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Archive for January, 2011

“Too Much Kobe”? Try “Not Enough Defense”

31st January 2011

Just a brief rant about the media reaction to yesterday's Celtics win over LA...

After the game, especially on the SportsCenter coverage last night, I saw "Too Much Kobe" being held up as an explanation for the Lakers' struggles. Here's a sample:

"Bryant took 29 of the Lakers' 66 field goal attempts (43.9 percent) while he was on the floor. This was the 10th game this season that Bryant took more than 40 percent of the Lakers' shots while on the court. In those 10 games, the Lakers are 3-7. Los Angeles is much better when Bryant shoots a smaller percent of the team's shots while on the court. The Lakers are 23-5 when Bryant takes less than 35 percent of the team's shots when on the floor."

That's a familiar media theme when Kobe scores a ton of points but his team loses; we saw it a lot in 2006, for instance.

As far as I can tell, "Too Much Kobe" is exclusively an offensive criticism. Trouble is, L.A.'s offense was fine yesterday. Against the 3rd-best defense in the league, against whom an average team would expect to score about 104 pts/100 poss. at home, the Lakers scored 110.1. The offense is not why L.A. lost, and therefore "Too Much Kobe" can't be why they lost.

They lost because they allowed the 11th-best offense in the NBA to score a staggering 125.0 points per 100 possessions against them on the road. This may or may not be Kobe's fault -- aside from personal fouls, he wasn't overly active on D, and despite his scoring feats the Lakers were -9 when he was on the court.

But it can't possibly be because Kobe had zero assists.

Posted in Analysis, Boxscore Breakdown, Rants & Ramblings | 143 Comments »

All-Star Game Voting

28th January 2011

This is just a quick note to let you know that I added yearly voting results to the All-Star Games section of the site. I tried to list the top ten guards/forwards and the top five centers, although in some years I could only get votes totals for the starters or some other subset. Here is a list of years where the top ten/five are incomplete:

1976 All-Star Game Voting
1980 All-Star Game Voting
1981 All-Star Game Voting
1982 All-Star Game Voting
1983 All-Star Game Voting
1984 All-Star Game Voting
1985 All-Star Game Voting

If you are able to find this information anywhere, please let me know.

Posted in Announcements | 5 Comments »

Layups: Henry Abbott Sets the Record Straight on Kobe in Crunch Time

28th January 2011

A must-read: TrueHoop's Henry Abbott tries to dig through all the mythmaking and find the truth about Kobe Bryant in crunch time.

The truth about Kobe Bryant in crunch time - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN

Posted in Layups | 66 Comments »

Layups: Mid-Season “Anti-Awards”

28th January 2011

From Ian Levy of Pickin' Splinters:

Mid-Season Anti-Awards | Pickin' Splinters

Bizarro categories include the Shawn Bradley Award for tall players who get their shots blocked, the Jahidi White Award for lowest Ast/FGA, and the Darrick Martin Award for lowest FG%.

Posted in Awards, Just For Fun, Layups | 1 Comment »

BBR Rankings: Schedule-Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Ratings (January 28, 2011)

28th January 2011

2010-11 NBA power rankings through the games played on January 27, 2011:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BBR Rankings, SRS, Statgeekery | Comments Off

NY Times: The Cavaliers’ Decline Is on Record Pace

28th January 2011

The Cavs are bad. Really, really bad:

Keeping Score: The Cavaliers’ Decline Is on Record Pace

Read it in today's print edition as well.

Posted in NY Times | 2 Comments »

Layups: Forbes’ 2011 NBA Team Valuations

27th January 2011

Forbes Business Of Basketball, 2011 - NBA Team Values

According to Forbes Magazine's annual rankings, the Knicks are now the most valuable franchise in the NBA, surpassing the Lakers. NY's value went up 12% over the past year; other big gainers included the Heat, Nets, & Warriors. The biggest declines in value belonged to Cleveland (-26%) and Detroit (-25%). The Pistons and Cavs had been the 4th- and 5th-most valuable franchises, respectively, as recently as December 2009.

Forbes' numbers also show that 17 of the 30 NBA teams operated at a loss last year (compare that to the NFL and MLB, where Forbes' numbers show only two teams lost money in each sport).

