fuck; my thoughts are heavily disorganized, and I feel like I need to tie major pieces of my life together to make this situation clearer. A lot of this is basically refined pieces from a message I sent to someone I've spoken to online who I thought would be able to give me some relevant insight - never got a response back. I keep thinking about this, and I have been for the past 3 weeks, so this is the best way I can get this out of my system that doesn't involve attempting suicide. I'll try to make this as brief as possible, but it may come out long-winded anyway. I feel like there are some people here that will be able to get through all of this. So I'm going out on a limb and posting on this sub.
My diagnoses:
Professional:
Self-diagnosed:
Also a possibility of complex PTSD, since I've been on the perimeter of traumatic events.
My story - Timeline:
Age 2: Start showing signs of Autism/Asperger's, teach myself how to read independently. Based on my findings, it's likely this was due to Hyperlexia/ a splinter skill, because I had speech problems as a young child.
Age 5: Diagnosed with Asperger's and ADHD by Dr. Bertram Ruttenberg, the guy who founded the Center for Autism back in the 1950s (so AS Dx is probably legit).
Age 5-9: Public elementary school, special education to a degree. School felt like prison to me: I was anxious, on edge, hyper in Kindergarten but calmed down in first grade and became the passive, socially introverted/isolated quiet kid - a character which lasted throughout my school years with a few variations in between. I was always a good speller, and things like cursive and handwriting really came to me; I was able to grasp them better than everyone in my grade. (Also: good eyesight and hearing, probably heightened senses due to Asperger's)
Age 6: I get tested for my IQ. My score was 96. This may have been an invalid score due to ADHD, acute anxiety, autism, possibly not completing the test (I don't remember if I completed it or not), OR it may have been valid after all (which is why I'm worried + suicidal, more on this later). IICR, I tested in similar ranges as a 9 year old, with other tests (which may not have been professionally administered IQ tests; they were during interviews for an approved private school I would later attend in the middle of the fourth grade)
Age 8- My psychiatrist, Dr. Ruttenberg, retires and refers me to another psychiatrist nearby. This new psychiatrist ends up being an important part of this story, for incredibly fucked up reasons.
Around this time, my father was experiencing stress. I don't know what was going on, but to preface:
My parents got together during periods where their families had problems and issues with them. It will take too long to explain, but let's just say this: my father's family was absent my whole life, due to his parents dying before my birth/early on in my life and his siblings being split up. My mother's family had resentment issues towards her, for reasons unknown, this family was present in my life, unlike my father's. However, they would later betray us.
After my parents got married (a year before I was born) they started out with essentially nothing, because their families couldn't support them. Luckily my father was quite ambitious, and worked as a salesman, moving upwards slowly but surely, progressively.
Around the time they had a second child, my sister, (this was six years after I was born), my father started getting really stressed out. One day, about a year later, he had a panic attack and had to be hospitalized.
Flash forward to 2002, when I was 8 years old, and started seeing my new psychiatrist. He prescribed me 30 mg adderall right off the bat. For some reason, my father felt he needed adderall too. He started seeing this psychiatrist. Ended up getting a prescription as well. He starts having adverse reactions. Here's where it gets interesting: the psychiatrist continues to prescribe him drugs, despite his reactions. My father begins the slow, but progressive downward spiral.
Age 9 1/2: After having issues integrating in public school for four years, fourth grade is the last straw, I end up being sent to a special private school. My experience here is far more comfortable compared to public school, even made some friends and opened up socially in a way I never did in public school, though I was still quiet and reserved.
Meanwhile, my father gets worse. He goes from working in sales, to doing better in sales, but arguing *far more with my mother. He starts self-destructing.
Over the next two years (2004-06) he self-destructs further, ends up losing jobs. We rented houses at the time and couldn't pay rent so we ended up homeless in October 2006, when I was 12. Luckily, my grandmother helped us out and let us move into her place. However, over the next two weeks, my mother's family grew very uncomfortable with the idea and conspired against my mother (and ultimately my sister, father and I) and kicked us out. Then we were homeless for real.
November 2006: I remember my parents driving around at night, spending 16 hours in a car. We were desperately trying to find a place to stay; and when we asked the psychiatrist (going to refer to him as Dante from now on) he actually agreed to let us stay.
