The Moonball Blog

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Why John Hollinger Should Win Clown of the Year

Stats are great for Moonball, but Clowny McJones Hollinger is a geek with a job he is lucky to own. Dude thinks he is Moneyball, Spaulding style.

Though I have been stewing about this dumb-ass boxscore Einstein all season, I am moved to share my vomit on his column on the Bulls inability to stop the Heat from scoring.

Example #1,000,000 of Hollinger's dellusional stat love is his assessment of why the Bulls had such a good shot to win game #2 was: "Shaquille O'Neal historically playing worse in games with only one day of rest as opposed to two, the Heat were ripe for the picking" Right.

Maybe in clown history Shaq played poorly with the money on the line. Day of rest? Depends on the game.

What I love about the NBA (and sports in general) is that while statistics can describe and predict overall performance, what happens at any particular moment is up for grabs. Who wants it more. Who executes with consistency. Who stays with more broken plays.

I had never looked at the whole Hollinger stats list.


Not till this very blogging moment, and what I have found is that indeed he is a Jester among sports writers.

According to Ronald McHollinger, SAR is the League's 46 most efficient player, one behind Chris Wilcox and three before Dan "Man Motherfreaken" Gadzuric.

Up until this year, I was pretty convinced in the Curse of Shareef. As good as he is, he almost always made the Blazers worse when he was on the floor. And even though the Kings are in the post-season, Kenny Thomas started and was the most effective power forward on the team.

Kenny Thomas was # 82. Ron Artest is #79. Chris Kaman is #85. TJ Ford is #118.

Why? Why love numbers so?

6 Comments:

  • A-men, WB. I've no appreciation for Hollinger's work. I know the me-wolves used to get his published forecast and there were always interesting comparisons between current and past players, but other than that, I have no use for him. Get a life, Poindexter.

    By Blogger Ironwood Flash, at 1:44 PM  

  • But if Joe Morgan had gone on-air during an October playoff series and told his listeners that the Angels (or some unheralded baseball team) would have a chance that night against the Red Sox because Curt Schilling historically pitches worse on three days rest, would you guys have lapped it up?

    Of course, you'll say "no," but the "Poindexter" comment leads me to believe that the Ricky Manning Jr. Syndrome is not limited to cornerbacks. Even people who own laptops can develop symptoms.

    By Blogger kellydwyer, at 1:56 PM  

  • I have no problem with using stats to better understand basketball, even though it's a lot harder than in other sports because hoops is so context dependent. The problem with Hollinger is that he is way to confident in his own methods & also just has a huge snark factor that his statistical methods don't justify...

    By Blogger MeWolves, at 2:25 PM  

  • The snark factor is your own interpretation, completely different from mine. I use the interior voice of a Mexican hand puppet character when I read his work. That's my interpretation, it's good fun.

    I have to stop getting angry, because your interpretation falls directly in line with legions of readers who assume Hollinger, in his columns, is equating the 1-50s in his lists of statistical rankings with the actual 1-50 best players in that particular area.

    That's not the case. All Hollinger is pointing out is that, per minute, Shareef Abdur-Rahim is the 46th-most statistically efficient player in the NBA.

    Not the 46th-best.

    Why people continue to take it that way is beyond me.

    By Blogger kellydwyer, at 2:59 PM  

  • Kelly:

    I definitely don't think JohnH is saying that SAR is the 48th best player in the league, and I also think John is pretty straight up in saying that the PER, for example, doesn't measure everything. I for one think PER is the best 'linear weight' style measurement out there, mainly because Hollinger adjusts for pace, which most people don't and is one reason why Steve Nash just got his second MVP.

    My beef w/Hollinger is snark, begin and end. It's the difference, IMHO, between him & Dean Oliver or Kevin Pelton or Dan Rosenbaum or any of the other 'poindexters' out there ;-)

    By Blogger MeWolves, at 3:34 PM  

  • Fair enough. Like I said, that snark is the complaint that a lot have with him, though it's still something I'm incapable of picking up. Maybe if I weren't under such heavy sedation ...

    Also, Hot Doug's is a brilliant, brilliant institution. An old apartment of mine was located a half-block away from their old location, since lost to fire. It was a dangerous location for me to, because about half my income from 2000-2003 was spent on (in this order) 1) Bratwurst, 2) Sauerkraut, and 3) Ginger Ale.

    Doug's a good dude, too. Anyone who names a link after members of the Buzzcocks is cool with me.

    By Blogger kellydwyer, at 5:56 PM  

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