First of all, if you haven’t seen my recap yet, here it is. It’s much longer than this, and is more about last night’s game. I was going to include this as a bullet of randomness, but it’s bizarre enough so that I feel it warrants its own post.
Allow me to disclaimer here: I am a huge fan of advanced statistics, and believe they’re changing the way basketball is being reported on for the better. I am also a huge fan of +/- based metrics, and as anyone who reads this site knows, I use them all the time to support what I’m saying. I don’t think they’re all-encompassing, but they can certainly be useful when put in context and show some things that were previously invisible. Furthermore, I believe that Michael Lewis’ excellent piece on Shane Battier might have been the best piece of sports journalism last year, and believe the article holds up tremendously. And I’m a big fan of what Daryl Morey is doing in Houston.
But every now and then, there’s a piece of irony that you just can’t pass up. According to basketballvalue.com’s +/- data, Shane Battier has been one of the 10 worst defenders in the NBA this season. That’s “unadjusted” +/- data, but according to Basketball Value’s version of “adjusted” +/- data, Battier still comes out terribly.
80% of the reason I’m posting this is just because it’s ironic and kind of funny. But there’s also a grain of truth somewhere in there about how much the situation a player is in can influence his +/- rating, and how comparisons using it have to account for a number of lurking variables.