This Week's Show
During the All-Star break, we're baffled by a lot of things. Kevin Durant hates the media, Charles Barkley hates analytics, and Melo hates efficiency. Tune in!
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This Week's Poll
What the F*** Just Happened? Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant "took aim at the media" over the All-Star break.
It fell very much in the Marshawn Lynch vein.
Julien Rodger correctly assessed that Durant had indeed pulled a "heel turn."
So James Harden made a face turn and Kevin Durant made a heel turn?— J Rodger (@ASFW_jrodger) February 15, 2015
As Patrick notes, Durant's "turn" is not sudden. He showed some signs against Dwight Howard a few months ago.
Embracing narratives with heroes and villains is something I wish the NBA was more willing to do. The Bad Boy Pistons of the 80s are a perfect example.
I cited the ESPN Watch in regards to Marshawn Lynch and some of the race double standards. While the ESPN Watch does great work, I think I actually meant Vox here.
I initially think Kevin Durant's attitude felt forced and as a PR move. Patrick talks me out of it. Maybe Durant is just upset and fed up at a bad season.
I will say, Collison has been underrated most of his career. That said, he's in his mid 30s and declining, so maybe Palmer had a point?
What the F*** Just Happened? Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley decided to fight with Daryl Morey and declare analytics were stupid. This got some pushback
Dr. J's autobiography is a great example of a Philadelphia 76er great understanding the importance of analytics (at least the right ones.) Dr. J also understood how meaningless sideline commenting was.
Gregg Popovich sums up overreacting to small sample size:
To clarify - we can very clearly explain the impact of a player's actions in very small samples. However, we can't infer a ton from these small samples.
A fun tangent - Paul Shirley played a mere one possession on his guest spot on "Ground Floor", his WP48 was quite good:
. @paulthenshirley gets 1 STL, 2 PTS in 1 MP on Ground Floor. That's WP48 of 2.92 OR we'd expect team of Pauls to win by 88 points a game.— Andrés Alvarez (@NerdNumbers) January 15, 2015
Patrick has a few counterpoints to Charles Barkley's arguments "against" analytics.
I had a problem with "analytics experts" piling on Charles Barkley:
Someone's gonna tweet about how stupid Barkley is about analytics. Then they're gonna list Anthony Davis' PER and Cousins on/off stats.— Andrés Alvarez (@NerdNumbers) February 12, 2015
A lot of "analytics" is just team mentality. I often notice there's not so much analysis as there is "My team vs. your team."
I have a metaphor for scoring efficiently and playing tennis. Patrick does not think it's a good metaphor. Tune in and decide!
What the F*** Just Happened? Carmelo Anthony
Melo said he was "playing for the fans" in the All-Star game. We call B.S.
Melo is saying it was a burden to play in the All-Star game is a lot like players acting like it's a burden to take lots of shots. When you want to do something, it's hard to buy it's a that much of a sacrifice.
All-Star Recap - Melo got 14 points on 20 shots in 30 minutes. Kyle Korver? 21 points on 12 shots in 15 minutes!
Reminder, Melo was "recruiting" for New York at the All-Star game. How do you think that went? Take it away ESPN Stats and Info:
Last 10 seasons, Carmelo Anthony has 2 All-Star games in which he's played at least 30 mins and has 0 assists. The rest of the NBA? 0 games.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 16, 2015
We point out that Melo's game isn't even that exciting to watch. A team like the Warriors, we want to see!
Slight tangent, I'm off on Norm Nixon, he was a star pre-Magic but dropped off after Magic took over at point guard.
We use the term "mailbag in a broad sense."
Patrick was surprised that our poll between James Dolan and Dan Gilbert was as close as it was.
Art Rondeau (@ArtRondeau) had a fantastic open letter to James Dolan about his issues running the Knicks.
Robert Currence had even more insight into just how bad James Dolan is:
@NerdNumbers They own a piece of the TrailBlazers arena, the own the Forum in LA, and either parts or all of several large venues in— Robert Currence (@rac4568) February 10, 2015
Robert Currence, see directly above, gets my shout out for the great insight on James Dolan. I love followers who have even more info on the NBA.
Key Sang(@Phantele) gets Patrick's shoutout for hisgreat piece on Zach Lavine's Slam Dunk contest win.
Stephen Curry gets a shoutout from Patrick for his incredible performance in the three-point shooting contest.
Mo'ne Davis gets a shoutout for her snub in the All-Star celebrity game. Kevin Hart, really?
Rest in peace Jerry Tarkanian, who gets a shoutout from Brian for among many achievements, his battles with the NCAA.
Dean Smith also gets a shoutout; another big college coach, who's achievements off the court were arguably more impressive.