Six quick Friday thoughts
January, 25, 2013
By Henry Abbott
- It is a great credit to the incredibly skilled players of the NBA that games essentially never end eighth-grade style, with somebody dribbling the ball off his foot and out of bounds. But nobody's perfect, right Paul Pierce?
- In the most fun thing you'll read all day, Matt Bonner was asked, on Hardwood Paroxysm, who'd win a staring contest between Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan. "Kawhi would win," replies Bonner, "because he is 14 years younger and would most likely outlive Tim."
- Don't want to point any fingers, but there are plenty of people out there using points allowed per game as a measure of team defense. It's a waste of time as a way to rank teams -- it predictably rewards teams that play slowly on offense. Case in point: The Hornets are tied with the Thunder in allowing 97.2 points per game. Meanwhile, the Thunder's opponents are scoring that much while getting about five more possessions per game. On defense, the Thunder destroy the Hornets and the Pelicans they intend to become. Which is why we have defensive efficiency, built on points per possession, which shows the the Thunder are sixth in the NBA, and the Hornets 27th. Similarly, the mega-slow Nets are fifth in the NBA by the dumber points allowed metric, which makes it seem like they are playing the kind of D that could bring Brooklyn a title. But back in reality, they have the league's 17th best defense, but look better simply by playing slower than 29 teams. Noodling with the ball for a long time costs their opponents several points a game -- simply because they get the ball fewer times. But it doesn't make the Nets better on D.
- Jared Sullinger is looking like an excellent value as the 21st pick.
- Would be interested to know if 3-point shooting accuracy declines with long playing time.
- David Roth is inarguably the "sozzled hornball patriarch" of building great phrases. This is a little PG-13, but well worth your admiration.