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Layups: Channing Frye in 3-Point Contest

Posted by Neil Paine on February 1, 2010

From ESPN, Suns C Channing Frye will compete in the 3-point competition later this month... Certainly Frye deserves it, ranking 3rd in the league in threes made and 7th in 3-point percentage, but it's still interesting to note the fact that a center hasn't competed since Sleepy Sam Perkins in 1997:

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Posted in Layups | 2 Comments »

DPOY Decision ’10: The Halfway Mark

Posted by Neil Paine on February 1, 2010

A little over halfway into the 2010 season, I thought now would be a good time to take a look at the leading candidates for the Defensive Player of the Year Award this year, using the various metrics we like to look at when judging a player's impact on defense. First up, defensive rating:

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Posted in Analysis | 12 Comments »

Layups: LeBron, Fouls, and the Refs – A Rebuttal

Posted by Neil Paine on February 1, 2010

Last week, Zachariah Blott of Empty the Bench wrote a piece examining LeBron James' low rate of personal fouls per game, using some statistical techniques (a chi-square test) to come to the conclusion that LeBron was receiving preferential treatment from referees above and beyond what Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade get on defense.

Now, Roger Pimentel of How to Watch Sports issues a rebuttal that discloses some of the fine print that could have been attached to Blott's post -- namely, that the p-value of any statistic close to the league lead is going to be small, because the p-value asks "what is the probability that the result is due to random chance alone?" In other words, given James' observed rate of PF/MP, one has to conclude that the odds of James' foul-avoiding ability being league-average are almost nonexistent, but this doesn't really prove LBJ gets favorable treatment from referees any more than it proves Steve Nash and Derrick Rose (to name others atop the league in fewest PF/MP) do, it just means James' ability to avoid committing fouls is almost certainly better than the NBA average. Whether this has to do with his own physical skills, a series of conscious defensive choices on his part, the team defensive scheme, or referee bias, we can't say for certain.

Anyway, read both posts and give me your take... Is LBJ getting favorable treatment beyond the usual superstar non-calls that everyone accepts as a part of NBA ball?

Posted in Layups | 9 Comments »

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Posted by Neil Paine on February 1, 2010

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All-Star Rosters Announced

Posted by Neil Paine on January 29, 2010

In case you missed it, the All-Star reserves were named yesterday, completing the rosters (barring injury replacements). Here are the teams (and snubs, according to this post) for each conference, along with some fun APBRmetric stats:

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Posted in All-Star Game | 7 Comments »

BBR Rankings: 2010-01-29

Posted by Neil Paine on January 29, 2010

Rising: Raptors (W-MIL, W-LAL, W-MIA, W-@NYK), Grizzlies (W-OKC, W-ORL, W-@DET)
Falling: Thunder (L-@MEM, L-@CLE, L-CHI), Heat (W-@WAS, W-SAC, L-CLE, L-@TOR)

(Want to know how the BBR Rankings are calculated? Read this first... "MLE" = Maximum Likelihood Estimate.)

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Posted in BBR Rankings | Comments Off

What If the NBA Was Like the NFL?

Posted by Neil Paine on January 28, 2010

In honor of the long 2-week layoff between the NFL's conference championship games and a little event I like to call the Super Bowl, I was thinking about what the NBA would be like if it was structured the same way as the NFL -- 16-game schedules, heavy divisional play with a set rotation of intraconference division matchups, 6 teams from each conference make the playoffs, etc. What if the 2009-10 season so far was structured that way? Who would win the NBA's Super Bowl?

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Posted in Insane ideas, Just For Fun | 8 Comments »

Yesterday’s Prospects: 2000

Posted by Neil Paine on January 27, 2010

For every season since 1979, the ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia lists recruiting guru Bob Gibbons' top high school seniors, ranked 1-20. Every so often, I'm going to highlight these top prospects from a given year and take a look at what happened to them, as well as throw out the names of some players who may have slipped through the recruiting cracks but emerged as stars anyway. We'll start with the Year 2000, and a group whose best player (by far) wasn't even ranked among the 50 best prospects in the country...

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Posted in History, Prospects | 5 Comments »

Team Talent, Team Age

Posted by Neil Paine on January 25, 2010

Today I wanted to tackle the question of "team talent" -- which team has the most, and which team wins the most with the least? Unfortunately, there's no real way to quantify "raw talent" in a sense of "what is Player X's basketball potential right now?" The best you could do is to look at past years and regress to the mean for a projection, which we did a lot over the past offseason when attempting to predict player performance in 2009-10. But that's a different way to define "talent" than I wanted to look at here -- that method assumes a player has at least shown some flashes of potential in the past, upon which you can base future expectations. But about players who are still considered prospects despite having done nothing at the NBA level? In cases like that, I suppose the only way to really capture "talent" is to use draft position as a proxy, since draft decisions are made on the basis of raw talent the majority of the time. So who are the teams right now with the best collection of talent, based on where their players were drafted?

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Posted in Analysis, Statgeekery | 2 Comments »

BBR Rankings: 2010-01-22

Posted by Neil Paine on January 22, 2010

Rising: Nuggets (W-UTA, W-@GSW, W-LAC), Thunder (L-@DAL, W-MIA, W-@ATL, W-@MIN)
Falling: Spurs (L-@CHA, L-@MEM, W-@NOH, L-UTA), Warriors (L-MIL, W-CHI, L-DEN)

(Want to know how the BBR Rankings are calculated? Read this first... "MLE" = Maximum Likelihood Estimate.)

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Posted in BBR Rankings | 3 Comments »

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