Tag Archives: Chicago Bulls

Who tanks in the NBA?

Tanking: intentionally losing in order to improve draft position.

After my PhD buddy Chris and I circulated our findings that NBA teams tank a lot, we’ve been asked a few times, “Which teams are tanking?” Today I offer a quick look at teams that have likely tanked.

First, a refresher: we measure tanking by comparing performance before and after playoff-eliminated teams “clinch” their lottery spot. In the last couple games of the season, many teams lock in their spot, so they no longer have an incentive to lose. Those games act as our control. The problem with doing it this way is that some tankers may keep trying to lose even after they clinch their spot. This could happen because teams shut down star players because of “injury” or just because teams develop a habit of losing.

So, the big caveat with the results below (and the results in our paper) is that we are almost certainly missing some tankers. Some teams Continue reading

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Brother Conor explains Linsanity

I didn’t have a whole lot to say in the post-NFL apocalyptic sports world today, so I’m leaving it to Brother Conor to bring you up to speed:

Hey there. Taking the reins for a moment so that Tyler stays ahead of the curve on the NBA’s answer to Tim Tebow. It’s Jeremy Lin-mania! Linsanity! Though I’m a political theorist by training, I’ll bow to the blog’s raison d’être and lead with the stats. Last night, Jeremy Lin dropped 28 points on the Jazz, and in just 45 minutes on the floor! Here’s a rough equation to put this in context:

(28 points x “end of NFL season media desperation” x “hype machine”) / “small sample size” = “Lin will score twenty-twelve billion points this year” + “Lin will play until he’s 65”

The math is pretty clear. Last night, Jeremy Lin limned the court with the unmistakable brilliance of a legend made good on his potential.

It’s early days to extrapolate the rest of his career, but here are some minimum baselines Continue reading

NBA superstar trades

Jerry West had some interesting comments yesterday on superstars demanding trades in the NBA. Basically, he says wait them out. His two arguments:

  1. Players and agents will “resign” themselves to the situation and “re-sign” since their current team can offer them as much as $30 million more than another team (by NBA rules)
  2. Even if they don’t, the value you get in a trade is crappy

I disagree with point 1 (Exhibit A: LeBron James), but he’s right about point 2. In my South Beach Talents model, Continue reading

Changing strategy in response to the condensed NBA schedule

In the Celtics – Raptors game early tonight, the Celtics were up 73-55 at the start of the fourth quarter. Of the Old Three, only Garnett was on the floor. Both teams started the quarter cold, but Garnett got a couple free throws to push the lead to 20 with 9:15 left. In came Greg “the Dutch Steamer” Stiemsma, and that was the last of the Old Three for the evening. Needless to say, the Celtics won by 23. (The only bad news for the Celtics was a hard fall for Rondo, though he seems to be ok.)

I definitely approve of this strategy. There are multiple pros: Continue reading

Goodnight Lions, goodnight Falcons, goodnight Steelers, and goodnight Bengals

The Broncos – Steelers opening kickoff sailed through the thin air, doinked off the cross bar, and settled precisely on the 20 yard line: the perfect touchback. Perhaps the man upstairs was sending us a sign.

Last week, I picked the Giants, Saints, Steelers, and Bengals to advance. I got the NFC picks right, but the Texans defense/running game combination worked perfectly against the Bengals, and the Steelers were done in by numerous injuries and some beautiful deep balls from Tim Tebow. Perhaps this week I’ll try flipping a coin instead of choosing games, or maybe just pick home teams (all four home teams won; only the Broncos were challenged).

There are 11 playoff games total each year. Regular season True Wins and actual wins each predicted Continue reading

The hack-a-Howard

In my post on Friday about the DiMaggio hit streak, I mentioned the old hack-a-Shaq strategy. With Dwight Howard playing for Shaq’s old team, I’m surprised that teams don’t try the hack-a-Howard (Howard is a 60% career free throw shooter). Friday night’s Bulls-Magic game was a potential opportunity; the Bulls led for the entire fourth quarter. Here are the Bulls possessions inside of 4:30 remaining: Continue reading

Barkley uncut!

And I don’t mean on SNL. Charles Barkley joined Reggie Miller and Kevin Harlan on TNT’s Hawks – Heat broadcast on Thursday. If you get a chance to watch Barkley court side,  don’t miss it. His honesty and intelligence are refreshing.

In fact, he was a little too honest this time around. During a commercial break, some online viewers were treated to Barkley pontificating while he thought he was off camera. Continue reading