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Old 05-22-2010, 06:40 AM   #1
Kblaze8855
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Default Pompous words from Kblaze volume 422: If you can prove it you are probably wrong.

Id like to take a moment to spread a layer of rich creamy douche on the toast that ISH by pointing out a number of things I feel are true and have little to no respect for your opinion if you disagree with. It has become my custom to pop up and ramble on now and then about issues nobody much cares about and after 8 years im still not tired of it. Perhaps I just love the sounds of a keyboard hard at work....

2 things before I start...

1. I type run on sentences of epic proportions so be prepared for that..

2. It is customary to at some point in my posts get bored and wander off mentally...perhaps physically. So around the time I suspect the brave few who read this to be getting sick of it....I will offer an intermission complete with 4 unrelated things I think might brighten your day.



Now...the issue at hand.


I kinda hate you all. Not individually but what you(and I) have created in the last 10 years.

Internet forums...especially sports related ones...have stopped being about sports as much as about people trying to prove this or that....arguing....repeating themselves...just in general being uninteresting stand ins for basketball fans. And do you know what did it?

Numbers and a need to be proven right.

Now I understand the interest people have in numbers. I bought a basketball almanac every year when I was a kid. No internet...so I had to read books, listen to my uncle and his people, and watch games. Record games. I remember when having a VCR was a somewhat new concept. I used to buy packs of 3 tapes to record on fridays when my mom might give me a couple dollars. A tape never lasted more than 1-2 games because our VCR was cheap and could only record at the speed that made an 8 hour tape record 2 hours.

So id record say...the Celtics/Bulls game and if it was good it went into the "Dont tape over" box and if it wasnt id watch it 1-2 times and tape over it. I watched some of those tapes so many times I can still remember where games that got taped over would be when the first game ended. that was the only way to know what was happening. Who was good and why. That and a blue background segment showcasing a few league leaders at halftime on CBS.

I didint know what anyones point per shot was. PER was 20 years away. Assist to turnover ratio was about as complicated as it got and even that I heard of like 3-4 times before the late 90s.

Ive seen a dozen times on ISH before someone well meaning and usually not an idiot say something along the lines of:

"Thats just your opinion. But *inset numbers* says ___".

Or to get out of the hypothetical...ill show the exact words of someone who will remain nameless:

Quote:
The point is, your "my opinion blah blah blah" argument is so weak it's not even funny. All it takes is another contrary opinion (which will pop up), and its' gone.


The problem with this and similar lines of thinking....is that talking about basketball is arguing points that cant be proven.

I think the strive for proof is the source of most of problems with people online these days. Unless you want to be an ass and say something like "So I cant prove Jordan was better than Steve Kerr?"...its damn near impossible to prove anything.

All we can prove is who won and who lost. Which numbers a player has. and what awards he was given. Thats it. And every single one of them lie.

Difference between shooting 44 and 50 for a guy who shoots 18 times a game is one make or miss. In a game with perhaps 160 posessions there are people who let something like that decide who they think is a good player and who isnt. Or more likely who is an ok player and who is great. Since 50% is now a magical number that makes you great.

People act like they dont watch games and see what makes these numbers. Jason Kidd for one helped to slaughter his shooting percentages with halfcourt rainbows all the time in his prime. He just didnt give a damn. Same for Sam Cassell for a while. To me its a sign of a winner. I hate seeing guys dribble out the clock instead of shooting it. Never know right?

In a game with maybe 150-160 posessions one missed jumper often a bailout shot for a superstar isnt the difference between being good or bad. You have guys like Lebron, Kobe, and even lesser players like Ben Gordon, Jason Terry, and Jamal crawford taking bail out shots at the end of shot clocks/quarters that just flat out destroy their shooting percentages. It makes their numbers worse...but it does it because they have skills that let their teammates lean on them in such situations.

They are great shooters of often contested shots. have balls enough to take the shots. So their teams feed them the ball in otherwish bad situations. So they miss 1-2 shots a game that lesser skilled guys wouldnt be given....and it greatly impacts their shooting numbers. And its a direct result of a POSITIVE. Being good....gets you bad shots. As I said earlier one miss can take you from 50% to 44%. And a guy like AI? You watch one of his Philly games and hes taking almost EVERY bailout shot. A better indicator of quality shots being taken would probably be...shooting percentage with 3 or more seconds on the clock. But we have prople trying to fix that issue already...