This is where things start to get really fucking bleak and the socially isolated downward spiral begins. Since my parents can't provide for me, me and my sister stop going to school.
Christmas 2006: Amazingly, (my father probably panhandled or asked Dante for money - he would do that a lot, the enabling piece of shit.) I received my first laptop, with internet access to boot. Since I had literally nothing to do all day, I spent all my time on the computer. This kicked an internet dependence, which to this day, I have not been able to kick.
I spent every day on my computer, looking up meaningless things; watching youtube videos. I just watched youtube all day, or browsed Urban Dictionary/Yahoo Answers, just meaningless fluff. As I got more used to the internet I started finding other message boards and shit, which I would start browsing, sometimes in religious spurts. But most importantly: I started daydreaming far more than before. Maladaptive daydreaming, almost. I started obsessing over something else, which turned into a life goal. I don't feel comfortable specifying this.
Over the next 3 years, the behavioral patterns continued. The family abuse hit it's peak: father starts beating my mother, even my dogs and I, blames me for everything, my mother is totally paralyzed from the stress and unable to be a parent. I also had a really bad diet, excessive junk food/occasional starving also contributed to these internal conditions. I just daydreamed and filtered everything (internet) into my own little blurred reality. I basically developed a specific coping mechanism to deal with external problems/threats. This is probably why I'm not diagnosed with classic PTSD, or why at the least psychiatrists seem hesitant to diagnose it, because of my ability to disassociate from it.
Oh, and you guessed it: Dante still fucking enables my father and keeps giving him Adderall XR. My dad was probably to blame for this too, though, he was an ex-salesman for chrissakes - he had above-average social skills, and probably took advantage of Dante's vulnerability.
Age 15, December 2009: 3 years later, I ended up going back to school. Same place, approved private school, started my freshman year of high school. See my old friends there, reconnect - but something is off. All of a sudden I cannot relate to my peers. I cannot hold conversations because I do not have life experiences appropriate to my age due to my chronic isolation. I also had experiences early on where friends of my old friends, extroverted assholes, made fun of me, and I actually thought that whatever they said had merit because they were associated with my friends. From this point (and this was literally just a month into high school) I completely withdrew into myself, never spoke in class, especially when the assholes were around. I used the same daydreaming coping mechanisms that I used to escape the family abuse. I autistically fixate on these feelings and cannot concentrate, and I'm overwhelmed by how much I have to catch up on my grades that I missed, how the work seems much more advanced, even to the point of seeming foreign (More on this later.) This continued throughout the year, and onwards throughout high school with adaption to the chaotic situation but no letting up in regards to anxiety and emotional instability. It wasn't just social ostracization that made me shut off during freshman year and onwards, it was also the fact that I was overwhelmed by how much I had to catch up on my grades that I missed, how the work seemed much more advanced, even to the point of seeming foreign, and the abrupt change in routine - going from spending all day doing nothing, essentially staring in the clouds, to having to do work. It's like I convinced myself I was far beyond it, almost alien-like, and just forfeited.
From sophomore year (September 2010) onwards, adapted a little more to the situation, but still dealt with the same shit; still went further down the spiral, and filtered everything into my heavily distorted, blurred reality. I was still adamant about my future though, because I wanted to accomplish that one goal I obsessed over autistically, the goal that helped me remain optimistic about my future and helped me get through the abuse - so there were ups and downs, tried to integrate myself every now and then, but almost always failed miserably. What's amazing is nobody noticed; the staff members just thought I was slower than the average high functioning autistic, so they lowered their expectations and talked down to me, and the like, something that was also present on IEP reports. I had no one in my life that was able to do proper damage control; I was alienating my old friends away and unable to make new ones, I didn't talk to my family, literally no one there to help me. When I had free time, I did the same thing I did during the abuse - roamed the internet nearly all day, and spent all day inside my head (even at school).
Age 16, February 2011: My parents finally separated, my mother, sister and I moved out of Dante's hellhole, mother was able to make amends with her family and they helped us move out and find a place. Haven't sen my father since, haven't had a good relationship with my mother since then, either, for reasons I won't get into. My sister and I get along fine though, but I'm somewhat anti-social.
