Friday, January 23, 2015

The 17 Best NBA Players Who Were Also Terrible Defenders

Now, the stats are what they are, so how do we assess who were the absolutely worst 5 defenders?

Well, Dan Issel and George Gervin, if you include their ABA stats, don't even make the list.  So they get a pass - terrible defenders admittedly, but were better as younger players in the ABA.  That leaves 15.

Ricky Pierce and Mark Price are similarly awful, but they had fewer minutes than most and less time to rack up defensive Win Shares.  13 left.

Then I'd say if you are in the "best" 5 of any defensive category that I will give you a pass -- so Mitch Richmond, Dale Ellis and Rudy T. get out on one category and Lou Hudson, Dick Van Arsdale and Rolando Blackmon get excused for being top 5 in another.  That leaves the worst 7 guys.

Worst 7 Guys:

Kiki Vandeweghe, Steve Nash, World B. Free, Stephon Marbury, Calvin Murphy, Deron Williams, Tiny Archibald.

All guys are historically horrible defensively for people who have racked up at least 50 offensive win shares.  (Only 126 players in the history of the game have had 50+ OWS).

If you sort the stats, it is pretty clear that there are two categories of terrible defenders here:

Super Super Horrible --
7. Nate Archibald
6. Deron Williams
5. Calvin Murphy

The 4 Worst
4. Stephon Marbury
3. World B. Free
2. Steve Nash
1. Kiki Vandeweghe

This final group includes the 4 worst guys in both defensive categories.  Vandeweghe accounted for a Defensive Win Share around every 2800 minutes of play.  Marbury about every 2300 minutes, Free about every 2000 minutes.  It could be argued that Nash's ability to stay on the court for almost 40,000 career minutes makes him the worst defender of all time, since he was so bad (one DWS every 2,350 minutes or so) over such an extended period of time.  But Vandeweghe's ability to toil for 24,000 minutes while NOT ACCOUNTING FOR DOUBLE DIGIT DEFENSIVE WIN SHARES just stands all by itself as an achievement.

I mean, look, all of these guys are terrible defensively, but most of them are getting one DWS for every 2-5 OWS's  Nash and Vandeweghe were getting SEVEN OWS by the time they got one DWS.
They stand head and shoulders above everyone as one-end offense-only players.  And much as it is hard to imagine, Steve Nash was a slightly better defender than someone else.

(It should be noted that for guys with under 50 OWS, Michael Redd and Nick Van Exel are bottom of the barrel defenders).

"Ball" Boy Gets His Balls Deflated by Tennis Serve

According to a commenter, it would be like getting hit by a baseball thrown at 46 mph.  So put on a pair of loose fitting shorts and attend a Little League game and stand 20 feet from an average pitcher and take one right in the nuts.  That is gonna hurt.

Next time, I think the tourney will forgive you if you move.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Daily Show Addresses the GOP SOTU Responses

Bread bags, basketball, a doctor complaining about "elites" and a guy who says "meh, let's just start again".

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Shawn Marion -- Soon to be Quitter. Is He a Hall of Famer?

If you compare his career numbers to Scottie Pippen's, the numbers are very close across the board:  So I really do not see any way the voters keep him out of the Hall, given his generally good play over a lengthy period of time and the Pippen comparison.

But I need to be consistent, so what are my HOF criteria?   1) a top 3 starter on a championship  team; 2) a couple times first-team all-NBA; 3) top 10 in MVP balloting at least 2 times; 4) possessing some otherworldly skill that deserves recognition (10 times all-defense, 3 times Defensive POY, rebounding champ 4+ times, etc.); and/or 5) top 10 all-time in one particular positive stat of note.
He does have a title with the Mavs, but he wasn't one of their best 3 guys.
He was never 1st team all-NBA.
He was top 10 in MVP balloting only once.
He was never first team all-defense and never possessed any particular skill of note.

The way Marion gets in the Hall is he shows that he was close on all of these criteria, and he has some top 30 statistical accomplishments (total defensive rebounding, total steals, both in top 30 all-time).

Sadly, though, I cannot place him in my Hall of Fame.  I just have to draw the line somewhere and he falls below the line.  Is it really asking too much that a guy be thought of as a top 10 player twice?   I really don't think so.  I mean, someone like Paul Pierce has never been first team all-NBA, but he was a top 3 guy on the Celtics AND he will finish his career in the top 8 in made free throws.  Ray Allen - Celtics and #1 in three points and top 10 in FT%.. 

