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@  Mario Peña : (10 October 2015 - 01:12 PM) If your part if the Red94 Fantasy Basketball League check the thread to vote for the date and time for the draft event. Thanks y'all!
@  jorgeaam : (07 October 2015 - 08:47 PM) Guys we need 1 more owner for the Red94 fantasy league, if interested please comment on the post in the fantasy basketball thread
@  slick shoes : (07 October 2015 - 06:50 PM) Kobe ranked one spot higher than Ariza? Is this based on legacy or...??
@  slick shoes : (07 October 2015 - 04:13 PM) It was hard to keep up with both the Astros and Rockets at the same time. Should be interesting on Thursday with the Texans and Astros on simultaneously.
@  Mario Peña : (07 October 2015 - 04:09 PM) It was fun to have the Rockets on last night! Right now I'm watching the Celtics versus Milan and Alessandro Gentile is impressive.
@  jorgeaam : (06 October 2015 - 07:47 PM) Well, thinking twice about it, I'd rather have him score less and have the team as a whole do better. Lawson should take a lot of his load off
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@  Mario Peña : (06 October 2015 - 02:35 PM) Alright guys, if anyone is interested in joining the Red94 fantasy basketball league we could use one more player to get us to 10 teams (or three to get us to 12 teams). Just check the thread in the Fantasy Basketball forum. Thanks!
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@  skip 2 my lou : (05 October 2015 - 03:14 PM) Hey fellas, I'm a rocket fan but I live in the heart of Dallas. Does anybody know if I buy NBA Leaguepass if it's too close to be subject to blackouts?
@  Losthief : (02 October 2015 - 02:24 AM) tks jg
@  thejohnnygold : (29 September 2015 - 05:16 AM) FYI, it was media day today. Interviews are up at NBA.com
@  slick shoes : (23 September 2015 - 06:37 PM) kind of late in the day but NBATV is broadcasting classis Rockets games all day today.
@  SadLakerFan : (16 September 2015 - 04:37 AM) Man, as a Laker fan, I'm learning how little you care about the off season when your team sucks. Anyway, a quick moment to remember Moses. Still remember watching the 81 team as a kid - losing record, NBA Finals. I would have cried w/joy if they could have beaten the Celtics.
@  jorgeaam : (15 September 2015 - 08:30 PM) http://bleacherrepor...ist-after-crash
@  jorgeaam : (15 September 2015 - 08:30 PM) So to celebrate his new contract, Montrezl Harrell saved someone's life on monday
@  thejohnnygold : (14 September 2015 - 04:36 PM) A good article from Blinebury talking about when Hakeem and Moses used to play in the park. LINK
@  rockets best... : (14 September 2015 - 02:29 AM) I agree totally. I got to watch his Rocket days and the man was a hell of a player. BIG MO R.I.P.

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The Great Stats Debate


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#1 thejohnnygold

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 04:03 PM

Here is a cool link that has all kinds of interesting things to look at...we could probably go on forever with this :)

 

LINK

 

You can adjust the filters and what not....very cool.

 

I have only glanced around, but it looks like rebounding and assists were more crucial then 3 pt%--and all likely influenced the other.  What do you guys think?


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#2 Mario Peña

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 04:38 PM

I enjoy reading the debates rage on but I probably think more about the big picture. This past season was probably more about laying a foundation for the future whether it was Harden establishing himself as elite, McHale molding the players and the team culture or Morey implementing what could be the first phase of the offensive scheme. What comes next will probably be contingent on what players are acquired and how the roster develops. I have to believe there is some kind of defensive scheme that will be implemented at some point just as the current offensive scheme can't be the end game. I would guess that the offensive game will be refined over the course of a couple of years but the improvements will be more nuanced when compared to the changes we saw this past season. If Morey were to acquire Bosh how can you not incorporate his midrange game? Of course if he gets Howard then I would guess Morey has some efficient offensive tweaking in mind for that as well. I guess my question is doesn't this 3 feet or less and 3 point offense have to gain wrinkles and complexity as years go by, be more adaptable to very different opponents and the personnel forms into a more cohesive unit? Are not those the best lessons you take away from a San Antonio or a Miami? The Rockets will evolve with their own details and refinements influenced by roster and philosophy with this past season as the springboard.


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#3 Sir Thursday

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 04:38 PM

Interesting stuff.

