11.17.2008

Original Crooks, Original Heads



We already knew that J.A. Adande was pretty much the coolest sportswriter out, but were still moved by the mid-90's hip-hop knowledge he flashed in his latest ESPN chat, especially this nugget: "Enta da Stage is an underrated album." Really, though, the singles off that album are where it's at. He also makes a really good point about the double standard in how NBA fights are perceived compared to those in other major sports.

We're just about done gassing ourselves up about the book, but you know we had to link to Gil's blog, since it's not every day that happens. Also, Silverbird5000 wanted to follow up on Gil's comments about the "No Conscience" chart, featured on page 53 of the Almanac, which illustrates the peculiar relationship between the distance and accuracy of his 3pt shooting. Arenas writes:

There's a stat in there that the further I get from the basket, the higher my shooting percentage goes up. It's true, but it's one of those stats where I don't take a lot of shots from that far (I think they say I'm 20-for-46 from wayyyy downtown for my career or something) so it's not like I've taken 100 shots from there.

The data in question is actually from the 2006-2007 season - the last before his injury - but the point about the small sample size (just 46 shot attempts) is well taken. HOWEVER, when we expand our sample to include all four seasons before his injury (2003-2007), it remains the case that Arenas shoots a ridiculously high percentage from Way Down Town. In those four seasons, Arenas took 116 shot attempts from the 28ft-40 foot range and shot 35.34%. That's basically equal to his normal-distance 3pt%, and far more accurate than the other two players who took 100+ shots from that range - Kobe and T-Mac - who clocked in at just 30% and 25%, respectively. Indeed, among players with at least 40 shot attempts, Arenas ranked a impressive 3rd in FG% from 28ft+, with only Mike Miller and Baron Davis ahead of him.



The fact that Arenas has never even cracked the top 50 in overall 3pt% makes his performance from the outer galaxies all the more compelling. 2006-2007 may have been his long-ball high point, but Gil's swag has always been phenomenal.

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32 Comments:

At 11/17/2008 3:02 PM, Blogger BreadCity said...

great table. i've noticed that under d'antoni, jamal crawford has increased his habit of taking far-out shots this season. By my own calculation he is hitting about 33%.

also, that gotcha open beat is sick. method man and ghostface recorded a great freestyle track over it but i'm not sure whether it was ever on an actual album.

 
At 11/17/2008 3:10 PM, Blogger Mike said...

just got the book in the mail. About half way through right now. It's awesome

 
At 11/17/2008 3:29 PM, Blogger SilverBird5000 said...

I have Crawford at 29% (10/34) in the 03-07 data set; i wouldn't be surprised if d'antoni got him up to 33.

unfortunately, espn.com is the only play-by-play data that gives the # of feet for each shot. so unlike the NBA.com play-by-plays, which you can download as one big up-to-date file from basketballvalue.com, you have to collect the espn data yourself. that's why I stopped at 07.

 
At 11/17/2008 4:27 PM, Blogger Kaifa said...

Sorry to write a comment off topic, but this is probably one of the better forums for this.

Via The Blowtorch I just watched the Anthony Morrow highlights for the first time after being totally perplexed by the box score:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcMEoGoTMWo&eurl

He doesn't hit rim on any of his shots, some straight out of the Paul Pierce/Antawn Jamison instruction viedo on odd spots and angles, plus he idolizes Ricky Davis. Awesome. I hope this stands as a rookie season high until the end.

 
At 11/17/2008 4:46 PM, Blogger dunces said...

Kaifa, thanks for that. I didn't catch the game, and those higlights made my day!

 
At 11/17/2008 4:56 PM, Blogger Christopher said...

"Enta Da Stage" is only underrated if you don't constsntly rock it in your car's CD player. Adande is right though, I'm amazed at how many hip hop "heads" I know who don't really know who Buckshot(or Black Moon, Heltah Skeltah, OGC, etc...) is. Gil's swag was a t its peak when he turned his back on that deep game winner against Utah (I think)went in. He just knew.

 
At 11/17/2008 4:57 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

J-Craw is the new Gilbert, under D'Antoni... I also noticed that, too. That JC is hitting from deep, but also shooting without a conscience more. That's the 7 seconds or less effect. As long as he's nailing 40% or so from deep.

I think you meant that the remixes from that first album were dope. The original version of I Got Cha Opin is alright, but the (video) remix is crazy nice. As was the Buck Em Down remix. Black Moon and the whole Duck Down Enterprize for a while kept releasing singles with ridiculous B-sides bangers....

