Friday, January 19, 2007

NBA Grades

I just read this article on Fox Sports about NBA grades, and wow is this some bad stuff. I like the concept of grades, but the premise should be that you evaluate the team based on expectations and performance on a team by team basis. If there is a really young team that plays well together and overachieves they deserve a better grade than a team that is slumping and not playing up to their potential. This is how just about every grading system is done in the context of sports on the net. I was going to pull up a recent example from ESPN.com on the NHL that was very good but couldn't find it. Why is that preferable to another system? Well, because if you aren't evaluating it based on expectations and other subjective measures, you just end up grading the teams based on standings. And nobody would do that? Right? Well, I guess not nobody, because that's *exactly* what this author does. He hands out letter grades that literally just go down the NBA standings, with only two exceptions in the entire league of teams that are graded outside their little bracket on the overall standings. So what exactly is the point? I can look at the standings. I can see who's playing well. If you're writing for a major news source, shouldn't you be able to progress past that level of analysis?

3 Comments:

Anonymous mean dean said...

Well, it's not as one dimensional and standings-reliant as you led to believe, otherwise the Heat wouldn't be as high a grade as they are and the Magic wouldn't be as low as they are. Still, it's not really a well-written article. How do the Magic not get a higher grade? Or the Raps? Or the T'Wolves? Why does Dwight Howard not being a full-fledged superstar count as a negative? The guy's two and a half years younger than me, what do you want out of him?? I only skimmed the damn thing and it was terrible.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Actually, the Magic are exactly where they would be based on record. The Heat are one of the two lone exceptions in the entire thing, along with the Pistons. Everyone else is in a bracket with the teams directly next to them in overall record.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Tyson said...

I gotta disagree, I thought the article did a good job of breaking down what teams were playing great, good, average, underperforming and flat out failing. Although, I'm not sure you can give Philadelphia a passing grade for rehauling their entire roster, when they weren't winning with him and they damn sure ain't winning now.

My feeling is people who analyze the NBA or pro sports in general should be proven winners in that sport. And while you will get the sense of animosity in some instances you get a more fair perspective of what it actually takes as to compared to critical analysis from disgruntled fans of the game. Which is a big reason why Clyde Frazier and Marc Jackson are doing very well as broadcasters here in the east coast.

I'll take an interview with the talent over an op-ed piece every day of the week and twice on sunday.

6:08 PM  

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