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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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   701. andrewberg Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4677295)
Pacers- Lowe tweeted about a week ago that they have the 3rd worst offensive efficiency in the league since the start of February. I think it was PHI and MIL behind them. In other words, they are scoring worse than all of the teams who are actively trying to score. Hibbert has been bad offensively all year. George kind of hit a wall and reverted back to merely good offensively. They do not have a playmaking PG. That is a rough combo and they are not getting the help from the bench they sought.

College- I think there is a natural cycle that has been in place for quite a while where the most talented players leave earlier, so there is a sweetspot where you get the best players who are not good enough to leave early (ie- McDermott, Jameer Nelson, Adam Morrison, Scottie Reynolds).

Testing the Waters- I do not think it is purely a middle finger to all players because it benefits the guys coming in as freshmen. The guys coming in as one year players do not want to end up behind a guy who opted out of the draft at the last minute. For example, say a top C was considering Kansas and Embiid decides to come back. At least now he knows that before he has to make his decision.

Bird/Dirk- We had this debate during the 2011 playoffs. I still take BIrd because he was much better as a playmaker. If you are only taking one guy or the other into his 30s, it is obvioiusly Dirk. I would suggest that just because he has been great this year does not guarantee that he will be as healthy and effective the next few years. Remember what happened to Steve Nash? He was awesome until he basically couldnt get on the court.
   702. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4677297)
Very good article by Goldsberry on the Mavs on Grantland right not. Dirk's shot chart is ridiculous. Also talks about how important Monta Ellis has been for this team.

I find it interesting that Monta developed a reputation as an inefficient chucker. People seem to forget (it's not even mentioned in the Goldsberry article) that in 07-08, as a 22 year old, he had about the most efficient season a player of his type could possibly have (based entirely around driving/slashing and midrange jumpers -- a style that is quickly becoming extinct save for him). I remember him shooting 60% one month that season; he looked for all the world to be the new Sidney Moncrief. The Warriors famously won 48 games but did not make the playoffs that year.


Goldsberry's shot charts are amazing, and are always a welcome sight. But sometimes, his articles leave a little to be desired. He sets up and knocks down quite a few strawmen in that piece (and the tangent about tanking is out of place and nothing new or substantive really).

What I mean is, Ellis being good this year and terrible before (save the career year you mentioned) can both be true. Ellis deserves blame for some of the problems they had in GS and MIL and also deserves credit for the success he's having now. This is his 10th season and 3rd team, he's not merely a victim of circumstance as the piece would have you believe. Quite frankly, he was an inefficient chucker most of the time.

One of the points of the Goldsberry article is that basketball is not baseball, and context matters a good deal. It is very difficult to reconcile individual numbers and team value.

Same thing with football and hockey. Hockey is even harder, since there's even fewer things that can even be measured.
   703. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4677301)
With the Raps losing to the Cavs last night, the Bulls are now 1/2 game up in the race for the 3rd seed in the East.
   704. theboyqueen Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4677308)
I think that Monta's inefficient chucking may have been as much environmental and circumstantial as some sort of personal moral failing, especially given his prior success. Similarly I would not be surprised if in the next few years Tyreke Evans finds himself on a team that knows what the hell it's doing (could be the Pelicans actually) and reemerges as a useful player.

Same thing with football and hockey. Hockey is even harder, since there's even fewer things that can even be measured.


Football is a TV show with very large men doing the acting and stunts. Sort of like pro wrestling. I know more about cricket than I know about hockey, which is very little in either case.
   705. andrewberg Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4677311)
I wish the NFL was more like wrestling. Wrestling is fun.
   706. The District Attorney Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4677313)
I wish the NFL was more like wrestling. Wrestling is fun.
Richard Sherman tried.

Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I can't consider a 7-footer with 8 rebounds and 1 block per game to be among the top few players of all time. If Dirk "played bigger", I could entertain a "big man vs. small man" argument that puts him over Bird. But, he didn't.
   707. theboyqueen Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:35 PM (#4677315)
I wish the NFL was more like wrestling. Wrestling is fun.


That's why I said "Sort of like". It is inferior as entertainment, that's for sure.
   708. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4677319)
Maybe it's just me...but Goldsberry has morphed into this weird basketball version of Kevin Goldstein where he's more or less a guy that rose to fame via the "stats" route and now insists on fighting the good fight against these imagined statheads he creates who don't understand that basketball statistics are situational.

EDIT: Coke to Moses
   709. AROM Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:46 PM (#4677323)
"(based entirely around driving/slashing and midrange jumpers -- a style that is quickly becoming extinct save for him)."

