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Open thread #231

What a great day for a bike ride…..

  • http://dok.do/4aVK41 Year of the Dragon

    “First, Bro!”

  • numberoneoppa

    ^It’s gotten a bit sad.

  • http://dok.do/4aVK41 Year of the Dragon

    http://tiny.cc/ioi02 – this picture tells so many things. People of different ethnic races, casual dress style, having lunch at a small “eat and run” cafe on a street, not bothered by others around them or time.

  • http://dok.do/4aVK41 Year of the Dragon

    #2 – just my way of letting you know that I still exist.

  • redwhitedude

    It seems that the foreign complaints of Korean press aside from the usual political bias from which practically every press is accused of is 1. picking on foreigners especially a few bad apples that commit illegal act gets blown up as opposed to a Korean committing the same act and 2. engaging in self promotion of the country namely all this business of Kpop and Korean wave. I’ve gotten into habit of checking foreign news coverage to verify the extent of the Korean wave or Kpop. Obviously there is a discrepancy. I am under the assumption that outside of far east this is still a niche product.

    Just my two bits on articles and commentaries that have been posted about these two subjects in this blog.

  • Q

    I’m reading THE IMPERIAL CRUISE: A Secret History of Empire and War by James Bradley. It is a great history book that helps understanding US-Korea-Japan relationship during president Tedd Roosevelt.

    “We feel that America is to us as an Elder Brother.” – Emperor Gojong of Korea, 1897

    “I should like to see Japan have Korea.” — Theodore Roosevelt, 1900

  • Seth Gecko

    Numberoneoppa is just pissy because he was 12 mins too late.
    Maybe next week, bro.

  • http://dok.do/4aVK41 Year of the Dragon

    #6 Let me summarize the book for you….

    When the Japanese took over Korea, the United States made no objection. President Theodore Roosevelt remarked, “We cannot possibly interfere for the Koreans against Japan. … They could not strike one blow in their own defense.”

    On 29 July 1905, Secretary of War William H. Taft negotiated a secret “agreed memorandum” with the Japanese Prime Minister. The United States approved Japan’s “suzerainty over” Korea in return for its pledge not to interfere with American interests in the Philippine Islands.

    The Korean Emperor’s appeal to the United States for help under the “good offices” clauses of the Shufeldt Treaty fell on deaf ears.

    Now, you know the whole story and don’t need to read the book.

  • Q

    NY Times has a good review of the book:
    The Queasy Side of Theodore Roosevelt’s Diplomatic Voyage

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    A bike ride would’ve been great, but I settled for a hike around Bonghwasan instead . . .

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • redwhitedude

    I wonder if the Taft-Tanaka agreement was necessary. The US was the stronger of the two nations and Philippines would have still been US possession. The Japanese weren’t really in any position to seriously meddle there. WWII made this agreement moot.

  • CactusMcHarris

    For those of you who get The Sundance Channel – Kimjongilia is on in a half an hour.

  • feld_dog

    For those who enjoy good ol’ fashioned book learnin’, I can’t recommend strongly enough the amazing new novel “The Orphan Master’s Son” by Adam Johnson. It follows the life of a North Korean security agent as he tries to redeem his life from the staggering wrongs he has committed in the service of the Dear Leader. We go from prison mines, spy ships, Japanese kidnappings, a Texas ranch, torture chambers, Kim Jong-Il’s bunkers, DMZ tunnels, a Pyeongyang movie star’s house–alternating between brutal realism, hallucinatory magic realism, Swiftian dark satire, and even romance and adventure almost literarly out of “Casablanca”, and it all works. Written by a white American, too. The ton of research he did (interviews with defectors and an actual trip to N.Korea) is clearly evident. A fantastic read. It should definitely be on the short list for the fiction Pulitzer and National Book Awards in 2012.

  • CactusMcHarris

    feld,

    Thanks for the recommendation – I’ll be looking for it as soon as I’m literate.

  • http://dok.do/4aVK41 Year of the Dragon

    It’s a good book. You can buy a signed copy ( http://tiny.cc/b7sn7 ) on Ebay here – ( http://tiny.cc/hbcpp ) for $24.

