Browsing All Posts published on »November, 2008«

The Big Fundamental Outlier and the NBA at the Twenty Percent Mark

November 30, 2008 by


On Saturday night the NBA completed 20% of the regular season.  Teams have now played 246 regular season games.  Just 984 more games and the 2009 playoffs can begin. Although the NBA still has 80% of the regular season to complete, I think we can now start to form some ideas about how this season […]

Drew Brees and Outliers

November 30, 2008 by


After eleven games, Drew Brees is on pace to throw 5,199 yards this season.  Such a mark would break the record for passing yards established by Dan Marino in 1984.  And this leads one to wonder… how good has Drew Brees been in 2008? To answer this question, let’s first assume that the stats a […]

Are we just talking about practice?

November 27, 2008 by


Before Allen Iverson came to town the Detroit Pistons were undefeated.  In the ten games with “The Answer” the Pistons have been 5-5.  The story told by the Pistons to explain this outcome is that the team simply hasn’t found the right “chemistry”.  Here is how Iverson described the situation. “(Iverson) talked Saturday about the […]

LeBron Losing his Desire to Leave

November 24, 2008 by


Last week the New York Knicks officially entered the LeBron James sweepstakes.  This sweepstakes exists because many think LeBron is likely to leave Cleveland when his contract expires in 2010.  Why would LeBron depart Cleveland? At this point, King James and Cleveland have yet to surpass 50 wins in a season.  Last year the Cavaliers […]

The Knicks Look to the Distant Future

November 23, 2008 by


For the first time – in a very long time – the Knicks have a winning record.  And naturally, that must mean it’s time to acquire another collection of unproductive scorers.  In separate trades with the Warriors and Clippers this past week, the Knicks sent out Jamal Crawford, Zach Randolph, and Mardy Collins for Al […]

Week Eleven Football Rankings and Bullets

November 22, 2008 by


Here are the quarterback and running back rankings for Week 11. Table One: Quarterback Rankings for Week Eleven Table Two: Running Back Rankings for Week Eleven And here are the Week Eleven football bullets: Throughout the season I have ranked quarterbacks in terms of Net Points per Play. This is done to allow comparisons with […]

Stuart Gray was not a Stiff!!!

November 20, 2008 by


Today’s post is going to make a simple point.  Stuart Gray was not a stiff!!! Why am I commenting on a player whose career ended in 1990-91 and consisted of only 3,457 minutes played (and five starts)? For an answer, we turn to JC Bradbury (yes, The Baseball Economist). 

Coaches and Deck Chairs

November 18, 2008 by


What is the value of a manager or coach? Adam Smith argued (in An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, published in 1776) that daily operations of a firm are run by “principal clerks” and such clerks are essentially homogenous.  Or as Smith put it “their labour of inspection and […]

Durant and Company Miss For the Thunder

November 16, 2008 by


So far the history of the Oklahoma City Thunder consists of ten games, and exactly one win.  For those keeping score, that’s exactly one more win than the Seattle Super Sonics have managed this season.  And obviously Seattle – thanks to Oklahoma – doesn’t have a team anymore. For Kevin Durant – the supposed star […]

Week Ten Football Rankings

November 16, 2008 by


Here are the quarterback and running back rankings for Week 10. Table One: Quarterback Rankings for Week Ten Table Two: Running Back Rankings for Week Ten Two quick stories: 1. Kevin Smith of the Lions is ranked 18th in Net Points per game.  If we turn to Net Points per play, though, he is ranked […]