- Derrick Rose, winning:
- True Shooting Percentage carries a very low margin of error. Of course, no metric is without error, but I'm not sure any commonly accepted have a wider margin of error than human eyes and brains. Not saying it's the argument, but Rose's .TS% ranked in the 70s among qualified leaders and in the 30s among 48 qualifying guards is a more reasonable bullet point against him as MVP than homer-logic wants you to believe.
And putting FTs aside to just look at shots on the floor, Rose's eFG% has him ranked even lower in the 30s among those same guards and in the 80s across the NBA.
Also: The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference was this past weekend. I watched most of one room online. Timothy Varner compiled a ton of links to commentary and notes from the conference.
- The Heat's lack of heroics this season (h/t: Barry Petchesky):
Of course, unless you hate basketball, you understand, as ElGee does: "The Heatles aren't losing these games in the final seconds. They are losing them in the 3rd quarter (and into parts of the 4th)."
- Is there something to the Heat's lack of clutchiness? Neil Paine wrote: "As statheads, we typically detest this sort of cliched,
pseudo-psychological nonsense. Part of the sabermetric orthodoxy is to
deny the existence of 'clutch skills,' or at least to minimize them
relative to overall factors that impact every minute of the game. But
with the Heat so dominant in blowouts and so vulnerable in close games,
perhaps there is something to the old sportswriter aphorisms about
certain teams being unable to close the deal when the margin gets tight."
I'll add that, though I don't spit on the notion of what I call 'positive clutchiness,' I recognize the negativity of choking in the moment as a significant criticism of many athletes, but most of those players are marginally good, at best, as it is. In other words, late in close games, players don't get better, but they can certainly get worse beyond what the heightened intensity of endgame defense ought to influence. Elite players are less likely be negative chokers, not because of mystical tigerblood but because they're more skilled at all times. This doesn't make them completely immune from being negative chokers, though.
- Ken Berger makes the good "big games" case for Derrick Rose as MVP.
The most valid case will be sticking in the two-seed and a fall-off by
Dirk Nowitzki, at this point. Of course, there's a lot of basketball to
- Dwight Howard implies he should win MVP.
He added that if he had a vote and couldn't vote for himself, he'd vote
for Rose, and that he'd cry often after games. He didn't even mention
Boston as the best in the East when asked, saying: "The best team right
now? Chicago is playing the best basketball right now."
- Scary moment for Chris Paul. He suffered a concussion on Sunday during this play. No secret he's one of my favs. The year's been painful already. Maybe now is the time to pack it in until next year.
- 'You see, what had happened was....," Erik Spoelstra said in the futile attempt to backtrack on his comments after losing to the Bulls Sunday that players cried in the locker room.
- Is Russell Westbrook tampering? Kevin Love got his record-tying 51st consecutive double-double on Monday, as NBA.com reported he " 'got recruiting pitches from everyone' at this year's All-Star game," Mark Miller wrote.
"A lot of it was (about) OKC," Love said, according to NBA.com. Westbrook and Love played at UCLA together and there's been chatter among journalists that the two and Rose loosely discussed a big three option for 2012 at the 2010 FIBA Championships.
- Sunday's Bulls-Heat game "garnered ABC their second highest rating
for an early afternoon NBA telecast, excluding Christmas Day games,
since they reacquired rights to the broadcast games in 2002," CBS Chicago reports.
- "This is the system David Stern and his minions like it," Stan Van Gundy said of Dwight Howard's 16th technical foul and suspension for Monday's game.
"So that's the system you have...I certainly can't have an opinion because
David Stern, like a lot or leaders we've seen in this world lately, don't really
tolerate other people's opinion or free speech or anything. So I'm not really
allowed to have an opinion. So it's up to him."
SVG noted how often Howard's been fouled this season without one being called as flagrant by the refs. He added: "And for him to retaliate as few times as he has? By the way, not one of
those 593 hits, with so many of those being above the shoulders and
hard, not one has been deemed a flagrant foul. Not one. Five hundred and
ninety-three. Amazing restraint for those guys to hit him that hard and
not go over the line and get a flagrant foul. Getting no protection
from the referees, he's only retaliated from that a handful of times."
