Chicken-or-Egg

Kurt —  December 30, 2005

Rule number one in basketball: the team that shoots better wins.

So it’s no shock that the Lakers shoot better in their wins than their losses across the board. But I broke down the true shooting percentages in wins and losses just to see where the better performances are coming from. (I used true shooting % because it takes in to account three pointers and free throws, it is basically your points per shot attempt, in a percentage form).

When the Lakers lose, Kobe has a true shooting % of 50%, when they win it jumps to 55.6%, an increase of 5.6% (or think of it as him shooting 10% better in wins). By the way, Kobe takes an average of .5 fewer shots per game in wins and averages .5 more assists in wins.

Lamar Odom sees a more dramatic increase — his ts% in losses I 49.5% (close to Kobe’s) but in wins it is an impressive 58.6%, meaning he shoots 15% better in the wins.

Everyone else also makes a healthy jump — the rest of the players shoot a poor 46.4% in losses and a good 54.8% in wins. That is also a 15% increase.

Take from this what you will, but yesterday I mentioned the chicken-or-egg problem of Kobe trusting his teammates, and them being inconsistent in earning that trust. It is everyone around Kobe who has the more dramatic increase in shooting efficiency when the Lakers win.

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Some other random news and notes going into the holiday weekend:

• Is it just me getting older, or do “The LeBrons” ads suck?

• Do you want to be the next John Hollinger? (This is one of my favorite blog posts of the year.)

• Kobe got frustrated at the lack of execution at the end of the Washington game, knocked over a television and yelled at people. That’s got the mainstream media (especially back East) saying Kobe’s back to his Diva ways. A more sane picture of that incident — Kobe was frustrated with himself and everyone else at the end of the game and vented. Kobe and Lamar were angry with each other, but we’ve all been pissed at guys before in the heat of something, then had beers with them 48 hours later and the issue was behind us. Bottom line, this is not uncommon in locker rooms, people get over it, but the media needs drama to sell papers/get ratings. That’s the last mention of this in this blog until it becomes an on-the-court issue.

• As Phil mentioned in the paper today (and Gatinho mention in the comments here yesterday), what Kobe needs to do when he gets frustrated is not start breaking out of the offense and taking everything and everyone on. There are moments for that, but there have been too many of them lately.

• Remember a few days I linked to Mark Cuban’s post about how big a disadvantage it is to be in back-to-backs, well the people over at lowpost.net extended that study out to a few years and found the advantage isn’t quite that big.

• Laker officials are denying the Artest rumor.

• Set up your designated driver or place to sleep on New Year’s Eve now, don’t drink and drive. Just a friendly reminder.

Kurt

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8 responses to Chicken-or-Egg

  1. No, it’s just you.

  2. No…those LeBron ads do smell the donkey…

  3. “Yeah, and then we’ll have little Lebron daydream about dunking a biscuit!”

  4. Re LBJ – Eddie Murphy he is not.

    Re #8 – One of my favorite callers on the
    Lakers postgame show suggested that
    the Kobe-Wade-James-Jordan comparisons
    need to stop.

    I would add that the word “selfish”
    ( in a nod the the master ) be knocked
    into the popcorn machine as well.

    The connotation goes beyond forcing shots
    and shot percentages, suggesting personal
    glorification regardless of outcome.

    Some commentators use it as an easy pop word
    and I think it’s as grating as Dedes calling every
    shot “strong” or “short.”

    I would expect the TV talking heads and columnists
    to sniff for drama when I know they don’t watch
    every Laker game, but when the home folks start
    doing it again, it’s distressing.

    Many players in the NBA may know
    but don’t seem to play inspired by the fact
    that they are the few selected from the many.

    I appreciate that a player like Lamar
    knows what his strengths are but doesn’t seem
    to be self-motivated enough to broaden them,
    especially when he is so close to another level of ablity,
    but I see that in all the teams I’ve watched this season
    and before.

    On the other hand, I can see Chris Mihm
    trying to contribute more than just the big body
    inside, and Brian Cook trying to be more
    than the perimeter sniper, and they had standout
    perfomances recently.

    Another phrase for the popcorn machine,
    “Making other players better,” is meant to mean
    one players level of expertise inspires other
    teammates to follow suit , but the way I hear it used
    seems to mean taking a role from a teammate
    and freeing them to do what they do better,
    which is what Steve Nash did for Phoenix last season,
    and they blasted out of the gate.

    This season, the Suns’ record only slightly better
    than the LA teams.

    Did the other players on the Suns squad
    learn how to win from last year,
    or did they fall back to relying on the skills that
    make them stars?

    Lord I can’t stand Manu Ginobili,
    but I’ll give him credit that he’s always
    looking for the “what else” to do,
    and his jitterbug style of play keeps opponents
    on their toes.

    The Lakers are trying to fulfill the letter of the offense
    while overlooking the opportunities the opposition
    offers them playing in real time defense, like
    beating the defense down the court rather than strolling
    after a rebound, and there are others besides.

    It’s a mental corner ( rather than a block )
    that they are not far from turning but haven’t yet
    with a consistency that shows progress and achievement , and that surely is frustrating
    to players other than Kobe, and has us as fans
    alternately cheering and biting towels.

    I like all these guys.
    I want them to stay together and get to the peak,
    but they need to commit to increasing stamina
    beyond halftime, making the frees rather than
    the threes, claiming the ##@@!! offensive paint
    and acting like they have as much right to be
    on the court as Kobe or any of the other marquee
    players.

    Be like Mike– Cooper, that is.

    Happy New Year, gang.

    – 5 -

  5. red 5 I couldn’t have said it better.

  6. “That’s the last mention of this in this blog until it becomes an on-the-court issue.”

    I love that postscript to your remarks on that issue. That’s why I keep reading this blog . . . it’s about BASKETBALL, god forbid, rather than all the soap opera garbage that has passed for Laker coverage over the last several years. I love the analysis and discussion of the game, plays, on-court patterns and games. And thanks for this approach !

  7. Any commercial that I see THREE TIMES during one overtime will always suck. It does, however, suck, independant of how many times it airs.

    The idea is interesting, but he lacks charisma. His ESPN commercial where his coworker steals his thrown is bettter.