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Saturday, March 01, 2014

OT: NBA Monthly Thread - March 2014

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: whether civilization peaked during the reign of Queen Victoria, or the reign of Jimmy Carter.

Sadly, LeBron will have to get used to disappointment.

The District Attorney Posted: March 01, 2014 at 09:03 PM | 789 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   1. Famous Original Joe C Posted: March 01, 2014 at 09:53 PM (#4664722)
All-time age 20 w/ PER > 25, min 1600 min played, per BB-Ref:

Anthony Davis 26.7
Lebron James 25.7

   2. kpelton Posted: March 01, 2014 at 09:59 PM (#4664723)
Is there a link that includes the methodology on how coaching RAPM is calculated?

Basically the coach is just treated as a sixth player on the court in the regression.
   3. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 01, 2014 at 10:11 PM (#4664725)
During the number retirement for Iverson, Philly fans booed more than a few times when AI mentioned teammates.
   4. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: March 01, 2014 at 10:15 PM (#4664727)
[1] Every time I want to get extremely excited about the Pelicans future because of Davis I remember that their organization saw it fit to sign Evans for 4/40 and go through with the Holiday deal.
   5. robinred Posted: March 01, 2014 at 10:17 PM (#4664728)
Nice work on the lead-in.
   6. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: March 01, 2014 at 11:30 PM (#4664741)
That picture is awesome
   7. steagles Posted: March 01, 2014 at 11:46 PM (#4664743)
[1] Every time I want to get extremely excited about the Pelicans future because of Davis I remember that their organization saw it fit to sign Evans for 4/40 and go through with the Holiday deal.
the holiday deal is fine. he's a really good young player, and it's not like they'd be any better with ben mclemore or nerlens noel right now.

the tyreke deal is a bad deal just in terms of the money, but it's actually even worse than that because new orleans actually traded greivis vasquez and robin lopez in the process of getting him.


anyway, the sixers signed jarvis varnado to a 10-day contract. and then they gave up 168 points to the wizards.
   8. greenback calls it soccer Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:18 AM (#4664756)
But the NBA has it great. They have a developmental league in the NCAA...and don't pay any of the costs.

I'm guessing Cuban thinks the developmental league could make money if it was getting its hands on the best 19-yo basketball players on the planet.

The NCAA seems like an academic exercise to prove certain kinds of economic inefficiencies can endure for very long stretches of time.
   9. GregD Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:41 AM (#4664759)
I'm guessing Cuban thinks the developmental league could make money if it was getting its hands on the best 19-yo basketball players on the planet.
What kind of money do minor-league baseball and hockey make? Honest question, not snark. I assume the answer is not much but don't know.
   10. Maxwn Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:30 AM (#4664762)
What kind of money do minor-league baseball and hockey make? Honest question, not snark. I assume the answer is not much but don't know.

I have no idea about hockey but I assume its very little. I'm pretty sure that minor-league baseball players make close to nothing, with the possible exception of some of the AAA veteran-types who might have been to the show. And those guys are still mostly only making what would be reasonable salaries for regular folks, i.e. still basically nothing in MLB terms. I think that is a roughly accurate picture.

But the NBA has it great. They have a developmental league in the NCAA...and don't pay any of the costs.

I'm guessing Cuban thinks the developmental league could make money if it was getting its hands on the best 19-yo basketball players on the planet.

I actually thought Cuban's point was more that the NBA was basically getting what it paid for when it came to the NCAA as a development league.
   11. Maxwn Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:37 AM (#4664763)
Minor League Salaries - Baseball America

This link describes the MiLB salary situation. It basically matches what I said. The low-level minor-leaguers on their first go around ain't making ####. The 28-yr-old AAAA guy playing 3b for your local AAA team probably makes enough that it beats working at Home Depot or coaching high school ball, at least if you don't mind traveling half the year. Edit: Some of the A and AA guys probably are working at Home Depot in the off-season.
   12. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4664784)
D-League salary info (bullet point 6):
$25,500, $19,000 and $13,000 for the league's three player classifications, which means D-League players are virtually playing for free -- and a modest per diem on the road of $40 compared to $120 in the NBA -- although they do receive housing and insurance benefits. The D-League also employs a per-team salary cap of $173,000 ... with a dollar-for-dollar luxury tax, just like in the NBA, for teams that go over that amount. Foreign teams that want to pull players out of the D-League must pay $40,000, $45,000 or $50,000, depending on the player's classification, to buy out their D-League deals.
   13. AROM Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4664787)
Minor league baseball players are paid so little that some of them are suing baseball for violation of minimum wage laws.
   14. GregD Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4664789)
My question was poorly worded. Do the minor leagues themselves make any money? I know salaries are low but I assume revenues are very low.

I suspect there is something to Cubans point and I could see a small influx of people into the dev league but I doubt there is any interest in expanding the dev league. Owners don't like to pay money for what they can get for free
   15. greenback calls it soccer Posted: March 02, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4664793)
Do the minor leagues themselves make any money?

Definitely.

Owners don't like to pay money for what they can get for free

Even if you think revenue won't increase significantly, having greater control of a player's development has some value. Right now the NBA is trusting the John Caliparis of the world to make good development decisions for the most talented 19-yo's, which is kinda nuts.
   16. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 02, 2014 at 11:10 AM (#4664794)
There is definitely interest in expanding the D league - it will happen.

