Bucks Diary

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A cool NFL blog and some random NBA notes

The Bucks exhibition schedule has hit a lull following their return from China. Seems like a great time for the ever unpopular "random notes" post. So fire up the non-sequitur machine, and here...we...go:

1. "Advanced NFL Stats" a blog worth checking out
I am not a statistician, nor is Bucks Diary a statistical blog. I'm just an ordinary fan who tries to use statistical evidence (along with historical precedent and just plain intuition) to answer questions about my favorite team and about Pro Basketball in general.

If you want to see what a true statistical blog looks like, and if you are interested in the National Football League, check out Advanced NFL Stats by Brian Burke. I stumbled on it Saturday and loved what I read. (Note: Truth be told here's what really caught my eye. Brian was the only "expert" I could find anywhere last weekend who favored the Packers over the Colts in Sunday's game. In fact, he established the Pack as a 53%-47% favorite. I was also particularly impressed when I went back in time and saw that prior to the Packers-Falcons game he had Atlanta established as the favorite. Now, he doesn't hit on every game, but clearly he knows somethin about somethin).

There is one feature on the blog that I found particularly cool. Brian provides real time "Win Probability" charts for every NFL game. The charts update at 30 second intervals, and provide continuous time, possession, and down and distance information. Watching the Pack on Sunday, I was getting up after every significant play and shuttling over to the computer to see how that particular play affected the Packers chances of winning. Pretty interesting stuff. (For instance, when the Packers missed a field goal right before the half, their odds of winning dipped from 93% to 85%... so I cursed the shit out of the kicker Mason Crosby. But the odds went right back up to 93% when the Colts did the same exact thing minutes later. And Brian's Win Probability estimate told me I could relax because the game was in the bank and earning interest at 100% at least ten real minutes before Aaron Rouse went "99 yds" on Peyton Manning. Btw, true story: Do you remember George "Ice" Teague from the 90s Packers? Around that time I saw him driving around GB in his Mercedes and his license plate said "101 YDS". I almost went off the road I was laughing so hard! If you are a Packer fan, or a Detroit Lions fan, or if you watch ESPN's "NFL's Greatest Games" series, you get the reference).

If I could rig one of those Win Probability charts for Bucks games... how sweet would that be?! Don't hold your breath.

2. Lazy is as Lazy does
I just KNEW when I put that sarcastic note about Charlie Bell being an "Amber Alert" candidate in my previous post that it would blow up in my face. I knew I shouldn't have relied on the NBA's boxscores. But I did and it did.

For both China games the NBA boxscores had Bell listed as a "DNP--Coaches Decision", not "DNP--Ankle injury" but I should have done a little research to verify. Those boxscores are often wrong about the player's positional deployment, so I don't know why I decided to consider them reliable when it came to playing status. Although, if Bell was unavailable to play, wouldn't it have made more sense for him to stay in Milwaukee and concentrate on rehab, rather than flying half way around the world to grab pine?

3. I Mayo have been wrong... but its early
Given the strong correlation between a rookie's preseason performance and his subsequent regular season play, I revisited the predraft evaluations I did back in June checked them against "Doug's Stats" preseason numbers to see how those evaluations are faring. Most are, surprisingly, still on point.

The glaring exception is my definitive "OJ Mayo will be a bust" prediction. So far, he's not. He's producing average to slightly above average Win Score per 48 statistics for a shooting guard... and I consider "average" to be pretty good production for a rookie.

There is one caveat, however. If you remove OJ's suspiciously high number of steals (compared with his collegiate per minute theft rate), the rookie would actually be right where I predicted he would be in terms of Win Score per 48 (in the 4.4 range... in other words, well below average).

But you can't do that. So, at the moment, he looks like he's going to outplay his college production and become a productive NBA player. We'll keep an eye on that.

4. Yi's cold start revisited
I have nothing against former Milwaukee Bucks sensation Yi Jianlian. The only reason I'm bashing him is this: I don't want Bucks fans to conclude that the Bucks gave up on him too soon unless the evidence supports that conclusion. At the moment it doesn't.

According to the aforementioned "Doug's Stats", the 7'0'', 238 pound Yi... a man masquerading as an NBA power forward... has grabbed a whopping total of 5 rebounds in 73 minutes of preseason action, for a pathetic per minute rebounding rate of .068. By comparison, the 5'6'', 133 pound Spud Webb had a career per minute rate of .087, and the even more diminutive 5'3'', 133 pound Muggsy Bogues had a career per minute rate of .091.

Hey Yi, Richard Jefferson says that's an embarrassingly low rebound total... and Mark Pope thinks you might be allergic to paint.


At October 21, 2008 at 4:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CBell never went to China..

"Charlie Bell might have been climbing the Great Wall of China or bantering with Chinese basketball fans. Instead, the 29-year-old guard stayed home last week to continue his rehabilitation of a left ankle injury that has hampered him throughout training camp and the exhibition schedule."

At October 21, 2008 at 8:11 AM, Anonymous paul said...

Yep was gonna let you know the same thing Ty, Bell was at home doing rehab and apparantly was able to take part in a full scrimmage yesterday for the first time.

If you're after some more info it can be found at this address.


At October 24, 2008 at 2:11 AM, Blogger TCW said...

I can't even get my stupid corrections right!! Thanks for the assist.

From now on, I think I'm just going to stick to analysis and leave the commentary to the other Bucks blogs... they do it much better anyway.

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