Tuesday, December 23, 2014

LeBron's Kid


The only question now is whether he will grow to 6'8" and 250 pounds.

What is remarkable is how much his mannerisms resemble his dad.  He even has those big slow steps when he shoots a layup.  That really slow crossover in the open court where it looks like the ball weighs ten pounds.  The pensive look while shooting free throws.  The lookaway one handed pass underneath.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Josh Smith -- Waived


The oddest thing about Josh Smith is that he is a very good power forward who wants to play small forward and jack a ton of ill-advised shots.  His role model should have been Kevin Garnett, but, instead, he prefers to be Antoine Walker at his worst. 

He would make a good Cavalier if he would just agree to play defense, rebound, and STOP JACKING BAD SHOTS!!!!

But, alas, I doubt that will ever happen, and if he won't stop jacking awful shots, he isn't valuable to any team.

Remarkably, there are actually other NBA players who have had as bad of performance from 3 while shooting over 1,200 3s -- http://bkref.com/tiny/NM3QK  Thank you, Charles Barkley, for giving Josh Smith supporters someone to point to!!

Smith has shot more career 3s than Dwyane Wade (another terrible 3 point shooter).

LeBron/Kyrie/Love -- How Are they Doing?

Well, the Cavs are good at home, and good when they play terrible teams.  They are not going to beat many good teams on the road yet, and they play far too few guys and play the Big 3 way too many minutes.  That is the overall view.

Let's look at how many good games the Big 3 have had this year versus mediocre games versus poor games.

Game Score Over 30 (great game) -- LeBron 2, Love and Kyrie 0.

Game Score at Least 25 (so includes games above) -- LeBron 9, Kyrie 3, Love 2.

Game Score at least 20 -- LeBron 13, Love 3, Kyrie 2.

Let's stop there.  The Cavs have played 26 games.  That means that LeBron has been very good for roughly half of their games,  That isn't a LeBron standard of play.  LeBron, to be LeBron, needs to be over 20 Game Score for 70% plus of games,  In 2013-14, which was not a vintage LBJ year, he was over 20 for Game Score 54 times out of 77 games played -- roughly 70%.  He also had 10 games over 30....13%.  So he is currently at 8%.

Translation -- LeBron has been way, way better than Love or Kyrie, but he has been very bad for being LeBron.

Kyrie has had only 7 Game Scores over 20.  But he DOMINATES Kevin Love in this category; Love has 3.  3 lousy games.  In 2013-14 for Minnesota, Love had 50!!!  games of 20+ game score.  He actually had MORE 30+ games scores than LeBron.  LeBron had 10 such games, Love 13.

Love has had 0 star games, been very good 3 of 26 games, good to mediocre 16 more times, and then been flat out bad 7 times,

Love --     0/3/16/7
LeBron -- 2/13/10/2
Kyrie --    0/10/12/4

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Odd Case of Brandan Wright

Brandan Wright has had 4 very good years for Dallas, playing around 18 minutes a game off the bench. This year, at age 27, he is having the best year of any NBA bench player.  His PER is 26, WS/48 among the 10 best in the league.  He has been awesome.

So, as a big forward, your best years are going to be ages 27-31.  Can Brandan Wright be a starter?  The answer is "probably not."  I can think of no example where a guy at age 27 went from being a good bench player (true bench player, not some guy playing 30 mpg off the bench) to being a good starter.  None.  I am sure it has happened somewhere, but I don't remember it.

So chances are that the Celtics just picked up a guy who will give them 20 really good bench minutes and nothing else.  There is value to that.  The real question is whether the guys who take over Rondo's minutes can approximate Rondo's production. 

But anyone thinking that Wright will be a 30-35 mpg starter should think again.....or at least provide me some historical basis for your position.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Caitlin Rasmussen

Sometimes seen on Internet as "Caitlyn Rasmussen".  Houston Texans Cheerleader and Miss Austin 2014.  Remarkably, originally from Kansas.

Merry Christmas, indeed!

Tetyana Veryovkina -- Just a Day at the Beach


Folks, make it past the commercial.  If you have seen ANYONE EVER who looked like this at the beach, then please tell me what beach(es) to visit.

Good lord.  10 of 10.  100 of 100. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Where Does Kobe Rank On the Best NBA Guards List?