Right now, the majority of teams are associated with one and only one NBA squad (a trend that has gone about as far as it can go with the current number of minor league teams). The remainder are affiliates with five, six teams^ - it's kind of nuts. In all likelihood, they'll eventually have a one-to-one relationship - within 10 years per some associated w/ the minor league. I don't think the D league is making money as a standalone venture (totally spitballing here ... franchise values are escalating and a majority of teams claim to be profitable, but that likely includes money paid by the NBA team to the minor league one - I presume we'd mean net here), but the costs are so low compared to the money involved at the top level that it's still to the benefit of the big squad for added control in developing players, staff (in the owned and operated model), etc...
Now, as to whether or not that makes sense for players... I don't know. D-League pay is still really low. It might relative to the NCAA (though being a BMOC v. stuck in Sioux Falls has its benefits), but that ignores possibly the biggest difference between baseball and the basketball wrt this stuff - that the rest of the world offers viable alternate places to play. Mind you, that option isn't used much now and there are obvious drawbacks (being a teen suddenly dealing with other languages and cultures on top of everything else) but...


^ 30 NBA teams, 17 D-League. 14 one-to-one relationships, 2 (Iowa, Bakersfield) have five NBA affiliates, 1 (Fort Wayne) has six.
   17. greenback calls it soccer Posted: March 02, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4664798)
that the rest of the world offers viable alternate places to play. Mind you, that option isn't used much now and there are obvious drawbacks (being a teen suddenly dealing with other languages and cultures on top of everything else) but...

Cuban claimed the NBA has a hammer here. The NBA could let players into the draft after one year in the DL and lock everybody else out for two or three years. I am not a labor lawyer, but I would think (or hope) that such an arrangement is difficult to defend.
   18. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 02, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4664802)
I am not a labor lawyer, but I would think (or hope) that such an arrangement is difficult to defend.

Same here.
   19. theboyqueen Posted: March 02, 2014 at 12:34 PM (#4664828)
I am not sure how the minimum age or the draft itself is defensible.
   20. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 02, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4664830)
It's defensible because players can skip out and play abroad, I would say. In hockey, even more so.
   21. theboyqueen Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4664846)
Is that option even something US labor laws would consider an option?

Another wrinkle -- what if the Canadian Supreme Court declared the draft illegal? Could John Calipari compete with the Raptors?
   22. JJ1986 Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4664901)
At this moment, the Bulls are 9/14 with 4 offensive rebounds. They are outrebounding the Knicks 10-1 overall.
   23. puck Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4664911)
Even if you think revenue won't increase significantly, having greater control of a player's development has some value. Right now the NBA is trusting the John Caliparis of the world to make good development decisions for the most talented 19-yo's, which is kinda nuts.


Is it any worse than trusting the development of the players in their earlier and more formative years to high school and AAU coaches? I don't know a lot about Calipari or how many college coaches have the deficiencies he stands for. But are the coaches at top NCAA programs really that much worse than D-League coaches? It seems like the kids get a lot of support in NCAA.

Though providing the option would be good. If a 19 yr old wants to be a pro and a club thinks he's good enough, it seems reasonable to let him spend 100% of his effort working towards that goal.
   24. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: March 02, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4664934)
This Bulls team + Melo is a title contender. And that's while assuming 0 from Rose.
   25. bibigon Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4664939)
Cuban claimed the NBA has a hammer here. The NBA could let players into the draft after one year in the DL and lock everybody else out for two or three years. I am not a labor lawyer, but I would think (or hope) that such an arrangement is difficult to defend.

I don't see the issue per se. So long as it was collectively bargained with the union, this doesn't seem so crazy to me. MLB's draft is not entirely dissimilar either. You can opt in during high school, or you get locked out for a period thereafter.
   26. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4664942)
Jo Noah with the trip-dub.

I remain pained by the 2007 draft lottery, in which the Suns had a better than 60% chance to get a pick in the 4-7 range (from the Hawks, as part of the Joe Johnson sign-and-trade deal). Had Phoenix got that pick, I'm pretty sure they take Noah, a center perfect for the 7SOL style.
   27. steagles Posted: March 02, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4664981)
This Bulls team + Melo is a title contender. And that's while assuming 0 from Rose.
in place of boozer, or in addition to him?
   28. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: March 02, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4664982)
Wait, the Bulls are 33-26? I feel like more should be made of that, god awful conference notwithstanding.

Joakim for MVP!
   29. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:47 PM (#4665152)
4 of the 5 players in the Thunder starting lineup tonight were 6'10" or taller.
   30. King Mekong Posted: March 02, 2014 at 11:36 PM (#4665165)
26 - Your post got me investigating (Atlanta gave Phoenix the pick next year) and I saw how many rotation players the 2008 2nd round produced....

