Catch n' Shoot: March 3, 2011 -- Durant 'Out for the Year,' More Than a Rose Text to LeBron, Analytics-Scouting False Dichotomy, Grizzlies' Odd Defensive Efficiency

Catch n' Shoot: March 3, 2011 -- Durant 'Out for the Year,' More Than a Rose Text to LeBron, Analytics-Scouting False Dichotomy, Grizzlies' Odd Defensive Efficiency
  • Kevin Durant says he's "out for the year" after spraining his ankle:

    To which he quick followed up: "No, just playing. It's just a little tweak. I did it before. I've just got to see how it
    feels in the morning and hopefully I'm ready to go."

  • Lee Jenkins' profile on Derrick Rose at SI is about more than a courtesy text to LeBron James. That that's being dramatized and fixated upon is weird to me, but I'm wired differently. Jenkins' article is about a humble, "self-deprecating" young man who plays with his friends one day, takes an entire NBA franchise on his back the next, and takes instruction from a great teaching coach like a willing student. I highly suggest actually reading it. Listen to Jenkins' interview on the sportstalk radio show in the city, 670 The Score's "The Boers and Bernstein Show," from yesterday here.
  • "Wrenches" tossed in Derrick Rose's MVP candidacy, then, Dwight Howard's, by Zach Lowe.
  • "What the Chicago Bulls have is preposterously old-fashioned and perhaps even a touch corny: a team where the total is so much greater than the sum of the parts," Michael Wilbon wrote at ESPNChicago.com. What's amazing is Wilbon's discovery across the team that their confident because of their defense and acknowledge their offense is a byproduct of it. A great testament to the communication and teaching skills of Tom Thibodeau, whether or not an outsider agrees with the philosophy.
  • "The Bulls don't intend for [Rasual] Butler or any new player to break into the starting lineup or even log major minutes," ESPNChicago.com's NickFriedell reports from his source. Butler will take a physical on Thursday, but it's "unclear whether he will be available to play Friday" in Orlando.
  • The opposite of anti-stats isn't anti-scouting, Kevin Pelton wrote. I agree that this is a false dichotomy. What should be uncontroversial is that no one has magical eyes and there's no magical algorithm to fully objectively compare basketball players. The hostility of the Luddites is misplaced. Statisticians and analysts are finding what the eyes miss -- what the brains as terrible information gatherers misplace.

    Analytics being 'advanced scouting' doesn't in any way make traditional scouting of a greatly lesser value. Metrics and eyeball scouting close up the margin of error created by the other and as both improve, more information is data-mined and closer-to-true conclusion can be made. Understanding the numbers improve the ability to watch games and watching games improves the ability to interpret the numbers. Yes, the eyes are wrong more often than the data. If you don't believe me, why do all scouts record data?

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