After giving Rob a week off to talk Jazz with Ben Dowsett, we're back at it for the end of the beginning. By which I mean we hand out our versions of the NBA awards. Well, I hand out versions of them and Rob cheats to fit his favored guys into the mix. He also wrote (!) about some of his picks at PPP. I take some final shots at this seasons' Timberwolves, but it's not my fault, I was goaded into it by what Rob had to say (after the jump) about Kevin Love!
When ESPN debuted RPM last week, I have to admit my first reaction was classic hipster: I've been down with APM models since before they were cool (though, as I'll get into later, I'm not a huge fan of any "one number" metric). That bit of churlishness aside, I want to join the echoing chorus of those lauding ESPN for taking the plunge into the world of non-box score evaluation and especially into giving defense its due.
Make or Miss Podcast #12: Making Something of a Lost Jazz Season
plished certain things certainly stands as a referendum on Tyrone Corbin to a degree. In a bit of a departure from the usual MoM podcast, flew solo this time and talked with Ben Dowsett of SaltCityHoops to talk about how a team in "rebuilding" or even "tanking" mode can still accomplish things during a season. The degree to which the Jazz have not accomplished certain things certainly stands as a referendum on Tyrone Corbin to a degree.
This week on the pod, Rob and I spend some time on the Pacers (note: this was recorded earlier on Thursday, so before the weekend and especially before Sunday's debacle. I'm losing some faith, but still am far more bullish on them then the general populace who seem worried about a series with either Charlotte or New York. Surprised if it went 6 against either.)
Working To Rediscover An Offensive Identity With the Pacers
Apparently, the Pacers are done for. Local columnists are sharpening their knives. Zach Lowe has weighed in. The team is squabbling internally. Their net efficiency is more than 10 points per 100 worse since the All-Star break. At this rate they'll be lucky to get out of the first round. That is, if you buy the prevailing narratives.
As we march towards the playoffs, Rob and I took on the Hot Topics of the week, first with a little bit about the last few playoff spots, including Portland and Atlanta's late season, injury-aided swoons, whether Dallas could hang on to make it or if the Suns could come out on top of that race. We then moved to a discussion of the rather bizarre intra-coaching staff feud in Golden State which saw Brian Scalabrine demoted to the D-League.
Realized it's been a month or so since I last updated the Isolated Rim Protection Metric, so reran the numbers through games of Saturday, March 22. Google doc with the results is here. Nothing terribly surprising in this iteration. Roy Hibbert still crushes the rest of the league in this measure. Robin Lopez continues to show up surprisingly well (2nd in per game value), even though Portland has given up large numbers of paint points all year.
Make or Miss Podcast #9: Dean on Draft Previews the NCAAS
This one is going up a little late, but Rob and I talked with Dean Demakis for about an hour on Wednesday night talking about prospects who could help or hurt themselves with good showings in the tourney. Obviously, some of the discussion is slightly dated (sorry, Jabari) as we're over halfway done with the first round games at the time I post this, but still good stuff from Dean after the jump.
It's not surprising that there are two items dominating the thoughts and tweets (not always in that order) of basketball intelligentsia this week. On one hand can Phil Jackson SAVE THE KNICKS? (though, I would tweek the question slightly and wonder aloud if Phil Jackson could save the rest of us from the Knicks?) Meanwhile, today marked the start of the paean to commercialization and exploitation of talent so crass that even the IOC thinks it's gauche, or in shorter form, the first day of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament (proper; I like all right thinking people refuse to acknowledge the "1st round" as a real part of the tournament), it's time tofix the draftand end the scourge that is some teams being very bad (even though it's mathematically compelled in a league where some teams are very good).
Really, both issues reduce to one thing: some franchises perform better because they have better owners. "Better" is sort of a catchall for acumen in hiring and firing coaches and executives, willingness to spend money appropriately, and more often than not, getting the hell out of the way. So, I wonder, why should we nibble around the edges of problems such as tanking, revenue sharing and free agency designed to improve competitive balance? Why not cut to the source?
So to that end, I present my Modest Proposal to fix all that ails the NBA: Relegation for owners.
Make Or Miss Podcast #8: Pat Beverley and Pieces of the Mid East
In this edition of the Make or Miss Podcast, Rob and I spend about 25 minutes talking about Patrick Beverley, P.J. Tucker and the guys on the hungry fringe of the NBA (with a side helping of Tony Allen). We then move on to discussing the Middle of the Eastern (conference), talking out who's best and who's the biggest threat among Toronto, Chicago, Brooklyn and Washington.