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Linking Laconically still hasn't found the ceiling on Draymond Green's statistical brilliance

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Bonus nonlaconic commentary after the jump . . .

On Draymond Green

As good as Draymond Green has been since the start of this season (maintaining the efficiency he displayed in limited minutes last season), the scariest thing for MSU opponents may be that he just seems to keep getting better and better. Here's a graph of Green's game-by-game offensive rating figures this season:

Normally, a graph like this one is going to show a lot of fluctuation from game to game. Outside of a bad performance vs. Gonzaga, though, Green has been remarkably consistent on offense. Further, he's gotten more and more efficient as the season has progressed. He's posted a rating of 120+ in the last 8 games and has been at 140+ in 4 ot the last 5 games.

And it's not as if that's been a function of reducing his assertiveness on offense. As I tweeted the other day, Green now has 27 assists and 7 turnovers in his last 6 games. An average of 4.5 assists per game is point guard territory.

What exactly is the ceiling on the offensive performance of a 6'6" 235-pound power forward?

On the Eternal BCS/Playoff Debate

Mr. Cook issued his annual pro-playoff discourse a few days ago, using a (largely rhetorical, I think) Joe Posnanski post questioning the benefits of a playoff system as the jumping-off point. I won't go into much detail here, as this subject has been beaten to death over the last several years, but I do want to reiterate a point I made a couple years ago.

Here's a longish segment from the Posnanski post, with emphasis added:

4. Who would a playoff be for? The college presidents absolutely do not want it. You might disagree with them, but they don’t have any interest in making the seasons even longer and more demanding and more disruptive for their students. The athletic directors and coaches are split — some probably want it for more money or potential glory, but I would bet that most are against it because it just adds strain and pressure to the must-win atmosphere. How about the players? You think they want to make their seasons longer and more demanding? Plus, from what I can tell, those guys LIKE the bowls. They get to spend a week in place, get treated like kings. Why not?

So it would be for the fans. But what fans? Most school-specific fans in college football probably like it just the way it is. Iowa State fans seem to enjoy going to their bowl game every year. A playoff would not affect them … unless the playoff eliminated bowls like it could. That’s how it would be almost every year for 80 or 90 of the 120 or so schools. So it seems to me it would be more for the GENERAL college football fan who likes to watch games on TV. Is that who this is all for?

5. College football is more popular now than it has ever been. There are big games throughout the season — huge, playoff-atmosphere type games. People point to March Madness as a reason for football to go to a playoff, and March Madness is special. But it is also true that the college basketball season is pretty close to meaningless. Texas played North Carolina earlier this year in what seemed like a BIG GAME. But it meant nothing, and nobody cared, and Texas and North Carolina will both be in the tournament with high seeds so … big deal.

I’m not suggesting, as some do, that a playoff would make Ohio State coaches rest players against Michigan like they do in the NFL. But it certainly could make Ohio State-Michigan mean a lot less … and also Georgia-Auburn, Alabama-Tennessee, Penn State-Iowa, USC-Notre Dame, Texas-Oklahoma, Kansas-Missouri, Mississippi-Mississippi State, Washington-UCLA, Kansas State-Nebraska and on and on and on and on and on. Is that worth the price of a playoff?

Part of Brian's response to these questions is to argue that instituting a playoff system wouldn't have any major effect on the lower-tier bowls that fans of non-National-Championship-contending teams (*cough*, us) enjoy seeing their teams participate in.

But I'm not sure that's entirely true. Here's the argument I made at the old site (again longish):

This illustrates why we’re stuck with the current bowl system. Ultimately, college football is actually too popular for its own good. Fans of most Division 1 football teams will traverse great distances to watch bowl games which decide just about nothing besides which team’s fans get to buy t-shirts that say "20__ _______ Bowl Champions." Only two teams are really playing for something. That makes the other 30+ bowl games pretty much equivalent in nature.

If you had a playoff system, the teams that didn’t make the playoffs would suddenly realize how meaningless their bowl games were and the games would then be reduced to the equivalent of the NIT–something even die-hard fans of the teams participating in it can’t quite take seriously.

From a philosophical perspective, a sports’s postseason games should fulfill two purposes:

  • Determine a champion–i.e., "the best team."
  • Entertain fans of the sport.

To some extent, these two goals compete with one another. The NBA goes to one extreme–systematically determining a champion that is more often than not truly the best team in the league, with a relatively low level of drama along the way. NCAA basketball goes to the other extreme–proving entertaining, do-or-die games at the expense of some of the best teams getting upset early in the tournament.

The BCS system manages to do neither thing well. There’s almost always controversy as to whether the teams competing for the championship are the most deserving, since there’s no objective standard as to who gets to compete in the one postseason game that matters. And the college football postseason isn’t all that entertaining since only one of the 30+ games counts for anything besides mere bragging rights.

In the end, I guess the current system has managed to make college football as popular among the fans of major college teams as it is. But the system (which has been cemented in place for at least another year) detracts from the sport’s appeal to a broader audience. The closest comparable system for determining a champion in the sports world is boxing–where some guys no one has ever heard of set up match-ups they think will be competitive and financially rewarding.

Note that I agree entirely with Brian in principle on the idiocy of the current system and the rationale for a playoff system. I just think there would be a potential negative economic impact for less high-profile football programs--and their conferences--which is part of the reason the BCS conferences aren't interested in a playoff system.

OK, I'll leave it there. Peace (re)spoken for another year.

On Our Esteemed Readers

The SB Nation corporate office recently provided us with lists of the top contributors to the blog in 2009. Here are the lists for the various types of reader-submitted content:

Most Active Commenters

User Count
KJ@theonlycolors 798
LVS 559
DrDetroit 242
CPT Hoolie 238
intrpdtrvlr 228
nickexperience 227
msufan23 186
witless chum 182
Stones1981 178
Seer 176

Most FanPosts

User Count
CPT Hoolie 17
DrDetroit 16
Ken Braun 8
Seer 5
msufan23 4
RickTheBloggerMartel 4
Pete Rossman 4
witless chum 4
intrpdtrvlr 3
MSULaxer27 3

Most FanShots

User Count
KJ@theonlycolors 113
LVS 61
Seer 25
Pete Rossman 14
Spartalytical 6
CPT Hoolie 5
Con-T 4
NoPoSparty 3
Stuka 3
intrpdtrvlr 3

Congrats to DrDetroit, CPT Hoolie, and Seer for being the top contributors in the respective categories when you remove us blog manager types from the rankings. And thanks to everyone who piped up in 2009 to help get things rolling here at TOC. Here's to an even bloggier, and greener/whiter, 2010.