Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Signing Vets and Stat Geeks

With the latest buzz around the NBA centered around contenders acquiring recently waived veterans, I began to think. Why couldn’t Portland sign one of those guys? Granted, we wouldn’t want most of them, but what do you think about adding Joe Smith? Smith is known around the league for his solid locker room presence.

Adding Smith could conceivably be the difference between a first round exit in the playoffs and seeing the 2nd round. A player that can show our young, inexperienced team how to play the right way when it matters the most. Heck, wouldn’t it be worth it even if it helped insure we got into the playoffs in the first place? With Oden’s health in question, wouldn’t it be nice to have a backup PF that we could lean on instead of Channing Frye?

Joe Smith has always been a thorn in the Blazer’s collective side. Wouldn’t it be nice to have him hitting those 18 ft. jump shots for us? Showing the guys how you anticipate on defense and rotate before it’s too late. All for a small price. And if he doesn’t fit, then let him walk this summer, nothing hurt. The Blazers have their full mid-level exception left, which essentially allows the Blazers to sign a free agent up to $4.8 mil for the season. Granted, because of the Darius Miles incident, we are over the luxury tax this season, and whatever we decided to pay Joe Smith, we would have to double because of the luxury tax. But if we could get him for $2-$2.5 mil, pro-rated for the rest of the season, wouldn’t it be worth it?

What do you guys think? Is Joe Smith worth taking a flyer on? I do.

Stat Geek

In other news, there is a great article over at Blazer’s Edge about some advanced defensive stats about the Blazers. It essentially asks the question, are the Blazer’s ahead of or behind where they should be defensively with respect to their age? The findings are pretty awesome, and as a fellow stat geek, I found myself envious of my inability to perform these calculations. If only I had paid more attention in Stats……..Anyways, here is the summary if you don’t feel like reading the whole thing.

They found that defensive efficiency (points allowed per 100 possessions) and age do have a direct relationship. They also calculated that age accounts for 18.8% of the factors that go into determining defensive efficiency. The others being, coaching, defensive mentality, and the rest of the team.

So they then took every teams weighted mean age (age multiplied minutes played so to make sure guys like Raef Lafrentz don’t skew the results) since 2000-2001, and plotted them on a scatterplot. What they found was not only are the Blazer’s ahead of where they should be given their weighted age, but they are significantly outperforming the average. So to ask more of them is almost expecting too much given their experience. I thought this was very interesting, check it out and let me know what you think.

I am excited for tomorrow’s game, it will be good to see Jarrett Jack again, especially when he’s turning the ball over for our opponents rather then us.


  1. Not a bad idea, however, he signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers today.

  2. Yea, I saw that, and it was fully expected. Just thought that it was an interesting thing to think about. Thanks for the update though Yost!

  3. I would have leaned away from it. Why pick up someone that wouldnt guarantee us anything? I think it is better for our young team to fight through this on our own. It is only going to make us more experienced and confident in the future. Now if the Blazers were in 1st or 2nd in the West and had a ligitimate shot at winning the championship I would say try bringing him in and see what he can do.

    He is now a Cav and it will be interesting see what he brings to their team. Also Gooden went to the Spurs. Any thoughts on that and will that give the Spurs the edge to push over the hump and give them another shot at a title; or are the Lakers too good still?

  4. Notice all these vets are getting picked up by San Antonio (Gooden), Boston (Moore, Marbury) and Cleveland (Smith). At this point in the season and at this stage in their careers, these cats only want to sign with contenders. Swift signing with Phoenix is the only one that doesn't follow suit. But is he really a veteran difference-maker?