 
At 11/17/2008 5:15 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

@SML: I meant the singles, like the round vinyl things, roughly 12 inches in diameter.

 
At 11/17/2008 5:26 PM, Blogger goathair said...

a) This is why the stats section needs to happen.

b) I was wondering where SML has been.

c) ANTHONY MORROW IS NOT REAL.

d) I'm going to go listen to Jeru now.

 
At 11/17/2008 5:33 PM, Blogger badly drawn boykins said...

I get the feeling that half the basketball bloggers and readers out there between the ages of 25 and 35 have the same 200 or so 90s hip hop tracks on their iPods.

Speaking of which:
1. I'm downloading "How Many Emcees (Must Get Dissed)" when I get home.
2. Has anyone seen my copy of the New Jersey Drive soundtrack?

 
At 11/17/2008 6:21 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

the stat section will be happening soon. very soon.

meanwhile, in the Situation Room, the phrase 'TEAM OF RIVALS' has been uttered seventeen dozen times in the past half hour alone. I am not exaggerating.

 
At 11/17/2008 6:26 PM, Blogger Both Teams Played Hard said...

C'mon...No one who matters sleeps on Enta Da Stage.

The real tragedy is the disregard for the BCC renaissance albums Chemistry and Jesus Price Supastar. "Mix a pound of the underground, a cup of Buck..."

That Donkey Sean Jr. mixtape is fresh off the meat rack too.

 
At 11/17/2008 6:33 PM, Blogger FreeCashFlow said...

I thought of that as well, that Gil hadn't taken that many shots from that zone, so it's great to see his stats from there relative to his contemporaries. Another factor to consider is whether the long range hoists are taken because of shot clock issues or end-of-quarter issues (you might get a running start on the end-of-quarter shots, and they're less likely to be contested).

The sweeter deal is that Gilbert had feedback on his section. I don't suppose Duncan had any reaction on his entries in the almanac ("You missed the next number in the Fibonacci sequence, 34, which is the number of minutes I averaged from 2005 through 2007") or Vince Carter ("Am I that much of a disappointment to you?") or Lamar Odom ("What do you mean my facial gestures are 'artificially induced'?")

 
At 11/17/2008 6:33 PM, Blogger MC Welk said...

Many an opponent's swag has peaked v. the Jazz.

 
At 11/17/2008 6:45 PM, Blogger SilverBird5000 said...

that Situation Room comment was actually me, not Shoals. Somehow I was logged under his account. neither of us know how that happened.

I wouldn't have mentioned it except that Shoals takes great pride in only watching MSNBC - even during that shitty david gregory hour - and would not want that reputation compromised. so consider the record corrected.

 
At 11/17/2008 6:50 PM, Blogger SilverBird5000 said...

Amazingly, someone did tell Sheed about our stat showing his performance improving after technical fouls. his response, apparently, was "I need to get more Ts".

 
At 11/17/2008 8:15 PM, Blogger Ritchie said...

Just read the cancers chapter in the book. I continue to enjoy every page thus making me eagerly anticipate what is coming on the next page. But a few comments about the Marbury chapter...

Prairie vole is an odd choice for Starbury's spirit animal. Voles form lifetime monogamous bonds with their mates while one of Marbury's most infamous moments was his public admission of infidelity.

I also wonder if you guys could have further nailed down Steph's cancerousness by limiting the cancer graph to guys who played serious minutes. The thing that really defines Marbury as a cancer is that he was supposed to be a superstar. With a guy like Tony Massenburg, he ends up on the list above Starbury not because Tony was decimating teams but because he could only find work with teams that were awful. If you are an awful team you might dump Massenburg to make space for your first round pick, allowing Tony to move on to another awful team. I have no idea how well this would hold up to closer analysis but it seems pretty clear journeymen amass cancer points because they only find work on bad teams and likely lose their spots as those bad teams improve. Whereas a true disastrous cancer like Marbury provided a false hope of success only to prove to be a terrible leader. Although I also see the counterargument that if you are a (supposed) franchise player and it turns out you are statistically similar to Tony Massenburg, that stat expresses your awfulness.

 
At 11/17/2008 9:15 PM, Blogger tray said...

Enta Da Stage's great, Dah Shinin's a lot better.

 
At 11/17/2008 9:52 PM, Blogger BreadCity said...

Ritchie, not all journeymen play on bad teams. Massenburg himself picked up a ring with the Spurs, yet there's no denying that Tony is straight bad luck. He's probably the real reason the Grizzlies had to leave Vancouver. And after the Spurs won that championship, he got into a car accident and had to sit the next two seasons.

