Reggie Jackson is ready for Cavaliers, had no interest in fighting Goliath's little brother anyway
The first round date with the Cavaliers is all set now, and Reggie Jackson doesn't seem to be sweating in his palms. He's ready to mack.
"I love it," Jackson said of the playoff matchup. "World's not picking us, anyway. They're supposed to be the title contenders from the East, so if we're not favored anyway, we might as well get our crack at 'em. David may not have wanted to fight Goliath, but I don't want to fight Goliath's little brother. I want to go fight Goliath. I think that's how this locker room feels."
The NBA Players No One Passed To This Season -- FiveThirtyEight
As seen below, Andre Drummond and Aron Baynes made the 20-deep list. Pay no special attention to Bismack Biyombo in bold, as he is highlighted because of his photo at the head of the article and the discussion about him within the text.
About the formula for players who are not passed the rock that much:
The formulation is pretty simple: The NBA's player-tracking SportVU technology now provides the number of passes each player has received, which I divided by the player's minutes and then normalized to passes per 36 minutes. Only players who averaged 15 minutes per game and made it into 20 games were included, to weed out those who were not a significant part of their team's rotation for at least a quarter of the season.12
(below chart from FiveThirtyEight)
Not all players on the list are created equally:
Some of those on the list are terrific players in other respects. Hassan Whiteside, Andre Drummond and DeAndre Jordan stand out here as the three who have played the most minutes and as the three names that very obviously are not like the others.
Drummond is a special case. He is demonstrably one of the most gifted players in the league. This season, he's had 20 or more rebounds nine times -- one less than the number of times he's had fewer than 10. He's bursting with potential, only 22 years old ... and still not very good at offense. But according to data from SportVU, Drummond's post-ups are Detroit's second-most-common play type, after Reggie Jackson screen-and-rolls. This is insane. Despite his size, Drummond is in the bottom third in the league in post-up scoring efficiency, according to data from Synergy Sports Technology, yet takes 27 percent of his shots from the post. The Pistons seem set on letting Drummond learn on the job, however, because defenses have begun dropping on pick-and-rolls. Drummond is excellent on the pick-and-roll, but he and Jackson aren't yet on the Paul-to-Jordan level of conjuring it out of thin air.
Cavaliers fans already begin blah-blahing about things they really don't know much about
Case in point via those cleveland.com types:
"I've been wondering for the last two months if Indiana or Detroit was going to be a harder matchup, I thought it was obvious Chicago wasn't getting in when Noah went down.
I don't know. Drummond usually treats Thompson with the ragdoll treatment Dwight Howard gave Ilgauskas and Varejao, but I don't see the difference between Indiana and Detroit as a matchup. Harris is neither a 3 or a 4, Morris has the basketball IQ of an earthworm, Jackson is a good player. Johnson and Caldwell-Pope are the wild cards, but as usual James should be able to win the series by himself even if every other teammate of his sucks a Hoover. Can't lose a 7-game series offensively or defensively. He's too good."
The poster doesn't get everything wrong, but the stuff he does get wrong he really, really gets wrong. He mentioned Morris and earthworm in the same sentence. It ticked me off and I'm deciding to highlight it. He also doesn't seem to get that, yes, while every Cavs player except LeBron could actually suck this series, LeBron alone still won't be able to overcome this Pistons team. Not a chance in hell. Too much talent and good coaching for Detroit.
Though, as we all know, LeBron has a nice collection of helpful colleagues and if they're healthy some will play well, no question -- and therefore it's going to take a very strong effort from Detroit to make this a competitive series. But hey, if the rest of the Cavaliers suck a Hoover, then more power to them. And I'm sure KCP and company will have had much to do with it!
I should mention that I read some other comments from cleveland.com discussing the first round match-up and I need to stop for the sake of my sanity. Heed my warning here, fellow hoops intellectuals.
NBA riddled with parity we can't see -- The Daily Free Press Student Newspaper of Boston University
Bold is my emphasis. Dang, college students these days; intelligent if not a little optimistic, too.
Unlike its competitors, the NBA manufactures parity structurally. A single acquisition can change the entire dynamic of the league (see LeBron James). Its cap structure lends itself to wild variations across the league landscape, which makes each transaction potentially franchise-altering.
Teams like the Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers and Detroit Pistons are all prime candidates for Warriors-esque ascension with young rosters chock-full of skills and seasoned head coaches capable of developing raw talent. Or maybe the new sensation will be the 28-win Minnesota Timberwolves led by rising superstars Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Add in a free agent here and a draft pick there, and who knows what can happen.
The NBA won't produce Cinderella moments in the standings. Those happen at the negotiating table. Outwardly, the league will always appear stagnant, fiercely loyal to its stars, but internally, it's ever changing, sometimes years ahead of the on-court product. The Warriors hold the throne right now, but you can be sure a new threat waits in the wings.
Pistons fans, get ready for lots of good stuff from DBB in the coming days (and hopefully weeks) -- and let's hope for some inspiring stuff on the court from our favorite basketball passers, rebounders and shooters!