Darren Collison Fought Regression and Regression Won

I want you to take a look at a picture I just took on Basketball Reference and tell me what you think it means, and for fun pretend that I didn’t completely gave it away in the headline. That is Darren Collison‘s right-side-of-the-chart advanced stats for the ten seasons, including the first 15 games of this one (through the Heat game on Nov. 16), of his career. You see the beautiful symmetry in it? Collison comes into the league, shows some promise, has a pretty good rookie season where it’s obvious he’s got a lot of potential if he can …

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The Pacers’ Starting Lineup Problem

The Indiana Pacers are stuck between a rock and a hard place with their choice of starting lineup. Among players with at least 400 minutes played so far this season—in other words, high-minute-volume starters, of whom there are 98 in the NBA as of games of November 16—here are Indiana’s five guys ranked by True Shooting: Bojan Bogdanovic (5th), Victor Oladipo (79th), Myles Turner (81st), Darren Collison (84th), Thaddeus Young (90th.) And here, by on-court Net Rating, are the Pacers’ four highest-minutes reserves: Cory Joseph (13.1), Domantas Sabonis (7.0), Doug McDermott (6.4), Tyreke Evans (5.6). All four of those guys, …

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Statistical Test: The 14-Second Offensive Rebound Shot Clock’s Effect On Pace

New for the 2018-19 season, the NBA has introduced a shot clock that resets to only 14 rather than 24 seconds when a team gets an offensive rebound. Which, in turn, should have an effect on pace; if you’ve shaved 10 seconds off an extended possession, and with about 20 offensive boards per game between any two given teams, you just created 200 extra seconds, or 3:20, or (very roughly) 1/15 more possessions over the course of an average NBA game. This, in turn, should increase league pace by half of that (since pace is divided by two to give …

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Re-Opening Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s GOAT Case

With 10 Finals appearances, six rings, the all-time record for points scored, the second-most games (behind Robert Parish) and most minutes, 6 MVP awards, 19 All-Star games, only one season in his entire career where he was in the top ten in turnovers, tops in history in both offensive and overall Win Shares, an icon for two different franchises, and all of it capped off by the one of the most slam-dunk first-ballot Hall of Fame inductions you’re likely to see? Are we sure Kareem Abdul-Jabbar isn’t still the greatest of all time? After all, when Kareem finally retired in …

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Are the Charlotte Hornets the Best Bad Team in the NBA?

There are two interrelated maxims in basketball that tend to determine whether or not teams win games over the course of an 82-game season. One is “great teams win big and lose close.” If a team’s regularly getting blown out, chances are good that they suck. But if it seems the only way to beat them is to win by one or two possessions and survive their best player missing a potential game-tying or game-winning shot at the buzzer as fans go wild that “we knocked off the mighty (whoever)”? Well, that “whoever” sounds an awful lot like the Golden …

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So We Killed the Midrange Jump Shot in the NBA. Now What?

In my article about Scott-Hollins Syndrome a few days ago, I sang the praises of the kinds of shot charts that the Bucks and Rockets are putting on the board these days, a ring of three-point attempts separated from layups and dunks by a no-man’s-land of empty space in the midrange, where be dragons. There’s just one small problem with all of this. Namely, with the midrange shot more or less completely off the table, what does this mean for the two-sided flow of a basketball game? Or, in simpler terms than that, what’s the defense going to do about …

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Scott-Hollins Syndrome or: How To Tell If Your Coach Needs to be Fired

Scott-Hollins Syndrome is a sickness that afflicts certain NBA coaches, players, and broadcasters. Named for Byron Scott and Lionel Hollins, two coaches who were the ultimate examples of it, symptoms include eschewing the three-point shot in favor of the midrange jumper, settling for floaters rather than attacking the lane, and perilously low FT/FGA ratios on two-point shooting and nearly nonexistent opportunities for and-ones. It has been a byword for inefficient basketball here on Pace and Space and on my Twitter (@RealFoxD) since we launched, but until now I’ve never actually bothered to define it. And it’s been on my mind …

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The Draymond Green Effect: Redefining Positions for the Modern NBA

by Zach d’Arbeloff Basketball is changing rapidly, and the name of our website proves it. The Pace and Space era is in full throttle, and as teams jack up tempos, shoot more threes, and generate open shots with spacing and ball movement, the traditional understanding of positions has changed. This article originally appeared on January 12, 2016. Stats cited in this article are as of that date and from the 2015-16 season. The sport has gotten smaller, faster, and more skilled. Most teams now have certain “positionless” lineups, designed to put five players on the floor that can dribble, pass, …

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Does Russell Westbrook Help or Hurt the Thunder?

Russell Westbrook, by plenty of traditional basketball measures, is one of the biggest superstars in terms of production that the league has ever seen. But by a lot of those same measures, he’s also the most selfish stathound who ever cost his team wins by trying to do everything himself, like the rich man’s Lance Stephenson or, considering I’ve repeatedly called him “Dollar Store Westbrook” when writing about him, Lonzo Ball. The question at issue here is whether everything Westbrook does right—and when you average a triple double in two consecutive seasons when only one player in league history, Oscar …

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The Last Glory of LeBron James

Once upon a time, I used to be a boxing writer. I covered the sweet science both as a journalist, with ESPN’s old Friday Night Fights show as my beat—a great gig that got me ringside seats in Reno, where I met Teddy Atlas in one of the coolest total-fanboying moments of my life—and as a romanticist, writing historical fiction in the only sport besides maybe baseball where you can do that for a sports news publication and not be thought terribly unusual. (Unless you’re Jon Bois from SBNation. I am not Jon Bois.) And boxing was at the forefront …

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