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@  thenit : (03 January 2016 - 06:57 AM) You cant rule out dmo yet. Still not recovered, he was out tonight due to sore back so the back is still an issue. TJ - I have seen enough 2 playoffs and 3 reg seasons
@  Johnny Rocket : (03 January 2016 - 04:01 AM) It turns out that in the big DMO vs. T Jones debate, there was only one right answer: neither.
@  thenit : (03 January 2016 - 03:29 AM) So once again TJones can't defend a good PF, minus 35 after 3 Qs, and Harden not much better with -31. Two of the worst defenders I've seen in a long time ATM
@  Johnny Rocket : (03 January 2016 - 02:10 AM) Maybe we should trade for Kevin Martin as defensive stopper off the bench (snark alert)
@  thenit : (01 January 2016 - 07:23 AM) He has played several games 20 plus minutes, so at this point only getting 6 doesn't make sense
@  Cooper : (01 January 2016 - 05:34 AM) Maybe he isn't in game shape yet, otherwise just doesn't make sense
@  thenit : (01 January 2016 - 02:33 AM) How about not playing Tjones who can't defend. -24 in 14 minutes. Can't understand why motie doesn't get more PT
@  thejohnnygold : (29 December 2015 - 08:46 PM) Don't forget that -40 of those came in 2 of the first 3 games when Dwight didn't play. That skews the relation a wee bit.
@  majik19 : (28 December 2015 - 07:49 PM) Also from Marc Stein's Twitter (and makes you rethink Capela's development so far...): How key is Dwight Howard to Houston's success? Entering Christmas, Rockets were +36 this season with Dwight on floor ... and -80 without him
@  majik19 : (28 December 2015 - 07:47 PM) From Marc Stein's Twitter: James Harden attempted 10 or more 3s in each of his first eight games this season. Since then? 10+ in just three of Houston's last 23 games
@  Mario Peña : (26 December 2015 - 08:44 PM) Tonight is a big test for Harden and company. Amid holiday distractions and on the second night of a back to back can this team bring maximum effort and not play down to the opponent?
@  majik19 : (24 December 2015 - 11:13 PM) In case you didn't see this, today is the anniversary of 13 in 34...
@  Mario Peña : (22 December 2015 - 03:36 PM) LeBron usually hides on weaker offensive opposition, George I cannot speak to and defense has been Leonard's calling card and priority up until this year.
@  SadLakerFan : (22 December 2015 - 04:04 AM) Hey, you guys are above .500! Watched parts of the game. Nice game by Harden tonight. Lots of mental mistakes by a number of players tho.
@  ale11 : (21 December 2015 - 03:38 PM) txtdo1411: I do watch most games. I even stayed up until 3 am watching this one (I'm from Uruguay) to see it. The fact that we need to put Ariza on the best player speaks for itself. LeBron, George, Leonard, they guard the best opponent, you don't hide them. If you are going to hide on defense, at least be efficient on offense like Curry. I love Harden, but he is not trying on D unless it's on ball defense (and not all the time either)
@  majik19 : (20 December 2015 - 03:53 AM) so i didn't watch this game - what the hell happened? Shot only 32% from 3, but still managed to win by 10. Only 15 turnovers? I don't understand this team.
@  txtdo1411 : (18 December 2015 - 10:45 PM) Whoops, I did not realize it was going to swallow the entire shoutbox. My apologies folks!
@  txtdo1411 : (18 December 2015 - 10:45 PM) I always love when posters make comments that point to them clearly not watching the games, or at the very least paying attention. Ale11, here are all of Kobe's scores from last night, care to guess who was guarding him 95% of the time he scored?
@  slick shoes : (18 December 2015 - 07:29 PM) http://espn.go.com/n...driving-arrests
@  slick shoes : (18 December 2015 - 07:28 PM) Lawson's agent feeling out his value to other teams....


Hack-an-American? Are foreign big men really better shooters?

