Sunday, December 5, 2010

Simmons Says: Attacking The Sports Guy One Tweet At A Time

One of the things I love about this Miami Heat team is that they've brought back my absolute disgust for the Boston Celtics (just check out the Heat Shit List). The Heat have freed me from the bizarro world of the last three NBA seasons that forced me to root for the Celtics because they were the only thing standing between Kobe and the championship.

With my newly restored Celtics hatred, listeners of the Nerd Numbers podcast may think that Arturo Galletti is the Celtics fan that annoys me the most but that's not true. The Celtics fan that's been annoying me the most this season is Bill Simmons.

Simmons' love for the Celtics and beef with LeBron's free agency decision have caused him to say some insanely stupid things about the Heat this season. Simmons pushed me to my breaking point while I was listening to his recent podcast with Steve Kerr during a long commute for work and I had to strike back the only way I could at the time - with Twitter.

The whole point of this article is to re-post my private tweets attacking Simmons (@sportsguy33) in a public forum and then support them with facts.

This article will use Win Score and Estimated Wins Produced, statistical models created by Professor David Berri from the Wages of Wins Journal, to measure how much a player's box score statistics contributed to their team's performance. An average player produces an estimated 0.100 wins per 48 minutes (EWP48), a star player produces 0.200+ EWP48 and a superstar produces 0.300+ EWP48. More information on these stats can be found at the following links:

The Tweet
From: @reservoirgod
Sent: Dec 2, 2010 8:23a
I may have to stop listening to @sportsguy33 #NBA podcasts this season because the lunacy RE: Heat is too much. The insistence that Don Nelson (a coach that never made it to the Finals) holds the answer 4 MIA is insane.
sent via ÜberTwitter
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/reservoirgod/status/10323240358514688

The Facts
The Heat have repeatedly said their goal is to win championships right away. Don Nelson is the only coach in the top 15 of playoff games coached to never get a team to the Finals. The median number of appearances for the top 15 is two trips to the Finals.


So... How will Don Nelson's system help the Miami Heat accomplish their goals?

In Stumbling on Wins, Berri and Martin Schmidt report that Don Nelson is one of the few coaches that had a statistically significant impact on player performance and could be expected to add 11 wins to a team in his first season.

That's great for the regular season, but the goal in Miami is to win championships. And as Carl Bialik pointed out on the Wall Street Journal's sports blog earlier this year, that's something Nelson has been unable to do despite racking up enough wins in his career for at least one title.

The Tweet
From: @reservoirgod
Sent: Dec 2, 2010 8:28a
More dumbass shit from @sportsguy33 #NBA podcast w/ Steve Kerr - the Heat can't beat BOS/LAL cuz they have Shaq, J.O'Neal, Steve Blake & Matt Barnes. BTW - they got all those players at the lowest salaries in their careers & cuz the Heat didn't want ANY of them. Riley ain't scared. Oh yeah, I almost forgot - they're all either has-beens or never-has-beens. Who the FUCK is scared of Steve Blake? His kids probably aren't scared of him!
sent via ÜberTwitter
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/reservoirgod/status/10324372787040256

The Facts
The figure below illustrates the salaries and production of the journeymen and past-their-prime all-stars the Celtics and Lakers added during the off-season.


Okay, I may have gotten a little ahead of myself with this tweet.

Shaq is being paid the lowest salary of his career, but Jermaine O'Neal, Steve Blake and Matt Barnes are not. J.O. is being paid his lowest salary in the last 10 seasons, Blake is being paid his lowest salary in the last  four seasons and Barnes is being paid the second-highest salary of his career. At those salaries, the only player the Heat could have signed under the salary cap was Shaq.

As for them being has-beens or never-has-beens, I think I'm on solid ground.

Shaq and J.O. were both below average players last season and J.O. is having a terrible season so far. Shaq has gotten off to a good start this season, but he's only played more than 70 games twice in the last 10 seasons, so I'm confident his production will drop off at some point this season. The Heat have also outplayed  the Celtics big men head-to-head this season.

Blake has played for six teams in eight seasons and the estimated WP48 for his career is below average. He was slightly above average last season but is way below average this season. Just what you'd expect from a never-has-been. Speaking of which, Barnes has played for eight teams in seven seasons despite being productive for his career. Could his bad attitude be the reason only one team has kept him around for more than one season? Regardless, the Heat have held opposing small forwards to 0.015 EWP48 this season, so Barnes is not a concern.

The Tweet
From: @reservoirgod
Sent: Dec 2, 2010 8:30a
More dumbass shit from @sportsguy33 #NBA podcasts: Apparently, the Celtics were a .500 team in the 2nd half of last season cuz 'Sheed didn't care & not cuz KG & Pierce were hurt and all of their older players started to decline.
sent via ÜberTwitter
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/reservoirgod/status/10325052994093056

The Facts
If you want tangible reasons for the Celtics disappointing regular season instead of Simmons' psychobabble, then read THIS. According to the linked article, Garnett and Pierce produced five less wins in 2010 than they did in 2009. An even bigger reason for Boston's decline, however, was the loss of Leon Powe and Eddie House's production from 2009, which cost them about nine wins.

The Tweet
From: @reservoirgod
Sent: Dec 2, 2010 8:32a
More dumbass shit from @sportsguy33 #NBA podcasts: Chris Bosh = Toni Kukoc. That one's so ludicrous I could barely stop laughing long enough to type it.
sent via ÜberTwitter
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/reservoirgod/status/10325462236528640

The Facts
By my estimation, Bosh has produced 15 more wins than Kukoc in 2,700 less minutes. As the figure below shows, Bosh is better than Kukoc was at every statistical category except for steals, assists and personal fouls.