 

I'd quite like to see these done in distribution form (eg. graph differential in the stat in question with final margin in the game). That would let you draw a regression line and perhaps allow some interesting conclusions about which stats correlate best with winning. You can still do that with these, but they throw away a lot of useful information by only looking at the stats in one dimension, if you see what I mean.

 

The one that jumps out to me: The Rockets were 20-4 when they had fewer turnovers than the opposition, but 23-29 when they had more. This correlates quite strongly with what we were seeing during the regular season - the Rockets get into trouble when they're sloppy, but if they're playing crisp clean basketball they're tough to beat. It would be interesting to have a comparison with the other teams in the league and see how they measure up - I suspect you'd find that that's one of the bigger discrepancies in the league though.

 

ST


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#4 huitlacoche

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    Posted 24 May 2013 - 04:50 PM

    According to Morey, the idea that the Rockets discouraged midrange shots is a misconception.
     

    One interesting thing is that folks think we are proscribing mid-range shots, which is not the case. Our transition based attack and open sets give us the best chance to win with our personnel and generally this type of offense leads to high quality shots.

    http://www.reddit.co...ikzsj?context=3


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    #5 Mason Khamvilay

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    Posted 24 May 2013 - 05:36 PM

    We need to be more unpredictable, we were the 6th best offense in the league but how can we improve on that? I think one answer is to run more mis-direction pick and rolls, another answer is to run more plays and less isos (especially in crunch time), and ofcourse it will help if we acquire another go-to guy, but if our best answer to being unpredictable is to take more long 2's--the most inefficient shot in basketball--then we're not thinking hard enough. There's a reason why Bellinelli is getting minutes over Rip Hamilton, and it's not because he looks like Rocky Balboa or Jean Reno from Leon: The Professional.

     

     

    45% midrange is the same thing as a 30% 3-pt.

    50% midrange (very, very rare) is the same thing as a 33.3% 3pt (very common).

     

    The average NBA team shoots 38% on long 2's (equivalent to 27% from 3), and our Houston Rockets are no exception sitting at 36%. So should we take more long 2's and less 3's? I think the answer is obvious--NO. To say otherwise would be to contradict many of the greatest minds of NBA analytics. 

     

    Neil Paine, of Basketball-Reference.com, explained it best in a piece he did for ESPN Insider earlier this year:

     
    If the average player makes 38 percent of his shots from 16-23 feet — shots that are still worth just two points — and 35 percent on 3-pointers, why not eschew the long midrange jumper entirely and instead take a shot that gives you an extra point? That’s essentially where the game is heading. In just six seasons, the league has gone from taking 26.9 percent of its shots from 16-23 feet to 24.5 percent. Simply, teams are learning to cut out the game’s least efficient type of shot.

     

    Now, obviously there are exceptions such as Stephen Curry, Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Kevin Garnett, and Chris Bosh (I think that's it), but other than those guys I don't think there's anyone in the league who shoots above 48% on long 2's within a decent sample size. If Jeremy Lin develops that kind of accuracy, then by all means he can start jacking up long 2's, but if he jacks them up while continuing to hit them at his current rate then he just becomes another Monta Ellis. I'd rather see Lin average 15 points efficiently than 20 points inefficiently. 

     

    If you take a look at the ratio of threes a team takes compared to shots from 16-23 feet, and looked at their offense to see if there seems to be an effect on it, here's what you will find:

     

    screen-shot-2013-01-08-at-2-42-59-pm.png

     

    There are a few exceptions such as the Warriors and the Jazz, but despite a few exceptions there is an obvious correlation there. I'm sure there are some arguments that can be made about why mid-range shots aren't all bad such as unpredictability, but just because something isn't all bad doesn't mean the better options aren't still better options. Even Daryl Morey has said that as crazy as it sounds teams still aren't taking enough 3's. At the end of the day, I still stand by four words that I rarely find myself contradicting--In Morey I trust. 


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    #6 Mason Khamvilay

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    Posted 24 May 2013 - 06:15 PM

    Quote
    One interesting thing is that folks think we are proscribing mid-range shots, which is not the case. Our transition based attack and open sets give us the best chance to win with our personnel and generally this type of offense leads to high quality shots.

    There are different ways this can be read. He says we're not condemning mid-range shots, but not condemning low quality shots doesn't mean he doesn't prefer the high quality shots. I think Morey tries to be secretive sometimes, for example I found this interesting:
     

    Lewis asked Morey if he believed in clutch stats, long a controversial difference between common fans - who worship the art of the clutch - and statheads - who tend to believe that the idea of clutch statistics are not definitive and conclusive.

