Category Archives: Boredom

A recent history of kicks to the face

In case you missed it, Chris Paul got a shin sandwich from Tony Allen last night:  

Searching through YouTube (unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you view it) led to only a few more instances where this has happened. What I found though showed different variations of how a face becomes full of sneakers.

The Ninja Closeout 

Bruce Bowen kicking Wally Szczerbiak in the face is arguably the most popular of them all, which is pretty impressive since it happened in 2002. There was no YouTube or Twitter, but 24-hour coverage of sports existed. That’s all it took for Bowen’s reputation as a chippy defender to take off.  

The “Big Boot 

Tyson Chandler gives a big boot to Damion James in a 2011 pre-season game: 

With the running start, this had to be just as painful as Bowen’s or Allen’s, not to mention Chandler’s shoes are probably a few sizes larger than a perimeter defender’s.

Accidentally On Purpose Whoopsy Daisy

Tony Parker gives Shane Battier a little extra after drawing a blocking foul: 

Whether it was on purpose or not, Parker acting dazed after the kick brought me back to the days of my freshman dorm, where my roommate’s alarm went off every five minutes for an hour straight. This happened every morning before class at 8 a.m., that is until one day I couldn’t take it any more and flung a pen at him. I still remember the “thunk” it made when it ricocheted off his head, making it sound way more painful that I intended. Regardless, I proceeded to act like I was asleep. It was terrific. I never heard his alarm go off more than once ever again. Good times, good times.

Honorable mentions: Mike Miller getting a face full of Danny Greens shoe during a loose ball in the same Finals, and Kevin Love stepping on Luis Scola‘s face.)

The Helpless Prop

This happened way too often in college, where a player after a pickup basketball game would be so overconfident in his leaping ability that he’d try and dunk over someone. 99 percent of the time it led to the prop getting a face full of crotch, a knee to the midsection, or a foot dangling in the wrong place in mid-air.

Matt Bonner was a victim of the latter during a slam dunk contest, though at least he was prepared for it:  

Which variation will be created next?

Since 2003, over 3/4 of teams under .500 on November 18 miss the playoffs (continued)

Yesterday I worked through a little boredom, looking at how often teams miss the playoffs after starting out under .500 through November 18, yesterday’s date.

The result was higher than I thought, with 76.7 percent finishing in the lottery since 2003. I decided to expand on that statistic by looking at the rest of the months of the season and how often teams can overcome not just a sluggish start but an extra underwhelming month or two or four. Here are the results while skipping the lockout-shortened 2012 season, though I moved the day from December/January/February/March 18 to 19 just to keep up with the current date thing. I don’t know. I’m weird:

Under .500 through December 19: 28 teams out of a possible 143 still made the playoffs (19.6 percent).

Under .500 through January 19: 25/117 (21.4 percent).

Under.500 through February 19: 21/125 (16.8 percent).

Under .500 through March 19: 14/140 (10 percent).

As you can see, the likelihood declines as the season enters the dog days of basketball, and even further after the trade deadline. The percentages are a little misleading though when, since 2003, the Eastern Conference has had nine teams make the playoffs with a record under .500. We’ll more than likely see a couple teams do that again this year. Finish with less than 41 wins in the West though and you’re toast.

No more than five teams under .500 in any month have gone on to make the playoffs. For March 19, it shrunk to three teams. That could change this year, though we’re still four months away from seeing if that holds up.

Four months away still! This season is going to last forever.

Since 2003, over 3/4 of teams under .500 on November 18 miss the playoffs

If your favorite team is off to a bad start, you can look that stat in the headline in two different ways:

  • Since 2003, 76.7 percent of teams that are under .500 coming into November 18 have missed the playoffs, failing to put the pieces together in another season of letdowns.
  • Since 2003, 23.3 percent have come back to make the playoffs and win their fans back with five months of great basketball. The first three weeks? Well, that was just a flesh wound.

A total of 30 teams out of 129 have come back to contend. You might think most of those came from the East since we’re in an era where the West has been loaded, but only 16 were from the inferior conference. And they’re not all teams who just barely make the postseason. Two defending champions, the Shaq-led ’03 Lakers and ’07 Heat, started out flat. Others like the ’07 Suns, ’07 Bulls, and ’11 Grizzlies were pesky outs.

