Brian Tung

  • joined May 06, 2010
  • last login Aug 18, 2014
  • posts 12
  • comments 471

A Fan Of...

  • MLB San Francisco Giants
  • NBA Los Angeles Lakers
  • NFL San Francisco 49ers
  • NHL Los Angeles Kings
User Blog

Going Whole Ballhog


My take on Jack Taylor's orgy of points, and how it compares with Wilt and Kobe. (Hint: They're all really super impressive!)


When We Flew (poetry corner!)

A little something different, to help fill in the gap. I was watching yet another YouTube clip of Kobe wowing us with his athleticism and wizardry, and I started thinking about how many of the...


Mitch Kupchak Has Fire in His Belly, or Somewhere

Nestled at the bottom of ESPN LA's article on Jimmy Buss having no intention of ever trading Kobe was this delectable little nugget: There weren't warm-and-fuzzy feelings toward Stern, however,...

My Shortest Blog Post Thus Far


My take on the whole clusterfudge.

A Little Learning (Game Theory, Part Deux)


In these dark days, a little leavening: As promised, the second part of my discussion of game theory; this time, the focus is on basketball, and the impact of game theory considerations on individual player statistics (whether traditional or "advanced"). There will be an exam on this at the end of the term.

Game Theory, Part One


I know, sort of the thing that put you to sleep in math class. And I haven't even gotten to the (kind of) juicy parts yet. But I promised a couple of folks I would write this, so here it is.

How Sausage Is Made: Using Statistics to Compare Players Across Eras


Our guest author Brian Tung weighs in on the pitfalls of using stats to compare basketball players of different eras.

Beyond the Numbers: How We Think About Basketball Stardom


When it comes to superstardom in the NBA, stats tell only part of the story. The more important part is how the stars we love live in our memory.

Grasping at Genius


Once again, I toot my own horn: I write about the nature of genius, and whether or not it can be applied to athletes as well as scholars or artists. As I'm a basketball fan, unsurprisingly, I conclude that it can. (As an aside, although I don't come out and say it in this blogpost, I think that Magic is a basketball genius.) Pretty soon, I hope to finish writing a post for SSR about superstars and statistics, and how the two aren't as related as many think. You know you want to read it. :)


Is There Such a Thing as a Hot Hand?

I'm not asking entirely idly.  I'm going to embark on some kind of writing about the hot hand in basketball (not sure whether it'll be a paper or an essay or what, quite yet), and as part of that...

Paul fouls Pau: New Levels of Floppiness Discovered


Saw this a while ago, and have been meaning to post this. It's no secret that I find Gasol and Pierce to be among the most egregious floppers on these two teams. Gasol gets hit, and it looks like he got shot out of a cannon. Pierce rubs against the show man on a pick, and his head snaps back as though he just got rear-ended on the freeway. They do it, though, because it continues to work. They get the foul calls. So what would happen, I wondered, if the two of them were involved in a foul? Well, wonder no more, sports fans; here it is. At about the 1:50 mark, with around 2:40 left in Game 7, Ray Allen drives toward the baseline and flips the ball over to Rasheed Wallace, who tries a one-hander from 10 feet. It misses, and Gasol grabs the rebound. The ball gets batted around a bit, then lands in the hands of Ron Artest, who passes it back to Gasol. The Lakers seem unclear as to what to do, and the eight-second count is running down, so Gasol--not entirely alien to ball-handling--starts dribbling downcourt. Waiting at half-court is Pierce. Gasol shifts to his right, and they make contact. It's a definite blocking foul; Pierce slides over to attempt to draw the charge, plus he puts his hands out on Gasol. But the thing to watch here is the epic orgy of head-snapping that ensues. I don't think I've ever seen it like that before. The subsequent slow-motion replay is just icing on the cake.

Points on the Board


A few days ago on one of the Celtics board, someone was claiming that the Celtics lost Game 7, rather than the Lakers winning it. That claim was predicated on the Lakers' 32.5 percent shooting clip (which is, to be sure, almost epically awful). In my opinion, though, it's a little inconsistent to focus only on that and ignore the incredible job the Lakers did on their offensive glass--not just in raw boards (which was in part a reflection of their poor shooting), but also in offensive rebounding efficiency. This link is a bit of analysis I did in figuring out to what extent the Lakers' dominance on the boards contributed to overcoming their shortfall in shooting accuracy.

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