Half Of The NHLs Rumored Expansion Cities Dont Make Sense

News broke Wednesday that the NHL is close to finalizing plans to add new franchises in Las Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City and Toronto by the 2017-18 season.Whenever talk of NHL expansion crops up, there are concerns about how increasing the league’s size will dilute its talent pool and damage the quality of play. But it’s also worth pondering the amount of hockey demand in the markets the league has apparently chosen, and whether the game wouldn’t have been better served by relocating a handful of existing teams to new cities.Last summer, as part of an investigation into why Canadian teams haven’t been able to win the Stanley Cup since 1993, FiveThirtyEight estimated the number of avid NHL fans in an assortment of major markets (including existing franchise locales and potential expansion sites). In our study, Toronto easily had the largest number of avid NHL fans; with a shade over 5 million, their total was double that of any other metro area in North America. Even if the new Toronto franchise lures just 20 percent of the area’s hockey enthusiasts away from the Maple Leafs, the expansion club would instantly have about as many devotees as the Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings or Calgary Flames. It’s clear that Toronto has the fan base to support a second NHL franchise.The same can be said of Quebec City, albeit to a lesser extent. Our research found that an NHL club’s operating income (as estimated by Forbes) is closely correlated to the number of avid NHL followers in its media market, and that the break-even level of local fandom for a profitable franchise was about 300,000 to 400,000 fans. According to our estimates, Quebec City, the former home of the Nordiques, has about 530,000 NHL fans. So, a good comparison for Quebec City would be Winnipeg — another Canadian market that lost an NHL franchise in the 1990s, only to see the league return in recent years. Winnipeg has roughly 560,000 NHL fans, and despite the area’s relatively minuscule population, the franchise has turned a profit in each of the past two years (per Forbes’s data).Teams in markets with fewer than 300,000 hockey fans, however, have tended to lose money, and that’s where the wisdom of adding franchises in Seattle and (especially) Las Vegas gets iffy. We estimated that Seattle contains about 240,000 NHL fans — fewer than that of Phoenix and Florida’s Tampa Bay, home to two franchises that have struggled to turn a profit for many years. And if Seattle is an enigmatic choice by this metric, Las Vegas would be a disaster. According to our estimates, there are only 91,000 hockey fans in the Vegas media market, which is nearly 40 percent fewer than even Nashville, Tennessee, the least-avid current NHL city, has.The unique characteristics of Las Vegas might make the city a special case, but if it follows the league’s heretofore-established relationship between fan base size and financial success, it might be all but impossible for its new team to turn a long-term profit without a change to the underlying economics of the NHL as a whole.And it isn’t as though the NHL was lacking for other options. Our research showed that, in addition to Quebec City and a second Toronto franchise, the Canadian cities of Kingston, Halifax and perhaps even Moncton, Sherbrooke or Sudbury could each reasonably hope to support a team. From the standpoint of fan avidity, all were more attractive markets than Seattle — not to mention Las Vegas, which was sandwiched between Milwaukee and Kansas City, Missouri, as the least hockey-mad of the potential expansion sites we examined. Each of those seven Canadian municipalities also contained more NHL fans than five current NHL cities: Phoenix; Columbus, Ohio; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Miami and Nashville.As the reports stand, though, the NHL is instead sticking with what we originally argued was a suboptimal distribution of teams. read more

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Counterpoint Super Bowl XLIX Was Among The Most Exciting Super Bowls Ever

In the immediate aftermath of the New England Patriots’ 28-24 Super Bowl victory over the Seattle Seahawks Sunday night, we gave a preliminary measurement of how exciting the game was using what Brian Burke of Advanced Football Analytics calls the “Excitement Index.” This index tracks the cumulative change in win probability throughout a game, the logic being that bigger swings in win probability indicate a more thrilling game.By NumberFire’s live in-game probability model, the Excitement Index of Super Bowl XLIX was curiously modest, ranking just 12th all time. But, as we noted, win probability models can vary to a surprisingly large degree, so we wanted to recalculate the Excitement Index using data from Pro-Football-Reference.com, which hadn’t yet updated Sunday night. (We used Pro-Football-Reference in our original ranking of the most exciting Super Bowls last week.)The difference between the two sources is bigger than you might think. If we run the Pro-Football-Reference numbers, Sunday’s game comes in at No. 3 all time, a much higher — and, in our subjective view, more deserving — placement than we’d originally calculated.In addition to the vagaries of competing win probability metrics, it’s also worth noting that the Excitement Index has obvious limitations. Similar to the way the coastline paradox makes it difficult to pin down the true length of a landmass’s coastline, a bunch of incremental changes to win probability can add up quickly for a game’s Excitement Index even if the overall trend of a game is in the same direction.The Excitement Index (as originally defined by Burke) also counts a swing in win probability from, say, the first quarter the same as one from the fourth quarter. In terms of leverage index, this is entirely appropriate — but it may not track as well with the subjective feeling of excitement we tend to experience as fans, where late-game moments are given much more weight.To try to capture some of that feeling, we also calculated an alternative version of the Excitement Index that puts more weight on the end of the game. Here’s how it works: A play at the very end of the game receives a weight of 2, halftime receives a weight of 1, and the opening kickoff gets a weight of 0. It’s a bit ad hoc, we know, but it seems to produce ratings that match the perceived excitement of Super Bowls better than an unweighted sum of win-probability changes.Using our alternative Excitement metric, Super Bowl XLIX is second all time. (See the table below for the updated ranking by this method.)Then again, as we wrote last night, no index can ever really put a number on the elation felt by Patriots fans — and the corresponding despair of those rooting for the Seahawks — at the end of a game like Sunday’s. read more

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A Better Way To Evaluate NBA Defense

