Saturday, February 11, 2012

HEATcast: Behind Enemy Lines

The NBA thinks the Chicago Bulls defense is a big problem but HEAT fans don't. The Miami Heat Index went behind enemy lines with sports economist David Berri to discuss whether the Chicago Bulls would improve if they traded for Dwight Howard or if the NBA's new revenue sharing plan helps small market teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder or Denver Nuggets compete for his services. The podcast also discussed comparisons of Paul Pierce to Larry Bird and Kobe Bryant to Magic Johnson, fake superstars and real title contenders.

Podcast Details
Podcasters: Miami Heat Index and David Berri
Recorded: February 10, 2012 at 4:15 PM ET
Duration: 49:25
How to Listen: Play the audio embedded below, download the mp3 or subscribe to iTunes

Companion Reading
The podcasters covered the topics and articles listed below during the discussion.

Lakers vs. Celtics
Paul Pierce passed Larry Bird for second place on the Celtics all-time scoring list, but he has not passed him in terms of Wins Produced.
  • Pierce: 120 Wins Produced in 36,465 minutes (0.158 WP48)
  • Bird: 185 Wins Produced in 34,443 minutes (0.258 WP48)

Kobe Bryant passed Shaquille O'Neal for fifth place on the NBA's all-time scoring list and sparked a debate on who is the greatest Laker of all-time. Magic said Kobe is the greatest Laker of all-time, but that's not the case in terms of Wins Produced.
  • Kobe: 129 Wins Produced in 41,187 minutes (0.150 WP48)
  • Magic: 245 Wins Produced in 33,245 minutes (0.354 WP48)

Would Bird say Pierce was a greater Celtic if they had the same number of titles? Berri suggested the differences in Bird and Magic's personalities would lead to different responses.

Authenticity of Superstars
Charles Barkley said on TNT's NBA Tip-Off there are only six great players in the NBA and a lot of "fake superstars." Berri listed six great players from the 2012 All-Star teams and some fake superstars, in terms of Wins Produced this season (points scored is per 48 minutes).

From Pretender to Contender... Faster Than a Speeding Bullet
As the only "real superstar" that demanded a trade, which teams could Dwight Howard take from good to great? Will the NBA's new revenue-sharing plan enable any small market teams like the Thunder or the Nuggets to compete for Howard's services?

This podcast was inspired by E.J. Fischer.


  1. Your argument for Chris Paul not stepping up against bigger point guards would have to assume that their only going after each other. The bulls have a better defense overall then the clippers.

    Before the bulls got all those great defensive players, Chris Paul would outplay Derrick Rose thoroughly. Chris Paul did a great job of staying in front of Derrick Rose when they played, but when Rose went to the pick and roll, the bigs had trouble on help. When Chris Paul when to the pick and roll, the chicago bulls bigs did a better job on help. If Paul had the same bigs as Rose, and possibly even Tom Thibodeau's defensive system, I doubt Rose would've outplayed him to that extent, if even at all.

    1. Chris Paul has the same problems against Derrick Rose that he had against Deron Williams. You can make excuses for each players' teammates but the reality is that Rose plays for the Bulls now and the foreseeable future. I'll take Rose on the Bulls over CP3 head-to-head every time.

    2. The problem Chris Paul has with Deron Williams is the assumption that Deron Williams has outplayed him in their head to head matchups because the jazz had won 12 of those 16 games. The numbers are pretty with Chris Paul doing better with regard to every statistic except points in those matchups.

      The same thing happens when Chris Paul has faced Derrick Rose. Because Rose's teams have won all 5 of the those matchups, the assumption is that chris paul was outplayed. Chris Paul actually outplayed Rose overall in their matchups including the game where Chris Paul actually tore his meniscus in the game and still played the rest of the game.

      So, Chris Paul doesn't become a lesser point guard when he faces bigger point guards. It's a small sample of games, and Chris Paul has actually outplayed those guys, but their teams have just won. Outside of those games, Chris Paul is better as well.

      Also, Russell Westbrook, who is bigger than Chris Paul gets outplayed in their matchups as well.

      I think taking Chris Paul over these guys is at least reasonable when you look at their numbers and look closer in their head to head numbers.