Wednesday, February 20, 2013
By Henry Abbott
- Jalen Rose says the Spurs must deal (Insider): "I don't believe the Spurs will win the West with [Tiago] Splitter as their second-best big man." Don't count on a big San Antonio move, however.
- The Clippers were just 6-6 without Chris Paul, which doesn't say great things about Eric Bledsoe as a starter, right? Not so fast. Here's a great example of the kinds of things advanced stats can help us understand better than the box score and the standings. Kevin Pelton (Insider): "That record doesn't tell the entire story. The Clippers outscored their opponents by 23 points in those games, and did so against a tough schedule. Blame LL Cool J: 10 of the 12 games Bledsoe started were played on the road, mostly during a grueling eight-game trip to accommodate the Grammys at the Staples Center. Moreover, to the extent the Clippers struggled it was actually because of the domino effect of Bledsoe's promotion to the starting lineup. Jamal Crawford became the Clippers' backup point guard with Grant Hill joining the rotation. Over the course of the season, NBA.com/Stats shows Bledsoe playing just as well with the Clippers' starters as Paul. Both units are plus-6.5 points per 100 possessions. However, the standout bench lineup -- outscoring opponents by 11.3 points per 100 possessions with Bledsoe -- falls apart without him; the Crawford/Hill unit was actually outscored."
- That's great data. But, of course, data isn't everything. Here's some of what it doesn't know, from a guy who is open-minded, as opposed to this guy who just hates it.
- Phil Jackson to Jack McCallum of Sports Illustrated: "Coaching is about, 'How do I get these people to play at their peak level?' Yeah, the X's and O's mean something, but you can get people to do that. And a lot of those guys have been hired. The Lawrence Franks and the Frank Vogels. Mike Brown was one of those guys. That's not a knock. Those guys know how to coach the game. But coaching is much more than that. It is a spiritual quest. And if it's not that, you don't have a challenge, you don't have a mission. Forming a brotherhood and trying to move it forward, that's the part that I miss." He also wants a 30-second shot-clock in encourage more passing to the post.
- James Ham of Cowbell Kingdom with a Sacramento Kings update: "Mayor Kevin Johnson came away from his meetings in Houston with a positive vibe. 'I’m very confident, very confident,' said Johnson when asked of how he feels about Sacramento’s chances in the fight to keep the Kings. 'I think we’ve done as a community everything necessary over the last couple of years. This is the final act and I think we’ll step up and meet the challenge.' Next up on the agenda is landing the so-called 'whales'. The city is negotiating with major equity investors willing to join forces with local business leaders to make a competitive bid on the team and partner on the arena plan. Supermarket magnate Ron Burkle and 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov are rumored to be the city’s leading candidates. 'I can see a whale sighting,' Johnson responded when asked whether he was getting close to announcing the major partners. 'I can’t tell you how close to shore, but I can see it.'"
- Time to blow up the Celtics? Jeff Clark of CelticsBlog weighs possible trade deadline outcomes: "So next year's starting lineup could be Rondo, Avery Bradley, Josh Smith, Jared Sullinger, and DeAndre Jordan. The second unit would be comprised of Eric Bledsoe, Courtney Lee, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, and Chris Wilcox."
- Josh Smith in the trade machine.
- Conceded: Joe Johnson on February 19, 2013 was a victory for Hero Ball, which usually fails. It was also a victory for exaggerated fouls, as Monta Ellis turned an uncalled real deal blow to the head with 7.7 left in the fourth quarter into a hokey community theater death scene, and it almost won the Bucks the game.
- This is, technically, a victory for basketball. Try to get an otter to hit a curveball, you know?
- Nerlens Noel video breakdown. Is he so good it's worth drafting an injured player first overall?
- This Harlem Shake thing is out of control. Even had a big version of it at the All-Star game. Here's a different twist. And a nice one from European hoops.
- If the Thunder were to deal ...
- Feeling good in Memphis: Tayshaun Prince. Since the Rudy Gay trade the Grizzlies are 5-2 and the Raptors are 6-2 and they're playing each other tonight in some kind of weird last-night before the trade deadline salute to the power of a good trade.
- Wale vs. the Raptors, or something like that.