September 2011-June 2013 (age 17-18): Finally start seeing a therapist and psychiatrist. Therapy doesn't help me, as I constantly perseverate and lack the self-awareness to understand what is really going on. Prescription drugs don't help, either. Start routine of half day public non-special education technical school (my idea: I wasn't kidding about being adamant about my future) half day APS. You guessed it, I collapse in technical school as well. Junior year: I'm in culinary arts, which is a disaster for me - my reading comprehension issues extend into problems with executive function, due to my inability to get out of the daydreaming coping mechanisms. I'm literally as clumsy as Dr. Steve Brule (without the obvious extreme speech/social issues) and manage to alienate my entire class, even to the point of getting picked on. Senior year: I switch over to IT/Computer Networking, which is by far the most comfortable year out of the four HS years, but still kind of brutal: my reading comprehension/ADHD (or just 96 IQ, godforbid) makes it very hard to grasp the concepts of IT and computers, and more importantly, retain information. Still dealing with SCT-like symptoms, daydreaming, and social isolation.
Age 18-23, June 2013-present: I graduate high school with poor grades, completely uneducated because of the precedent that was set during freshman year; how I fixated and perseverated on why I just couldn't fit in, just withdrew into myself, didn't focus in class at all, just exclusively fixated on my self-consciousness, disassociated from everything very much like with the family abuse. I graduated UNEDUCATED. I struggle to find a job, become suicidal for the first time in my life in September 2013 over the idea of having Asperger's, because of the low-quality prognosis that is common and how that would threaten the future I was striving for; the goal I obsessed over for so long. I end up becoming a shut-in, mainly in my mind, as I'm daydreaming constantly. I lose contact with everyone, except my family. Last summer I ended up realizing that my life goal that I obsessed over is probably impossible now, and I can't live with that, I feel like killing myself over it. I decide to start from scratch: if I failed in my own personal life, I guess I should try to help others. Due to my ambitious nature, I want to do it in a big way...
Here's the core of my situation: why am I suicidal over the possibility that I'm not intelligent/that my original IQ score may be valid? My only purpose to live at this point is to attempt to contribute to humanity in a positive way, in a fairly big way, not Einstein or Newton esque, but I (along with a group of people) want to make somewhat of a mark; not because I want to be famous but because I feel like there are alternative perspectives and options in regards to certain problems in this world, and eventually I really feel like someone has to rise up and start digging, so to speak - maybe I have to be that person (along with some others). Honestly, I'm not too comfortable specifying my goals in this area as well. The bottom line is - I feel like it's going to take an enormous amount of research on things related to psychology, sociology, biology, politics, religion, world history, philosophy, social and political sciences, and the like - and all of that will require a high IQ to be able to power through it all, and spawn new ideas and theories. And that doesn't include catching up on my education that I missed out on. Plus, in order to attract like-minded people (to help me with this research project), I have to have a certain degree of intelligence to be able to know what I'm talking about and relate to them.
Here's where it gets fucking tricky: Even though I've been generally socially isolated, that doesn't mean I haven't talked to people here and there. Most people that I've had at least 10 minute conversations (including but not limited to: online people: from MBTI forums, Reddit. offline people: mostly from group therapy programs (of varying ages), therapists and psychiatrists, and two friends from high school) have told me that I am intelligent. Probably 75-85% of everyone who has heard me talk (face-to-face) for 5+ minutes in total, the other 10-15% having no discernible opinion, the other 5 percent thinking I'm stupid. Empirical observation is unreliable, but if so many people, especially therapists and psychiatrists, tell me I am intelligent, there's a pattern.
Where is this evidence that goes against the possibility that I have above-average intelligence?
2 concrete examples: IQ scores as a child (around 96). Online IQ tests that I've taken in the past 3 months or so (probably 3-4 total): I haven't been able to score over 100 (my highest score). Focus issues obviously play a role, but the pattern questions amaze the fuck of me. I literally think to myself, "how the hell do people pick up on these patterns?". Am I psyching myself out, or exhibiting low-average intelligence?
