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On the post up thing - what prevents it from dying out entirely is that if you have someone post up who demands a double team, the shooting percentages of the rest of the team go up. Just as with Chris Paul you have to think about shot-creation, so you also have to do with a good postup player.
7 months, 1 week ago on The Dirty Dozen: Twelve of the Best Offensive Players in the NBA.
Using one's own Twitter feed as an aggregator of public reaction seems like flawed methodology to me (not that there's really a good, unbiased aggregator of public opinion available, it must be said). For example, the impression I personally got through media, both social and otherwise, was that people were generally critical of Mark Jackson for complaining about targetting of Curry when in fact the Warriors were just as if not more guilty of being overly physical. Similarly, the reaction I saw was more along the lines of how stupid Nazr was to do something like that and get himself ejected when the Bulls were so shorthanded than anything to do with flopping.
9 months, 4 weeks ago on If it Bleeds, We Can Kill It: LeBron and the Myth of Physicality
If you're going to do these, you need to do the converse stats as well. It's no use seeing what Philadelphia's W-L record is like with Pargo playing unless we also see the team's W-L record without him for comparison. If Philly has been losing all their games since Christmas anyway, then Pargo's numbers don't look quite so bad...
12 months ago on Small Sample Size Theater: Jeremy Pargo
Morey has stated several times that he feels the draft is the best way to build a contender. But he doesn't do it because the ownership doesn't want to tank. No reconciliation necessary ;).
1 year, 2 months ago on The Virtual Dreams Of An Alternate Reality, Or, Being Daryl Morey
@cricketrules509 Yeah, I agree that response was jarring in its inaccuracy. But then I'm a Rockets fan so cricketrules' counter-examples were the first ones that sprung to my mind too. Morris in particular is nigh-on unrecognisable from the slow, hesitant player who couldn't get on the court last year, and it's obvious the extra playing time has done him good.
1 year, 3 months ago on RTOE: HP Mailbag Roundtable!
As a general rule, I would not read too much into poor performances from players last season when attempting to project their careers, especially the young guys. The lockout did terrible things to a lot of players' development - we've already got one example of that in Patrick Patterson, who basically stalled last year. Players were carrying more niggles than usual because of the compressed schedule, and were perhaps not in top shape because of the compressed offseason. So I'm willing to give Douglas a pass on that to see if he can get back to his form of 2010/11.
1 year, 6 months ago on Writing about the backup point guard battle so nobody else has to
@chetshome Agreed! There are some outcomes here that don't tally with the conventional wisdom (Drexler over Bryant, for example), and it would be great to dissect the unexpected results and figure out why they ended up that way.
1 year, 6 months ago on Mystery Statistics Theater: Hall of Fame Edition
@rahathuq Like the other commenters, I disagree with you. Wins in January count as much in the final tally as wins in March/April, and Kyle was the one who got us those. We went 21-17 with him as our starter. In Goran's 27 starts, we went 12-15 (3-6 since Lowry came back, 9-9 before). The W-L statistics would indicate that there was a drop-off in team performance when Kyle went out, even though Dragic played out of his mind.
I also think it's unfair to hold Lowry's performance since the infection against him. The guy should not be expected to be playing at the same level he was before he went down - there has been no time for him to get his body back into the shape it was in before. It's enticing to compare the play of Dragic and Lowry at this point in time, but really it should be Lowry's play from January and February against Dragic now. And Lowry shades that comparison.
1 year, 10 months ago on Giving out awards for the 2012 season | Red94 | essays and musings on the nba and houston rockets
I'd be interested in whether the clusters would look if you were to use some slightly more refined statistics (eg. per-minute numbers, TS%, etc.) in generating the initial regression set. I would imagine that players who are on the court more might get shuffled around a bit more - it might bring some of the clusters closer together. Selecting the top three players per-team based on PER does go some way to ensuring that you're only looking at players who've had a certain amount of time on the court though, I guess.
It just seemed a bit disappointing that Durant, Westbrook, Lebron and Wade all ended up in the same category. Their skillsets would seem diverse enough that they might be split into different groups. Does the regression analysis work based on the distribution of a players skills, or just the total output? It feels like it needs to be, or else a player who is a bit better in every category than another might end up in a different grouping despite having the same skill set. If it isn't, that might go some way to explaining why they all ended up in the same category - cluster 2 ends up being "Players who are really good" by virtue of being found at the high end of many of the different statistical indicators used.
1 year, 11 months ago on Clusters of Scarcity
The interesting question to me is "at what granularity is winning everything?" Is winning everything on a per-game basis, or a per-year basis? Front offices are concerned with the latter, which is why they are willing to make moves that sacrifice games now. But players should never, IMO, feel anything but the former.
Tanking is a problem because of that clash of motivations, and that's what people are so up in arms about. It would be nice if it were possible for there to be little to no difference at any granularity as to what the result of the game needs to be, but unfortunately that's not the case and that's what needs fixing.
1 year, 11 months ago on Tanking In The Kingdom Of Ends
One thing I've noticed is that Dragic is taking a lot more threes as a starter than he does when he comes off the bench. I seem to remember seeing him pass up the shot several times - perhaps he felt like he needed to get his teammates involved more when coming off the bench? However, since taking up the starting job he's been much more willing to take that shot and is justifying that decision by making a lot more of them.
