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Fun With Small Sample Sizes

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Before I fiddle with some numbers I first need to ask for volunteers to join a search party. The quest: find Manu Ginobili's game. Possible locations:

A) In the interior zipper pocket of one of his many man-purses.
B) Marcellus Wallace's briefcase.
C) The trunk of Boutros-Boutros Ghali's 1976 Monte Carlo.

It's 10:17 PM and I just opened what has to be my sixth Diet Coke of the day. For those worried about my sleeping habits (and I'm sure that's most of you), don't fret mon ami; I'm capping it off with a Benadryl chaser!

On to the semi-relevant numbers! These include the NOOCH game when possible (thanks to 82games.com for some of the following).

-Tony Parker is shooting 76.4% from the FT line since the beginning of February. He's a career 69.7% shooter from the line. His eFG% on jump shots is 40.7%; essentially the same as last year's 40.5%. However he was down in the mid-to-upper 30s earlier in the season. Somewhere Chip Engelland is updating his resume.

-Since almost being traded, Brent Barry is shooting 51.7% from the field and 42.1% from 3. Here are his numbers per 40 minutes during that stretch: 15.1 PTS, 2.3 STL, 6.5 REB, 5.9 AST and 1.3 TO. Insert "Man, Team X should almost trade Player Y" joke here. Also, Brent has a +- of +2.6, good for fourth on the team and up from -2.1 last year.

-Since joining the starting lineup, Nazr Mohammed is averaging 13.7 rebounds per 48 minutes, down from 14.8 for the season (still very good). Since going to the bench, Rasho is averaging 10.3, up from 9.5. I wonder how much of the difference is coincidence, the result of playing more/less with Tim Duncan and the result of playing against starters/backups.

-Beno Udrih has a +- of -.5 while NVE is at -11.4. Yes, the decimal point is in the right place. The Spurs' eFG% while Beno is on the court: 52.7% while NVE is at 48.4%. Beno has a higher FG%, 3P% and APM. Beno does average 0.9 more TOs per 40 minutes, but his PER is 18.3 vs. Nick's 10.6. Playoff roster rules are more lax this year; shelve NVE and only dust him off if Beno gets the ball-handling yips again. Bribe some elbow doctors if you have to: "I am sorry Nick, but if you tweak that elbow wrong your testicles could explode."

-I've been watching Milicic since the trade. I will wager my entirely worthless blogging reputation that Darko will eventually be a 18/10/3(BLK) guy. His lateral movement on defense was eye-opening. It's obvious he knows what he's doing on the floor, and it's showing up in the box score. Since joining ORL, Darko's per 40 MIN numbers are: 14.2 PTS, 8.9 REB, 1.9 AST, 1.07 STL, 4.2 BLK and 3.1 TO. Will he ever be as good as Wade, Carmelo or Bosh? No. And Jay Williams, Mike Dunleavy, Drew Gooden, Skita, Dajuan Wagner, Nene and Chris Wilcox will never be as good as Amare. All you media morons should go bust their balls for a while, because those kids at least got a chance. Darko's 20 years old and spent his first years with a total bastard as a coach.

Am I possibly making too much of his 11 games with ORL? Quite possibly. But those 11 games constitute 29% of his playing time for his entire NBA career. I would venture to say those 11 games have just as much if not more meaning than the previous 500 minutes of garbage time that have formed the meager, pathetic basis for labeling him a bust.

-And that Yao Ming. Wow, he sucks, too. He was a number 1 pick! He's 8' tall! He should be scoring 30 and grabbing 15 every night! And because he's only going for 22 and 10 he is the most overrated player in the world! I don't care that he's only 25! He's the suckiest suck who ever sucked! I don't care if he played on one foot for half the season and didn't complain! Superstars play with pain! Except for Anfernee McGrady, but he doesn't have to because he has a signature shoe and a wry smile! He sells a bazillion jerseys! He's got street cred! Chinese people cannot have street cred! He's probably stealing American secrets! He's a communist! He doesn't put sugar in his tea! He doesn't kiss with saliva! He has a weak hand shake! He saw Brokeback Mountain and he didn't go with a girl! He owns plants and enjoys reading The New Yorker! He refuses to warp when playing Super Mario Bros because he considers it cheating! He spells "color" and "favorite" with those fucking superfluous u's!