Friday, February 24, 2017

Nina Agdal

This was what almost every woman I saw in Denmark and Sweden was built like.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Top 36 NBA Players of All-time

I have these spread out throughout my Blog, but so you have it in one spot:

1. Michael Jordan
2. Wilt Chamberlain
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
4. LeBron James

5. Tim Duncan
6. Magic Johnson
7. Karl Malone
8. Bill Russell
9. Shaquille O'Neal
10.George Mikan
11.Jerry West
12.Oscar Robertson
13. Larry Bird
14. David Robinson
15. Hakeem Olajuwon
16. Moses Malone
17.  Bob Pettit
18. Kobe Bryant
19. Julius Erving
20.  Elgin Baylor
21.  Charles Barkley
22.  Kevin Garnett
23.  Dirk Nowitzki
24.  John Stockton
25. Kevin Durant
26.  Chris Paul
27. Rick Barry
28. Ray Allen
29. Clyde Drexler
30. Steve Nash
31, Dwyane Wade
32. John Havlicek
33. Patrick Ewing
34. Reggie Miller
35. Gary Payton
36. Scottie Pippen.

There you go - that is the definitive list.

Andrew Wiggins -- Many Thoughts On How to Improve

With Wiggy's recent scoring and shooting tear, his advanced stats are slowly improving.  His Net Rating is now only -6 (Ortg 108, DRtg 114) and he has (as of today) a VORP of 0; his best ever (versus a replacement player, he is exactly as good - contributes no extra wins and no extra losses).

So, I ask myself, how can Wiggy possibly look so good at times and yet (on an overall season long statistical basis) contribute virtually nothing to his team?  I mean, certainly his scoring should be adding something, and are his other stats where he really struggles (4 rebounds, 2.5 assist per game, terrible defense) really that awful to drag him down so far?

So I looked at players who played at least 1,500 minutes in a season and averaged similar stats to Wiggy -- over 23 points per game and under 4.5 rebounds and under 2.9 assists.

Of note, these sort of seasons appear to be EXTREMELY rare.  If you are a little guy and a scorer, you generally get more than 3 assists a game.  It is hard not to.  Similarly, if you are a big guy and can score 23 ppg, you generally play a lot and can garner either 3 assists or 5 rebounds a game.

Wiggy's inability to contribute either as a rebounder or assist man is almost unprecedented.  If you look at 2016-17, there are only 6 guys total in the league who play much and play as poorly as Wiggy on the defense, rebounding and assist metrics.  None of the 5 competitors plays nearly as much as Wiggy does.  So his poor play on a per minute basis in these areas of the game is unmatched.

So, if you go back and ask yourself what type of player Andrew Wiggins has been this year, your answer will be (going back to list #1)

Dale Ellis
Michael Redd
Glen Rice
Kiki Vandeweghe
Kevin Martin
Ricky Pierce
31 year old George Gervin
Super John Williamson

What do all of these players have in common?  They were all known as "one-dimensional scorers". 

Now, if you would simply say that Wiggy could get to both 4.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game, he could be at the absolute bottom of this much better list of players: roughly equivalent to a 32 year old Carmelo Anthony (Wiggy would also have to drop his DRtg by two points to 112 to reach Carmelo - Carmelo is a BETTER defender!). 

So, Wiggy is (today) a bad 32 year old Carmelo.  If you look at the above link, if Wiggy could double his performance in both rebounding and assists, or, for example, triple his rebounds or assists, he would be amongst the best players in the league!    That, of course, would be tough to do given that Wiggy already plays huge minutes and has shown no signs of significant improvement per year in any of these categories.

Another concern for Wiggins and his supporters is that even if you go back to the "one-dimensional scorers" list and look at the 15 similar seasons, Wiggy is likely to end up 13th or 14th in Win Shares and ranks poorly in every shooting category:

8th in 2-point percentage
10th in field goal percentage
11th in 3 point %
11th in Effective FG %
13th in True shooting % and
15th in free throw %.

So Wiggy right now is a one-dimensional scorer..........and he isn't particularly efficient in that role.

So, baby steps:
1) get your rebounds and assists up to 32 year old Carmelo levels (6.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists)
2) get your defensive rating down to a Carmelo-ian 112.
3) improve your 3 point shooting and FT shooting to more elite scorer levels.

At that point, you would be a good player (top 40 in the league). 

then Wiggy needs to find some way to get to

23-6-5 (Jimmy Butler) or maybe 27-5-4 (DeMar Derozan).

It is hard to imagine that Wiggy will improve so much that he could ever reach the rebounds and assist numbers that The Greek Freak or LeBron have.  And he is never going to have a defensive rating of 102 like Kawhi Leonard (who gets 2.5 steals+blocks to Wiggy's current 1.3).

But what is clear is that right now Wiggy is like a bad version of Kevin Martin, Michael Redd and Dale Ellis.  Start with being a good version of them, work your way up to equaling an old Carmelo, and then, from there, see what your upside really could be.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The 15 Worst Efforts By Starters In an NBA Finals Games During the Past 30 Years

There were some criteria imposed.  First, the game had to be in the database.  Second, the game had to be in a loss (playing in a win means that, arguably, you did something at some point in the game to help your team win -- these guys did not help a team win).  Third, you had to be a starter.  I am not going to criticize players like Bob McAdoo or Rasheed Wallace who are on their last legs and have a shitty game when they are 100% washed up. 

Finally, I am going to judge by "Game Score" which is allegedly a function of your game productivity. 

One might argue, for example, that John Starks' horrendous gunning of 2-18 and 0-11 from 3 should be the worst game, instead of only the 14th worst.  But statistically it was somehow better on Game Score.  Look, everyone who was a fan of the losing team will think that their guy sucked the worst, so we will  let the computer give the objective Game Score and then you can subjectively evaluate the terrible performance.