Lance Thomas12,142+0.32 Jeff Teague2,695-0.07 David West17,671+1.40 PlayerPossessions playedDRAYMOND RATING Chris Bosh+1.14+1.25+0.12 Joel Embiid11,766+2.95 Manu Ginobili16,974+0.08 James Harden6,754+1.40 Serge Ibaka32,865+1.54 Jeremy Lamb4,710-0.93 JaMychal Green-0.39-0.32+0.07 Solomon Hill14,891+0.87 Roy Hibbert14,695+1.92 Jayson Tatum+1.44+1.34-0.10 Aron Baynes14,484+1.71 Elfrid Payton21,014-0.78 Maurice Harkless3,833+0.66 Mike Muscala2,889+0.64 Tyson Chandler18,693-0.09 Reggie Jackson-1.15-1.23-0.07 De’Aaron Fox5,626-0.17 Clint Capela18,110+1.39 Tim Duncan14,218+2.20 Willie Cauley-Stein+1.24+0.92-0.32 Lauri Markkanen3,496-0.81 George Hill26,013+0.64 Paul George6,639+0.09 Al Horford30,395+1.41 Maxi Kleber3,168+2.94 Ty Lawson17,022-1.31 Pau Gasol23,255+1.38 James Johnson17,746+1.33 Jon Leuer10,751-0.57 Jusuf Nurkic15,099+1.24 CJ McCollum-1.18-0.89+0.29 Goran Dragic2,134+0.11 Kent Bazemore22,184+0.16 Alex Len3,489+0.40 Nemanja Bjelica11,568+1.15 Manu Ginobili+0.71+0.61-0.10 Danny Green28,467+1.12 Vince Carter2,998-1.00 Patrick Beverley22,626+0.17 Jose Calderon-1.67-2.14-0.48 Steven Adams28,973+1.09 Jon Leuer+0.39+0.15-0.24 Luke Kennard3,218-1.21 Dwight Powell3,524+1.10 Jeremy Lamb-0.32-0.18+0.13 Tony Parker-1.44-1.50-0.06 PlayerPossessions playedDRAYMOND RATING Davis Bertans3,653+0.12 Mario Chalmers15,652+0.15 Iman Shumpert3,455-0.83 Tony Parker2,145-0.85 Jamal Murray15,101-0.79 Lance Stephenson20,349-0.52 Wayne Ellington-1.29-1.27+0.02 Russell Westbrook+1.16+0.02-1.14 Darren Collison-1.34-1.28+0.06 Jordan Hill10,087-0.45 Evan Turner27,518+0.61 Trey Lyles-0.46-0.16+0.30 Dion Waiters2,334-0.38 Eric Gordon5,347+0.45 Isaiah Canaan-2.13-1.79+0.34 Gordon Hayward26,388-0.23 Randy Foye13,985-0.32 Ian Clark10,859-0.39 PJ Tucker32,880+0.08 Marc Gasol30,496+0.71 Robert Covington21,084-0.07 Nik Stauskas2,164-2.23 Nerlens Noel+3.36+2.89-0.47 Amir Johnson20,436+0.75 Deron Williams17,520-0.31 Meyers Leonard-0.31-0.43-0.12 Dwight Powell+1.04+1.26+0.22 Tomas Satoransky4,634-1.07 Kyle Korver2,966-2.29 Dwight Powell12,343+0.59 PJ Tucker6,632+0.85 Jameer Nelson15,646-0.97 JJ Redick29,725+0.10 Jimmy Butler32,597+0.54 Gorgui Dieng21,118-0.82 Eric Bledsoe+0.81+0.98+0.17 Thabo Sefolosha+2.21+2.12-0.09 Jimmy Butler5,562+0.62 Shane Larkin-1.12-1.12-0.01 Mario Hezonja10,871-0.56 Boris Diaw15,683-0.04 Tim Frazier2,554-3.01 Domantas Sabonis4,021+0.22 Joakim Noah15,511+1.60 Luol Deng18,725+0.15 Shaquille Harrison3,032+0.88 Goran Dragic28,790+0.41 Kawhi Leonard6,178+0.25 Ben Simmons13,358+1.10 Dion Waiters-1.16-0.87+0.29 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope-0.38-0.80-0.42 Eric Bledsoe26,635+0.36 Taurean Prince3,462-1.14 Meyers Leonard10,837-0.10 Evan Turner3,896+2.23 Norman Powell3,207+0.71 Allen Crabbe18,711+0.33 Nikola Vucevic+1.83+1.71-0.12 Joe Ingles5,832-1.17 Tyler Johnson15,111+0.30 Anthony Tolliver-0.28+0.02+0.31 Danilo Gallinari4,818-0.65 Mason Plumlee+1.40+0.93-0.47 Norris Cole11,175-0.97 Enes Kanter4,397+0.01 Wesley Johnson+0.67+0.26-0.41 LeBron James39,997+0.19 Rudy Gay24,069+0.19 Amir Johnson+2.46+2.38-0.08 And here’s the data for last season (2018-19), with a minimum of 2,000 possessions defended. The Jazz’s Derrick Favors was the top defender, followed by the Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson, while the Cavaliers’ Collin Sexton was the worst defender in the league. Alex Len17,616+0.71 Garrett Temple18,146-0.15 Damian Lillard38,628+0.16 Cory Joseph23,771+0.57 Matthew Dellavedova18,129+0.16 John Wall31,634+0.07 Justise Winslow14,191+0.97 Kevin Durant35,683+1.44 Jerami Grant6,093+0.70 Derrick Rose3,020+0.27 Andre Iguodala29,712+0.11 Tristan Thompson+0.17+0.19+0.02 Tony Allen14,520+1.04 Draymond Green6,260+1.76 Jonas Valanciunas+0.57+0.91+0.34 Stephen Curry6,852-0.42 David Lee12,774+0.67 Avery Bradley26,335-0.54 Josh Richardson17,276+1.28 Nick Young14,675-1.26 Taurean Prince-0.69-0.83-0.14 Tyler Zeller+0.62+1.19+0.57 Ian Clark2,165-1.95 Jeremy Lamb18,210+0.06 Andre Drummond31,709+0.00 Thaddeus Young+1.19+1.01-0.18 Ian Mahinmi+3.03+2.80-0.23 Paul George+1.30+1.32+0.03 Donovan Mitchell12,171+0.04 Isaiah Thomas23,565+0.04 JR Smith25,891-0.64 CJ Miles17,938+0.03 Spencer Hawes11,803+0.78 Clint Capela+2.18+2.54+0.36 Jusuf Nurkic+3.25+3.18-0.06 Reggie Bullock10,929+0.01 Mike Muscala10,947-0.07 Montrezl Harrell5,060+1.82 Tyler Johnson-0.24-0.31-0.07 Marcus Smart22,997+0.00 Norris Cole-1.61-1.83-0.21 Jodie Meeks12,673-0.47 Frank Kaminsky13,278-0.69 Courtney Lee25,321-0.02 Derrick Favors+2.03+2.63+0.61 Jarrett Jack14,572-0.05 Rajon Rondo2,992-1.79 Rudy Gay+0.31+0.42+0.11 Jeff Teague-0.75-0.53+0.22 Terrence Jones12,064+0.00 Jae Crowder4,940+0.34 Luis Scola+0.30-0.15-0.45 De’Anthony Melton2,112-0.41 Kyle Kuzma10,183-0.06 Mike Scott15,790-0.34 Hollis Thompson13,414-0.21 Cody Zeller17,321+0.72 Buddy Hield-1.61-1.59+0.02 Jerryd Bayless-1.88-1.86+0.02 Jared Sullinger11,886+0.35 Marreese Speights11,425+0.40 Nikola Jokic+2.62+2.08-0.53 Jeff Teague29,994-0.13 Danny Green6,093+0.08 Bradley Beal34,063-0.14 Yogi Ferrell2,330-0.92 Harrison Barnes5,415-0.42 Ed Davis3,157+0.23 Royce O’Neale3,884+0.75 Thaddeus Young31,870-0.22 Ersan Ilyasova21,881-0.41 Draymond Green+4.43+5.09+0.66 Bobby Portis10,791-0.20 Tyler Zeller11,412+1.09 DeMar DeRozan6,023-0.96 Jrue Holiday25,597+0.80 Ian Clark-1.99-2.10-0.11 Jeff Green28,433-0.23 Aaron Brooks11,764-0.17 Iman Shumpert+0.80+0.48-0.32 Stanley Johnson12,913-0.25 Khris Middleton30,940-0.03 Kyle O’Quinn11,843+1.52 Mitchell Robinson2,882+3.32 Damian Lillard7,338+0.40 Danilo Gallinari-0.44-0.40+0.05 Avery Bradley-0.62-0.80-0.18 Jaylen Brown13,507+1.25 Jrue Holiday+0.72+1.25+0.54 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander5,090+0.87 Gorgui Dieng+1.66+1.03-0.62 Myles Turner4,656+2.43 Jerryd Bayless13,461-0.32 DeAndre’ Bembry4,311-1.00 Mirza Teletovic11,261-0.22 Aaron Gordon20,045+0.40 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope29,067-0.88 T.J. Warren2,895-2.27 Lance Stephenson2,511-1.20 Trey Burke17,019-0.36 Ben McLemore-1.15-1.34-0.19 Joe Ingles22,212-0.37 JaMychal Green3,244-0.66 Chandler Parsons18,098-0.40 Mike Dunleavy12,931+1.08 Jason Terry13,194-0.32 Omri Casspi-0.11-0.15-0.05 Gordon Hayward-0.11-0.25-0.15 Justin Holiday16,591+0.38 Trevor Booker+0.47+0.57+0.10 Taj Gibson+1.23+1.45+0.22 Al-Farouq Aminu5,689-0.92 Shelvin Mack2,577-1.69 Danilo Gallinari17,302-0.57 Kyle Kuzma5,063-0.25 Ben McLemore17,957-0.94 Kenrich Williams2,390+0.09 Avery Bradley4,044+0.42 Jerian Grant-0.75-0.57+0.18 DeMarcus Cousins+2.58+2.68+0.10 Kyle Singler11,355-0.53 Zaza Pachulia17,765-0.33 Larry Nance Jr.12,949-0.49 Brandon Ingram-1.01-0.95+0.06 Goran Dragic-0.92-0.61+0.32 Richard Jefferson-0.76-0.77-0.01 Patrick Beverley5,029+1.25 Brandon Ingram12,815-0.07 Bradley Beal6,505-0.80 Isaiah Thomas-2.62-1.99+0.63 Jaren Jackson Jr.3,076+1.51 Dennis Smith Jr.3,200+1.15 Malik Monk2,703-1.98 Joe Harris-1.57-1.56+0.01 Kevin Durant6,753+0.94 Paul Pierce12,678+0.59 Brandon Bass-0.13-0.08+0.04 Tony Snell-0.85-0.97-0.11 Gary Harris19,416-0.64 Jordan Hill-0.25-0.52-0.27 Vince Carter+0.26+0.44+0.17 Corey Brewer21,400-0.67 Al-Farouq Aminu26,956+0.03 Ryan Anderson18,873-0.52 Tobias Harris6,998-0.24 Miles Plumlee11,556+1.04 Channing Frye16,675-0.65 Taj Gibson3,607-0.47 Dennis Schroder-2.10-1.91+0.19 Shaun Livingston2,710+0.08 Patrick Beverley+0.93+0.83-0.09 Allen Crabbe2,444+1.09 Brandon Knight16,757-0.80 Frank Kaminsky-0.74-1.00-0.25 Dion Waiters21,066+0.45 James Harden40,828+0.52 Tyus Jones3,348-1.79 Derrick Williams11,367-0.83 * Defensive Rating Accounting for Yielding Minimal Openness by Nearest Defender Kyle Singler-0.50-0.64-0.14 T.J. McConnell-0.40-0.55-0.15 Jeremy Lin18,390+0.46 T.J. McConnell15,302-0.03 Robert Covington+2.35+2.08-0.26 Landry Shamet4,303-0.05 Rodions Kurucs3,041+0.28 Garrett Temple4,386-0.31 Kyrie Irving31,938-0.99 Josh Richardson5,296+0.16 Paul Pierce+0.83+1.08+0.25 Otto Porter Jr.24,148-1.03 Michael Carter-Williams17,756-0.03 Jakob Poeltl3,061+0.64 Kelly Oubre Jr.14,377-1.08 Tim Hardaway Jr.-2.23-2.07+0.16 Myles Turner17,509+1.73 Anthony Morrow10,184-1.18 Kyle Lowry+0.89+0.88-0.01 David Lee+1.29+1.19-0.10 Jabari Parker15,480-1.24 Evan Fournier5,642-0.56 J.J. Barea16,230-1.25 Blake Griffin29,325+0.16 Pascal Siakam7,195+1.65 Luka Doncic4,912-0.81 Zach LaVine17,990-1.36 Derrick Rose17,293+0.47 Paul Millsap30,217+0.39 Buddy Hield13,734-0.78 Paul Millsap+2.64+2.32-0.32 Jerami Grant20,433+1.10 Ryan Arcidiacono4,105-0.25 PlayerPossessions playedDRAYMOND RATING Nemanja Bjelica3,950+1.76 Emmanuel Mudiay3,418+0.48 Marvin Williams+0.59+0.52-0.07 Jaylen Brown4,698+1.18 Nerlens Noel2,437+2.15 Bojan Bogdanovic5,659-0.32 Omer Asik+1.87+1.67-0.20 Wilson Chandler21,126+0.76 Ed Davis+1.71+1.46-0.25 Shelvin Mack-1.28-1.34-0.06 Kenneth Faried17,635-0.82 Enes Kanter-1.59-1.55+0.03 Jason Terry-0.54-0.42+0.12 Ivica Zubac2,365+2.43 Nikola Mirotic18,138+0.57 James Harden-0.33-0.02+0.31 Devin Booker-2.76-2.51+0.25 Derrick Favors24,324+1.86 Raymond Felton16,949+0.97 Jordan Clarkson-2.79-2.68+0.11 Danuel House Jr.2,369+0.40 Jalen Brunson3,346-0.94 Larry Nance Jr.