We now have bullshit like true shooting and eFG% or PPS which reward threes and making FTs with no concern for the situation leading to those things. For the most part guys who take a lot of threes(even when they make them) do so for lack of the talents needed to get a better shot. So you can shoot. You take 3s. Have idiots talking about how many 3s you can miss and still produce as many point as you do making less 2s.

Am I the only one who sees the downside of taking a bad shot? you dont get 3 for the shot because its a good shot. You get it because its difficult. And people who take difficult shots dont tend to win when it matters because you cant count on making tough shots. You can however count on running good offense that gets good shots. Often you can take bad shots...and miss more shots...but if they are 3s you get a better rating? Lets not even go into the impact on transition D when you give up long rebounds off threes as opposed to missing a shot in the lane....


True shooting al ltime leaders does include some greats(Bird, Magic, Barkley and others) but any stat that in any way measure a positive(like making shots) will include some great. But really....

1. Cedric Maxwell .6294
6. Reggie Miller .6139
10. Brent Barry .6066
17. Ed Pinckney .6019
18. Steve Johnson .6002
19. Mario Elie .5982
Kevin Martin .5982

And this is perhaps most laughable to me:

25. Steve Kerr .5932
26. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar* .5924


Im gonna let that stand on its own...

Factoring in all forms of shooting numbers to make one number to decide something is just a ****ing stupid idea to begin with. For one...your field goal percentage itself is misleading for all number of reasons. your 3 point percentage can be impacted by so many things unrelated to your talent its a joke. And FT percentages? Relevant...but key to greatness?

How how many truly elitep layers shot 85% for their careers? Forget the bigmen like Wilt, Kareem, Russell, Shaq and so on. Few people do at any position. People who matter I mean. Not Jordan. Not Oscar. Not Magic. Not Kobe. Not west. 79 people have done it and 6 of them are or can be expected to eventually be in the HOF.

Being a great Ft shooter would be good for anyone. But fact is its often indicative of a less than complete game. A guy like Steve Kerr can do nothing but shoot because what else is he gonna be doing?

Getting away from scoring numbers...
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: Pompous words from Kblaze volume 422: If you can prove it you are probably wrong.

Assists and rebounds.

Assists are often used to judge a point. Ive seen topics along the lines of "Is ___ a real point guard" followed by assist numbers and turnover ratios and such.

Really...what kind of idiot thinks 6 assists as opposed to say...8...shows a lack of point guard skills or running the team? Im gonna use Magic as an example...

In 1986 he averaged 13 assists a game. The Lakers took 89 shots a game. Magic took 13 of them. 3.7 turnovers. So...his numbers give you his input on about 30 posessions a game between shots, assists, and turnovers. 30...of 89 shots the Lakers took. Factor in that many(if not most) of Magics assists were on the break.....as well as a good percentage of his shot attempts...

Magic may well have only 10-12 posessions a game of halfcourt basketball for which we have any number for. So what is happening the vast vast majority of the time we have no number? Those are the times a point guards ability is shown most.

Sure the assists suggest something that is reality with Magic(that he was an awesome playmaker). But its just not always the case. Michael Adams racked up 11-12 a game and nobody who remembers how would tell you he was just that great a playmaker. Aside from his odd ass jumper and double behind the back passes there is nothing special really about him.

But he got 11 assists a game. Sure it was because they shot in like 5 seconds every time and guys were firing up garbage for the sake of shooting but...whatever. There are those who would conclude he was a very good point. So whats the difference between Magics assists and Adams?

Well..if you remember Michael Adams(you likely dont) you have seen Chris Jackson and Orlando coming down and spotting up from the same spots on the break with Michael just deciding which side of the court to pass the ball to so they could either shoot or make a quick move and shoot. I remember years ago Kobe fans talking about his "attempted assists" when the issue was his assists compared to Lebron. You have never seen attempted assists leading to missed shots without watching those nuggets. Dude comes down just over halfcourt and fires it to one of like 3 spots and someone takes a jumper or one dribble and shoots. If its too well defended they might run a little offense but not if they could avoid it.

