Posts Tagged ‘Henry Abbott’

The correct answer to the key question about the 76ers …

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

is that:

=========================

Justin Kubatko, of Basketball-Reference, doesn’t mess around with numbers. He doesn’t get all excited about things that don’t matter. And the other day in The New York Times he wrote:

There have been 38 teams in N.B.A. history with a point differential of at least plus-10.0 points a game through their first 18 games. The median winning percentage of those teams was .753, which translates to 49.7 wins over a 66-game season. Additionally, 24 of those teams advanced to the N.B.A. finals, with 19 claiming the championship.

In short, mediocre teams do not go on extended runs in which they routinely outscored opponents by double-digit margins. If history serves as a guide, Philadelphia is a contender.

In other words, there are interesting numbers to suggest the Sixers are even money to win the title this year. Which is one nutty thing to suggest.

On the other hand, half the teams that have started this hot in NBA history did not win the title. And there is good reason to suspect these Sixers may fall into that category. They have played just about the easiest schedule in the NBA. When they have played the power teams on the road they have generally lost — at Portland, at Utah, at New York, and badly at Miami. They have also lost at home to the Nuggets and (gulp) Nets.

=========================

Unfortunately, Philadelphia is not yet a legitimate contender to win the NBA Championship this season … since there are 5 teams in the Eastern Conference with more overall talent on their roster.

Although Philadelphia is a much better team than many so-called “NBA experts” may have erroneously projected in the off and/or pre season, in reality, this team is also not nearly as good as the number-crunchers might try to tell you it is, at this point in the season, based on their marginal of victory to-date … and, until the 76ers actually have Top 4 talent on their roster, they should not ever be considered as one of the few legitimate contending teams in the hunt for the NBA Championship in a given season, at least, by an authentic NBA expert.

ROI: The most important coaching concept you will learn about today, or tomorrow, or beyond

Monday, January 30th, 2012

David Thorpe speaks on the core concept of “Royal Jelly”

===================================

PS. Those stats gurus who believe that “players are who they are,” simply do not understand the FUNDAMENTAL concepts of outstanding elite level coaching.

Magic and Power of the internet …

Monday, August 15th, 2011

It really is quite interesting to see how the internet actually works, especially in the world of sports.

If you take a look at the following two links:

#1. Basketball on Paper WAR and the Best Peak Regular-Season Players Since 1978 [Wed-Jul-27-2011];

and,

#2. Real minutes played [Mon-Aug-15-2011].

then, you should be able to tell that:

i. Henry Abbott is a regular visitor to Basketball-reference.com;

ii. At least some of what actually gets written on the subject of “accurate player evaluation, in the NBA,” across the blogosphere, by other “reputable” sources, may in fact, have it’s point of origin properly associated with yours truly [e.g. including, the ridiculously simple concept of assessing “like” individual basketball players according to their:

MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT Team Individual
a. League Championships won;
b. Conf. Championships won;
c. Playoff Series wins;
d. Playoff Games wins;
e. Minutes Played.

:-)

PS. In fact, it should come as no surprise, at all, to see yet another “one-size-fits-all” metric soon developed by someone else, to capture this exact information in a handy-dandy table. ;)

‘Success’ without internal happiness is not really ‘success’ at all

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Read the following article from today’s version of TrueHoop:

———————————————

Keith Richards’ school of Public Relations

Tough talk
Richards’ story is a macho one — women play minor roles, ex-convicts are his real friends. He presents himself as a swashbuckler, entirely unafraid of pulling a gun (unlicensed, of course), throwing a knife, picking a fight or, for that matter, ingesting a mighty eight grams of pure Merck pharmaceutical grade cocaine — the high lasted days — on a dare.

There is no shortage of tough talkers in this world, but Richards stands way the hell out for keeping his tough guy hat on even when it’s time to tell what actually happened.

Many of the most important relationships of his life — with Jagger, with the family of his wife Patti Hansen, with the mother of his older children Anita Pallenberg, with record companies, promoters and drug dealers — all got rocky and are all discussed in reckless specificity. He pilots his pen like he piloted his Bentley — with a lot of scrapes. Let the chips fall where they may.

If there’s value in honesty, this is an international treasure. That kind of truth won’t please many PR experts and I’m sure the lawyers had conniptions, but you’ve got to hand it to the guy. He sure keeps things from straying too far from the truth, and that’s exhilarating. What a lovely break from the saccharine sanitized version of things. It may be ugly, but at least it’s real. And in the case of Richards, his frankness is informative. His rules are interesting. No mainlining the heroin, for instance — only in the muscle. No crack. No freebasing. And only the absolute highest grade of everything. If the heroin gets out of hand, these are some remedies. These are the real stresses of the spotlight. This is what groupies mean to rock stars. This is what friendship feels like in the eye of the media hurricane.

