Christmas Day For Hoop Fans

 —  December 27, 2004

You know how on Christmas Day you open that one present that makes you ohh and ahh (and makes you wish you’d bought that person something better than a salad spinner), but three months later its another present that you use every day.

Well, while the Lakers and Heat provided the ohhs and ahhs on Christmas Day, Knickerblogger has given basketball fans — and those of us fans of who are fans of the new stats in basketball — something we (or at least I) will use almost daily.

Knickerblogger’s got a new statistics page — one that keeps track of all the new stats I mention often but can be hard to find, broken down by team and with league leaders. There are not only the basics like PER and eFG% but also things like statistical measures of a players ability to create his own shot, pure point guard ratings and more.

It’s a wealth of information compiled and crunched by one man — a yeoman’s amount of work. There’s a reason it’s the other NBA blog I think is a must read, even if you’re not a Knicks fan.

And, in the course of the long break between Tuesday’s game and the next one the following Sunday, we’ll look at the Lakers through 26 games in detail using this new information plus the info over at Stats Pimp.

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A couple of other quick notes today:

• Ah, what a little drama and conflict can bring. Did you see that the Lakers/Heat game drew the largest national television audience for a regular-season NBA game since 1998 (back in the Jordan era)? People in an estimated 8.5 million households tuned out the family and tuned in the game on Christmas. In Los Angeles it drew an insane 17.0 rating (meaning about 900,000 households tuned in) and 44% of the households in the city with the television on had the channel on the game.

• The bottom line out of Saturday’s game, the Heat players fit and know their roles better than the Lakers players do.

• Rudy T. needs to find a way to get more of the offense running through Lamar Odom, and Kobe needs to let it happen. Notice in the overtime Saturday Odom had eight points and Kobe none.

• Last week the L.A. Times weighed in on the NBA and hip-hop, today it’s Dallas owner Mark Cuban, who has some interesting thoughts.