Monday, July 14, 2008

Some Filler

Sorry for the lack of posts today and over the weekend. I've been hard at work compiling a database of play-by-play data from the last three years, as a first step towards a general theory of style. In addition to play-by-play data, I've been utilizing NBA Hotzone data (downloading the data using a method learned from countthebasket). I'm hopeful that the results will be worth the wait.

In the meantime:
  • Summer League: I watched a couple of games. What I know -- Coby Karl looks a lot better than most of the other players out there. I don't know if this is due to the one year of experience playing for the Lakers and Defenders last year, or if he's just a lot better than everyone else, or both. Also: during the Detroit-LA game, Rodney Stuckey was by FAR the best player on the court, and dominated. He really doesn't need to be playing summer league games at this point, I don't think. Amir Johnson had a few nice moments, but fouled a lot. I saw Clippers - Mavericks also. I was hoping to see something special from Nick Fazekas, but didn't see anything particular. Al Thornton was far too good to be on that court, and he looks bigger/stronger than he did last year. Eric Gordon ran around and shot a lot. Gerald Green depressed me -- the most athletic guy on the court, great skills, and he didn't look like a professional basketball player, even against summer league competition. He had a gorgeous breakaway dunk at one point, but he also looked lost several times. I hope he somehow works out in Dallas though. I didn't really catch much else. More thoughts on Lakers summer league performances here. You can watch Vegas summer league games live via webcast at the NBA website.
  • Olympic Qualifiers are being played in Athens. For a pretty in-depth preview of what to expect, check out this link.
  • This is a really worthwhile read - a snapshot of the WNBA season to date. No huge surprises, I don't think, although Lindsay Whalen's position near the top of the PER list is a reminder of just how odd it is that she's not on the Olympic team.
  • I'm pretty excited about tonight's Sparks - Silver Stars matchup. I'm not doing a full preview, but I'll have some thoughts up about it after the game. As for their last game against the Storm, I missed it and there doesn't seem to be an archived webcast available. The numbers look ugly, though:

Pace Efficiency eFG% FT/FG OREB% TOr
LOS 72 72.2 35.8% 26.4 19.4 27.8
97.2 41.5% 15.5 45.0 16.7

  • The 72.2 Efficiency for the Sparks is WAY below their season average, and that 27.8 at the top right? That means they turned the ball over on almost 28% of their posessions. Obviously, it's hard to score if you never get a shot off, good job by the Storm of getting steals. But the really scary number up there is Seattle's grabbing 45% of their own missed shots. Seattle shot poorly (41.5% effective field goal percentage), but they got a second opportunity on almost every other missed shot. It can be mighty demoralizing to a defense to force a missed shot, just to watch the opposing team get the ball back for another try. Finally, here's a good breakdown of one of the offensive sets used by Seattle in the game. Since I didn't watch the game, I've nothing more to add.

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