- "[Voice On The Floor] returns, and not a moment too soon," Kelly Dwyer posted on Friday. "Listen
to Brendan K. O'Grady on Blake Griffin, cult hero. Matt Moore's
touching appeal to fans. Beckley Mason on the
NBA's market warfare. Bret
LaGree on learning to love Joe Johnson's contract. Holly
MacKenzie taking two fists and a bottle of rye to a fight with the Detroit Pistons. Sebastian Pruiti discussing all
things picky and rolly. And Santiago
Colas' take on Walt Frazier's memorable tome, and tone." Mason, Pruiti and Colas' are immediate must-listens.
- I hate weekend afternoon games because the players haven't had their naps. I love the convenience of watching them and having non-amateur basketball following my Sunday morning international affairs programming. I hate them because the first half is usually nothing short of bad basketball and I'm convinced it's because players are used to napping before games, especially after a morning shootaround.
The schedules of NBA and NHL players require they nap in order to perform. They arrive in cities in the wee hours of the morning and have to hit their peak between 6 p.m. and maybe 10 p.m. Then, you have the time zone issue, dehydration from constantly flying immediately after long games, and syncing up with your teammates' circadian rhythms.
- I'm a fan of ATJB's suggestion for divisional realignment. The problem is the Central and Midwest. Washington is more rational in the Atlantic with the other three Bosnywash megalopolis teams and Philly. The problem is leaving out Toronto. Sending Toronto to the Central puts the Bucks in the Western Confernce's Midwest. Milwaukee isn't a basketball nirvana, but take them out of the division with Chicago and Detroit, and you have complete apathy for the team. Of course, every other shift proposed is highly rational and probably optimal with the Bucks and maybe the Grizzlies facing geographical issues. Better than now as a whole, though.
- The Kings owners are ready and willing to pay the Lakers and Clippers "whatever it takes to relocate."
The two teams are expected to file territorial grievances with the
league in the even the Kings are seeing approval for a move to Anaheim
that would likely result in the Kings making a luxury payment to the two
teams in the L.A. County market. (h/t: Mark Miller)
- Kevin Durant shot only 3-for-14 on Sunday, playing with a sprained ankle. Still, he scored 18, thanks to shooting 11-for-12 on FTs. The NBA: where amazing happens.
- John Wall is catchin' on lately. In his last 10 games, he's averaged 19.5 PPG, 8.5 APG, 5.0 RPG in 39.0 MPG -- all above his season numbers. He's only shot a .425 FG% in that time, but even that's above his season rate of .408. (via Basketball-Reference) He's only 20, so I figured this coast-to-coast And-1 dunk was worthy of notice:
- I kinda' like the Hornets' Mardi Gras unis. Kelly Dwyer and Megan Ann Wilson don't. I'm weird. That's cool. You can see the jerseys at their posts if you didn't watch the Bulls-Hornets game on Monday.
- "I'd be honored" if Carmelo Anthony wore #15, Earl Monroe said. The number is retired by the Knicks in Monroe and Dick McGuire's honor. Monroe's already told this to Melo and that "it's up to the McGuires" if Melo wants to wear #15.
- Dirk Nowitzki, winning:
- David West takes an interest in the Nets. That'd be pretty sick. Deron Williams would then have the adept pick n' roll power forward he utilized to be so great in Utah with Carlos Boozer.
- Carlos Arroyo signed with the Celtics on Monday. The sharpshooting, solid defending point guard was cut by the Heat to make room for Mike Bibby. I really like this move for the C's. Delonte West is a better utilized as as a combo guard because of his defense than a point guard and Avery Bradley won't cut it.
Filed under: Catch n' Shoot
Tags: basketball metrics, beckley mason, boston celtics, bret lagee, carlos arroyo, carmleo anthiny, charlie sheen, chicago bulls, chris paul, david stern, david west, derrick rose, dirk nowitzki, dwight howard, earl monroe, erik spoelstra, free agency, holly mackenzie, jeff mcguire, john wall, kelly dwyer, ken berger, kevin durant, kevin love, matt moore, megan ann wilson, miami big three, miami heat, MIT SSAC, mvp watch, nba, neil paine, new jersey nets, orlando magic, russell westbrook, sacramento kings, sebastian pruiti, stan van gundy, yago colas