Nikola Pekovic, then in order Mario Chalmers, DeAndre Jordan, Omer Asik and Luc Richard Mbah Moute, then later Goran Dragic. Best 2nd round ever?
   31. GordonShumway Posted: March 03, 2014 at 01:11 AM (#4665189)
1986 was the first draft class that came to mind, in re: good second round players.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1986_NBA_draft
   32. andrewberg Posted: March 03, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4665403)
Nikola Pekovic, then in order Mario Chalmers, DeAndre Jordan, Omer Asik and Luc Richard Mbah Moute, then later Goran Dragic. Best 2nd round ever?


Hmm, if you'd seen Mbah a Moute lately, I'm not sure you'd include him in a list of acceptable rotation players. Still a very impressive group.

The NBA could let players into the draft after one year in the DL and lock everybody else out for two or three years. I am not a labor lawyer, but I would think (or hope) that such an arrangement is difficult to defend.


There is also some similarity to baseball in the idea that they could come early or else they have to wait. I don't have the excuse of not being a labor lawyer, but I don't really know whether that arrangement would be upheld. My best guess is that if the union agreed to it and the players still had the option of going overseas or into another developmental league, they would probably be able to enforce the age limit to come into the draft. The thing that might be tricky is if a team drafted someone then wanted to call him up before he was old enough- not sure how the league would handle Lebron 2.0 languishing in Canton or elsewhere.
   33. kpelton Posted: March 03, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4665415)
There is also some similarity to baseball in the idea that they could come early or else they have to wait.

I would think the issue would be that it's come early *to the league that we own and profit from* or wait. That said, courts have historically been reluctant to quibble with collectively bargained issues, which is why the age limit exists in the NFL.
   34. smileyy Posted: March 03, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4665575)
That said, courts have historically been reluctant to quibble with collectively bargained issues, which is why the age limit exists in the NFL.


I guess I see it, but it always strikes me as odd that this is true, when those being bargained out of the agreement aren't party to the negotiations. It'll take a brave suit against the NBA+NBPA as a combined entity to change that, I'd think. More likely, yes, would be formalization of the NBDL as a minor leage with "underage" players able to be optioned to the NBDL.
   35. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:33 PM (#4665804)
Looking like an MVP race. How u
   36. Paul D(uda) Posted: March 03, 2014 at 11:02 PM (#4665813)
   37. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 03, 2014 at 11:26 PM (#4665819)
LeBron did wot now?
   38. andrewberg Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:50 AM (#4665849)
Wolves won 132-128 at Denver tonight. They shot 52-64 on free throws. Denver got back in it with made threes on four consecutive possessions in the last 26 seconds. Kevin Martin had 22 points on 3-11 shooting. Wild, wacky stuff.
   39. Manny Coon Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:02 AM (#4665854)
Minnesota found a way to win a close game, get a big lead and let other team get close at the last second.
   40. theboyqueen Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:11 AM (#4665860)
The last three guys to score 60 on 66% or better shooting are Shaq, Karl Malone, and Tom Chambers which is interesting because Lebron is like some mutant combination of all three.
   41. theboyqueen Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:16 AM (#4665863)
A game with 64 FTA for one team sounds excruciating. One the road, no less.

Kevin Martin's one world class skill is taking advantage of the rules of basketball to create "offense".
   42. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:34 AM (#4665870)
Knicks now have a worse record than every team except BOS, PHI, ORL and MIL.
   43. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:46 AM (#4665875)
Andre Drummond had 17 points and 26 rebounds tonight. Other than the possible exception of Anthony Davis, I can't think of a big I'd want over him over the next 7 or 8 years. Honestly, if he learns to shot free throws better I don't think I'd hesitate to take Drummond over Davis. The guy is a beast. Joe Dumars probably isn't going to last that long as GM but somehow managing to get Drummond with the 9th pick in the draft last year is going to be something Pistons fans remember him fondly for.

Andre Drummond is basically what Greg Oden was supposed to be.
   44. Maxwn Posted: March 04, 2014 at 02:52 AM (#4665879)
Honestly, if he learns to shot free throws better I don't think I'd hesitate to take Drummond over Davis.

I don't know, Davis is successfully carrying a much higher usage than Drummond is, completely outside of the FTs. I guess you can't disentangle that from the FTs entirely, but there is more to it than just the FT issue.

Davis is close to a first option offensively right now, Drummond is not. If I had to bet on one of two to be the best big in the league in the next few years, it would Davis easily I think, even if Drummond learned to shoot FTs better tomorrow.

Which is no knock on Drummond, Davis looks like he is pretty ####### good, to say the least.

I didn't say anything about defense because I don't really have much to work off there without doing more digging than I want to do right now. My understanding was that Davis was supposed to be pretty good and he is leading the NBA in blk% so I'm guessing there's not enough there that would change my mind given the offense. Could be wrong though.
   45. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: March 04, 2014 at 05:34 AM (#4665884)
I don't know, Davis is successfully carrying a much higher usage than Drummond is, completely outside of the FTs. I guess you can't disentangle that from the FTs entirely, but there is more to it than just the FT issue.


Drummond's offensive game is basically putbacks and dunks. His shot distribution (thanks bbref for making this easy to find!) is 82 percent 0-3 feet, 16 percent 3-10 feet, 2 percent outside of 10 feet. He is shooting .340 from 3-10 feet and 2 for 21 outside of 10 feet for his career.