Dwyane Wade is the king of that style.
   710. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4677325)
I think that Monta's inefficient chucking may have been as much environmental and circumstantial as some sort of personal moral failing, especially given his prior success. Similarly I would not be surprised if in the next few years Tyreke Evans finds himself on a team that knows what the hell it's doing (could be the Pelicans actually) and reemerges as a useful player

He's been really good lately. Between that and Anthony Davis looking like a Shaq level problem on offense, I may have only been a year early on my Pelicans to the playoffs prediction.
   711. AROM Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4677329)
Dirk's amazing, and his career value is higher than Bird because of health and entering the league at 20 instead of 23. But I have to take Bird for the amazing passing and all around play. Bird just about single handedly turned a 29 win team into a 61 win team. Only other player to do something like that is David Robinson.
   712. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4677331)
[711] Don't forget LeBron almost single-handedly turning a 61 win team into a 19 win team.
   713. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 26, 2014 at 02:01 PM (#4677334)
I think that Monta's inefficient chucking may have been as much environmental and circumstantial as some sort of personal moral failing, especially given his prior success. Similarly I would not be surprised if in the next few years Tyreke Evans finds himself on a team that knows what the hell it's doing (could be the Pelicans actually) and reemerges as a useful player.

Who's saying anything about moral failing? As a basketball player, he did not effectively or efficiently convert his talent into team wins. My problem with the article is that it completely absolves him for his shot selection or defensive deficiencies. Goldsberry brought up multiple times that he's leading the Mavs in assists; oddly enough his assist % has gone down this year. And while his shot chart looks better (he's taking significantly fewer 3's), his shooting percentages are pretty much in line with his career numbers. Hand waving away legitimate criticisms to uncontrollable circumstances is a little too close to narrativizing* for me.

I agree on Evans, but that also won't retroactively make him better now.

Maybe it's just me...but Goldsberry has morphed into this weird basketball version of Kevin Goldstein where he's more or less a guy that rose to fame via the "stats" route and now insists on fighting the good fight against these imagined statheads he creates who don't understand that basketball statistics are situational.

But is he really a stats guy? He's a cartographer, right? Didn't his one attempt at stat making get pretty roundly criticized for being superficial (which kinda was the point, in a way)?

*I thought I was making that word up, but spell check gives it a green light!
   714. AROM Posted: March 26, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4677335)
Pelicans are losing because they are 28th in defensive rating. Fire Monty Williams and give them the right coach and there's no reason they can't be a top 10 defensive team. Steve Clifford has turned the Bobcats into a top defensive team (and Z Lowe has a column on that today). It should be infinitely easier to build a defense around Anthony Davis than around Al Jefferson.
   715. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4677338)
But is he really a stats guy? He's a cartographer, right? Didn't his one attempt at stat making get pretty roundly criticized for being superficial (which kinda was the point, in a way)?

Not that he's a stats guy, but more so that he's a guy who rose to relative fame covering the NBA based on writing for outlets/from a perspective that appeals to the stat nerds/basketball addicts. To me, it's very similar to how Goldstein first came up as the guy who had this e-mail list that showed you the pertinent box score stats for all the need to know minor leaguers. It didn't make him a stat nerd, but the work he was doing sort of lent itself to that crowd.
   716. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 26, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4677348)
Gotcha.
   717. theboyqueen Posted: March 26, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4677357)
Dwyane Wade is the king of that style.


Good call.

Sidney Moncrief should be in the hall of fame. Short career, but he was a two way beast.
   718. AROM Posted: March 26, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4677475)
Agreed. Moncrief was the top player on one of the greatest unrecognized teams who suffered from very bad timing.

His Bucks were good enough to beat Bird's Celtics. They were good enough to beat Dr. J's Sixers. They just weren't good enough to beat both in the same year.
   719. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: March 26, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4677492)
More Swaggy P doing Swaggy P things. Best part of this video is the (third-quarter) game clock.
   720. The District Attorney Posted: March 26, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4677496)
Mike Bresnahan
@Mike_Bresnahan

Nick Young confirms his Sherman Oaks home got robbed last night. Almost $100K in value. "I was just shocked they tried to get Swaggy."
   721. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: March 26, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4677498)
Does robinred still hang out in this thread? If you are there, rr, I think that one of your old email addresses got hacked.
   722. The District Attorney Posted: March 26, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4677501)
I was also shocked they tried to get robinred.
   723. robinred Posted: March 26, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4677504)
GGC,

It did. I haven't used it in years. My apologies. I informed yahoo.
   724. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 26, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4677526)
[722] is gold.
   725. Paul D(uda) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 08:19 PM (#4677597)
With the Raps losing to the Cavs last night, the Bulls are now 1/2 game up in the race for the 3rd seed in the East.

