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Archive for January, 2009

Layups: Hollinger Weighs in on ASG Starters

23rd January 2009

In what's really a yearly ritual for him,'s John Hollinger gives us his picks for the All-Star Game starting lineups. The results of fan voting were disclosed here, and for the most part the fans got things right, but JH has two legit beefs: why did Allen Iverson and Amare Stoudemire get nods over Devin Harris and Dirk Nowitzki?

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Layups: Boston Celtics, 07-08 vs. 08-09

23rd January 2009

Be The Three has a nice stat-centric post up about the similarities (and differences) between this year's Celtics and last year's World Championship squad. Not much has changed, but they still need to find somebody to fill the James Posey & P.J. Brown roles from a year ago.

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Teams of the Decade: 2000s

23rd January 2009

The last time I did a post like this, it was to identify the 10 best non-champions in the NBA during the decade of the 2000s. Now I'm going to extend the same method and rank the franchises over the past 9+ seasons. As a refresher, the ratings are calculated by adjusting the pythagorean expectation for home-court advantage, playoff performance, and the spread of competition in the league for each season. The final result is what's called a "z-score", or the number of standard deviations above (or below) average each team was, which can then be compared to other teams across multiple seasons or even eras.

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Posted in Analysis, History | 2 Comments »

McGrady’s Peak

23rd January 2009

In a discussion about this year's MVP candidates at APBRmetrics the other day, everyone's favorite biostatistician, Gabe Farkas, made this comment:

For me, [Tracy] McGrady's 2002 and 2003 seasons are the gold standard of ridiculous individual performances in the recent past. Comparing LBJ's 09 season to those two T-Mac seasons, it looks like LeBron has him beat almost across the board. Honestly, I'm looking at these numbers and thinking "yikes!"

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Posted in Analysis, History | 6 Comments »

Layups: Name the Championship Coaches

20th January 2009

Sporcle wants you to name those select few coaches who were able to guide their teams to an NBA/BAA title. Are you up to the task?

Posted in Layups | 1 Comment »

Boxscore Breakdown: Kobe vs. LeBron, Round 1

20th January 2009

So, did anybody catch that game last night?

In preparation for it, yesterday morning I wrote a rather effusive hosanna about LeBron James' high caliber of play this season, breaking down how LBJ's performance so far had not only surpassed Kobe Bryant's best years, but was also challenging the greatest campaigns of legends like Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain.

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Posted in Analysis, Boxscore Breakdown, General | 14 Comments »

Paul Pierce, Mr. Consistency?

20th January 2009

Just the other day, I was glancing at Paul Pierce's stats from this year and something struck me -- Paul Pierce essentially has the same season (especially on offense) every year. It doesn't matter if he's been on a good team, a bad team, or whatever, his rate stats have been very stable. Translated to the 2008-09 scoring environment, here are Paul Pierce's career numbers:

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Posted in Analysis, History | 1 Comment »

Layups: How to Fix the All-Star Voting Process

19th January 2009

A user named "Chendaddy" over at Bleacher Report has a beef with some of the All-Star fan voting so far this year. And with good reason: oft-injured Tracy McGrady (.388 FG%) has more votes than Chris Paul; Rafer Alston has more votes than Brandon Roy; Allen Iverson has more votes than Devin Harris; Samuel Dalembert in inexplicably 2nd among East centers in voting; Gilbert Arenas is 6th among East guards despite not having played a single game this year (and not having played well since spring '07).

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LeBron’s Incredible 1st Half

19th January 2009

A few months ago, we compared Kobe Bryant to the inimitable Michael Jordan, and we found that while Kobe is a phenomenal talent, his production simply doesn't compare to that of His Airness... Which basically came as a surprise to nobody but the most ardent of Kobe supporters.

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Posted in Analysis, History | 314 Comments »

Layups: The Paul Millsap Doctrine

18th January 2009

Courtesy of Basketball Prospectus, here's a fantastic piece from Kevin Pelton about Paul Millsap and the statistical transition from backup to starter. It's been a controversial topic in APBRmetrics for years -- do great per-minute (or per-possession) stats hold up with an increase in playing time? Well, in Millsap's case, that's a big 10-4: not only has he been better as a starter, but he's been playing like an All-Star!

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