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Every Play Counts (11/03)

November 3, 2010
PBP Roundup
Nov. 2

by Bradford Doolittle

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Today, I introduce a small daily leaderboard to the Roundup. Power Rating (POW) is my formula for adjusting a team's performance for home-road bias, strength of opponent and point differential. It's the basis for the Prospectus Hoops List series I've been producing the last few years. Early on, the schedule component can be exaggerated, but this effect largely dissipates within the first few weeks of the season. GR is the game rating you've been seeing for each player in each box score in the Roundup, I've simply gathered the top five for you. WP82 is NBAPET's core player rating metric and measures a player's overall performance and is expressed as wins produced per 82 games. I've provided the leaders for all players and for the rookies.

TODAY AT BASKETBALL PROSPECTUS

1. Kevin Pelton focused his 'Every Play Counts' eye on rookies John Wall and Evan Turner, who hooked last night in the nation's capital.

Note: I still owe you a Five Thoughts on the Blazers-Bulls game on Monday, along with some analysis of the D-League draft. They should go up today.

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HOT FIVES
--------------------------

POWER RATING (POW)         GR (11/2/10)         WP82-ALL             WP82-ROOKIES
hornets,neworleans, 70.4   gay,rudy, 41.7       james,lebron, 29.0   wall,john, 16.3
heat,miami, 60.6           bryant,kobe, 32.5    gay,rudy, 22.9       griffin,blake, 10.2
lakers,losangeles, 58.3    hickson,j.j., 32.3   roy,brandon, 21.0    johnson,wesley, 5.6
nuggets,denver, 57.1       wall,john, 25.9      rondo,rajon, 19.4    fields,landry, 2.8
magic,orlando, 54.2        rondo,rajon, 25.8    wade,dwyane, 19.0    turner,evan, 2.4

----------------------------------------------------
BOX SCORES AND RECAPS
----------------------------------------------------

Note: glossary follows recaps.

CELTICS 109, PISTONS 86 (box): Rajon Rondo's 17 assists lifted his overall total to 67, an NBA record for most dimes in the first four games of a season. Rondo may be primed for a run at John Stockton's single-season assist record. Rondo committed seven turnovers in his 24-assist game last week, but he didn't commit a single miscue in Detroit, contributing to the 23-7 edge the Celtics had in points off turnovers. The Pistons fell to 0-4 and really weren't very competitive in this one. The Pistons made a bit of a run in the fourth quarter with a big lineup on the floor, a configuration that included rookie Greg Monroe, along with Tayshaun Prince and Charlie Villanueva on the wings, Rodney Stuckey at the point and Austin Daye at four. Tracy McGrady sat out the second half because of his knee and his absence was akin to a mercy killing. It's hard to watch McGrady right now. He really has no business being on the Pistons' active roster.

BOS                PLY  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   DET                PLY  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
rondo,rajon         64   9%  3.17  +21 25.8   stuckey,rodney      71  23%  0.81  -9  17.9
pierce,paul         58  23%  1.54  +22 22.2   villanueva,charlie  60  22%  1.14  -13 16.9
allen,ray           61  23%  1.12  +24 21.9   daye,austin         48  30%  0.86  -13 15.1
davis,glen          43  22%  0.93  +10 14.1   gordon,ben          59  18%  1.07  -4  14.1
garnett,kevin       59  21%  1.57  +24 13.0   prince,tayshaun     58  15%  0.94  -27 10.4
daniels,marquis     28  25%  1.27  +1   8.4   summers,dajuan      25  31%  0.70  -11  8.4
o'neal,jermaine     38  28%  0.82  +11  7.2   wallace,ben         38   9%  1.87  -13  7.6
wafer,von           19  18%  1.13  +2   6.2   monroe,greg         33  17%  0.61  -7   5.5
robinson,nate       29  18%  0.56  -1   2.8   maxiell,jason       26  18%  0.42  -9   3.1
harangody,luke       6  33%  1.45  +2   2.4   mcgrady,tracy       14   4%  1.11  -9   0.7
erden,semih         28   4%  1.90  -1   2.4   bynum,will (DNP)
west,delonte (DNP)                            hamilton,richard (DNP)
PACE: 86.3         ORTG eFG% oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 86.3         ORTG eFG% oRB%  TO% FTA%
celtics,boston    126.4 .562 .270 .093 .092   pistons,detroit    99.7 .462 .297 .197 .102