This is an overstatement, but this is a disaster for the Raps. You need to beat Cle, and the Raps in particular need the 3 seed and the matchup against the Wizards. I don't like the Raps against Brooklyn of Chicago.
   726. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 26, 2014 at 10:23 PM (#4677621)
roy hibbert does not look okay.
   727. Maxwn Posted: March 26, 2014 at 10:25 PM (#4677623)
538's Benjamin Morris on Steals

I read this article today and found it extremely problematic. It seems badly written for one thing, I had a hard time figuring out what the hell he was saying at first. The intro seems to take for granted the basic premise of the piece, which is that steals are way more important than commonly thought, or something like that. I now think he was trying to state the premise first and then defend it with data, but as written it seemed like he was stating it and then doing analysis assuming that it was true. It took me a couple of reads to parse it. But whatever, maybe others were able to follow it without problem. That's essentially a stylistic critique and relatively minor.

My real problem is that most of the analysis in this piece appear to be drawn from some regressions that he ran. But we see basically no information about these regressions that is any way useful. He constructs a couple of charts from the estimated coefficients of these regressions, I think, but that's it. This is probably a bit unfair, because I'm in grad school for economics and he is writing a piece that is really intended for non-experts, but when someone runs a regression and tries to sell the importance of their results, I want to see a chart with coefficients and standard errors, at a minimum. I want to see what the actual specification of the model was. He explains enough in a footnote that I think I know more or less what he did, but I have no data presented that lets me judge whether I should buy his results even superficially. With the level of detail presented in the article, you could run any damn regression and make some charts and present it, even if the results from the regression were completely insignificant and meaningless. And no one would be able to tell because nothing was presented that would enable them to check it.

I realize that most people who might read this article don't care about the stuff I'm talking about. But it still seems to me that they are supposed to be the "data" guys and its the internet. They could throw a link to some more in-depth summaries of the results that shed some more light on what they were doing without much trouble.

This is especially important with basketball data work from my perspective. He appears to have been running regressions with box score stats as the main independent variables. I am extremely skeptical that you can get any useful results from simple regressions using box score stats in basketball. Without getting too deep in the weeds of statistics/econometrics/etc, if you are doing ordinary least squares regressions you are assuming that your independent variables are really independent. In other words, the stuff that you are putting in the regression cannot be correlated with things that also affect your dependent variable that you leave out. If you are running a regression that attempts to calculate the impact of a player's points/assists/rebounds/blocks/steals on team wins, you are assuming that nothing else is both correlated with that player's P/A/R/B/S and also affects team wins. In my opinion, there is no way that is true. And if it isn't true then the estimates you get from an OLS regression aren't consistent and might as well be useless. Maybe he did something different, but its impossible to tell based on what was presented in the article.

Long story short, I would like to know more about what these guys are doing when they are "creat[ing] a regression using each player’s box score stats" because I have severe doubts about the usefulness of simple regression techniques in telling us anything useful when it comes to basketball. The reliability of the results is pretty dependent on what you are assuming about the underlying processes and from what I can tell basketball stat writers are often not too specific about what it is they are assuming.
   728. EddieA Posted: March 26, 2014 at 10:35 PM (#4677628)
Chris Paul with an 0-12. Clippers lose to Pelicans by 2 points.
   729. Famous Original Joe C Posted: March 26, 2014 at 11:07 PM (#4677636)
Bird vs. Dirk - obviously, it's Bird on peak and Dirk on aggregate career value. I'll still take Bird because I favor peak pretty heavily for NBA comparisons - the outsize impact of a truly Great Season on a team's probability of winning the championship as compared to, say, baseball, makes it that way, in my opinion - but if you put more weight on career in those discussions I wouldn't begrudge one taking Dirk. If I need to win a playoff series, '84-'88 Bird is behind only a few guys all-time to start my team with.

