Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tiger Bombs Out of the British Open!

Tiger Woods failed miserably at the British Open, failing to make the cut. I have no explanation for this and I probably misread the situation. However, his results were so spectacularly surprising that there may be a hidden cause to this that Tiger and his entourage are not telling us about. Who knows??

Possibly it was just an aberration.

Coach Larry Brown and his Trades

I was reading an article about how coach Larry Brown makes lots of trades with his rosters when he takes over a team. That is a real hallmark of his programs and his coaching style. One of the reasons put forward was that he gets frustrated with players and trades them to try to find someone else who will better conform to his style.

Another idea, that just came to me, is that by getting new players in new surroundings, you can trade a B- player for a B- player, but because of the new situation, new coaching, and new teammates, have him more locked in and more focused, and trying harder. Essentially getting a B or even B+ performance from a B- player. And the art of coaching is getting more from the players you've got. No team has so much more talent that they are prohibitively better than other teams. It is usually focus, effort, and teamwork. And those factors are all helped by a fresh start and fresh faces.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The British Open

I was reading that Tiger is unfamiliar with the course at Turnberry, which is the site for this year's British Open. And based on my own golf experience, which is limited, I think that would be a strength for the worlds best golfer. He'll be more locked in and focused, thus able to draw upon his superior talent and skills more easily to win. If he is more familiar with a course I doubt he would be as focused and locked in because he will have seen it so many times before.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ariza and Artest revisted

None of the stats seem to support the Ariza/Artest swap as being in favor of the Lakers. It looks like Houston got the younger, taller, more effective player.

The Lakers got the shorter, older, stronger, less effective player. That said, Artest scores a lot more points a game than Ariza.

So I have a lot of thoughts about this trade. In my mind Artest is the better player than Ariza. Thats possibly because Ariza had less points than Artest, and points per game skews value.

Trevor Ariza's PER last season was 15.51, Ron Artests' PER was 15.64. Therefore they were essentially equivalent.

That said, Ariza played only 24.4 minutes per game while Ron Artest played 35.5 minutes a game last season. It might be easier to have a high PER with less minutes played.

Its getting late and I want to go to sleep, so I'll hopefully write more on this topic later.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Ariza/Artest and three point efficiency

One thing I’d be curious about with the Ariza/Artest swap is if Ariza can remain as productive when not playing with Kobe and Gasol or players of their caliber. I recall from the playoff run that Ariza had a lot of open threes. I mean it seemed like thats all he was shooting.

So he was very productive but I don’t know if he was doing it with defenses focusing on him or he was getting opportunities because he was playing alongside greatness.

And Artest is definitely older and will not be playing as well or efficiently. But on the Lakers he won’t be the focal point of the offense so depending on how he adjusts his efficiency will either go up (taking advantage of Kobe and Gasol) or decrease if he tries to maintain his previous levels and jacks up shots when he does touch to ball to make up for his decreased touches in general.

All this reminds me of what I read on Forum Blue and Gold, a Lakers blog, which talked about how a lot of players saw their PER increase when playing alongside Kobe. And that is in part because Kobe pushes everyone so much and also in part because his success in one-on-one situations leads him to be double teamed which leads to opportunities for his teammates that are easier to deal with.

Logically it is easier to deal with a defender who is rotating to you on transition and may be out of position (i.e. SG guarding a SF) than one's assigned defender who is locked in and waiting for you to get the ball.

I also read a great but complicated post about three point shooting efficiency, controlled for different positions, corner three versus long three percentage, and age of player.

And the peak shooting age is 29 years old and shooting the corner three. Corner threes are made 10% of the time more than top of the key threes. Interesting information. So I still have four years left till my peak!