Moses Malone is the only player to win the MVP since it switched to its current voting scheme on a team with fewer than 50 wins. Of course, he had won the MVP in the old scheme (when players voted for the MVP) and was on a team that made the playoffs. Kevin Love’s team is sitting at 0.500 and will likely not make the playoffs. He’s not going to win the award.
It turns out the criteria for being an MVP candidate are fairly simple:
Kevin Love easily hits the second two criteria. Let’s pretend the Wolves had a stronger and more healthy squad, or played in the east. How would Love compare to other MVP candidates?
Love currently ranks fourth in the NBA in scoring. The problem as we can see is that both LeBron James and Kevin Durant both sit atop their conferences (what are the odds the Heat overtake the Pacers for the number one seed?) Even in a good year, Love would be overshadowed by these two.
I’d argue Love might have a good shot of wrenching the award from LeBron due to voter fatigue, but Durant is just a much more appealing candidate. The last benefit Love has is his rebounding. He’s currently second in the league behind DeAndre Jordan with 13.1 a game. The problem is as impressive as that is, both Durant and James have impressive supplementary stat lines too:
1. Kevin Durant – 7.7 Rebounds, 5.5 Assists, 1.5 Steals per Game
2. LeBron James – 6.9 Rebounds, 6.5 Assists, 1.5 Steals per Game
I’d definitely argue voters give more credit to assists and steals as well. In short, even in an ideal year, Love would still be third to Bron and Durant. Love ranks third in per-minute production behind James and Durant as well as total wins.
The simple truth is Kevin Love is an MVP candidate. He’s having an amazing season. He just suffers from playing next to two great seasons from two of the greatest players ever. He also suffers from being on a terrible team.
He’ll be seen as a one of the all time great drivers, but he’ll also always been seen as the driver that really got Nascar it’s hold in corporate America.
Before Jeff Nascar was still, for better or worse, largely a regional series. While they did travel to markets out of the south, it was much more limited than today, with sponsors mostly being automotive, and vice products. Jeff was one of the first drivers who didn’t fit that good ole boy mold who was very good (yes there were others from other states, but they were always mostly rural areas). This allowed other corporations to look at Nascar and it’s possible appeal outside the south. He looks, and age, also brought in more female fans at the time, which allowed corporate America to put more dollars into the game.
At this point Nascar began expanding into more of a national sport, rivaling most other sports besides football in region and corporate sponsorship. While it wasn’t his ideas, he was certainly one of the catalysts.
Ryan Leaf was a stud in college. In the pros – NO! I guess the Colts did okay with whoever their first pick was that year. Talk about taking different paths!
Like anything; strategy in Motorsports is more complicated than it looks.
There are many underlying factors that can dictate strategy, such as tire wear, current track position, fuel miliage, the difficulty of passing on that particular track, and of course caution flag periods.
Before the race most teams will do a statistical analysis to determine the expected amount of race slowing cautions, as well as their timing. You combine this knowledge with your data from previous races you can formulate a basic strategy.
The goal, is to be in first place at the end of the race (most of the time, sometimes in a championship run you are playing safer).
For example let’s approach a race at a track like Michigan. This track is very wide, and tire wear is minimal. Knowing these facts, and doing an analysis on previous races there, we can see there are very few cautions at this track. This places fuel milage as a particularly important matter, as with fewer cautions, be able to go a lap further on fuel can mean the difference between winning the race or running out of fuel and finishng deep in the pack.
Early in the race, strategy is often a follow the leader deal, when the leaders pit you pit, leaders often pitting on cautions that are about 20 laps apart or more. Some teams at this point will experiment with changing only two tires versus all four. The reasoning for this is the pit stop is much faster and will allow you to pass cars in the pits. However the trade off is often slower pace. Teams will sometimes try this in the middle of the race to see how the car responds to taking only two tires. If the car is still decent after a two tire stop we have another weapon to use.
As the race enters its later stages you have to see how many laps the car can gp on fuel. A driver can slow down a bit in order to save fuel and can often stretch a few extra laps by doing this. Caution flag periods.
At some tracks tires are much more of a factor due to the track’s makeup, and a high caution count. Sometimes towards the end of a race a caution will come out and a team further back in the field who already has enough fuel to finish will elect not to pit, passing all the cars that do. This is called a gain in track position, enough cars follow his lead and stay out he will have a buffer between him and the cars that pitted to put on tires (Fresh tire often speed up the car greatly). The downside is that the car without fresh tires will be slower, and have to try to fend off everyone else.
Brearn Wright and the NFL
Originally posted on ProFootballTalk:
“I now have had a chance to read the report and obviously, the language that was used and the behavior as described is deeply disturbing,” Ross said in a statement released on Friday evening. “Although the report commended Joe Philbin’s commitment to promoting integrity and accountability throughout the Dolphins organization, I told Ted Wells personally during my visit with him that we are committed to addressing the issues outlined in this report. We must work together towards a culture of civility and mutual respect for one another. It is important to me, important to Coach Philbin and important to the entire Dolphins organization.”
Ross’s lengthy statement, however, is short on specifics about how he feels about the individuals named in the report. In fact, Ross’s statement says nothing at all about Jonathan Martin, the player who left the team last season because of harassment from his teammates. Ross’s statement also says nothing at all about Richie Incognito, Mike Pouncey or John Jerry, the three players the report cites as abusing Martin, another unnamed player and a team trainer. And Ross’s statement says nothing about offensive line coach Jim Turner, who looks very bad in the report.
The best athletes in America get funneled into other sports–mostly football, basketball, and baseball–but also some other minor sports like lacrosse, swimming, hockey, water polo, skiing, etc. Another place where people play lots of sports well is Australia, and they are also not a global soccer power, so that is some evidence for this argument.
This is probably cyclic to some extent: football and baseball and basketball get more coverage on national TV and ESPN than soccer and so that reinforces the effect, which makes the players in those sports better, which makes people want to watch them on national TV.
Also, soccer is a really cheap sport–you only need a ball really to play. By being a rich country, US athletes are enabled to play things like hockey which are expensive because they require a lot of fancy equipment. Being poor may reinforce the focus on soccer for other countries like Brazil, and especially for places like Cameroon.
There’s an interesting video here:
Juergen Klinsmann argues that the college scholarships, etc. make people focus on soccer until high school, but don’t make people focus on getting much better and staying hungry and also says that everywhere else in the world, the lower classes are where the best soccer players come from but that isn’t what’s happening in the US.