Also, if Bird hadn't been dumb enough to pave his Mom's driveway in the summer of 1985, and even moreso if he played the same years Dirk did, toward the end of his career (years 13-16), he likely would have become a guy who basically just shoots threes, grabs a few rebounds, and helps direct the offense. He'd play 30-32 minutes per game and average something like 15/7/6 with 47/42/90 percentages.
   730. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:00 AM (#4677647)
[727] As a fellow data professional, I'm with you, but the fact is that that stuff makes the general population's eyes glaze over, which is sad. I'm not sure how to write for both, but I certainly agree that it's hard to tell whether he's doing anything intelligent.
   731. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:30 AM (#4677654)
   732. Maxwn Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:31 AM (#4677656)
As a fellow data professional, I'm with you, but the fact is that that stuff makes the general population's eyes glaze over, which is sad

Right, which is why I'm not necessarily asking for them to put it in the main article. But this is the internet, not a print publication. They could link some more detailed results without having to eat actual copy like you would in a print source. Particularly when your whole gimmick as website is that you are the data geeks. Well then let me see some actual ####### results then, boss.
   733. Maxwn Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:46 AM (#4677659)
[732] I want to clarify what I'm saying here a bit. The whole idea of 538, supposedly, is that mainstream pundits are all about narratives and just make stuff up to fit them essentially. My point is that if you are doing data work but don't really show any of your work, you might as well just be making #### up. It ain't no different. I mean damn, if you just want a regression that says something specific but I don't have to report anything or really explain what i did that much, I can do that for pretty much whatever you want. They aren't even telling us if these coefficients they made the charts out of are even significant. That's an incredibly minimal degree of verification one might expect to see.
   734. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 27, 2014 at 08:58 AM (#4677699)
Testing the Waters- I do not think it is purely a middle finger to all players because it benefits the guys coming in as freshmen. The guys coming in as one year players do not want to end up behind a guy who opted out of the draft at the last minute. For example, say a top C was considering Kansas and Embiid decides to come back. At least now he knows that before he has to make his decision.

It's the late signing period. The overwhelming majority of players already signed in the fall, including most of the top players. This really isn't relevant except in maybe a couple cases a year, tops.
   735. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 27, 2014 at 09:29 AM (#4677710)
Hey as an Econ masters (many years ago) and current Data professional I am totally on board with the annoyance up thread. Just link to the "boring" details, it is not like you are going to run out of '0' and '1' values on the intertubes or anything. Sheesh.

Regression is a powerful tool for evil in the hands of the careless or ignorant. Prove you are not one of them, post what you did.
   736. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: March 27, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4677727)
Maxwn, have you considered sending an e-mail (or a Tweet, if you're so inclined) to Morris with your questions and asking him for the data in which you're interested? 538 hasn't been terribly impressive so far, but Silver and the other writers seem fairly responsive to criticism, so you might get something useful out of Morris.
   737. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 27, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4677741)
Testing the Waters- I do not think it is purely a middle finger to all players because it benefits the guys coming in as freshmen. The guys coming in as one year players do not want to end up behind a guy who opted out of the draft at the last minute. For example, say a top C was considering Kansas and Embiid decides to come back. At least now he knows that before he has to make his decision.

It's the late signing period. The overwhelming majority of players already signed in the fall, including most of the top players. This really isn't relevant except in maybe a couple cases a year, tops.


Sorry, clearly I'm only thinking about this is spurts.

Anyhow, as the DX article points out, it isn't really the Embiid*-type players that this impacts; the top 5-10 guys are gonna go no matter what. It's the fringe first round types or the guys who might not get drafted at all. I think they made a fair argument that the NBA should consider moving back the draft and FA, since even without this deadline shenanigans, the deadline is still well before any combines or workouts and those can have a huge impact on draft status.
   738. AROM Posted: March 27, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4677746)
Maxwn,

Pretty good discussion of that 538 article on steals at Tangotiger.com. I don't like it either. Just looks like a sloppy use of regression to me.
   739. kpelton Posted: March 27, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4677767)
I would second the suggestion to contact Ben. Given the feedback he's getting, something that modest probably seems relatively complimentary at this point.

To me, the big issue is trying to denominate things in terms of marginal points. Making the distinction between marginal points and points is just too subtle for most of the audience (and also problematic in terms of potentially excluding measures of shooting ability). But if the conclusion was instead that steals are (rounding):

- 1.5 times as valuable as blocks
- 4 times as valuable as assists
- 5 times as valuable as rebounds

... that matches up pretty well with what statistical plus-minus has found, and SPM has to the best of my knowledge performed well in prediction/retrodiction contests. So Ben's research wasn't far out of line with my existing view of the importance of steals.
   740. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 27, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4677772)
[737] Forget the *. Supposedly Embiid is going to declare. No shock there.
   741. The District Attorney Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4677817)
   742. andrewberg Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4677819)
Anyhow, as the DX article points out, it isn't really the Embiid*-type players that this impacts; the top 5-10 guys are gonna go no matter what. It's the fringe first round types or the guys who might not get drafted at all. I think they made a fair argument that the NBA should consider moving back the draft and FA, since even without this deadline shenanigans, the deadline is still well before any combines or workouts and those can have a huge impact on draft status.


