Saturday, January 30, 2010

Q: How does the NBA spell efficiency? A: M-A-G-G-E-T-T-E

I've always loved how Corey Maggette can go off for 30 points on any given night and do it in just 12-15 shots. That kind of efficiency is usually only seen in post players who are fouled often and go to the line 6+ times per game. In fact, nearly all of his points come from either driving to the hoop and finishing or driving to the hoop, getting fouled, and sinking his free throws (84%). Thus, I decided to look at all the players who primarily play the 1, 2, or 3 and chart their points per shot (PPS) compared to their height.

Interesting Stats from 1/29/10 NBA Games

  • LeBron James filled up the box score Friday night by compiling 22 points, 13 assists, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 2 steals.  LBJ became since Chris Mullin in 1995 to have at least 20 points, 13 assists, and 4 blocks in a game.
  • Danny Granger went 6-23 from the field vs. the Cavs to give him a dubious distinction.  He is the first player this season to shoot under 27% in a game in which a player took at least 23 field goal attempts.
  • As a team, the Pacers made just 5 free throws vs. Cleveland.  It was just the 7th time since 1986 that Indiana has made 5 or fewer free throws in a game.
  • Paul Pierce was efficient from both the field (11-15) and from the line (12-13) in the Celtics' loss to Atlanta.  Pierce joined Dwyane Wade and Manu Ginobili as the only players to score at least 35 points in a game with 15 or fewer field goal attempts.
  • Mike Bibby scored just 2 points in 9 minutes of action vs. Boston.  It's the fourth time in the last 8 games that Bibby has scored 2 or fewer points in a game.  That is something that he only did 4 times all of last season and he did not do it a single time from 2002-2006.
  • The Pistons scored just 65 points in their home loss to Miami.  It was the second time this season that Detroit scored 65 or fewer in a home game.  Prior to this season, they had done that just once in the previous 22 seasons and they actually won that game (64-62 vs. Utah on March 13, 2005).
  • Marcus Camby filled the box score vs. Minnesota with 10 points, 19 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals.  The 19-5-4 reb-ast-stl stat line is pretty rare as Camby is just the fifth player since 2000 to accomplish that in a single game.  The others were LeBron, KG, Elton Brand, and Antoine Walker.
  • Congrats to Serge Ibaka of the Thunder for getting his much-coveted 4th assist of the season.  Ibaka has played 621 minutes this season and now has 4 assists which puts him miles ahead of Hasheem Thabeet who has played 446 minutes and has 3 assists.  However, both of those players pale in comparison to Jeff Pendergraph of the Trail Blazers who has now played in 280 minutes WITHOUT A SINGLE ASSIST!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Look at QB Rating Allowed by the Top Cornerbacks

  • Perhaps 2009 was Ronde Barber's last season (at CB at least).  He played 1059 snaps (4th most among CBs) but failed to get an INT for the first time in his career.  He also allowed the second highest QB rating when thrown at and only at 6 PDs which was tied for 41st in the league.
  • Nnamdi Asomugha was only thrown at 22 times!  That's fewer than 2 passes per game and 19 fewer times than the second-least targeted CB, Al Harris (who missed nearly half the season).
  • Darrelle Revis certainly lived up to his rep as the NFL's best cover corner.  He allowed just 2 TDs-to Randy Moss (view video-starts at 1:12) and to Ted Ginn (view video) despite being thrown at 111 times which was the 3rd most in the NFL.  Revis also led the NFL in pass deflections and allowed a completion % of 36.9 which was also the best in the league.
  • It's no surprise the Rams are picking first as their CBs finished first and seventh in terms of highest QB rating allowed.
  • Tracy Porter of the Saints had the most passes thrown at him without allowing a TD.  He allowed 44 receptions (80 attempts), 0 TDs, and 4 INTs.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Look at Yards Gained after Contact for each NFL RB

Rushing yards after contact is one of my favorite statistics to evaluate because it tells you so much about the running back as well as the offensive line. For the chart below, the higher your percentage is then the better your running back is independent of his O-line. Conversely, the lower the percentage then the better the RB's O-line/FB is at creating space.

  • Exactly 50% of Thomas Jones' yards (701 of 1402) were gained after contact-the lowest percentage among starting RBs. That is a great testament to the Jets' O-line (and Tony Richardson) creating space for Jones to run. But his teammate and postseason star Shonn Greene had over 64% of his yards gained after contact which makes you wonder how he would have done given a full load.
  • Thomas Jones' brother, Julius Jones, was 31st in rushing yards so he just missed the cut be he had 66% of his yards gained after contact.
  • Larry Johnson wasn't among the top 30 rushers but of the 50 players with at least 100 rushing attempts, he had the highest percentage of yards gained after contact with 77.4%.
  • Others who topped 70% but weren't among the top 30 rushers: Clinton Portis (71.1%), Tim Hightower (71.4%), Michael Bush (71.6%), and Jason Snelling (73.9%), and Marshawn Lynch (75%).
  • Other notables include: Tashard Choice (35.5% - lowest in league), Reggie Bush (36.9%), Brian Westbrook (46%), and Ronnie Brown (68.5%).