+2.01+1.54-0.46 Anthony Tolliver17,263+0.08 Kelly Olynyk20,609-0.01 John Wall2,404-0.91 Jamal Crawford25,169-1.28 Chris Bosh12,709+0.06 Shane Larkin10,117-0.49 LaMarcus Aldridge6,012+1.82 Jahlil Okafor2,039+1.52 Dorian Finney-Smith4,200+1.31 Derrick White3,964+1.74 Ricky Rubio+1.32+0.89-0.42 Zach Collins3,419+0.49 Ish Smith2,763+0.39 Norman Powell10,579-0.53 DeMarre Carroll3,942-0.54 Ish Smith-0.57-0.35+0.22 John Wall+0.10+0.27+0.17 Shelvin Mack15,274-0.49 Giannis Antetokounmpo6,339+2.13 Jameer Nelson-1.84-1.93-0.10 Jrue Holiday5,233+0.24 Dwyane Wade25,627+0.08 Jayson Tatum5,809+1.26 Collin Sexton5,374-3.59 Jonas Valanciunas23,901+0.85 Al Horford4,834+1.18 Nene16,100-0.03 Ty Lawson-1.62-1.98-0.36 Montrezl Harrell-0.05+0.56+0.61 Alec Burks-1.50-2.08-0.58 Brandon Ingram3,850+1.15 Nikola Vucevic5,515+0.94 Ante Zizic2,259-0.44 Nikola Mirotic+0.79+0.93+0.14 Juancho Hernangomez2,863+0.83 Seth Curry3,615+1.03 Tony Snell20,715-0.13 Kyle O’Quinn+2.12+2.20+0.08 Lou Williams4,812-1.67 Which players’ defense had been underrated or overrated?Change in CARMELO defensive ratings since 2013-14 after incorporating DRAYMOND*, for players with a minimum of 10,000 possessions Jabari Parker-1.46-1.99-0.53 Markieff Morris2,863+0.94 Cory Joseph4,489+1.13 Terrence Ross4,804-1.14 Kosta Koufos+1.57+1.99+0.42 Domantas Sabonis11,443+0.44 Luc Mbah a Moute16,502+1.56 Miles Bridges3,625-1.35 Chris Paul+1.46+1.03-0.43 Marreese Speights-0.54-0.31+0.23 Tyreke Evans18,965-0.40 Steven Adams6,187+0.78 Monte Morris4,561-0.62 Courtney Lee-0.71-0.75-0.03 Randy Foye-1.05-1.04+0.02 Chris Paul31,344-0.58 Iman Shumpert20,064-0.17 Evan Turner-0.14-0.04+0.10 Pascal Siakam+1.64+1.55-0.09 Garrett Temple+0.35+0.28-0.07 James Johnson+1.49+1.78+0.29 CJ McCollum6,340+0.70 Marcin Gortat28,529+0.84 Rodney Hood4,642+0.12 Myles Turner+2.35+2.72+0.37 Noah Vonleh+0.95+0.91-0.04 Solomon Hill+0.29+0.42+0.13 Kyle Korver+0.20+0.19-0.02 DeMarre Carroll+0.58+0.63+0.05 Ian Mahinmi14,184+0.88 Blake Griffin+0.97+0.80-0.17 Jordan Clarkson22,324-1.03 Noah Vonleh11,214+0.47 Andre Roberson15,147+2.06 Roy Hibbert+2.34+2.71+0.36 Dennis Schroder5,385-0.42 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist2,511+1.92 Jonathan Isaac4,456+0.61 Omri Casspi13,641-0.25 Shabazz Napier2,193+1.92 Vince Carter18,232-0.09 Jeff Green-0.99-0.81+0.18 Karl-Anthony Towns5,392+0.53 Victor Oladipo+0.85+0.75-0.10 Monta Ellis22,806-0.32 Bismack Biyombo+1.46+1.40-0.06 Lonzo Ball3,122+1.00 Devin Booker4,792-0.93 Greg Monroe+0.81+0.32-0.50 Robin Lopez+1.24+1.68+0.44 Boris Diaw+0.73+0.35-0.37 Aron Baynes+1.82+2.49+0.66 Al Jefferson+0.90+0.45-0.46 Terrance Ferguson4,504-0.33 Ed Davis17,428+0.43 Brandon Knight-2.13-2.01+0.12 LaMarcus Aldridge33,382+1.27 Mario Hezonja-1.07-1.23-0.16 Matt Barnes18,283-0.10 Daniel Theis2,061+0.34 Tim Hardaway Jr.4,345-1.16 Thomas Bryant3,241+0.17 Terry Rozier4,133+0.30 Patty Mills-1.01-1.08-0.07 Richaun Holmes2,558+2.54 Steven Adams+1.61+1.81+0.19 Tyreke Evans3,134+0.35 Carmelo Anthony24,805-0.59 Nicolas Batum4,923+0.62 Elfrid Payton2,778+0.23 Derrick Rose-2.11-1.68+0.43 Malcolm Brogdon4,463+0.88 Will Barton3,155-1.00 Kawhi Leonard27,674+0.88 Kent Bazemore3,658-1.07 Josh Smith13,122+1.90 Nene+2.73+2.44-0.29 Ersan Ilyasova-0.23-0.40-0.17 Devin Harris15,894-0.29 Carmelo Anthony-1.31-1.43-0.11 Matthew Dellavedova-1.16-0.60+0.56 Dario Saric4,371+0.11 Kyle Kuzma-1.15-1.07+0.08 Clint Capela5,313+1.13 Noah Vonleh3,662+0.08 Basketball, in some sense, is fundamentally a shooting game. Shooting isn’t the only important action that takes place on a basketball court, obviously. But if no one kept track of who was taking shots and making buckets, we’d have, at best, an extremely fuzzy impression of which players were actually any good, even if we had access to all their other statistics.But believe it or not, this had long been the situation when it came to measuring player defense. There are individual defensive statistics such as rebounds and steals, of course. But there’s no direct measure of shooting defense (other than blocks, which account for a relatively small fraction of missed shots). If an opponent gets hot against your team and shoots 53 for 91 en route to scoring 130 points, we know your team defended poorly in the aggregate, but we don’t know which players to blame.That is, until a few years ago, when the NBA started publishing data on opponents’ shooting. Last regular season, for example, NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert defended a league-high 1,426 shots, according to motion tracking data by Second Spectrum, which identifies the nearest defender on every field goal attempt. Opponents made only 45 percent of those field goal attempts, well below the roughly 49 percent that Second Spectrum estimates “should” have gone in against average defense for a given distance to the basket.We’ve been obsessed with this opponents’ shooting data for a while, in part because it sometimes seemed to track closely with players who had stronger or weaker defensive reputations than you would infer from other advanced statistics such as Real Plus-Minus. Boston’s Kyrie Irving was regarded as a slightly above-average defender by RPM last year, for instance. But his opponents’ shooting data suggests he’s a big liability instead. On the other hand, Toronto’s Serge Ibaka was an excellent defender based on opponents’ shooting, whereas RPM regards him as just average.So this year, we decided to evaluate the opponents’ shooting data in a more comprehensive way and incorporate it into our projection system, CARMELO. Just as CARMELO is a goofy backronym (Career-Arc Regression Model Estimator with Local Optimization) that honors one of our favorite players, Carmelo Anthony, we decided to give our new defensive rating a player-centric name, this time in honor of the Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green, who has long been one of the best players in basketball by opponent shooting. So our new rating is called DRAYMOND, which stands for….DefensiveRatingAccounting forYieldingMinimalOpenness byNearestDefender🙄All right, so the acronym may or may not catch on. But it does get at one essential discovery we made in playing around with the opponents’ shooting data: the idea of minimizing openness. The main goal of shooting defense, especially in today’s spacing-centric, ball-movement-forward offensive era, is really to minimize the chance of an open shot.So when I cited Gobert’s numbers earlier in this article, for instance, the most impressive part was not that opponents shot poorly against him, although that helped the Jazz, of course. Rather, it was that he was the nearest defender on so many shots: about 26 shots per 100 possessions that he was on the floor last year1Between the playoffs and regular season combined. as compared with a league average of about 17 shots defended per 100 possessions. By contrast, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook — whom DRAYMOND regards as being vastly overrated by other defensive metrics — was the nearest defender on only 12 shots per 100 possessions. Some of this has to do with Westbrook’s and Gobert’s respective positions — centers naturally defend more shots than guards do, a factor that DRAYMOND corrects for (see below). But even accounting for that, it’s clear that some players are much more impactful defenders than others.I’m sure you’re curious to see some data, but first, an explanation of how DRAYMOND is calculated. We’ll keep it pretty brief.As I mentioned above, what we’re really interested in is how much value a defender provides relative to an open shot. That is to say, we generally don’t want to punish a player for happening to be the nearest defender according to the Second Spectrum data. Some defense is generally better than none; if Player X hadn’t defended the shot, it’s possible that no one else would have.2A more advanced version of DRAYMOND might identify which player was supposed to have defended a shot (e.g., Westbrook was originally assigned to Damian Lillard) and compare it against which player was actually the nearest defender (e.g., Stephen Adams picked up the shot after Lillard blew by Westbrook). But that requires more detailed data than is currently available publicly, so we’re sticking with the simpler version for the time being.Through trial and error, we found that DRAYMOND performs best3By regressing against five-year Regularized Adjusted Plus-Minus (RAPM); see the discussion later in this article for more detail. if you assume that shooting percentages on open shots are about 8 percentage points higher than against average defense. For instance, if a certain type of above-the-break 3-pointer is made 34 percent of the time against average defense, we’d expect it to go in about 42 percent of the time if it was truly open.This allows us to calculate an initial score that we call RAW_DRAYMOND. For example, if a player faced 100 2-point shots and allowed 46 of them to go in when you’d expect 56 percent of them to be converted if wide open, that player prevented …(.56-.46) x 100 x 2 = 20… about 20 points from being scored with his defense. (Obviously, this player could have provided additional value based on his defense against 3-point shots. Indeed, since 3-point shots are worth more than 2-pointers — hashtag #math — players who are effective at defending threes are especially rewarded by DRAYMOND.)However, there are several adjustments we need to make in getting from RAW_DRAYMOND to regular DRAYMOND:Since DRAYMOND is based on both regular-season and playoff data, we adjust for the fact that defenders face slightly tougher shooters on average in the playoffs.We divide RAW_DRAYMOND by the number of possessions that the player was on the floor, so that DRAYMOND (like RPM and most other NBA stats) is a rate statistic rather than a counting statistic.We adjust the number of shots defended based on a player’s position. The average point guard and shooting guard defends about 15 