Embed Code Welcome to The Lab, FiveThirtyEight’s basketball podcast. On this week’s show (Feb. 22, 2018), we’re taking the All-Star Game back into The Lab. In the aftermath of a pretty successful Team Steph vs. Team LeBron showdown, Neil and Kyle dive into our best listener suggestions for how to improve the game even more. Next, we’re joined by our ESPN colleague Brian Windhorst to discuss NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s latest comments about potentially switching up the playoff structure. Plus, a significant digit on the Toronto Raptors’ amazing bench.Here are links to what was discussed this week:Keep an eye on our 2017-18 NBA predictions, updated after every game.In case you missed it, check out last week’s brainstorm with FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver on how to fix the All-Star Game.ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz writes that this year’s All-Star Game got the shake-up it needed.Guest Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported on Adam Silver’s possible playoffs compromise.According to Basketball-Reference.com, Toronto’s second unit is the best lineup in the league. By Neil Paine and Kyle Wagner More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed
Newbie manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, opened up about how much of an impact Sir Alex Ferguson has on his career at Manchester United.We still don’t know if the Manchester United board of directors will end up keeping Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for the manager’s seat, but the influence from Sir Alex Ferguson is more evident by the minute and even the Norwegian doesn’t shy away from any type of comparison.The Red Devils completely changed their tune since the caretaker manager arrived in the club to take over Jose Mourinho’s spot, the credit is not only his but also Michael Carrick’s and Kieran McKenna’s.Both assistant managers were already in the squad when Mourinho coached the squad, but they didn’t really have a major influence over the players as they do today.Even the warm-up has gone back to the old days when Ferguson coached the team, the Scotsman had a level of control over many aspects of the team that no other manager in football history has been able to accomplish.Solskjaer has been able to understand that in order to do all the work that Ferguson did back in the day, he has to rely on teamwork with the other two assistant managers and things seem to be working so far.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has downplayed Sir Alex Ferguson’s role in Manchester United’s revival since his appointment as caretaker boss.Full story: https://t.co/iiljfWukHB pic.twitter.com/TIXda4iKFX— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 21, 2019Regardless of how well the squad is doing everything at the moment, the Norwegian manager confessed that he still doesn’t feel ready to take on the whole operation and he has remained in contact with Sir Alex for advice on how to work better with the players.It is almost as if the Scotsman was back to work, as if he was still controlling everything from the comfort of his own home.Solskjaer denies that they talk regularly, but he does agree that there is a major influence where he draws his energy from.“We don’t speak weekly. I haven’t spoken to him many times,” said Ole via The Express.“He has been in to visit us just once – he has been to see [former player, Giuseppe] Rossi once.”“The influence is more my 15 years under him. He is 77, it is not fair to him either is it?”“Part of the history of the club is that you get setbacks. It was not just glory days with Sir Alex either.”Solskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.“That is just the way we are, that we bounce back and hopefully we move up the table. That is key to us now.”“The past three managers have passed on so much knowledge that the players know they will have it in the locker because every day is an experience,” he added.How Sir Alex Ferguson has emerged from the shadows after arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer | @Jack_Gaughan https://t.co/JDYynhnetf pic.twitter.com/XUuVHOa8Yk— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) January 18, 2019With Manchester United’s latest victory over Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reached an impressive 7 consecutive victories in all competitions since he took command of the squad.The Norwegian manager set a record that no other newbie Premier League manager has been able to accomplish, but this record might stay there because the next match will be extremely difficult for the Red Devils.We have the FA Cup weekend approaching, Arsenal will get a visit from Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium and these 7 consecutive wins could finally stay there if the Gunners get to defeat Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad.Even if things seem to be going fine for the Red Devils, Ole doesn’t want to get that overconfident feeling because he knows that being defeated is something that will eventually happen.Actually, the faster his squad gets a loss, the less pressure he will have for the rest of the season.Ferguson will be watching diligently from the sidelines as he’s been doing for the past few years since he retired.The only difference is that now, the Scotsman feels more involved because the ones in charge are his direct disciples.Inside Solskjaer’s perfect first month at Man United: How he brought Ferguson’s ways back to Old Trafford. Great read! https://t.co/Md71B7MVSg 🇾🇪 #mufc— United Xtra (@utdxtra) January 18, 2019What aspects of Manchester United’s game are more similar to the Sir Alex Ferguson era? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.