Posted in Layups | 1 Comment »

Layups: Semih Erden’s Chances of Becoming the Best Last Pick Ever

27th January 2011

Here's a fun post from Ryan DeGama of CelticsHub:

Semih Erden: Greatest Of All Time? |

In it, Ryan examines whether or not Semih Erden can eventually overtake Sean Higgins, Don Reid, and Zeljko Rebraca as the top player ever to be selected last in an NBA draft.

(Hat tip to TrueHoop for the link.)

Posted in History, Just For Fun, Layups, NBA Draft, Trivia | 17 Comments »

Site Features: Check Out the Play Index!

26th January 2011

This is just a quick reminder for everyone to check out the Basketball-Reference Play Index. In case you don't already know about the PI, it's a set of research tools that allow you to create customizable queries on our database, save the results, and share them with others. With the PI, you can:

  • Use the Player Season Finder to search through all NBA, ABA, & BAA players' regular season and playoff statistics for performances that match your criteria.
  • Use the Player Game Finder to search through NBA players' regular season and playoff game logs (since 1986-87) for games matching your criteria.
  • Use the Head-to-Head Finder to search for games in which two selected players played against each other.
  • Search for player and team consecutive-game streaks that match your criteria using the Streak Finders.
  • Search for team performances that meet your criteria with the Team Season Finder and Team Game Finder.
  • Use the Draft Finder to search through every NBA/BAA draft for picks that match your criteria.
  • Use the Player Comparison Finder to compare the stats of up to four players through (or in) a given season.

And best of all, these features are 100% free to use!

So go ahead, give them a try, and you'll wonder how you ever got along without them.

Posted in Announcements, Play Index, Site Features | 7 Comments »

Mini-Mailbag: Worst in Offense and Defense

26th January 2011

As if Monday's post wasn't enough, we're back for another painful Cleveland history lesson courtesy of's Zach Lowe:

"Has any team finished last in both offensive and defensive efficiency? [...] Cavs now in danger of pulling off this double."

During the era in which we can apply the official possessions formula, two NBA teams can claim the unfortunate distinction of finishing last in both offensive rating & defensive rating in the same season:

Year Team W L Pts oPts Poss ORtg Rk DRtg Rk #Tms
1993 Dallas Mavericks 11 71 8141 9387 8181.2 99.5 27 114.7 27 27
1987 Los Angeles Clippers 12 70 8566 9503 8460.7 101.2 23 112.3 23 23

Of course, that's just since 1974. If we use my pre-1974 possessions estimator, the list doubles in size:

Year Team W L Pts oPts Poss ORtg Rk DRtg Rk #Tms
1993 Dallas Mavericks 11 71 8141 9387 8181.2 99.5 27 114.7 27 27
1987 Los Angeles Clippers 12 70 8566 9503 8460.7 101.2 23 112.3 23 23
1971 Cleveland Cavaliers 15 67 8373 9289 9081.1 92.2 17 102.3 17 17
1959 Cincinnati Royals 19 53 7421 8060 8626.6 86.0 8 93.4 8 8

How close are the 2011 Cavaliers, then? They're already dead last in offense, with a 0.9 pts/100 poss. cushion between them and #29 Milwaukee. They're also 28th in defense, fractionally ahead of #29 Toronto and 0.4 pts/100 poss. in front of last-place Phoenix. So it's certainly going to be possible for them to overtake (undertake?) the Suns before the season is over. Here's how they stack up against the other teams listed above:

Year Team W L Pts oPts Poss ORtg Rk DRtg Rk #Tms
1993 Dallas Mavericks 11 71 8141 9387 8181.2 99.5 27 114.7 27 27
1987 Los Angeles Clippers 12 70 8566 9503 8460.7 101.2 23 112.3 23 23
1971 Cleveland Cavaliers 15 67 8373 9289 9081.1 92.2 17 102.3 17 17
1959 Cincinnati Royals 19 53 7421 8060 8626.6 86.0 8 93.4 8 8
2011 Cleveland Cavaliers 8 37 4203 4711 4215.1 99.7 30 111.8 28 30

Posted in BBR Mailbag, History, Trivia | 9 Comments »