Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Eye Test

I guess now it's time to introduce my weekly recurring column. I'm a stats junkie (math major, blow me) and I personally love when there is data to back up the observations I make when watching sports. Example: I thought that RGIII was great at making defenses pay for blitzing last season, and the data confirms that, yes, Black Jesus annihilates the blitz.

So each week I'd like to compare data to my observations to see if they confirm my "Eye Test". Or I'll just pull interesting/funny stats for your amusement, whichever is easier for me.

I'm starting this column idea out with the hometown theme. That would be Charlotte, the home of everyone's favorite punching bag, the Bobcats. Having been to 7 or 8 games this year and watching another 10 or so on TV, I consider myself something of a Bobcats expert. What exactly makes them so terrible? They can actually score at a decent clip, but they are absolutely atrocious rebounding and defending. And no player is more emblematic of these shortcomings than my boy Byron Mullens.

The caption for this has to be: "The thug life chose me"

Byron cares about rebounds and defense like Antonio Cromartie cares about birth control. You can essentially pencil in a 25-10 for the other team's center every single night that Mullens plays more than 20 minutes. He also LOVES to make it rain from 3 despite the fact that he's shooting 31% from the 3 point arc this year. I wonder what his plus/minus looks like?

Gee, look at that. He's dead last in the league in plus/minus per 48 minutes. Byron is averaging a mind-boggling -13.6 points per 48. Now I know that plus/minus is not a perfect statistic, but with a large enough sample size it's a pretty good indicator of a player's relative value. Byron, I'm are the worst player on the worst team in the league. Is it sad that if I got a Bobcats jersey he would still be my first choice? I'm gonna go ahead and blatantly rip off Mythbusters here...


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