3.13.2008

Leave Me Alone



Some external links of mine:

-More Quotemonger

-A short but crucial Sporting Blog post, wherein I finally figure out the Rockets. If they're animated not specifically by athleticism, or insanity, or skill, could their identity come down to Morey's statistical background?

-Welcome back, Gerald. He should be retiring but instead he comes back sooner than expected. I have a question for all of you: I know that this latest concussion came by getting thwacked with a big man's elbow. But haven't at least two of the other ones just involved him falling out of the sky? Why don't other contact-happy high-flyers have such bad luck landing? Have Wade or Iverosn ever sustained concussions?

Thank you.

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25 Comments:

At 3/13/2008 4:07 PM, Blogger MC Welk said...

Alston: predates Morey
McGrady: predates Morey
Ming: acupunctured!
Head and Hayes: predate Morey
Mutumbo: predates time
Landry: product of Seattle stupidity
Scola: product of SAnTo's greed
Battier: worse than Gay
BJax: Adelman's call
Franchise: Gone
MJames: Gone
Bonzi: Gone
G. Green: waived for "Mike Harris"
Brooks: too small to matter
Novak: too slow to matter

Lior Eliyahu, where are you?

 
At 3/13/2008 4:14 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

That doesn't mean that their current aesthetic, or reason de whatever, can't be a certain, advanced stats-based, ideal.

 
At 3/13/2008 4:33 PM, Blogger Wild Yams said...

Are the Rockets really just the result of a computer simulation gone right? How will Yao and TMac factor in for the future if the computers in Houston say they should be moved? The streak should be at 21 for the Lakers matchup on Sunday in what might be the game of the week. Unless...

After the fantastic curtain call that the Suns and Warriors gave small ball last month, I am extremely curious to see what this matchup is going to look like now. Will Phoenix finally get its first win against the post-trade Dubs by using slowed-down, half-court Shaqball, or will Nellie ram it down D'Antoni's mustachioed mouth?

 
At 3/13/2008 4:45 PM, Blogger Nicholas said...

That's interesting, I didn't know Morey was a stats geek. But comparing baseball to basketball is disingenuous, as it discounts the myriad small decisions a basketball player must make continually throughout the course of a game. Baseball players have to make one or two choices about things like positioning and pitch selection, then wait for the action (if you're batting, you get to sit on your ass until you're up to bat). But things like spacing, setting screens, making good passes--positioning alone takes a large amount of game knowledge to get right, and that's a constantly changing variable on court. I've got friends who would disagree, but the fact remains, basketball players have to make a lot more uncoached decisions during a game than baseball players.
I'm not going to say that stats don't play a role, but I think the difference is negligible, the unknown factor of the human brain is too great to use stats as an accurate predictor.
Or, maybe stats accurately predict the kind of decisions players will make over the course of a season, and this is the perfect storm of all the players making all the right decisions for an extended, and surprising, stretch.

Sabermetrics in basketball is a depressing thought.

 
At 3/13/2008 4:52 PM, Blogger mc said...

welk makes some points.

but furthermore: any statistics-based computer model would find, without any doubt or ambiguity, that rafer alston is (maybe even by a wide margin) the worst player in the nba. yet there he swims...

 
At 3/13/2008 4:57 PM, Blogger Kirk Krack said...

re: gerald wallace concussions, some players are just concussion-prone. see the Lindros brothers

 
At 3/13/2008 5:29 PM, Blogger The Cruise said...

"always skating with my head down" is the medical condition that Lindros suffered from.

 
At 3/13/2008 5:34 PM, Blogger goathair said...

I just re-read an old article about Wade and in it he says something to the effect that he falls on purpose so he won't land on other people's feet and destroy his ankles. Maybe he and Iver Anderson don't suffer concussions because they're preparing themselves to fall, whereas Gerald's falls are more happenstance.

 
At 3/13/2008 5:40 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

It's been 20 years since I set foot in a dojo, but the first thing they teach you in martial arts is how to fall.

 
At 3/13/2008 5:43 PM, Blogger Hot Shit College Student said...

mc -
The computers say slightly below average to fairly good actually.

and nicholas -

That's crazytalk. I'm not a coach of anything, but there's oodles of variables on the baseball field. Kenny Lofton still hasn't figured out how to track a flyball.

 
At 3/13/2008 6:05 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Trading Gay for Battier, and then releasing Gerald Green has to make me like the Rockets a little less.

And this theory about Wallace not knowing how to fall is going straight into the book.

 
At 3/13/2008 6:13 PM, Blogger Louie Bones said...

At this point, I have resigned myself to route for whichever teams fall to #5-#8 in the playoff seedings. I can't even put it into words yet.

