Sunday, February 25, 2007

you got to go to school for this, vol. 2

Apparently, the Warriors line-up today against L.A. is the first starting line-up in the history of the NBA to consist entirely of players who did not attend college. Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson, Al Harrington, Mickael Pietrus, and my main main, Andris Biedrins. They've used that educationally impaired line-up 5 times so far. Somehow, only the Warriors could have been the team to do this.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Watching the Cavs/Raptors

A great game so far. Raptors up 39-33, but it's basically been close. Pavlovic is a pretty player. Varejao is not. It's like baked alaska.

As a side note, I'm happy for the recent success of the Raptors. They give the East a bit of credibility, and together with the Heat could make the second half a respectable one for the conference. If the Cavs and Bulls could also pull it together, there might even be some interesting playoff series.

Three great plays by the Cavs just now: Varejao from 18 feet, Lebron penetrating, and two on a fast break after a block at the other end. 39-41 Raptors. They must continue to punish the opposition with extreme prejudice.


Did you know:

IN the past 5 seasons there is not a positive correlation between the number of offensive rebounds and the number of defensive rebounds a team makes?

Meaning: A team that makes a lot more offense rebounds than average is not more likely to make more defensive rebounds than average than one that only makes fewer offensive rebounds than average.

IN fact: In both 2005-06 and 2004-05 there was a serious trend in the other direction. Making more offensive rebounds predicted that your team was going to make fewer defensive ones (and vice-versa)

Again counterintuitive...

In light of this, what does it mean to be a solid rebounding team?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

2nd chance opportunities created

I came up with another seemingly important statistic.

Actually - I saw it in a college basketball game I was watching and it made me think.

The statistic is: what proportion of the time, when a team misses, does it get its own rebound? (calculated using this equation: (offensive rebounds/(total fg attempts - fgs)))

Top 6 teams:
1. NY Knicks: 31% of the time
2. Utah Jazz 30% of the time
3. Cavs 29%
4. Denver Nugs 28%
5. Pacers 28%
6. NOLA 28%

Bottom 6 teams:
6. Grizz 24%
5. Heat 24%
4. Spurs 24%
3. Kings 22%
2. Raptors 21%
1. Suns 21%

So... having calculated this, I don't know how to interpret it. Intuitively, it seems to be a measure of hustle somehow. It CLEARLY has nothing to do with how many games a team will win (the correlation between this and winning percentage= 0.05 for those interested). Alternatively, it might have to do with a style of play. Thoughts?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

D'Allesandro: Carter Administration Nears Term Limit in Jersey

I always liked him, for one. And I will also maintain that, including LeBron, Jordan, DeJuan Wheat and several other big names (i.e. James, Jerome), he was the most dazzling player I ever saw perform in person. But Dave D'Allesandro today half-confirms what most Nets fans suspected once the Nets' star-crossed season started heading south: that Vince Carter was probably done in New Jersey sooner than later. D'Allesandro soothsays off this sad, mumbly bit of GM-speak from the Nets' resident John Edwards soundalike, Rod Thorn:

“His situation right now is sort of fluid. I think from his perspective as well as ours. And he said to me before the season started he was never a free agent and he’d like to be a free agent – that he liked it here, and chances are he’d end up staying here if the two sides can agree -- but that he wanted to be a free agent. If you look at the free agent market, there are probably four teams that will be below the salary cap with the kind of money it would take to sign a player like Carter. Two of them already have outstanding two-guards -- Milwaukee and Atlanta. So the realistic look at it is, there’s not many teams out there. But you and I know it only takes one. But I think this is something that will be resolved rather quickly, and we’ll see what happens.”

Cool, confident, gently bubbly: that's the voice of a GM whose team just gave up 120 points to a team made up almost entirely of guys who played for European clubs owned by Benetton last season. D'Allesandro continues directly:

Anyway, there are some very easy conclusions to draw from that fat paragraph:

1. Of course Vince will opt out. It’s the last big contract he’ll be able to get, and you want to grab it while you’re still averaging 24 points and the only two-guard competition on the market is Jerry Stackhouse and Mo Peterson.

2. That “as well as ours” part. That’s fairly clear: Barring a miracle run in the next few months, Thorn can no longer hide his doubts that he wants to – pardon the metaphor -- continue this marriage, because the bottom line is that this union hasn’t exactly produced postseason success.

3. When free agency is pending, most management types express confidence that they’ll be able to get a deal done if they truly want to continue to build around a guy – they rarely say, “We’ll see what happens.” ...

4. And Thorn claims it will be resolved “rather quickly” for one reason -- he’s already got several sign-and-trade scenarios lined up, because that’s what every GM does to prepare for the moratorium between February and July.

Better than trading Jason Kidd for half the Lakers, hopefully, although that non-starter is, hopefully, New York sportswriters negotiating with each other.

