Thursday, June 5, 2008

A few links

Game 1 is tonight. Should be interesting. There seems to be a lot of chatter about whether or not Fisher can handle Rondo -- this probably misses the point, since Fisher doesn't have to handle Rondo, just force him to the right places on the floor, which he should be able to do. Rondo is an excellent rebounder, though -- can he continue to grab rebounds against a longer team though? Who knows! More thoughts after game 1.

Anyways, yesterday there was some good stuff posted:

Kobe Bryant: Winning, still can't win - it kind of summed up everything that's annoying about the way Kobe's myth is being mis-created.

Retarded Ornithology - draft preview that made my day. Some very important concepts clarified too. For instance:

Potential: Working toward a distinct game. Bird learning how to fly.
Potential potential: Someone with the tools to put together some kind of distinct game. Bird in the egg with the genes for wings.
Potential potential potential: Is this even a bird egg?

Also, the MON** (MONJO, MONGA, MONAI, MONAB) idea really identifies the major error in draft-thinking. The term refers to the phenomenon where, once a singular player with a unique background and skillset/size combination has made his mark on the league, everyone starts looking for the next one, despite the fact that the original is special because he's unique. The next Magic Johnson never came along, nor did the next Kevin Garnett, and we probably won't see another Allen Iverson. But, economically, the myth really raises the stakes for certain playing styles. If you're a six-foot shooting guard, you make several million extra dollars out of the draft in the couple of years right after 2001. Was Mike Conley picked 4th overall because Tony Parker won Finals MVP a few weeks earlier? And how does mis-perception play into the whole thing? Basketball is so far behind in terms of the public's understanding of what leads to success (does anyone really know?), for instance the idea that 20-10-1 with 3 turnovers is better than 18-9-4 with 1.8 turnovers, or something . . .. And here race becomes an issue. Being the "next Larry Bird" has got to be worth a few draft slots right?

Meanwhile, Eli at countthebasket continued his how-to on Adjusted +/- with a post on Offensive and Defensive Adjusted +/-. I'm hoping to use these posts myself to fool around at some point, it's really cool that he's going through things step by step like that. Also, interesting to see positionally who looks good and bad. The value of big point guards, for instance, becomes apparent on the defensive end. Maybe because they need to able to switch and to close out? Also versatile power forwards. Etc . . ..