Friday, July 30, 2010

Basketball IQ Sneak Preview

There isn't very much news in the NBA these days now that summer league has ended and most of the major free agents have picked their teams.

Tracy McGrady working out for the Chicago Bulls was the most interesting thing which happened this week.

They still are undecided on signing him.

Yawn. While rumors and speculation are great and special entertainment, only things which are concrete--agreements and signings--will be covered here.

So here are some stories being anxiously anticipated, stories which will be covered when something concrete happens, along with other stories which will likely be covered in coming articles.


This is the biggest story left to be covered. Nothing is more exciting--and frustrating--than waiting to see where Tracy McGrady, Allen Iverson and Gilbert Arenas will end up.

The Bulls not signing McGrady only means they aren't serious about winning a championship. Their thinking also hints that as an organization they don't have what it takes to win one.

Let's look at how ludicrous their thinking is: They only want McGrady if he is (1) healthy and (2) willing to come of the bench, this according to Marc Stein.

What?! What kind of team would bring a healthy Tracy McGrady off the bench?

A dumb ass team not ready to win a championship, that's what kind.

It was then reported that they wanted to look at other guards like Eddie House before making a final decision on McGrady. Eddie House.

The Bulls aren't ready.

Keep in mind that McGrady is nowhere near the 2-year mark on his microfracture surgery which took place in February 2009. The general rule with major knee surgeries is that the player will be back playing in one year but won't be fully-recovered until two years later.

Having just turned 31, McGrady has plenty of basketball left in him as long as he is patient with his injury and takes care of his body.

It will be believed that Gilbert Arenas is staying with the Washington Wizards when he is on the court with them on opening night.

Other than that, his new team awaits; and maybe Allen Iverson will end up somewhere as well.


The Miami Heat didn't have enough of a roster to evaluate their chances of winning a championship, and I couldn't care less that LeBron James announced his decision to go to South Beach on national television, so no story was written about Miami's free agency signings of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Now that the rest of their team is rounding into shape, they can be evaluated along with almost everybody else.


This will feature teams which have improved themselves with the draft and free agency and other moves made since the end of last season. Surprise teams will be covered as well, my favorite.

The Minnesota Timberwolves will most definitely be covered here, if for no other reason than to tick this guy off.

Most everything the Timberwolves have done this off-season has been terrific, especially getting rid of gluttonous ball-hog Al Jefferson.

In his three years in Minnesota, Al Jefferson had a field goal attempt-to-assist (FGA:A) ratio of 10.6:1.

That means that Jefferson shot the ball 10.6 times for every 1 assist he made. For his career, his FGA:A ratio is 10.9:1, and last season it was 8.2:1.

For a comparison, let's take a look at Kobe Bryant, surely one of the most notoriously gluttonous ball-hogs of all-time, right?

For his career Kobe Bryant has a 4.1:1 FGA:A ratio.

In 2005-06, when Bryant earned his reputation as a mad gunner, he averaged a career-high 27.2 FGAs per game.

His FGA:A ratio? 6:1, or two less than Al Jefferson's career-low just last season.

Allen Iverson? For his career it is 3.5:1. When Iverson averaged a career-high 27.8 FGAs per game in 2001-02, it was 5:1.

Not fair, you say, to compare guards to a big man like Al Jefferson?

Darko Milicic's career ratio is 6.6:1.

Playing with the same teammates last year in Minnesota and shooting essentially the same field goal percentage themselves, Milicic's FGA:A ratio was 4.3:1, compared to Jefferson's 8.2:1.

Milicic also averaged .1 more combined blocks and steals than Jefferson even though Milicic played about seven fewer minutes per game.

Still think David Kahn is crazy?

Other notoriously gluttonous ball-hogs include Eddy Curry (16.4:1 career), Zach Randolph (8.6:1 career) and Rudy Gay (8.5:1 career).


In a determined effort to bring the NBA out of the Stone Ages when it comes to player and team analysis, advanced statistics like the one mentioned above with Al Jefferson will be used to help commissioner David Sternrock out of his dark cave.

There will also be an area, yet to be named, dealing with clutch performance. In general, clutch will be defined as the last five minutes of the game, or overtime, with neither team ahead by more than three points.


Finally, there will be four Basketball IQ Power Polls throughout the season:

(1) Season-Opening Power Poll
(2) Mid-Season Power Poll
(3) Playoff Push Power Poll
(4) Playoff Power Poll

They will be done (1) about two weeks into the season; (2) after about 41 games; (3) after the trading deadline and (4) before or during the first round of the playoffs.

There will no doubt be lots of fun and entertaining games and stories to cover as the NBA looks to capitalize on its high ratings from the Finals with the competition challenging the Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA's new super team in Miami.

In another area of the league, you'll have rookies trying to find their way in the league and make names for themselves.

The Milwaukee Bucks will be eagerly attempting to prove they can bark with the big dogs, and the Los Angeles Clippers will be trying to change history with Vinny Del Negro, Baron Davis, Blake Griffin and Chris Kaman.

These are just some of the stories which may be covered in the weeks and months ahead as we speed toward another playoff push and look to celebrate and crown another NBA champion.

Note: numbers rounded up starting at 7.

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