With that in mind, I give you the 15 statistically worst starter efforts in a Finals loss:

 15th worst (so, the best of this awful bunch)

Paul Pierce, Age 30, 2008 NBA Finals --  32 MP      2 for14 FGs  (0-4 from 3) NEGATIVE 3.1 Game score.
The Celtics would go on to defeat the Lakers in the series anyway.

John Starks Age 28  1994 Finals  42MP  went 2-18 from the floor (0-11 from 3)   NEGATIVE 3.4
Game Score
Starks single-handedly cost the Knicks the NBA title as his shameless gunning simply would not stop.  The Knicks lost to Houston, making Hakeem a legend and tarnishing Ewing's NBA legacy.

Larry Johnson  Age 30   1999 Finals     37MP   2-8 (0-3 from 3)          NEGATIVE 3.4
The Knicks were overmatched and lost to the Spurs in 5.

Chris Dudley Age 34     1999 Finals     24MP     0-3          NEGATIVE 3.6
Look, the computer says that Dudley started for the Knicks and (as we all know) he sucked.  No wonder they lost in 5.

Tyrone Hill  Age 33  2001 Finals 26MP        1-7          NEGATIVE 3.8
It was an utter miracle when the Sixers got Game 1 off the Lakers -- their success lasted all game.  They lost in 5, thanks, in part, to this Ty Hill effort.

Robert Parish Age 32    1986 Finals    25MP    3-15   NEGATIVE 4.5
Smoked in this game by Hakeem and Ralph Sampson, but the Rockets would fall to Parish's Celts 4-2 in the series. 

Sam Perkins   Age 29     1991 Finals     43MP       1-15  (0-3 from 3)        NEGATIVE 4.5
Perk hit a huge shot to win Game 1.  That would be the only game the Lakers won, as Michael's Bulls steamrolled Magic and his pretty mediocre crew 4-1.   Ended up being Magic's last Finals as he contracted HIV the next year.


Ralph Sampson  Age 25   1986 Finals   27MP     1-13        NEGATIVE 3.9
Ralph was truly awful this game, and he really was never thought of the same as an NBA player after this series was over.  Rockets lost the series to Parish and the Celts.
Harrison Barnes Age 24   2016 Finals      16MP    0-8  (0-5 from 3)      NEGATIVE 5.1
We jump right over the negative 4s and end up with this wretched effort from Mr. Barnes, who, despite being left WIDE OPEN every possession could not make a shot and who was so ineffective he was forced to the bench with only 16 MP.   Warriors blew a 3-1 lead and lost to Cleveland in 7.  The result cemented LeBron James' legacy as a top 5 player, as he earned his 3rd title and 3rd Finals MVP.

Tony Parker Age 21  2003 Finals  31MP     1-12 (0-2 from 3)       NEGATIVE 5.3
Few recall that there were serious efforts by the Spurs to dump Parker after this series and acquire Jason Kidd.  The Spurs won the series, but largely no thanks to Parker, who was generally terrible throughout.   Pretty sure Tony was forced to split minutes with Speedy Claxton.
Kenyon Martin Age 25   2003 FInals     39MP     3-23 (0-2 from 3).  NEGATIVE 6.0
Do you know how difficult it is to go 3-21 from 2-point range when you are 6'9" tall?  Very, very hard.  And the level of stubbornness that it requires is remarkable.  KMart was able to do it, nonetheless, helping his Nets lose the series despite the generally poor play of Tony Parker on the other side.
Ray Allen Age 34  2010 Finals   42MP,   0-13  (0-8 from 3)        NEGATIVE 6.9
Despite an injured Kevin Garnett, the Celts were in a spot to win another title, but that effort was not helped by this historically terrible Ray Allen effort.  The 4th worst Finals game of the past 30 years.  Kobe went 6-24 in Game 7, yet was awarded with a curious MVP decision despite being outplayed by his own teammate Pau Gasol.

3rd Worst
Byron Scott Age 30  1991 Finals 43MP   0-8 (0-3 from 3)      NEGATIVE 7.2
Now, Byron Scott was never a great overall player; he was a very good scorer.  So for him to play 43 minutes and provide ZERO made baskets and yet stay on the floor that long indicates how overmatched the 1991 Lakers were that Finals and how finely Magic had honed his scoring, rebounding and assist games by 1991.  Jordan had a better team and was a slightly better player than Magic at that time.  Bulls won in 5. 

2nd Worst
Harrison Barnes Age 23   2015 Finals     19MP     0-8  (0-1 from 3)  NEGATIVE  7.3
In an eerie preview of the 2016 Finals, Barnes' terrible play would allow LeBron to singlehandedly gain a lead for the crippled Cavs.   The Warriors were able to regain their balance and overcome the "LeBron and almost no one else" Cavs, in part because Barnes' generally poor play was overcome by the play of controversial Andre Iguodala who became the second consecutive Finals MVP awarded the honor because he could at least bother LeBron James and could make a wide open shot.  Warriors won in 6. 

Mario Chalmers Age 273  June 11, 2013 NBA Finals, MIA at San Antonio 20MP,  0-5  (0-1 from 3)       
Chalmers somehow managed to put up a NEGATIVE 7.4 Game Score in 20 minutes, helped by the fact that he had only 2 rebounds, 1 assist to 4 turnovers and committed 4 fouls while the opponent was +19 while he was on the floor.  He was certainly not alone, as the Heat lost by 36 in Game 3 to fall behind 2-1.  The Heat would rally and actually get an OK game from Rio in Games 2 and 6, taking the series in 7.  The only time a Tim Duncan team was ever defeated in the NBA Finals series