He has 900 FG attempts, and 487 ORB -- I think it's safe to say that he does not really have an offensive game of his own these days. ORB and putbacks are an incredibly valuable skill, of course (see Dwight Howard), so this is not really that denigrating, and of course the guy is 20 years old so he has plenty of time to develop post moves or a modicum of range (which would help with the FTs also). But right now he's a really limited player.

By comparison Davis takes only 45% of his shots from inside 3 feet, and has respectable shooting numbers outside of 3 feet (he is shooting 43 percent on 10+ foot twos this year). He's really showing a nice mix of nascent skills for a 20 year old whereas Drummond really only has one (offensive rebounding); for projectability I like the former a lot more.
   46. Mark S. is bored Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4665962)
Daily Dime on LeBron:

James scored 25 points in the third quarter alone, breaking a personal record for most points in a quarter. Actually, that doesn't do his scoring spree justice. Maybe this will: from ten seconds remaining in the second quarter through the 8:15 mark in the fourth quarter, James single-handedly outscored the Bobcats 32-31.
   47. AROM Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4665994)
Andre Drummond is basically what Greg Oden was supposed to be.


Oden had a post game and was merely bad at free throws, not terrible. I think a healthy Oden would have looked something like Patrick Ewing or Alonzo Mourning. Drummond is somewhere between Dwight Howard and Ben Wallace.
   48. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:29 AM (#4665998)
Paul Duda - thanks for the Carleton link.
   49. AROM Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4666007)
Anthony Davis has advanced as an offensive option much faster than I thought he would. At only 20, his future is pretty much unlimited. But he's not a great player yet. His on/off rating is only +0.3 this year. The problem is actually defensive - opponents have eFG% of .521 when he's on court, .498 off court.

Without having watched him enough to be certain, my guess is that he's overaggressive going for blocks and winds up out of position, leaving easy baskets for opponents. This will change. All the talent to be a great team defense anchor is there. How fast he learns it depends on how good of a coach he gets to work with.

If, for example, Tom Thibodeaux leaves the Bulls and coaches Davis, he's going to turn into DPOY at some point.
   50. GregD Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4666019)
Knicks now have a worse record than every team except BOS, PHI, ORL and MIL.
At least they have the draft to look forward to

If, for example, Tom Thibodeaux leaves the Bulls and coaches Davis, he's going to turn into DPOY at some point.
I expect Davis will be DPOY in a couple of years no matter what. I would agree that if he got a great coach, he'll deserve to be DPOY. But if he keeps blocking shots, he'll win the award in a year when he's healthy and the team is decent, whether he deserves it or not.
   51. tshipman Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4666038)
By comparison Davis takes only 45% of his shots from inside 3 feet, and has respectable shooting numbers outside of 3 feet (he is shooting 43 percent on 10+ foot twos this year). He's really showing a nice mix of nascent skills for a 20 year old whereas Drummond really only has one (offensive rebounding); for projectability I like the former a lot more.


In addition, I would add that Davis is very comfortable putting the ball on the bounce, and has a nice handle. Although it isn't really there in the numbers yet, just from watching him, I think he could be a plus passer for a big, as he has a fairly good eye for the court.

Davis would be a really interesting fit in the triangle in a couple of years as basically a rich man's Pau Gasol.
   52. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:19 PM (#4666057)
Forget where, but I read that Davis' defensive numbers in terms of what happens at the rim and things like that are actually solid/good. The problem may be the lineups. I could be wrong on this though and have no idea where I read it.

Something I did not know, if LeBron posts a PER over 30 this year he will be the oldest to ever do so.
   53. Jimmy P Posted: March 04, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4666244)
Honestly, if he learns to shot free throws better I don't think I'd hesitate to take Drummond over Davis.


The unmentioned thing here is Davis seems to can't stay on the court. He missed 20 last year, this year he's already missed 8. He's putting up great numbers, but if he only plays 60 games a year instead of 80, he's nowhere near as valuable. I'm not saying this is a trend or for sure thing, but if he can't stay on the court at 20, things aren't looking great for 30. I hope that this doesn't come true. I love his game.
   54. AROM Posted: March 04, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4666269)
but if he can't stay on the court at 20, things aren't looking great for 30.


Don't have any hard evidence on it, but my impression is that players in their prime years are more durable than kids. I wouldn't want to bet too much on Davis at 30 since he'll be a high mileage 30 - a full decade in the NBA. But I'm optimistic about his mid to late 20's.
   55. Spivey Posted: March 04, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4666294)
I don't understand how anyone could take Drummond over Davis. Davis could be at the Durant/LeBron level in a few years.
   56. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: March 04, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4666296)
So only sort of related to Davis, something has really been bothering me for the past couple years.

People always talk about bigs shooting the midrange jumper as useful and have started using textured shooting stats to highlight that guys like Ibaka and Bosh have good FG% out there relative to others. Ibaka is shooting 47 percent on long twos this year, which is way above league average let alone average for bigs, and bigs who shoot 40 percent on midrange are referred to as being credible threats, useful compared to guys who shoot 20 percent.