 
At 11/17/2008 10:00 PM, Blogger guntalk said...

i counter that "enta da stage" is an overrated LP, at least by those that know and care about the album. it's muddy basslines, breakbeats and simplistic rhymes have aged very poorly, especially in comparison to other albums of the era like "midnight marauders," "dah shinin'" or anything made by dre. as someone alluded to earlier, the value of that black moon album is in the 12" remixes and b-sides.

 
At 11/17/2008 11:51 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

Adande used to drop sporadic hip-hop knowledge when he wrote for the Times. I'll never forget during the Sammy Sosa-McGwire home run craze, he used the hook to Tribe's "The Hop," as the epigraph for a story on Sosa's home run trot.

 
At 11/18/2008 1:03 AM, Blogger tray said...

"Ritchie, not all journeymen play on bad teams."

True true true. As Ghostface would say, Horry and Cliff Robinson were many a team's "life charm."

 
At 11/18/2008 6:58 AM, Blogger Bubba said...

I'm new to this site, so forgive me if this is epiphenomenal, or belongs to some aufhebunged earlier phase, but this is the most Free Darko play I've ever seen.

http://soxanddawgs.com/2008/05/14/another-manny-being-manny-moment

And I'm a Yankees fan.

 
At 11/18/2008 12:37 PM, Blogger wondahbap said...

Whoa! Some BCC talk. Boot yeah!

Yeah, "Dah Shinin' was the best BCC album. By far. Ironically, I've been listening to it alot lately, and guntalk is correct it doesn't sound dated. "Enta da Stage" was good, but Buckshot always bored me, all of his rhymes are the same. How many times have I heard him rhyme attack w/ back, rap, back, etc?

The new Heltah Skeltah is decent.

 
At 11/18/2008 1:04 PM, Blogger jawaan oldham said...

Bubba---

I'm a Yankee fan too, and that clip has been making me smile for months now. I submit that this clip's FDness increases when one factors in degree of difficulty; much as I love baseball, it's pretty fuckin square most of the time, and moments of swag are few and far between. Of course, on Manny's home planet, that kind of play happens all the time.

 
At 11/18/2008 6:29 PM, Blogger Christopher said...

I'd put Heltah Skeltah "Nocturnal" up there with BCC's best as well. Starang Wondah goes especially hard there.

 
At 11/19/2008 12:19 AM, Blogger Posit said...

Anthony Morrow is making a mockery of the draft.

Also, Siah & Yeshua

 
At 11/19/2008 12:20 AM, Blogger bernard snowy said...

2 minutes left in the 3rd, and Morrow has 22 points on 8/11 shooting. are we sure we aren't seeing dude's leftover summer league box scores?

WV: imnise -- you're damn right you are, kid

 
At 11/19/2008 12:29 AM, Blogger bernard snowy said...

dang, posit beat me to it.

I mean, I'm a pretty big ACC fan, and I barely even remember this dude from his time at Georgia Tech (although they were pretty atrocious last year, so I didn't watch too many of their games). hell, ESPN.com still has him listed on the Jackets' 08-09 roster! what kind of Faustian bargain did this dude make in the offseason to go from an unremarkable shooting guard on a bad college team to an unstoppable force of nature?

 
At 11/19/2008 7:05 AM, Blogger LaRocque said...

The double standard in fights is ridiculous. I've been trying to make people realize for a while now how obvious the racial undertones are to the way the media perceives NBA altercations. The Knicks and Nuggets a couple years ago was NOTHING compared to what happens in hockey or the benches clearing brawls that we see in baseball, and yet these guys were called "thugs" and it was news for what seemed like a couple of weeks. Those who carry that prejudiced attitude with them tell me that it is part of hockey to fight (which it is not. there are punishments for fighting) and that baseball fights are different because there's a wall between the players and the people. None of this matters, because the acts being comitted by the players are the same regardless of what the stadium set up is. Barring one huge enormous disasterous exception, NBA fights are often much less severe than baseball or hockey fights.

 
At 11/21/2008 10:16 PM, Blogger tray said...

"I'd put Heltah Skeltah "Nocturnal" up there with BCC's best as well. Starang Wondah goes especially hard there."

Dude, how does he do that when he's not even in the group? I guess he was on Leflaur Unspellable, but that's one song. He's in the OGC. And Da Storm's not very good.

 
At 11/25/2008 7:39 PM, Blogger ** said...

"killin' every nigga in sight" :
one of the wildest song titles ever..

 

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