Weekly Rank – Marc Stein’s newest edition of ESPN’s Power Rankings is out, with the Rockets dropping one spot to number nine.
Maybe this will be the week that the Rockets dodge an injury curveball after Chandler Parsons was unexpectedly forced to miss three games with a sore knee last week. Another problem in Houston: At a mere 13-11 against the rest of the West, they’re living off an 11-2 record against the East. [read more…]
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Measuring individual defense is tricky. Even our primary defensive measure, points allowed per 100 possessions (defensive rating), is arguably more dependent upon what other people do than what the player of interest does or does not do. For instance, I am confident that a lineup consisting of Francisco Garcia, me, my fat neighbor, and his two obnoxious little children could achieve pretty good individual defensive ratings if we were on the floor while JR Smith decided to go on one of his epic three-point chucking expeditions. Garcia would just stand still in front of Smith while the rest of us eat nachos in the corner. A defensive rating of no more than 70 would be guaranteed for all of us.
For this reason, I created a new defensive measure, called net defensive rating. It is calculated by subtracting the team’s defensive rating for one game from an individual player’s defensive rating for that same game (player’s defensive rating – team defensive rating). Basically it compares a player’s defensive rating to his team’s defensive rating in order to better separate individual performance from team performance. The above charts show the net defensive ratings for each game for nine Houston Rockets players, their average net defensive ratings for the season, and the standard deviations for their net defensive ratings (as a measure of consistency).
Dwight Howard’s arrival in Houston signals the arrival of one of the most dominant players in basketball, along with one of the most polarizing personalities in sports. Here at Red94, we are embracing the drama of Superman’s first season as a Rocket with a weekly column: “DwightLife.” This is the 12th installment.
What a difference a year makes.
Exactly one year ago, Dwight returned from injury to help Lakers end a 6-game losing streak by beating the Cavs. That was the 16-21 Lakers over the 9-30 Cavs, and it was kind of a big deal at the time. [read more…]