---

HAWKS 100, CAVALIERS 88 (box): Just to show you how early it is, the Hawks actually improved on their league-best Offensive Rating, yet slipped behind the Lakers to second in offensive efficiency. Atlanta continues to get the kind of balance that coaches dream of, as this venerable lineup seems to grow more unselfish with each passing season. Mike Bibby has been even more selective with his offense so far, but he's been shooting lights out, which should quiet the cat calls for Jeff Teague for now. For Cleveland, J.J. Hickson continues to eat up a large chunk of the Cavs' possessions, but a 42% usage rate to go with zero assists suggests that may not be Byron Scott's optimum attack.

ATL                PLY  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   CLE                PLY  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
crawford,jamal      39  22%  1.65  +4  22.9   hickson,j.j.        58  42%  0.99  -6  32.3
horford,al          55  20%  1.52   0  22.4   williams,maurice    44  28%  0.92  -15 15.1
johnson,joe         76  26%  0.98  +14 20.1   parker,anthony      58  14%  1.24  -12 12.2
williams,marvin     64  21%  1.38  +9  19.1   hollins,ryan        25  16%  1.40  -3   9.9
bibby,mike          50  19%  1.18  +7  12.0   sessions,ramon      39  29%  0.67  +2   8.0
smith,josh          63  14%  1.17  +5   7.3   williams,jawad      28   8%  1.91  -15  7.6
powell,josh         23  17%  1.46  +7   7.2   varejao,anderson    61  10%  0.91  -9   5.5
teague,jeff         30  18%  0.64  +4   3.4   moon,jamario        61   5%  2.07  +2   5.4
pachulia,zaza       28   8%  0.82  +9   1.6   gibson,daniel       43  25%  0.59  -4   4.9
collins,jason        3  34%  0.00  +1   0.0   powe,leon           14  16%  0.70   0   1.2
crawford,jordan (DNP)                         graham,joey (DNP)
thomas,etan (DNP)                             harris,manny (DNP)
PACE: 86.2         ORTG eFG% oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 86.2         ORTG eFG% oRB%  TO% FTA%
hawks,atlanta     116.0 .470 .292 .081 .153   cavaliers,cleve   102.1 .466 .256 .162 .133

---

WIZARDS 116, 76ERS 115, OT (box): Excellent game and an unbelievable performance from John Wall, who finished with 29 points, 13 assists and 9 steals. The steals total tied a Wizards team record, and Wall now has 31 assists in three games, which ties Damon Stoudamire's record for most dimes in a player's first three NBA games. The Wizards tied the game on a leaning Cartier Martin three-pointer at the end of regulation, a play on which it appeared, to me, that Andre Iguodala was attempting to commit a foul. (An observation that Martin shared in his postgame comments.) In overtime, Elton Brand made a banker with :14.5 to play to put the Sixers up one, but Andray Blatche made two free throws and Iguodala missed jumper that was effectively contested by Al Thornton at the buzzer. Doug Collins is still looking for his first win as Philly's coach.

PHI                PLY  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   WAS                PLY  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
williams,lou        64  36%  1.09  -9  19.1   wall,john           89  30%  1.15  +1  25.9
brand,elton         84  16%  1.38  +11 19.0   young,nick          46  25%  1.41  +14 17.6
holiday,jrue        81  20%  1.15  +9  17.6   thornton,al         80  15%  0.94  +2  17.5
iguodala,andre      76  22%  0.96  -6  17.1   blatche,andray      86  30%  0.72  +1  16.8
speights,marreese   34  15%  0.76  -6   7.1   hinrich,kirk        84   5%  2.63  -14 12.7
hawes,spencer       32  14%  0.88  +7   6.5   jianlian,yi         40  26%  0.73  +10  8.7
turner,evan         55  17%  0.84  -15  6.2   martin,cartier      18  14%  2.35  +1   5.0
nocioni,andres      32  16%  0.62  +5   4.7   armstrong,hilton    41   9%  1.08  +3   2.9
young,thaddeus      36  12%  1.42  +1   4.7   mcgee,javale        43  10%  0.79  -7   2.7
kapono,jason        15  21%  1.23  +8   4.1   booker,trevor        0   -%  0.00  -6   0.0
battie,tony         17  10%  2.39  -10  3.1   hudson,lester (DNP)
songaila,darius (DNP)   seraphin,kevin (DNP)
PACE: 105.4         ORTG eFG% oRB%  TO% FTA%  PACE: 105.4         ORTG eFG% oRB%  TO% FTA%
76ers,philadelphia 109.1 .575 .206 .218 .121  wizards,washington 110.0 .513 .243 .218 .179