———————————————

then, thoroughly examine the following sentence which appears in the middle of the piece:

“And yet, there is all kinds of evidence that Richards’ approach has more than succeeded.”

and ask yourself the following question:

What does the Life & Times of someone like Keith Richards really demonstrate about the True Meaning of the word Success?

In the opinion of this corner, the real answer to THAT question is:

“Unfortunately, not very much at all.”

 

Related:

Wisdom from the Wizard of Westwood

When NBA reporters, stats gurus and fans take center stage …

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Yikes!

Exhibit A

The Correct Answers To The 10 Questions Asked by Henry Abbott

Q1. Play of the Game?

A1. The Team Defense which Miami played on Dallas’ 2nd last possession when the Heat collectively forced a crucial TO from the Mavs’ best player at crunch-time.

Q2. True or false … Chris Bosh hammed it up a little bit with the eye injury?

A2. False. The man’s left eye was partially closed for the balance of the game. That does not happen without an actual injury occurring to the eye. [Kudos to Hollinger.]

Q3. On scale of 1 to 10, how amazing is it that Tyson Chandler went a whole half without fouling?

A3. 1. Good players actually know how to play the game without committing unnecessary fouls … and, while still maintaining an adequate level of aggressiveness … if the situation dictates that this is how they must play in order to have the team succeed. Tyson Chandler is a relatively good basketball player.

Q4. How amazing is it that Chris Bosh hit the game-winner?

A4. 1. If you are an astute basketball observer, and have watched countless hours of games played by Misters Wade, James, Bosh, Haslem and Chalmers, and acknowledge that Rick Carlisle is, in fact, one of the best coaches in the NBA today, then, in all likelihood, you knew, in advance, that either Chris Bosh or Mario Chalmers would be the most likely Heat players to score a FG in that specific situation … given the way the Mavs were probably going to defend against the high middle pick with the ball in D-Wade’s hands.

Q5. Same scale … Dirk was lousy in crunch-time; how amazing was that?

A5. 1. Dirk was anything but lousy in crunch-time. [Kudos to Hollinger.]

Q6. Dwyane Wade is clearly back; he was back last game. What was wrong with him? He had some bad games for a while; do you think he was injured, or just no one’s perfect all the time?

A6. It’s important to look at more than “just scoring points” when evaluating “What constitutes a bad performance is from a specific player.” It is simply not an accurate description to suggest that Wade “had some bad games for a while,” because he may have shot a lower percentage than usual or scored fewer points, in general.

Q7. Better defender, Dirk or Bosh?

A7. Bosh … by a wide margin. [Kudos to Adande.]

Q8. Dirk, better shooting off the catch or off the dribble?

A8. Off the catch … by a wide margin. [Kudos to Adande, re: off balance. :-) ]

Q9. True or false … Udonis Haslem guards Dirk better than anyone?

A9. False. Kevin Garnett, when healthy, guards Dirk Nowitzki better than anyone else in the NBA.

Q10. True or false … This series is over?

A10. True. Miami is going to win this year’s NBA Championship.

Describing NBA level ‘athleticism’ accurately

Monday, June 6th, 2011

It’s important to provide an accurate assessment of NBA players, when attempting to analyze properly what is actually happening during a specific game.

Unfortunately, when someone like Henry Abbott writes the following:

——————————————–

Mario Chalmers outshines J.J. Barea

Barea kryptonite

Chalmers, Bosh, Haslem, James, Wade and Anthony are the only very athletic players in the Heat’s rotation. When five of those six play together, the Heat play with a vastly higher energy level that causes problems for opponents.

——————————————–

this objective fails to be accomplished.

Of the 12 players Miami had dressed for last night’s Game 3:

1 Mike Bibby, PG 
2 Dwyane Wade, OG
3 LeBron James, SF/PG
4 Joel Anthony, PF
5 Chris Bosh, C
———————
6 Mario Chalmers, PG
7 Mike Miller, SF/OG
8 Udonis Haslem, PF
———————
9 Juwon Howard, PF-C
———————
10 James Jones, OG-SF
11 Eddie House, OG-PG
12 Erick Dampier, C

* 2 would be best described as being ultra athletic [i.e. with exceptional explosive power and horizontal, vertical and lateral quickness];

* 5 would be best described as being very athletic [i.e. with good explosive power and two of three, in terms of horizontal, vertical and lateral quickness];

* 3 others would be best described as being somewhat athletic [i.e. with limited explosive power and only one of three, in terms of horizontal, vertical and lateral quickness;

while, only,

* 2 others would be best described as being non- athletic [i.e. without explosive power and limited horizontal, vertical and lateral quickness];

relative to their positions, at this stage of their respective careers.

As a so-called ‘basketball expert’ … Who exactly is David Thorpe?

