The Bounce: Examining the Memphis Statistics Controversy
Good morning! Thank you for coming in on the ground floor of The Bounce.
Today, senior insider Shams Charania tips our debut.
The latest from Shams
Hello and welcome to The Bounce. Some key takeaways from this morning’s new Inside Pass, leading up to the trade deadline:
Because of the Raptors’ disappointing season so far, rival teams have been informed that the franchise will make a decision on whether to be a buyer or seller — or stand pat — closer to deadline day, according to league sources.
- The Suns have given the Bucks permission to meet with Jae Crowder, sources tell The Athletic. Milwaukee is believed to be the only team granted permission to visit him one-on-one, sources added.
- The Knicks are among the suitors interested in Raptors forward OG Anunoby, sources say. New York has shown a willingness to offer multiple first-round picks for him, according to sources.
- Shams’ reporting leads me to believe the Raptors can control this deadline if they decide to trade away veterans. And the Knicks using their glut of picks to land a key role player like Anunoby could be massive for their playoff run.
For more information, be sure to check out Sham’s latest Inside Pass. – Shams
A fake Memphis statistics controversy
This past weekend, a conspiracy theory involving Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr. spread. like wildfire on social media. There was enough noise to affect the odds for the defensive player of the year.
Let’s look at the chaos.
- 12 days ago a Reddit user posted about JJJ’s total home blocks and steals far outstripping his production on the road. The writer wondered if JJJ plays harder at home, the goaltender is a big fan, or if someone had placed long odds on JJJ winning his first career DPOY award.
- Three days ago, the post appeared on the NBA subreddit, this time picking up a ton of steam.
- It then caught fire on Twitter, where it was simply assumed to be fact. People who cover the NBA called for this goaltender’s job. It was madness!
Caesar’s Sportsbook even removed Jackson from DPOY odds. But are you ready for the next plot twist? Someone decided to do the basic research by…GASP…watching footage.
- Amin Elhassan, former Suns boss, looked at and found nothing so questionable. ESPN’s Kirk Goldsberry did the same and basically made the stat up up-and-up. Kevin O’Connor from The Ringer also found little mistake.
- People who actually know how things work informed the internet about something: the league, not the goalkeeper, concludes these numbers. The NBA’s Tim Frank, in a statement: “Auditors, independent of the on-site statisticians, review all plays and stat decisions in real time during NBA games. … All of the plays questioned in the post about the Memphis game were scored consistently within the rules.”
Regardless, BetMGM lists Jackson as the favorite for DPOY.
The lesson? Maybe do some research before blindly believing an anonymous person on Reddit.
LeBron was fouled. And?
During the Lakers’ 23-27 overtime loss to Boston on Saturday, we had a terribly lost conversation. LeBron drove to the hoop with the game tied at the end of regulation, got hacked on a missed layup and then made more emotions in tantrums than we saw when he finally gave Cleveland a title.
Let’s break it down:
It’s a bad miss by the judges.
The Lakers are also the second-worst clutch defense in the league (allowing 50.5 percent shooting in those situations). And they are number four among all teams in free throw attempts per game (25.4 on Monday).
All in all? They lose a lot of melees and get called a lot. Take it easy tonight, everyone.
Durant vs. Shaq on Twitter
It all started when Kevin Durant asked on Twitter about Shaquille O’Neal’s ball skills, after the latter admitted he has no idea who Lakers acquisition Rui Hachimura is.
Four hours later, Shaq grilled Durant about his troublesome hair situation, and KD even admitted it is prepared by The Diesel.
Fourteen hours after KD’s first question about Shaq, we saw O’Neal post what must be worst infographic resume I have ever seen. My three favorite parts:
- The dumbbell sticker
- “Underrated, midrange threat”
- “Heats Retired, No. 32”
Durant then said he’s proud of Shaq for his resume. Let’s take this to the Beef Court.
Verdict: KD handled this masterfully, bringing us to his side. Shaq’s infographic was too funny to win. Thank you, Durant, for being extremely online at all times and for defending Hachimura’s honor.
Jon Krawczynski says Anthony Edwards has revived this Wolves season.
Myles Turner’s extension could be a win-win for him and the Pacers, according to Danny Leroux.
The Sixers take the top spot in the Power Rankings this week.
Alex Caruso plays like a DPOY candidate, via ALLCHGO’s Will Gottleib.
Joel Embiid made a statement against reigning MVP Nikola Jokić, says Rich Hofmann.
Space City Scoop: Alperen Şengün stock is rising fast this season.
Last night + tonight
Story from the night: Another 50-point night, this time by Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee’s 135-110 win over New Orleans. He had 50 in 30 minutes on 20 of 26 from the field. It’s the NBA’s 18th 50-point game of the season, despite the schedule not yet reaching February.
Sunday marked Giannis’ third game in the last calendar month with at least 30 points in the paint. He had seven such games in his first nine seasons combined.
Tonight’s main screen: Kings-Wolves (8 p.m.): party like it’s 2004 and rejoice that this is an exciting matchup again. Dust off the Napoleon Dynamite impression too. Also, Warriors–Thunder will be basketball nerd nirvana (8 p.m.). Check the full timetable here.
(Photo: John Hefti / USA Today Sports)