---

HEAT 129, TIMBERWOLVES 97 (box): Great teams don't mess around with bad teams and the Heat continue to give every indication that they are going to be a great team. The Heat scored 1.3 points per possession, its best showing yet, and jumped from 13th to 5th in the league in Offensive Rating. Miami's Defensive Rating remains the league's best as the Heat have now held four straight opponents below a point per possession. Miami leads the league with a stunning point differential of +16.6.

MIN                PLY  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   MIA                PLY  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
love,kevin          53  22%  1.47  -16 18.3   wade,dwyane         50  39%  0.95  +12 25.7
pekovic,nikola      56  22%  0.87  -13 14.8   james,lebron        67  23%  1.50  +32 14.7
johnson,wesley      51  32%  0.92  -15 12.6   chalmers,mario      37  17%  2.06  +8  14.5
beasley,michael     22  48%  0.85  -6  10.3   house,eddie         35  23%  1.79  -2  14.4
hayward,lazar       18  21%  1.44  -7   9.3   arroyo,carlos       49   9%  2.15  +29 14.4
telfair,sebastian   50  15%  1.22   0   9.2   haslem,udonis       49  14%  1.47  +10 13.8
ellington,wayne     66  18%  0.55  -32  7.4   jones,james         46  20%  1.84  +11 11.1
brewer,corey        53  16%  0.68  -10  5.1   bosh,chris          54  29%  0.80  +25  9.8
ridnour,luke        36  15%  0.64  -26  3.9   anthony,joel        42   2%  3.41  +11  5.5
tolliver,anthony    34  10%  1.08  -9   3.7   ilgauskas,zydrunas  40  15%  1.05  +12  5.3
milicic,darko       34  14%  0.45  -20  1.8   stackhouse,jerry    12  30%  0.33  +6   0.8
koufos,kosta        22   3%  2.44  -6   1.7   howard,juwan        12   6%  0.37  +6   0.4
PACE: 99.1         ORTG eFG% oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 99.1         ORTG eFG% oRB%  TO% FTA%
timberwolves,minn  97.9 .405 .250 .182 .169   heat,miami        130.2 .658 .229 .162 .138

---

TRAIL BLAZERS 90, BUCKS 76 (box): Portland's persistently slow starts have been a source of annoyance for coach Nate McMillan and the Blazers once again dug themselves a hole in the early going against Milwaukee. This time, the Blazers didn't wait till the fourth quarter to rally, instead outscoring the Bucks 52-35 in the middle quarters. This was the best defensive showing of the season for Portland and another lackluster offensive performance for Milwaukee, which fell to 1-3 and ranks 28th in Offensive Rating. Portland's Wesley Matthews had 18 points, five rebounds and four assists in his return to his hometown.