Empirical examples: When I read about people online, people that have high IQs (mainly in the gifted range), I cannot relate to them at all. My childhood is just different, generally, from theirs. I never had the sense of wonder and curiosity as a child compared to them. I never asked questions about random things. I didn't really give a shit about anything but Nickelodeon and Pokemon as a young child, and later on, storms. I guess it could be argued school anxiety may have been a factor, but I think that's a pretty weak argument. Whenever I took an interest in something, I always honed in on something excessively, and stayed there for a while, rejecting everything else about the picture, so to speak. ADHD was a huge part of it as well; symptoms of ADD-PI (originally ADHD because I was quite hyper as a child) plagued me throughout my life, I never had the patience to sit still and fully give myself the chance to grasp concepts and patterns (even with things that interested me) - for example, as a 5 year old, I couldn't even sit still and play video games like Donkey Kong 64, I had to have my parents help me beat the game. Maybe my brain was on track to change dramatically in adolescence (since IQ scores sometimes change drastically at that age), but the family abuse obviously got me off track. Maybe it's both: average intelligence along with disruption from family abuse (which is what my gut tells me)
Currently: I have serious learning difficulties. When reading new information/articles, I can't read in a straight line for more than 3 seconds. I can't concentrate, struggle to grasp new concepts and information (even things like basic political concepts), and have a far harder time retaining them. Scatter-minded, thoughts and feelings floating about everywhere. Whenever I'm involved in a new hands-on task, no matter what it is, I cannot comprehend it for the life of me, and it takes me a while to warm up to it, so to speak. Bad executive function generally speaking. SCT overload essentially. This affects my quality of life in serious ways. It would not surprise me if I scored in the borderline range in working memory and processing speed.
I guess it also helps to note that in the past, mainly in adolescence, I've had a history of over-estimating myself in certain areas (self-awareness, composure, even creativity, etc.) even with low self-esteem.
So, here's my main concern/question: do my cognitive struggles come from the aftermath of a borderline-traumatic situation/10+ years of social isolation, or a genuine low-average IQ? Is it possible that some people are highly adaptable to certain things, but not IQ/psychometric tests? (which my gut tells me isn't true; plus I've read intelligent arguments that state otherwise) Since people often consider me intelligent online and offline, do I exhibit patterns (in writing, thinking, reasoning, etc.) that indicate an above-average IQ of 110+, could I be capable of scoring that high? Just take a guess. I know, it sounds utterly ridiculous - but I want the perspective of a genuinely intelligent person. It won't validate me, but since my self-esteem is so tied to the idea of being intelligent, and that I'm literally freaking out about it autistically, it may calm me down and bring me some temporary relief. Obviously, I can't take an IQ test right now because of my mental state; it would likely be an invalid score.
(It should be noted that, since I've spent 10+ years on the computer generally every day, I've really adapted to using a keyboard - also due to my autistic fixation on intelligence, I've probably developed a "smart-guy shell" over the years, due to my admiration of personality traits related to intelligence, and other things. So maybe, my writing may not be the most accurate representation)
Also, I would appreciate it if people refrain from saying things such as: "Intelligence is overrated, motivation is the key for success/All that matters is happiness/I have a high IQ, and I can't get my shit together, either". This is not going to help me, I have an autistic fixation on IQ and have rigidly tied my self-esteem to above-average intelligence. Just trust me when I say that type of perspective will not help. There are definitely people with high IQs, who, for specific reasons, never contribute to society, but the inverse generally does not appear to be true. In my opinion, Asperger's/Autism without a high IQ renders you generally useless - just think about it.
If anyone manages to get through this wall of text and is willing to fire up a response, I really appreciate it.
submitted by supercrepe111 to mensa [link] [comments]

I'm suicidal because I fear I am unintelligent, and it's taken over my self-esteem. (AS obsession)

Abstract/TL;DR:
I'm a 23 years old. I've been generally socially isolated (lack of consistent communication/barely-no friends) for 10+ years, and deal with various mental health issues because of it. I'm suicidal because I'm very worried that I'm unintelligent (below average/average IQ) and I may have evidence to prove that I am, despite what people say. In autistic fashion - I'm obsessed with this, it's exclusively tied to my self-esteem. I'm suicidal because I feel like I've failed in life: I feel like I'm never going to be fulfilled because I had an autistic obsession over something as a child, and turned it into a life goal. I've realized I failed, and there's no turning back. Now, I feel like my only purpose to live at this point is to contribute to humanity in some way, which will likely involve tons of research. A high IQ will be needed to power through it all, and I may have evidence that points to my cognitive abilities rendering my only purpose to live invalid. If I don't have the capacity to score above average on a IQ test (don't have to be gifted, though that would be ideal; I'd be comfortable with 110-115+, preferably 120+) I don't think I can live with myself at all. Here's why:
First off...
