Because Listeners are also Readers

The Minnesota Timberwolves, are, well — they’re five games back in a jumbled Western Conference postseason race. However, this does not make them a team that isn’t interesting. In addition to that, there’s always plenty of news happening around the NBA that can be discussed; here are some things from Around the Interwebs.

This one is from Andy over at Punch-Drunk Wolves. Much like ourselves, here, at the Break the Huddle Show — PDW is a place where you can go and find commentary about the Minnesota Timberwolves, as well as the rest of the NBA. “The Tense Disconnect Between Adelman and Rubio” has a self-explanatory title, it’s Andy’s take on why Rick Adelman seems to get upset with the Wolves point guard; Rubio’s creativity drives the old dog bonkers simply because Adelman would rather see the offense go through Kevin Love on the high, or low, post on every possession.

“I thought he was really active, but… this group has, uh… How do I put it?


When we’re 28 or 25 points up, we don’t need to score quick. I mean, we don’t have to make HERO PLAYS. We threw the ball away in the third quarter and even the last possession with a minute to go, we steal it, and Ricky throws that pass out of bounds trying to get it to Kevin–WHY?

Sooner or later that’s gonna cost you the game! We have to have more discipline in what we do. I don’t care what the score is, and that’s what we have to learn. It’s hurt us in the past and it will hurt us again.”

A leading question about Ricky Rubio’s good performance was posed to Rick Adelman.

Read Andy’s piece by clicking this link.

Sports are now in the midst of an analytic insurgence involving newfound advanced statistics. There’s a ton of data out there thanks to newly developed technology. SportVU is a system of cameras installed in every NBA arena that records everything on the court 25 times a second, providing “a breakdown of speed, distance, player separation and ball possession data,” according to SportVU’s website. You can find this data by clicking this link.

Seth Partnow used to live in Minnesota, but loved the cold and snow so much he moved North to Alaska. Just kidding, but it wouldn’t be properly introducing Partnow if I didn’t mention Alaska, also (HOORAY for inside jokes!!). Anyway, you can find his work at ClipperBlog, an ESPN TrueHoop affiliate, Hickory-High & BBallBreakdown. Seth also has his own project; Where Offense Happens. He very much enjoys the discussion that the advances in SABR-style research on the NBA allow us to have.

“Assessing The New Toys: A Primer On The Uses and Lessons of SportVU Player Tracking Data” is a two part series done by Partnow that will shed some light on how to best use the publicly available data. “It focuses on the data already being used as well as the newly available, box score level tracking data, while part two will examine some of the larger evaluation work that we and others have done by analyzing these stats in concert with other, more traditional metrics to shed new light on various aspect of the game.”

If advanced statistical analysis is something you’re just getting into, or hoping to understand even more — the following content is for you.

With their access to the full range of SportVU data and small armies (very small in some cases) of analysts and interns, the teams themselves are constantly seeking new interpretations of this information. We have to take it as an article of faith that insights gleaned are actually filtering through to the coaches and players, as aside from one well-received (excerpt in the hometown papers) feature on Toronto’s use of the technology last season, front offices are being extremely tight-lipped on the subject.

Read Part One of the Playing With the New Toys by clicking here. 

“Playing With The New Toys: Digging Further Into SportVU”

(..)Many of the full season “Player Tracking” stats found on can, with a bit of manipulation, tell us a great deal about how certain teams and individual players go about making their contributions on both ends of the court.

Read Part Two of Partnow’s Playing With the New Toys by clicking here.

Here’s some more insight on advanced statistics from Steve McPherson. His writing can be found, well, a lot of places but this one comes from another ESPN TrueHoop Affiliate; BallerBall. McPherson’s Wolves related content can be found at A Wolf Among Wolves, that’s where our own Billy Bohl writes about them, too.

Every new statistical revolution in the NBA has held forth the tantalizing promise of showing us the game more clearly, of allowing us to finally understand definitively how each player contributes to a team winning or losing. Whether it was something seemingly simple like keeping track of blocks starting with the 1973-74 season or looking at per 36 minute numbers instead of per game numbers or John Hollinger’s more complex player efficiency rating (PER) or the still nascent expected possession value (EPV), new stats and analytics have provided us with ever-greater fidelity, but total understanding has eluded us.

Until now.



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