I maybe saw them(90...or 91 Nuggets) 3-4 times that year and I didnt know then how insane they were. Gave up 131ppg and scored 119. I just remember them shooting all the time. But how ever he did it...Michael Adams pulled 27 and 11 out of his ass.

Meanwhile Magic is in LA running the team far better than his assists showed. Its not being a great point to get 10 assists. Its being a great point to run the team well. Magic spotted a mismatch like few ive seen. Would break off a play and direct worthy to the post at a moments notice. He ran some of the best plays off offensive rebounds to get a good second shot. He would slaughter smaller guards trying to play him anywhere near the basket. Blow by bigger forwards to score. And yes...if you have the shot its not being a good point to pass it up. Its the points job to get the best shot not to pass the ball.

But now we have know nothing idiots online complaining about Derrick Rose(a guy with the ability to get a solid shot almost all the time) not passing more to.....who? We have people on here talking about Chris Pauls backup point having good numbers proves hes overrated when anyone who watched them both sees that Paul is far better setting the tempo, knowing when to defer to others, and most importantly...when not to. A point is supposed to have command. Not bend to the will of more established teammates. Maybe a shaq or jordan. but there arent many of them. If Chris Paul played with Lebron I suspect he would still tell him where to be and what to do...because its his job. Anyone else see how many turnovers Collison caused just by being indecisive?

But there are people pushing Paul as overrated because of it? Its not by chance Darren had similar numbers but Paul had them in like the 8th seed.

And rebounding? Ive seen so many times people say this guy or that one is better due to rebounds. Rebounds more than maybe anything but assists is a matter of coaching and teammates. Rebounds are for many players just a matter of choosing to get them. I dont mean the will to fight for them either. Watch Chris Paul or Kidd...

Two of my favorite players. you cant tell me they get rebounds by just going into the trees and beasting guys for them. They(Kidd especially) sometimes do go get them to make up for shitty bigmen. But compare them to someone like Rondo? Or even a guy like...Rod Strickland? Those guys just go and take it. Offensive. Defensive. Contested. neither of them ever averaged the rebounds Kidd or Paul have but you cant watch the 4 and conclude that the guys with the most rebounds are just the best at going and getting the ball.

Having more players willing and able to go get the ball combined with a coach who is more concerned with getting back on D? Or a system like the KJ/Chambers suns with 2 rebounders and everyone else streaking up the court like wideouts looking for hail marys? You just wont get as many rebounds.

****intermission****

Last edited by Kblaze8855 : 05-22-2010 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: Pompous words from Kblaze volume 422: If you can prove it you are probably wrong.

Just 4 things to smile at that ive probably posted before but stil lenjoy:

The Clippers being a joke/themselves




The forgotten broken backboard:




Worship Clydes one foot leaping:




I miss that Vince:


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Old 05-22-2010, 06:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: Pompous words from Kblaze volume 422: If you can prove it you are probably wrong.

back to business:



So many people base everything they think on numbers. And im not just...saying throw them out. If a guy had 34...he had 34. Got 14 assists. It was 14. Whatever. But when you go to the extent some here have? Literally disregarding what they see...what common sense says...due to numbers? I had a guy tell me on here that if common sense tells you one thing(that say...Dwight Howard isnt the 98th best player in the NBA) and the formula says otherwise...its not proving the formula wrong. Its proving that we as fans...are wrong.

At that point...why are we even watching games?

I dont blame you(us) really...but we let it happen. We let ESPN manipulate numbers and generate records out of thin air and ooh and ahh. Show up to games with signs of guys going for "records" that dont exist. Its to the point it actually impacts games on the floor. I watched Kevin Durant vs the Mavs shooting at the end to stat pad his way to 25 points to continue his streak in a decided game.

What the **** is that? A guy shooting pointless shots....to continue a streak...of most 25 point games in the last 24 years? How is this even discussed?

We have jackass stat "experts" plugging in stat minimums on basketball reference to find the last time someone had 33 points on a friday afternoon road game while down 0-2 and people turning around and giving it justification by discussing it.