Why am I posting this here?
Disclaimer:
I'm aware that IQ testing isn't the be-all end-all in regards to intelligence, however, in my (limited) research, it appears to be a very valid indicator of one's capabilities in life, how valuable that person is to society, and most importantly - it seems to correctly indicate how fast someone can pick up on new information and patterns (which is how I define intelligence). That's why this is a big deal to me. I'll get into that later.
Also, sorry this sounds so ridiculous and self-absorbed, but I'm in a lot of pain at the moment; I'm freaking out, totally isolated with no one to talk to, and feel like I'm about to end my life at any moment because of the high degree of self-doubt. I need some insight from an alternative source. Plus, sorry that this is going to be TL;DR as fuck; my thoughts are heavily disorganized, and I feel like I need to tie major pieces of my life together to make this situation clearer. A lot of this is basically refined pieces from a message I sent to someone I've spoken to online who I thought would be able to give me some relevant insight - never got a response back. I keep thinking about this, and I have been for the past 3 weeks, so this is the best way I can get this out of my system that doesn't involve attempting suicide. I'll try to make this as brief as possible, but it may come out long-winded anyway. I feel like there are some people here that will be able to get through all of this. So I'm going out on a limb and posting on this sub.
My diagnoses:
Professional:
Self-diagnosed:
Also a possibility of complex PTSD, since I've been on the perimeter of traumatic events.
My story - Timeline:
Age 2: Start showing signs of Autism/Asperger's, teach myself how to read independently. Based on my findings, it's likely this was due to Hyperlexia/ a splinter skill, because I had speech problems as a young child.
Age 5: Diagnosed with Asperger's and ADHD by Dr. Bertram Ruttenberg, the guy who founded the Center for Autism back in the 1950s (so AS Dx is probably legit).
Age 5-9: Public elementary school, special education to a degree. School felt like prison to me: I was anxious, on edge, hyper in Kindergarten but calmed down in first grade and became the passive, socially introverted/isolated quiet kid - a character which lasted throughout my school years with a few variations in between. I was always a good speller, and things like cursive and handwriting really came to me; I was able to grasp them better than everyone in my grade. (Also: good eyesight and hearing, probably heightened senses due to Asperger's)
Age 6: I get tested for my IQ. My score was 96. This may have been an invalid score due to ADHD, acute anxiety, autism, possibly not completing the test (I don't remember if I completed it or not), OR it may have been valid after all (which is why I'm worried + suicidal, more on this later). IICR, I tested in similar ranges as a 9 year old, with other tests (which may not have been professionally administered IQ tests; they were during interviews for an approved private school I would later attend in the middle of the fourth grade)
Age 8- My psychiatrist, Dr. Ruttenberg, retires and refers me to another psychiatrist nearby. This new psychiatrist ends up being an important part of this story, for incredibly fucked up reasons.
Around this time, my father was experiencing stress. I don't know what was going on, but to preface:
My parents got together during periods where their families had problems and issues with them. It will take too long to explain, but let's just say this: my father's family was absent my whole life, due to his parents dying before my birth/early on in my life and his siblings being split up. My mother's family had resentment issues towards her, for reasons unknown, this family was present in my life, unlike my father's. However, they would later betray us.
After my parents got married (a year before I was born) they started out with essentially nothing, because their families couldn't support them. Luckily my father was quite ambitious, and worked as a salesman, moving upwards slowly but surely, progressively.
Around the time they had a second child, my sister, (this was six years after I was born), my father started getting really stressed out. One day, about a year later, he had a panic attack and had to be hospitalized.
Flash forward to 2002, when I was 8 years old, and started seeing my new psychiatrist. He prescribed me 30 mg adderall right off the bat. For some reason, my father felt he needed adderall too. He started seeing this psychiatrist. Ended up getting a prescription as well. He starts having adverse reactions. Here's where it gets interesting: the psychiatrist continues to prescribe him drugs, despite his reactions. My father begins the slow, but progressive downward spiral.