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Interesting Stats from 1/22/10 NBA Games

  • Kevin Durant scored 30 points in the Thunder's loss to the Grizzlies which is his 17th straight game with at least 25 points. Only 8 other players in the league have 17 25-point games total this season.
  • Dwight Howard, who was a 59.4% free throw shooter entering Friday, went 11-12 from the free throw line in Orlando's win over Sacramento. It was the 179th game in his career that he had at least 10 free throw attempts, but it was the first time among those 179 games that he made over 90% of his attempts.
  • Boris Diaw went 0-5 from the field and did not attempt any free throws in 35 minutes of play for the Bobcats. This is the second time this season that Diaw has played at least 35 minutes in a game without scoring a point. The only other players to do that are Steve Blake (36 minutes) and Chris Duhon (39 minutes).
  • Danny Granger went 14-14 from the free throw line in the Pacers' win over Detroit. Only Kevin Durant (18-18), Kobe Bryant (16-16), Michael Redd (15-15), and Dwyane Wade (15-15) attempted more free throws in a game this year without missing one.
  • Ryan Gomes started and played 20 minutes for the Timberwolves but you would hardly know it. Not only did Gomes have 0 points, but he also did not have any rebounds, assists, blocks, steals, or even any turnovers.
  • Congratulation to Tim Duncan who reached the 20,000 points plateau against the Rockets. Duncan did it by scoring 25 points and going 15-21 from the free throw line. The 21 attempts is the most ever by Duncan in a game and the 15 makes is 2 short of his career high.
  • Another congratulations goes out to Hasheem Thabeet for picking up his 3rd assist of the year in the Grizzlies win over the Thunder. Thabeet still has a lot more minutes to play to catch the Thunder's Serge Ibaka who has 3 assists this season in 564 minutes. At Ibaka's current rate of one assist every 11.667 games, he would have to play every game through the 4257-4258 NBA season to catch John Stockton's all-time mark (that's not an exaggeration).
  • Derrick Rose scored 32 points against the Suns and nearly all of it came from inside the arc. Rose made just one free throw and one three pointer while going 15-21 from the field. He becomes the only player this season to score at least 32 in a game without making more than one 3-pointer or more than one free throw.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This is why half of Philly wants McNabb gone

I guess it wasn't just the Super Bowl in which Donovan McNabb got tired in the second half. Here is a look at how his passer rating dips from the first half to the second half-both in 2009 and for his career.

This chart doesn't exactly scream "clutch" which is what every fan wants from his team's starting QB. This stat doesn't help McNabb's case either in terms of getting in the good graces of Philadelphia: In 2009 when the Eagles were within 7 points (in either direction) during the 4th quarter, McNabb did not throw a single TD pass (48 pass attempts). BTW just for comparison's sake, JaMarcus Russell threw 2 TDs in these situations in 15 fewer pass attempts. Ouch!!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Interesting Stats from 1/18/10 NBA Games

  • David Lee has played in 328 career games and has dished out at least 5 assists in 18 of those games. Of those 18, half of them have come in the last 15 games after he did it vs. the Pistons on MLK day.
  • In that same game and for just the second time in the last 23 years, the Detroit Pistons took at least 12 three-point attempts in a game without making a single one. The only other time was in a game in 1999 when they went 0-13.
  • Jon Brockman played 30 minutes in the Kings' loss to the Bobcats and pulled down 14 rebounds. However, he did not score a point which makes him the only player this season to grab at least 14 boards without scoring a single point. By the way Dennis Rodman accomplished this 10 times in the 93-94 season.
  • Three days after scoring 32 points on just 14 shots, Corey Maggette did the exact same thing against the Bulls. Maggette now has 3 of the 5 instances this year in which a player has scored at least 32 on 14 or fewer shots. Efficiency is spelled M-A-G-G-E-T-T-E.
  • Monta Ellis attempted 39 field goals against the Bulls and finished with 36 points. Since 1986 only one player has attempted at least 39 shots in a game while scoring fewer than Ellis' 36. Michael Jordan scored 29 points on 39 shots vs. the Spurs in a 1997 double-OT game.
  • After scoring just 11 points in the Lakers' win over Orlando, Kobe Bryant has scored 16 or fewer points 5 times this month. From 2005-2007 he did it just 4 times total.
  • Joe Johnson is 6'8", a great athlete, and often guards PGs who are half a foot shorter than him. But for the life of him, he can't block a shot. He has just 2 on the year which is the same number that 5'11" Ty Lawson has even though he's played over 600 fewer minutes than Johnson.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Crunching Numbers: Stats from Divisional Round

