Fri, 21 November 2014
This Week's Show
We talk about Kenneth Faried's popularity in Denver, the Boogie-Board, and the Milwaukee Bucks' hot start.
This Week's Poll
Penny-Arcade has one of the funniest comics on finding people on the net to help your confirmation bias...or not.
I don't agree so much with the notion that players like Faried are outdated in the modern NBA.
It is my belief that without Dennis Rodman, Michael Jordan would never be considered the greatest of all-time.
Yes, the 1993-1994 Spurs were Rodman, Robinson, and not much else.
The Nuggets traded away Kosta Koufos, which was a terrible terrible trade.
Virtually every NBA player has flaws in their game. I find it's pick and choose as to when to use that label.
Kirk's original work was in making shot charts. Since then Nylon Calculus has done a great job keeping that going.
At Grantland, Kirk Goldsberry has created a new metric: "The Boogie Board", which examines when players rebound their own miss and put it back in.
Kirk Goldsberry has done other similar stats, e.g. the "Kobe Assist."
DeMarcus Cousins is playing well this season. In spite of his "Boogie-Board" advantage, his scoring is good but not great. Sadly, his turnovers and fouls keep him from being a star.
My general issue with stats like these is they focus inward on what a player does well, without explaining the magnitude. As Brian puts it, "it's a fun fact."
The Milwaukee Bucks
As of this writing, the Bucks are 7-5 and a top four seed in the East.
The Bucks currently have four good playersGiannis Antetokounmpo, Brandon Knight, John Henson, and Larry Sanders.
The player I'm most concerned about is Brandon Knight, who was terrible his first three seasons.
More than a few hilarious videos about pronouncing Giannis Antetokounmpo
Big Hero 6 was a fantastic film. The "That Thing You Like" podcast on it was great as well.
ESPN's 30 for 30 are amazing as well. This last week I watched "The Pony Excess", "Requiem for the Big East", "Survive and Advance", and "Youngstown Boys". I can't recommend these enough, and hey, free on Netflix! Also, tune in for a free rant on college sports.
League of Denial is a great documentary worth your time.
Iceman in last week's comment section gets a shout out for highlighting about individual defense and the lack of "LeBron stoppers".
Thu, 13 November 2014
This Week's Show
We talk about Anthony Davis' hot start to the season, Steve Nash's greatness, and why stats are hard.
This Week's Poll
Also, last week's poll ended up a draw! Good job Klay!
Anthony Davis and Hot Starts
Anthony Davis' current stat-line is ridiculously impressive. In fact, in the modern era, only two other players have matched it. Guess who!
The MVP award requires you to be on a contender. But with how Anthony Davis is playing, could he break the streak of needing 50 wins to get an MVP nod?
Speaking of surprising starts. As of this writing, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade are playing at star level, while LeBron and Love are not.
Of course, we've seen players start surprisingly. Chris Kaman started hot before regressing with Dallas
Basically, it's hard to tell with small samples, and easy to overreact to stuff fresh in our minds. We'll have to wait and see.
Steve Nash and 'Simple' Stats
Steve Nash's facebook post on his injuries is just heart wrenching to read.
Based on Nash's points, the Mavs had an interesting point when letting Nash go. Essentially, it wasn't a question of if Nash could have kept playing ball, but if he should have.
I wrote a long post comparing Steve Nash to Kobe Bryant. It's really difficult to notice the small things that make Nash one of the greatest ever, and Kobe not at the same level.
Of course, this point was made long ago (about baseball) in the book "Wages of Wins."
Well, let's look at batting average. We see that Cobb's lifetime mark was 0.366. When Gwynn retired his career mark was 0.338. So Cobb hit safely 37% of the time while Gwynn hit safely on 34% of his at bats. If all you did was watch these players, could you say who was a better hitter? Can one really tell the difference between 37% and 34% just staring at the players play? To see the problem with the non-numbers approach to player evaluation, consider that out of every 100 at bats, Cobb got three more hits than Gwynn. That's it, three hits. If you saw every at bat for both players, could you see this difference?
We also talk the issue with athletes being honest with the media. Alex Kennedy summed it up best.
Steve Nash(@SteveNash), of course!
I just watched ESPN's 30 for 30 on the Pistons aka the "Bad Boys". I have to give Bill Laimbeer a shout out for his great interviewing, great play, and the phantom call.
Thu, 6 November 2014
This Week's Show
To start the season we talk overreacting to small sample sizes. Our star player for this is Klay Thompson. We also talk the Lakers horrible start and the Cavs.
This Week's Poll
A note on last week's poll, it was inspired by the amazing Dante Basco
Small Sample Size Theater
I talk a lot about how I don't mind people "overreacting" to small sample sizes. Tune in to hear a rant!
Klay has started out the NBA season as one of the greatest shooters ever. While it's unlikely he'll stay this hot, if he improves his shot selection he could be great. The problem? We've seen several faces of Klay
And, of course, he's done this before! Sample size theater for the win!
Last night we saw more "Klay Classic"
Klay did get a "max contract" but in absolute dollars. This may actually make his contract more valuable come the new CBA. Of course, if the Warriors balk on another Kevin Love like trade, it won't matter. Also, even if Klay plays amazingly this season, it will not negate the fact that not trading him for Love and signing him to the max were subpar decisions. We've made this point before.
I can not find what Brian said that I thought would be a great title to end this segment. My bad!
The Horrendous Lakers and More!
The myth of Kobe "carrying" a bad Lakers squad is going to continue...
This is the Lakers worst start since 1958 when the Lakers started 0-7.
Currently, this Lakers squad is worse than the 2011-2012 Charlotte Bobcats (the worst winning percentage in NBA history.) The Laker's aren't this bad.
Kobe has no incentive not to shoot away. If he hopes to get another contract, he needs to keep up his image.
Reminder, it's not good for the NBA for the Lakers to be bad. In fact, recent moves by the Lakers, Bulls, and Knicks are bad news. The best teams in the biggest markets should be the goal.
Actually, we do know the origin to Nick Young's nickname.
Read Dr. J's autobiography! It's worth it.
Wow, the Cavaliers lost to the Jazz during this podcast. Maybe it's bad luck for us to praise the Cavs during the podcast!
Reminder, the Heat had an underwhelming start when LeBron joined. I'm not worried yet.
The Thunder are getting decimated by injury. For the billionth time, minutes are hard to guess.
Bryan Mears for a great Tweet on Trevor Ariza! Also, sorry for snubbing Ariza, who is another great small sample size story!
Kenneth Faried, DeMarcus Cousins, and Rudy Gay all get a shout out for their amazing acting in a rare triple flop!
Presidente for a great Tweet on Kobe's first finals MVP
Brian has the best conspiracy of all time. What if Kobe is a super-quant and has cracked the code to get paid? Brian's ultimate part of this theory: what if Kobe ghost wrote Basketball on Paper?