The Overtime Weekly Roundup consists of the week’s sports stories our editors view as important.
When The Celtics Picked Antoine Walker Over Kobe Bryant: Baxter Holmes writes an analysis of how the Boston Celtics came to pick Antoine Walker over Kobe Bryant. This historiographical piece demonstrates how the risk-averse Celtics came out to miss on a generational talent.
Lebron James’ Place in History: Pete Newmann uses statistics to analyze Lebron James’ ranking amongst other NBA greats. He does not make a thesis statement, however, simply uses statistics to tell his story.
The Spurs Have Joined The Warriors Amongst the NBA’s Elite: Adam Fromal of Bleacher Report looks at a variety of analytics to demonstrate how the Spurs and Warriors are amongst the NBA’s best teams. It even compares both teams to the 72-10 Bulls.
The Craft of CJ McCollum: How Gloves, Hat Helped Blazers Emerging Star Become Unique: Jason Quick provides an investigative report into C.J. McCollum’s early life and current career to examine how the new Blazers star has become the talented NBA prospect we see today. Moreover, the article studies how McCollum’s midrange game is what makes his shooting so lethal. In reading the story, one cannot help but imagine McCollum as a young Kobe Bryant.
The Hawks Are Making A Push For The Top Spot In The East: Josh Planos analyses how the Atlanta Hawks have quietly won seven of their last eight games. Their rise this season is reminiscent of what occurred to them last year, where they did not start regularly winning games until after the first third of the season.
Difference Between Road Pelicans and Home Pelicans is Mind-Boggling: Michael McNamara analyzes why the New Orleans Pelicans have performed so poorly in road games. He posits that, over the past four years, there has not been a single team with as much variation in home and road games than the 2015-16 Pelicans. He finds that, for the Pelicans, it starts with three-point shooting, making the offense less efficient, and then the whole team stops performing well.
Lebron Finds His Shot, Serves Nuggets on a Platter: Chris Parker writes a follow-up article to John Schuhmann’s tweet regarding Lebron being the worst shooter in the NBA this season. Parker does not disagree, however, he argues that a lot of it is mental. Lebron, he furthers, is taking shots closer to the hoop, and thus it is easier for defenders to guard him.
Sorting Through the Drama in Phoenix: Zach Lowe examines why the Suns’ “guard-dependent” offense has caused problems for Phoenix over the past two years. The Suns rarely have good ball motion, take low efficiency shots, and give up after the first failed pick-and-roll. Moreover, with the loss of Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix basketball fans’ season will continue to get worse.
Winning With Lebron, Dellavedova, and Tristan Thompson: Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer argues that Lebron James, Matthew Dellavedova, and Tristan Thompson, as combinations of these three players have the best +/- statistics for the Cavaliers.
Chris Bosh’s Story is one of Perspective: Ethan Skolnick of the Miami Herald argues that, for the Heat, Chris Bosh’s story defines their year in 2015. Following Bosh’s health scare last season, he has become, by far, the Heat’s best player in 2015-16.
Cameron Payne Jolts the Thunder: Royce Young examines the birth of Cameron Payne in Oklahoma City. Over the past week, Payne has come off the bench and closed out games as a point guard for the Thunder, and done so effectively. Moreover, Payne has gathered respect from both Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. As a Thunder fan, one has to hope Payne can continue to contribute, and hopefully fix Oklahoma City’s “second guard” problem.
Noel-Okafor Position Formula Remains a Mystery to the Sixers: Recently the Sixers have begun starting Nerlens Noel and bringing rookie Jahlil Okafor off of the bench. This has worked well, especially on offense; however, one wonders why they continue to draft big men.
Why the Chip Kelly Experiment Failed: Sheil Kapadia of ESPN does an analysis of why the Chip Kelly experiment in Philadelphia failed. Essentially, college football offenses do not work in the NFL for statistical reasons.
