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When I wrote about Steve Nash's pair of somewhat controversial MVP selections last week, I held up the decline of Shawn Marion's game after leaving Phoenix as an example of the way Nash helped his teammates put up offensive numbers that were beyond their "true" ability level. However, a reader was quick to point out that while Nash had an effect on Marion, the inverse was also true, and that Marion's decline was probably due more to age, injuries, and 2 different teams than Nash's absence.
So today I decided to use Roland Beech's great stats at 82games.com to take a closer look at Marion's numbers with and without Nash to try and show even more clearly how much he benefited from the terrific synergy they developed together in Phoenix.
Some people have been requesting updated playoff SPM scores, so here are the results through the first round of the playoffs. I'll update again after every round with both round-by-round and cumulative splits.
In case you didn't read about this bit of news, former Pistons great Dave Bing was elected Mayor of Detroit last week. Here's an interview by SLAM Magazine with the 7-time All-Star, Hall of Famer, and member of the NBA's 50th Anniversary Team.
As someone who has dabbled (very minorly) in basketball uniform design as a hobby, I can definitely appreciate this: a graduating senior at the University of Tennessee (alias "conradburry") recently put together a final design project called "NBA Europa," an 8-team European NBA spinoff complete with crests, shields, logos, jerseys, and more. He even documented the entire process of creating the league with a blog. Pretty cool, if you ask me (then again, I'm the kind of nerd that used to create imaginary dice baseball leagues when I was a kid)...
Besides, with David Stern making noise from time to time about actually expanding league operations to Europe, don't be surprised if you see something like this in real life at some point in our lifetime.
Daly accomplished just about everything a basketball coach can during a career that spanned 4 decades at the college, pro, and international levels. Named one of the 10 greatest coaches in NBA history in 1997, Daly led the "Bad Boy" Pistons to 2 World Championships in the late 1980s, molding a challenging combination of personalities into a great, hard-nosed team. Here's an interesting piece about his influence on the game as well, in terms of causing the league to slow down in the 1990s after the Showtime Lakers' style had dominated the 80s.
Daly also brought that gift for chemistry-building to Team USA at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, coaching the original Dream Team to the gold medal and helping to secure their place as one of the most iconic squads in the history of the sport. For his efforts, he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994. Needless to say, Daly will be missed both as a person and as a great contributor to the game we love.
Our friend Jon Nichols runs Basketball-Statistics.com, but he's also writing a weekly column now for Hardwood Paroxysm, stepping into the stathead breach left by David Sparks when The Arbitrarian was assimilated into the Collective. :) This week, Jon looks at the weaknesses of the 8 teams that survived round 1 of the playoffs. Particularly interesting is his take on Houston's low steal %, and why it may not be such a bad thing for the Rockets' D.
somebody from this website please tell me why Steve Nash has 2 mvp seasons? i still cant figure it out cause to me he was not even close to top 10 player in the league
This question (give or take some capitalization/punctuation) was probably the hot-button debate amongst hoops statheads about four years ago. I once wrote about the worst MVP votes of all time, and Nash's 2005 win ranked right up there (this was before he won it again in '06). John Hollinger wrote that Nash only won because he was "the new guy" on a Suns team that upgraded itself by 33 wins, and that the simultaneous, independent emergence of players like Shawn Marion & Amare Stoudemire to superstar levels of production was unfairly credited to Nash. Others even went so far as to make the rather outlandish claim that Nash won because he was white. Somebody out there had to have voted for Nash, but at the same time, from all the backlash it was difficult to find a non-fanboy who actually believed Nash was a worthy MVP (especially in 2006).
Slate asked, so Bradford Doolittle of Basketball Prospectus went to work. The result is a stat that's sort of an homage to Kurt Rambis, intended to measure hustle and all of those other Rambis-y things that hard-working do...
Unfortunately, there's no evidence it goes up in the playoffs. But what does that mean? Teams don't seem to be trying as hard when they should be trying their hardest? That doesn't make sense.
Of course, I'm not sure if he adjusted for the fact that it's tougher to put up numbers -- gritty RAMBIS ones included -- against the better competition one inevitably faces in the playoffs than it is vs. the Grizzlies in January. Either way, it's still an interesting read.