Age 9 1/2: After having issues integrating in public school for four years, fourth grade is the last straw, I end up being sent to a special private school. My experience here is far more comfortable compared to public school, even made some friends and opened up socially in a way I never did in public school, though I was still quiet and reserved.
Meanwhile, my father gets worse. He goes from working in sales, to doing better in sales, but arguing *far more with my mother. He starts self-destructing.
Over the next two years (2004-06) he self-destructs further, ends up losing jobs. We rented houses at the time and couldn't pay rent so we ended up homeless in October 2006, when I was 12. Luckily, my grandmother helped us out and let us move into her place. However, over the next two weeks, my mother's family grew very uncomfortable with the idea and conspired against my mother (and ultimately my sister, father and I) and kicked us out. Then we were homeless for real.
November 2006: I remember my parents driving around at night, spending 16 hours in a car. We were desperately trying to find a place to stay; and when we asked the psychiatrist (going to refer to him as Dante from now on) he actually agreed to let us stay.
This is where things start to get really fucking bleak and the socially isolated downward spiral begins. Since my parents can't provide for me, me and my sister stop going to school.
Christmas 2006: Amazingly, (my father probably panhandled or asked Dante for money - he would do that a lot, the enabling piece of shit.) I received my first laptop, with internet access to boot. Since I had literally nothing to do all day, I spent all my time on the computer. This kicked an internet dependence, which to this day, I have not been able to kick.
I spent every day on my computer, looking up meaningless things; watching youtube videos. I just watched youtube all day, or browsed Urban Dictionary/Yahoo Answers, just meaningless fluff. As I got more used to the internet I started finding other message boards and shit, which I would start browsing, sometimes in religious spurts. But most importantly: I started daydreaming far more than before. Maladaptive daydreaming, almost. I started obsessing over something else, which turned into a life goal. I don't feel comfortable specifying this.
Over the next 3 years, the behavioral patterns continued. The family abuse hit it's peak: father starts beating my mother, even my dogs and I, blames me for everything, my mother is totally paralyzed from the stress and unable to be a parent. I also had a really bad diet, excessive junk food/occasional starving also contributed to these internal conditions. I just daydreamed and filtered everything (internet) into my own little blurred reality. I basically developed a specific coping mechanism to deal with external problems/threats. This is probably why I'm not diagnosed with classic PTSD, or why at the least psychiatrists seem hesitant to diagnose it, because of my ability to disassociate from it.
Oh, and you guessed it: Dante still fucking enables my father and keeps giving him Adderall XR. My dad was probably to blame for this too, though, he was an ex-salesman for chrissakes - he had above-average social skills, and probably took advantage of Dante's vulnerability.
Age 15, December 2009: 3 years later, I ended up going back to school. Same place, approved private school, started my freshman year of high school. See my old friends there, reconnect - but something is off. All of a sudden I cannot relate to my peers. I cannot hold conversations because I do not have life experiences appropriate to my age due to my chronic isolation. I also had experiences early on where friends of my old friends, extroverted assholes, made fun of me, and I actually thought that whatever they said had merit because they were associated with my friends. From this point (and this was literally just a month into high school) I completely withdrew into myself, never spoke in class, especially when the assholes were around. I used the same daydreaming coping mechanisms that I used to escape the family abuse. I autistically fixate on these feelings and cannot concentrate, and I'm overwhelmed by how much I have to catch up on my grades that I missed, how the work seems much more advanced, even to the point of seeming foreign (More on this later.) This continued throughout the year, and onwards throughout high school with adaption to the chaotic situation but no letting up in regards to anxiety and emotional instability. It wasn't just social ostracization that made me shut off during freshman year and onwards, it was also the fact that I was overwhelmed by how much I had to catch up on my grades that I missed, how the work seemed much more advanced, even to the point of seeming foreign, and the abrupt change in routine - going from spending all day doing nothing, essentially staring in the clouds, to having to do work. It's like I convinced myself I was far beyond it, almost alien-like, and just forfeited.
