Thursday, January 17, 2008

The 10-man rotation, starring KG and the bane of his existence

The 10-man rotation, starring KG and the bane of his existence
A look around the league and the web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.

C: The Oregonian. It's the NBA's most hilarious, unknown, and one-sided "rivalry." Kevin Garnett absolutely hates Joel Przybilla. Seriously. Has for years. Further proof: "... oh man, here was Garnett, hurrying over, lips flapping, staring down Przybilla. Shouted Garnett: ‘I'll chop his head off on the other end!'"
PF: FanNation. Sports Illustrated polled 242 players to determine the game's most underachieving talent. Number one? Kwame Brown. What's crazy is that, no exaggeration, seven out of the ten players on this list have either been signed/traded-for by Isiah Thomas, or rumored to have been coveted by Isiah.
SF: Brew Hoop. Andrew Bogut's January numbers: 18.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, a block, three assists. Is this something to bank on? Someone to lean on? Someone to call back? Someone to find in the pivot? Is Andrew just going to break some hearts, again? Or is he here, for reals, now?
SG: Blog-a-Bull. "But no dunk was more satisfying than Veektor with a reverse (on a bullet pass from Tyrus), followed by Mike Tirico laughing it off only to be chastised by Hubie Brown for disrespecting a pivotal member of the Russian national team."
PG: D.C. Sports Bog. Gilbert Arenas is making friends, many of whom are much younger than Gilbert, via MySpace. Reports Dan Steinberg: "He was like, 'I'm Gilbert,' " Garrett told me ‘It was like, 'obviously.' "
6th: The Painted Area. Their first post in a month, thank Jeebus, detailing the collected works of Bill Russell. Great post.
7th: CNBC isn't the channel that shows English Parliament on Sunday nights, unfortunately, but they do employ Darren Rovell, and he is discussing the top-selling NBA jerseys. KG and the Celtics are pulling away with this thing.
8th: Hoopsanalyst. Harlan Schreiber with the transactions breakdowns.
9th: The Secret Weapon. Today's secret? Brendan Haywood's consistent ways with all the basketballin'.
10th: TrueHoop. H-O-R-S-E is back at NBA All-Star Weekend. P-I-G? Get bent.

Message board madness: what would the Big O do in 2008?
It is part of NBA lore: in 1961-62, at age 23 an in just his second NBA season, Cincinnati Royals guard Oscar Robertson averaged a triple-double.

It gets better. Not only did Oscar average a triple-double, he went way beyond your typical, Jason Kidd-like, 13-point, 12-assist, 10-rebound effort. The Big O averaged 30.8 points, 11.4 assists, and 12.5 rebounds for a Royals team that won just 43 games and shot only 45 percent from the floor.

Even more impressive was the fact that, after five years in the NBA, Oscar was averaging 30.3 points, 10.6 assists, and 10.4 rebounds over his career. I think my math is sound. I think Oscar was brilliant.

But because there are bars and stools and beers and because arguments are so much fun, we can't help but wonder just how well those stats would translate to today's NBA. And we're not even getting into the, "how would the Big O rank amongst today's athletic guards?" Forget that. Innovators get the benefit of the doubt, every time. You think people make fun of the first guy to play a keytar? Hardly. That guy was cool. People loved that guy.

The deep-thinkers at the Association for Pro Basketball Research message board, however, do want to take a look at just what Oscar would average today, given that the NBA is an entirely different game. And, before you answer with bluster, this needs to be pointed out:

It was a much, much faster game back then. There were more possessions to go around, more chances to shoot, and more chances to compile stats. Teams averaged a good 2,000 more shot attempts per season back then in comparison to 2006-07, and the league's average shooting percentage was 42.6. That's pretty lousy. That leads to a lot of rebounds. That leads to a lot of chances to drop 40.

Then again, assists were much harder to come by. You essentially had to throw a pass and have your teammate chuck the ball with 1/128th of a second upon receiving it in order to garner an assist. So the opportunities accrued from the higher shot attempts and faster pace may have been mitigated by the difficulty in grabbing the assist, and the difficulty in getting these chumps to make a shot.

So take a look at the APBR's findings, and have your say in the comments section here. After that, call your Mom. She misses you.

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