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Orlando Magic News for September 30th: Taking a Look at Defensive Statistics; NBA Announces Social Media Guidelines

  • Follow-Up on Today's Wayne Winston Post
    Henry Abbott of TrueHoop posts a tidbit about Defensive Rating, in which David Thorpe correctly states that it's too team-dependent to be used as a reliable statistic (note: there are some numbers that attempt to do a better job of portraying a player's skill, defensively).

    David Thorpe cautions against reading too much into individual defensive ratings, as coaching has such a massive effect. His example: With Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, Seattle was a bad team. Both players, then, had very bad defensive ratings according to adjusted plus/minus. Yet in the last two years, those same players have been starters (Allen on the 2007/2008 Celtics, Lewis on the 2008/2009 Magic) on the NBA's best defensive teams, with good defensive ratings. His point: Put a motivated player in a good defensive system, and they'll perform."On bad teams, there is often not a good plan," Thorpe explains. "But get them playing for Tom Thibodeau or Stan Van Gundy, and all kinds of players can master when to go over the screen, when to go under, when to lock and trail, which 3-point shooters to close out, not fouling on shot fakes, when to help from the weakside. ... Take the five worst defenders in the league -- so long as they're motivated to be good defenders -- and sprinkle them among the Cavaliers, the Magic, the Celtics, the Spurs and the Rockets, and I think you'd be surprised at how effective they could be."
  • Jalen Rose on Next Season and Media Upheaval
    Bethlehem Shoals of The Baseline takes the time to speak with Jalen Rose and touches on a variety of topics, including the 'Eastern bloc'.

    BS: Okay, time for a few basketball questions. How good do you think the Celtics will be, and where do they stand with the entire East getting better?

    JR: The Magic, the Cavs, and the Celtics are the cream of the crop in the East. If I had to pick a team on paper, it would have to be the Cavs. You have LeBron James, the MVP of the league, you add Shaquille O’Neal to the team with the best record in the league, and you still added Jamario Moon, Anthony Parker, and Leon Powe.
  • NBA dunks tweeting, social media during games
    Marc Stein of shares the NBA's official social media guidelines.

    The NBA formally announced its new social media guidelines Wednesday, informing teams through a league memorandum that the use of cell phones, PDAs and other electronic communications devices -- and thus accessing Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites -- is now prohibited during games for players, coaches and other team personnel involved in the game.
  • Forebearer of Effective Field Goal Percentage
    Kevin Arnovitz shares a story of how Mike Dunleavy Sr., yes, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy Sr., helped create effective field goal percentage, which is a popular advanced statistic (ditto with true shooting percentage) used to ascertain how efficient a player is shooting the ball.

    The way Dunleavy tells the story, this was in the early 80s, when Dunleavey was negotiating his own contract.

    I’m doing my own deal with this general manager," Dunleavy said. "I asked for whatever I asked for and he offered me like half of that.

    Dunleavy declined to say which team or general manager he was negotiating with, but remembered the conversation with the executive vividly.

    He says, ‘your numbers are good, but they aren’t great,’" Dunleavy said. "So I went away and started thinking about it. I look at the other guys getting paid. And I’m thinking, ‘I’m making these 3s, which are one-and-a-half times a regular shot.’"
  • Late-afternoon practice report: Lineup decisions won't be made till last week of the preseason
    John Robbins has a report of the Orlando Magic's afternoon practice session.

    "The guys who are more familiar with what we’re doing, it’s easier for them to play right now than the guys who are trying to learn a new system," Van Gundy said. "As far as competition for jobs, this is too early. I think as we get into the last week or so of [the preseason], those last three exhibitions and the last week of practice, that’s when decisions will be made. People should be pretty comfortable with what we’re doing. Right now, it’s about getting everybody feeling good about what they’re doing and playing together and learning our system."
    SVG's quote jibes with what I reported after the morning practice session.