    Morey artfully answered, "We don't make any decisions based on the belief of that." Interestingly, Cuban disagreed, and said that that was one reason he wanted Kidd, whom he believes plays differently in "win time" than he does in the other 45 minutes of the game.


    So it seems like Cuban had insider knowledge that Morey was talking through his teeth, so it's plausible to believe Morey lies (technically he's not lying, he's just artfully answering without telling the whole truth) to discourage teams from following his philosophies. Whether he admits it or not, I think he's intentionally drafting players who take the majority of their shots inside the paint and behind the arc, and he intentionally hired a coach whose coaching style is in sync with this philosophy.


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    #7 miketheodio

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      Posted 24 May 2013 - 07:44 PM

      I found this post nearly perfect for the way i feel like stats shouldn't determine EVERY offensive part of the game.

      I'm with you on this one, Miketheodio.  The Rockets would benefit from shooting some mid-range (12-18 ft.) just to keep the defense honest--it will open up the inside and outside so that we can then shoot even more efficiently from those spots.  Predictability is something good NBA defenses will smother and destroy.  Zach Lowe just wrote a bit about this from the Clipper's perspective.  His criticism was that once plan A breaks down there is no plan B.  Plan B doesn't have to be a mid-range jumper every time, but if that is what the defense is leaving open then why not take it?

       

      Kevin Mchale quipped (I can't find the quote), when being asked about shooting percentages on mid-range shots, that what matters is who is taking them.

       

      I think the thing that is being overlooked in these efficiency discussions is that a shot with even a 40% success rate is better than no shot at all (0%) or a rushed, highly contested shot (likely lower than the par level for efficiency standards).  If we can get good looks from our preferred shot locations then by all means--do it.  However, once the defense has keyed in and focused on making these shots much harder their efficiency will decrease--despite the overall numbers indicating otherwise.  Surely, we can all recall watching the Rockets stubbornly continue to repeat the same offense when obviously the opposition had it snuffed out.  There's a difference between sticking to your guns and being stubborn.

       

      Further, there is greater variance on three pointers.  Because of the distance from the basket the shots require more precision andaccuracy.  The accuracy must be there first, but then the precision to make them in bunches must also be there.  This is why we more often see high volume three point shooters vacillate between going 4-7 one night from "3" and then 1-7 the following night.  This makes their offensive contribution less reliable from one game to the next.  When they're falling in it's great (think Golden State, Utah, etc.) but when they're not dropping it's cringe-worthy.  Over the course of a season, we will see a median score settle into place; however, the path to that score is not linear.  Rather, it is more like the ship that must tack back and forth zigging and zagging along towards it's destination.

       

      With the mid-range jumper your base percentage (accuracy) may be lower (when viewed from the scoring perspective of efg%); however, your precision should be higher and more stable.  You are not as likely to see the wild swings from one night to the next.  Thus, the shot can be a reliable part of the offense night in and night out.  They don't call it, "living and dying by the three" for nothing.

       

      Regarding Jeremy Lin, this was a big part of his game during Linsanity in NY.  He mixed it up with drives, threes, and pull up mid-range jumpers to keep defenders on their heels at all times.  By eliminating the mid-range option defenders knew immediately how to react once he made his first move.  It goes against perception from the stats, but in real-time basketball I believe it bears true.

       

      This is a problem I have with teams who are overly dependent on shooting (GSW, NYK, LA clips to some extent). When the shots go in, it covers up a lot of problems. when you get to the playoffs and you play good defenses, you need to have more options if 3s are going in (sticky ball movement, good close outs, off night) and they are clogging up the lane.

       

      basically the plan B TJG was talking about. These are the "grind it out games" that i felt the rockets had a problem with. I think a 8-15ft shot off picks, or a stop and pop, could bring out the player from the low block and open up a baseline cut or corner 3. a good floater will bring defenses in (avoiding good shot blocking teams as well).

       

      I think there is a huge stigma when people suggest taking mid range shots. I feel like people think those who suggest it do it because of the "aww" factor. kobe/dirk/jordan17ft fade aways. I don't want to take contested difficult shots. I want to take open shots and open up possibilities for 3s and off the ball shots at the basket through an assist. the only time i want a long 2 are if the shot clock is about to expire or the person is WIIIIIIIDE open.


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      #8 Mason Khamvilay

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      Posted 24 May 2013 - 07:53 PM

      I agree with alot of the things you're saying. I don't mind taking a mid-range shot from time to time in certain situations, I just wouldn't want to make a habit of it with our current personnel. 


