The Boxscore Geeks Show

This Week's Show

We're back to talk the finalized Kevin Love trade, and what it means for Philadelphia? Also, Kevin Love's exit from Minnesota and the parting words from Glen Taylor. Finally, we return to an old well: defense


This Week's Poll

Show Notes

The Kevin Love Trade: the 76ers?

The 76ers dumped Thaddeus Young's contract. This means they now have no bad contracts. In fact, the entire 76ers roster could buy you one Kobe. We think the 76ers are better off than the Lakers. We should stress the 76ers aren't "tanking" by losing. They're tanking by not overpaying for wins.

One note, when it comes to paying for wins, teams that have a short window (see the Heat last year, and the Thunder), you pay to win!

Tangent: Best Chucker Bench Player?

This topic came up during the show. Arturo couldn't let it lie, so here are some great names of players off the bench that still managed to waste tons of possessions when they were in:

  • Walter Davis
  • Del Curry
  • Ricky Pierce

Tangent: Glen Taylor's Dan Gilbert Impression

The Timberwolves' owner had less than kind words for Kevin Love on the way out.

The NBA is just another example of how rich people do not have the same reality as others.

The Wolves put up some historically bad teams around Kevin Love.

An easy explanation for Kevin Love's haters

Just remember the Joe Smith illegal contract by the Minnesota Timberwolves whenever you think the team is well run.

What makes this situation amazing is Patrick wrote about it years ago!

Kevin Love has a good role model. Kevin Garnett showed what happens to those that stay in Minnesota.

I parrot Arturo's "logic" and say I think Kyrie Irving can become better if he plays less of a point guard and more of a shooting guard. We'll have to see.

Tangent: Glen Taylor's Dan Gilbert Impression

Arturo did some help on Basketball Breakdown about Defense. We have a long discussion about defense, especially as it's a common lob at Kevin Love.

On defense, like much of basketball, being tall is a huge edge. I mentioned it could be a reason Kobe had animosity to Shaq.

We get into the notion of "diminishing responsibilities" on defense. Players like James Harden may not excel at D, but that really isn't their job!

Tune in, we have a long conversation on this.


Danny Leroux(@DannyLeroux), who keeps letting Arturo onto the RealGM Podcast

Coach Nick(@bballbreakdown), who worked with Arturo on Defense.

Arturo, for the amazing 76ers trade above.

Chris Baxter(@cbax) from the great That Thing You Like podcast. Not only does he now have an amazing webcomic (check it out at but also for starting the pizza vs. taco debate with Brian Shirlaw(@Brian_RS).

Myself, for this *hilarious* tweet. I know, absuse of power!

Hubie Brown, who I forget as we wind down. He had amazing coach knowledge!

Direct download: bsg-34.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:40pm EDT


Andres Alvarez(@nerdnumbers)

Produced by Brian Foster(@boxscorebrian)

This week's poll

Show Notes

Brian was referencing this hit by Vlad Guerrero. Baseball's a silly sport.

Historical Numbers

Patrick's amazing work means we have NBA Wins Produced numbers back to the 1970s!. That's as good as it's going to get too sadly. When you see other advanced stats go earlier, the "trick" they use is to make up guesses for player stats.

Oh yeah, Patrick also added a way to compare players' career stats. Check it out!

We have a lot to say about the best 50 NBA seasons. How about that Rodney McCray?

I manage to reference my 92 Dream Team poster. Looking at his numbers, I'll take back my dig at Chris Mullin. That said, Christian Laettner had no business on that team. Now, that aside, Dennis Rodman was the best player in the NBA in 1992.

Robert Horry Hall of Fame

Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? We've been arguing about this all week.

We get on a tangent about why the Hall of Fame's "lax standards" and the BCS are good things in terms of entertainment for fans. Compelling playoffs are good, as we've written about before.