Here’s the complete list. I left out the lockout-shortened 2012 season:

2003 (4 out of 13 teams): Los Angeles Lakers (3-7), Portland (4-6), Utah (4-7), Minnesota (5-6)

2004 (2/11): New Jersey (5-6), New York (3-7)

2005 (4/12): New Jersey (2-6), Chicago (0-6), Denver (3-5), Memphis (3-5)

2006 (3/14): Chicago (3-5), Los Angeles Lakers (4-5), Sacramento (4-5)

2007 (5/14): Toronto (2-7), Chicago (3-6), Miami (4-5), Washington (4-5), Phoenix (3-6)

2008 (2/14): New Jersey (3-6), Washington (4-5)

2009 (2/12): Chicago (5-6), Dallas (4-7)

2010 (2/14): Charlotte (3-8), San Antonio (4-5)

2011 (3/13): New York (4-8), Philadelphia (2-10), Memphis (4-8)

2013 (3/12): Indiana (4-7), Denver (4-6), Houston (4-6) 

2014 (???/15): 

Who will make the list this year?

So far, 15 teams are under .500: (deep breath) Philadelphia, Boston, Toronto, New York, Brooklyn, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, Orlando, Washington, New Orleans, Sacramento, Los Angeles Lakers, Utah, and Denver. No more than five and no less than two have made the playoffs. If we’re going straight by the math over the last decade, we can pick three or four.

I’ll pick four and they’re all coming from the East. Out in the West, the most likely under .500 candidates to surge back are the Lakers and Pelicans yet they’ll have to overtake Memphis, who sits in tenth place and in time will pass ninth-place Phoenix. Basically, nobody under .500 from the West will come back this year, though Kobe Bryant‘s return and Anthony Davis monster sophomore season at least made me think about it. Oh well. There are still nine teams from the East to choose from.

Every team in the Atlantic Division is under .500, which is embarrassing but one has to win and get the fourth seed by default. I’d expect New York and Brooklyn to limp into the finish line, maybe seeing them battle in the first round of the playoffs. At the very least, they both get in. The East is just too terrible for them not to.

From there I’ll go with Detroit, who didn’t sign Josh Smith just to tank the season away. I already wrote a little about their frontcourt woes while wondering why nobody is fouling Andre Drummond, but I expect the team to play better as the season goes on. I mean, they can’t be much worse defensively, right? If they somehow are, Greg Monroe can be moved for a piece that’s a better fit, one that’s good enough to put Detroit in the playoffs. I’d like to think of them being a pesky out for a title contender, at least pushing the series to five games.

That leaves one more team, and it gets painful to pick and choose who will get destroyed by Miami or Indiana, but I’ll go with Washington. They can make a move or two before the deadline with whatever Trevor Ariza will attract, but could (and probably will) also fire Randy Wittman and hopefully gain wins down the line with a coach that, you know, can get the job done with John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Marcin ‘Too Hot To’ Gortat.

Toronto can make moves too, especially with Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan, but a trade will more often than one to push themselves into the lottery. As for Cleveland, they seem to be a mess led by Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, and Anderson Varejao. Somehow, they can’t score with those three guys. Cleveland was a tough choice though since they too are primed for a trade down the road.

The East in general is a crap shoot, but it wasn’t expected to be this bad out of the gates. Right now if the conference were a Myspace account, Orlando, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Charlotte would be in the East’s top eight, along with Miami and the like. By the end of the season, they’ll all have grown sour and made room for New York, Brooklyn, Detroit, and Washington.

My 2014 Dream Team — after a couple restrictions

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Some dreams are more realistic and (somewhat) thoughtful than others. Introducing, my dream team within the confines of the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement! Yeah, take that, everyone else who dreams of becoming an owner like Mikhail Prokhorov!

The NBA’s salary cap, for the most part, has become an invisible GM as far as determining which players to keep, sign, and trade every year. Only Mikhail Prokhorov and a few other owners could absorb the luxury tax of a dream team-ish lineup like Deron Williams, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Brook Lopez, and Joe Johnson though I doubt anyone dreams of having the last player mentioned.

For everyone else, a roster of their favorite players just isn’t possible without sweating profusely over the financial ramifications from going over the luxury tax level, which is at about $71 million. The salary cap itself is set at $58,679,000. It’s a soft one but for the sake of this post I won’t go over it, making it near-impossible to let Kobe Bryant soak up half my cap space and field a contender at the same time.