POR                PLY  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   MIL                PLY  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
roy,brandon         66  28%  0.83  +8  24.2   delfino,carlos      63  12%  1.99  -18 24.6
aldridge,lamarcus   77  19%  1.05  +15 24.1   bogut,andrew        52  20%  1.10  -4  16.7
miller,andre        49  23%  0.99  +8  16.3   jennings,brandon    63  20%  0.89  -15 11.8
matthews,wesley     49  35%  1.02  +18 14.7   maggette,corey      30  52%  0.74  -12  8.0
johnson,armon       39  10%  3.18  +4   9.5   gooden,drew         45  13%  0.95  -11  6.7
cunningham,dante    50  13%  1.60  +10  8.0   brockman,jon        20  16%  1.21  -14  5.5
camby,marcus        35   5%  2.08  +1   4.2   salmons,john        49  28%  0.34  -8   5.5
fernandez,rudy      27  12%  1.38  +9   3.9   mbahamoute,luc      28  21%  0.83  -1   5.0
batum,nicolas       24  21%  0.27  -5   1.5   ilyasova,ersan      23   5%  2.52  +2   2.4
oberto,fabricio      7  14%  0.25  +2   0.2   dooling,keyon       24   9%  0.95  +3   1.8
babbitt,luke (DNP)                            sanders,larry       12  30%  0.44  +4   1.5
williams,elliot (DNP)                         boykins,earl        12   5%  0.99  +4   0.6
PACE: 84.5         ORTG eFG% oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 84.5         ORTG eFG% oRB%  TO% FTA%
trailblazers,port 106.6 .519 .256 .154 .047   bucks,milwaukee    90.0 .396 .275 .201 .130

---

LAKERS 124, GRIZZLIES 105 (box): Consistency seems to be an issue for the Grizzlies, who have put up two defensive bombs in their four games, but also have two good outings on that end. Quality of opponent plays a role--the bad games have come against the Hawks and Lakers, the league's top two offensive teams so far--but Memphis also held the Mavericks below a point per possession in Dallas. Rudy Gay's fast start continued, and he ascended to second in WP82. The Lakers were led by Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom ... and Pau Gasol. Sorry, I fell asleep while typing that sentence.

MEM                PLY  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   LAL                PLY  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
gay,rudy            64  28%  1.51  -16 41.7   bryant,kobe         51  31%  1.27  +6  32.5
conley,mike         67  15%  2.04  -1  17.5   odom,lamar          68  13%  2.25  +28 23.8
gasol,marc          56  17%  1.35  -9  11.5   gasol,pau           57  30%  1.25  +11 18.0
arthur,darrell      68  19%  0.82  -11 10.1   barnes,matt         53  35%  0.91  +12 17.4
henry,xavier        24  36%  0.87  -11  6.5   brown,shannon       44  18%  1.35  +13 10.4
mayo,o.j.           53  20%  0.63  -2   6.1   blake,steve         42  12%  2.27  +9   7.9
young,sam           40  22%  0.69  -13  5.0   fisher,derek        46  10%  2.03  +13  7.8
allen,tony          27  25%  0.67  -5   4.7   ebanks,devin        22  13%  1.37  -9   3.9
carroll,demarre     20   6%  1.30  +7   2.8   artest,ron          47   8%  1.27  +7   3.4
law,acie            28  20%  0.55  -18  2.4   caracter,derrick    20  24%  1.05  +1   3.4
thabeet,hasheem     28   3%  2.92  -16  2.2   vujacic,sasha        7  38%  0.27  -3   1.1
haddadi,hamed (DNP)                           ratliff,theo        18   6%  0.98  +7   0.8
PACE: 95.0         ORTG eFG% oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 95.0         ORTG eFG% oRB%  TO% FTA%
grizzlies,memphis 110.5 .451 .278 .126 .134   lakers,losangeles 130.5 .595 .488 .200 .139

---

GLOSSARY
PLY is an estimate of how many possessions on which the player was on the court. USG is an estimate of how many of those plays a player used by shooting, going to the line or committing a turnover, with a portion the team's offensive rebound total subtracted. Is an estimate of each player's points created per possession used, a measure of offensive efficiency. The stat accounts for a player's entire box score line, not just the scoring categories. Plus-Minus (+/-) data is from official box scores from NBA.com. Game Rating (GR) reflects a player's Points Created total, or the portion of his team's offense for which he gets credit based on his box score line. This number is then adjusted for estimated defensive performance based on box score counterpart productivity. GR is pace-adjusted so you can compare players from game to game. TEAM STATS: PACE, or esimated possessions in the game; ORTG: a team's points per 100 possessions; eFG%: team's shooting percentage with an extra half-point added for each made three-point field goal; oRB%: percentage of a team's misses that they retrieved off the offensive glass; TO%: percentage of at team's possessions resulting in a turnover; FTA%: percentage of a team's possessions resulting in a trip to the foul line.

