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Screw The NBA, Just Watch Jeremy Evans - The Downbeat - #582

   Just when I think that you couldn't be any dunkier. You go an do something like this.

And for good measure, he hosted his own block party

The Secret is out.

  There you have it,

NBA POSTPONES TRAINING CAMPS FOR 2011-12 SEASON, CANCELS 43 PRESEASON GAMES 3 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto


That was the expected move after yesterday's meeting and as first reported by Ric Bucher on ESPN.  That would mean that the Jazz would miss the first couple of weeks of pre-season games which include matches against Portland, Oklahoma City, and both LA teams.

Normally, missing pre-season games wouldn't mean much except that the Jazz need every spare minute of training camp to prepare and to come together as a team.  Most starters don't play that many minutes anyway until the last couple games of the pre-season.

But when Tyrone Corbin is trying to start over and implement changes, this is a major setback.  Now if the season still manages to start on time, I imagine we won't care much.  But for the development of the team, this isn't good.

  Your lockout roundup

Adrian Wonarowski

Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver met with union executive director Billy Hunter and president Derek Fisher on Thursday in Manhattan. Afterward, the two sides revealed little publicly about the nature of the talks, but one source briefed on the meeting said "both sides dug in," suggesting there wasn't much movement from either the league or the union.    

Lockout update: Hunter: "I don’t think they’re ready to do a deal"
"We’re talking, and we all agree that the only way to get a deal is to keep talking, and hopefully somewhere along the line there will be a breakthrough, but that’s not evident yet," Hunter said. "What we’re willing to do vs. what they’re willing to do, and what they want us to do, we’re still at polar opposites."

Winderman: NBA’s post-lockout startup time can be quick | ProBasketballTalk
Based on the slow-go turn in lockout negotiations, it is safe to say that we're officially on the clock, a backwards timetable to the earliest-possible start to the NBA season.\

NBA Lockout Brinkmanship By David Stern, Derek Fisher Regrettable But Unavoidable -
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the way this lockout has evolved is that even the best NBA reporters alive don't unanimously agree as to what will happen. Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski has written several times that there's no way the season starts on time. Former ESPN scribe Chris Sheridan thinks the 82-game schedule will be preserved, and Berger seems to share some of his optimism. Someone's going to be wrong: either the reporter who fears the worst about the way things have gone, or those who gave the parties involved too much credit. We'll see ... eventually. In the meantime, try not to get so upset over the zigs and zags in the negotiations. Things aren't always what they seem.

Owners' revised proposal means there's hope for full season - NBA - Basketball
The owners' number, one of the people familiar with the details said, represented a willingness to move off their most recent formal proposal to cap player salaries at $2 billion a year for the bulk of a 10-year proposal. So, do the math: Assuming 4 percent revenue growth next season to $3.95 billion, the owners' $2 billion proposal represented roughly 50.5 percent of BRI for the players.

If the players were willing to go down to, say, 53 percent with assurances that a soft cap would remain in place, that would be $2.094 billion -- leaving the two sides only $94 million apart in the first year of the deal. Given that the owners moved off their $2 billion to somewhere between that and the players' number, we're talking about perhaps as little as $75 million per year holding up the future of the NBA. That's why, as one person familiar with the talks said Thursday, a deal is "there for the taking."

 Daryl Morey, the GM for the Houston Rocketshas a fantastic article on on using advanced statistics when evaluating players and their worth.  He writes in regards to the move Moneyball which is based on the Oakland A's general manger Bill Beane who has helped pioneer the use of advanced stats.

Arguments rage to this day in baseball and in other sports now about how much should stats be used in comparison to watching a guy play.  Morey says it best here,

Our scouting staff in Houston works incredibly hard scouring the globe for talent. Everyone is constantly on the lookout for differential information that might yield additional predictive power to our player evaluations. No doubt, predictive power is what we're all after. And data helps. But information with real power comes in a variety of forms: both in the stereotypical form that the movie will surely play up of databases and spreadsheets and analysts and predictive models, but also in the form of expertise and experience acquired only via a lifetime of playing and coaching the game. The best organizations bring that all together.

That's they key.  You're not replacing one with the other.  Most people that are making player personnel decisions have been in the game a long time and can recognize good players.  When players are so close athletically, you're looking for anything that gives one player the edge.  Advanced stats can help with that.  It's not the end all solution.  None of the things that are used to evaluate a player should be used solely in a decision.  

I don't know to what extent the Jazz use advanced stats in evaluating players, but they have an excellent track record of finding diamonds in the second round where players' talent difference is often negligible.

As with most things, a wide array of tools and eyes should be used when evaluating choices; drafting or signing players is no different.  There is no absolute when it comes using one or the other.

  Zach Lowe of takes a look back at the compressed 1999 season when the NBA jammed 50 games into a shortened season leading to back-to-back-to-back games for clubs.  Three games in a row does not happen in today's NBA, but was necessary to complete some semblance of a season.

Of course, the lockout could have cost the Jazz another run at a title.  Long-time nemisis Michael Jordan had just retired (again) and the Eastern Conference Champ was 8th-seed New York who the Spurs ended taking the Knicks in five games.

The Jazz had two stretches of back-to-back-to-back games -- as did most teams -- but their lot fell late in the season.  They had games From April 11-13 and then again from April 25-27.  Both of those stretches included five games in six nights.  For a younger team, that might not have mattered too much.  But for an aging team making their last hurrah, it had a big impact.

They still went 37-13 for the season (60 wins in an 82-game season), but faltered down the stretch going 5-5.  They ended up in a tie with San Antonio for first but because the Spurs had beaten the Jazz twice that year, they held the tiebreaker.  The Spurs took care of business late in the season after stumbling out of the blocks.  They beat the Jazz when they needed to, thus earning the tiebreaker and drawing even in the standings.  

One more win that season and the Jazz would have had the number one seed and would have played Minnesota, LA, and the likely the Spurs.  Perhaps they would have gone out against LA that year after owning them in the previous two playoff series.  The Jazz had to rally to beat the Kings that year and may have run out of gas against Portland, an up and coming team.

Thankfully, we don't have to worry about contending this year, right?