  • http://bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    I had the pleasure of listening to a great basketball game on the (Internet) radio this morning. Missouri got jobbed, of course, but all in all one of the great thrillers of all time.

  • PineForest

    North Korea rhetoric hasn’t lost any style recently, I see. Makes me wonder what it was like in 94 when tensions were quite high between N and S.

  • Jieun K

    Would I be wrong to take the U.S. administration’s new rule on contraception as government intervention going too far?

    So, some people want to enjoy free sex (no?) and don’t want to pay certain consequences of their deed out of their own pocket, is that it?

    Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    yangachi, i dont know if you saw it but i wrote days ago that if you put your arrow on any given gravatar, it will enlarge. i was wondering if you would allow me to use your photo to make a respectful grav. i understand if you say no but i would like to put you in the red and gold! :-D

  • http://www.cfekorea.com nayaCasey

    Thief caught giving stolen TVs away
    Hilarious! The only reason he has been arrested is that politicians hate the competition when it comes to stealing. At least this “bizarre” thief gave directly to the poor, rather than whatever it is that politicians do. Anyway, let’s look in on this story…

    A bizarre thief was apprehended for stealing wall-mounted flat screen TVs from hospitals and restaurants and giving them away to homeless people, police said Thursday.

    [[NayaCasey's version: A Korean politician was widely praised today for calling for higher taxes and ending the income inequality gap in society, according to various Korean media sources. He criticized those who said he would be forcing people to do anything.]]

    The police will have the 37-year-old thief undergo a psychiatric evaluation as he is showing abnormal behavior.

    [[NayaCasey writes: Approval ratings have shot up for the Korean politician who promised to take more from the rich to give to the poor.]]

    According to the police account, the man sneaked into hospitals and restaurants through windows in Jungnang, northern Seoul, mostly at dawn, over the past nine months to steal 10 flat panel TVs and one electronic weighing machine with a combined value of 23.8 million won.

    [[NayaCasey writes: According to a professor at Seoul National University, the politician’s strategy has combined both socialism and capitalism, resulting in a policy that will end polarization in society.]]

    Police confirmed that he didn’t sell any of the TVs but instead gave them away to homeless people he was acquainted with.

    [[NayaCasey writes: The politician, who says his own wealth has gone up so much that he doesn't need a tax cut, insists that he is only concerned with ways to help the poor. He scoffed at comments that he pay more in taxes as a ploy.]]

    “We will have him undergo a psychiatric examination as he is behaving irregularly by giving away stolen TVs to his acquaintances and living on the street even though he has family,” an officer said.

    [[NayaCasey writes: “Yes we can,” said the politician. “If we just work together, we can bring society together to end unfairness.”]]

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    @13

    Anyone who is tempted to regard this atrocious book as having anything interesting to say about North Korea, about which the author is possessed of a deep ignorance he did little to ameliorate, shouldn’t just take my word for it but read “James Church’s” review:

    http://38north.org/2012/02/jchurch021212/

  • Arghaeri

    Interesting review if only in that it talks about the authors lack of knowledge and howlers without once identifying any.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    Mark Hunt is the man.

  • http://dok.do/4aVK41 Year of the Dragon

    Hoju_saram… who are you hoping wins? Rudd or Gillard?

  • Jieun K

    The season of revival is right around the corner.

  • feld_dog

    I wonder what everyone’s favorite North Korea expert and literary curmudgeon B.R. Myers will say about “The Orphan Master’s Son”.

  • aaronm

    YotD, as an Aussie I’m just appalled at Labor’s factional antics. Gillard couldn’t run the proverbial piss-up in a brewery, but K-Rudd was voted out for similar failures. Trouble is, Labor is dominated by party hacks and union organisers with no real-world experience. Its a party thoroughly in need of regeneration. That being said, Abbott does not look like an appealing option either. Thank god I fell off the electoral roll years ago, as holding my nose and voting Green ain’t an option either.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    Hoju_saram… who are you hoping wins? Rudd or Gillard?