On Robert Horry, the number of players the Hall lets in makes the standards lax enough to get him in. That said, many other players need to go first, Mutombo? How about Brent Barry? Oh yeah, Horace Grant gets snubbed from his contributions to Michael Jordan's legacy.

Toronto Raptors and Drake

Drake trying to lure Devin Durant to the Toronto Raptors resulted in a $25,000 fine. What's worth noting is this is not normal in most fields. In areas like tech, the idea of people being allowed to job search is the norm. Companies are expected to try and woo talent. In pro-sports we have people worrying about collusion when friends talk about working together. 

An example of actual tampering was the Joe Smith saga in Minnesota. Of course, that was poorly executed even before it was punished.

Boxscore Geeks Drinking Game

Anyone with graphic aptitude that wants to make a poster for this? We're starting to get a few rules together (add yours in the comments below)

  • Anytime we bring up Kevin Love
  • Anytime we bring up the "tech industry"
  • Anytime we compare something to professional wrestling.
  • Anytime Dre's dogs make noise.

Shout Outs

Brent Barry(@Barryathree) for his love of our Horry piece and bringing up True Shooting numbers on Twitter.

John Floyd(@baddynoshoes) and Andrew Sutton do amazing work in the comments. Thank you!

Rodney McCray gets an official shout out for stumping us by his great play.

Jonathan Weiler(@jonweiler) He keeps making the list! Again, checkout the ESPN Watch.

The people, protestors, and media of Ferguson earn a shout out. We are absolutely against the travesties of the Ferguson police. Our support goes out to those that whose rights have been oppressed and those that have kept reporting and protesting.


Intro Music - Test Drive by Zapac.

Outro Music - Simply the Best by Tina Turner

Direct download: bsg-33.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:52am EDT


Patrick Minton(nbageek)

Produced by Brian Foster(boxscorebrian)

This week's poll

Show Notes

O'Bannon Ruling

The Ed O'Bannon trial recently came out in favor of "student athletes"

Jonathan Weiler wrote a great piece about Bob Bowlski(the Big 12 -- a non-profit organization -- commissioner) and his ludicrous statements about not paying athletes.

College athletics don't make money, or so they say. Of course, it's easy to not make money when you spend it all on athletic coaches! Following up Patrick's talk on this, our old post on this was using the same graphic used at Deadspin.

By the way, the idea that not paying athletes helps parity in college sports is just a myth.

As we've talked with Paul Shirley about before, the rules about how athletes can make money in college (e.g. side jobs using their image) are absurd.

Dave Berri has discussed that paying students to work in college is nothing shocking. He does it. Athletes are apparently different.

Comment Policy

As we mentioned in the thread for last week's show, we're going to be a bit different in the comments. While we do enjoy taking the time out to clarify questions/complaints about our metrics, methodologies, etc., some have abused this. Repeating the same thing over and over is just not going to fly.

Additionally, we've decided to start removing incorrect comments. We feel this is unfair to our readers, who may not realize a statement is incorrect. While we'd love to spend the time to correct/edit every comment, we don't have the time (see below for exciting reasons why). There are lots of people happy to tinker in this space. And that's great. But if your math is off, it will not find a place in our comments.

One last thing that Patrick didn't mention in depth is the length of comments. If you have a super long comment, I suggest you write your own blog post (even a medium as simple as Facebook supports this) and provide a link. Again, it's rough to edit stuff and while I enjoy the enthusiasm of long comments, they do monopolize the comment space, so they too may start getting deleted.

We've seen pushback before in regards to deleting/editing comments. What I will say is that this is our blog. We pay money and have put considerable work to make it. Commenting here is a priveledge, not a right. And the majority of you are great commenters with good insight. We've just seen a small rise in some issues we'd like to keep out of the comments. We hope it makes the comments a more enjoyable experience!

Player Options and Net Present Value

Greg Monroe and Eric Bledsoe may be "leaving money on the table" by only accepting their qualifying offer in order to become free agents next season. Of course, Monroe may never have gotten a good offer.