And it is ****ing crazy.

The obsession with these random numbers has destroyed basketball fanhood.

Ive often argued that the supposed lack of fundamentals in modern basketball is really just overspecialization. Partly as a result of the 3 point shot. Until the late 80s everyone(ABA players aside) who learned to shoot only needed to make a 15-18 footer. That was an outside shot when I was a kid. Even with the 3. That was considered an outside shot in the 80s. As the 90s came guys became 3 point shooting specalists. And with so many others looking to be Jordan and slash....you divide the league. Shooters and slashers. The midrange game dies. People ask..."Why take a 20 footer when a step back gets 3?" disregarding that you are less likely to make the longer shot on average(or at least would be if people didnt stop taking long 2s and become out of practice with it).

We go from everyone being able to shoot midrange because thats the only kind of jumper to take....to needing a 3 to be called a good shooter. Your midrange practice suffers, your off the ball play to get said jumpers goes with it, and we have guys playing NBA jam ball. Either dunks/layups or 3s with no in between. Fundamentals dont exactly die...but they do take a hit.

And I see something similar with fans. Used to be a basketbal lfan had to love basketball. He couldnt go online and download a game he missed or even see highlights more than a few hours old. If you wanna see a sick pass magic had 3 months ago you better have it taped or wait till the all star starters are announced and CBS plays "You are on hold" style music over first half of the season highlights. You were a fan you had to love and follow the game. Watch it. Talk about it. Record it. check the paper(yes...the ****ing news paper...we used to get sports news from them).

It bred a different kind of fan. Online? you can be lazy. you dont need to know who is a good shooter. There is a number telling you who makes the most midrange jumpers. dont need to know who is the best passer. We have assist to turnover, assist splits, and so on....nevermind who runs the proper plays most often. Who passes to guys in position to shoot(Mark Jackson) instead of just giving you the ball(Steve Francis).

With all the bullshit we have today we created notebook experts. forum arguers who specalize in one issue. They have all the numbers for their issue...and they stick to it. Kobe fans. Lebron fans. Jordan lovers. Guys pushing their favorite formula or that one. And everyone has an agenda...everyone has a specific stance on every issue because people come to argue...not to talk.

And when you have 200 concurrent arguments its no longer about who knows the most. Its who has the best fact. The best number. The best little bit of trivia to stand out....because in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king. We have people who know little being beaten over the head by people who know little...other than numbers....because it will convince someone else who knows little that one of them is being owned. Guys posting emoticons laughing at people who know no less than them....

And it gets so ooooooooooooold.

Overspecialization

Players lost their midrange jumpers and fans lost the ability to talk basketball because of the agendas driven by the need to be right all the time...and to prove it. The strive for proof is where these numbers come from. And its in these numbers we lose our all around fanhood.

We went from a bunch of Scottie Pippens to a bunch of Kyle Korvers. we stand outside and take bad shots because these days...its a good shot. Its effective.

We get the right number and we are correct....we hit the 3 and our ball handling is irrelevant.

Al these numbers are just people looking to prove they are right....ignoring that if you can PROVE it....you are probably wrong in some respect. The NBAs leading scorer isnt always the best scorer. The best rebounder wouldnt be the besti n all situations. PER doesnt account for half of basketball. field goal percentage is impacted by way mroe than shooting ability or shot selection...and can be HURT by having more talent. Steals leaders often play shitty D. Blocks are often poor help defense failing to prevent the drive to begin with. All D teams are often reputaiton based. People win MVPs when nobody would give it to in retrospect because the media is full of easily excited flare for the moment bandwaggoners. Its ALL arguable.

Everything. If you cant argue it you are probably wrong because only numbers are inarguable.

This isnt me hating on the youth...just hating on the lack of belief people show in their own eyes. I may be an angry old man but ill make my point quoting one of your generation:


"If we too simple...then yall dont get the basics."

Last edited by Kblaze8855 : 05-22-2010 at 06:54 AM.
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Pompous words from Kblaze volume 422: If you can prove it you are probably wrong.