The Tweet
From: @reservoirgod
Sent: Dec 2, 2010 8:40a
More dumbass shit from @sportsguy33 #NBA podcast: Steve Kerr says Heat need to install a continuity offense, Simmons agrees. Guess what Erik Spoelstra did in training camp? Install a fucking continuity offense! http://www.yardbarker.com/nba/articles/ask_ira_how_can_the_heats_offense_be_fixed/3492875
sent via ÜberTwitter
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/reservoirgod/status/10327440719089664

The Facts
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's blog posts about Spoelstra installing a continuity offense in training camp can be found HERE and HERE.

The Tweet
From: @reservoirgod
Sent: Dec 2, 2010 8:45a
More dumbass shit from @sportsguy33 #NBA podcast: Haslem would be the 11th man on the Heat. C'mon, son. Get da fuck outta here w/ that bullshit. Doc Rivers & Danny Ainge would take Haslem over Big Baby even if they had to contract herpes to seal the deal.
sent via ÜberTwitter
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/reservoirgod/status/10328638356459520

The Facts
According to the Wins Produced Viewer, Udonis Haslem produced 0.180 wins per 48 minutes this season, which would make him more productive than every power forward that's played for the Celtics except Kevin Garnett. If he were on Boston, Haslem would be the first big man off the bench and the Celtics would be tied with the Spurs for the best record in the NBA.


Not only is Haslem the all-around more productive player, but he's also a better shooter from the high post than Big Baby. According to Hoopdata.com, UD was shooting 53.8 percent from 10-15 feet and 48 percent from 16-23 feet while Big Baby is just shooting a sorry 31.3 percent from 10-15 feet and 36 percent from 16-23 feet. In fact, UD shoots better than Kevin Garnett from the high post.

The Tweet
From: @reservoirgod
Sent: Dec 2, 2010 8:48a
More dumbass shit from @sportsguy33 #NBA podcast: the Heat made a mistake by giving Lakers extra motivation 4 reg. season. Really? Is that what fueled their 4-gm losing streak?
sent via ÜberTwitter
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/reservoirgod/status/10329396401410049

The Facts
The fact is that the Lakers got a pass when they lost three games in a row to teams that also beat the Heat while Miami got a rash of articles written about trading Bosh and firing Spoelstra for losing to those teams. The truth is that the Heat have a higher point differential than the Lakers against common opponents.


The Tweet
From: @reservoirgod
Sent: Dec 2, 2010 8:51a
More dumbass shit from @sportsguy33 #NBA podcast: Mike Miller & Haslem aren't gonna swing titles Miami's way but Matt Barnes, Steve Blake, Shaq, J. O'neal & Delonte West can swing titles 4 the Celtics/Lakers. C'mon, son... Get da fuck outta here w/ that bullshit.
sent via ÜberTwitter
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/reservoirgod/status/10330286529187840

The Facts
Arturo Galletti reported this summer that virtually all of a team's production in the playoffs comes from its top six players in minutes played. Guess what that currently means for the Celtics? Shaq (319 minutes), Jermaine O'Neal (124 minutes) and Delonte West (88 minutes) would be meaningless in the playoffs since they fall outside the top six:

Player - Minutes Played
Ray Allen - 704 minutes
Paul Pierce - 673 minutes
Rajon Rondo - 628 minutes
Kevin Garnett - 627 minutes
Glen Davis - 551 minutes
Marquis Daniels - 357 minutes

As for the Lakers, Matt Barnes is one of the top six in minutes played but Steve Blake is not. So the real question is, why don't we here more about the Lakers' vulnerability at point guard?

The Tweet
From: @reservoirgod
Sent: Dec 2, 2010 9:00a
More dumbass shit from @sportsguy33 #NBA podcast: Bulls top 6 of Rose, Noah, Boozer, Deng, Korver & Taj Gibson > Heat top 6 of Wade, LBJ, Bosh, Haslem, Miller & Arroyo. He can't be serious...
sent via ÜberTwitter
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/reservoirgod/status/10332381089103872

The Facts
Okay, this is a lot closer than I anticipated. The Bulls top six have been slightly more productive than the Heat top six due to the decline in LeBron and Wade's productivity so far.


Since Wade was playing with illness and injuries for a week this season and LeBron isn't likely to continue producing at half the rate he produced last season, I feel confident the Heat will surge past the Bulls by the end of the season.

The Tweet
From: @reservoirgod
Sent: Dec 2, 2010 9:08a
More dumbass shit from @sportsguy33 #NBA podcast: Kerr lists his Eastern Conference title contenders & Heat aren't on it. Simmons doesn't correct him. C'mon, son. U can't be serious...
sent via ÜberTwitter
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/reservoirgod/status/10334580263354368

The Facts
According to basketball-reference.com, the Heat have the second-best efficiency differential in the Eastern Conference at +8.9. The Magic have an efficiency differential of +9.0 and the Celtics are third at +8.6.

Any conversation about Eastern Conference title contenders that doesn't include the Heat is a dishonest one. I'll be here with a little honesty the next time it happens on the BS Report.

All Wins Produced stats were powered by Nerd Numbers. All Estimated Wins Produced stats were taken from the Heat Produced page.

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