The Boxscore Geeks Show: Paul Shirley Returns!

This Week's Show

Paul Shirley's back to discuss the NBA trade deadline, the defunct Short Corner Podcast, and more "inside the  NBA " stories.



Just a note, it may take a little longer than normal for the audio-only version of this week's show to be available

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Video Show

This Week's Poll

Show Notes

Podcast Pedigree

In case you don't know. Paul Shirley is a renaissance man. He studied mechanical engineering at Iowa State. He played professional basketball in several leagues including the NBA. Since retiring he's acted and written professionally. He was also part of the great basketball podcast ever: the now defunct Short Corner Podcast.

We review some sad behind the scenes info about the Short Corner Podcast being cancelled.

Paul Shirley becomes the first two-time guest on the Boxscore Geeks show. He was in episode 15 to talk the NCAA.

Dave Berri has appeared multiple times of the Short Corner Podcast

To date Dave Berri has not been on the Boxscore Geeks show. So if you see him, you should give him heck about that.

The Trade Deadline

"We did not undercut your authority, only your passion" - Patrick on Paul's lack of enthusiasm over trades. Paul likes to wait and see, which goes contrary to the Twitter-reaction-verse.

Paul has some great thoughts about Heat, Knicks, and Laker fans. He also has some points about how players aren't "plug and play." Tune in!

Behind the Scenes with Paul

Paul got some of the best seats in the game to watch Steve Nash's first MVP season. This was because of a multi-player trade including Jackson Vroman and Maciej Lampe. Paul was signed by the Suns right after, fresh back from Russia.

Patrick and Paul both have experience with Euro leagues.

Paul's first stint in Greece was replacing Tremaine Fowlkes. As Paul says: "The European landscape was often littered with guys that would make it about a month or two." I compare this to the movie "Mr. Baseball", which Paul hasn't seen!

As Paul explains, in Europe the contract structure is much different. Paul's had a GM threaten to fire him for his performance in a single game.

Patrick discusses some of the odd conventions NBA teams use in selecting the players for the "9-15 spots on the roster." Paul has some great insights on these. Tune in!

As a young NBA prospect, Paul was cut by the Lakers in favor of Samaki Walker, who to be fair, was good for the Lakers before falling off a cliff.

Paul got Tex Winter's seal of approval, which is worth something, right?

The discussion of using specialists at the end of roster spots comes up. Patrick remembers Craig Ehlo, a three-point specialist in the 80s, where not too many teams shot threes.

Paul was represented by Keith Glass, who also represented Mark Eaton!

A reminder, Hassan Whiteside played at star level for the Kings. They let him go. You can argue maturity. But that's a tough pill from the team that backed DeMarcus Cousins.

Of course, various factors like draft position help impact which players get minutes, e.g. Marcus Fizer.

In his last game for the Bulls, Paul would have hit value as a min-price fantasy player. Also, he did end his career with triple the points of James Lang, who the Hornets kept over Paul.

Mark Cuban claims the arms race in analytics is over because every NBA team has analytics. We don't agree. Also, Cuban seems to think the Mavericks coaching could improve Monta Ellis. His per-minute production has not moved since he joined the Mavericks.

Paul notes that say the Suns paid more for trainers than other teams, but still a tiny amount relative to player salaries. This makes it hard for the team to side with the trainers or analytics crew.

As long as the NBA keeps hiring former players to front office position, we're going to have the anti-nerd sentiment in NBA teams.

Despite being a great stats player, Shawn Marion was less impressive off the court. Tune in for some good stories here.

Kobe Bryant has made some decisions we agree with in regards to not being "a team player" in regards to salary:

There is, of course, a tradeoff leaving some money on the table to go to a winning team to improve your marketability.

Carmelo Anthony

Paul writes regularly about basketball for El Pais.

Paul poses the question if Melo will ever be revealed as overrated to the mainstream.

Patrick has some optimism here.

I'll say no, even the "Advanced Stats" people are coming up with new metrics to justify chuckers.

An old question - if Melo can score "at-will", why aren't his shooting percentages more like LeBron or Durant?

Melo is hitting his 30s and having knee surgery. Reminder, he's on the books through 2019! Another reminder, players age like milk.

Kevin Garnett had the commercial about him "being too old". Sadly, the numbers backed this claim.

F*** that Guy

A segment on the Short Corner Podcast was "F*** that Guy!", which was giving a person a "F*** that guy", which could be a positive or negative claim. Invented by the great Justin Halpern, we loved this segment, and Patrick wanted it for the Boxscore Geeks show.

We end the show with our own "F*** that guy." I pick a familiar name from the past. Paul thinks I may be biased.

Patrick picks a GM, who may have ruined two of his over/under bets.

Paul picks an NBA owner, who may have ruined the swan song of an NBA great.

A reminder, in 2005 the Suns lost Joe Johnson to a face injury. Tack on Amare getting suspended, and the Suns missed two good shots at a finals due to losing a starter.

NBA Trades

The Bucks picked up Miles Plumlee (good), Michael Carter-Williams (darkhorse), and Tyler Ennis (young). It may take some luck, but with an already strong core, there's reason to be optimistic about their future.

The Nuggets traded away Arron Afflalo and JaVale McGee. It's kind of sad to see McGee go. Also, while I think they won the Afflalo trade, I suspect they won't benefit as it's unlikely Thomas Robinson sees playing time.

Injury is hard to predict, but the Bucks have Michael Carter-Williams and Jabari Parker. If they can bounce back next season, it could be a huge boost to the Bucks.

Shout Outs

A collective shoutout to the Short Corner Podcast. Paul Shirley(@paulthenshirley), Justin Halpern(@justin_halpern), and Phil Hay(@phillycarly) all get a shoutout. We're happy to carry the "F*** that guy" baton.

Art Rondeau(@ArtRondeau) gets a shoutout for helping brainstorm the Boxscore Geeks Sloan T-Shirt, which none of us will be wearing as we won't be attending!

I'm not a chucker! I just want your stats guys to get a significant sample size!

Patrick says the back of the shirt would have "Somebody has to take the shot." on it. Feel free to make this and wear it to Sloan, if you're going.