shots per 100 possessions, the average small forward defends about 16 shots, the average power forward 19 shots, and the average center 22 shots.4The adjustment works by multiplying the number of shots faced by 17 then dividing it by the number of shots faced on average at the position. For instance, for a power forward, the number of shots defended is multiplied by 17/19ths. This somewhat equalizes defensive value over the five positions. Even so, bigs are generally the most valuable defenders in basketball according to DRAYMOND, as they are under most other advanced statistics.Finally, we subtract the value of league-average shooting defense per possession from each player’s score. Thus, like RPM and Box Plus/Minus (BPM), the statistics that CARMELO has traditionally used to make its projections, DRAYMOND is a plus-minus statistic measured per 100 possessions, where a score of 0 represents average defense.Among players who have played at least 10,000 possessions over the past six seasons (the NBA’s opponents’ shooting data goes back to 2013-14), the top defender according to DRAYMOND is … Draymond Green, who has provided the Warriors with +3.2 points per 100 possessions of defensive value based on his scoring defense alone, not counting all of the other ways (e.g., steals) that he produces defensive value. Green is followed on the list by a fairly star-studded cast of defenders: Joel Embiid, Kristaps Porzingis (!), Rudy Gobert, Tim Duncan, Andre Roberson and Anthony Davis. Meanwhile, the worst-rated defender over the past six seasons according to DRAYMOND is Rajon Rondo. Trevor Ariza+0.78+0.03-0.75 Marc Gasol6,448+0.74 Darren Collison25,990-0.46 Derrick Favors4,036+3.74 Tobias Harris31,349-0.31 Tim Duncan+4.86+5.14+0.28 Marcus Smart4,760-0.01 Jayson Tatum12,138+0.53 Nemanja Bjelica+0.86+1.68+0.82 OG Anunoby2,920-0.05 Aaron Gordon5,817-0.06 Dwyane Wade-0.55-0.60-0.05 Brandon Bass12,616-0.02 Justin Jackson3,505-0.16 Tyler Johnson3,241-0.17 Meyers Leonard2,212-2.31 Khris Middleton6,334-0.19 Paul George32,598+0.33 Kelly Olynyk3,795-0.21 JaMychal Green14,173+0.18 Jaylen Brown+0.11+0.71+0.60 Lou Williams-2.83-2.64+0.18 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist+1.66+1.91+0.25 Ramon Sessions13,288-0.62 Jake Layman2,861-0.25 James Ennis III12,375-0.59 Jerami Grant+0.27+0.82+0.55 Lance Stephenson-0.53-1.13-0.59 Kevin Durant+0.57+1.03+0.46 Mike Muscala+0.58+0.40-0.18 Spencer Dinwiddie13,248+0.07 Marcus Morris28,223+0.02 Kawhi Leonard+2.28+2.25-0.03 Derrick Jones Jr.2,389+3.10 Langston Galloway3,888+0.24 Josh Hart3,796+1.72 Patty Mills23,097-0.51 Tobias Harris-0.40-0.47-0.07 Will Barton-0.98-1.15-0.17 Andrew Bogut+5.17+4.92-0.25 Donovan Mitchell5,923-1.08 Devin Booker19,065-0.80 Anthony Davis+2.85+3.56+0.71 Elie Okobo2,040-0.85 Terrence Jones-0.56-0.93-0.37 Dirk Nowitzki24,696-0.37 Michael Carter-Williams+0.23+0.12-0.11 Marcin Gortat+2.26+2.42+0.16 James Ennis III-0.28-0.62-0.34 David Nwaba2,034-0.32 Dwyane Wade4,006+0.34 Spencer Dinwiddie-1.30-1.07+0.23 Josh Okogie3,830-1.45 Jarrett Jack-1.23-0.98+0.25 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist17,801+0.99 Sterling Brown2,651-0.29 Mario Hezonja2,549-1.22 PJ Tucker+1.23+0.98-0.25 Stanley Johnson+0.55+0.25-0.31 Gorgui Dieng2,247-0.59 Buddy Hield5,744-0.22 DeMar DeRozan-1.15-1.55-0.39 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson2,847+0.11 Gerald Green18,429+0.00 Jeff Green4,501-0.67 E’Twaun Moore19,870-0.48 Nick Young-2.61-2.56+0.05 Dewayne Dedmon+2.04+2.62+0.59 Zach Randolph+0.12-0.34-0.46 Wes Iwundu2,757+1.69 Wesley Matthews4,656-1.01 Russell Westbrook6,193-0.84 E’Twaun Moore3,187-1.44 Joe Johnson25,036-0.52 T.J. McConnell3,358+0.62 Reggie Bullock3,974-0.86 Timofey Mozgov14,696+1.57 Nik Stauskas-2.08-2.07+0.01 Josh Smith+1.60+2.39+0.80 Andrew Wiggins5,400+0.14 Luc Mbah a Moute+1.59+2.21+0.62 Allonzo Trier3,104-0.90 Allen Crabbe-1.50-1.34+0.16 Brook Lopez+1.22+2.00+0.78 Mike Scott-1.18-1.15+0.03 Patty Mills4,431-0.96 Tristan Thompson2,445-0.25 Mikal Bridges5,176-0.98 Jerian Grant2,016-0.99 Josh Jackson4,267+0.56 Nik Stauskas13,971-0.56 Caris LeVert2,593-0.97 Enes Kanter24,020-0.18 Kyrie Irving5,434-1.01 Dante Cunningham-0.05-0.85-0.80 Mike Conley-0.38+0.06+0.44 Ersan Ilyasova3,315-0.20 Mike Conley4,816+0.38 Cedi Osman5,021-1.10 Otto Porter Jr.3,634-1.14 Jamal Murray6,100-0.53 Kyle Lowry35,784+0.02 Stanley Johnson2,607-0.54 T.J. Warren15,353-0.55 Rudy Gobert24,889+2.40 Austin Rivers4,753+0.11 DeAndre Jordan+3.11+2.87-0.24 Jonas Jerebko+0.23+0.24+0.02 Jamal Murray-1.66-1.72-0.07 Serge Ibaka+1.53+1.92+0.39 Ryan Anderson-1.85-1.57+0.28 Zach LaVine4,547-0.83 Al-Farouq Aminu+1.91+1.49-0.43 DeMarcus Cousins24,075+1.00 Ricky Rubio4,414-1.44 Mason Plumlee4,086+1.33 Kyle Anderson12,802+0.05 Emmanuel Mudiay-2.25-2.41-0.17 Mike Scott3,520-0.32 Terry Rozier+0.09-0.17-0.26 Jerian Grant10,248-0.03 Ben Simmons6,761+0.97 Channing Frye+0.26+0.10-0.16 Reggie Jackson4,971-1.82 Bryn Forbes5,200-1.82 Trae Young5,570-1.83 Joe Johnson-0.91-1.02-0.11 Jae Crowder27,620+0.16 DeAndre Jordan34,072+0.96 Nikola Jokic6,263+0.87 Lance Thomas-1.01-0.75+0.26 Ricky Rubio26,045-0.99 Quinn Cook2,649-2.11 JJ Redick-1.66-1.25+0.41 Reggie Bullock-0.91-0.69+0.22 George Hill+0.38+0.53+0.15 Kevin Love+1.16+1.15-0.01 Jared Dudley18,767+0.42 Kris Dunn2,898-0.42 Matt Barnes+0.57+0.34-0.23 James Ennis III3,105-2.68 Brandon Jennings14,286-1.16 Trevor Ariza4,997-3.25 Wilson Chandler-0.75-0.15+0.60 Al Horford+2.23+2.45+0.22 You can download a complete set of DRAYMOND data dating back to 2013-14 at this link.But does DRAYMOND measure something that’s actually meaningful? To test this — and I have to apologize because there are a lot of similarly named statistics here with confusing acronyms — we regressed DRAYMOND and defensive BPM5Specifically, the raw version of BPM, without the adjustment for team performance. against five-year defensive Regularized Adjusted Plus-Minus (RAPM). What the hell does that mean? BPM is based on conventional box score statistics — most importantly rebounds, blocks and steals for the purposes of measuring defense. DRAYMOND is based on opponents’ shooting. RAPM, meanwhile, measures how much better or worse a team plays when a player is on or off the floor. In the long run, RAPM is basically6I have a couple of technical objections to RAPM, based on the question of whether a player should essentially be punished for his teammates performing well while he’s off the floor, but I’ll spare you those for now. the “right” way to measure player value, since it can account for all the direct and indirect contributions a player makes that may or may not have a corresponding statistic attached to them. In the short run and even the medium run, however (remember all that misleading data people cited about how the Warriors were so good without Kevin Durant?), RAPM can be extremely noisy. So RAPM is great if you’re looking back over a five-year sample, as we’re doing here, but on-court/off-court statistics need to be treated with extreme caution over small samples.In any event, what we found is that BPM and DRAYMOND basically do equally well in predicting long-term RAPM. What that means is that the opponents’ shooting data is basically as powerful as all box score defensive statistics combined in predicting how much value a player’s defense truly has over the long run.We also found, however, that BPM and DRAYMOND are largely not redundant with one another. Blocks, steals and rebounds, which BPM captures, are certainly valuable things, and DRAYMOND does not purport to measure those. But they are also not especially good proxies for shooting defense. There are some players such as Green and Gobert who are even better defenders than you’d gather from their box score stats, even though those stats are pretty good. But there are others like Trevor Ariza, who gets lots of steals but has been rated poorly by DRAYMOND in recent seasons. That doesn’t mean that Ariza is a poor defender, just that you need to take the good (steals) with the bad (allows opponents to convert field goals at a high rate) when evaluating him.Let’s conclude with a list of players who are most affected, positively or negatively, by the incorporation of DRAYMOND. The table below compares our old CARMELO defensive ratings, which were based on a mix of two-thirds RPM and one-third BPM, to our new version, which still uses these statistics but also uses DRAYMOND.7As a technical aside, RPM is essentially a combination of BPM and one-year RAPM. That is, it leans fairly heavily on box score statistics because RAPM is quite noisy over the short run. Therefore, DRAYMOND is picking up information that isn’t well-measured by either RPM or BPM. Here are the old and new defensive ratings for everyone with at least 10,000 possessions played since 2013-14. Wayne Ellington2,965+0.02 Kenneth Faried-0.30-0.82-0.52 PlayerOld (based on RPM and BPM)New (incorporating DRAYMOND)Net Change Marc Gasol+2.49+2.36-0.14 LaMarcus Aldridge+1.19+1.62+0.43 Gerald Green-1.82-1.44+0.38 Wesley Matthews30,095+0.06 Harrison Barnes33,280-0.28 Andre Iguodala+1.89+1.27-0.61 Jose Calderon16,539-1.54 Eric Bledsoe5,900+1.23 Jae Crowder+0.38+0.39+0.01 Thon Maker2,220+1.11 Jamal Crawford-3.25-3.54-0.29 * Defensive Rating Accounting for Yielding Minimal Openness by Nearest Defender Jared Dudley2,749+1.40 Draymond Green38,282+3.16 Quincy Acy10,497+0.61 Malik Beasley4,532-1.88 Anthony Davis4,014+1.15 Rajon Rondo22,941-1.55 Andre Roberson+2.47+3.07+0.60 Wayne Ellington17,863-0.68 