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Please watch the following interview with David Thorpe [ESPN, NBA Analyst]:

and, then, ask yourself the following question:

Does it sound to you as though Mr. Thorpe has ever coached the game of basketball successfully at a high level?

————————————-

PS. Please keep in mind that basketball is … first and foemost … a Team game which requires a minimum of 12 players [i.e. divided into 2 squads], and 2 coaches [i.e. one for each team] and, at least, 1 official to play, according to the rules.

PPS. If anyone can fill in the details about where Mr. Thorpe has, in fact, coached successfully in the past – i.e. use the comments section – it would be sincerely appreciated.

House Rules, according to Jeff Ma

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

If you have time to read but one on-line article today, then, this is the one it should be:

———————————–

Jeff Ma on the House Advantage

Henry Abbott: You sitting there with Jerry West and the salt shakers and the mustard containers … this is where this field will develop, right? The statistical mind meeting the basketball mind. The more you’re speaking the same language, the more useful your statistics are going to be, it seems.

Jeff Ma: I think that’s kind of the key.

When I first met Bill Walsh, we had developed this football system that was supposed to measure success on any NFL play. If you’re first-and-ten and you gain five yards, is that a success or is that a failure? We kind of graded out the plays and the people in the plays based on that. We came up with a statistical system based on four years of NFL data looking at every play, a team’s winning, and we could tell you how you did on this down and how that affected your team’s chances of scoring.

But we needed a way to validate that. We went to Coach Walsh so he could help validate us. So we asked him some very simple questions. So, on first-and-ten, what’s a success? He said well, four yards is probably not a success, five yards probably is. Somewhere in between.

Our numbers showed that four-and-a-half yards was the threshold.

Then on second down he says well, I think you need to gain at least half a yard. And that’s exactly what our numbers showed also.

What we learned from that, and I would never use this quote because it’s very self-promoting, but he once said to our CEO: “I have no idea how he gets it, but he’s in my brain.” And he was talking about me. That was kind of like the biggest compliment that he could ever give me, because that’s all I was trying to do.

There are people out there like Jerry West and Bill Walsh who can make really good decisions without a spreadsheet behind them. But there are only a few of them. And so the goal is to create a mathematical system or methodology to use data and information that can make as good a decision as Walsh and West made, in a more structured and regimented way, so anyone can make them.

So what you’re saying is absolutely true. What you’re saying is absolutely true. The goal is to take what’s between Bill Walsh’s ears and put it in a spreadsheet, so people can actually understand what it all means.

———————————–

Amen to all concerned!

The best speadsheets in the world are simple attempts to blue-print the mental machinations of the best coaches in the world who already have the capacity to think the game accurately with nothing else but the benefit of their own experience.

The ability to generate an average gain of 4.5 yards on 1st down is the real objective here … whether on the ground - in a cloud of dust - or, through the air – via a Sid Luckman or a Don Coryell-inspired piece of artistry.

It is both the accomplishment which counts and the method of the madness … because – depending on the time, and the score, and the other complicating circumstances – the one is intricately connected to the other.

TrueHoop Stat Geek Smackdown 2010: Final Results

Friday, June 18th, 2010

For the benefit of those of you playing along at home …

This is what the Final Results would look like, if yours truly had been invited to participate in this year’s ‘exclusive’ NBA Playoffs handicapping event:

TrueHoop Stat Geek Smackdown Contest 2010

 

Participants

Mrs. Abbott – Henry’s mother [Mom]

Prof. David Berri – Wages of Wins Journal

John Hollinger – ESPN NBA Insider

Stephen Ilardi – Adjusted Plus/Minus

Jeffrey Ma – Bringing Down The House/21

Neil Paine – Basketball Reference Blog

Kevin Pelton – Basketball Prospectus

Haralabos Voulgaris – Former professional gambler

khandor – Sports Consultant

 

Correct Team Selected = 5 points

Correct Games Number Selected = 2 additional points 
 

Handicapper

Series Calls Results

Final Points

Final Standings

Ma

13/15 [86.7%]

71

1st

Pelton

13/15 [86.7%]

70

2nd

 

 

 

 

khandor

12/15 [80.0%]

66

T-3rd

 

 

 

 

Hollinger

12/15 [80.0%]

66

T-3rd

Berri

11/15 [73.3%]

57

5th

Ilardi

10/15 [66.7%]

54

6th

Paine

10/15 [66.7%]

52

7th

Mom

8/15 [53.3%]

49

8th

Voulgaris

8/15 [53.3%]

40

9th

——————————-

khandor’s Individual Series Selections

1st Round
WINNERS: Cleveland/#1, Orlando/#2, Atlanta/#3, Boston/#4, Los Angeles/#5, San Antonio/#6, Phoenix/#7 and Utah/#8
LOSERS: Zero/#0

2nd Round
WINNERS: Orlando/#9, Los Angeles/#10
LOSERS: Cleveland/#1 and San Antonio/#2

3rd Round
WINNERS: Los Angeles/#11
LOSERS: Orlando/#3

Finals
WINNER: Los Angeles/#12

Bold - Correct game number call.