Look at a guy like Tracy McGrady - two times first team all-NBA, top 10 in MVP voting 6 times.  I just think that if you have some bright line rules that you will get a Hall of Fame that actually puts in the best players.  Will there be guys who get left out who were very good players?  Sure (Vince Carter doesn't qualify under my criteria).  But if you never were a reason a team won a title, and you weren't able to say you were clearly a top 10 player in the league 2 times in your career, do you really deserve to get in?  I say no.

Shawn Marion would not get my vote. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Halfway Through the NBA Season, Who Are the Top 12 Guys?

I took PER above 22, WS over 4.4 and WS/48 above .16, and that got me 12 guys. 
Then I assigned one point for a 12th place finish in a category and up to 12 points for a 1st place finish.

12th Place -- Pau Gasol  (4 points)

11th -- Aldridge (8)

10th - LeBron (13)

9th Marc Gasol (14)

8th --  Kyle Lowry (15)

7th and 6th (tie) -- Blake Griffin and Jeff Teague (17 points each)

5th -- Damian Lillard (18)

(Enormous Gap)

4th -- Chris Paul (27 points)

3rd -- James Harden (3rd in PER, 1st in WS, 3rd in WS/48 -- 32 points)

2nd -- Steph Curry (2nd in PER, 3rd in WS, 1st in WS/48 -- 33 points)

Best Statistical First Half -- Anthony Davis
(1st in PER, 2nd in WS, 2nd in WS/48).

In the history of the game, there have been 11 times where a guy has played over 1,200 minutes and recorded a PER of at least 31.  3 Wilts, 3 LeBrons and 4 Jordans......and Anthony Davis thus far.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Best Football is Played in --- Obama States

College football championship -- Ohio State (Obama state) defeats Oregon (Obama state) in the finals. Professional football -- Seattle (Washington is an Obama state) vs. New England (all of New England is Obama territory).

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Wanna See a Wild LeBron and Jordan Comparison?

Only two guys had a value over replacement player of greater than 10 -- 24 and 25 year old Jordan and 24 and 25 year old LeBron.  Pretty wild.

The stats folks say take this VORP and multiply by 2.7 to get Wins Over Replacement.  That means that replacing either guy with an average player would have made the team 27 to 30 wins worse.  So you go from 60-22 to 30-52. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Kevin Garnett -- Time to Retire

One of my favorite players of all time.  Also, in my opinion, one of the most underrated players of all time.  Garnett was ejected last night for head butting Dwight Howard.  While I am sure no one will be crying for Dwight Howard, it is just another example of how KG's skills have so eroded that he views his primary job as just being super dirty and creating havoc.

Kevin Garnett, if he can grind out around 400 more minutes, will be the 5th player in NBA history to log 50,000 or more minutes.  (Kareem, Karl Malone, Jason Kidd, Elvin Hayes).

By finally putting up some positive Win Shares this year, KG has managed to eke ahead of Oscar Robertson and Artis Gilmore on the all-time NBA/ABA Win Shares list, he now ranks 7th all-time.  He will never catch the 6 guys ahead of him:  Kareem, Wilt, Malone, Jordan, Stockton, Duncan.   While he is only 6 WS behind Duncan, Timmy is still good -- KG, sadly, is not.

You can play more minutes and actually put up negative Win Shares, so it is possible that if KG plays more he will actually go backwards and drop below Oscar and Artis.  That would truly be a shame - work for 49,500 minutes to get to 7th place and then fall back to 8th or 9th.

To make matters worse, Dirk is catching KG in Win Shares.  And Kobe and LeBron have shots at eventually passing him as well.  If Garnett retires in 7th place, he could still lay claim to a top 10 all-time mark (passed by those three guys) for a decent number of years.  If he falls to 9th, then Dirk passes him, probably at least LeBron gets him too, and he falls to 11th.

Why stay?  He certainly shouldn't need the money.  He is top 3 all-time in salary received (he may still be #1, but I think Kobe may catch him).   His legacy declines with every game he plays.  The only thing I can identify that may be keeping him going is that he trails only Karl Malone and Artis Gilmore for career Defensive Rebounds.  He needs 163 to pass Malone and 272 to pass Gilmore.  Neither feat is likely to get accomplished this season.  (As support for this idea that this is why he is staying around, look at KG's rebound rate for the past two years -- it is way, way up).  And....look behind you KG, Duncan is only around 600 defensive rebounds behind.  At 7 a game, that is a little over one season.  Is it likely that Duncan plays 2 seasons more than KG?  I would say so.

When you are one of the top 25 players of all time, is it really worth it to hang around and play like shit for 1 1/2 more years just so you can hold a record for 2 years that not even I knew before today was held by Artis Gilmore (NBA/ABA stats included) or Karl Malone (NBA only)?  I say no.

Please, KG, retire.