--------------------------
NEWS & MOVES
--------------------------

Minutiae from around the league

NBA: "What has been speculated about is now on the record, straight from the horse's mouth. Or, rather, the jockey's mouth. When I walked toward the American Airlines Arena court with David Stern on Friday, before the last great creation of the current NBA business model was unleashed before the home crowd, the understandably road- and media-weary commissioner wouldn't answer the question on everyone's mind when it comes to the touchy collective bargaining negotiations: Do NBA owners seek to roll back existing contracts, imposing a pay cut on all 450 players as part of a new deal? Commish David Stern plays coy, but his deputy commissioner Adam Silver opens up a little more. 'I don't know,' Stern said coyly. 'Hey, Adam. There's a question for you ...' Adam, of course, was Adam Silver, the NBA's deputy commissioner, point man on collective bargaining and jockey of Stern's horse, which he seems to regard as Secretariat-like in its chances to throttle the competition in these labor talks. 'Yes,' Silver said, point blank. And there you have it: On-the-record confirmation that the NBA is looking to do to its players what the NHL did in 2005. "It's part of our proposal,' Silver said. 'It included a reduction of existing contracts in addition to a 'eduction of the maximums going forward.'" (CBS Sports)
We sort of knew this already, but it's nice to see the league bargaining through the media. Hopefully, Billy Hunter will call Ken Berger with his response.

D-LEAGUE: "VERSUS today announced expanded coverage of the 10th season of the NBA Development League, the NBAís official minor league, as it presents 2010-11 regular-season and postseason action. The second straight year of competition on VERSUS will include 11 regular-season games as well as six playoff games, including the 2011 Finals. In addition, for the first time, VERSUS will air one live game from the annual NBA D-League Showcase as well as the new Showcase slam dunk and three-point contests, which will take place in South Padre Island, Texas, Jan. 10 through 13." (press release)

KNICKS: "Following last nightís Rangers game, during overnight maintenance of Madison Square Garden, which included cleaning asbestos-related materials in the attic above the ceiling, some debris fell into the Arena. Out of an abundance of caution, and after consulting the NBA, we are postponing tonightís Knicks v. Magic game. We will be working with the city and independent experts, ATC Associates and GCI Environmental Advisory, to evaluate and determine the most appropriate course of action. As the safety of our customers and employees are our top priority, we will not reopen the Garden until we are absolutely assured the Arena is safe." (press release)
The incident at the Garden led to avalanche of Twitter humor and instances where people used "canceled" when they should have used "postponed." No makeup date has been announced.

TRAIL BLAZERS: The Portland Trail Blazers today announced plans to celebrate the life of Trail Blazers great Maurice Lucas throughout the 2010-11 NBA season. The team will officially tip-off the season-long dedication to the "Enforcer" beginning with a moment of silence at the Trail Blazers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder game Thursday night, November 4. Special team tributes honoring Lucas will be featured throughout the game, on Trail Blazers broadcasts and on a special tribute page on trailblazers.com. Trail Blazers players will wear a memorial jersey patch for all games this season bearing Lucasís jersey number No. 20. Replicas of the memorial patch will be available for fans to purchase beginning Thursday night at the Trail Blazers Fan Shop with proceeds going to The Maurice Lucas Foundation. The team will also establish an award that will be given annually to a Trail Blazers player who best represents the true spirit of Maurice Lucas by being a Trail Blazer both on the court and in the community. A public memorial service for Maurice Lucas will be held in the Memorial Coliseum on Monday, November 8th at noon. Doors will open at 11 a.m. The family has asked, in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to the Maurice Lucas Foundation, supporting youth sports and cancer awareness." (press release)
Visit the Blazers' official site to learn more.

TRAIL BLAZERS: "The Trail Blazers have targeted the Nov. 26 home game against New Orleans as the return date for center Joel Przybilla, who has been out since last December with a right knee injury. Przybilla on Tuesday said he thinks he can play 10-to-12 minutes a game today, but said team doctors are being cautious and holding him back. The Nov. 26 date was first discussed by the Blazers on Oct. 11, and on Tuesday general manager Rich Cho confirmed that will be the target date for the 7-foot-1 centerís return." (The Oregonian)
It's been so long since the Blazers were healthy, that it's hard to remember what they looked like with a full complement of players. Przybilla's return should be a huge lift, as well next month's probable return of Greg Oden. The Blazers may emerge as the prime threat to the Lakers in the West.