    Anyone but Tony Abbot. I actually don’t mind Gillard. She’s got no charisma, but I like her middling politics. Rudd’s comments on Gillard being a “childless atheist” sunk him for me. I don’t care for judgemental piety. Oh, and he’s a media whore. Good family though.

  • jkitchstk

    WATCH: “Zbigniew Brzezinski embarrassed as an American” by Republican candidates”
    http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/24/watch-gps-brzezinski-embarrassed-as-an-american-by-gop-candidates/
    On the GOP/Republicans -
    Fareed Zakaria: In this fall’s election, you still prefer Obama to the alternative?

    Zbigniew Brzezinski: Oh, without a question, without a question. I mean, look at those Republican debates. I must say I literally feel embarrassed as an American when I see those people orate. One of them sounds like a medieval Savonarola(Rick Santorum). Another one is trying to explain why he has some of his wealth located in the Cayman Islands(Mitt Romney). And someone else would go back to 1780(Ron Paul). And then there is someone who is using his credentials as a repudiated speaker of the Congress to be president(Newt Gingrich). I mean, this is just embarrassing.”

  • redwhitedude

    I’d take Ron Paul. Better to get sent back to 1780s than all the other alternatives. He actually means change and has been consistent with his message quite unlike *cough* mitt romney *cough*. All the other candidates mean business as usual.

  • jkitchstk

    Sacha Baron Cohen spills Kim, Jong-il urn of ashes on Ryan Seacrest, “turns red carpet upside down…”
    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2012/02/sacha-baron-cohen-arrives-as-dictator/

  • Jashin Densetsu

    @21

    chillax bro. it’s called fiction bro.

  • Jashin Densetsu

    more men raped in the US than women http://nplusonemag.com/raise-the-crime-rate

  • http://dok.do/4aVK41 Year of the Dragon

    anybody use Hookah’s in Seoul? – http://dok.do/jHWK5t

  • Arghaeri

    I think there’s a restaurant full of them in Itaewon.

  • jkitchstk

    # 30,
    I’m with you on that, of course he wouldn’t be allowed to do all he says but the non-flip-flopper and most honest is what I want. He’s the only one I’d consider against Obama. Let It Be that the one on one debate occurs.

  • eujin

    Will hoju_saram find it here if I put an off topic discussion “off thread”?

    As far as language is concerned, the Koori, Murri, Nyungar and Yolngu people all have different languages (about 200), so it’s not quite as straightforward as elsewhere.

    Fair enough point, the number of different languages does make it harder. But my experience has been if I ask a Melburnian or a Sydneysider what the local Aboriginal language is, most of them don’t know. Which got me thinking, do you know of any towns in Australia that have recognized the local language at some formal level? Like, if I drive into Katherine NT, does the “Welcome to Katherine” sign have an Aboriginal translation in the local language? That sort of thing happens in the UK with Gaelic in the Outer Hebrides for example or in Germany with Sorbish in Lusatia.

    That’s also the thing about the Aboriginal flag. I see it flying from town halls alongside the state and federal flags, something that they would never do with the Maori flag in New Zealand for example, and yet I think, that’s about all they get, the flag.

    Maybe the Aussies have more of a “melting pot” attitude than a lot of these other places, “we’re all Australians” – although they seem reasonably tolerant of that Hutt River place.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Can MH’s history buffs opine on Richard J. Samuels at MIT? Starting to read one of his books, was curious about his rep. Thanks.

  • Charles Tilly

    Can MH’s history buffs opine on Richard J. Samuels at MIT?

    Let’s clear up a few things first. Richard J. Samuels is a political scientist who specializes in Japan, Japanese foreign policy (as of late), as well as doing some comparative politics (Japan v. Italy if I’m not mistaken). He’s not a historian per se. But history plays a big part in his scholarship.

    As to his reputation, it’s very good. Take any course on the international relations of East Asia or Japanese foreign policy and most likely-and if the professor knows anything-you should be assigned his Securing Japan (BTW, is this the book that you’re reading? If so, good choice). Moreover his Rich Nation, Strong Army was awarded the Association for Asian Studies’ John Whitney Hall Book Prize.