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      #9 miketheodio

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        Posted 24 May 2013 - 08:37 PM

        I agree with alot of the things you're saying. I don't mind taking a mid-range shot from time to time in certain situations, I just wouldn't want to make a habit of it with our current personnel. 

        what is your definition of habit?

         

        5-15 possessions out of 99?


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        #10 Mason Khamvilay

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        Posted 24 May 2013 - 09:09 PM

        Instead of discussing the semantics of "habit", how about I rephrase: 

         

        I don't mind taking a mid-range shot from time to time in certain situations, I just wouldn't want to take several more mid-range shots per game with our current personnel. 

         

        Not that I'm saying you're advocating that we take several more mid-range shots, to me it just sounds like you're suggesting we take one or two more per game in certain situations and I'm perfectly fine with that. 


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        #11 thejohnnygold

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        Posted 24 May 2013 - 09:15 PM

        I think we're not all on the same page regarding these "long 2's".  I don't think any of us are interested in long 2's as well agree that taking the extra step back and shooting a 3 is way better.  When discussing mid-range I liken it to 12'-18' (visualize it as 1 step inside the free throw line and on out to the "YMCA" 3-pt. line).  That's where the gap is.

         

        The statistics for those shots tend to get lumped in with the "long 2's" and so are considered equally bad.

         

        Like Miketheodio was saying, bringing this new wrinkle in can only be good.  It's not about changing the whole system, but just adding a new dimension that ultimately strengthens the already established one.  I believe this is what Feelingsupersonic is pointing out (I strongly agree with his post earlier, btw, people should re-read it).  The basic framework is being established and it's core principles are the "3&3" or whatever we're calling it.  It must evolve.  It will certainly depend on personnel (as has been noted), but I expect a full arsenal of post, mid, and long range shots that are set up in a variety of ways.  Taking wide open 15 foot jumpers (essentially free throws) is never a bad thing--it is one of the most practiced shots on the court and has a very high chance of going in because of that.


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        #12 Hockey the Harden Way

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        Posted 24 May 2013 - 09:23 PM

        According to Morey, the idea that the Rockets discouraged midrange shots is a misconception.
         

        If you look at shot charts in the games (ESPN), it is very apparent the Rockets avoid midrange shots, compared to other teams.  I think the problem is when the defenses become focused of this, the "shot efficiency" advantage transforms to a disadvantage.  The disadvantage becomes apparent in critical games and close games, where compared to non-critical time, the Rockets performance is strikingly worse.

         

        A midrange shot that's open is a better option than an "efficient" shot that's contested.  If the offense can just become less predictable due to a wider variety of shot selection, this team will win those close and critical games.


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        #13 Mason Khamvilay

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        Posted 24 May 2013 - 09:28 PM

        When discussing mid-range I liken it to 12'-18'

        The majority of mid-range shots are taken around 16-18 feet, but unfortunately I can't find the statistics on what players shoot from 12-18 feet so I can only comment on the shots taken from 16-23 feet or shots from 10-15 feet.

         

        For whatever it's worth, Houston takes 2.9 shots from 10-15 feet and we only make 40% of those shots. I like that shot if the game is on the line and we only need two points, but I don't think we should seek out that shot too often unless we can start knocking them down at a higher rate.  

         

        As for what FSS said, I've also be saying things of the same breath, I've said the amount of mid-range shots we take suits our personnel. If we acquired someone who shoots mid-range shots at a high rate (eg. Bosh or Garnett) then I would be perfectly cool with them taking mid-range shots.

         

        Mid-range shots are especially effective from centers because it draws the opposing center away from the rim. So if Asik can start knocking down 50% of his mid-range shots i would be a very happy Rockets fan, I'd might even consider joining the "lets not sign Dwight even if he wants us" bandwagon.


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        #14 thejohnnygold

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        Posted 24 May 2013 - 09:44 PM

        100% agree with your post Hockey the Harden Way...welcome to the forum!

         

         

        "If you look at shot charts in the games (ESPN), it is very apparent the Rockets avoid midrange shots, compared to other teams.  I think the problem is when the defenses become focused of this, the "shot efficiency" advantage transforms to a disadvantage.  The disadvantage becomes apparent in critical games and close games, where compared to non-critical time, the Rockets performance is strikingly worse.

         

        A midrange shot that's open is a better option than an "efficient" shot that's contested.  If the offense can just become less predictable due to a wider variety of shot selection, this team will win those close and critical games."