I also removed the option to throw darts at players still on rookie contracts. For the most part, they’re more cap-friendly compared to veterans with similar playing styles. That’s great, but it’s unrealistic to group a bunch of them together to form a star-studded under-25 squad.

And besides, why would I choose roster spots with darts when I’m so inaccurate I’d land 12 Bismack Biyombos? Maybe that’s how the Bobcats decide who they draft each year, but that’s a blog post for another time. This post involves a 12-man squad that may not be possible to assemble in real life, but it’s cap-friendly enough to build via a fantasy draft in NBA 2k14. Hopefully.

Let’s begin. All salaries are from Basketball-Reference:

Utility Player

LeBron James ($19,067,500)

If there wasn’t a salary cap, getting everything LeBron does for $19 million would be a steal. Well, except for the paranoia he triggers whenever he nears free agency.

I know I’m getting his excellent production from four positions though, maybe even five depending on how taxing it would be to play him at center. It would certainly be easier to hide LeBron on someone like Byron Mullens versus sticking him on Nikola Pekovic. I’ll start him at power forward but his versatility allows me to tinker with the rest of the starting lineup.

Small Forward

Andrei Kirilenko ($3,183,000)

Even in his low 30s, Kirilenko can still sometimes carry the burden of guarding the opposing team’s best wing. He’s also a master at doing things not seen in box scores: Perfectly timed cuts, having a personality that also makes him one of the friendliest for the media to talk to and possessing a Kermit voice that, if I ever played pickup ball against him, would take me out of my zone and send me into a world of confusion. It’s the opposite voice of a stereotypical Russian’s, like Mikhail Prokhorov’sWe need a video of Kirilenko and Prokhorov having a conversation together just to see how different each of their voices really are, though I can’t find one through a YouTube search. Both are great in their own ways.

If not for Kirilenko’s friendly contract, I would’ve went with Paul Millsap, whose contract at $19 million for two years is baffling when DeAndre Jordan and Al Jefferson make one to four million more than him. Both Millsap and Kirilenko have the potential to make for some interesting small ball and big lineups, but the $3 million contract makes Kirilenko a no-brainer. He allows me to pick a player or two on the rest of the roster who might otherwise be too pricey for a team I need to keep under the cap.

Starting Backcourt  

Stephen Curry ($9,887,642)

Stephen Curry’s molded himself into a point guard over the years, but he could do his fair share of spot shooting if LeBron were to handle point guard duties. Like Ray Allen, for example, Curry also forces the defense to attach to him without the ball, which often makes for 4-on-4 basketball. The less defenders to clutter the paint against LeBron, the better.

It should also be mentioned that Curry can single-handedly carry a team’s offense on his own, going on absurd streaks of scoring:

That can buy LeBron a few extra minutes on the bench, something that he would benefit from in the long run and especially through the postseason.

Also, that contract. What a bargain if Curry plays 70 games and every one in the playoffs.

Honorable mention: Mike Conley Jr. ($8,200,001—and that ‘1’ isn’t a typo), who has a better right hand—his off-hand—than half the NBA. Probably.

Danny Green ($3,762,500)

A cheap “3-and-D” guy, Danny Green could take the burden of guarding the team’s best guard and give Curry, LeBron, and/or Kirilenko extra rest on the defensive end. He’s also another player who will provide a ton of spacing for LeBron on offense, except he’s limited to spot-up threes. 95.7 percent of Green’s threes were assisted, but that’s fine since he knows his limitations. Green’s benefited from a second go-around with the Spurs and it would be interesting to see just how good of a role player he would be with LeBron as a teammate.

Center

Tim Duncan ($10,361,466)

There were a lot of players to pick and choose from at the center position. Joakim Noah ($11,100,000) was the toughest to leave off because he can log absurd minutes, brings a tenacity to every single game and continues to improve on the offensive end. Also receiving consideration was Al Horford ($12,000,000).

Tim Duncan’s at least $1 million cheaper and also happens to have mastered the game for some time now. That made is so unbelievable when he missed two bunnies that clinched the title for the Miami Heat. Everything else about the Finals felt like vintage Duncan. He performed like he did for the last 16 years.

You can also guarantee Duncan averages 20 points and 10 rebounds per-36 minutes, though he’d really only play 25-30 minutes every game. Who cares though. It’s my dream team and I want LeBron and Duncan on the same squad (as long it doesn’t involve the Olympics embarrassment of 2004).

