This is a new weekly blog breaking down the past week in the NBA. In today’s advanced-metric stat world, pace and space offenses have realized the value of open threes and driving the lane. We here at DYC grew up on 90’s basketball: John Tesh theme music, Ahmad Rashad on the sideline, and Michael Jordan mid-range jumpers.
At my previous internet home, I did Mid-Range jumpers as a quick way to whip around big stories. Since the weekly Hangover has replaced the need for that, I’ll be using Wednesday afternoons to wrap up some news from around the Association. I’ve had this planned for a while, so don’t think I’m just capitalizing on the unquestionably biggest story from last night.
- I was having a nice evening last night, live tweeting some choice Tuesday night programming, when my twitter feed exploded during the last few minutes of The Real World with the news of Derrick Rose’s latest knee injury. Comparisons like Penny Hardaway and Brandon Roy have been tossed around over the last few hours, but I’ll just say this: it’s unfair that this guy’s body keeps betraying him and I hope he can bounce back again, as he was playing his best ball post-first knee surgery right before the All Star Break.
- Speaking of injured former MVPs, Kevin Durant is back on the shelf, with an aggrevation of his foot injury. Unlike Derrick Rose, his most recent procedure appears to have been elective, and is designed to keep him fresher in the playoffs. Also unlike Derrick Rose, Durant has a teammate who can more than step up in his absence. And he has.
- Rajon Rondo and Rick Carlisle got into a screaming match on the sideline last night, resulting in the point guard getting benched for the final 20 minutes of game time. I hope you had February 24th in the pool, as this was an eventuality, not a possibility.
- Sam Hinkie is rumored to be looking into trading Joel Embiid for a lottery pick. This guy is determined to ruin basketball, but is doing a great job securing his employment while lying to people’s faces.
- Cleveland has won 17 of their last 19, LeBron just passed Scottie Pippen on the all time assists list at 30 years old, and Kevin Love hit 8 threes last night. Can anyone prove that LeBron isn’t behind this Love injury? Is he going to order a hit on the Hawks next? I’m worried.
- The Sloan Conference is coming up, and that means papers have started to leak. Given all of our writers fall easily into the cross section of sports fan (duh) and nerd (seriously, go count the number of DudeYouCrazy‘s posts that involve graphs and charts), this piece on NBA defense stole more of my life than I’d care to admit.
- Y’all gonna argue with him?
- Weekly Hawks Update: 44-12, 1-1 since the All Star Break, 1st in the East by 7.5 games, 2nd in point differential at +6.1, 2nd in points allowed per game, 3rd in points scored per game.
This has been your first installment of Mid Range Jumpers. I’ll be back here every Wednesday to drop more knowledge dimes next week.
(In basketball-speak, a dime is an assist. You’re welcome.)
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Georgia Football: Why are we pretending to be surprised by Chris Conley’s performance at the NFL Combine?
Georgia’s offense reached new highs over the past four seasons. Over that same time period, no player accounted for more receiving yards than Chris Conley. So why the hell are we pretending to be stunned by his athleticism?
He ran a 4.35 at the combine—that’s damn fast. He jumped a million inches on the broad jump. He set a combine record on the vertical. Perhaps from a testing standpoint, he surpassed what was expected. But are we really floored that the most productive receiver in one of the most prolific offenses in the country is athletic?
The guy stood out in run-heavy offense. That’s hard to do. He did it against the nation’s best competition. That’s even harder to do. He did it in surprisingly sexy ways. Again, harder still to do.
Consider the following about Chris Conley:
- He averaged 16.6 yards per catch over the course of his four year career. For reference (not for comparison), A.J. Green averaged 15.8 yards per catch as a Bulldog.
- He caught a touchdown pass once every 5.85 receptions. Green scored once every 7.22 receptions.
- As a senior, Conley averaged 18.3 yards per reception while catching 36 passes. Only one other Bulldog in the last 20 years (Tavarres King in 2011) posted a YPC figure in excess of 18 while also hauling in 35 or more passes. Of note: Over that time frame 31 Bulldogs hauled in 35 or more receptions in a single season and failed to surpass 18 yards per catch.
- More than 76% of Conley’s 117 career receptions resulted in a first down or a touchdown. That’s just stupid. He was above the team average by such a measure each and every season.
- Last year, 77.8% of Conley’s receptions moved the chains or put points on the board. For the rest of the team, that number was 67.4%.
- Each of Chris Conley’s final 15 collegiate receptions resulted in a first down or a touchdown.
