Weekend Podcast and Many Links for Monday

Posted on February 14, 2011 by

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Weekend Podcast! The link is at

http://www.nerdnumbers.com/podcasts/STAT_02_12_2011.mp3

but of course smart readers like you are using the RSS feed at:
http://www.nerdnumbers.com/podcasts/stat_feed.xml

(Advanced->Subscribe to Podcast in iTunes)

The cast of the podcast:

The discussion ranged from why we blog to various basketball related topics. The following links related to some of what was discussed.

Beyond the podcast links, here are a few more items that you might find interesting…

  • My latest for the Huffington Post — If Deron Williams Was Chris Paul, Maybe Jerry Sloan Would Have Stayed – explores the role expectations might have played in Jerry Sloan’s unexpected retirement. 
  • Perhaps in response to the Celtics (Arturo’s team) defeating the Heat (Mosi’s team), Neal Paine – at basketball-reference.com – has explored how a team’s record against elite teams forecasts a team’s performance in the playoffs.  Neil’s answer: “…knowing how a team performed vs. elite teams actually tells you less about who wins a playoff series than a team’s record against all teams, even non-elite teams. Team records vs. the cream of the crop certainly sound meaningful, but when it comes to predicting success or failure in the playoffs, you’d be better off knowing how they did against the entire league.”
  • Would you like to watch a collection of the greatest shots in NBA history?  Well, then Hoopism is the place to be today.  Be warned…clicking on this link could cause  you to lose a good chunk of your day!
  • Tom van Riper – of Forbes.com and Fields of Green – argued this past week that the Knicks should pass on Carmelo Anthony.  The longer this trade takes to happen the more one suspects that these kind of arguments are carrying the day in New York (then again, Melo could get traded tomorrow for all we know).
  • Ken Pomeroy recently posted an interesting discussion of plus-minus.  The entire discussion is worth reading.  The second-to-last sentence, though, seems especially note-worthy:  In basketball analysis, we should be filtering out randomness, not embracing it.

Comment on Comments

When I saw Ken’s discussion I wondered about the comments this would generate.  Plus-minus fans tend to be passionate in defense of their preferred metric, so I suspected Ken’s critique would lead to some interesting responses.  Such comments, though, never appeared.  And that is because Ken Pomeroy – like Gregory Mankiw – doesn’t allow comments on his blog.  One can contact Ken via e-mail, but he also explains on his blog that this may not generate a response.  More specifically, this is what Ken says about efforts to contact him:

I get many e-mails. While I read each one that crosses my desk, I am not able to respond to all of them. Actually, I am able to, but in some cases it’s better for the both of us if I didn’t, since it would take away from doing other things that may serve humanity better. If you want to increase your odds of getting a response, proper salutations and punctuation help, especially if we do not have a previous relationship.

There’s also a sweet spot in terms of length. E-mails of 1500 words describing your philosophy on every matter pertaining to offensive rebounding are unlikely to get a response. With messages of such length, it is time consuming to thoughtfully respond to each of your points, yet it would also be rude to respond with “I agree!” to such a long message.

On the other end, messages such as “are u insane?” or “do u predict totals?” are not likely to get a response, either.

After reading that, if you still feel like I am the type of fellow you want to correspond with, I am reachable by e-mail at ratings@kenpom.com .

As readers of this forum know, comments are allowed in this forum. And I even participate in the comment forum from time-to-time.  Upon reading the policy adopted by Ken Pomeroy, though, I started to have second thoughts about my policy.  Certainly I would save a great deal of time if I just eliminated comments entirely. 

Although following Ken’s lead is tempting, I have decided against this idea.   Because I do read all comments, though, I have decided to change the process by which these are moderated.  Specifically, I have decided that all comments will now have to be approved before they get posted.  The purpose of this approach (an approach used by others) is to eliminate “trolls” (i.e. people who wish to leave the same or similar comments over and over and over and over again).  If you believe this new policy is “unfair” to you and “restricting your speech”, well… I could just go with the policies of Ken and Greg :) 

One last note… the moderation of the comments will still follow the WoW Journal Comments Policy (a policy that was updated today).

– DJ