The weird part to me is that 40 percent and 20 percent are both bad percentage plays. That 47 percent presumably comes almost entirely on open jumpers -- when the defense guards the Ibaka jumper he doesn't take it, they either exploit where the defender could have been instead of giving him the ball or he passes it up. Having your big shoot 47 percent on a midrange jumper is a bad use of a possession -- offensive rebound rates are bad on midrange and in addition you're pulling one of your offensive rebounding threats away from the basket to take the shot. As an end of shot-clock, time-pressured thing the midrange may be the best you can do, but most jump shots by big men come on designed plays -- these people don't have the ball at the end of the shot clock and have to force up a shot. Running a designed play to get a 47 percent shot with a low offensive rebound rate seems kind of bizarre to me, especially when you consider that this play does not generate any gravy on top in the form of free throws.

I just don't see why it's a useful skill to be able to run a play that results in a bad expected outcome as opposed to a worse expected outcome if you didn't have this jump-shooting ability. (Ibaka is admittedly shooting 51 percent on 10-16 foot jumpers, but he's also taking 15% of his shots from that distance compared to 27% from >16 foot twos.)
   57. outl13r Posted: March 04, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4666306)
The unmentioned thing here is Davis seems to can't stay on the court. He missed 20 last year


Drummond missed 22 last year.
   58. AROM Posted: March 04, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4666314)
Having a big man who can shoot a mid range jumper takes a big defender away from the rim, allowing your guards and small forwards a better chance to drive to the hoop.
   59. AROM Posted: March 04, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4666322)
I'm pretty sure the effect on teams having a big man with range is positive - the overall offense performs better. But I'm not so sure the defenses are acting optimally. When Chris Bosh is 15 feet away from the hoop, it probably makes sense for Indiana to give him that all night long while keeping Hibbert in position to stop Wade and James from attacking the rim.
   60. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: March 04, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4666323)
Having a big man who can shoot a mid range jumper takes a big defender away from the rim, allowing your guards and small forwards a better chance to drive to the hoop.


1) Has anyone attempted to quantify this?
2) If I'm right that most of these shots are not seriously contested (at the level of no real impact in the defense until the player catches the ball), and that the contest happens on the plays which do not result in a shot, why would you bother to guard someone who shoots 47% on these shots?

EDIT:

When Chris Bosh is 15 feet away from the hoop, it probably makes sense for Indiana to give him that all night long while keeping Hibbert in position to stop Wade and James from attacking the rim.


Yeah, this is what I am thinking.
   61. Maxwn Posted: March 04, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4666334)
Having your big shoot 47 percent on a midrange jumper is a bad use of a possession

This is not obviously true. Figuring out the optimal use of a possession is not as simple as calculating the expected point value from that play alone because there are strategic elements versus the defense that are dynamic. Your expected point value from other possessions where you run other types of plays depends to some extent on how often you do things like shoot mid-range jumpers with your bigs and how well they do it.

For instance, the expected outcome from a pick-and-roll for all the decisions that the guard can make with the ball will likely vary some depending on if the big ever pops and shoots a mid-range jumper and how well he does it. This is because it affects what the defense does.

Edit: Or what others have said.
   62. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4666338)
Having a big man who can shoot a mid range jumper takes a big defender away from the rim, allowing your guards and small forwards a better chance to drive to the hoop.


1) Has anyone attempted to quantify this?


I am sure some teams have done this internally with SportsVU. It's a pricey data set - I am not sure if any public groups/individuals have the data to map it out.


When Chris Bosh is 15 feet away from the hoop, it probably makes sense for Indiana to give him that all night long while keeping Hibbert in position to stop Wade and James from attacking the rim.


If someone was hitting 47% on open jumpers and the defense was perfectly willing to give them the shot the offense could a) increase their pace and take the shot as many times as possible, and b) screw spacing and crash the offensive boards hard. Probably still not the best offense in the world, but it wouldn't take all that many offensive rebounds to make it sustainable.
   63. Maxwn Posted: March 04, 2014 at 05:08 PM (#4666346)
If someone was hitting 47% on open jumpers and the defense was perfectly willing to give them the shot the offense could a) increase their pace and take the shot as many times as possible, and b) screw spacing and crash the offensive boards hard. Probably still not the best offense in the world, but it wouldn't take all that many offensive rebounds to make it sustainable.

I was trying to think of how to say exactly this. 47% is still high enough that the defense has to account for it some. Maybe not a lot, but some. Which is why offenses do it, to get the defense to react to it, even if its not by much.
   64. Jimmy P Posted: March 04, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4666355)
Drummond missed 22 last year.


And 0 this year
   65. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 05:34 PM (#4666366)
And 0 this year

In 2 years in the NBA there's a 4 GP difference between two guys. I have no idea why that would matter.
   66. Jimmy P Posted: March 04, 2014 at 05:59 PM (#4666394)
In 2 years in the NBA there's a 4 GP difference between two guys. I have no idea why that would matter.