Dwight Howard24,588+0.20 Klay Thompson-0.91-0.34+0.57 Dante Cunningham19,597-1.17 Nicolas Batum+0.15-0.22-0.37 Wendell Carter Jr.2,311+0.65 Tyreke Evans-0.64-0.74-0.10 Gerald Henderson16,500+0.31 Mirza Teletovic-1.67-1.20+0.47 Rodney Stuckey-1.33-1.47-0.15 Jimmy Butler+1.32+1.28-0.04 Giannis Antetokounmpo33,511+1.23 Joe Harris13,015-0.19 D.J. Augustin-2.33-2.45-0.12 Jonathon Simmons2,408-0.79 Kyle Lowry6,510+0.57 Rudy Gobert+4.66+5.09+0.43 Trey Burke-2.72-2.36+0.36 Kevin Love28,026-0.24 * Defensive Rating Accounting for Yielding Minimal Openness by Nearest Defender Thaddeus Young5,391-0.08 Langston Galloway-0.81-0.30+0.51 Larry Nance Jr.3,684+0.23 Elfrid Payton-0.35-0.65-0.30 Bismack Biyombo17,520+0.78 Spencer Hawes+0.77+1.12+0.36 Alec Burks2,874-1.06 Evan Fournier-1.48-1.45+0.02 Luol Deng+0.57+0.56-0.01 Hassan Whiteside+2.74+3.08+0.34 Alex Len+1.05+1.38+0.33 Josh Richardson+0.43+0.75+0.32 Jamal Crawford2,647-2.40 Will Barton20,048-0.54 Marcus Morris-0.48-0.42+0.06 Hollis Thompson-2.08-1.77+0.31 Victor Oladipo2,362-1.84 Pat Connaughton3,493+1.90 Deandre Ayton4,645+0.62 Doug McDermott14,334-0.74 Patrick Patterson21,197+0.47 Rodney Hood19,067-0.62 Greg Monroe21,907-0.56 Rodney McGruder3,272+0.03 Julius Randle18,720-0.72 CJ McCollum28,793+0.38 Dewayne Dedmon13,581+1.25 Eric Gordon-1.76-1.41+0.35 PlayerOld (based on RPM and BPM)New (incorporating DRAYMOND)Net Change Aaron Gordon+0.27+0.52+0.25 Tristan Thompson27,936+0.36 Darius Miller3,861+0.70 Nikola Vucevic26,406+0.16 Quincy Acy-0.21+0.19+0.39 Devin Harris-0.80-0.67+0.13 Jonathon Simmons-0.92-1.47-0.55 Zach Randolph21,896-0.84 Mason Plumlee22,777+0.21 Jabari Parker3,713-0.40 Trevor Ariza37,477-1.25 Langston Galloway15,734+0.62 Joakim Noah+3.28+2.97-0.30 Austin Rivers-1.70-1.49+0.21 Kristaps Porzingis+1.50+2.65+1.15 Justise Winslow4,093-0.41 JaVale McGee3,690+2.17 David West+2.61+2.53-0.08 Bojan Bogdanovic24,638-0.74 Chris Paul4,743-0.89 Damian Lillard-1.27-1.08+0.18 J.J. Barea-2.39-2.41-0.01 Kyle Anderson+2.91+2.14-0.77 Richard Jefferson14,457-0.35 Joel Embiid+3.16+4.17+1.01 Deron Williams-0.92-0.74+0.17 Dennis Schroder23,921-0.33 John Collins4,039+0.88 Julius Randle-0.62-0.94-0.33 Nerlens Noel14,418+0.51 Tony Parker22,184-0.55 Andrew Wiggins-2.06-1.82+0.24 Doug McDermott-2.42-2.53-0.11 Patrick Patterson+0.14+0.31+0.18 Jason Smith-0.44-0.30+0.15 Willie Cauley-Stein4,851-0.37 Andre Drummond+1.84+1.40-0.44 Bogdan Bogdanovic4,205-0.48 Terry Rozier13,805+0.03 Rudy Gay4,216+0.69 Gordon Hayward4,582+0.74 Mike Conley23,955+0.23 Brandon Jennings-2.44-2.53-0.09 Nicolas Batum31,707-0.13 D’Angelo Russell16,686-0.90 John Henson15,221+1.14 DeMar DeRozan36,103-0.85 Nikola Mirotic3,444+0.39 Wesley Matthews-0.46-0.35+0.11 Serge Ibaka5,258+2.63 Kevin Knox4,596-1.42 Doug McDermott2,906-0.45 Justin Holiday-0.09+0.09+0.18 Bojan Bogdanovic-2.29-2.20+0.09 Aaron Brooks-2.47-2.38+0.09 Markieff Morris+0.76+0.85+0.09 Jordan Clarkson4,606-0.40 Bobby Portis-1.45-1.37+0.08 Donovan Mitchell+0.26+0.34+0.08 Jodie Meeks-1.90-1.75+0.15 Zaza Pachulia+2.47+1.74-0.72 Karl-Anthony Towns+0.31+0.38+0.07 Russell Westbrook35,302-1.04 Robin Lopez25,657+1.43 DeMarre Carroll26,019+0.29 Marcus Morris5,009-0.33 Brook Lopez25,200+1.60 Pau Gasol+2.16+2.21+0.05 PlayerPossessions playedDRAYMOND RATING Eric Gordon28,024-0.26 Kemba Walker-0.80-0.10+0.70 D.J. Augustin4,990-1.77 Jared Dudley+0.88+1.07+0.19 Ramon Sessions-1.74-1.70+0.03 Tony Allen+2.82+2.86+0.03 Brook Lopez6,040+2.53 Tyson Chandler+2.47+2.23-0.24 Shaun Livingston21,495+0.79 Joel Embiid5,419+2.40 Jonas Jerebko15,123+0.14 Wayne Selden3,048-1.49 Gary Harris4,427+1.42 Jarrett Allen4,774+0.87 D’Angelo Russell5,600+0.33 Montrezl Harrell11,001+1.44 Darren Collison4,693-1.44 Klay Thompson7,394+0.80 Cory Joseph-0.15+0.06+0.21 Wesley Johnson19,012-0.22 Robin Lopez3,387+2.35 Malcolm Brogdon-0.63-0.62+0.00 Dario Saric-0.80-0.79+0.00 Pascal Siakam12,798+0.88 Trey Lyles2,390+0.64 The best defender according to DRAYMOND is DraymondNBA players by DRAYMOND* defensive ratings, based on opponents’ shooting data in the regular season and playoffs, with a minimum of 10,000 possessions played since 2013-14 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson+1.15+0.80-0.35 Bruce Brown3,135+2.21 Alfonzo McKinnie2,709-0.22 Dirk Nowitzki+0.06+0.05+0.00 Taurean Prince11,091-0.62 Rudy Gobert5,786+2.82 CARMELO DEFENSIVE RATING Maurice Harkless20,198+0.77 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope4,447-2.49 LeBron James4,228+0.40 Taj Gibson26,231+0.96 Ben Simmons+1.70+1.49-0.21 Dewayne Dedmon3,516+0.76 Andrew Wiggins29,659-0.60 Robert Covington2,548+0.69 Arron Afflalo19,467-0.71 Otto Porter Jr.+0.78+0.15-0.63 Anthony Morrow-1.67-1.86-0.19 Jonas Valanciunas2,345+2.25 CJ Miles-0.86-0.63+0.23 Justin Holiday5,432+0.31 Bam Adebayo4,006+0.73 Evan Fournier25,823-0.85 Justise Winslow+1.41+1.34-0.07 Bobby Portis2,773-1.50 Joe Ingles+0.83+0.48-0.35 James Johnson2,419+2.19 Khris Middleton-0.17-0.11+0.06 Jonathon Simmons11,869-1.05 Andre Drummond5,709+1.01 Alec Burks14,268-1.49 Delon Wright3,611+0.43 Austin Rivers23,087+0.07 Giannis Antetokounmpo+1.80+1.94+0.14 Fred VanVleet4,882+0.08 John Henson+1.31+1.42+0.12 Stephen Curry+0.33+0.39+0.06 D.J. Augustin22,122-1.22 Joe Harris5,271+0.02 Kosta Koufos15,534+1.11 Kent Bazemore+0.31+0.21-0.11 Trevor Booker16,039+0.72 Blake Griffin5,538-0.61 Thabo Sefolosha16,186+0.95 Jason Smith11,230+0.05 Gerald Henderson-0.76-0.60+0.15 Maurice Harkless+0.41+0.42+0.02 Wilson Chandler2,670-0.33 Arron Afflalo-2.24-2.36-0.12 Malcolm Brogdon12,073-0.06 Zach LaVine-2.74-2.76-0.02 Kemba Walker33,021+0.81 CARMELO DEFENSIVE RATING Karl-Anthony Towns23,043+0.07 Kelly Olynyk+0.90+0.71-0.18 Spencer Dinwiddie4,395+0.77 Aron Baynes2,033+2.17 LeBron James+1.74+1.58-0.15 Marvin Williams4,467-1.22 Timofey Mozgov+1.38+2.11+0.72 Kristaps Porzingis11,714+2.57 Andrew Bogut13,887+2.01 Rodney Hood-1.25-1.34-0.09 Willie Cauley-Stein14,903-0.17 George Hill3,632+0.69 Trey Lyles10,302+0.34 Shaun Livingston+0.18+0.21+0.03 Hassan Whiteside18,508+1.87 Monta Ellis-0.39-0.58-0.19 D.J. Wilson2,055+0.96 Marco Belinelli23,994-1.19 D’Angelo Russell-1.66-1.86-0.20 Gerald Green3,324-1.43 Raymond Felton-0.74-0.13+0.61 Harrison Barnes-0.33-0.54-0.21 Lou Williams26,587-0.81 JR Smith-0.99-1.21-0.22 Jeremy Lin3,270-1.96 Kemba Walker5,962+0.62 Jonas Jerebko2,863-0.56 Kyle Anderson2,606+1.50 Jared Sullinger+1.24+1.29+0.05 Derrick Williams-2.07-2.32-0.25 Anthony Tolliver2,328-0.40 Tony Snell2,947+0.11 Kelly Oubre Jr.4,215-0.56 Cody Zeller+2.11+2.05-0.06 DeAndre Jordan4,300+0.83 Cody Zeller2,639+1.64 Stephen Curry39,307+0.27 Mike Dunleavy+0.89+1.17+0.29 Trey Burke2,387+0.57 Terrence Ross-1.48-1.27+0.20 Chandler Parsons-0.00-0.30-0.30 Kevin Huerter4,544-2.46 Marco Belinelli4,179-0.55 Marco Belinelli-2.47-2.78-0.31 Marcus Smart+1.11+0.76-0.35 Corey Brewer-0.16-0.46-0.31 Julius Randle4,889-0.41 Gary Harris-0.94-1.04-0.09 Cheick Diallo2,016-0.02 Paul Millsap4,866+0.59 JJ Redick6,068-0.44 Dwight Howard+2.46+2.12-0.34 Marvin Williams25,849+0.06 Terrence Ross23,139-0.03 T.J. Warren-1.66-1.67-0.01 Mario Chalmers+0.25+0.53+0.28 Reggie Jackson25,636-0.67 Luis Scola11,128-0.26 Domantas Sabonis+0.93+1.03+0.09 Tim Hardaway Jr.22,178-0.52 Hassan Whiteside3,490+2.89 Kelly Oubre Jr.-0.95-1.30-0.35 Norman Powell-0.51-0.92-0.41 Al Jefferson14,574-0.15 Damyean Dotson4,241-1.36 Danny Green+2.20+2.32+0.12 Rodney Stuckey11,918-0.63 Anthony Davis30,484+2.05 Klay Thompson41,713+1.05 Victor Oladipo28,135-0.29 E’Twaun Moore-1.25-1.53-0.28 Kevon Looney4,145+2.72 Bradley Beal-0.95-0.64+0.30 The best DRAYMOND defenders of 2018-19NBA players by DRAYMOND* defensive ratings, based on opponents’ shooting data in the regular season and playoffs, with a minimum of 2,000 possessions played in 2018-19 Isaiah Canaan10,149-0.40 Miles Plumlee+0.85+1.15+0.30 Emmanuel Mudiay13,309-0.90 Torrey Craig3,798+2.33 Andre Iguodala4,742+0.52 Devin Harris2,267-0.85 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson12,081+0.21 Jeremy Lin-0.41+0.04+0.45 Marvin Bagley III3,418-0.30 Kyle Korver28,624-0.28 Markieff Morris26,032+0.12 Frank Jackson2,628-2.10 Kyrie Irving-1.42-1.79-0.37 Nikola Jokic19,092-0.29 Ish Smith19,446+0.07 Jusuf Nurkic4,212+3.03 Rajon Rondo-0.21-1.17-0.95 Omer Asik10,195+0.11 Dario Saric14,499+0.00 These are some pretty interesting lists. Porzingis, Embiid, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant are among the players whose defense had been most underrated by BPM and RPM. There’s also new Boston Celtics point guard Kemba Walker and, in something of a surprise, former Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas, who still rates as a pretty terrible defender, just not quite as terrible as before when you incorporate his DRAYMOND data. The most overrated defenders include players such as Westbrook, Rondo, Ariza, Otto Porter Jr. and Nikola Jokic.Cases such as Thompson and Westbrook are interesting because the conventional wisdom has been way off from where the advanced metrics have them. RPM and BPM say that Westbrook is the much better defensive player, when a lot of NBA general managers might prefer Thompson or at least would regard it as close. But Thompson is a good defender according to DRAYMOND, whereas Westbrook is a wretched one, which closes at least some of the gap. Undoubtedly, there are even better ways to use opponents’ shooting data than what we’ve established with DRAYMOND, but the data ought to be a central part of the conversation about player defense going forward. Check out our NBA player ratings. read more