         

        Check out Jeremy Lin's shot chart (per nba.com).  His right side (strong side) long two's are pretty solid.  They help facilitate the rest of his game as defender's cannot sag too far off once he begins to penetrate past the 3 pt. line.  Unfortunately, NBA.com's shot chart seems to cut the "mid-range" that I desire in half so it's hard to get a solid read on the %'s I'm looking for.

         

        Still, it's about who is shooting from mid-range.  Lin can clearly shoot from those zones so why not green light it?  2016, you are fighting an enemy that does not exist.  No one wants what you keep pushing against.  I think the confusion is you make it sound like we should never shoot anywhere except the rim or from three and we are countering that shooting from mid-range has inherent values when looked at within the context of the game.  Obviously, in a static, vacuum-like environment the efficiency stats can easily show the advantage of shooting at the rim and from 3.  The problem is the game is not played that way (as you well know).

         

        Is it more efficient to drive into the paint with a strong wing defender on you and a strong post defender behind him?  Probably not.

         

        "But the stats say shots at the rim go in 54% of the time".

         

        The point is obvious.  Within the flow of a game--within the flow of each possession--a player must try to find the best shot available in that moment.  I agree with looking to the best options first, but to eschew the mid-range altogether is only helping the defense.  It's like relieving them of the burden of defending that part of the floor.

         

        The above example does not proscribe attacking the rim at all.  Of course not--the same principle applies.  It's about balance and trying to find the weak spots in the defense as they appear.


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        #15 Mason Khamvilay

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        Posted 24 May 2013 - 09:57 PM

        Jeremy Lin can take several twos in that small area where he shoots 50%, but those other right wing areas where he shoots 45% should be taken in moderation and under the right circumstances. That's just my initial thought, but I'm sure there are things I'm not seeing. 


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        #16 miketheodio

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          Posted 24 May 2013 - 10:07 PM

          The majority of mid-range shots are taken around 16-18 feet, but unfortunately I can't find the statistics on what players shoot from 12-18 feet so I can only comment on the shots taken from 16-23 feet or shots from 10-15 feet.

           

          For whatever it's worth, Houston takes 2.9 shots from 10-15 feet and we only make 40% of those shots. I like that shot if the game is on the line and we only need two points, but I don't think we should seek out that shot too often unless we can start knocking them down at a higher rate.  

           

          As for what FSS said, I've also be saying things of the same breath, I've said the amount of mid-range shots we take suits our personnel. If we acquired someone who shoots mid-range shots at a high rate (eg. Bosh or Garnett) then I would be perfectly cool with them taking mid-range shots.

           

          Mid-range shots are especially effective from centers because it draws the opposing center away from the rim. So if Asik can start knocking down 50% of his mid-range shots i would be a very happy Rockets fan, I'd might even consider joining the "lets not sign Dwight even if he wants us" bandwagon.

           

          personnel can develop their game as well which is needed to become a more complete player. I'm talking about guard play rather than bigs shootings a 16-18ft shot. it is more likely that lin and harden can perform 8-15 foot shots than a big learning to take a long 2 at this point in team development.

           

          btw i agree with everything TJG has said. we are on the same page.


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          #17 Mason Khamvilay

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          Posted 24 May 2013 - 10:13 PM

          Like I said, if Lin ever starts knocking down mid-range shots at a high rate then it's a different story. I don't see any reason to think we're not on the same page unless you're saying it's a MUST that Lin and Harden improve their mid-range. I think it would be nice, but I don't think it's a must. 


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          #18 miketheodio

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            Posted 24 May 2013 - 10:28 PM

            Like I said, if Lin ever starts knocking down mid-range shots at a high rate then it's a different story. I don't see any reason to think we're not on the same page unless you're saying it's a MUST that Lin and Harden improve their mid-range. I think it would be nice, but I don't think it's a must. 

            yes it's a must. you aren't going to do it well if you don't try it.


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            #19 Mason Khamvilay

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            Posted 24 May 2013 - 10:33 PM

            We were the 6th best offense in the league despite leading the league in turnovers, how is that not doing well? 


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            #20 miketheodio

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              Posted 24 May 2013 - 10:44 PM

              We were the 6th best offense in the league despite leading the league in turnovers, how is that not doing well? 

              when i said "do well" it wasn't a general statement. I meant executing the short to mid range jumpers well if you don't try it. I really do not understand your dogmatic stance. you say it isn't, but it is.


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