I was just saying that Davis seems to get nicked up with these little nagging injuries. There's no science or proof behind it, but it could be something to consider. Durability is an asset.
   67. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: March 04, 2014 at 06:17 PM (#4666405)
Having your big shoot 47 percent on a midrange jumper is a bad use of a possession

I assume virtually all mid-range shots by big men come from half court offense rather than fast breaks. Does anyone have a way of finding leaguewide offensive efficiency in half court only possessions? It wouldn't surprise me if (94 plus whatever offensive rebounding production you get) isn't too far from league average once transition is off the table.
   68. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 04, 2014 at 06:36 PM (#4666418)
Yesterday's Simmons podcast is quite the about-face. After years of saying "Every team that isn't a contender should get rid of all their players and lose as many games as they can! Tankapalooza! Why the heck are you trying to win, mediocre teams? You're being irrational!", suddenly he comes face to face with a team that is actually doing that, and becomes very subdued and thoughtful. "What can we do about this?"

He is alarmed to discover that when a bad team gets rid of their good players in exchange for nothing, as he urges them to do, suddenly a good team can now add a good player in exchange for nothing. How fair is that? That affects the playoff race! If that happened in my fantasy league, boy, I'll tell ya the commissioner would veto it.
   69. cmd600 Posted: March 04, 2014 at 07:01 PM (#4666439)
68 - Not sure if serious, but this is what Simmons is, and I have no idea why anyone expects anything remotely smart to come out of his mouth. He's far more Bayless - let's say something to get a reaction - than analytical.
   70. Jimmy P Posted: March 04, 2014 at 07:09 PM (#4666445)
68 - Not sure if serious, but this is what Simmons is, and I have no idea why anyone expects anything remotely smart to come out of his mouth. He's far more Bayless - let's say something to get a reaction - than analytical.


Well, his favorite team is unbearable to watch now, too.
   71. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 04, 2014 at 07:26 PM (#4666460)
No, I think Simmons believes what he says. He doesn't just take a position so he can argue with people. The cynical Bayless/ Kornheiser/Screamin'A approach is not for him.
   72. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 07:28 PM (#4666462)
How does everyone want the GSW-PHX-DAL-MEM mess at the bottom of the West standings to shake out?

EDIT: I should add that if forced to choose I think I want DAL or PHX to be left out. DAL because as much as I love Dirk I think they're the team with the least to offer in terms of putting up a fight in the playoffs. I would want PHX not to make it and then have their draft pick turn into a CHI-Rose situation because I feel like they're 1 piece away from being really, really good.
   73. cmd600 Posted: March 04, 2014 at 07:55 PM (#4666477)
He doesn't just take a position so he can argue with people


I didn't say argue, and I don't think he's out to pick fights like Skip. He just loves hearing the sound of his voice, so he'll say something just to say it. He may believe it at that moment, but there's no reason to think he'll believe it the next morning.
   74. The District Attorney Posted: March 04, 2014 at 08:36 PM (#4666496)
'Nique on LeBron's big game:
At 54 y/o I could drop 40 on that D
   75. kpelton Posted: March 04, 2014 at 09:11 PM (#4666509)
"He is alarmed to discover that when a bad team gets rid of their good players in exchange for nothing, as he urges them to do, suddenly a good team can now add a good player in exchange for nothing."

I wouldn't say the Cavaliers are a good team.
   76. Maxwn Posted: March 04, 2014 at 09:47 PM (#4666522)
Yesterday's Simmons podcast is quite the about-face. After years of saying "Every team that isn't a contender should get rid of all their players and lose as many games as they can! Tankapalooza! Why the heck are you trying to win, mediocre teams? You're being irrational!", suddenly he comes face to face with a team that is actually doing that, and becomes very subdued and thoughtful. "What can we do about this?"

I haven't listened to the podcast, so its possible that it actually was an about-face, but as described this doesn't seem inherently contradictory to me. You could believe that the blow-it-up and tank strategy is the optimal thing to do for teams in certain positions and also think that it is lame that it is the best option. Those are separate ideas.

As it happens, I probably tend to disagree with both of those ideas, but I don't see anything particularly silly about believing both of them.

Maybe you could argue that he's never expressed the second idea before the Celtics sucked, but I'm not sure I agree with that characterization either, though I don't really feel like combing his archives to prove it.
   77. steagles Posted: March 04, 2014 at 09:51 PM (#4666524)
now playing for your 76ers:

eric maynor
tony wroten
lorenzo brown
eliot williams
jarvis varnado

(these aren't just 5 random names. that's an actual 5-man lineup that the sixers are currently using)
   78. Booey Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:05 PM (#4666527)
How does everyone want the GSW-PHX-DAL-MEM mess at the bottom of the West standings to shake out?

I hope the Warriors end up on the outside and then beat long odds to win the draft, only to see their pick go to the Jazz.
   79. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:18 PM (#4666533)
I wouldn't argue with someone that says that he prefers Davis to Drummond. Davis certainly has a much more refined and diverse offensive game and is a great shot blocker so there's a lot to love and he's already been an all-star. Assuming Drummond can become a 60-70 percent FT shooter, I'd take Drummond because I like his size/weight combo and I think he can become a more dominant presence.
   80. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 05, 2014 at 12:45 AM (#4666567)
that's an amazing lineup. wroten at the four and brown at the three?
   81. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: March 05, 2014 at 02:27 AM (#4666580)

