Thursday, February 22, 2007

Well, at least he's mentally tough...

OK, so Wade is legitimately scrapped for tonight's game.

On the one hand, a dislocated shoulder is a legitimate injury, I have to admit. I'm sure he really should be resting tonight.

On the other hand, a *wheelchair*?! The news story says that's how Wade got to the locker room from the bench.

Just to put this in perspective, a middle-aged guy at my church here in Boston dislocated his shoulder while skiing a couple of weeks ago. Not only did he not wait and call for a paramedic, but he popped the shoulder back into socket by himself and kept skiing for the rest of the day. Turns out he was out with a friend he didn't get to see very often, and he wasn't going to let the injury ruin his day.

Now, it was an unwise move by the fellow from my church, and it'll probably slow the healing of his arm, so I'm not sure saying Wade should have kept playing last night. But a wheelchair? I hope Bill Walton's working the game tonight––I want to hear what he has to say about this.

A self-respecting man can leave the court on a stretcher. He can be helped off with his arms around people on either side if he's got a bad leg injury. But no self-respecting man (and world-class athlete at that) can ever go from the bench to the locker room in a wheelchair. Especially not with a shoulder injury.


Ryan B said...

Yeah, and not to point fun at a guy in pain, but Wade's bawling (maybe not bawling, but whincing quite a bit with a few tears?) on the sideline did not help his case either. I've never dislocated a shoudler, but I've see worse injuries in sports before where the player did not react as much as Wade did and certainly didn't need to be carted off in a wheelchair! I guess Wade doesn't equate leadership with toughness. Man, I wish he was playing tonight. I read that Dirk and Wade barely acknowledged each other when everyone else was greeting each other before the tip-off of the all-star game.

scoots said...

Dirk's primary shot tonight is an imitation of Rade from Hoosiers. I don't know what that means, but I love it.

micah said...

Wade (as I shake my head). Is it sin to be so happy for a guys misfortune?
Anyway, allow me to rant on my other great annoyance - the Hollinger rankings. So the Mavs are on pace now to win 68 games, just reaching their 3rd double digit win streak and the Spurs role off 4 wins in a row against 3 eastern conference teams and now they leap the Mavs to take the number one spot?!?! Can we agree that something's wrong with this system?

scoots said...

Yeah, I want to hear Hollinger's explanation for this. The only thing that I could see causing the change is that the Spurs' strength-of-schedule for the last 25% of their games is a lot higher than Dallas'.

But that still doesn't explain how the Spurs suddently passed Dallas. I can think of two possible explanations. First, on Jan 18 Dallas beat the Lakers by 19. Before the Miami game, that was in their last 25% of games. Last night Dallas replaced that win with a 12-point win over Miami, which has a worse record than LA. So Dallas' margin of victory went down at the same time that their strength of schedule when down. Now the LA game isn't in Dallas' last 25%, so their power rating isn't as high.

The other possible explanation is if strength of schedule is refigured after every game, so that Dallas' earlier opponents could be getting worse and worse after the fact, whereas San Antoinio's are getting better. If so, that's a horrible system: strength-of-schedule ratings should be based on how a team was doing when the game was played, not how they're doing later on.

Of course, there's no way a strength-of-schedule rating can account for things like Wade's injury, which obviously resulted last night in Miami being even worse than their record would indicate. But I guess a system like this can always only go so far.

One way or the other, we have to face that Dallas will inevitably have a lower strength-of-schedule than every other team in the west, for a simple reason: they don't have to play themselves.

But the bottom line on Hollinger's rankings: unless the Spurs are winning every game by 85 points, no system should allow a team that has won 31 of 33 (and 10 in a row) to get passed by a team that has only won 22 of 33 (and only 6 of 10).

micah said...

Exactly. If i remember correctly, he puts a lot of stock in margin of victory. I think even that can be deceptive. Just look at the win over Miami. Was that game as close as the 12 point margin suggests? I can recall several Mavs wins this season that were basically in the bag, but the visiting team hits a couple of threes late, when the game is basically over and make the game look a lot closer than it was. Wins should be weighted the most in the formula, not margin of victory.