The Daily Blast – February 13, 2014

Vindication – Ian Levy at Hardwood Paroxysm has been running a series on trying to quantify shot quality. A few days ago he came to conclusions on which teams do the best job of valuing quality shots on both ends of the floor. Levy writes:

Saving James Harden and Omer Asik, the Rockets’ roster has no talent in the offensive or defensive extremes. But they are clearly adhering to a system that gives them the best opportunities to maximize their available tools. A team that leans on the excuse of, “we know where we want to shoot from, but aren’t good enough to create those shots” I would point them towards Houston and their passionate fundamentalist devotion to shot selection. Does it feel reasonable to say that the talent on the Rockets’ roster give them a better opportunity to create good shots and limit the same in their opponents, than say the talent of the Celtics or the Warriors?

I think there’s another huge lesson learned here: Kevin McHale is on the sabermetric bus. If you look at the chart that is embedded in that article, you’ll see that the Rockets as an organization don’t just find players whose talents lend themselves to efficiency. The use of empirical data is imprinted in the team’s on-court strategies. If anything answers the question of why Daryl Morey hired Kevin McHale, this is it for me.

D-League Royalty – Royce White’s D-League debut was on SportsCenter. No, seriously–watch:

ICYMI -  White went for 7 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 turnovers and 5 fouls in 18 minutes of play. The word “active” springs to mind.

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Game Recognize Game – Lebron James’ greatness deserves to be recognized, no matter what team you root for. From ESPN Stats and Information:

Even Jordan’s best six-game stretch of his career compares favorably to what James has done in his last six games (see chart).

The biggest discrepancy in their résumés is NBA titles: Jordan won six and James has only one.

James has shot better than 70 percent from the field in three of his last six games. Elias notes that Jordan shot better than 70 percent in three straight games early in the 1990-91 season. Jordan went a combined 39 of 52 from the floor (75 percent) in games against the Bullets, Pacers and Cavaliers.

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