I didn't say argue, and I don't think he's out to pick fights like Skip. He just loves hearing the sound of his voice, so he'll say something just to say it. He may believe it at that moment, but there's no reason to think he'll believe it the next morning.
There's nothing particularly contradictory about the two positions he's taken here, though. It's quite possible to believe that tanking is the correct course for some teams to take under the current rules, and still believe rules that encourage tanking are a bad thing for fans and for the league in general.
   82. Into the Void Posted: March 05, 2014 at 03:21 AM (#4666589)
A friend recently pointed out that the Warriors could have chosen Drummond instead of Harrison Barnes in the 2012 draft. Which means they could have let Bogut walk this year instead of signing him to an extension and started Curry, Thompson, Drummond, Lee, and Iggy next year...
   83. robinred Posted: March 05, 2014 at 03:37 AM (#4666593)
Simmons once described himself as being "reactive" about sports, in the sense that he sometimes changes his mind and/or leaps to conclusions too quickly. The Boston factor may be in play as well. As Lakers fans are discovering, being in a position such that your team is better off losing and you should probably on some level hope that they lose is both annoying and odd. People on the blogs were talking about how weird it was to actually be a little bummed that the Lakers managed to win in Portland, a place where they have always sucked hugely.

That said, I have always thought that some things that are supposedly "wrong" with the NBA are just simply connected to the nature of the sport and the impact that one guy can have. No Shaqs or Admirals or LeBrons are in this draft (if there were a guy like that, we would being seeing even more intense tanking than we are) but the chances are pretty good that a couple of the Top 5 guys will be pretty high-impact, so it makes sense that teams really want them.

But if the league goes to The Wheel or something along those lines, it will just raise other "problems" related to the reality of the importance of stars.
   84. AROM Posted: March 05, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4666626)
No, I think Simmons believes what he says. He doesn't just take a position so he can argue with people. The cynical Bayless/ Kornheiser/Screamin'A approach is not for him.


I cut Simmons a lot of slack for his sins because he wrote such an excellent book on the NBA.
   85. AROM Posted: March 05, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4666628)
1) Has anyone attempted to quantify this?


Here's an idea of how to do it:

Find matched pairs of big men with similar true shooting pct. and similar points per minute rates. But one group is mostly dunk and putback guys, the other group offers midrange jumpers.

Now look at group on/off offensive rating - do the ones with more range tend to have a more positive effect on team scoring efficiency?
   86. jmurph Posted: March 05, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4666635)
My take is that Simmons is genuinely excited about the direction of the Celtics (probably overly so, let's be honest), so I don't think their current roster/record have anything to do with those comments.

My only issue with tanking is that I don't think it's going to work, in any real sense, for the teams doing the tanking. But I don't think it's an issue that needs to be addressed via a rules change.
   87. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 05, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4666639)
Maybe you could argue that he's never expressed the second idea before the Celtics sucked, but I'm not sure I agree with that characterization either, though I don't really feel like combing his archives to prove it.

It wasn't the Celtics, he was specifically upset about the Evan Turner trade. This makes the Pacers better! I mean, that's not fair!

Then a few minutes later, talking about how smart the Clippers were for adding Glen Davis in exchange for nothing. Why aren't the Thunder adding players in exchange for nothing?

I hate the Evan Turner trade too. So the Sixers wanted to keep Danny Granger on the roster so they could then do a sign-and-trade thing or have a cap exemption... but he and his agent got so upset that they had to buy him out instead? And they didn't save any money. They just got their ninth second-round pick. Or you could say, they saved about half a million dollars, which is about 0.13% of Sixers owner Josh Harris's income in the year 2013.
   88. GregD Posted: March 05, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4666641)
Point Forwardtries to come up with an All-Tank team that could lose to the Sixers:

Felton
Mayo
Bennett
Vesely
Kaman

some classic clips in there including The Yawn, The Shoe Tie, and The Nap
   89. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 05, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4666643)
There's nothing particularly contradictory about the two positions he's taken here, though. It's quite possible to believe that tanking is the correct course for some teams to take under the current rules, and still believe rules that encourage tanking are a bad thing for fans and for the league in general.


Right. Its like understanding taking pitches and drawing walks is the best way to win games, but also admitting that it makes for a more boring game.

I don't think its such an alarming issue in the NBA though. There are always going to be bad teams. The lottery gives bad teams hope.

My only issue with tanking is that I don't think it's going to work, in any real sense, for the teams doing the tanking. But I don't think it's an issue that needs to be addressed via a rules change.


It will work for some, and not work for others, same as any other strategy.
   90. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: March 05, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4666662)
As Lakers fans are discovering, being in a position such that your team is better off losing and you should probably on some level hope that they lose is both annoying and odd. People on the blogs were talking about how weird it was to actually be a little bummed that the Lakers managed to win in Portland, a place where they have always sucked hugely.

This is strange to me. As a Knicks fan, I have spent much of the past 15 years hoping and praying for my team to lose so that they aren't rewarded for their many ill conceived maneuverings.
   91. GregD Posted: March 05, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4666670)
As a Knicks fan, I have spent much of the past 15 years hoping and praying for my team to lose so that they aren't rewarded for their many ill conceived maneuverings.
You must be ecstatic right now!
   92. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 05, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4666673)
This is strange to me. As a Knicks fan, I have spent much of the past 15 years hoping and praying for my team to lose so that they aren't rewarded for their many ill conceived maneuverings.