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#1 Red94


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    Posted 23 April 2015 - 09:28 PM

    New post: Hack-an-American? Are foreign big men really better shooters?
    By: Richard Li

    With the Mavericks seemingly exploding before our eyes (KNOCK ON WOOD), I thought it was time for something fun. All the talk about hacking has resurrected conversation about the differences between American and foreign big men. Conventional wisdom has us believe that American big men are more physical but less skilled. Foreign big men, on the other hand, get pushed around easily but are more adept with the ball in their hands. In the current times of hack-a-you, this means that American big men are characterized as being dunces from the free throw line, while foreign big men conduct symphonies from the same spot. To what extent are these stereotypes true? Let's use data to find out.


    The data are from Basketball Reference. I made a few important decisions about how much of it to use. First, I'm only using data starting from the 2000-01 season. While the data go as far back as 1946, I figured there were not a whole lot of foreign big men to analyze from that time period and decided to use more recent data, when foreign big men are more numerous. Speaking of which, I'm defining "big man" as a player who is classified by Basketball Reference as a center, a center-forward, or a forward-center. This excludes players who might be tall in stature but play a different role, such as Kevin Durant or Dirk Nowitzki. Also, foreign doesn't necessarily mean European. Yao Ming and Hasheem Thabeet are also considered foreign.


    Finally, and importantly, the data classify players according to where they were born. If a player was born overseas, but then spent his entire life in the USA, that player is still considered foreign by the data. Since the conversation about domestic vs international big men typically refers to where players learned their style of play, and not necessarily where they were born, this quirk in the data is slightly problematic. I didn't spend too much time making manual adjustments, but I did move Tim Duncan, Carlos Boozer, and Al Horford from the foreign pile to the domestic pile. I chose these three because they popped up frequently on the very first page of the international players data (sorted by win shares), so I figured they represented the biggest blips. I didn't have the patience to switch other players.


    Enough. Here are the results of all free throws shot from 2000 through 2015.


    [table id=3 /]


    It turns out there is some truth to the stereotype of foreign big men being better shooters. Over 15 years, foreign big men shot 2.6% better than domestic big men. Here's what it looks like year by year.


    [caption id="attachment_15914" align="aligncenter" width="480"]graph FT% for big men from 2000-2015[/caption]


    Foreign big men have a higher FT% than domestic big men in every season except 2001 and 2010. In this respect, the Rockets have had pretty poor luck. Their one foreign big man this season was injured right before the playoffs, and their recent foreign big man trade away (Asik) bucked the trend by being a poor free throw shooter.

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    #2 clydesmoustache


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      Posted 24 April 2015 - 01:50 AM

      I appreciate this article and would agree with it for its analysis of NBA players. The problem I have is when we start hearing that there is systemic problems with the development of American bigs compared to Europe or international. I think that this argument misses the point that there are plenty of foreign stiffs out there that don't make it to the NBA so to make such generalizations they need to be included.

      Living in Australia with very little coverage of the nba (thank god for broadband) i have been a keen watcher of the foreign game. I have seen great national teams that compete well against American players but there is one constant America is number 1 and that is not just athletic ability name an international player that is more lights out than curry and korver. Look at Argentina they still rely on scola and ginobli. This is the same with all of them peaks and troughs. I look forward to seeing the Canadian team develop they will be the next silver medalist once spain hits their trough.
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      #3 Losthief


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      Posted 24 April 2015 - 04:10 AM

      France has a chance to be as good as canada.


      Gobert/Noah/Alexis Anijia/Seraphin (not to mention Diaw/Turiaf if they continue to play) is a solid frontcourt


      Fourneir/nando de colo/batum/peitrus (and parker if he continues to play) is definitely weaker but not a horrible backcourt/wing rotation.

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      I'd Rather Be Lucky Than Skilled

      #4 JY86er



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      Posted 24 April 2015 - 05:56 AM

      Begs a lot of questions about free throw shooting so bear with me. I've been thinking about this all evening while watching games with my wife. She and I even watched videos of Jordan, Calvin Murphy and Rick Barry talk about free throw shooting after seeing DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers be put under the microscope of free throw shooting last night against the Spurs.

