Tuesday, November 6, 2007

You know, the comments thingy

From the fertile valley of basketball journalism known as Doug Smith's blog:

And another comment worth noting, this one from Blake Kennedy on yesterday’s item on Three Things I Learned:

"I disagree entirely on your assertion about Jason Kapono's defence.

"JK currently has a stop percentage of .524 _ which means 52.4% of the individual defensive possessions he's faced with, he provides a defensive stop. His defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions) is 97.7, and the team's is 95.9. So he's barely above the team average in this case, and since 8.8 points per 100 possessions better than the league average of last year.

Stop percentages are a Dean Oliver/Hollinger stat, based on floor percentages. Aggregate defensive stats in basketball are not even close to perfect, but using a few metrics like d-ratings, defensive win scores and the d stats in PER help paint a better picture.

"He guarded Paul Pierce straight up most of the night, and did a fine job. He got beat off the bounce maybe once or twice, but that happens to the best defenders in the NBA by Paul Pierce.

"Bottom line is, Kapono has been giving the effort and intensity and playing smart team defence, just like the entire unit. I understand you have deadlines and you're a busy guy, but a little research would have given you the truth on this matter."

I'm going to have to agree with Mr. Kennedy on Kapono's defence (so far this season) It's been more than adequate.

I'll just say this about that: Stop percentage? Defensive rating? When did basketball become baseball? Have we got seamheads in this game?

Statistics? Witch! WITCH! Baseball nerrrrrrrrrrds!!!!! This is Dougie Smith, the people's beat grunt saying 'go back to your geek dugout you mathematrixter!'

I put very little trust in such esoteric individual stats in a free-flowing team game like basketball, which, as I’ve mentioned before, is a game far too dependent on what other players – teammates and opponents – do.

It's true. Those pesky esoteric, ivory tower number thingies are just hogwash's alchemy. To evaluate Jason Kapono's defensive performances, one must only measure "flow" with a little hint of "sass" and "togetherness."

The truth is, Kapono’s an okay defender. Not a great one; and he’s probably got a step or two to go to be even good. And that comes from the people who count – his coaches.

The truth, according to Raptors coaches: Kapono's D okay, could be better. Thanks for clearing that up, oligarchs of basketball knowledge.

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