best counter

Your Ad Here
Just The Sports: 2007-03-18

Just The Sports

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Williams, Felton, and Paul

Of three second-year point guards of the future-Deron Williams, Chris Paul, and Raymond Felton-only one has actually improved over what he accomplished during his rookie campaign while the other two have largely maintained their rookie level of production. Yet, the two point guards who have failed to increase their offensive output in their second full season in the NBA are not on equal footing with each other. One of these has nothing to worry about while the other's stagnation will certainly become a problem if he fails again to improve when his third season rolls around.

The one who has shown the marked improvement is none other than Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams. His rookie campaign was a largely lackluster one, but he has seen fit to statistically significantly improve on it, raising his effective field goal percentage (47.8 eFG% to 50.1 eFG%), true shooting percentage (50.0 TS% to 53.8 TS%), points per shot attempt (1.00 PSA to 1.08 PSA), and assist rate (26.2 AsR to 33.4 AsR).

However, a constant drizzle is about to fall on Williams's parade. Even with the raised level of play he has demonstrated, Williams's career is no match for Chris Paul's. Of course, the fact that the rookie season Paul has failed to improve upon and only matched is one where he was named the NBA's Rookie of the Year may have something to do with Williams being unable to make up all the ground he was kind enough to spot Paul when their respective careers commenced. Williams is still Paul's inferior in true shooting percentage (52.0 TS% to 54.4 TS%), points per shot attempt (1.04 to 1.09), assist rate (30.3 AsR to 31.5 AsR), turnover rate (10.8 ToR to 9.4 ToR), and rebound rate (5.3 RbR to 7.7 RbR).

Then there is Raymond Felton, who is in danger of being left behind by the aforementioned Williams and Paul. While his career is comparable to Williams's right now, at least Williams has shown that there are brighter days ahead in his career. Felton has given no reason to expect future improvement from him and he does not have the advantage Paul holds of already having a great season in his back pocket. Right now, Felton is living up to whatever reasons led to his being drafted last out of these three point guards. Fortunately for him, his leash is probably longer than most, considering he is playing for an expansion team that has yet to shed its expansion look.

Williams and Paul look to be the brightest shining stars out of this group and the race to see who will turn out to have the best career will probably only involve them unless Felton learns quickly how to be a more efficient scorer and passer.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Gilbert Arenas's Latest Grudge

Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas has pledged to drop seventy-five points on seventy-five-year-old woman, Gertrude Sloan, who took the last Zebra Cake at his neighborhood convenience store. After watching Sloan pick out and pay for the last snack cake, Arenas immediately went about setting up a game where he would have the opportunity to make good on his pledge.

"I have never felt so disrespected in my entire life," Arenas stated after the incident occurred. "As soon as me and my boys walked into the store, I was talking loudly about how much I had been looking forward to eating a Zebra Cake, loud enough for everyone else in the store heard me. Then this old bird comes out of nowhere and snatches the last one. I couldn't even believe it. All my life I've been disrespected, but this one event really takes the cake."

Sloan stated that she has never played basketball in her entire life so she is unaware of what exactly Arenas would prove or gain by demolishing her on the basketball court, but Arenas is not allowing that small fact to take away the pleasure he has acquired from his newfound grudge against her.

"I don't care if she's never played basketball before," Arenas said. "This isn't about that; it's about teaching her a lesson. When she looks up at the scoreboard and sees the number seventy-five beside my name, she'll know what happens to people who do something Gilbert doesn't appreciate. They get embarrassed when I succeed in fulfilling my threat or I get embarrassed when I fall short. Either way, I'm always going to demand respect."

Arenas admits he will have a difficult time finding an open date to punish Sloan for her behavior since he is already scheduled to light up all the teams that didn't draft him, embarrass the teams of the USA men's basketball coaches' who cut him, and to drop fifty points on a sixteen-year-old who cut him off when he was trying to switch lanes.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Battle Of The Winning Streaks

Not all winning streaks are created equal, even when the number of games involved in the streaks are. The NBA so far has had two teams, the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns, find themselves victorious at the ends of seventeen straight contests. The Mavericks' streak ran from games forty-five through sixty-one and the Suns did it from game twenty-eight to game forty-four. Yet, the Mavericks' winning streak is the more impressive of the two.

The advantage is slim, but it is there. Over the course of the seventeen games, the Mavericks managed to score 16.0 more points per 100 possessions than their opponents and the Suns only scored 14.1 points per 100 possessions than their foes. With the Suns actually holding the upper hand in offensive efficiency between the two teams, it was defense where the Mavericks won the winning streak war due to the fact they allowed their opponents to make 2.1 fewer three-points per game than the Suns gave up to their opposing teams. The Mavericks also held their opponents to a lower offensive rebounding percentage (24.0% to 27.5%).

Offensively, the Suns are superior simply because they made 3.8 more three-points per game than the Mavericks. That advantage alone is responsible for the Suns having an offensive efficiency rating 1.6 points higher. If not for the Suns' shooting proficiency behind the arc, the numbers the Mavericks put up during their seventeen-game winning streak would have resulted in a larger margin over the Suns.

Win-loss records may not reflect whose winning streak was better, but the winners of the winning streaks should be declared and receive their hard-earned credit somewhere.