Before we get to the game at hand tonight here are a couple of things that have caught my eye over the previous few days.
I have been monitoring John Hollinger’s playoff odds calculator for the past couple of months, but have failed to pass it on to all of you. It is very interesting. It runs 5,000 iterations of the remaining games to determine the likely finishing record of every team. He then calculates the probability that each team will make the playoffs as well as how likely they are to win their division, conference, the championship and/or win the lottery.
The Nuggets have always been more likely than not to make the playoffs until the past few days. However, according to his calculations they have only a 47.9% chance of making the playoffs at this point in the season.
You can say what you want about statistics, but Hollinger does an amazing job of extrapolating what is likely to happen straight from the numbers. He always takes a lot of criticism, but the high quality of his work should be recognized. He is the Winston Churchill of the basketball media, but I am not quite sure what his Gallipoli would be in that comparison.
Nene has started doing some basketball related drills and workouts. There is still no announcement as to whether or not he is going to play again this season, but it is clear that is what both he and the team want to happen.
At this point it would seem that it is simply a matter of regaining his strength and stamina as he is cancer free, he should be completely healed from his surgery and his other injuries have had time to heal as well.
Kelly Dwyer over at Ball Don't Lie says the Nuggets really are on doing about as well as could be expected.
George Karl endorsed Anthony Carter as a candidate for Most Improved Player and the guys over at Empty the Bench agree he should be considered.
If you did not get a chance to bask in the internet wide phenomenon of Kobe Bryant Day, the brain child of Matt over at Hardwood Paroxysm, you should check it out. Especially if you are a fan of Mr. 81.
Frank at Brew Hoop says that Milwaukee Bucks fans are planning a paper bag revolt where they will all put on Kohl’s grocery paper bags over their heads when the Bucks play the Celtics tomorrow. Frank takes it further though and wonders, why do we do this kind of stuff (and blog, and post on message boards, and talk amongst ourselves, and call sports radio) when we know that really nothing we can do as fans will really change the way players, coaches or management operate?
There have been some Nuggets sightings in a couple of recent articles over at ESPN.com.
First, AI was voted as the fifth best shooting guard of all time by a panel of ESPN experts behind only George Gervin, Jerry West, Kobe and of course Michael Jordan.
There was also a fact sheet that they put together for the top ten shoting guards, which I have not tracked back down as of yet, but the first fact it gave about AI was he is the only player in NBA history to score 30 points per game over the course of a season while shooting under 40%. Talk about a backhanded compliment. That is like saying to someone that they have the prettiest wife you have ever seen that weighs over 400 pounds.
With the advent of so many star players coming out after only one year of college or straight from high school our friend John Hollinger compiled the likelihood that some all time career records may be broken by active players (article currently free to non ESPN Insiders). It turns out that AI and Melo show up in quite a few places. Which sounds good, but as you will see is not necessarily a positive.
Iverson has a 71.3% chance to break John Havlicek’s all time record for most shots missed in a career.
On a happier note, Melo has a 7.6% chance of breaking Kareem’s career points scored record. Of course Melo also has a 10.9% chance of breaking the all time shots attempted record while AI has a 10.1% chance of breaking it.
Sadly there is another record that AI and Melo are both in contention ot surpass. AI has a 15.9% chance and Melo has a 13.1% chance of breaking the all time turnover record held by Karl Malone.
So there you go. Why are the Nuggets underachieving? Maybe it has something to do with all the missed shots and turnovers.
Look for the preview for tonight’s tilt against the Raptors to be up sometime this afternoon.