Wasn't there an issue with this at Kentucky within the last couple of years? Someone like Poythress was expected to go pro, another guy who played his position committed during the water testing, then he came back and a playing time logjam occurred. I suppose I could do some research, but I will not.

I would second the suggestion to contact Ben. Given the feedback he's getting, something that modest probably seems relatively complimentary at this point.


I get the difficulty in translating weighty data to a mass audience, but that's precisely the point of 538's existence. It is fair to hold its writers to a higher standard. On the other hand, I will give them some time to find that sweet spot.

steals are (rounding):

- 1.5 times as valuable as blocks


It's funny that the data points to exactly what an uninformed anecdote would assume. Steals and blocks both stop the other team's possession. With a block, you have about a 50% chance of gaining possession. With a steal, it's 100%, so ta da, it's 1.5x as valuable.
   743. GregD Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4677826)
Wasn't there an issue with this at Kentucky within the last couple of years? Someone like Poythress was expected to go pro, another guy who played his position committed during the water testing, then he came back and a playing time logjam occurred. I suppose I could do some research, but I will not.
Terrence Jones was a surprise return. It raised questions since they had Darius Miller also returning plus Michael Kidd-Gilchrist coming in as a forward (and Kyle Wiltjer.) But it worked out.

This year, Poythress' return definitely stunted the growth of Marcus Lee, though he's been so buried on the bench that something else has to be at play.

Poythress and Jones have a lot in common, beyond their build (Jones is a bit more muscular, Poythress a better leaper.) And it's interesting that that position--6-8 power forward with good athleticism--is the one that hasn't projected to quick NBA success for Calipari.

Calipari's main surprise was Teague going pro, and the team was--fairly since that's the name of the game--left with a huge hole at the point the next year.
   744. AROM Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4677828)
From Pos:

"Philadelphia's chance to break the Cavaliers' 26-game losing streak streak would come at home against Detroit on Saturday. The last game is at Miami. If the losing streak is intact, I hope the Heat beat them by 36 to match the number. That, unlike the rest of this, would be fun at least."

I could actually see them beating Miami. Because there is no way the Heat play James-Wade-Bosh in that one. They'll probably sit or at least minimize minutes for Chalmers, Allen, Birdman, and Oden as well.
   745. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:26 PM (#4677845)
Wasn't there an issue with this at Kentucky within the last couple of years? Someone like Poythress was expected to go pro, another guy who played his position committed during the water testing, then he came back and a playing time logjam occurred. I suppose I could do some research, but I will not.

Perhaps, but that's one of the downsides of Calipari's recruiting strategy. Also the Teague "problem" Greg mentioned.
   746. Jimmy P Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4677848)
Wasn't there an issue with this at Kentucky within the last couple of years? Someone like Poythress was expected to go pro, another guy who played his position committed during the water testing, then he came back and a playing time logjam occurred. I suppose I could do some research, but I will not.

Maybe. But, the lesser guys leave, too. Wiltjer (who was a McDonalds All-American) transferred to Gonzaga because he got no playing time.

Disaster offseason for Purdue. AJ Hammons is probably going to declare for the draft (Twitter says) and Ronnie Johnson is transferring. Guess we'll get used to last place.
   747. sardonic Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4677857)
On some level, doesn't 538's underwhelming launch make Grantland even more impressive? I remember there being pretty good content from day 1.
   748. GregD Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4677863)
Maybe. But, the lesser guys leave, too. Wiltjer (who was a McDonalds All-American) transferred to Gonzaga because he got no playing time.
Wiltjer was a strange fit for the team. Publicly Calipari rooted for him to return. But he couldn't play any defense at all, which hampered his playing time more than getting recruited over. his father was also a notable pain in the ass publicly demanding more playing time and proclaiming that his son would be an All-American elsewhere. He sure can shoot and will score a lot when he's on the court.
   749. theboyqueen Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4677869)
Seems like Grantland is trying to be the New Yorker and 538 is trying to be the Economist.
   750. andrewberg Posted: March 27, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4677927)
Gorgui Dieng has started the last six games with Pekovic and Turiaf hurt. 13 PPG on 59% shooting, 14 reb, 2 ast, 2.4 blocks+steals. He also protects the rim so much better than anyone else in recent Wolves history. On the other hand, the team defense hasn't been great on the aggregate and he's already 24.
   751. Topher Posted: March 27, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4677933)
Testing the Waters- I do not think it is purely a middle finger to all players because it benefits the guys coming in as freshmen. The guys coming in as one year players do not want to end up behind a guy who opted out of the draft at the last minute. For example, say a top C was considering Kansas and Embiid decides to come back. At least now he knows that before he has to make his decision.