Patrick brings up the notion of Net Present Value. Namely, while a two contracts may be the same in total value if you accept less money now, in the long run you may be making less. After all, if Eric Bledsoe makes $100 million over five years, but in one case gets $15 million in year one and in another only gets $5 million, that's $10 million he can't invest earlier. And compound interest is amazing! Of course, there's also risk that Bledsoe's value may drop by the time he's eligible for a raise.

Contract negotiations in general are going to be interesting until the next TV deal comes through.

Patrick has some interesting thoughts about why certain players can age more gracefully (like Steve Nash). Tune in to hear more.

Coming Soon to a Boxscore Geeks Near You!

Patrick teases some new features including:

  • Historical Wins Produced back to the 1970s!
  • Javascript tools to make your own stats tables using Boxscore Geeks numbers!
  • More salary data!
  • Some updated stats unique to Boxscore Geeks. Don't worry, it's the same great math, just with some more ingredients

Tell Patrick how excited you are in the comments!

Shout Outs

Jonathan Weiler(@jonweiler) for his amazing pieces on the O'Bannon case recently. Seriously, checkout the ESPN Watch.

Josh Weil(@joshweil) has a similar name to Jonathan Weiler. And he's also an amazing NBA mind!

Arturo Galletti(@arturogalletti) couldn't make the show. But he has been working tirelessly with Patrick to get the upgrades we promised!


Intro Music - Test Drive by Zapac.

Outro Music - Take on Me (A-Ha), cover by Anni B Sweet.

Direct download: bsg-32.mp3
Category:NBA -- posted at: 10:24am EDT

Video Show


Andres Alvarez(@nerdnumbers)

Produced by Brian Foster(@boxscorebrian)

This week's poll

Show Notes

The Olympics/Talent Evaluation

Patrick's piece on Mason Plumlee vs. DeMarcus Cousins and Zach Lowe's piece on evaluating bigs lead to a discussion about valuable skills and player evaluation.

Evaluating things like Chris Bosh's midrange game as "good" is iffy. Yes, he's above average at it, but it's not neccesarily better than average threes or layups.

My general problem with modern advanced stats is we can zoom in on players, but do not understand the magnitude of their skill/deficiency.

Forty three players shot over four threes a game with > 35% last season!

The Pacers and 538

Paul George is a rare talent in that he's a good scorer but doesn't quite get the respect I'd expect.

Case in point, this 538 post on it!

Nate Silver's recent piece on Paul George and injuries is interesting. That said, the stats and methods Nate uses don't seem cohesive or vetted. In short, I expect more.

Richard Feynman sums up a lot of the issues in bad studies.

My issues with RPM.


Patrick asks if Philadelphia is the first team to "tank correctly" in the modern draft.

Devin Dignam on how tanking used to work in the NBA.

I love the logic that the Wizards have been tanking for three decades, and the solution is to tank some more!

The reason the Wizards are "bad at tanking" is not being able to give up on top draft picks when they don't turn into stars.

Becky Hammon and Good Management

I'm a little skeptical about how the mainstream media will scrutinize Becky Hammon. I've written about this before. It's pessmimist and depressing but it's also possible this is tokenism, not a start of a change.

Kevin Draper has written about how people "in charge" in the NBA may have less control than we think.

Dan Pink has a great TED talk on what motivates people.

Tangent - Drinking Game

We've got a few common things happen in the show regularly. Feel free to tweet us more suggestions but here are a few suggestions for a Boxscore Geeks drinking game:

  • Every time Dre's dogs shake their collars/bark take a drink.
  • Every time we mention Kevin Love take a drink.

Shout Outs

Aaron Montgomery for this great tweet:

Taye Diggs(@tayediggs) for making my day by following me on Twitter.


Intro Music - Test Drive by Zapac.

Outro Music - Math by Supernova.

Direct download: bsg-31.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:33am EDT