Thursday, October 13, 2005

Rumblings Around the Web

Wonder who's #1 on Hollinger's Player Rankings?

I’ve been trying to find a topic to write on for exactly 67 minutes. I’ve scoured through a schmorgisborg of websites, articles, blogs, magazines, etc., and you know what I came up with? Nothing. So rather than make a waste of that hour+ of quality time spent, I decided to compile all of the interesting NBA features I found and present to you a brief run down of each, while of course, offering my commentary. Here goes…

1) John Hollinger of ESPN.com released his annual Player Ratings based upon his PER (Player Efficiency Ratings) system. It takes into account points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, turnovers, missed FGs, and personal fouls and collectively produces a ranking for each player in the league. While this may seem cool (and it is), it also displays what a huge geek Hollinger must be. Here are some quotes taken directly from the article:

--“PER relies on a complex formula to rate a player's contribution in each of these categories, awarding or subtracting points depending on how much the player added or subtracted to his team. But it doesn't stop there. It adjusts every player's rating for the team's pace, an important consideration when comparing players from, say, Indiana and Phoenix.”

Man, because I was really worried it was going to stop there. Seriously, how much time can one person have on their hands to factor in a team’s pace into player ratings? What was this guy’s major, logarithms?

“Projections have their weaknesses -- for example, they don't know that Stoudemire just had microfracture surgery.”

WHAT? Dude this is YOUR ratings system. You didn’t create a robot to do all this, it’s you dip shit. You know that Amare just had microfracture surgery, so adjust YOUR ratings. Wow.

Despite being a huge nerd and probably being a gold member of at least five internet porn sites, Hollinger does an outstanding job. Not only does he provide his 04-05 ratings, but also give his projections on what to expect this upcoming season. But remember to ignore Stoudemire, because the system isn't aware that he just had microfracture surgery.


2) Dr. Z of Sports Illustrated.com put out a nice article this afternoon on the dangers of sports betting, which I recommend to all of you, especially after the piece we posted yesterday. It discusses how his brother-in-law got him into betting by telling him he needed to pursue something where he would have an advantage over everyone else. Since he was a sports writer, this was the perfect remedy. Zimmerman decided it was a good idea and decided to go for it. Here’s an excerpt:

“I didn't know much about sports gambling, but my paper, the New York Post, was a betting hotbed. Everybody gambled. We even had our own bookie in the building, Duke on the third floor.”

I mean it doesn’t take a NASA scientist to figure out that any field in which a guy named Duke runs the show is probably a very bad thing to pursue. But that didn’t stop Dr. Z who begins his next paragraph with the sentence: “And I lost $3,500, which was serious money back then.” Haha, no shit dude, any amount of money in which the word “grand” can be used is a lot of money in any generation.

He continues on to try and talk you out of the hobby/addiction (depending at what stage you’re at) and presents some great examples of why it’s smart to listen. If you think, “Man, that will never happen to me, I only wager on a couple games a week,” then you’re an idiot. Because say you start winning some games, what’s going to stop you to from upping those two bets per week to say, 4 or 5? That my friend, is the beginning of the transition phase from hobby to addiction. Please read the article, it could save you a few grand.


3) This afternoon our buddy Jeff over at Celticsblog.com got his question selected for Chad Ford’s chat. Here’s the exchange:

Jeff (CelticsBlog.com): I'm out of Celtics storylines. Give me something new to talk about!

Chad Ford: Jeff has one of the best fan blogs out there if you haven't checked it out. How about this Jeff? Since it seems like we can't let a week go by without a Paul Pierce rumor (Danny Ainge shot down a rampant Pierce to the Clippers rumor last week and Pierce to the Nuggets and Blazers over the summer) let me just ask aloud ... why is Danny turning down all of these deals? I know Pierce is the one star on the team, but they're so young and seem to pulling in a different direction than Pierce. The Clippers deal (for Maggette, Wilcox and change) or the Nuggets deal (for some combo of Andre Miller and Nene and change) both seem to work for the Celtics long range plans. What am I missing?

Gee Chad, the guy runs a frickin' Celtics blog and you don't think they've ever discussed all of the Pierce rumors and whether or not Boston should pursue them? I mean, this would be like me or Paul writing in and asking:

Anthony (NBASource.com): Yo Chad, me and Paul have kind of hit a wall as the season inches closer. Any ideas for an article?

Chad Ford: Anthony has the best blog out there if you haven't checked it out. How about this Anthony? Why don’t you explore how the Spurs are a very good team and should again be very good this season? Or how about talking about how good LeBron James is, especially at just 20 years of age!?!? And that if he’s this good now he’ll probably be even BETTER in the next few years! Or you can discuss how Michael Jordan was really good and how he won a lot. I know these are unique angles, but run with them, I bet you anything people will love it! If I’m wrong then Pavel Podkolzin won’t be a 10-time All-Star!

And wasn’t Ford supposed to be leaving ESPN to become a professor at BYU-Hawaii? Yeah, that seemed like a smart move. Don't get me wrong, Ford knows his shit, he's just a real dumbass sometimes.

4) In looking up a few random statistics on Yahoo! Sports, I ran into this picture below. It boggles my mind why players are forced to take these photos. I mean don’t photographers have enough pictures of them playing basketball? Are these awkward poses really necessary? I mean look at Jefferson, who is he trying to be? Was the photographer like, “Hey Richard, cross your arms and pretend to show me the face you’d display if a young fan asked you for the 3,000th time if you were really white”? Or how about Carter? Looks like he’s thinking, “Did RJ really just touch my ass, or am I still high? Man, we really gotta stop calling him RJ.” And Kidd, well, I’m just wondering how much he paid for that goatee. Priceless pictures. If you find anymore of these awkward shots, please send us the links.



5) Here are a few pictures of the new jerseys we will being seeing this year.






6) Finally, much thanks to Todd over at 120 Proof Ball for putting up his Carnival of the NBA last week. His site is quite hilarious and insightful and one you should add to your daily itinerary. Any exposure we bloggers can get is much appreciated. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll be taking the place of these big name writers and you all can say, “Man, I remember when that punk was a blogger”. That’ll be the day…

3 Comments:

At 4:03 AM, Anonymous Peter said...

Regarding Hollingers rating system. Maybe he is a nerd, but his statistics pale in comparison to the trul scientific work at 82games.com

 
At 11:32 AM, Blogger Mike said...

I like Hollinger's stats, but Nostradamus he ain't. I was bored last night so I compared last years predictions for the Bulls (from his 04-05 book) to their actual stats, and only one player's actual PER came within 2 points of Hollinger's predictions. Some of the other stat categories were wildly different.

But then, predictions in general (except here at the Source, of course) are pretty much useless. Most "professional" analysts had teams like the Bulls and Sonics finishing in the bottom of the standings this time last year.

 
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