From sophomore year (September 2010) onwards, adapted a little more to the situation, but still dealt with the same shit; still went further down the spiral, and filtered everything into my heavily distorted, blurred reality. I was still adamant about my future though, because I wanted to accomplish that one goal I obsessed over autistically, the goal that helped me remain optimistic about my future and helped me get through the abuse - so there were ups and downs, tried to integrate myself every now and then, but almost always failed miserably. What's amazing is nobody noticed; the staff members just thought I was slower than the average high functioning autistic, so they lowered their expectations and talked down to me, and the like, something that was also present on IEP reports. I had no one in my life that was able to do proper damage control; I was alienating my old friends away and unable to make new ones, I didn't talk to my family, literally no one there to help me. When I had free time, I did the same thing I did during the abuse - roamed the internet nearly all day, and spent all day inside my head (even at school).
Age 16, February 2011: My parents finally separated, my mother, sister and I moved out of Dante's hellhole, mother was able to make amends with her family and they helped us move out and find a place. Haven't sen my father since, haven't had a good relationship with my mother since then, either, for reasons I won't get into. My sister and I get along fine though, but I'm somewhat anti-social.
September 2011-June 2013 (age 17-18): Finally start seeing a therapist and psychiatrist. Therapy doesn't help me, as I constantly perseverate and lack the self-awareness to understand what is really going on. Prescription drugs don't help, either. Start routine of half day public non-special education technical school (my idea: I wasn't kidding about being adamant about my future) half day APS. You guessed it, I collapse in technical school as well. Junior year: I'm in culinary arts, which is a disaster for me - my reading comprehension issues extend into problems with executive function, due to my inability to get out of the daydreaming coping mechanisms. I'm literally as clumsy as Dr. Steve Brule (without the obvious extreme speech/social issues) and manage to alienate my entire class, even to the point of getting picked on. Senior year: I switch over to IT/Computer Networking, which is by far the most comfortable year out of the four HS years, but still kind of brutal: my reading comprehension/ADHD (or just 96 IQ, godforbid) makes it very hard to grasp the concepts of IT and computers, and more importantly, retain information. Still dealing with SCT-like symptoms, daydreaming, and social isolation.
Age 18-23, June 2013-present: I graduate high school with poor grades, completely uneducated because of the precedent that was set during freshman year; how I fixated and perseverated on why I just couldn't fit in, just withdrew into myself, didn't focus in class at all, just exclusively fixated on my self-consciousness, disassociated from everything very much like with the family abuse. I graduated UNEDUCATED. I struggle to find a job, become suicidal for the first time in my life in September 2013 over the idea of having Asperger's, because of the low-quality prognosis that is common and how that would threaten the future I was striving for; the goal I obsessed over for so long. I end up becoming a shut-in, mainly in my mind, as I'm daydreaming constantly. I lose contact with everyone, except my family. Last summer I ended up realizing that my life goal that I obsessed over is probably impossible now, and I can't live with that, I feel like killing myself over it. I decide to start from scratch: if I failed in my own personal life, I guess I should try to help others. Due to my ambitious nature, I want to do it in a big way...
Here's the core of my situation: why am I suicidal over the possibility that I'm not intelligent/that my original IQ score may be valid? My only purpose to live at this point is to attempt to contribute to humanity in a positive way, in a fairly big way, not Einstein or Newton esque, but I (along with a group of people) want to make somewhat of a mark; not because I want to be famous but because I feel like there are alternative perspectives and options in regards to certain problems in this world, and eventually I really feel like someone has to rise up and start digging, so to speak - maybe I have to be that person (along with some others). Honestly, I'm not too comfortable specifying my goals in this area as well. The bottom line is - I feel like it's going to take an enormous amount of research on things related to psychology, sociology, biology, politics, religion, world history, philosophy, social and political sciences, and the like - and all of that will require a high IQ to be able to power through it all, and spawn new ideas and theories. And that doesn't include catching up on my education that I missed out on. Plus, in order to attract like-minded people (to help me with this research project), I have to have a certain degree of intelligence to be able to know what I'm talking about and relate to them.
Here's where it gets fucking tricky: Even though I've been generally socially isolated, that doesn't mean I haven't talked to people here and there. Most people that I've had at least 10 minute conversations (including but not limited to: online people: from MBTI forums, Reddit. offline people: mostly from group therapy programs (of varying ages), therapists and psychiatrists, and two friends from high school) have told me that I am intelligent. Probably 75-85% of everyone who has heard me talk (face-to-face) for 5+ minutes in total, the other 10-15% having no discernible opinion, the other 5 percent thinking I'm stupid. Empirical observation is unreliable, but if so many people, especially therapists and psychiatrists, tell me I am intelligent, there's a pattern.