It's the late signing period. The overwhelming majority of players already signed in the fall, including most of the top players. This really isn't relevant except in maybe a couple cases a year, tops.

Funny this is being used as an example. Completely agree that this isn't relevant except for maybe a handful of recruits. But Myles Turner (#2 overall ranked player in 2014 according to ESPN & Scout, #6 overall by Rivals) is considering Kansas as one of his finalists. Bill Self has told him do not bother signing with Kansas unless Embiid does indeed leave. Of course, if Embiid does actually declare -- and not just reported by the media that he will -- he's not opting out at the last minute.
   752. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: March 27, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4677938)
And Embiid has in fact declared. Come on down, Turner!
   753. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4677979)
roy hibbert does not look okay.


People here in Indy have been saying this for the better part of two months. He's had some very poor games in 2014.
   754. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 28, 2014 at 01:08 AM (#4678065)
Posnanski muses on Sixer futility.
i had a dream last night
that one day the sixers would not be judged by the margin of their defeat but by the TS% of byron j mullens (.624, iirc)

and then this morning i woke up.
and tonight they lost to houston by name a number.
and james harden had a triple-double without playing in the 4th quarter.

nyquil's a hell of a drug.
   755. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: March 28, 2014 at 02:48 AM (#4678077)
I mean it was a great day for Philadelphia -- the Bucks won.
   756. AROM Posted: March 28, 2014 at 09:15 AM (#4678111)
Gorgui Dieng has started the last six games with Pekovic and Turiaf hurt. 13 PPG on 59% shooting, 14 reb, 2 ast, 2.4 blocks+steals. He also protects the rim so much better than anyone else in recent Wolves history. On the other hand, the team defense hasn't been great on the aggregate and he's already 24.


As a U of L fan, very happy to see him doing well. Small sample, but T-Wolves allow effective FG% of .525 when Dieng is not on the floor, .479 when he is.
   757. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: March 28, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4678252)
Sports Illustrated writers talk about the worst team they've ever covered. I'm a horrible, horrible, horrible person, but I laughed at this from Lee Jenkins, who listed the 03-04 Nets:

They nearly brawled at a practice when Alonzo Mourning, having just recovered from kidney disease, told Kenyon Martin he could not lead the team from the trainer's room whining about his ankle. "My kidney, my kidney," Martin replied, and Mourning charged at him.

   758. a fatty cow that need two seats (cough, cough) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4678264)
The 2000-01 Warriors couldn't even wait for the offseason to start booking tee times. Its putative leader [Mookie Blaylock] was stripped of his captaincy for skipping a February practice in San Antonio to play golf and reacted by saying, "I would do it again."
   759. andrewberg Posted: March 28, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4678277)
Small sample, but T-Wolves allow effective FG% of .525 when Dieng is not on the floor, .479 when he is.


That's good. It seems more consistent with how he appears on the court than the point totals the last few games.
   760. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4678285)
Wow, that's a fun article CFBF. The Sixers hired Roy Rubin from Long Island University. How did he get the job? From Wikipedia:

Rubin was hired as head coach of the Sixers after Al McGuire and Adolph Rupp both turned it down. The Sixers were so desperate to find a coach that they actually took out an ad in a local paper, which was seen by one of Rubin's friends
   761. Manny Coon Posted: March 28, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4678306)
i had a dream last night
that one day the sixers would not be judged by the margin of their defeat but by the TS% of byron j mullens (.624, iirc)

and then this morning i woke up.
and tonight they lost to houston by name a number.
and james harden had a triple-double without playing in the 4th quarter.

nyquil's a hell of a drug.


They were doing pretty good up until Mullens left his sprained ankle, clearly they were crushed by the loss his leadership.

It was one of the only games on league pass yesterday, pretty much had to watch part of it.
   762. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 28, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4678421)
Houston guard Patrick Beverley has suffered a torn meniscus in his knee, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. Timetable for return unclear.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) March 28, 2014

Beverley will seek second opinion, where it'll be determined if there's rehab scenario where he could return in playoffs -- or miss season.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) March 28, 2014
   763. Maxwn Posted: March 28, 2014 at 09:06 PM (#4678465)
Hey thanks AROM and kp for the pointers to the tango thread and the link about statistical plus-minus. Some interesting stuff. I'm kind of interested in doing some reading on the statistical underpinnings of some of the analytics that are used a lot these days. I got into basketball just a few years back and don't actually know much of the history of this stuff in this sport. I used my amazon settlement money the other day to buy the Dean Oliver book. I'll probably try to read the Dave Berri stuff at some point, even though I've never been that impressed with what I've seen of him. We are in the same discipline so I should probably be aware of what his arguments are. Any other suggestions anyone has would be more than welcome.

