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Archive for December, 2008

Keltner List: Bernard King

10th December 2008

Today we're going to run our first Keltner List, that tried-and-true staple of sabermetric-type analysis ever since Bill James introduced it way back in the 1985 Baseball Abstract. The format is simple: it's an inventory of yes-or-no questions designed to assess whether or not a player deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. It's not numerical, nor is it strictly objective, but after going through the list you typically get a pretty good feel for the player's HoF-worthiness. Our subject this morning is Bernard King, one of the best scorers of the 80s, but a guy who still hasn't been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Have the HoF's anonymous voters made the right call the past four years, or does King really belong in the Hoop Hall?

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Posted in History, Keltner List | 11 Comments »

Layups: Insight on the Changes in OKC, TOR, and WAS

10th December 2008

HoopsAnalyst's Harlan Schreiber has a lengthy post about the 3 pre-Wittman coaching changes so far this season. In it, he takes an interesting look at the (non-interim) coaches with the fewest wins for each franchise.

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Layups: Pelton on Minnesota’s Coaching Shuffle

9th December 2008

Basketball Pospectus' Kevin Pelton offers his take on the Randy Wittman/Kevin McHale situation in Minnesota. What does the future hold for the T-Wolves' management, both coaching-wise and in the front office?

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Kobe and MJ

8th December 2008

I have to say that I'm really enjoying FreeDarko's new book, The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac. It's one of the most unique basketball books I've ever read, and the artwork is nothing short of, well, macrophenomenal. But the purpose of this post isn't simply to plug FD's book -- though you should really check it out -- rather, it's about the Almanac's chapter on Kobe Bryant. They start it off thusly:

Check the résumé -- it's absolutely impeccable. A 6'6" shooting guard with limitless physical tools, a hell-bent perfectionist, Kobe Bryant works tirelessly to condition his body and enhance his game. He's fearless in the clutch, voraciously competitive, and serious to the point of bleakness.

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Posted in Analysis, History | 111 Comments »

Layups: Early ’08-09 Observations

7th December 2008

Here's a good article by Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus about early-season trends in scoring, pace, and efficiency. Just by looking at traditional stats, you may think defense is up this year, but the truth is a little more complicated than that.

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Layups: Putting Duhon in Perspective

6th December 2008

This is about a week old, but Harlan Schreiber of HoopsAnalyst wrote an interesting piece about Chris Duhon's 22-assist game on November 29. As it turns out, you just don't see too many 20+ assist games these days...

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Stock vs. Isiah

5th December 2008

One of my favorite things to do when looking at old basketball stats is to compare players with different reputations and see if perception agrees with reality. Sometimes, it does -- any way you cut it, Michael Jordan was miles better than contemporaries like Dominique Wilkins or Clyde Drexler. Other times, though, it's not so clear-cut -- I present to you the case of Isiah Thomas v. John Stockton.

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Posted in Analysis, History | 42 Comments »

A Starting Point for Analyzing Basketball Statistics

3rd December 2008

Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports: A Starting Point for Analyzing Basketball Statistics

Justin is too modest to toot his own horn, but this paper which he co-authored with Kevin Pelton, Dean Oliver, and Dan Rosenbaum is currently the most downloaded paper at JQAS. It gives a good starting point for the statistical analysis of basketball. It appears BE Press will let you download it in exchange for some contact info.

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Anatomy of a Champion: The 1993-94 Rockets

2nd December 2008

Fifteen years ago tonight, the Rockets beat the Knicks at MSG for their 15th consecutive win to start the season, tying the all-time NBA record set by the Washington Capitols in 1948-49. I know what you're thinking: not another post about streaks! Don't worry, though, that bit of trivia is just an excuse to introduce a series where I look at what made some of the greatest championship teams in NBA history tick. Today, we start with that record-tying Rockets team, who would carry the momentum from their season-opening streak with them all year long and eventually win an NBA title.

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Posted in History | 8 Comments »