If you sort for a Win Shares over 130, WS/48 greater than .13 and PER greater than 15, then sort again for Guard or Guard/Forward, you get 9 guys in NBA history:

R Allen

If you consider the 3 categories and give 9 points for a 1st Place finish, 8 for 2nd, 7 for 3rd, etc., you get the following results:

9th -- Ray Allen (5 points)
8th -- Gary Payton (6 points)
7th -- Clyde Drexler (7 points)


6th and 5th (tie)
Kobe Bryant and Jerry West (both 17)

3rd and 4th -- John Stockton and Oscar Robertson (18 points)

2nd -- Magic Johnson (20 points)
1st -- Michael Jordan (27 points -- he is #1 in every category).

Since every other player in the top 6 other than Jordan is a point guard (or combo guard), Kobe does hold a position of greatness by position -- it just appears that shooting guard is a really terrible position.  Drexler and Allen are your next guys up, and a very good argument could be made that neither is a top 40 player.  Dwyane Wade, injuries and inconsistency and all, may be top 3 shooting guard by the time he hangs them up. 

Center -- Wilt, Kareem, Mikan, Russell, Shaq, David, Hakeem, Moses  -- all top 50

PF -- Duncan, Malone, KG, Barkley, Petit, Dirk  -- all top 50

SF -- LeBron, Bird, Durant, Baylor, Rick Barry, Dr. J.  -- all top 50

PG -- Magic, Stockton, Oscar, West, Payton, Nash -- all top 50

Off guard is the absolute worst position of the 5 for all-time greatness.

SG - Jordan, Kobe, then..........Iverson?  Clyde?  Wade?  Miller? 

You should not have a position where after your top 2 guys you are struggling to put a guy into the top 50.  All things being equal, it should be 10 off guards -- yeah, good luck with that.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Why You Don't Trade Your Best Guys In the NBA

Because there really are not that many good guys.

I set up a "good but not great" season criteria of 6 Win Shares, and 0.12 Win Shares Per 48,  then analyzed the data over the past 5 years.   http://bkref.com/tiny/HaR3F

There are over 400 players who play in the NBA every year.  If you assume a turnover of 10% a year, that means about 600 guys have trod the boards over the past 5 seasons.  Of those 600 guys, how many have had even 1 "good but not great" season?


How about doing it more than once?

75 guys.

How about doing it 3 times in 5 years?  40 guys.  4 times? 22 guys.  All 5 years?  9 guys.

So when someone asks you to trade one of the guys who has been a 3X guy in 5 years, you are trading a guy who is a top 6% player over that time period.   A 4X guy?  top 3%.  And trading or losing a guy like LeBron?   He is a 9 out of 600 guy -- top 1.5%. 

When you get guys in return, there is a very high likelihood (roughly 78.5% chance) that they will never achieve the "good not great" season in a 5 year stretch.  There is an 87.5% chance that they will not have two good seasons, a 94% chance that they will not have 3, a 97% chance they won't have 4 and a 98.5% chance they will not have 5.

So, why would you trade your star?  You wouldn't, unless you are sure he is declining.....and soon.  The Wolves traded Garnett before 2007-08 season.  They thought he was declining.  He was, but he still had five straight good years in Boston -- one of only 10 guys to put up 5 during that stretch. 

In their defense, the Wolves did get Al Jefferson, who had 3 of 5 good seasons.    But then the Wolves traded Jefferson for Kosta Koufos and a low #1, thus effectively turning one of the top 25 players in NBA history (Garnett) into next to nothing.

So, when people are telling the Knicks to trade Carmelo, the Knicks know that Carmelo's replacement almost certainly will not be anywhere near as good as Carmelo.  The better idea is to ADD good players next to Melo.  This worked with a floudering Kobe and Gasol, with a frustrated David Robinson and Tim Duncan, and with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen and KG.   It is, by far, the better strategy.  You don't just say "Our team sucks, trade our best guy."  History teaches us - there just are not that many really good players.  You need to keep the one you have.

Jeremy Lin -- Hard to Be Benched in Los Angeles


Jeremy Lin, like George Costanza, should have just left the NBA after his brief stretch of stardom with the Knicks.  Instead, he has stuck around long enough for the league to realize what he can do (score some, OK with the ball) and what he cannot do (everything else).

Kevin McHale regularly benched Lin in favor of Patrick Beverly.  Was that benching less painful for Lin?   Anyone watching Line play for 10-12 games over the past 2 years would recognize his serious limitations as a player.  Instead, the Lakers signed him and made the almost unbelievable statement that they were going to rely more upon Lin and less upon Kobe!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Think about that statement -- Byron Scott is going to go up to Kobe and say, "You just spot up and wait for the ball.  We need to use Lin more."  Hahahahahahahahaha....)

Anyway -- the Lakers' player acquisitions lately have been laughable.  Lin?  Boozer?  Retaining Wesley Johnson?  Stop me when you hear a decent player.