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02 March 2005

You Are Our Only Hope

Bill Simmons has done gone and lost his mind. Some how he has convinced himself that getting Antoine Walker back is something to rejoice about. Considering it looks like they will sign Payton after he clears waivers, it only cost the Celtics a first round pick.

Before you think I'm crazy, yes, I admit Walker is better than Mark Blount. In that respect the Celtics got marginally better in the "lesser of two evils" manner.

The Sports Guy talks a lot about how Antoine always plays hard and never sits out a game and makes Paul Pierce a better player blah blah blah. This may all be true. Of course, he also says Walker has "3-point range." Which is true if by "3-point range" he means "can consistently hit the rim from behind the arc. He's a career 32.5% shooter from 3; this year he's shooting 31.4%. That's somewhere around 100th in the NBA amongst "qualified" players. Pretty much last.

I am not going to argue "intangibles," mainly because I couldn't care less about them, and if they actually had a significant impact on results they wouldn't be intangible. However, I do have a couple of questions regarding how exactly Antoine is going to help the Celtics. I think we all agree that if Antoine will be helpful then he had to be helpful in the past.

Question 1.

Last year, the Mavericks had Nash, Jamison and Walker. This year they were replaced by Terry, Stackhouse and Dampier. Last year the Mavericks had a 63.4% winning percentage and 4.4 PT average margin of victory. This year they have a 69.1% winning percentage and 5.4 PT margin of victory. The Mavericks are better this year. Why is that? Does it have anything to do with the fact that the Mavericks were 7.6 points better when Antoine was on the bench and now he's permanently benched?

Question 2.

Most people, Mr. Simmons certainly included, would argue that Walker was by the far the best player on the Hawks. If so, why were the Hawks 13.9 points better when Antoine was on the bench?

Oops. The Celtics, in 02-03, were 7.1 points better with Walker on the floor. I am now summarily confused.

Hmm. I will come back to this at the end of the year.

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All content copyright Matthew Powell 2005.