How old are you Kblaze?
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Pompous words from Kblaze volume 422: If you can prove it you are probably wrong.

Once again a very nice post KBlaze, always enjoy reading your rants(if you don't mind to calling them that)

Can't really argue with what you've said, I joined this forum and noticed early on that your opinion is good for perhaps a bump in a few months

By the way loved this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kblaze8855
We have jackass stat "experts" plugging in stat minimums on basketball reference to find the last time someone had 33 points on a friday afternoon road game while down 0-2 and people turning around and giving it justification by discussing it.
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:39 AM   #7
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Default Re: Pompous words from Kblaze volume 422: If you can prove it you are probably wrong.

Brilliant stuff, Kblaze is the man. Repped.
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: Pompous words from Kblaze volume 422: If you can prove it you are probably wrong.

Blaze, I read your first post in the thread and was like WOW!

Couldn't have agreed more, then next and next were you too.

Great Rant.
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:46 AM   #9
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Default Re: Pompous words from Kblaze volume 422: If you can prove it you are probably wrong.

I've never seen such a high level of narcissism out of a non celebrity. Wow.

The sad thing is people are going to continue to fuel it for no good reason.

Summary of your post...

1) People are stupid.
2) The internet and a heavy focus on stats ruin basketball discussions.
3) I've watched basketball for a long time and I can talk about players from a few decades back.
4) Blah... blah... blah.

I'm not saying your points are invalid, because frankly, they don't interest me one way or another or inform me of anything I didn't already know. I am blown away though, by how self centered you are, every single time. I guess I shouldn't be... I meet people like that on a daily basis. And I'm one of the most self centered people I know... lol...

Last edited by Orlando Magic : 05-22-2010 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: Pompous words from Kblaze volume 422: If you can prove it you are probably wrong.

i just read it whole but i'm going to say i'm not going to read this much.
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:07 AM   #11
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Default Re: Pompous words from Kblaze volume 422: If you can prove it you are probably wrong.

Thanks KBlaze, I always read all your stuff.

Quote:
We have people on here talking about Chris Pauls backup point having good numbers proves hes overrated when anyone who watched them both sees that Paul is far better setting the tempo, knowing when to defer to others, and most importantly...when not to. A point is supposed to have command. Not bend to the will of more established teammates.

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Old 05-22-2010, 08:20 AM   #12
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Default Re: Pompous words from Kblaze volume 422: If you can prove it you are probably wrong.

You may have touched on this, but when you were talking about Kobe/LeBron/MJ "stans," one thing that strikes me is how defensive people get, and how people seemingly have to trash the other guys to prop their own guy.

At the end of the day, they are all basketball players. They have skills and abilities that we should appreciate. When we spend time hating on someone, we are missing out on their excellence. I understand team rivalries and all that. Like, as a Cavs fan, it's not in my best interest to see their rivals do well. Still, I appreciate other great players, and whenever I make an argument trying to support my guys, I try not to bash the opposition to prop my guy.

at the end of the day, who really cares about who the GOAT of all time is, or what random records get broken. I miss the simple era when we could just watch basketball and form our own analysis and opinions, without ESPN trying to tell us what to think.
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:08 AM   #13
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Default Re: Pompous words from Kblaze volume 422: If you can prove it you are probably wrong.

adams > magic
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:27 AM   #14
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Default Re: Pompous words from Kblaze volume 422: If you can prove it you are probably wrong

It's not just message boards though, and ESPN, it's the whole culture of fast and easy to access online fantasy sports. I've heard stories, rumors, or jokes about even some of the players themselves taking part in it, whether NBA or NFL (I'm sure players for decades have always betting on games, but fantasy sports and online leagues has grown quickly, I'm sure keeping track of boxscores was much more tasking 15-20 years ago). There seems to be a very stat-centric focus on all of sports nowadays, but certainly in basketball where there's alot of them for alot of players (not that there's something fatally wrong with that, as in, it's not crippling the enjoyment of the game to me). To be honest as long as you respect stats for what they are and what they aren't, they're very useful, especially to coaching staffs and anybody wanting fairly objective data of what occurred on the floor... it's just all about understanding and not misrepresenting the data (which itself is not always 100% accurate)... One thing is certain, unlike fantasy sports, having the "best stats" or "worst stats" does not equate to the best or worst player... young fans can't seem to soak that in enough.

