Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Putbacks

I say why on earth do you revolve around me
Aren?t you aware of the gravity

– Another Satellite
XTC

Since some of you may not have thought to check this blog on a weekend, I’ll make today’s entry short. This way you can catch up on Saturday’s column on Lenny Wilkens (right below this one). I’d like to take a quick look at some previous entries. A few days ago I talked about the Knicks’ chances to win their upcoming games. Well they’ve won all three, despite being statistical underdogs in two of them. In case you were wondering, the chance that they would win all three was only 11%. Now some of you may be dying to email me and tell me that I was wrong to give the Knicks such poor odds. However, 11% isn’t as impossible to overcome as you would think. It’s about the same odds as flipping three coins and getting three heads. Not that bad when you put it in that light.

By the way I’ve checked out the Knicks’ updated chances versus the next two teams. Before they had a 64.9% chance to beat Boston at home, and a 38.2% chance away in Philly. Now that the Knicks and Celtics have won a few games, and the Sixers lost a few, the probabilities are different. New York has almost the same chance against Boston (65.5%) and slightly improved odds against Philly (40.6%). The Knicks have a 27% chance of winning both games. This is a little better than the odds you would get with flipping two coins and getting both heads.

That’s twice where I’ve compared the Knicks’ probability of winning to the flipping of a coin. That makes sense when both teams have similar records. Intuitively, they should have slightly better odds against their next two opponents than a coin flip, since their record is slightly better.




In a few of my previous posts, I’ve talked about fouls. Well if there were an official stat for this blog, it might be the personal foul. In one of these entries, I said in recap of a game:

Nazr Mohammad only scored 2 points because he was in foul trouble all night. If you didn’t watch the game, you would know this by looking at the box score. When someone who would probably play 25-30 minutes, plays only 14 and has 4 fouls in that span, you can conclude that they had foul trouble.

Well unfortunately yesterday’s game was not televised anywhere. Actually I’m sure if I had a satellite dish it would have been on some channel, but there’s a few huge buildings between my roof and their satellite.

In any case I didn’t get to watch the game, but I did listen to it on the radio for a little bit, before getting bored and leaving the house. It’s not the same listening to the radio, because I don’t always trust the announcers’ judgements. Later in the day, I checked the box score to see all of the Knick starters perform well, except for one: Kurt Thomas. His time was limited to 22 minutes due to 5 fouls. Obviously his low minute total was due to his foul trouble. He scored 4 points, and had 8 rebounds. Thinking back I remember the radio announcers saying two things about Kurt. Early in the game they said that Kurt was off to a good start. Later in the second quarter they said he had just received his third foul, which sent him back to the bench, only a few minutes after coming off the bench.

Nazr Mohammed is a good rebounder on both ends of the floor, and a good low post scorer. Kurt Thomas is their best low post defender, gets to the defensive glass, and has a decent outside shot. The Knicks are a much better team with them on the court instead of Mutombo, Harrington, and Sweetney. It’s as simple as when Mohammed and K.Thomas get into foul trouble, which limits their minutes, the Knicks are a weaker team. That’s why it’s so important for these two to keep out of foul trouble.