    If your still not convinced about his reputation, have a look at his CV.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    I’m reading Machiavelli’s Children, which is Japan v. Italy as you mentioned. Thought it was an interesting read, as I need to learn more about post-war Japan.

    Was concerned a little bit because I recall that some Japan-friendly historian from MIT shat on Iris Chang’s Rape of Nanking. But it doesn’t look like it was Samuels.

  • Charles Tilly

    Was concerned a little bit because I recall that some Japan-friendly historian from MIT shat on Iris Chang’s Rape of Nanking. But it doesn’t look like it was Samuels.

    Rumor is that it was John Dower. But if anybody does any serious reading of his work, it’s hardly “Japan-friendly.”

  • Jieun K

    Meanwhile, businesses are busy cracking the whip to wring out the financial juice down to the last drop from their labor force.

    Read a story about a worker putting in more than her fair share of “back-breaking, rage-inducing, low-paying, dildo-packing time inside the online-shipping machine.”

    It’s a welcome distraction from the pain to imagine all these sex toys being taken out from under a tree and unwrapped. Merry Christmas. I got you this giant ***** **** you wanted.
    . . .
    There’s no time off on Election Day. “What if I want to vote?” I ask a supervisor. “I think you should!” he says. “But if I leave I’ll get fired,” I say. To which he makes a sad face before saying, “Yeah.”

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    @42

    I did something similar during the summers i was in high school and college – i loaded and unloaded ships and lorries.

  • Jieun K

    Pop, thanks for sharing that li’l snippet of your “been there, done that” life story. ;-) LOL

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    Jieun K, that story you linked is absolutely horrifying.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    And it’s one reason I support a decent minimum wage.

  • Jieun K

    Inhumane, huh. A decent minimum wage sounds right.

    Apropos, an economist explains “the irrelevance of worker need and employer greed in determining wages:”

    The rational self-interest of employers, like the rational self-interest of any other buyers, does not lead them to pay the lowest wage (price) they can imagine, but the lowest wage that is simultaneously too high for other potential employers of the same labor who are not able or willing to pay as much and who would otherwise be enabled to employ that labor in their place.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    The rational self-interest of employers, like the rational self-interest of any other buyers, does not lead them to pay the lowest wage (price) they can imagine, but the lowest wage that is simultaneously too high for other potential employers of the same labor who are not able or willing to pay as much and who would otherwise be enabled to employ that labor in their place.

    Unless you have 10% unemployment and an automaton’s job.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Lin versus Cavs tonight: 19 points, 13 assists, 1 TO. Yes, it was against the Cavs at home, but still very solid. Very happy to see only 1 TO.

    Here is a question: who would you take now, Lin or Rubio? I am leaning toward Lin — you can be taught to reduce TOs, but FG% tends to stay with you.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    By the way, the only player other than Lin to have at least 19 pts, 13 ast and fewer than 1 TO this season? MVP Derrick Rose.

  • http://www.cfekorea.com nayaCasey

    thekorean#49-50, nice Rose stat. Next up, Boston Celtics, Rajon Rondo. Lin may never be MVP or in the Hall of Fame, but he has definitely shown he deserves to be in the NBA.

  • eujin

    Will hoju_saram find it here if I put an off topic discussion “off thread”?

    Obviously not.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    Sorry eujin, just spotted it then!

    Fair points.

    Fair enough point, the number of different languages does make it harder. But my experience has been if I ask a Melburnian or a Sydneysider what the local Aboriginal language is, most of them don’t know. Which got me thinking, do you know of any towns in Australia that have recognized the local language at some formal level? Like, if I drive into Katherine NT, does the “Welcome to Katherine” sign have an Aboriginal translation in the local language? That sort of thing happens in the UK with Gaelic in the Outer Hebrides for example or in Germany with Sorbish in Lusatia.