——————————-

Congratulations to Jeffrey Ma for emerging victorious in this year’s ‘official’ contest!

————————-

PS. For those who would like to verify the individual series selections made by Khandor’s Sports Service [KSS], please feel free to contact Prof. Berri, directly, as he was, in fact, sent each of those specific calls, via email, prior to the start of each round. :-) Prof. Berri is currently working at Southern Utah University and his email address is available to the public at their web site.

Oh, Henry … Yes! There is

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Deron Williams and the Jazz know what they’re doing

“With Chris Paul sidelined, is any point guard playing better than Deron Williams?”

There are a few things I try not to do. Among them:

  • I try not to wake up my wife and kids when they’re sleeping.
  • I try not to call people who have little children late at night.
  • Realizing I’m a journalist, not a coach, I try not to make statements that rely strictly on my own cobbled-together basketball judgment.
  • I try not to curse.

Last night I came this close to breaking all those rules …

———————————————-

Given the already stated preference of this corner, when forced to choose between CP3 and D-Will …

It’s the Age of the Point Guard, in today’s NBA [Dec 18 2009]

it is now a simple fact that the age-old …

QUESTION of …

Who is the best Point Guard in the NBA today?

… needs to be asked and, then, answered, in a different way than it’s ever been asked before … 

Regular Season

FG

3PT

FT

Rebounds

Misc

Opponent

Score

GS

Min

 

M

A

Pct

 

M

A

Pct

 

M

A

Pct

 

Off

Def

Tot

 

Ast

TO

Stl

Blk

PF

Pts

MEM

W 105-89

1

37:07

 

7

14

50.0

 

1

4

25.0

 

7

7

100.0

 

1

5

6

 

15

4

1

1

2

22

Opponent

Score

GS

Min

 

M

A

Pct

 

M

A

Pct

 

M

A

Pct

 

Off

Def

Tot

 

Ast

TO

Stl

Blk

PF

Pts

LAC

W 114-89

1

39:55

 

10

20

50.0

 

5

6

83.3

 

7

8

87.5

 

1

2

3

 

11

1

1

0

1

32

@ IND

W 94-73

1

35:39

 

6

18

33.3

 

0

4

0.0

 

10

17

58.8

 

0

9

9

 

13

5

2

4

2

22

MIN

W 109-95

1

30:33

 

3

8

37.5

 

1

3

33.3

 

5

6

83.3

 

0

6

6

 

11

3

1

1

1

12

@ MIA

W 92-91

1

38:31

 

9

23

39.1

 

2

9

22.2

 

12

17

70.6

 

0

9

9

 

4

4

1

0

3

32

OKC

W 100-99

1

42:38

 

9

19

47.4

 

6

10

60.0

 

13

19

68.4

 

0

9

9

 

12

6

1

1

2

37

LAL

W 93-87

1

40:24

 

13

25

52.0

 

1

9

11.1

 

10

13

76.9

 

0

5

5

 

9

4

2

1

3

37

TOR

W 108-100

1

41:01

 

8

18

44.4

 

0

7

0.0

 

12

14

85.7

 

0

9

9

 

11

3

3

3

1

28

@ LAC

W 102-101

1

38:54

 

12

20

60.0

 

3

6

50.0

 

5

7

71.4

 

2

2

4

 

4

5

2

1

3

32

@ UTH

L 96-97

1

40:25

 

12

20

60.0

 

4

6

66.7

 

8

12

66.7

 

1

8

9

 

6

5

5

1

1

36

@ GSW

W 117-114

1

41:37

 

12

23

52.2

 

1

4

25.0

 

12

14

85.7

 

1

7

8

 

11

2

2

4

1

37

considering THE WAY a certain member of the Cleveland Cavaliers has been conducting his on-court business since approximately Jan 11 2010.

LeBron James’ Complete Game Log

———————————————————–

Who is the best Point Guard in the NBA today?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

———————————————————–

THE CORRECT ANSWER is … LeBron James.

[... which is something this corner has been advocating for at least the last 2+ years quite some time ... i.e. Best Point Guards in the NBA: An Update, Jan 30 2008]

 

———————–

PS. In sharp contrast to other NBA experts/analysts/fans/etc. … there is a good reason why many of the statements and observations which appear on this blog do, in fact, rely mostly on “cobbled-together basketball judgment” rather than elaborate prose and/or the use of unnecessarily complicated new-age statistics. For those of you who took the time to read what Henry Abbott wrote in his introduction, it’s important to always be aware of How the Principle of Opposite functions in The Game of Hoops. :-)