One of our favorite subjects around here is the myths that run rampent in sports. This week there were some fun posts on this subject.
Patrick Minton (@nbageek) is on a role naming things. First, he brought us the Ryan Anderson Fallacy, which is when teams have a good player at a good contract but the contract is perceived as bad. Think Ryan Anderson (duh!), Jose Calderon, Andre Iguodala, to name a few.
His newest addition is the John Bryant Error. Let’s have a quick pop quiz. First, do you know who Eddy Curry is? Of course you do! He was just signed by the Mavericks, after a short tryout stint with the Spurs. Next, does Eddy Curry have any business being on an NBA team? Most sane people say no. Finally, do you know who John Bryant is? No, he’s not related to Kobe. NBA teams are willing to give veteran players a shot but seem reluctant to give contracts to young guys with lots of upside — think Jeremy Lin. Well good news, we now have a name for it. Hopefully, some team takes notice and we’ll be forced to rename this error.
Also, with the season starting up, if you haven’t been introduced to the Player Comparison Engine then I pity you. It’s the ultimate tool for the NBA stats fan.
Andre Iguodala was recently on a Google+ Hangout with several Denver bloggers (sadly none of them was me) The topic of his great defense came up.
Well the main thing I try to tell the guys is it’s not really the one on one defense that stops — you know — the great scorers in our league. I’ve gone against Paul Pierce, you know, the Joe Johnsons, the Dwyane Wades, Gilbert Arenas, Danny Granger. The guys in their prime, who really score the ball at a high clip and it’s not about just one on one. You know one on one is a big part of it and I just try and make it difficult for them. But, you know with teams that know me it’s gonna be a lot of pick and rolls to get me out of attack mode on the defensive end. So, I’ve let our bigs know that they’re gonna put me in pick and rolls a lot and when that comes and that happens we’re gonna have to be aggressive. And that’s something we’ve continued to work on is pick and roll coverages and that’s something we’ve struggled with but we’ve really gotten a lot better at over the last week or two.
Everybody on the NBA can play. So it’s just about having that mindset every night, being ready to go and knowing that five guys have to in communication on defense to shut those guys down.”
Iguodala also mentioned Eric Gordon, Wesley Matthews and Klay Thompson. While I’m not quite sold on his player evaluation for pure shooters in the West (he left out both Kevin Durant and James Harden) I was sold on his points. Individual defense matters. But if the whole team isn’t in step, then it falls apart. In essence, defense (when referring to limiting shot opportunities indirectly) is largely a team activity, which we’ve reviewed a few times.
Good teams are consistent, right? Well the research Josh Weil (@joshweil) posted this week seems to imply the opposite. Basically, teams are all over the place, which we followed up one too. And to clarify, Josh and I wrote our posts independently of each other so we had no idea what the other would say!
More Shooting Less Efficient?
Alright, I know it’s on our blog but I just loved Kevin’s (@TheDissNBA) take on this problem. Is there a relationship between increasing your shot attempts and your shooting efficiency getting worse? Nope! This was true even when he controlled for good shooters or shooters that changed their habits a ton! Kevin reiterated a point that Dave first brought up in Stumbling on Wins. While the statistics in basketball are much more consistent than other sports, shooting efficiency is the least consistent statistics. Interestingly enough, it’s the stat that teams seem to covet.
Ok that’s just funny
Ok, completely unrelated to myths. Mosi (@mia_heat_index) had a great solution to dealing with Royce White’s trouble with flying. I should stress that the Miami Heat Index normally does hard hitting statistical work focusing on the Heat (For example, this preseason analysis of the Heat’s game against the Clippers). However, this link was too good to pass up.
Hope you enjoy the links and I’m excited that with the season around the corner the number of great outlets for sports news will go up!