    Aboriginal Australians don’t have a written script, but as far as names are concerned, probably half the names in Australia are just Aboriginal. For example, I grew up in Tumbulgum (meeting place of waters), went to School at Murwillumbah, and played football nearby at Mullumbimbi. As for actually writing welcome messages in the local language, I don’t think it’s common, but I do often read signs that say things like, “Welcome to Wiradjuri Country” or whatever the local indigenous tribe is called.

    So I actually think the government is pretty good with being respectful to indigenous people; not all Australians are though, particularly in some of the more remote outback towns. And of course the history of white settlement and the treatment of Aboriginals in the early days is a national disgrace. But I think most people genuinely respect them as being the original Australians, and as sporting figures they seem to attract far more popular suppport than their peers. Guys like Arty Beetson, a rugby league player who died recently, had huge crowds at his public funeral, and is one of the most popular figures in Queensland sporting history, alongside Mal Meninga, another aboriginal player who was also very much loved.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    A few more points. As far as sport is concerned, the aboriginal people are freakishly talented. Australia is a very competitive sporting nation, and while Aboriginals make up on 1% of the population, they are hugely over-represented at the elite level. At school I was always taught to avoid getting in a fight with an aboriginal (you’ll never win), and to avoid marking them on the football field (they’ll beat you). They’re fast, fit and skilful.

    But I’ve only ever known a handful personally, mainly because there are so few. If you want to learn more about them I’m probably the wrong person to be asking: you should speak to Year Of The Dragon, who is an aboriginal bloke himself, apparently.

  • Jashin Densetsu

    Breitbart tells CPAC: I have videos of Obama in college and they’ll come out during the election posted at 7:53 pm on February 10, 2012 http://hotair.com/archives/2012/02/10/breitbart-tells-cpac-i-have-videos-of-obama-in-college-and-theyll-come-out-during-the-election/

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Remind me, the GNP has been just as bad dealing with North Korea as the DP, right?

    http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2012/03/02/2012030200199.html

    I particularly liked the “이명박 정부가 우발적 사건을 확대해 키우며 사태가 악화됐다” line.

  • Jashin Densetsu
  • Jashin Densetsu

    Andrew Breitbart “Wait Til They See What Happens March 1st” http://www.lsnewsgroup.com/2012/03/01/andrew-breitbart-wait-til-they-see-what-happens-march-1st/

  • http://www.wm3.org/Updates iheartblueballs

    Lin versus Cavs tonight: 19 points, 13 assists, 1 TO. Yes, it was against the Cavs at home, but still very solid. Very happy to see only 1 TO.

    Cutting down the ridiculous TO rate: Good.

    By the way, the only player other than Lin to have at least 19 pts, 13 ast and fewer than 1 TO this season? MVP Derrick Rose.

    Mentioning Derrick Rose and Jeremy Lin in the same sentence: Bad.

    Here is a question: who would you take now, Lin or Rubio? I am leaning toward Lin — you can be taught to reduce TOs, but FG% tends to stay with you.

    This isn’t even close. Rubio started playing professionally in Europe when he was 14, has 7 years of international experience under his belt, played well for the Spanish national team against top competition in the Olympics, World and European Championships, and has a half season of NBA in the bag, and he’s been consistently solid.

    Lin has 3 weeks of good play under his belt, against mostly poor competition, and in the biggest game of his NBA career so far, he melted down and completely disappeared.

    Rubio has his weaknesses too, but this comparison isn’t really close at this stage.

    Next up, Boston Celtics, Rajon Rondo. Lin may never be MVP or in the Hall of Fame, but he has definitely shown he deserves to be in the NBA.

    I agree he deserves to be in the NBA, he’s shown that thus far. But now that the honeymoon of hype is over, he’s going to be judged more harshly for how he performs in big games and against good teams, as all players are. Knicks fans (and the NY media) aren’t going to care about stat lines against Cleveland or Detroit, but they will care about those against Miami, Chicago, OKC, San Antonio, Boston, etc.

    The NYPost headlines will just as easily turn from Linsanity to this if he struggles against the top teams, and 30 good games against the bottom of the league won’t compensate for one awful one against the elite.

