January 12, 2015

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 11 comments

"The Future of Basketball Is Here, and It Looks a Lot Like James Harden" — great Kirk Goldsberry piece on how Houston is using those advanced metrics they've been bragging on to maximize offense and the hidden values in James Harden's game. May require you to believe in the existence of the "Functional Miss" but also includes cool infographics and a bunch of GIFs as is de rigueur for Nëu Escrit de Sporte nowadays.

posted by yerfatma at 10:37 AM on January 12, 2015

So with Luck being the only QB who hasn't won a Super Bowl, I guess he becomes the default "underdog" and choice for those without a real routing interest in any of the remaining teams.

It would be easier to sell him as the plucky young underdog if he didn't look like such a scary homeless guy with that beard.

posted by grum@work at 11:31 AM on January 12, 2015

I know this is a couple of days late but I've been waiting 30+ years to say this: Lazar scores the winner for Liverpool!

posted by billsaysthis at 11:39 AM on January 12, 2015

The best way I was able to visualize the functional miss was the recognition that two of the guys in my men's league team provided me the majority of my offensive rebounding opportunities. They have soft shots and shoot when they see guys crashing the rim or well-positioned.

As a result, we get a lot more opportunities to get high % second attempts. If they convert 40% of the time, and we get 60% of the rebounds and convert those to points 60% of the time, over the two possessions we're looking at a 76% chance of a points.

Whereas, our madman 2 seems to love to pull up and miss when there are 2-3 of their team surrounding the rim. If he too shoots 40%, but we only get 20% of the rebounds and convert to points 60% of the time, we're now looking at a 52% chance of points over the two possessions.

Same shooting percentage, different team outcome. Functional missers FTW.

posted by dfleming at 12:44 PM on January 12, 2015

And people say FIFA nominations/ awards are always out-of-touch:

The best way I was able to visualize the functional miss . . .

Don't get me wrong, I buy it. I just thought that might be one of the places people object to.

posted by yerfatma at 12:50 PM on January 12, 2015

As of January 1, Harden's close-range field goal percentage ranked a mediocre 21st within a group of 27 NBA players who had attempted at least 200 shots within eight feet of the hoop. But a closer examination reveals that, incredibly, the Rockets retrieve a ridiculous 55 percent of Harden's close-range misses, which is by far the highest share for any volume shooter in the league. Put another way: Harden converts only 54 percent of his interior chances, but when you consider that freakish offensive rebounding rate, a whopping 79 percent of his close-range attempts result in either a bucket or a fresh 24 for his team.

Shots at the rim generate offensive rebounds 35% of the time on average. Harden has taken 155 shots from 0-8 feet this year so the difference between Harden's 55% this year and the expected 35% is 15 rebounds. That may mean something, or it may just be luck. I'd be interested to compare it to the numbers from the last couple years.

posted by tron7 at 03:37 PM on January 12, 2015

Don Shula calls Bill Belichick "Beli-cheat" in a recent interview.

posted by rcade at 04:52 PM on January 12, 2015

Denver gives ol' Foxy the ol' heave-ho.

posted by NoMich at 06:58 PM on January 12, 2015

Huh, so know we know what it is that bill says. I always wondered that...

posted by hincandenza at 03:34 AM on January 13, 2015

Scary homeless guy? Nah, more like a Civil War General.

posted by DevilsAdvocate at 09:19 AM on January 13, 2015

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