Starting lineup payroll: $46,262,108

Bench

Ray Allen ($3,229,050)

At this stage of his career, there’s not much use for Allen outside of splendid three-point shooting—preferably in the corners where he shot 45 percent—and icing games with free throws. The damage he does on that end of the court makes him worthwhile, even if saying he’s a liability on defense is an understatement.

Al Harrington ($1,399,507)

Harrington supposedly lost 27 pounds this summer, but didn’t do a lot of running. Hmm.

But at 33 years old, he’s the cheap stretch-four the team needs around a guy like LeBron. He’s also a solid defensive rebounder, ranking in the top-40 in defensive rebounding percentage in 2012, his last healthy season. At 34th in the league in that ranking, he’s sandwiched between the likes of David Lee and Kevin Durant. Not bad.

If Harrington can put in a healthy 16th season at his veteran’s minimum salary, that’s great. If not, there’s an ‘energy’ player off the bench in…

Dante Cunningham ($2,000,000)

Cunningham put up the highest usage rate of his career last season, mostly thanks to the injury barrage that plagued the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 2013 season and saw his production drop as a result. There just isn’t much a difference when he logs minutes in the 30s each game and in the 20s.

Regardless, he showed an improved mid-range jumper after his lackluster 2012 outing where he made only about a third of his attempts from ten feet to the arc. That number jumped to 40 percent last season and it would be expected to take another spike while playing with the likes of LeBron and Duncan. Hopefully his mid-range game forces my backup center to plant his ass on the block and stay there.

Defensively, Cunningham’s pretty versatile. He’s athletic enough to guard a few wings, but his height may plague him in the post. Still, I’d take him over LeBron’s real-life aging power forward off the bench in Udonis Haslem.

Devin Harris ($1,272,279)

Devin Harris had an unusual summer as he initially agreed to a $9 million, three-year contract for Dallas. But then he suffered a toe injury, followed by resigning with the Mavs again for $1.3 million. Rarely will a single toe be worth that much.

What Harris should give Dallas though is about as much as I’d want him to give my team: a viable backup point guard who can just, you know, run an offense. Hopefully. I’m not so confident about that. Good thing I can pick up another guy to run an offense from time to time in…

Kwame Brown ($2,945,901)

Just kidding.

Beno Udrih ($1,272,279)

Udrih’s another point guard who’s signed for the minimum (he’s a Knick now). He had a successful stint with Orlando, at least statistically, with 13.4 points and eight assists per-36-minutes. His assist percentage was in the top 25 in the league last season, ranking just ahead of Andre Miller and behind Steve Nash.

That didn’t necessarily net him a big payday, but the Knicks couldn’t offer much more than the minimum salary. Unfortunately, neither can I. In my dream team, though, he’s my second or third string point guard (depending on the mood I’m in while dreaming).

Ronnie Brewer ($1,186,459)

What happened to Brewer anyway? He seemed like a useful player heading into last season even though he had arthroscopic knee surgery last September. Then he was traded from New York halfway through the season and only played in 14 games for OKC. Now, he’s in Houston and only $100k of his contract is guaranteed.

Did I mention he’s only 28?

But he can’t shoot and if he can’t defend either then he’s useless. It wouldn’t kill my team if Brewer was ineffective. Green, James, Kirilenko, and at times Cunningham can be solid defenders on the perimeter, but Brewer’s absence might tax Green, my starting shooting guard, which could trickle down to the bigs defending the paint. Those bigs are Tim Duncan and…

Andray Blatche ($1,375,604)

!!!!!!

Blatche is still a mystery on what he really is as a player (he’s kind of a weirdo in general). He showed signs of life last season with Brooklyn, posting a PER of 21.9 but is on a super friendly contract thanks to his resentment towards the Wizards front office. He also gets an unusual amount of steals (two per-36-minutes), though that doesn’t mean we can assign him to lock up the opposition’s best perimeter player just yet or ever.

Blatche is the only center coming off the bench though, so he’ll have a lot of pressure to anchor the defense when Duncan is off the floor. It’s scary giving him that much responsibility. Hopefully the risk pays off in NBA 2K14.

Lineup: $46,262,108

Bench: $11,637,078

Total payroll: $57,899,186

Amount under the cap: $779,814

Killing time on a Friday night constructing a fake NBA team: Priceless (and possibly hopeless)

We’ll see if this roster changes by All-Star Weekend.

What’s the big deal about half-court heaves?

The half-court heave: Arguably basketball’s most exciting way to score, save for a dunk or game-winning bucket.