  • http://www.cfekorea.com nayaCasey

    iheartblueballs #59 wrote” Mentioning Derrick Rose and Jeremy Lin in the same sentence: Bad.”

    and so unexpected! 19 pts, 13 ast, 1 turnover doesn’t occur very often. Thekorean was pointing to a specific statistical fact that only the two of them have accomplished this season, not a general fact like saying they both pee standing up.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    I particularly liked the “이명박 정부가 우발적 사건을 확대해 키우며 사태가 악화됐다” line.

    Not a huge fan of 이해찬 myself. But the fact remains — under progressive administrations, there was always an equivalent retaliation for each attack. Fire at our ship? We sink yours. That has not happened in this “tough” administration.

    This isn’t even close. Rubio started playing professionally in Europe when he was 14, has 7 years of international experience under his belt, played well for the Spanish national team against top competition in the Olympics, World and European Championships, and has a half season of NBA in the bag, and he’s been consistently solid.

    Lin has 3 weeks of good play under his belt, against mostly poor competition, and in the biggest game of his NBA career so far, he melted down and completely disappeared.

    That’s a reasonable disagreement, if expressed in characteristically unfair overstatements. (The screeching and beating of chest over one bad game against the best team in the NBA in the third game since Carmelo’s return have been more than a little ridiculous.) I will submit two items that influence my leaning:

    1. If I had to choose one player to watch, it will be Rubio over Lin every time. Rubio’s passes are just/so/BEAUTIFUL. I don’t think there has been a more beautiful passer than Rubio since Nash. That said, with his seven years of international career under his belt, it is really bothersome that Rubio shoots .364 on the field. This is consistent with his Euro league stats, actually. For all the seasons he played meaningful minutes, the BEST that Rubio has ever shot from the field over the season of Euro League was .370. (His best mark in the Spanish league was .404, which is hardly comforting.) There is a reason why Rubio is in the 29th-ranked PG in PER right now — as of now, Rubio is not that efficient.

    I would feel better if those Euro league stats did not exist. Rajon Rondo, for example, went from shooting .418 in his rookie year to .492 in the next. But in college, Rondo shot .510 and .482 in his two years, so you can write off the rookie year as an adjustment period. But as of now I am doubtful that Rubio can even shoot .430 over a season in his career. And as a PG, if you cannot punish your opponents for sagging off of you, your efficiency is ultimately limited. Rondo actually is a good comparison, because his inability to shoot anywhere other than close to the rim ultimately limits him from being an elite PG like CP3 — and Rondo still shoots close to 50% from the field.

    2. John Hollinger’s analysis on Lin’s TO problems:

    However, Lin is not the first young guard to make a lot of turnovers the first time he was given the keys to the offense, and some of the other ones have turned out to be pretty good. I used Basketball-Reference.com’s season-comparison tool to find stat lines that are somewhat similar to Lin’s — high rates of usage, assists and turnovers, age 25 or under, and a season of 1,000 minutes or more.

    What I found is that the comparables form a pretty awesome harbinger of Lin’s future. My analysis brought up six players; one of them, Damon Stoudamire, was a bit of an odd case since he was on an expansion Toronto team and had to use a ton of possessions but wasn’t really on par with the other players on the list.

    The other five? Two were hugely talented but saw their careers swallowed up by all the mistakes: Robert Pack and T.J. Ford. But the other three saw their careers turn out a little better: Isiah Thomas, Kevin Johnson and Russell Westbrook. I’d say Lin would take that, and I would argue his similarities with those three are stronger than with the first two — he’s a better shooter, he’s bigger and he’s less reliant on pure speed.

    In sum, as of now, Rubio’s ceiling appears to be lower than Rajon Rondo. Lin’s ceiling appears to be around Kevin Johnson. Hence, I lean toward Lin.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Had to search quite a bit to figure out a good analogue for Rubio’s ceiling, i.e. low FG% (around .420 mark,) high APG (9 or better.) The closest I got was Raymond Felton in his New York Knicks days: .423 FG%, 9 APG, 1.8 steals per game, 2.1 TO per game, 17.1 points per game playing 38 minutes per game.