But like anything in this technologically savvy and know-it-all society we live in, replacing actually doing something (like watching a game live, picking up a basketball, attending games in person, etc) with faux expertise has become all too easy. I agree with what you said, "people who know little being beaten over the head by people who know little". There's no humility or integrity in sports conversation on these online boards, yet there's a shit load of absolutism and agenda for some reason. People are slowing forgetting about the joy... of being wrong or being surprised... the pleasures you can get out of not trying to assume the role of resident "enter player name" expert, not trying to project everything that will happen or could happen or should happen, not trying to quantify everything into something measurable... it's the people that are able to separate themselves from raw numbers and, worst of all, player rankings that are worth listening to nowadays.
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:48 AM   #15
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Default Re: Pompous words from Kblaze volume 422: If you can prove it you are probably wrong.

Fair post. There are some problems with part of it though.

As much as you try to direct your rant towards the fans and the media it also highly becomes directed towards some very prominent coaches.

Coaches jobs are to win basketball games, you do that by playing the most efficient basketball at both ends of the floor, so you design your offense towards playing the most efficient basketball that's possible for your team and your defense towards getting the other team to play the least efficient basketball possible for the other team.
And how coaches coach affect the mentality of players and how they think of and play basketball, thus ultimately the fans.

Quote:
We now have bullshit like true shooting and eFG% or PPS which reward threes and making FTs with no concern for the situation leading to those things. For the most part guys who take a lot of threes(even when they make them) do so for lack of the talents needed to get a better shot. So you can shoot. You take 3s. Have idiots talking about how many 3s you can miss and still produce as many point as you do making less 2s.

That's a rubbish statement!

True shooting% and PPS indicates how well you have done at getting points on the fewest amount of shots. The natural question to ask yourself as a coach is: how do we do that as a team?

What's the best shot in basketball? A wide open layup, but those are hard to get and often become contested so the number of times layups are made go down. So if you're a good FT shooter you actually score more efficient points off of that than layups.

But as layups is the most efficient points you can score without the clock being stopped that's what you go for, what happens when you go for layups more so then when you go for a mid range shot? You create fouls leading to FT's and get the other teams players in foul trouble thus having to sub for lesser talent. "In the NBA, the team that takes the most foul shots wins 9 out of 10 times " - Hubie Brown

The 2nd best shot without the clock being stopped is the corner 3, it's shorter than some 2 point spots and gets you 1.5x more points whenever you make the shot.
The reason Greg Popovich was ahead of the curve for so long was that he realized the importance of the corner 3pt shot offensively and defensively before the other coaches, so he game planned for it. To this day a lot of other coaches still haven't closed that gap.

Layups and open 3s are also indicators of the defense having been broken down, and as much as 3s leads to fastbreak opportunities for the other team it's also easier to get offensive rebounds off 3's and layups, again it's because of the defense having been broken down, but also because you have more time to get in the right position for the offensive rebound. Mid range shots on the other hand doesn't often mean that the defense has been truly broken down, so it's harder to get offensive rebounds off of them as defenders are in better position to box out.

Overall when you talk about this stuff I think your'e looking at it way to individualistic, you talk about single players abilities and the relation to the stats you don't like and that's not right. It's a team game, 5vs5 and not 1vs1 X 5.

Saying a statistic that take shooting 3 pointers at a good rate isn't valid is crap, as long as there's a 3pt line in basketball it's a valid ability to be a good shooter from that distance. Your argument should be made towards the rules of the game, that there shouldn't be a 3pt line as you don't think it's a valid ability to be able to make tougher/longer shots than other guys. It's a very valid argument, Bob Knight for example believes in this.

But the rules of basketball being what they are, coaches has to relate to that, and like I said to begin with, the way coaches coach the game affects how players play it, and therefore how fans view it.

I know a lot of old school fans like to talk about the beauty of the mid range game, but mostly it's just that, beauty, it's not really what wins you basketball games, coaches and players have adjusted to this, you should too.
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