Check out the crowd before and after these makes by Alonzo Gee and Jarrett Jack:

Even misses are exciting:

The heaves are like a golfer on their second shot of a par five 18th hole, going for a green that has zero hazards surrounding it. Rarely, if ever, will the golfer score eagle or better (or even a par if their putting is as bad as mine), but it doesn’t hurt to try.

That’s not how some players in the NBA see it though. Some see a massive pond surrounding the green, with alligators and all sorts of other potential danger lurking. Maybe the latter is an exaggeration, but not every player sees a last-second heave as a win-win. It’s viewed instead like a harm to their shooting percentages. After all, about 98 percent of all half-court to full-court heaves are missed. Since 2001, players are 104-for-4,451 from that extended area, according to Basketball-Reference. (For a yearly breakdown, click here.)

That’s a whopping 2.3 percent that drop. The effective field goal percentage (when taking into account that a three-point shot is worth more than a two) isn’t much better at 3.5. To reach an EFG% of 50, 1,483 of those 4,451 half-court to full-court shots would have to go in, or the 104 that dropped would have to be worth about 43 points each. If that were the case, several fans would have defined roles on NBA rosters.

For those who either don’t take the last-second shot or wait just after the buzzer to let them fly, the team is negatively impacted on a situation that should normally be a win-win. Back in February, Royce Young posted a great breakdown detailing how Thunder coach Scott Brooks practically begged for his players to take the last-second heaves, despite the odds being against them.

From Young’s piece at the Daily Thunder:

“We talked about it, about seven weeks ago maybe, couple months ago, and we talked about it,” Brooks said. “I said ‘We have to shoot that shot. There’s still time in the game — shoot it.’ The only time we don’t shoot it is if we’re up and it’s the last seconds because you don’t want to do that.

“We had that talk and somebody on our team did not take it that same night, and then we all got on him,” he said. “The next night, somebody made that shot.”

There was a divide between what each Thunder player would do if they had the ball in the backcourt with the clock winding down, most notably between stat-conscious players like Kevin Durant and Kevin Martin and others willing to let the heaves fly like Russell Westbrook and Thabo Sefolosha.

From Young’s piece once again:

How do Thunder players feel about the halfcourt heave? Should it be counted as an attempt? And do they pull the just-after-the-buzzer move? I asked some of them:

Kevin Durant: “It depends on what I’m shooting from the field. First quarter if I’m 4-for-4, I let it go. Third quarter if I’m like 10-for-16, or 10-for-17, I might let it go. But if I’m like 8-for-19, I’m going to go ahead and dribble one more second and let that buzzer go off and then throw it up there. So it depends on how the game’s going.”

Kevin Martin: “Yes, I’ve noticed it a lot. For myself? I like to be considered an efficient scorer, so I think that’ll answer your question on how I approach that shot … [Brooks] said something about if no one wants to shoot it, go up and grab it. Don’t be the person to grab it and wait. And then I think Eric Maynor hit a shot or Russ hit a shot … If they changed that rule [to not count it], I’d probably shoot a lot more of them. Some people like to shoot the halfcourt shot, some people don’t.”

Russell Westbrook: “No. Nope … If I was considering about [statistics] I’d do a lot of shit different.”

Thabo Sefolosha: “Personally if I have it, I shoot it. I’ve seen players not shoot it at all, or seen players shoot it late. I’ve seen that before … [Brooks] did, he mentioned it. In the team, most of us, I think we take the shot. But you see players that don’t do it … You gotta count it [as a shot]. You gotta count it. It’s a shot. But who cares really. I don’t care about that kind of stuff. One more shot, make or miss, is not going to break or make me, so I shoot it.”

Even Shane Battier expressed his thoughts about the last-second heaves in an interview with Sam Amick of USA Today Sports:

“If you’re a true shooter, those shots add up,” he said, while making it clear that his view was also the opinion of most, if not all, NBA players. “It’s not worth it (to shoot them). Even though statistically speaking, it’s a positive – it’s a plus-play (in terms of probabilities of success). If you shot every buzzer beater, you’re going to make one out of – whatever the odds are.

“Even the heave is a plus-play. But unfortunately we’re not judged on the plus-plays. We’re judged on (shooting) percentages. I think they should take the heave out of the stat book. It’s common sense.”