    Rubio right now: .364 FG%, 8.6 APG, 2.3 SPG (phenomenal), 3.2 TPG, 10.9 PPG playing 37 minutes per game. In other words, Rubio needs to raise his FG% by 6 percent just to be a little better than Felton.

  • Pingback: Open Thread #232

  • http://www.wm3.org/Updates iheartblueballs

    I doubt anyone outside of nayacasey and TK are interested, so I’ll keep the new open thread free of hoop nerdsanity and continue in this one.

    Thekorean was pointing to a specific statistical fact that only the two of them have accomplished this season, not a general fact like saying they both pee standing up.

    I know it was a statistical comparison. The implication in digging up obscure stat line comparisons is some sort of equivalency between the two, or at least suggesting they’re in the same ballpark. They’re not. Not in the same universe of current talent or potential. Here’s another comparison of the two:

    Derek Rose vs Miami on Jan 29: 34 pts, 6 rebs, 6 assts, 2 TO, 40% FG, 86% FT
    Jeremy Lin vs Miami on Feb 23: 8 pts, 6 rebs, 3 assts, 8 TO, 9% FG, 0% FT

    A great assist to turnover ratio for a PG is 3.0 or above. Around 2.5 is average for a starting point guard. Below 2.0 is considered poor for a starter. Lin is at 1.7 since starting.

    Here’s another:
    Jose Calderon – 35 games, 65 TO
    Jeremy Lin – 13 games, 69 TO

    That’s a reasonable disagreement, if expressed in characteristically unfair overstatements. (The screeching and beating of chest over one bad game against the best team in the NBA in the third game since Carmelo’s return have been more than a little ridiculous.)

    I was curious as to just how bad that game against MIA was, so I searched basketball reference for another game from the last 25 years in which any player had 8 or more turnovers, had 10+ FG attempts, and shot less than 10%, as Lin did. Probably 30,000 games of regular season and playoffs over 25 years, and not a single one was that bad. He stands alone. Truly historic as far as awfulness goes.

    In fact even if you drop the 10 FG att requirement, you only get one comparable, which was Damon Stoudemire with 9 turnovers and 0 for 6 from the field back in 1996. If you’re going to use single-game stat level comparisons (like the Derek Rose one you trotted out), it has to play both ways.

    The other factors in justifying highlighting the MIA game above others are the relatively weak schedule Lin had played up to that point, and the fact that the 2 solid teams NY had played (LAL and DAL) were both at home. The hardest thing to do in the NBA is to win on the road and beat good teams. The MIA game was the first game Lin played on the road, against a good team. It was the biggest test he faced, and he failed it miserably. Not only did he play poorly, but for the first time since his emergence, he looked like he didn’t even belong on the floor. Given those stakes and his historically awful performance, it is completely reasonable to give that game significant weight in evaluating him thus far.

    All that being said, the biggest problem in using Lin’s stats at this point is that there simply isn’t enough data yet. The sample size is irrelevant in trying to extrapolate anything really useful, and that includes the turnover stats as well. The irrelevance is magnified by the nature of the schedule in his 13 games (packed with mostly bad teams and really bad teams, and disproportionately home games) and the absence of Amare/Melo for half of them. By season’s end, he will have played around 43 games (and probably more with playoffs), against a broader cross-section of teams, and his stats at that point will be more relevant in evaluating him. A full season will of course be more significant, as it will more accurately measure his durability and consistency than will the shortened half a season we get this year.

    it is really bothersome that Rubio shoots .364 on the field. This is consistent with his Euro league stats, actually. For all the seasons he played meaningful minutes, the BEST that Rubio has ever shot from the field over the season of Euro League was .370.

    36-37% is certainly poor for any NBA player, and clearly Rubio’s weak point. The fact that he only takes around 9 shots a game mitigates the poor FG% somewhat, but he really needs to get over 40%. Again, the biggest reason to favor Rubio right now is the far larger body of work over several years (not weeks) against good competition. The odds of him dropping off significantly from his current production are extremely low given his past, and he’s a proven commodity in comparison to Lin, even though he’s only an NBA rookie. The odds of Lin’s production taking a dive are relatively much higher (not saying high, just a lot higher than Rubio). This time next year, when they both have a year plus in the NBA under their belts, it’ll actually be worthwhile using their stats to determine comparables and ceilings.

