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@  thenit : (30 March 2014 - 03:06 AM) Just deflating to get dominated by the clips during the season. With or without bev we just can't stop paul
@  08huangj : (30 March 2014 - 02:35 AM) Nobody ever writes in this forum when the Rockets lose...
@  Drew in Abilene : (28 March 2014 - 05:23 PM) No way... I've never wanted Woj to be wrong more than now...
@  Ostrow : (28 March 2014 - 05:10 PM) Welp, according to Woj, Beverly has a torn MCL
@  feelingsuper... : (28 March 2014 - 02:22 PM) I think whether they win or lose more down the stretch the Blazers doubt in themselves has set in. It appears they lost the mental game versus the 82 game schedule.
@  Drew in Abilene : (28 March 2014 - 02:00 AM) I hear you, Mitchell, but I sure don't mind seeing them get the W tonight.
@  thenit : (28 March 2014 - 12:58 AM) Bev sprained his knee hopefully it's a light one
@  Mitchell Felker : (27 March 2014 - 11:57 PM) Its weird rooting for Portland
@  rocketrick : (27 March 2014 - 01:30 PM) Prior to 1966, Cousy rarely played against any African-American players and of course by then his career was set in stone. Discrimination or Just History?
@  rocketrick : (27 March 2014 - 12:30 PM) So I endorse completely that the Rockets strive for the #2 Seed so that the Rockets have home court advantage in WCSF this season.
@  rocketrick : (27 March 2014 - 12:28 PM) Thus who the Rockets play 1st and hopefully 2nd round is absolutely unknown no matter where the Rockets end up in the Standings at this moment...
@  rocketrick : (27 March 2014 - 12:16 PM) What I meant to say is nobody knows who is 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 seeds. Everything up for grabs....
@  rocketrick : (27 March 2014 - 12:05 PM) West Playoffs 1-4 are set. 5-8 is everyone's best guess. Except nobody knows who is 2-8.
@  dbd : (27 March 2014 - 12:02 PM) Woke up early, checked last night scores, Chris Paul went 0-12, I thought I was in my dream.
@  Cooper : (26 March 2014 - 03:02 AM) The west playoffs are going to be a lot less predictable than usual, you could make a logical argument for each team being able to win a series or two.
@  Drew in Abilene : (26 March 2014 - 02:55 AM) Memphis would certainly pose a challenge in the first round... Though I think I might still prefer a first round series vs the Grizzlies and second round vs. the Spurs as opposed to a one-two punch of Golden State or Portland then the Thunder.
@  Dan G : (26 March 2014 - 01:00 AM) There's even a chance that Memphis moves up to the 5th seed and that would be horrible for us if we stay the 4th seed.
@  Dan G : (26 March 2014 - 12:58 AM) YaoMan makes a good point but with the way Portland is playing, they are likely to end up being the 6th seed rather than the 5th. It would be beneficial for us to move up to the 3rd, and we have an outside chance at the 2nd seed.
@  Drew in Abilene : (25 March 2014 - 11:02 PM) I agree with YaoMan. I think those two teams represent a great opportunity to establish ourselves with a deep playoff run.
@  YaoMan : (25 March 2014 - 03:17 PM) My thoughts are, based on how we match up with certain teams, perhaps sitting in the 4th seed would be favorable. Getting Portland in the 1st round and SA in the second are teams Rockets have success against. Of course, never count out SA in the playoffs...


Rockets and Steals

analytics FiveThirtyEight

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#1 Drew in Abilene

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 02:49 AM



The above article from the new FiveThirtyEight website, and it goes into detail as to why the writer believes that steals are one of the most important stats. I won't go into all his explanations, since his conclusions are right there to be read, but I figured that this might make for some good conversation. Below are the season averages for Rockets players when it comes to steals. Sorry if the table ends up weird, I pulled it straight from ESPN and just deleted all the other values so we could focus in on steals. 


James Harden, SG                    1.48          

Patrick Beverley, PG                 1.44          

Chandler Parsons, SF               1.11          

Jeremy Lin, PG                          0.92          

Dwight Howard, C                      0.85          

Omri Casspi, SF                        0.69          

Jordan Hamilton, SF                 0.64          

Terrence Jones, PF                   0.60          

Aaron Brooks, PG                    0.58          

Francisco Garcia, SG                0.54          

Donatas Motiejunas, PF             0.32          

Ronnie Brewer, SF                     0.26          

Isaiah Canaan, PG                     0.25          

Robert Covington, SF                 0.20          

Omer Asik, C                              0.16          

Greg Smith, PF                          0.09          

Troy Daniels, SG                       0.00          

Totals                                        7.47             


So, after reading the article and checking out Houston's steal stats, what are your thoughts? I'd also be interested in looking at some more advanced stats beyond simple, per-game steal numbers. 

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#2 Sir Thursday

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:29 AM

Seems like a fairly basic correlation =/= causation problem to me. There is no way that a steal in and of itself could be worth more than 6 points (Pretty sure the EPV of a possession can never pass 2 before a shot goes up - at which point it couldn't be stolen - and the most you can get on the other end is 4 points), so there must be other factors at work. Now that factor could be the 'fear' effect that a good thief puts into the attacking player's mind, it could be that for every steal there are a couple of deflections that don't get recorded but do disrupt the possession, or it could simply be that players who are good at stealing the ball are point-guards and they tend to have an outsized effect on a team's offensive efficiency, especially good ones. Personally I'm more inclined to shade towards the third one (hence why I'm sceptical about the study), but that's all just conjecture until you can find a way to weed out those effects.


(There are a few other problems I have with the methodology: using player replacement means that you're not controlling for all of the other reasons why your chosen player is put on the floor ahead of their backup, and the fact that by virtue of their scarcity indicators like blocks and steals will always rate higher in this sort of analysis. But I've done enough picking apart, methinks :)).


In any case, there is a glaring hole that needs patching up, and that is the effect of steals on defensive numbers. I thought there had been some studies (although I can't cite them off the top of my head) that showed that steals are a poor indicator of defensive ability since the effect of gambling for them often leaves a defender out of position. If you run the same analysis on defensive performance, how do steals rate? And does that increase or reduce the value of steals?



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#3 Steven


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    Posted 27 March 2014 - 06:57 AM

    Couldn't a steal be a 8 point turn around? If the shot was three and a foul that was prevented, and it of itself leads to a three and a foul, thus creating an 8 point turn around?
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    #4 thejohnnygold



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    Posted 27 March 2014 - 06:17 PM

    Bleacher Report has an article/interview with Patrick Beverley--it's mostly Bev answering questions.  Lots of good insights from him about his approach to the game (including steals) and the team as a whole.  LINK


    Teaser: he tells us why McHale starts him over Lin :ph34r:

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    #5 Drew in Abilene

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    Posted 27 March 2014 - 07:26 PM

    Terrific article. I really enjoyed the insight into his game that can only come from the inside. And watching his annihilation of Jrue Holiday was a great trip down memory lane.

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