- Conley was an animal on late downs. He hauled in 29 career passes on third or fourth down. All but two resulted in a first down or score. Those 27 chain-moving or point-scoring receptions resulted in an average gain of 18.11 yards. The average amount of yardage needed: 6.04.
What part of these facts implies that Conley is anything other than a gamer?
Further, think about what you know about Chris Conley. He commits to mastering everything he does. He graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA. He recorded a 3.0 or higher in each academic term at Georgia and collected a cumulative GPA of 3.32. He won Georgia’s Sportsmanship and Ethics Award. He sat on the NCAA’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. His Star Wars fan film has nearly 500,000 views on YouTube and is almost Hollywood-ready.
Why would a guy who clearly has athleticism (see numbers above), an impeccable work ethic and a history of performing his best in the biggest moments not do well at the Combine?
Read more of my thoughts on Conley here.
That’s all I got/
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Once upon a time there was a formerly homeless walk-on running-back at Baylor named Silas Nacita. Nacita was one of the feel-good stories of last year as he scored three touchdowns for Baylor and made Academic All-Big 12 by reportedly studying cell phone pictures of his class readings because he did not have the money to purchase textbooks, much less a place to live.
The NCAA, naturally, took a giant dump all over this great story and declared him ineligible for receiving impermissible benefits.
Allegedly, those benefits were from a family friend who, according to Nacita’s tweet earlier this morning, “didn’t want me sleeping on floors and wondering how I was going to eat my next meal.” In other words, someone (perhaps this family friend was also a Baylor booster?) paid for Nacita to have food and shelter, but (allegedly) nothing more.
Nacita, as of this morning, is no longer on Baylor’s football roster.
In other breaking news the NCAA and its administrators look like heartless, soulless asshats (again).
Surely, we will see a correction to this ruling by the end of the day. Still, don’t hold your breath. The NCAA has had problems with homeless players before….
Here is Silas Nacitas’ statement released via Twitter this morning:
By now, you’ve probably heard about Georgia’s 2016 opener, the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff game here in the beautiful A-T-L. Longtime readers/podcast subscribers will recall that I have split loyalties, as I hold a degree from North Carolina as well as Georgia. I knew the day would again come where the two schools would play (as they haven’t in 45 years), but September 3, 2016 is just too soon for me.
As this is a predominately Georgia site (duh) I will try my best to preview the Heels from a Bulldog perspective.
1) A little historical tie between the two programs: Sanford Stadium and Kenan Stadium share the same architect, T.C. Atwood. Kenan was opened in 1927, two years before Sanford. The base structures and footprints of the stadia are the same, both even located centrally on campus. Obviously, Sanford is the larger and more notable stadium now, but the ‘Between the Hedges’ touch of Sanford was modeled after UNC’s Kenan.
2) You have to go back to 1971 to find the last time the Heels and the Dawgs squared off, as they did so in the Gator Bowl. The head coaches for that game? Brothers Bill and Vince Dooley. Georgia holds a 16-12-2 all-time advantage in the series.
3) 18 months is WAY too much time to know what this matchup will look like personnel-wise, but a little primer on what UNC brings to the table:
– A hurry-up-no-huddle offense that will score points in the blink of an eye, but will as rapidly produce a lot of three-and-outs. Carolina was in the top 10 in plays per game in 2014, which underscores…
– …Just how bad the defense was this past year. You would think a bad defense would limit the number of plays an offense could run, but the Heels gave up points so fast that they still ran 77 plays a game. Remarkable, really.
– In an effort to fix the D, Carolina hired former Auburn coach Gene Chizik as the new defensive coordinator. Chizik plans to shift the Heels back to a 4-3 base.
4) Nick Chubb should still be in a Georgia uniform. As should Lorenzo Carter. Never a bad thing.
5) It goes without saying, but I’ll say it: the tailgate I put together is going to be the stuff of legend. Come one, come all, get me heavily sedated for this thing.
6) The Labor Day slate for 2016 is RIDICULOUS. In addition to this game, which seems to be set on the 4pm timeslot based on the past few years, you have: Clemson at Auburn, Alabama/USC (the real one) in JerryWorld, LSU/Wisconsin from Lambeau Field, UCLA at Texas A&M, and Notre Dame at Texas. Hopefully UNC boosts its profile in 2016 and makes this one matter, nationally, as much as those. I don’t like the odds of that.
If this were the 2015 opener, one would have to think its a 15-20 point Georgia win, even with the Dawgs breaking in a new quarterback. North Carolina has not yet shown under Larry Fedora that it is the type of program that should remotely compete with the SEC’s upper echelon. A good season under a revamped Chizik defense could make this matchup a LOT more intriguing as we count down to 2016.