Note: this is cross-posted at Can't Stop the Bleeding, where I do most of my work. Actual, original Blasketblog WORLD EXCLUSIVES will be forthcoming. Dat's my werd.

Suspect Injuries

First of all, Daniel Gibson now has a sprained toe. Has a team ever had such a rash of sprained toes? Two I mean.

Second, Zydrunas is out with a "personal matters." I tried to look up this condition in a medical dictionary, but could not find an entry. Goldbricker!

Third, we got jobbed last night. Sasha gets no respect from refs I guess. The anti-Cleveland conspiracy continues.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hi and Lois

So I'm at a relatively high point right now concerning the Cavs, perhaps because I sense that they've achieved a dynamic equilibrium between losing and streaks and slightly longer winning streaks, resulting in a record between, say .540 and .580. This is not ideal; it is, actually, infuriating.

My question for yins: how frustrating is your rooting experience this year?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Hot on the heels of Pistons

I'm hesitant by now to trumpet the Cavs' recent successes, since they've so often hit unexcusable skids after showing strong signs of life.

But I do like the new style of play that has them averaging 99 points during three quality home wins (LAC, Heat, LAL.) They're basically running more on offense, limiting Lebron's role (he's sitting about 10 minutes a game, passing more, and shooting less), and distributing the scoring to competent bench guys including the apparently talented Sasha Pavlovic.

Lebron could be sitting more because of his nagging injury, but if one wanted to credit Mike Brown (or Lebron himself) for strategic thinking, one might suggest that this was also intended to ward off fatigue, keeping Lebron extra fresh for the stretch run and playoffs, when it is much more likely that he'll need to be dominant in key games.

Of course, these were home games, and the Cavs have long since proven themselves at home. This week's back-to-back against UTAH and LAL on the road will be a big test. 2 wins = fantastic surge of momentum going into the all-star break. 1 win = really, really positive, evidence of ability to hold own on the road. 0 wins = status quo.

Their March schedule is powerful hard, though. Check it out:

Dallas (twice)

A lot of top-flight teams to play in a crowded month (16 games in 31 days.)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

you got to go to school for this

at the conclusion of rasheed wallace's schooling of chris bosh today (sheed 28 pts, bosh 14 pts), sheed yelled something that phoebe initially lip-read as "DON'T FUCK WITH ME, CHRIS BOSH" . . . he totally didn't say that, but it was awesome. he was a monster. it was a one-game argument for rasheed as the best power forward in the east. in an alternate universe, where rasheed plays every game like he played this one, people would talk about him the way they talk about tim duncan. except for the mental problems.

Blasketblog's own Dave Roth on Gilbert Arenas in the Wall Street Journal

Thursday, February 8, 2007

quality bets

According to the Washington Post, Gilbert Arenas laid down a $20,000 bet with DeShawn Stevenson (his best friend on the Wizards) that he could hit more college three-pointers with one hand than DeShawn could hit NBA three-pointers with two hands. THE VIDEO:

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

From Kelvin Cato's wikipedia page:

"Cato is the author of two children's books, h.o.o.p. (Help Out Other People) and t.e.a.m.w.o.r.k. "

What might the unwieldy t.e.a.m.w.o.r.k. stand for?

Perhaps it is a dictionary of Eastern European slang aimed at young people, "Teaching Every Adolescent More Words of Russian Kids."


Monday, February 5, 2007

FLIP and SHEEDY: play-fighting OK!!

(detroit free press)

'SHEED WATCH: Saunders said he feels there's little he can do to help Rasheed Wallace delay the inevitable suspension that will come when he picks up two more technical fouls.
"It's a fine line, like I said, for 10, 11 days he didn't get any technical fouls," Saunders said, "and he was playing terrible. He played unemotionally. He's got to play with emotion."
In Friday's game, Wallace asked to be benched when he felt the urge to respond to an official in a way that might warrant a technical. Saunders encourages that.
And he's fine if Wallace wants to take the aggression out on him, as he did a few times last season, causing some raised eyebrows when he ambushed Saunders mid-game.
"It adds more to our saga," Saunders joked.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

foot in mouth

i am almost willing to take back my concerns about c-webb joining the pistons. they looked pretty good today and he fits in with the system. also, maybe indiana got the better end of the deal than golden state.

that said, i guess i am skeptical of improvements from trade because i fear change.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

0 points for Lebron

Interesting first half. Brilliant defensively, though Shaq appears to be ailing.

Cavs spreading the ball around on offense, as I told them to. Eight players have scored (Lebron isn't one of them.) The score is 29-23 and the game is at a Cavs pace. Both team are shooting atrociously but the Cavs are getting to the line and forcing turnovers. Would love to see them keep the Heat under 40 for the half, a strong possibility.