Sixers fans are now in the double-reverse situation where we hope that the plan to lose literally every game is foiled and they only lose 90% of their games, to demonstrate that there is still some quirkiness and unpredictability in this old game of ours.
   93. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: March 05, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4666676)
You must be ecstatic right now!

Other than Linsanity, this is the most fun I've had watching this team since the 90s. Not only are they losing and confirming everything anyone with a brain thought about them entering the season, but they're finding new and increasingly embarrassing ways to lose.
   94. The District Attorney Posted: March 05, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4666719)
Other than Linsanity, this is the most fun I've had watching this team since the 90s. Not only are they losing and confirming everything anyone with a brain thought about them entering the season, but they're finding new and increasingly embarrassing ways to lose.
You realize you're describing pure masochism, though, as there is no draft pick reward for this...

The idea that the Sixers are taking rebuilding too far reminds me quite a bit of the talk around the Pirates a few years ago, and the Astros recently. "We get that you're rebuilding, but did you have to trade EVERYBODY?" I don't expect this argument to win the day, because it doesn't really make any sense. If you're committed to rebuilding, why should any veteran be off the table? To prove a point? What point?

(This is not to say that a) the Evan Turner trade was good, or b) that super-tanking is necessarily desirable. We saw both the Pirates and Astros make bad trades in pursuit of super-tanking -- in fact, quite honestly the eventual Pirate renaissance had very little to do with the trades of Bay, Wandy, etc. -- and the Astros, at least, have taken humongous hits to their attendance and TV ratings. We'll see whether the fans come back when the Astros get good. I do think that, at least in the modern era when people have a million other entertainment options, being too bad for too long can have a permanent effect on the fanbase. That sure didn't happen in Pittsburgh, though...)
   95. robinred Posted: March 05, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4666721)
My take is that Simmons is genuinely excited about the direction of the Celtics (probably overly so, let's be honest), so I don't think their current roster/record have anything to do with those comments.


Perhaps not, but he is still watching a bad team and (I would assume) on some level rooting for it to lose. He may be excited about the "direction" of the Celtics, but I doubt that he is excited about their next game. This type of situation alters the fan experience.

Lakers fans have literally never dealt with this before; this is the worst team that the Lakers have had since they moved to Los Angeles over 50 years ago. Boston has run some pretty bad teams out there at times since the merger, so it is not exactly the same thing, but it is not something Boston fans are used to, either.

So, along the same structural lines as the other posts, I think it is certainly easy to understand that your team is better off losing but not to enjoy rooting for it to lose, and to therefore in turn question the system that spawns that scenario.
   96. Jimmy P Posted: March 05, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4666724)
At 54 y/o I could drop 40 on that D


Aren't they top 10 in D this season?

How does everyone want the GSW-PHX-DAL-MEM mess at the bottom of the West standings to shake out?


I want Memphis and Dallas out. I think the Warriors and Suns are fun to watch and could really mess things up for the upper seeds.

You could believe that the blow-it-up and tank strategy is the optimal thing to do for teams in certain positions and also think that it is lame that it is the best option. Those are separate ideas.

I agree with this. And, I've made my opinion that tanking isn't a great strategy anyway because the probability of getting the top pick is still pretty low. I hate how the league redid the lottery after the Magic won the top pick twice in a row. I heard Cuban say on the radio yesterday that he thinks a good way to do it is to make the fourth worst team have the highest odds of the top pick. I've played in fantasy leagues that weight like that, that way the bad teams are still fighting for something. Being the absolute worst team would guarantee you no better than the third pick. If they still do the lottery, I think that's a far better solution.
   97. cmd600 Posted: March 05, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4666736)
There's nothing particularly contradictory about the two positions he's taken here, though. It's quite possible to believe that tanking is the correct course for some teams to take under the current rules, and still believe rules that encourage tanking are a bad thing for fans and for the league in general.


Sure, and at some point, Simmons may be able to put those two thoughts together. I'm really only left with two alternatives. One, as stated, Simmons loves the sound of his own voice, and will just ramble on nonsensically, or two, he's simply not a bright person at all, but when it comes to the NBA, he's able to disguise that well enough by following as passionately as he does.

I may come off as overly harsh, but it's just frustrating as there are so many better conversations about basketball coming from other places. I get why Simmons is popular, I would love to shoot the #### and talk about basketball and tell stories with him at the bar, but, way too often, there's no real substance there.
   98. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 05, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4666774)
I may come off as overly harsh, but it's just frustrating as there are so many better conversations about basketball coming from other places. I get why Simmons is popular, I would love to shoot the #### and talk about basketball and tell stories with him at the bar, but, way too often, there's no real substance there.


Do you read Zach Lowe's articles on Grantland? If you want statistical analysis or play break downs for the NBA he is by far the best easily available writer out there.
   99. robinred Posted: March 05, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4666779)
Yeah--Simmons should get ups for bringing Lowe and Goldsberry in. The SI.com ex-blogger guys who moved up (Mahoney and Golliver) aren't bad, either.
   100. The District Attorney Posted: March 05, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4666787)
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