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Hot Takedown Duke Wins Opening Day Hedging Hockey

Embed Code Welcome to this week’s episode of Hot Takedown, our podcast where the hot sports takes of the week meet the numbers that prove them right or tear them down. On this week’s show (for April 7, 2015), we discuss Duke’s win in the NCAA tournament; whether the Padres made themselves a contender through their blockbuster trade with the Braves; how the NHL’s scoring system creates bizarre incentives for teams; and whether a pro women’s soccer team will finally succeed in the U.S.Stream the episode by clicking play above, or subscribe using one of the podcast clients below. Links to what we discuss in this week’s show:Our look back at Duke’s run to the title.How Wisconsin’s offense faltered in the championship game.Fangraphs on the Padres trade.Noah Davis and Michael Lopez on why NHL teams try not to win.How the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League are failing to meet their ticket sales goals. By Chadwick Matlin, Kate Fagan, Neil Paine and Allison McCann More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong. read more

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They Are Kevin Durants Warriors Now

LeBron needs defensive help.By nearly any measurement, LeBron was masterful in these NBA Finals. He was efficient from everywhere, hitting 63 percent of his 2-point shots, and an impressive 39 percent of his 3-point tries. He played big, grabbing a series-best 12 boards per game. And the 32-year-old facilitated, logging an average of 10 assists a game.But over the course of the series, we repeatedly saw that this Warriors team was too talented and too deep for James alone to beat them1Or him and Irving, for that matter. Game 3 was proof of that, given that James had 39 points while Kyrie Irving had 38 in a losing effort — the biggest scoring effort by a duo in a losing cause in NBA Finals history.. At times, it almost seemed as if letting the Cleveland superstar work himself to the bone might have been Golden State’s plan.James, who logged the most minutes of any player this series while at times playing at a breakneck pace he’d never experienced during the postseason, drove 14 more times than anyone else. And unlike the last two years, when he checked Draymond Green or Harrison Barnes, James was often responsible for stopping Durant, the player most likely to someday supplant him as the world’s best all-around talent. This was asking a lot considering James, who led the NBA in minutes per game this season, had run 47 miles more than Durant in the lead-up to the Finals.A cursory look at the Cavs’ offense-heavy roster highlights why James was often tasked with Durant. The team was lacking wing players with the necessary length and athleticism to check him and didn’t have much choice at times but to use LeBron in that role — even though it likely contributed to James’s fourth-quarter numbers fading at the beginning of the series.So, the key this summer for Cleveland, aside from figuring out general manager David Griffin’s future, will be for the Cavs to find a couple defenders who have the length and ability to challenge scorers like Durant and Klay Thompson. Iman Shumpert was one of their better options this time, but, at 6-foot-5, he gives up at least a few inches to both players. (The Cavs, with limited options, even gave swingman Richard Jefferson — who turns 37 next week — a crack at Durant after he apparently begged coach Tyronn Lue about such an opportunity for months.)James had defensive lapses at times in this series, as did all his teammates; likely a sign that it wasn’t possible to truly “flip the switch” against an offense of this caliber.James and Kyrie Irving were phenomenal from an offensive standpoint. But the fact that Cleveland managed to score 113 points or more in four of the five games in the Finals, yet still lose in a gentleman’s sweep, highlights the problem is not offense. One way, maybe the only way, for an in-his-prime former MVP to validate a season in which he joined a 73-win team is to remind the world what made him so good in the first place. Kevin Durant made sure we won’t forget again any time soon.Durant was a marvel in the Finals. He scored 39 points in a 129-120 Game 5 closeout win to give the Golden State Warriors their second title in three seasons. For the series, he averaged 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1 steal on 70 true shooting percentage. But in a year in which behemoth statlines have been common — and in a series in which LeBron James averaged a triple double — Durant’s effect on the series was even greater than those numbers suggest. He insinuated himself into every facet of the game, and dominated.As they have all series, the pivotal moments of Game 5 belonged to Durant. During a second-quarter stretch of seven minutes when the Warriors took control of the game, Durant scored 11 points with three 3-pointers, two rebounds and an assist to Stephen Curry on a 3-point play. In the fourth quarter, with the Cavaliers pressing their way back into the game, Durant delivered the finishing blow, scoring 11 in the 24-13 run that put Cleveland away for good and ended any hopes of a miracle comeback.The second quarter run was a stroke of good fortune. Durant appeared to foul James on a fast-break dunk early in the second quarter, but wasn’t called for it. It would have been his third foul of the game, and avoiding that sort of foul trouble with 10 minutes to go before halftime allowed him to remain in the game.But it wasn’t simply that Durant scored in such important moments, it was how he did it. For long stretches of Game 5, the Warriors looked as they do at their worst, which is to say like a drunk guy playing as the Warriors in NBA2K. The whirring Rube Goldberg offense grinds down and becomes a tangle of bad, rushed shots and bad, haphazard defense. In last season’s Finals, it was enough to do them in. But Durant thrives in the muck.KD was 12 of 15 on contested shots in Game 5, and 45 of 78 for the series. Durant’s overall efficiency was through the roof in the Finals, as it was all season, but it was his shot-making that set him apart. And it wasn’t merely Oklahoma City-era isolations — Durant moved off the ball, coming off of screens, flashing to the hoop and establishing in the post. He used his size to find mismatches all over the floor. Put another way, Durant played Warrior ball. The Cleveland defense did its best to stay with him, but when a nearly 7-foot-tall small forward catches and shoots just 5 feet from the rim, it’s a better shot for him than for just about any other player in the league. And for Durant, that remains true out to 28 feet and beyond.It was that same length that allowed Durant to frustrate the Cavs near the basket all series. LeBron restored a few points to his field goal percentage on drives thanks to a flurry of made baskets to close Game 5, but Durant frustrated him with single coverage much of the series. Overall, he allowed just 47.8 percent shooting at the rim on plays he defended. He was so smothering that he eventually became a deterrent: When Kevin Love would catch the ball in good position against him, he would take a few half-hearted post dribbles and throw the ball back out. Better to reset the offense than to try KD.Durant became the third player to win NBA Finals MVP in his first season with a team, following Moses Malone with the Philadelphia 76ers and Magic Johnson during his rookie season with the Los Angeles Lakers. He and Curry combined to form one of the best pairs in Finals history. But the breadth of Durant’s accomplishments this series can be appreciated only by acknowledging what it means that the Warriors truly needed Durant.Golden State won 73 games in the 2015-16 season, yes, and they have All-NBA talent all over the court. But as the last three games of this series showed, the margins are still razor-fine against the Cavaliers. If one or two shots fell differently in Game 3, and one or two calls went another way in Game 5, Cleveland could just as easily be taking a 3-2 lead back to Quicken Loans Arena. It didn’t happen. And the fundamental reason why it didn’t is that every time the series or game or quarter seemed to be slipping away, Durant was there to reel it back in. He was the port in the storm. And for a tempest like Golden State, that’s the most valuable thing in the world. Golden State won the game in the second quarter.There were a couple of turning points in Monday’s clincher, but momentum first began shifting during the second quarter, when the Cavaliers held a 41-33 edge before things went off the rails for them. As Cleveland was mired in a drought, Golden State swung with a haymaker to go on a 21-2 run. The Cavs spent the rest of the night trying to play catch-up.Perhaps the most surprising thing about the run was that Lue, the Cavs coach, opted against calling a second timeout and allowed the Warriors’ hot streak to continue.Timeouts are particularly helpful for Cleveland, which scores following its timeouts more frequently than any other team in the NBA, according to Synergy Sports. Lue called for a break just six points into the Warriors’ run, following an Andre Iguodala dunk in transition.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/iggydunk.mp400:0000:0000:12Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Sure enough, after that breather, the Cavs got a layup from Tristan Thompson to seemingly stem the tide.But then the Dubs stayed in rhythm after that, reeling off another 15 consecutive points, and taking a 54-43 lead before Lue finally stopped play again. (Cleveland scored immediately after that second timeout as well, on a J.R. Smith jumper.)Lue later blamed the stretch on turnovers and poor shot selection, which led to Warriors’ transition opportunities. But the delay in calling a second timeout was somewhat similar to instances in Games 2 and 3, where Golden State went on game-altering runs without the Cavs taking timeouts to stop the bleeding2The Warriors went on a 16-4 run during the third quarter of Game 2. And Golden State ended Game 3 on an 11-0 spurt..There are reasons coaches don’t burn multiple timeouts in a short span of time. Brisk, uptempo games like these might require a coach to save them for when his players — or even just a single player, like James — need a quick breather. Other times, coaches may just try to hold off on calling one because a TV timeout is on the horizon.In any case, allowing the Warriors to get in that sort of groove — at home, no less — was dangerous. To the Cavaliers’ credit, they did manage to make a game of it again late, drawing within three points early in the fourth quarter. But later on in the final quarter, Cleveland looked exhausted; perhaps from the uphill battle to get back into the game. Golden State coach Steve Kerr then unleashed his Death Lineup3The nickname for the speedy, versatile five-man lineup involving Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. Kerr used the lineup for 17 minutes in the series prior to Monday’s clincher, but opted to use it for 16 on Monday alone., later on in the fourth, and by then, it was too late, with Cavs missing defensive assignments all over the court that would help cement the Warriors’ championship.Read more: The Warriors Duped The NBA read more

