November, 12, 2012
By Henry Abbott
- Talk about Nate McMillan as a Laker defensive assistant. I'm all for McMillan and I'm all for handing the defense to a specialist. But the idea that he's a special defensive coach ... I'm worried that's born of the way poor use of stats misleads people. His teams have long allowed very few points per game. That has earned his teams praise for defense. But they give up so few points because they are unbelievably slow. They hold the ball so long it keeps both teams' scores down. A much better measure of defense is per possession, and by that measure over the last nine years McMillan's teams in Seattle and Portland ranked 22nd, 14th, 13th, 10th, 20th, 28th, 27th, 27th and 15th in the NBA. Some of those teams have been generally good, but their average defensive rank is 21st in the NBA.
- The latest update on Andrew Bynum's knee has the word "optimistic" in it, but it also has more delays and uncertainty. Silver lining: Spencer Hawes is playing well.
- Nobody puts Baby in the corner. And nobody scores on Shane Battier in the post.
- Kevin Martin joins the Thunder, follows in the footsteps of Ray Allen when he joined the Celtics -- a statistically poor defender looks vastly better when plugged into an elite defensive system. Defense is about the team. More Kevin Martin praise.
- Trend: Teams coached by Lawrence Frank start the season with terrible records.
- Rare stat geek post that's PG-13 for language, but it has some fascinating points: The Grizzlies offense has been fairly efficient under Lionel Hollins all told, but a ton of those makes have come essentially not from the offense. When it's a case of actually running the half-court offense, the Grizzlies have not been very efficient at all, mostly because they shoot a lot of long, contested two-pointers, shots that are so bad they inspired the aforementioned cursing. Meanwhile, an interesting conclusion comes out of Arturo Galletti's Wages of Wins analysis: "No team,I repeat NO team, should be taking less than a quarter of their shots from 3."
- John Hollinger (Insider) builds a case that now that the league knows and uses a lot of Mike D'Antoni's offensive principles, his system has less of an advantage. Nobody is shocked anymore.
- Years ago (remembered here) TrueHoop paid no small attention to the healing power of ice baths, which are broadly accepted among professional athletes in all kinds of sports. It says here, however, that the shocking after-workout cooldown sessions are not effective. I'll tell you this: it made me feel better. Could have been the placebo effect, but if ever I had to rejuvenate exhausted legs, I'd give it a shot.
- LeBron James talks Grizzlies on Heat Index: “Rudy Gay is like -- and I don't know if I can say this, because he's so talented -- but when he's like the third option, you have a really damn good team.”
- It wasn't the Busses who made the decision about who would coach the Lakers. It was the bus.
- In Wayne Winston's power rankings, it's all Knicks.
- Scary talk from the World Anti-Doping Agency of criminal syndicates trafficking in performance enhancing drugs.
- SUNS upside down spells ... check it out.
- Tyson Chandler vs. Hurricane Sandy.