Browsing All Posts published on »August, 2008«

The Setting Suns

August 31, 2008 by


Once upon a time Shaquille O’Neal and Grant Hill were two of the most dominant players in the game.  Ten years ago (the 1997-98 season) Grant Hill produced 16.7 wins for the Detroit Pistons.  That same season, Shaquille O’Neal posted a 0.311 WP48 [Wins Produced per 48 minutes] for the LA Lakers (average is 0.100).  […]

Knowing is Only Half the Battle in Chicago

August 28, 2008 by


Wins Produced was developed as a method to assign the credit (and blame) for what we see at the team level in basketball to the individual players (such a method is important for some research in sports and economics). We know how much a team has won.  What we want to know is which players […]

The Miles File

August 25, 2008 by


Earlier this summer James Posey departed Boston for the New Orleans Hornets.  And now the Celtics have responded by adding… Darius Miles?  Miles last played NBA basketball in 2005-06.  Recently a doctor declared his career over.  And now — despite what one doctor says — he has signed with the Boston Celtics.  So what exactly […]

Chauncey Billups and Isiah Thomas

August 23, 2008 by


As I have noted in the past, I was born in Detroit and grew up a Pistons fan.  And since sports allegiance doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) change as you age, I remain a Pistons fan. My memory of the Pistons extends all the way back to the days of Bob Lanier (I can still […]

Will the Spurs Win in 2009?

August 21, 2008 by


When we look at past data – specifically past patterns in data — we often hope to glean insights into the future.  For example, consider the following past pattern: The San Antonio Spurs won the NBA championship in 2003, 2005, and 2007.  One doesn’t need to be a college professor to see what this pattern […]

Pargo Helps Out the Hornets

August 18, 2008 by


The American mission of the 20th century was to export our way of life to the world.  Specifically, we wanted the world to embrace free markets.  As the world listened to our story, though, the number of competitors American firms faced in the marketplace increased.  And although competition is wonderful for consumers, it’s not always […]

Using Wins Produced to Find Hope in Milwaukee?

August 17, 2008 by


Last summer I wrote a post which called the Milwaukee Bucks “the least interesting team in the NBA.” In that column I noted the following: When we look at the rest of the roster we see three above average players: Andrew Bogut, Williams, and Redd.  None of these players managed to post a WP48 (Wins […]

Spoiling the Fun in Milwaukee and Oklahoma

August 14, 2008 by


Trades are always fun. Change, especially for losing teams, tends to be greeted with enthusiasm.  At least, that’s what we saw this week with the six player trade involving the Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Oklahoma City Whatevers.  As a dispassionate economist (or something like that) who is not a fan of the Bucks, Cavs, […]

Is Minnesota the Worst NBA Franchise in the History of the League?

August 12, 2008 by


Not exactly.  Today’s post, though, is going to begin with a series of bullets designed to highlight – in rapid-fire fashion (as bullets often are) — the historically bad play of the Minnesota Timberwolves. A Bad History From 1989-90 (the first year the Minnesota Timberwolves played NBA basketball) until 1994-95, the T-wolves averaged 21 victories […]

Note to the Media — One of the Best Teams in the NBA is in Utah

August 10, 2008 by


The top three teams in the NBA this past season were Boston, the LA Lakers, and Detroit.  Whether we look at won-loss record or efficiency differential, these three teams were clearly the best. The Fourth Best Team in 2007-08 But who is number four?  If we look at won-loss record we see two teams with 56 […]