Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ordinarily I do not Care for "Salute to the Troops"

But the Houston Texans Cheerleaders appear to have mastered the art.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Anthony Davis -- Just Ridiculous So Far

25/11/5.7 steals+blocks.  57% from the floor.  PER of almost 36.  He has almost 3 times as many Win Shares as LeBron.

These stats are ridiculous.  No one has ever had a full season PER of 32 playing over 400 minutes. 

11 rebounds, and over 2 steals and over 2 blocks?  Been done 4 times -- 1 time by David Robinson, 3X by Hakeem.  (In defense of Wilt and Kareem, when they were at their best, the league did not keep blocks as a stat).

His Offensive Rating is 128.  His defensive rating is 98.  +30.  My lord.  LeBron's best years he has been around Plus 21 to Plus 25.  For a center to put up an offensive rating of 128 is ridiculous.

Davis almost certainly will cool down, but if he doesn't, then, as Charles Barkley used to say, "You are witnessing a miracle."


Friday, November 21, 2014

The Sixers

K.J. McDaniels' mom thinks they are tanking:  http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/k-j--mcdaniels--mom-doesn-t-seem-thrilled-with-76ers--rebuilding-plan-183710204.html

Look - ordinarily most teams are unwilling to intentionally go 5-77.  There is some element of pride, and there is some lost revenue in the idea that you will be so bad that your fans will simply stop coming and you will draw 3,000 a game when you could draw, say, 10,000 with a 20-62 club.  I have really never seen anything like what Philly is doing.  They are starting guys whose names I do not recognize.  They are playing multiple guys who are undrafted free agents. 

The worst team I ever saw was the early 1990s Dallas Mavericks (maybe 1992?  I won't look it up) - a team that played Walter Bond (who never started for the Gophers) as its starting off guard.  Radislaw Curcic anyone?  Walter Palmer?  Mike Iuzzulino? Randy White?  Doug Smith?

But the Mavs at least had drafted Jimmy Jackson, who was a contract holdout.  They also had drafted White and Smith as high first-round picks.  They weren't affirmatively TRYING to be shitty.  They just had three high first rounders who were contributing next to nothing. 

The Sixers - frankly, I have no idea what they are doing.  They are effectively red-shirting their picks (Noel, Embiid).  Basketball is not football.  In football, you can get bigger and stronger and faster by working out for a year.  In basketball, it is a skill game, you need to play the game to improve.  Constantly drafting injured players delays their development for probably one extra year, making you worse for longer.

The Sixers were also willing to move Thaddeus Young to Minnesota for nothing (Alexei Shved and Luc Mbah a Moute) when they could have asked for Anthony Bennett.   That was the case of dumping a veteran player for no good reason.  (Consistent with the Wolves' luck, however, Young's mom has died and the rumor is that he is so grief stricken that he may not play all season......or until his mortgage holder advises him that he needs to).

Maybe this is just a case of company pride -- I mean, the Sixers' famous 9-73 season from 1972 held up as the worst ever for around 40 years, but then the 2011-12 Bobcats defeated the Sixers, both in fewer wins and lower win percentage (7-59).  Maybe there is a desire in Philly to not only reclaim the title, but put it so far out of reach that no one will ever challenge it again?  I mean, those awful Mavs teams won 11 games and then 15 games.  The Timberwolves have trotted out terrible teams with coaches like Jimmy Rodgers and Kurt Rambis - never won fewer than 15 games.  Any team that has a few NBA level players should win 11 games if they play hard.  Bill Musselman won 51 games in 2 years with the best CBA players he could find.  I kid you not, that was his personnel philosophy.  Won 22 and then 29 games.

But this Sixers team?  They would lose to Kentucky 4 games to 2 in a 7 games series.  Kentucky has way, way more talent.  If you asked Calipari to pick 12 guys from the two rosters, he would pick 8 of his guys and 4 Sixers. 

Barring a trade or some wild miracle where a veteran decides at year end he wants to play for Philly, I predict 5-77 for the Sixers.