Where is this evidence that goes against the possibility that I have above-average intelligence?
2 concrete examples: IQ scores as a child (around 96). Online IQ tests that I've taken in the past 3 months or so (probably 3-4 total): I haven't been able to score over 100 (my highest score). Focus issues obviously play a role, but the pattern questions amaze the fuck of me. I literally think to myself, "how the hell do people pick up on these patterns?". Am I psyching myself out, or exhibiting low-average intelligence?
Empirical examples: When I read about people online, people that have high IQs (mainly in the gifted range), I cannot relate to them at all. My childhood is just different, generally, from theirs. I never had the sense of wonder and curiosity as a child compared to them. I never asked questions about random things. I didn't really give a shit about anything but Nickelodeon and Pokemon as a young child, and later on, storms. I guess it could be argued school anxiety may have been a factor, but I think that's a pretty weak argument. Whenever I took an interest in something, I always honed in on something excessively, and stayed there for a while, rejecting everything else about the picture, so to speak. ADHD was a huge part of it as well; symptoms of ADD-PI (originally ADHD because I was quite hyper as a child) plagued me throughout my life, I never had the patience to sit still and fully give myself the chance to grasp concepts and patterns (even with things that interested me) - for example, as a 5 year old, I couldn't even sit still and play video games like Donkey Kong 64, I had to have my parents help me beat the game. Maybe my brain was on track to change dramatically in adolescence (since IQ scores sometimes change drastically at that age), but the family abuse obviously got me off track. Maybe it's both: average intelligence along with disruption from family abuse (which is what my gut tells me)
Currently: I have serious learning difficulties. When reading new information/articles, I can't read in a straight line for more than 3 seconds. I can't concentrate, struggle to grasp new concepts and information (even things like basic political concepts), and have a far harder time retaining them. Scatter-minded, thoughts and feelings floating about everywhere. Whenever I'm involved in a new hands-on task, no matter what it is, I cannot comprehend it for the life of me, and it takes me a while to warm up to it, so to speak. Bad executive function generally speaking. SCT overload essentially. This affects my quality of life in serious ways. It would not surprise me if I scored in the borderline range in working memory and processing speed.
I guess it also helps to note that in the past, mainly in adolescence, I've had a history of over-estimating myself in certain areas (self-awareness, composure, even creativity, etc.) even with low self-esteem.
So, here's my main concern/question: do my cognitive struggles come from the aftermath of a borderline-traumatic situation/10+ years of social isolation, or a genuine low-average IQ? Is it possible that some people are highly adaptable to certain things, but not IQ/psychometric tests? (which my gut tells me isn't true; plus I've read intelligent arguments that state otherwise) Since people often consider me intelligent online and offline, do I exhibit patterns (in writing, thinking, reasoning, etc.) that indicate an above-average IQ of 110+, could I be capable of scoring that high? Just take a guess. I know, it sounds utterly ridiculous - but I want the perspective of a genuinely intelligent person. It won't validate me, but since my self-esteem is so tied to the idea of being intelligent, and that I'm literally freaking out about it autistically, it may calm me down and bring me some temporary relief. Obviously, I can't take an IQ test right now because of my mental state; it would likely be an invalid score.
(It should be noted that, since I've spent 10+ years on the computer generally every day, I've really adapted to using a keyboard - also due to my autistic fixation on intelligence, I've probably developed a "smart-guy shell" over the years, due to my admiration of personality traits related to intelligence, and other things. So maybe, my writing may not be the most accurate representation)
Also, I would appreciate it if people refrain from saying things such as: "Intelligence is overrated, motivation is the key for success/All that matters is happiness/I have a high IQ, and I can't get my shit together, either". This is not going to help me, I have an autistic fixation on IQ and have rigidly tied my self-esteem to above-average intelligence. Just trust me when I say that type of perspective will not help. There are definitely people with high IQs, who, for specific reasons, never contribute to society, but the inverse generally does not appear to be true. In my opinion, Asperger's/Autism without a high IQ renders you generally useless - just think about it.
If anyone manages to get through this wall of text and is willing to fire up a response, I really appreciate it.
submitted by supercrepe111 to aspergers [link] [comments]

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