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Cammi Prantl heads into senior season with high aspirations for Ohio State

OSU then-freshman outfielder/catcher Cammi Prantl (22) lays down a bunt during a game against Penn State on April 13, 2013. OSU won 16-7. Credit: Courtesy of OSUFor Cammi Prantl of the Ohio State softball team, being a part of the Buckeye community is the most important thing. The senior catcher and outfielder grew up in Ashville, Ohio, a small village about 30 minutes south of OSU’s campus. For her, community remains close to her heart.“Representing Ohio is the most important thing to me. That’s why I stayed close to home,” she said. “To be close to my school and my community, and it all adds to the great team aspect here.”Over the past three seasons, Prantl has risen to nearly every occasion, starting all 163 games she has played in. With an overall .336 batting average and 44 career doubles, she is looking to play her final year without losing her competitive edge.Her coaches and teammates expect nothing less.“She’s going to continue what she’s been doing, if not better,” OSU coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly said. “She’s been one of the most consistent kids we’ve had in the program.”  Consistent, yes, because Prantl has never hit below .325 in a season and has contributed 100 total RBIs across her three campaigns in scarlet and gray.She said her goals for her final collegiate season are to cap off her career with All-American or All-Region honors and for her team to win the Big Ten championship. Because of those large aspirations, her teammates are not worried that Prantl will lose her edge as a competitor. “I think the main thing that Cammi has taught me is to compete,” redshirt senior middle infielder Maddy McIntyre said. “Competing is something that comes so natural to her, and Cammi brings it every time. It’s great to be around a teammate who’s willing to do that.”Schoenly described Prantl as a “small little thing” when she came into the program, but that only made her more of a star with players from around the area. Prantl, who gives hitting lessons locally, has become somewhat of a celebrity and role model for girls who hope to one day play for the Buckeyes.Pitcher Morgan Ray falls into that category of those looking up to Prantl, as the freshman has been putting her trust in the senior catcher.“I trust Cammi with all my heart. She pushes me every time and doesn’t let me get away with a bad pitch,” Ray said.After this season, Prantl leaves behind a big presence to fill. Schoenly said she wants the younger players to develop the same competitive edge and fire that the senior has given to the team.“I don’t think I could ever ask someone to replace her,” Schoenly said. “I really don’t want her to graduate.”For many athletes, a senior season is a victory lap, but not for Prantl, who is looking to either work in the pharmaceutical industry or go to culinary school.“Definitely bittersweet,” she said when asked about her final season at OSU. “But I think I’m more excited than sad to see it end because it’s just been such a great journey here.”Wherever Prantl’s future takes her, her heart, along with her biggest fans, will always be in central Ohio.“She’s like the ultimate competitor,” Schoenly said. “She wants to be the best.”Prantl’s final season with the OSU softball team is set to begin with a pair of doubleheaders in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Feb. 12 and 13. read more

