Rob and I ended up not having time to talk about it like we planned last week, so we spent the whole time this week (and then some) talking about our picks for the All-Star reserve squads. I have an epic brainfart in considering Eastern Conference candidates in Part 1, but I have my revenge in Part 2, oh yes I do. Interested to hear thoughts on our 7 and 8-man selections for the respective conferences.
Also, not only do we have a name for the pod, the Make or Miss Podcast (explanation within), but some extremely appropriate bumper music as I'm sure you'll agree, after the jump.
Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and the Problems Of "Tools"
Regular listeners of the podcast or followers on twitter will know that I've come full circle on the issue of Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes. Green is simply a substantially more effective player than Barnes. Yet people, most importantly and frustratingly Warriors coach Mark Jackson don't see it that way. Despite genuinely poor results in his assigned role as primary scorer off the bench, the chances and excuses for Barnes pile up. Is it a bad role for him? Is he hurt? Is it just a slump? People seem unwilling to countenance the possibility that he just might be not good at NBA basketball.
One of the biggest issues with theIsolated Rim Protection metric has been been adjusting for shot "deterrence" and pace. Basically, from the defensive perspective, the best shot at the rim is the one not taken at all. And while I had accounted for this previously with a team adjustment, that was fairly blunt, as it is clear as day that there is a great difference in the intimidation factor presented by a Dwight Howard and by his current backup Donatas Motiejunas .
Related to the piece I had up on ClipperBlog yesterday (thanks to Andrew Han for running it), I recalculated "Isolated Rim Protection" values up through games of Monday the 20th. Based on a suggestion from Rob, I ran the whole league, not just big men, though obviously "rim protection" is a far less important stat for wings and guards than for bigs. But, looking at the whole league (well, players who had played at least 20 games and at least 10 minutes per game) reveals the contribution each "position" on the floor tends to have in protecting the paint:
In this edition, Rob and I spend about twice as long as we thought we would talking about one topic: guys around the league who should play more. Both of us tend to focus on the same type of player - the promising young player stuck behind a below average veteran on a team going nowhere. But Rob especially has some wild cards to discuss. There's a little audio glitch about 25 minutes in but I think we stitched it together. Pod and downloadable file after the jump.
Winning the One-on-One Battle But Losing the Match-up War
I'm a big believer in the NBA being a match-up league. Players' have preferred spots and skills, and to the extent particular opponents are good or bad at stopping or attacking those things, this interaction between discrete strengths and weaknesses determines much of who has good or bad performances. However, too often we get focused on only one half of a match-up and forget that mismatches can go both ways.
Since I stopped following college ball much (the one-and-done rule and the overly high ratio of physicality to skill has robbed that version of the game of much of it's aesthetic appeal), I don't have a ton to say about this year's crop of prospects, other than I LOVE Joel Embiid. However, as a sort of meta-commentary on the prospecting and projecting, I do want to say that I think people are focusing far too much on "measurables."
Podcast: Trade Thoughts and Rating Local Announce Teams
Most airtime he's gotten in months.
Thankfully, Rob has recovered from what sounded like a nasty bout of appendicitis, and we were able to record a long overdue podcast. After the jump, we get sidetracked talking MORE about Blake vs. DMC before segueing into discussing the recent trades involving Courtney Lee and Jordan Crawford among others before finishing up with our thoughts on the League Pass experience of the booths on local broadcasts.
Since I last looked at the Blake Griffin and DeMarcus Cousins comparison a month ago, a funny thing happened: they both started balling out all over the place. My thesis at that point was the DMC would be the better "primary option" as he was a more consistent one on one scorer as well as able to "bend" defenses by drawing a double team in the post.