      1. Ok, so is free throw shooting something that is taught in AAU, high school or even college?
      Only thing I was ever taught was by an 8th grade coach who basically said stand here, keep your elbow pointed towards the rim and shoot. Then he proceeded to make shot after shot like that. We were all impressed, so I assumed that was how you did it. Simple enough even though none of us ever got his results. Did he leave something out then? I eventually just came up with my own technique like my other friends did. I copied Moses Malone, Karl Malone and Jordan. Players with destinctive pre shot rituals. Only the cool ones, though, because I was a kid and only attracted to cool stuff. Its starting to look like the theme of this year's playoffs is who-to-hack and whether or not employing that strategy works. What concerns me is that enough players in the NBA have low enough FT% to even decide to hack them.

      2. When DO you hack them?
      I just can't see myself asking my players to do that IF we already have the lead and its still early in the game. I TRUST my players to play the game as we have practiced. Seems mico-managerial. Maybe this is who Rick Carlisle really is. However, it does seem logical if the goal is not to try to force misses and slow the tempo, but more to force the hand of the opposing coach to take that player out of the game. In Game 1 when Kevin McHale had the Rockets intentionally foul Rajon Rondo, immediately after the Mavericks had been instructed to foul Josh Smith, it exposed a deeper issue with Rondo and Carlisle. We'd learn more about that later, but Rondo, with his career 60 FT%, never even got to shoot the free throws and was removed from the game. Not sure if that was the goal by McHale, but here a hack strategy worked, because Rondo went to the bench and wasn't able to lead his team or play defense on James Harden.

      3. How did this become a thing in the NBA?
      Is it because players are coming out of college after one year or jumping right from high school to the NBA? Does that then mean that the magical teaching of free throw shooting happens in college? Impossible, because Yao didn't go to college and neother did LeBron. Maybe it truly is just talent and if that's the case--then foreign players are simply more talented shooters that American ones........hmmmm. (Not wanting to start that debate--just following the logic to a hypothetical conclusion). OR

      4. Is it because they put in the work with endless hours of practice on shooting drills?
      If so then american bigs need to do the same and I say it doesn't matter how that ball goes in from 15ft away just sink enough of them to stay off the hackers radar scope. Not just practicing shooting them, but figuring out what technique works for them to make them. Their own technique. Not someone else's that they are copying. One poster above says that just maybe the foreign players in the NBA are the cream of the crop and that is why they on the whole seem to be better free throw shooters. Very valid.

      5. Why don't more people at least experiment with Rick Barry's type of free throw?
      Rick Barry shot 90% for his career with his granny style free throw. It sure seems to have a whole lot less moving parts in the mechanics. He explains clearly that the backspin toss is more forgiving on the rim than an overhand shot. Who cares. It worked for him. I just believe you have to try everything, because in the end that free attempt must go in at all costs. Jumpshot, headbutt...whatever.
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      #5 clydesmoustache


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        Posted 24 April 2015 - 01:02 PM

        France has a chance to be as good as canada.


        Gobert/Noah/Alexis Anijia/Seraphin (not to mention Diaw/Turiaf if they continue to play) is a solid frontcourt


        Fourneir/nando de colo/batum/peitrus (and parker if he continues to play) is definitely weaker but not a horrible backcourt/wing rotation.

        True France is good. It is funny during the FIBA world cup I thought it was a massive upset that they took out Spain but looking at that team now I can see how it happened.

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        #6 thenit


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          Posted 24 April 2015 - 10:01 PM

          Richard I think it should have been divided by continents, because I can recall in my head any PF/C from Europe that shoots poorly except for Asik who isnt terrible. Euro players are dragged down by other continental players.

          Edited by thenit, 24 April 2015 - 10:05 PM.

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