Kamala the Ugandan Giant -- Not Doing Well


My favorite line of one of Kamala's managers was, "He speaks no language known to man."  Seeing now that his name is Mike Harris and he is from Mississippi, that is probably true.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Rooting Hard For Kevin Garnett

I know it is hard to fathom watching him today, but Kevin Garnett used to be a top 5 player in the NBA for a lot of years.  And he busted his ass every single night for Minnesota, with very little love for the things he was doing up here - particularly defensively.  I doubt that I have ever seen a player anchor his team more on both ends of the floor.  Even LeBron is not the defensive anchor that Garnett was in his prime.

That said, it is sad to see KG struggle so hard to play at a decent level today.  Starting last year, KG seemed a certainty to pass Oscar Robertson and Artis Gilmore on the all-time Win Shares list.  But then KG put up an almost laughably awful 1.2 WS for the entire season last year, leaving him short of both guys.

Counting in KG's 0.2 WS this year, he is now still 9th on the all-time NBA-ABA combined Win Shares list:

6.Tim Duncan192.20
7.Artis Gilmore*189.65
8.Oscar Robertson*189.21
9.Kevin Garnett188.64
10.Dirk Nowitzki186.23
11.Shaquille O'Neal181.71
12.Julius Erving*181.11
13.Moses Malone*179.15
14.David Robinson*178.67
15.Charles Barkley*177.21
16.Reggie Miller*174.40
17.Kobe Bryant173.13
18.LeBron James169.22

KG just needs a lousy 0.58 WS to pass The Big O and 1.02 WS to pass Artis.  He will never catch Duncan, but I would really like to see him play well enough to reach these extremely modest goals.   Sadly for KG, some of the guys behind him (Dirk, Kobe, LeBron) show no signs of retiring any time soon, so KG will probably end up around 10th in any event, but I have long loved KG as a player, and he deserves to be recognized as an all-time great.  Come on, KG, get that 1.02 WS that you need!


Wednesday, November 05, 2014

A Rare Hockey Item


Now I may need to find some scenes from that Sarah Palin documentary again....

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

20,000 Point NBA Scorers, Sortable by Win Shares and WS/48


Remarkably, there have only been 40 such NBA players.  Where does the most recent addition, Carmelo Anthony, fit into the group?

Well, Melo is 38th in overall Win Shares, ahead of only Mitch Richmond and Tom Chambers.  Excuse me, "Hall of Famer Mitch Richmond" and Tom Chambers.  The fact that Richmond is in the Hall virtually assures us that Melo will reach the HOF. 

As far as Win Shares per 48 minutes played (WS/48) -- Melo reaches #32, ahead of 8 guys:

Havlicek, English, Iverson, Greer, Hayes, Jamison, Chambers, Richmond.  The only guy that I am a bit surprised to see Melo outplay there is Havlicek.

Moving away from Melo, there are a couple surprises to me -- Elgin Baylor ranks between Nique and Vince Carter in WS/48.  Baylor, I am pretty sure, was first-team all-NBA 10 times.  It seems odd to see him down here with guys who are borderline top 60 guys.

On the plus end of WS/48, look at where Reggie Miller and Adrian Dantley's stats put them!!  Reggie is right next to Hakeem (Reggie widely regarded as a not-top-50 player, and Hakeem often ranking in some subjective ratings up around 15-20).   Dantley ranks between Bird and Garnett!!  Again - subjective rankings would put Dantley nowhere near the same stratosphere as these two great players. 

If you look at the top 14 WS/48 guys on this list, you see a few against whom you could argue as top 14 players (Dirk and Barkley, for example, are not regarded as highly as their stats show), but it is a damned impressive list above that .200 WS/48 figure: 

Jordan, Robinson, Wilt, LeBron, Kareem, Barkley, West, Pettit, Duncan, Dirk, Shaq, Oscar, Karl Malone, Bird.

Magic, Russell, Dr. J. and Artis Gilmore did not have 20,000 NBA points.

Ariana Grande


Keep saying, "she is 21 1/2 years old" as you watch this.  It still just doesn't feel right.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Top 25 NBA Salaries 2014-15

I would say that at least 10 of the guys on this list are not even Top 25 Players in the league.  http://sports.yahoo.com/photos/top-25-highest-nba-salaries-2014-15-1415035115-slideshow/