   764. robinred Posted: March 29, 2014 at 12:48 AM (#4678514)
Tough loss for Memphis tonight. They were up 93-86 and then GS went 14-0 the rest of the way, with Curry making the difference. Just no substitute for having a Top-10 guy some nights...
   765. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4678541)
And were back
   766. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4678543)
SO much to talk about...where to begin? Not to mention, we probably will get a new thread soon so it might not be worth even trying here.
   767. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4678578)
Spurs @ Thunder tonight should be interesting. Spurs have won 19 straight including Miami by 24 and Indiana (on the road) by 26, no win closer than 5 pts. Thunder lead season series 3-0 though.
   768. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4678595)
Ah, that reminds me. There was a bunch of Spurs stuff to Primer RT:

Ben Golliver ?@BenGolliver Mar 31
Since winning streak started, Spurs lead NBA in Off. Eff, Def. Eff, Points, Point Diff., FG%, 3P%, TS%, EFG%, AST/TO, Blocks & Def. Rebounds


And this amazing stat (only times he didn't win 50 were strike/lockout years).

Not Spurs or Duncan, but Noah is awesome.
   769. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:46 PM (#4678596)
Also, Bynum jokes are always fine by me.
   770. Booey Posted: April 03, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4678711)
BBTF is back up!!!!

Man, I got so much work done this last week.

It was horrible. Here's hoping that never has to happen again...
   771. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: April 03, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4678722)
zach lowe had a great great article on grantland about anthony davis.
   772. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 03, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4678733)
zach lowe had a great great article on grantland about anthony davis.

Yeah, I came away from that being even higher on AD's future. No way Drummond ever comes close to his career.
   773. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: April 03, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4678738)
Looks like the Bulls waived Erik Murphy. I have no idea how they're going to beat the Heat now.
   774. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 03, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4678741)
zach lowe had a great great article on grantland about anthony davis.


Yeah, I came away from that being even higher on AD's future. No way Drummond ever comes close to his career.

AD should be good, don't get me wrong, but that article had a lot of "for sure he will develop that and be real good at it later". There was a lot of wishcasting after the over-the-op intro to how AD is a unique shining star.
   775. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 03, 2014 at 05:01 PM (#4678747)
Looks like the Bulls waived Erik Murphy. I have no idea how they're going to beat the Heat now.

Because they have the potential 3rd place MVP finisher on their roster! Lots of stuff on him recently, what with the great defense and the staggering number of assists for a center. Articles that have his name and Bill Russell's in the same sentence. He's gaining lots of momentum for DPOY. Also, he's still weird

Murphy showed a whole lot of nothing in his extremely few opportunities. He needs to speed up the release on his shot if he wants to be heavier Steve Novak (or best case less-stoned, older, fatter Sam Perkins).
   776. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 03, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4678750)
AD should be good, don't get me wrong, but that article had a lot of "for sure he will develop that and be real good at it later". There was a lot of wishcasting after the over-the-op intro to how AD is a unique shining star.

Sure, there was some of that*. I read it more as look at how amazing he already is and he barely knows what he's doing, and he's also clearly improving.

*Who else would you pick right now to be threaten Durant for best player in 5 years (or during LBJ's decline)?
   777. AROM Posted: April 03, 2014 at 05:08 PM (#4678754)
Should Jeff Withey be getting more minutes? In limited time, he has good numbers by WS48 and on/off. Excellent shot blocker. As Lowe mentions, They need shooters to surround Davis, that is pretty much the answer to every question of what you need to surround a superstar when you don't have the opportunity to do what the 1980's Lakers, Celtics, and Sixers did (more superstars).

How about coaching? Any reason to think Monty Williams is the man build a defensive system? I think Stan Van Gundy might be the type of coach who can make things work. If that happens, hopefully he gets along better with Davis than he did with Howard.
   778. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: April 03, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4678758)
Because they have the potential 3rd place MVP finisher on their roster! Lots of stuff on him recently, what with the great defense and the staggering number of assists for a center. Articles that have his name and Bill Russell's in the same sentence. He's gaining lots of momentum for DPOY. Also, he's still weird

Murphy showed a whole lot of nothing in his extremely few opportunities. He needs to speed up the release on his shot if he wants to be heavier Steve Novak (or best case less-stoned, older, fatter Sam Perkins).