 
At 3/13/2008 6:34 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Welk--Wasn't Morey official GM-in-waiting the season before he started the job? Not sure if that changes any of your list.

 
At 3/13/2008 6:49 PM, Blogger Nicholas said...

@HSCS:
But you don't make decisions in baseball at the speed you do in basketball. Plus, there's the downtime between pitches.

 
At 3/13/2008 7:03 PM, Blogger Hot Shit College Student said...

Yeah, some of 'em are a lot faster. The smaller ball moving quicker with movement and wind and the sun and all. It's kinda dumb to debate anyway.

I understand you're trying to say basketball is more cerebral or something, but it's probably easier to determine that by listening to what experts and athletes from either sport have to say about playing the game(s). I'd say the thinkers:lunkheads, strategy:reaction ratios are pretty much the same in every sport.

 
At 3/13/2008 7:41 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

[Offered in Chuck Norris/Yakov Smirnoff fashion:] I think a concussion would be afraid to be given to AI.

Also, digging the Quotemonger.

 
At 3/14/2008 10:50 AM, Blogger Nicholas said...

No, actually, I think baseball is the thinking man's sport. But that's just it, baseball gives you more time to plot out strategies and decide what you're going to do once the ball is hit. You don't have the luxury of time in basketball, there are no breaks between pitches. I agree that there are a million little things to factor in baseball, but you get a 30 second break to do that while waiting for the action.

In 30 seconds, Tracy McGrady has already scored 11 points.

It all comes down to speed--basketball moves at a faster pace, forces you to make more decisions more quickly, and, I think, is less conducive to statistical analysis for that very reason (because of the pace of the game, the players are more prone to commit error or behave "out of character"). But, who knows, over the course of the season those "aberrations" probably even out. Maybe Morely is on to something. Actually, the more I think about it the more I like it.

 
At 3/14/2008 1:02 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

To second Brown Recluse: In martial arts, military and even in volleyball training, they teach you how to break your fall (hint: don't still out your wrist when falling, lest you get Ewing'ed). If there's one thing about basketball training that surprises me, it's that they can't find time in between running suicides to work on breaking your fall, or landing squarely. Especially when half the game is played in the air, and so much attention is paid to building ups (quad jumps, jump drills, etc).

Why don't other contact-happy high-flyers have such bad luck landing
Shaun Livingston would like a word with you.

Quotemonger was really good this week. I wish you had fleshed out your Morey thoughts a bit more (if you really think there is a connection there, that is).

 
At 3/14/2008 2:43 PM, Blogger mc said...

HSCS @ re: alston. is it his sub-.400 FG% or his jameer-nelson era TO ratio that keeps his head above sabermetric-water? his help stats are actually better than i thought, but those nice STL and pg-avg REB numbers are enough to earn dberri approval? strange. seems like the FG% and TOs would more than cancel all that out. and i actually like rafer alson, so this isn't about that. just trying to touch the math...

 
At 3/14/2008 2:46 PM, Blogger mc said...

i think what nicholas is getting at, without actually getting there, is that baseball is analog where basketball is digital. thus the finite and well-defined sample spaces of baseball lend itself a bit more intuitively towards some kind of makeshift statistical analysis. which i would agree with, to an extent. but that is not to say one can't (eventually) interpret digital wavelengths just as effectively...

 
At 3/14/2008 2:59 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

Hey, somebody in SternWorld finally noticed that Bruce Bowen keeps trying to injure other players (suspended one game without pay). Will wonders never cease ...



wv:abzwwt--a bowen zinger would wound t-mac

 
At 3/14/2008 6:08 PM, Blogger Hot Shit College Student said...

I have no idea how Berri rates Alston. I'm no fan of WoW.

The logic based stuff like the BoP stats and PER have Alston below league average, but not terrible. The turnovers (14.2 TOV%) aren't that bad, but his shooting probably hurts a lot. +/- rating and adjusted +/- both have Alston as a positive for his team.

I'm not a an expert, and I really don't watch enough of the Rockets, but it looks like Alston's flaws haven't hurt that bad. They could use a better point guard (who couldn't 'cept New Orleans?), but he's outplayed the other ones on the roster. T-Mac and Yao's sky high usage probably prevented Alston from becoming a danger to the team, and Landry/Scola might be enough to keep it that way in Yao's absence.

 
At 3/16/2008 8:35 AM, Blogger db said...

I think, Shoals, you have never been able to appreciate the identity of defense in the way you appreciate the identity of offense. Thus baffled by the Rockets, you have to look to a higher power for an explanation, whereas those of us close to the team through the Van Gundy years see the motivation for this streak as being immanent to the identity of the team as articulated through the Adelman storytelling.

 
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