Chip Kelly’s Problem Wasn’t The Hurry-Up — It Was Everything Else: FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine analyzes how the Eagles offense, during Chip Kelly’s first year, was so explosive. Essentially, the Eagles executed no-huddle plays significantly faster and with much better efficiency than any other team in the NFL. Nonetheless, each year Kelly has been the coach the offense executed these plays with decreasing efficiency. This resulted in the Eagles’ gimmick offense being exposed and other teams taking advantage of Philadelphia.
Bill Belichick’s Call Wasn’t Entirely Stupid: Neil Paine of FiveThirtyEight analyzes the Patriots’ overtime decision to kick the ball to start the extra quarter. Common logic says this is a bad decision, because in the NFL, the team that scores first wins the overtime period. Essentially, Paine discovers that teams who receive the ball first in overtime actually do not win the game at a higher statistical rate. Moreover, Paine analyzes that the advantage to receiving the ball occurs after the “first set of exchanges,” and not on the first drive itself.
The Key Weaknesses for the NFL’s Strongest Teams: Mike Renner discusses each of the best NFL teams’ biggest weaknesses. For the Panthers, it is their run blocking. The Cardinals, how to apply defensive pressure without blitzing. As everyone knows the Broncos have weak quarterback play. And finally, the Patriots dismal pass protection.
Tom Brady Leads the League in Passing Yards. Here’s Why That’s a Bad Thing for the Patriots: Neil Greenberg examines how Tom Brady leads the league in passing yards; however, no quarterback who has done so has ever won the Super Bowl.
Giants Miss Playoffs Again, so now what?: Dan Graziano examines where the Giants will go now that their season is effectively over. Coughlin has seemed to have lost his team and can no longer motivate them, they have a number of key free agents, and lack a core identity.
Two Former NFL Players Describe Prescription Drug Practices: Accounts of multiple players have resulted in the NFL launching a probe regarding prescription drug practices throughout the league. Scott Fujita and Rex Hadnot both elaborate on these practices in this article written by Sally Jenkins and Rick Maese.
Tim Howard’s Position At Everton has Become Farcical and he must be Dropped: Matt Jones contends that Tim Howard has been one of the worst statistical keepers in the Premier League this season.
Albrighton as Important to Leicester as Vardy, Mahrez, and Company: Ben McAleer argues that Albrighton is having a great year for Leicester, especially defensively for a player at his position. His strength on crosses, tackles, and interceptions is changing the style of play at Leicester.
Schweinsteiger Not Offering United Enough Thrust From Deep: Bastian Schweinsteiger has been an incredibly important signing for United. He has revitalized what was a horrendous midfield last year, and is a great possession player. Nonetheless, even with his elite pass accuracy, his lack of speed and strength has resulted in him making only .5 important passes per game, which is a career low.
The Indians Are Closer Than You May Think: Steve Garton, writing for RCF Sports, uses baseball analytics to see how close the Indians are to contending. And while they definitely have not signed a significant amount of talent this offseason, the numbers suggest they are not too far off from competing with teams like the Royals.
Sports: by Stats:
The New Metric, Week 3: This week’s metric sees the Warriors overtake the Spurs and the Hornets and Trailblazers fall from the rankings.
Sacramento’s Losses to Portland and Golden State End Their Streak, But Where Can the Kings Improve?: The Sacramento Kings are effectively the black sheep of the NBA. Nonetheless, they are beginning to play good basketball. Can Cousins and Co. overcome George Karl’s poor rotations and make a playoff push?
Two Players To Watch This Week: C.J. McCollum and Ryan Anderson: This new series of articles analyzes two players, who may be unknown, that deserve the fans’ attention. This week we cover Most Improved Player candidate C.J. McCollum as well as the Pelicans rotation big man Ryan Anderson.
Top-15 Teams of this Season, 2015: We create our first ever power rankings and rank the best fifteen teams in the NBA so far.
Power Rankings, Part Two, The Worst Fifteen Teams in the NBA: Part two of the aforementioned power rankings, these are the fifteen worst teams across the association.