It's possible I wasn't being 100 percent serious with my question.
   779. AROM Posted: April 03, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4678760)
*Who else would you pick right now to be threaten Durant for best player in 5 years (or during LBJ's decline)?


There is another Kevin, who was born in the same month and year as Durant. Love isn't as good as Durant, but it's conceivable that he'll be in the competition for MVP honors when he ends up on a better run team.
   780. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: April 03, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4678763)
There is another Kevin, who was born in the same month and year as Durant. Love isn't as good as Durant, but it's conceivable that he'll be in the competition for MVP honors when he ends up on a better run team.
i thought the rumors were that he was going to the lakers.
   781. robinred Posted: April 03, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4678768)
rick (philly)


Is it just me, or are the sixers a darkhorse to land kevin love and durant as potential free agents in 2015 and 2016

Kevin Pelton
(3:22 PM)

It's just you.


--

Lowe wrote a very long article on Love last week, which ended with these words:

This is the league’s most uncertain situation.


I agree; there are about 7-10 different teams that could get Love IMO.
   782. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 03, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4678770)
There is another Kevin, who was born in the same month and year as Durant. Love isn't as good as Durant, but it's conceivable that he'll be in the competition for MVP honors when he ends up on a better run team.

As many previous votes have shown, MVP <> best player. Also, shouldn't Love make the playoffs first? (kidding)

I don't know that Love will ever be good enough defensively to rival Davis - if Davis improves the way he'd project/scout to improve. I mean, AD already is in the same neighborhood as Love offensively (if not as polished or diverse).

But as an answer to my question, sure, maybe he's in the mix. Who else? Griffin? Westbrook? DJ Augustin*?

*I wonder what the market for someone like him is going to be this offseason now. I sure hope he hasn't priced himself out of the Bulls range.
   783. The District Attorney Posted: April 03, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4678771)
   784. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: April 03, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4678773)
It's possible I wasn't being 100 percent serious with my question.

It's possible I was just using your comment as a jumping off point for those Noah links. And also to use old, fat Perkins as a comp goal for him.
   785. AROM Posted: April 03, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4678775)
I would really hate to see it, but Love going to the Celtics is more likely. They have actual trade assets to give up. Plus, the history makes sense. Minnesota has experience in giving superstar Kevins to Boston (McHale from college, McHale giving them Garnett), and as soon as he puts on the uniform the Bird comparisons will be overdone.
   786. Manny Coon Posted: April 03, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4678780)
Withey is probably better than Stiemsma or Ajinca, but I think with Anderson out New Orleans should use Aminu more at PF and use a faster more skilled lineup with more shooting. The game is moving away from using plodders like Stiemsma or Ajinca for too many minutes.

Love, Curry and Griffin are all great players and will likely get MVP votes in the future, but I agree that Davis is really the one guy currently playing with the upside to really challenge Durant in value.

I really don't see any good reason for Noah to finish ahead of Curry, Paul or Griffin in MVP voting this year.
   787. robinred Posted: April 03, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4678781)
Yes, Boston is a possibility, as are New York, Dallas, San Antonio, the Lakers, Portland (as a switch-in for Aldridge), Minnesota, and conceivably Miami depending on what The Amigos do--as well as other teams.

If Love lands in Boston or New York, Jim Buss, no matter how reclusive he is, will need to hire The Avengers as his personal security team.
   788. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: April 03, 2014 at 05:40 PM (#4678787)
But as an answer to my question, sure, maybe he's in the mix. Who else? Griffin? Westbrook? DJ Augustin*?

I feel like I'd take the field in any bet. This time is far enough away that it's easy to see a young player taking a big step forward -- there are just plenty of guys who are already good and who might get much better even if no one of them is necessarily a great bet to do so. Irving, Wall, George, Harden, Curry, Cousins, Leonard, Hayward, Favors, Valanciunas are some other guys who might be in the mix in 5-10 years at varying levels of current age and ability (not to mention the incoming draft). I'd certainly take 1. Durant 2. Davis at equal odds but I think it's probably Durant 25%, Davis 10%, field 65% for best player in the league 7 years from now.
   789. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: April 03, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4678791)
It's possible I was just using your comment as a jumping off point for those Noah links.


That's fine. Just remember, there was one person in this conversation who was confident Joakim would be successful on the night he was drafted.
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