Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wednesday Blizzard

The Vikings finally signed Ellis Wyms (SI). That's good: defensive line depth was (and still is) one of the team's needs.

The first part of Seamus Heaney's "Markings" is about kids playing soccer (The Guardian).

Frerotte! (Star Tribune).

Julius Peppers? (Viking War Cry). I won't allow myself to dream.

I'm going to the Timberwolves-Grizzlies game tonight. I haven't been to a game yet this year; the last time I went to a Timberwolves' game that didn't feature Kevin Garnett must have been 1995.

Reasons the NBA is in good shape: its leading scorer (LeBron James), leading rebounder (Dwight Howard), and second leading passer (Chris Paul) were each born in 1984 or 1985. I continue to be astounding at these three players' stat lines (James: 30.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 7.5 apg; Howard: 21.7 ppg, 14.4 rpg; Paul: 21.6 ppg, 11.3 apg). It should be a fun next decade or so of basketball, right?

William Rhoden: "Vick Case Exposes Rift Among Animal-Rights Advocates" (New York Times).

What's Drew Bledsoe up to? (New York Times).

Deadspin previews UCLA's first round game.

Stop Mike Lupica writes about the Washington pro football team's nickname.


  1. Anonymous10:35 AM

    There is another important stat you left out of Chris Paul's numbers. He leads the league in steals at 2.7/game. LeBron is tied for 6th with 1.9/game. Howard is also 4th in the NBA in blocks at 2.4/game. Those defensive statistics also let us know that we really are in for excitement since each player brings it on both ends of the court

  2. I consider blocked shots an overrated category. Altering a shot is often as valuable as blocking it, and players can foul or get out of position going for blocks. Obviously a blocked shot is an impressive and valuable play, but as a statistical average, I don't think it tells me much.

    Steals are impressive: I saw Paul was the leader, but I was only focusing on the three big categories. Obviously 2.7 per game is quite high, showing a player that can turn a game defensively.

  3. Couldn't you say the same thing about steals that you said about blocks? Players can foul or get out of position going for steals just as easily as they can going for blocks.

  4. Indeed, they can. I suppose just as you shouldn't judge a CB's quality on his interceptions, you can't judge a basketball player's defensive ability on his steals.

    I could say steals are more valuable than blocks though. A steal is always a change of possession, while a block is akin to a missed shot (I'm not sure of a difference in the rate a defense gets the ball between a miss and a block). But then a block is a defensive play that directly stops a scoring attempt, while a steal may not be.