1 year, 11 months ago on Goran Dragic vs. Kyle Lowry: Looking into the numbers
I think if the Rockets players felt like they play better when it's confrontational, then they would be more confrontational. But I look at the group of players we have and I see a group of heady players, ones who think well on the court. And when that's the case, too much testosterone can get in the way.
To bring in an anecdote from a different sport, players in Rugby have to make sure they don't get too pumped up. There's a lot of pomp and circumstance leading up to the start of the game (national anthems in international matches, that sort of thing), and players have a tendency to get fired up and then find that they make a lot of silly mistakes because of it. This is because rugby is a game that requires great technique and control to play properly.
I feel like the way the Rockets play basketball is similar. If you're juices are going, you might bite on that pump fake or be slightly over aggressive and get a foul when you don't need to. We don't really have anyone on the team who I feel can consistently channel that aggression into playing at a much higher level. So rising above it and drawing your passion from it in a controlled fashion seems to be the better course of action for the Rockets, IMO.
1 year, 11 months ago on Open question: Cheap shots against the Rockets
I think the final part of your post is rather flawed. You say earlier "Keep in mind that we are always wary of small sample sizes", but then proceed to use Kobe's numbers in the playoffs as evidence. A single year's playoffs are almost certainly too small of a sample size. I think your conclusion is probably valid, but support your arguments more rigourously please!
1 year, 11 months ago on Understanding Advanced Stats: The Difficulty Of Defense
It's worth noting that the Dallas pick we got from the Lakers is top 20 protected. If the draft were today, that pick would be the 16th pick and we wouldn't be getting our hands on it. Is it in our interests to cheer for the Mavs so they get their record good enough that we get their pick? Personally I think we should be hoping that they do badly so that we can get better playoff positioning.
1 year, 11 months ago on Houston Rockets acquire center Marcus Camby
I agree that getting Bogut would be a huge coup for us. He is exactly the sort of player we've been looking for, and IMO is not considered a star only because he plays in Milwaukee. I say if you can get him, you do, even if it makes us less likely to make the playoffs this season (I never thought I'd say that). Would love to have that guy on our team, especially since we should be able to get him for much less than someone like Gasol, who has media visibility and isn't injured right now.
1 year, 12 months ago on Ken Berger: Rockets trying to acquire center Andrew Bogut | Red94 | essays and musings on the nba and houston rockets
@gregwlsn Lakers are contenders, actually. How about a Blake/Kapono/Walton/McRoberts/Gasol lineup?
1 year, 12 months ago on One day closer
thecommoner21 - The extra points you get for the 3 point shot mean that you don't have to shoot anywhere near as high a percentage as you would for a two point shot in order to get the same expected return from your possession. A passable NBA 3-point shooter will have a 3PT% of about 33%, so right off the bat you need a 50% FG% from inside the arc to match up with that. But you would expect shooters to record a higher percentage on uncontested 3-pointers than their season average. That's what makes the shot so efficient.
I would have guessed that a layup is probably slightly more efficient for most players than a 3 point shot. Let's pluck some numbers out of thin air and say that you expect 40% on uncontested 3-point makes. That is as efficient as a shot you'd expect to make 60% of the time from inside the arc. I'd have thought most NBA players are better than 60% at layups.
2 years ago on Chandler Parsons' shooting woes
I would take basketball where the players play hard, unselfishly and are generally likeable if a bit boring to basketball where the players think only of their paychecks and personal stats, are dysfunctional and unlikable off the court but occasionally say something intesting 100 times out of 100. No contest.
I no longer have to watch an inflated ego try to go 1 on 5, and I love it. Front offices around the league have realised that the mental side of things is at least as important as the athletic, and that makes the basketball on display much more attractive. And if that means there will be more meaningless platitudes in the press conferences, well that's a small price to pay.
2 years ago on On the NBA: Where Have All the Delinquents Gone?
I really liked his enthusiasm in that interview. Seems very happy to talk about his experiences. I wonder if that's just because he's new to it all or whether it's here to stay. In any case, it makes for a good interview. Very refreshing to hear a player avoid going to the cliches, anyway.
2 years ago on Houston Rockets rookie Greg Smith makes his debut
Interesting play, although it didn't look like the pass back out to Dragic from Lee was part of the plan. Scola had moved out to the 3 point line on the Right hand side, presumably to free up space for Dalembert in the middle. When Gasol comes out to try to prevent the pass to Scola, it gives Scola the time to get inside position. That allows him to get to his spot and receive the pass. But if Gasol had just defended Scola straight up and not tried to cheat on him, I don't think this would have worked. The right play would have been to swing the ball over the Parsons in the opposite corner (because his man has had to help on Dalembert). Because of where he was set up, Scola would have had to have thrown a fairly long pass to Dragic to make that happen...and the Grizzlies like to steal passes like that.
So my read was that it was great play by Scola to get free of Gasol to get to that position, but not that it was a pre-planned move. I can't believe that the skip pass Lee threw was in the playbook.
2 years ago on [video] An interesting play by the Houston Rockets