Still Busy, But I’m Back!

It’s been a long hiatus (my last post was in July), but I’m planning to update more regularly going forward. At least until I get crazier busy again.

The Washington Post decided to discontinue the Box Seats blog, which was where I was writing for them. Disappointing, but it was fun to write for the Post — even if it was just online.

One reason I didn’t update much lately is that I’ve been having a blast blogging about the Redskins and the Ravens for the guys at Even though the Skins were bad, it’s been a lot of fun. It didn’t hurt that Baltimore has been terrific.

Currently, I’m going through the Redskins units to assess what they have and what they’ll need for next season. The list of needs is lengthy.

Over at the Ravens blog, I’m about to dive into the playoffs — it’s nice to be writing about a serious Super Bowl contender.

In addition to the football blogging, I also found time to do a revision on my novel and enter it in a contest. A win would be very nice.

Look for some Wizards commentary in the next few days.


NBA Owners’ Tale of Woe Doesn’t Add Up

My latest at the Washington Post.

As the NBA enters what looks to be an extended lockout, team owners want fans to believe a few things. They want us to believe that the league’s economic structure is fundamentally broken, that 22 of the league’s 30 teams are losing money, and that the league’s core economic problem is player compensation. In other words, they’re saying the players make too much money.

There is a word for what they’re doing on that last point: They’re lying.

Read the rest.

Housekeeping item. Haven’t posted in awhile because of a hectic schedule. Expect more updates beginning after the 4th of July holiday.

Happy 4th!


















A Look at Blatche’s Shooting

Inspired by Michael Lee’s attempt to explain Andray Blatche’s low shooting percentage this season, my latest at the Washington Post breaks down Blatche’s shooting numbers.

In his recent article about Andray Blatche’s “career-best two-game stretch,” Michael Lee explains Blatche’s poor shooting with this:

“His problems began when he broke a bone in his right foot last June and was unable to do much basketball-related activity. He gained weight, arrived in training camp out of shape, and developed problems with his left knee that affected his burst and his lift. With his shot getting blocked inside, Blatche was forced to take jumpers, resulting in a 43.8 field goal percentage that is his worst since his second season.”Sounds plausible, but is this accurate? Did Blatche shoot more jumpers because his shot was getting blocked inside? Is this what caused Blatche’s sub-par shooting? Let’s test these theories against data extracted from the league’s official play-by-play reports.

Turns out, Lee’s explanation doesn’t hold up. But, there may still be some encouraging signs for Blatche’s future.

Read the rest.

Who Can Say They Got A Triple Double?

My latest at the Washington Post. This one answering Javale McGee’s rhetorical defense of his efforts to get a triple double against the Bulls.

“I got a triple-double,” McGee said. “Who can say they got a triple-double?” So asked JaVale McGee in Mike Lee’s blog post about criticism of McGee’s efforts to get a points-rebounds-blocks triple-double at the end of a desultory loss to the Bulls.

Unlike some, I have no problem with McGee going for the stat in a blowout loss. Just like it didn’t bother me when he tried that in-game free throw line dunk at the end of a blowout loss. When else is he going to get a chance to try it in game action? When the team is up two with 30 seconds to play? I sure hope not.

The problem was not the attempt to get the points, but rather McGee’s embarrassing offensive repertoire and his preening, perspectiveless, immature celebration. Getting a triple-double is something to be proud of, but at the end of yet another brutal loss, it was worth a grin and a high-five, not a swing-on-the-rim tech.

Read the rest.


Minute by Minute — A Look At Javale McGee

My latest at the Washington Post.

In cyberspace the past couple days, a season-long conversation about JaVale McGee has flared up. On one side are those who argue that McGee makes the Wizards better (looking at +/- data) and that when he plays more, the team has a better record.

On the other side are those who argue that McGee is capable of dominating individual games because of his overwhelming athleticism, but that he fails to do so regularly for several reasons, including that:

  • he’s unskilled
  • he doesn’t know how to play
  • he continues to suffer from lapses in concentration.

The “McGee is a good player being hampered by bad coaching adherents” point to the team’s 5-2 record when McGee plays 36 minutes or more. Sounds impressive. Especially when you look at McGee’s per minute numbers when he plays that much.

But, this argument is yanked short by Ye Olde “Chicken or Egg?” question. Is McGee playing well (and the team winning) because he’s getting more minutes, or is the team winning and McGee getting more minutes because he’s being productive? And, is this analysis an example of the hazards of arbitrary endpoints?

Read the rest.

Now Do More

Wizards latest acquisition about to dunk on Lebron in a pickup game. Really.

My latest at the Washington Post, this one analyzing the Hinrich to the Hawks deal.  I also suggest that the Wizards should attempt to accomplish three objectives before the trade deadline — trade Blatche (addition by subtraction), get value for Young, and get value for the newly acquired Bibby.

The lede:

Yesterday’s deal sending Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong to Atlanta for Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford, Maurice Evans and a 2011 first-round pick was a smart trade for the Wizards. Now is no time to rest however — GM Ernie Grunfeld should push to make additional trades before today’s 3 p.m. deadline.

Read the rest.