WIZARDS: "At the end of practice on Monday, the Wizards players had to work on individual skills, so the team's power forwards, Blatche and Yi Jianlian, had to work on scoring in the low block. The Wizards are shooting just 43.5 percent from the floor through the first two games and that's largely because they haven't taken many high percentage shots. They have lived, or rather died, by the jump shot. Blatche is probably the Wizards' best hope for low-post scoring, with his array of moves inside. But he has repeatedly settled for long jumpers this season, either because of apathy, poor conditioning as he recovers from his foot injury, or both. He has taken 27 shots this season and 19 have come from 11 feet and beyond. He has also attempted just two free throws. ... The 6-foot-11 Blatche has a decent jumper, but for a team with limited options inside in half-court sets, the Wizards really need him get his "big butt down there," as Coach Flip Saunders said." (Washington Post)
Just because Blatche can play on the perimeter doesn't mean he should. A stretch four, especially one with the full range of skills that a properly-motivated Blatche possesses, are wonderful assets to have. However, it's got to fit with the scheme and the talent on hand. The Wizards have no offensive presence in the paint, and Blatche is their best hope of finding one.

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FAB FIVES
--------------------------

A selection of our favorite NBA links

1. Today's Works tries to take you inside thinking of the Memphis Grizzlies' front office.

2. B-Ref's Neil Paine takes a look at the most storied uniform numbers in the history of the league.

3. HoopSpeak with some thoughts on parity in the NBA versus that of other sports.

4. NBA Playbook breaks down the aforementioned last play of the Sixers-Wizards game.

5. At least one elite player, Kobe Bryant, says he's good to go if Mike Krzyzewski wants him on the 2012 Olympic team.

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ON TAP
--------------------------

Tonight in the NBA

WTC  VIS @ HOM,  GAMETIME     NBAPET LINE    OFFICIALS
+25  dal @ den,  9:00 PM EST [ dal by  1 ]   Greg Willard, Kane Fitzgerald, Courtney Kirkland
+11  lal @ sac, 10:30 PM EST [ lal by  9 ]   Derrick Stafford, Eli Roe, Zach Zarba
+ 8  sas @ phx, 10:00 PM EST [ sas by  1 ]   Ron Garretson, Marat Kogut, Leon Wood
= 0  mem @ gsw, 10:30 PM EST [ gsw by 11 ]   Bill Spooner, Kevin Cutlerm, Rodney Mott
- 3  tor @ uta,  9:00 PM EST [ tor by  4 ]   Scott Foster, Curtis Blair, Michael Smith
- 4  ind @ phi,  7:00 PM EST [ ind by  2 ]   Dan Crawford, Tony Brothers, James Williams
- 4  mil @ bos,  8:00 PM EST [ bos by 18 ]   Ed Malloy, Bennie Adams, Kevin Fehr
- 4  nwo @ hou,  8:30 PM EST [ nwo by  9 ]   Ken Mauer, David Jones, Gary Zielinski
-14  det @ atl,  7:00 PM EST [ atl by 25 ]   Monty McCutchen, Olandis Poole, Tom Washington
-15  min @ orl,  7:00 PM EST [ orl by 17 ]   Bill Kennedy, John Goble, Eric Lewis
-16  cha @ njn,  7:00 PM EST [ njn by 10 ]   Dick Bavetta, Tony Brown, Haywoode Workman
-23  okc @ lac, 10:30 PM EST [ okc by 10 ]   Joey Crawford, Pat Fraher,	Derek Richardson
Note: WTC is a junk stat rating the "watchability" of a game, taking into
account the quality of the opponents and the likelihood of a close game.

Through Tuesday, 52 of 1,230 (4.2%) games have been played in the 2010-11 NBA regular season.

You can follow Bradford on Twitter at twitter.com/@bbdoolittle.

You can order a copy of Pro Basketball Prospectus 2010-11 here.

Bradford Doolittle is an author of Basketball Prospectus. You can contact Bradford by clicking here or click here to see Bradford's other articles.

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