Bricking half-court shots in the beginning of the season might cause a worrisome downtick in shooting percentages, but they would be hardly noticeable by the end. If anything, fantasy basketball owners who drafted the heavers are likely impacted more than the heavers themselves.

Besides, whether Durant’s shooting 8-for-19 or 8-for-20, it’s still a bad shooting night. I actually thought it would be the other way around for him, more willing to take the low-percentage shot while having a bad game versus a good one. He was also in a chase last year for the 50-40-90 club (50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three and 90 percent on free throws), which he eventually achieved with 51-41.6-90.5 splits.

To fall below the 50-40-90 club, Durant would have had to take and miss 14 heaves, which would’ve been the highest yearly total in Basketball-Reference’s database that dates back to 2001. Jason “White Chocolate” Williams and Andre Miller each attempted 12 in 2001. Miller’s the most notorious heaver, going 3-for-102 over the last 13 seasons. Jason Kidd has the most makes with four (out of 44 attempts), but nobody comes to Andre Miller’s total attempts. Steve Blake is second with 46, while making only one. (There’s a few more players listed in a bit.)

The worrying about percentages is overblown when looking at Miller, whose heaves barely put a damper on his three-point shooting percentages. For his career, he’s 173-for-825 over 14 seasons. That’s good for a measly 21 percent. Take the heaves away and that’s bumped up to 23.5, only a 2.5 percent difference for someone who doesn’t even take one three-point attempt per game. The difference for Durant would be much smaller.

Season by season, Miller’s half-court attempts matter only slightly more. He took 12 heaves in the 2000-01 season and made one. Take the misses away and Miller’s three-point percentage goes from 26.6 to 32.1. That may seem like a big deal, but it still only amounts to Miller making 17 threes over 82 games. Even Rajon Rondo has done that. Miller probably made his threes in as similar a fashion as Rondo: from either being left wide open or with the shot clock winding down.

Besides three-point shooting, Miller does just about everything else well for a point guard and, as a result, has carved out a long-lasting career. The heaves won’t affect his chances at getting a new contract when it’s time to negotiate.

What about sharpshooters?

In the quotes by Battier, there was worry about players being judged by their percentages, likely concerning those who take the majority of their shots from beyond the arc. All-stars who get picked apart, volume shooters, and even sharpshooters (that Battier was likely concerning) have all taken their fair share of heaves throughout their careers though and have done just fine with finding teams to play for. Here are some of each:

Steve Blake: 1-46

Kobe Bryant: 0-44

Jason Kidd: 4-44

Baron Davis: 2-43

Jamal Crawford: 0-39

  • Had a terrible 2012 season yet got a four-year, $21.35 million contract from the Clippers the following summer.

J.R. Smith: 0-34

Andre Iguodala: 1-31

LeBron James: 0-30

Ray Allen: 0-30

  • Yep, one of the best shooters ever takes buzzer-beating heaves.

Nate Robinson: 1-29

  • He’s actually a pretty good three-point shooter and found his way to a new contract with the Nuggets.

Carmelo Anthony: 0-27

  • 27 heaves, even with a reputation literally as a chucker.

Martell Webster: 0-22

  • Got a four-year, $22 million contract from the Wiz this summer.

Dirk Nowitzki: 0-20

It’s still quite weird that the most heaves anyone has taken over their career, besides Miller’s, is 46 by Steve Blake. LeBron’s averaged only three heaves per season and it feels like there should be an extra zero at the end of the total by J.R. Smith.

What can be done to encourage more of these attempts from long, long range?

I left a quote out from Sam Amick’s interview with Shane Battier about what players would do if heaves were left out of the stat book. Here it is:

And if they did change the rule book to reflect this stance?

“You’d have guys fighting to take that shot, because it’s a hell of a fun shot,” he said. “We shoot those shots every day in practice.”

So fans love heaves and, deep down, players love them too.

The most simple solution to increase the frequency of them would be to only count those that go in, like a sacrifice bunt. It won’t go into the box scores if it’s a miss.

Not counting heaves in the stat book, unless they go in, also puts fantasy basketball owners of Andre Miller at ease. As for sports bettors who often take the under on scoring totals, good thing heaves rarely go in and don’t count for 40 points (yet). 

Until then, we’ll see if attempts from beyond half-court either stay steady or unfortunately decline. So far, so good, at least in the pre-season: 

It’ll be interesting to see if the fearless heaves continue once the regular season kicks off, or if more will be made by fans than actual NBA players.

A follow up that post can be found here.

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