    John Hollinger’s analysis on Lin’s TO problems:

    I like Hollinger, and I rely a lot on his analysis to use in betting season win totals and other NBA futures every year, but I disagree with his conclusion in this case. If you take the two separate groups of players — Stoudamire/Pack/Ford in group 1 and Isiah/KJ/Westbrook in group 2 — and ask me to pick which group Lin’s career is more likely to fit into based on the extremely limited sample of career games so far (which is largely a fools errand to start with), I would certainly default to the first group just based on the very high wall you must get over just to be considered for the second. Isiah is a HOFer, KJ is a borderline HOFer, and Westbrook is an All-Star with likely HOF potential. Lin’s 13 games don’t put him anywhere in the vicinity of group 2 yet.

  • Charles Tilly
  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    The implication in digging up obscure stat line comparisons is some sort of equivalency between the two, or at least suggesting they’re in the same ballpark.

    I didn’t “dig up” anything — I subscribe to NBA on ESPN Twitter, and it showed up in timeline. You did, however, dig up some obscure stat line just to shit on Lin.

    I was curious as to just how bad that game against MIA was, so I searched basketball reference for another game from the last 25 years in which any player had 8 or more turnovers, had 10+ FG attempts, and shot less than 10%, as Lin did. Probably 30,000 games of regular season and playoffs over 25 years, and not a single one was that bad. He stands alone. Truly historic as far as awfulness goes.

    Such stat is rare because most players get benched before that point ever comes. Talk about irrelevant statistics.

    Given those stakes and his historically awful performance, it is completely reasonable to give that game significant weight in evaluating him thus far.

    It is utterly unreasonable to use that one game as a cudgel, when Lin has also played quite well against the defending champion Dallas Mavericks and the two time champion Los Angeles Lakers.

    The odds of him dropping off significantly from his current production are extremely low given his past, and he’s a proven commodity in comparison to Lin, even though he’s only an NBA rookie. The odds of Lin’s production taking a dive are relatively much higher (not saying high, just a lot higher than Rubio).

    You are going for low downside, I am going for high upside. Low downside is not bad, but it won’t get you anywhere as a team. You can win a championship with Kevin Johnson, but not with Ray Felton. I would take the 10% shot at KJ over 40% shot at Felton. But that’s just me.

  • http://www.wm3.org/Updates iheartblueballs

    I didn’t “dig up” anything — I subscribe to NBA on ESPN Twitter, and it showed up in timeline. You did, however, dig up some obscure stat line just to shit on Lin.

    Regardless of the source, the street runs both ways. If you’re going to cite the obscure positive, you have no ground to criticize the obscure negative.

    Such stat is rare because most players get benched before that point ever comes. Talk about irrelevant statistics.

    Once again, you’re trying to have your cake and eat it too. If Lin gets credit for racking up good stats while playing heavy minutes because NY had no other option at PG, then he also has to accept the criticism for racking up horrible stats while playing heavy minutes because NY had no other option at PG.

    It is utterly unreasonable to use that one game as a cudgel, when Lin has also played quite well against the defending champion Dallas Mavericks and the two time champion Los Angeles Lakers

    .

    DAL and LAL are not elite teams this year. LAL are good but nowhere near the level they were in the last 4-5 yrs, and DAL is above avg but a mess of injuries and dysfunction.

    The next 10 days will be a good test, with 5 of 6 games on the road, with games @ Bos/SA/Chi in the mix. If he puts up similar stats and NY can win some games against those teams on the road like they did against the dregs of the league at home, he takes a good step forward.

    You can win a championship with Kevin Johnson, but not with Ray Felton.

    You can’t win a championship putting up historically terrible games against actual championship contenders like Miami.

  • PineForest

    Time will tell with Lin. It will be fun to see what happens with him, and it’s hard not to root for an underdog.