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Commentary Sports give hope escape to those affected by tragedy

One of the world’s most wanted men, Osama bin Laden, is dead, courtesy of an American bullet to the head. He’s dead after a dramatic and high-stress raid by American soldiers on a Pakistani mansion. Because we’re talking sports here, let’s say bin Laden was a on the receiving end of a Navy SEAL facial after a fast break. On a more serious note, many who knew people killed Sept. 11, 2001, talked about how they now have closure. I remember being in my pre-algebra class that day. I remember being consumed with horror watching the Twin Towers fall, the Pentagon smoking, and seeing the wreckage in Shanksville, Pa. But I also recall the impact it had on the sporting world. No baseball. No weekend football. Those cancellations shocked me the most, to know that something so profound had happened that it could rob America of its favorite leisure activity. Incidentally, 9/11 led to the first November World Series and first February Super Bowl. But when sports came back, they returned with their usual flair for the dramatic. Mike Piazza of the Mets hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth against the Atlanta Braves, a dinger that offered some New Yorkers a brief reprieve. The Yankees, led by Derek Jeter, the newly christened Mr. November, came within a half-inning of winning one of, if not the, greatest World Series ever. New England, a squad led by pretty-boy quarterback Tom Brady and a group of misfits on both sides of the ball, won the Super Bowl. It beat the St. Louis Rams, known as the “Greatest Show on Turf,” on a field goal as time expired. That’s a textbook American underdog story pulled off by a team called the Patriots. That’s what sports do: They give us an escape. They give us hope. They take our breath away. They’re the site of unbelievable circumstance. So, when word got out that bin Laden had met his maker, the country exploded with reaction. “USA!” chants broke out during Sunday Night Baseball in Philadelphia, which featured the Mets and the Phillies. The news of bin Laden’s downfall broke when a team from New York and a team from Pennsylvania were tied, 1-1, in the bottom of the ninth inning. You can’t make that up. And Ohio State students celebrated the only way they knew how: by jumping into Mirror Lake, thereby turning a football tradition into a massive expression of patriotism and joy. Buckeyes transformed Mirror Lake into a sea of red, white and blue. So, whether it’s a home run, a field goal or a jump shot, sports can mean something different to anyone. And that’s the beauty of it all. read more

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Womens volleyball opens season with NIU Invitational

Daniel Chi / For The LanternThen-senior Mari Hole attempts to score during a match against Nebraska on Sept. 22, 2012, at St. John Arena. OSU lost, 3-1.The Ohio State women’s volleyball team will kick off its 2013 season at the NIU Invitational in DeKalb, Ill., Friday against Liberty.OSU opens the season ranked No. 23 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association preseason poll, coming off a year in which the squad made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before it fell to Kentucky.Coach Geoff Carlston said the Buckeyes will not be trying to fill the holes left by the departures of third-team All-American outside hitter Mari Hole, honorable mention All-American outside hitter EmilyDanks, setter Amanda Peterson and middle blocker Mariah Booth.“Every year is different, every team’s dynamic is a little bit different,” Carlston said, adding the Buckeyes are “trying to figure out what’s the best lineup for this group of people.”Beyond figuring out a new lineup, losing four seniors can leave a leadership void. Carlston said his current seniors, libero Davionna DiSalvatore, defensive specialist Julianne Mandolfo and outside hitter Kaitlyn Leary, have helped to fill the gap.“I’m excited to just take on that role,” Leary said. “And (I’m) ready for it.”Carlston said outside hitter Erin Sekinger, defensive specialist Alyssa Winner and setter Taylor Sherwin have helped to fill in as well.“These kids who are juniors have stepped up too,” Carlston added. “They noticed that they needed to.”Freshman middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe said the returning players have helped bridge the gap for the four newcomers, and make sure everyone is on the same page as the coaches.“Let’s say practice starts at 3 (p.m.),” Sandbothe said. “Secretly that means practice starts at 2:30 (p.m.).”Carlston praised his newcomers and returnees alike, but said the team still has areas to improve, including communication and aggressiveness.“You know, be aggressive,” he said. “Don’t worry about making mistakes.”The Buckeye coach said he is not worried about these issues, but understands that his team has a very tough schedule ahead.OSU will take on Liberty at 6 p.m. Friday, followed by a double header Saturday against Green Bay at 1 p.m. and Northern Illinois at 8 p.m. read more

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Speed not enough for Buckeye running back Dontre Wilson

Freshman running back Dontre Wilson (1) fights off a defender during a game against Buffalo Aug. 31 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 40-30.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorOhio State freshman running back Dontre Wilson is fast. No one involved with the OSU football program has denied that, but when it comes to playing time, the coaching staff hasn’t been as quick to give Wilson the ball lately.Wilson recorded eight offensive touches in each of the back-to-back games against San Diego State and California. But in the three games since, he only had six offensive touches total and did not see the field on offense at all against then-No. 16 Northwestern.Although still seeing the field as the primary kick returner for the Buckeyes, Wilson’s offensive presence has diminished just as it seemed he was starting to make a significant impact.The return of senior Carlos Hyde from a three-game suspension, stemming from an incident at a Columbus bar in July, has influenced the usage of other running backs, with a lion’s share of the carries going to Hyde, but Wilson’s role as an H-back in coach Urban Meyer’s offense has mysteriously decreased as well.Meyer said in the Big Ten teleconference last week, though, that pairing Hyde and Wilson could be dangerous for the Buckeyes.“I do like a big back, and boy, (Hyde) ran really hard and physical. I think if you have a Dontre Wilson and a Carlos Hyde as a tag team back there, I think that’s exactly kind of what you’re looking for,” Meyer said.Following Wilson’s biggest game of the season against Cal, where he notched career-highs of 59 and 48 yards rushing and receiving, respectively, Meyer said Wilson was a “breakaway talent.”“Last year our breakaway talent was only (Braxton Miller). And now there’s some other guys that have a bit of a breakaway,” Meyer said. “(Dontre Wilson’s) a guy I have off the top of my head … To have a horizontal threat in this offense, other than your quarterback, that’s a must.”Wilson scored his only touchdown of the season against San Diego State but said after that, despite his success against the Aztecs, adapting to the college game has proven difficult.“It’s a very big difference. Everybody’s fast, even the D-lineman are fast, (everybody is) flowing to the ball. Speed option, anything like that, everybody is getting to the ball,” Wilson said.He added that the touchdown was a “feeling I’ll never get again.”“I love scoring and just for it to be my first college football touchdown, it was a blessing,” Wilson said.Although many involved in the football program feel the potential to be great is there, some OSU players and coaches have said they think Wilson needs to grow into a more complete player before he can contribute to the offense.On Sept. 30, senior wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown said Wilson is headed for a great career but needs to grow up as a player first.“Dontre is going to be a ridiculous player here at Ohio State. Obviously he has a lot of stuff to clean up and that’s why he doesn’t play as much as he should,” Brown said. “But I feel like as he matures, he can potentially be one of the best players to ever play here.”Meyer has said on multiple occasions he thinks Wilson is talented, but there are aspects of his game that are lacking.“There are some weapons that are going to develop. Dontre Wilson, that’s a guy that … once we get him stronger, he’s going to be a good player for us,” Meyer said after the game against Cal.Meyer even went as far as to call Wilson a “novelty” for the offense Wednesday.“He’s got to become a football player. Right now, he’s a novelty,” Meyer said. “That’s why he didn’t play much Saturday. So we’re working really hard over the bye week to make him a football player, not just a hood ornament.”Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said Wednesday when Wilson is on the field, it is too obvious to opposing defenses he is going to be a part of the play.“The biggest thing is he’s got to be able to go in the game and play different positions and it not be a red flag that this guy is either getting the ball or getting faked the ball,” Herman said. “He’s got to just be a regular guy, whether it be as a slot receiver or in the backfield. He’s got to be trustworthy enough to put on the field and say he’s just a guy running a route.”Wilson looks to make an impression on the coaching staff and earn back some playing time as the Buckeyes prepare for their next matchup at Ohio Stadium, scheduled for Saturday against Iowa at 3:30 p.m. read more

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Student denied loan because namesake from same area already applied for one

first_imgMiss Hughes finds out if she has got her place on August 17, depending on her A level grades, and then she would need to enroll in September and pay £9,250.”I am now currently living with the fear of not having the means to finance my prospective degree. Miss Hughes said: “It’s been chaos. Just so much unnecessary stress and it’s quite embarrassing as all my friends are sorted with their loans, but not me.”Miss Hughes said she was surprised to discover there was someone who was also born in Birmingham on the same day as her on October 28, 1998.”I don’t know anything about her,” she said. “I’d love to meet her, but at the same time I wouldn’t.” A student has been denied a loan because someone with the same name, birthday and born in the same area has already applied for one.Emily Hughes, from Smethwick, West Midlands, was told by the Student Loans Company in April she could not be registered on its system when she applied for a loan in April.Now the 18-year-old is facing an agonising wait to find out if her application can be recognised in time to study medicine at the University of Birmingham. “I am appalled with the way this organisation functions.”The Student Loans Company said once her passport arrives her application will be processed.”We apologise to Miss Hughes for any distress caused as a result of the delay in processing her student finance application.”This was the result of a human error when transferring Miss Hughes’ paper application to her online account.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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