  • If it wasn't for the Saints then how many Super Bowls would Kurt Warner have played in? After losing to New Orleans in the division round, Warner's record is now 8-2 in the NFC playoffs with both losses (2000 and 2009) coming to the Saints.
  • Warner did not throw a TD pass in the loss to the Saints which marks the only time in his 13 career playoff games that he failed to throw for a score.
  • Reggie Bush is the first player to have both a rushing TD and a punt return TD in a single playoff game.
  • Peyton Manning has thrown 16 INTs in in the playoffs since 2003. Of those 16 picks, 10 have come by just three players: Ty Law (5), Ed Reed (3), and Rodney Harrison (2).
  • In his 23rd career playoff start (tied with Montana for most all-time), Brett Favre threw 4 TD passes which is the most he's ever thrown in a playoff game.
  • Over the Chargers last 6 playoff games, LaDainian Tomlinson has run for just 124 yards on 47 carries (2.6 yards per carry).
  • Of his 87 regular season FGAs at home, Nate Kaeding has missed 7 field goals. Of his 9 playoff FGAs at home, Kaeding has missed 6 field goals.

Interesting Stats from 1/15/10 NBA Games

  • Samuel Dalembert was 7-7 from the field and finished with 17 points ans 12 rebounds. The native Haitian has been playing with a heavy heart since the earthquake in his native land and since that disaster, Dalembert is 13-15 from the field with 29 points and 33 rebounds in 2 games.
  • Allen Iverson played 34 minutes against the Kings but still finished without any rebounds, steals, or blocks. This was the third time this season Iverson has posted donuts in those 3 categories in the same game; in his previous 13 seasons in the league, Iverson did that just four times total.
  • Antwan Jamison played 55 minutes in the Wizards double-overtime loss to the Bulls without making a single turnover. Since 1986 that is the third most minutes a player has played in a game without committing a turnover. Popeye Jones did it in 56 minutes in a game in 1996 and Dan Majerle also did it in 1996 when he played 58 minutes in a game.
  • For just the third time since 1986, a team committed 6 or fewer turnovers in a double-overtime game. The Wizards did so against the Bulls in their double OT loss on Friday night.
  • Serge Ibaka and Hasheem Thabeet have played a combined 858 minutes this season. After each player went assist-less last night; they still have only combined for 4 assists this year (2 for each player). Yinka Dare watch out.
  • Kevin Durant had 8 turnovers against the Mavericks but contributed 0 assists. A lack of assists isn't always one player's fault (his teammates have to make the shots) but that is a weird stat. 8 turnovers and 0 assists in a game has only been accomplished 3 times this season (Durant, Al Jefferson, Tyson Chandler).
  • Corey Maggette was amazingly efficient against the Bucks in scoring 32 points on just 14 field goal attempts. It was the second time this year he's gone for at least 32 on 14 or fewer shot attempts; the rest of the NBA has combined to do it just twice as well.
  • Though his team got shellacked by 40 points by the Lakers, Sebastian Telfair came off the bench to dish out 11 assists in just 20 minutes. It's the first time this year a player had at least 10 assists in 20 or fewer minutes.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Comparing QB Rating to 2009 Salary

This chart shows how each team's QB performed in relation to their total salary cap value for the 2009 season. By cap value I mean the amount that each player costs his team in regards to the salary cap for this season. I chose to use cap value over total salary because the total salary numbers are inflated for those players who signed new contracts in 2009. Also, total salary takes into account signing bonuses, performance bonuses, roster bonuses, workout bonuses and many other incentives which are often unavailable to the public. Thus, the amount a player costs his team to their salary cap is the best, and most convenient, statistic to use.

Dodgers Re-sign Matt Kemp; Rihanna not included

The Dodgers re-signed their Gold Glove CF Matt Kemp to a 2-year deal worth $10.95 million according to the LA Times. He hit .297 with 26 HRs and 101 RBIs last year and he also stole 34 bases. This is a great deal for the Dodgers as Kemp put up these numbers despite Juan Pierre stealing some PAs from him (when Manny wasn't suspended). With Pierre now on the South Side of Chicago, Kemp could and should be a 30-30 guy who hits .300 and scores and drives in 100+ runs. That sounds like a first round fantasy pick to me.

Not only is Kemp a gold glover on the field; it appears he's also one of the field as he's reportedly dating singer, Rihanna. I'm not a gossip junkie so I'll just leave you with the pictures.

Has Anquan Boldin played his last game as a Cardinal?

Boldin is unlikely to play against the Saints on Saturday and if the Cards lose then he may never play for Arizona again. For two years now Boldin has expressed his displeasure with his contract especially after Larry Fitzgerald singned a new deal and the Cardinals' front office refused to re-negotiate Boldin's contract. Fitz is making $10.7 million more than Boldin this season and though they aren't of the same caliber, Boldin is still an upper-echelon WR whose salary should match his production.

With the emergence of Early Doucet (who's making just $385,000) and the likelihood that Kurt Warner will retire after this season, it appears as the Cardinals' offensive scheme could be entirely different next year. Matt Leinart or whomever is playing QB (if not Warner) wouldn't have the same authority as far as play-calling and audibles that Warner has had over the past few years. If that's the case then look for the Cards to become a more balanced team a la the Carolina Panthers-a team that uses the dual-RB system and features one star receiver.

Of course, all of this speculation could be delayed if the Cardinals beat the Saints.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Will Pete Carroll go after his former Trojans?

Now that Pete Carroll is at the helm of Seattle, it's time to start wondering if he will try to lure some of his former USC players to his new team. It's certainly not uncommon as Steve Spurrier did the exact same thing with the Redskins. Once he joined the NFL, Spurrier signed former Gators such as Danny Wuerffel, Shane Matthews, and Jacquez Green. So what former Trojans could Carroll sign or trade for?
  • John David Booty - Booty was with the Vikings before the Favre saga but he was cut and now all he has is a "future contract" with the Texans. Yes, that's the exact name of the contract. He would be the 3rd string QB (behind Schaub and Rex Grossman) or in other words one misstep from being out of the league. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Hasselbeck could be traded to Cleveland to reunite with Mike Holmgren which would open the need for a QB. No, Booty is not starting material but he could be the guy who helps teach Carroll's system to whichever QB the Seahawks draft in the first round.
  • LenDale White - White clearly won't be getting many touches in Tennessee with CJ there and he is also a restricted free agent after completing his rookie contract. If the Titans elect not to tender him (and there's a good possibility that they won't) then I could see White going to Seattle to form another thunder and lightning backfield with Justin Forsett who has a similar skill set to Reggie Bush.
  • Dwayne Jarrett - A 2x All-American at USC, Jarrett has undoubtedly underachieved in Carolina with only 33 receptions in 3 years. From Mike Williams to Jarrett to Patrick Turner, Carroll has always liked him big, tall receivers who are redzone threats. If Muhsin Muhammad retires or is released then Carolina will likely keep Jarrett but if Moose sticks around another year, then I could see him asking for a trade. Besides, Carolina's offense is tailored to their 2 RBs and Steve Smith which doesn't leave much action for the rest of the skill players.
  • Reggie Bush - I threw him in here because there is the minute possibility that the Saints could try to trade him if Bush doesn't agree to restructure his contract that would pay him $8 Million in 2010. Of the players on this list, Bush becoming available has the smallest chance of happening but if he does then Carroll bringing him to Seattle has the best chance of happening out of all the players mentioned.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Random Notes from 2009 NFL Season

  • What do Matt Schaub and JaMarcus Russell have in common? Not much besides being QBs but they were also the only starting quarterbacks that did not commit a penalty all year. Now whether Russell can be considered a starting QB (or a legit NFL player in general), that's debatable. Schaub was penalty-free in 1066 snaps and Russell was the same in 560 snaps.
  • Despite being 3rd in the NFL in passer rating, Aaron Rodgers had more dropped passes (45) by his receivers than any other QB had. But JaMarcus Russell had the highest percentage of his pass attempts dropped (10.5%) than any other player. Not surprisingly, Darrius Heyward-Bey led the NFL in lowest catch % as he caught only 23.7% of passes thrown to him.
  • Robert Meachem, Greg Camarillo, and Jason Avant, and Reggie Bush were the only players to catch at least 40 passes without having a single drop.
  • If you only counted rushing yards after contact then Chris Johnson would still be a 1,000 yard rusher. CJ had 1071 yards after contact to lead the NFL but Jamaal Charles' 3.6 yards after contact per rushing attempt was the highest average.
  • Who was the worst at gaining yards after contact? BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Mewelde Moore, Lousaka Polite, and Brandon Jackson were the only players who had at least 25 carries but failed to break a single tackle.
  • How does Josh Cribbs score so often on punt returns? He takes the most chances as indicated by his league-low 3 fair catches (on 40 punts in play). By comparison Antwaan Randle El had 36 punts in play and returned only 17 while fair catching 19 times.
  • Donovan McNabb had 18 passes batted at the line of scrimmage which was the most in the NFL. Who had the fewest? Surprisingly it was Philip Rivers who only had 2 passes batted at the LOS despite his funky, three-quarters delivery.
Thanks to Neil Hornsby and the entire team for tracking these stats. I enjoyed working with you all last year.

First Blog


(deleting awkward introduction)

This is my sports blog.