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September 30, 2019

LeBrons Odds of Catching Jordan

On Thursday, after LeBron James and the Miami Heat won their second consecutive N.B.A. championship, I noted on Twitter that James was on the same pace as the Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan. Both James and Jordan won their first championship at 27 and their second at 28, I wrote. Jordan went on to win four more N.B.A. titles, for a total of six.Mike Segar/Reuters LeBron James and Michael Jordan were about the same age when they won a second championship.My statement depended on a technicality, I later discovered: Jordan’s biological age was 28 when he won his first championship, in 1991, and 29 when he won his second, in 1992. However, basketball statisticians generally define a player’s age differently: by how old he was as of Feb. 1 of an N.B.A. season, the rough midpoint of the basketball calendar. Jordan’s birthday is Feb. 17.Those semantics aside, it is worth considering just how likely James might be to match or exceed Jordan’s six titles. (From this point on, we’ll use basketball statisticians’ definition of age.)Players like Jordan and James are so rare that it can be risky to compare them with anyone. Still, one reasonably useful benchmark is to evaluate players who, like James and Jordan, had won at least one Most Valuable Player award and at least one N.B.A. title as of their age-28 season, meaning that they had achieved the pinnacle of both individual and team success.By my count, there were 13 such players before James. On average, they won about two additional championships (more precisely, an average of 1.9) after their age-28 season. So a reasonable over-under line for James might be two more N.B.A. titles, or four total.It is tough to say exactly what James’s odds of catching Jordan might be, because the average conceals a wide range of outcomes among the individual players. Four of the players on the list — Magic Johnson, Moses Malone, Bob Pettit and Dave Cowens — never won another championship after their age-28 season. But four others — Jordan, Bill Russell, Bob Cousy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — won at least four more titles.James needs four more championships to catch Jordan, so one estimate of his odds might be 4 chances out of 13, or about 30 percent. But some of the favorable precedents, like Russell, came in an era when teams had far more ability to retain their players. Among the players on the list who played their age-28 season during the salary-cap era (since 1984-85), only Jordan won four or more titles.Jeff Haynes/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images Jordan after his fifth title with the Bulls.It seems safe to say that you would not want to bet on James at even money. There are just too many things that can go wrong with a player’s career as he ages: injury or illness, early retirement, bad teammates or bad luck.Even this year’s Heat began the season with only about a 30 percent chance of winning the title, according to the Las Vegas odds. That percentage roughly matches the historical likelihood of an N.B.A. team’s repeating as champion, which is 33 percent.So James’s chances of winning a third title next season in Miami are probably about 1 in 3. After that, his chances begin to decline. For one thing, it is less certain that James will be surrounded by strong teammates. (James has the right to opt out of his contract after next season, and even if he stays in Miami, teammates like Dwyane Wade are already seeing their skills atrophy.)More important, players in team sports typically peak in skill in their mid- to late 20s, meaning that James’s game may begin to wane. The N.B.A. is a superstar’s league, and if James goes from being M.V.P.-caliber to mere All-Star within a few years, it will considerably hurt his odds of winning more titles.I have estimated a player’s chances of winning an N.B.A. title based on his win shares, a statistic calculated by Basketball-Reference.com that measures overall value to a team. Since the introduction of the salary cap in 1984-85, excluding the two regular seasons (1998-99 and 2011-12) that were shortened by labor disputes, the best player in the league in a given season has averaged about 18 win shares, which is a reasonably good match for James’s performance over the last several years. The model estimates that such a player has about a 20 percent or 25 percent chance of winning the championship in today’s N.B.A. environment.What about the fifth-best player in the league — someone equivalent to the worst player on the All-N.B.A. team? That player has averaged about 13 win shares, which translates to only about a 10 percent chance of winning the championship.The 10th-best player in the N.B.A. at a given time has only about a 7 percent chance of winning a title, according to the model. And the 25th-best player — someone who might be the last reserve added to one of the conference All-Star teams — has about a 5 percent chance.That is not much better than an N.B.A. player chosen at random, who has a 3.3 percent chance of becoming a champion by virtue of being on one of the 30 teams. A borderline All-Star in the N.B.A., in other words, is much closer to being a role player than a superstar, at least when it comes to his odds of winning a championship.James, of course, will have considerable freedom to pick his employer. If he puts winning titles above all other considerations, he could sign on for any role with the team he perceived as having the best chance to win the championship in a given season.Few players in N.B.A. history have been willing to take things to quite that extreme. Instead, superstars expect teams to build around them — even if they are past their prime, and even if it means something as inglorious as Jordan’s late years spent with the Washington Wizards.One can forgive Jordan, who did not have anything left to prove. But to match him, James will need to win two or three more titles over the next several seasons while he still plays at an M.V.P. level, which will require good health and some good luck. Then he may need to chase the last couple of titles by being willing to play the right role with the right club.,On Thursday, after LeBron James and the Miami Heat won their second consecutive N.B.A. championship, I noted on Twitter that James was on the same pace as the Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan. Both James and Jordan won their first championship at 27 and their second at 28, I wrote. Jordan went on to win four more N.B.A. titles, for a total of six.Mike Segar/Reuters LeBron James and Michael Jordan were about the same age when they won a second championship.My statement depended on a technicality, I later discovered: Jordan’s biological age was 28 when he won his first championship, in 1991, and 29 when he won his second, in 1992. However, basketball statisticians generally define a player’s age differently: by how old he was as of Feb. 1 of an N.B.A. season, the rough midpoint of the basketball calendar. Jordan’s birthday is Feb. 17.Those semantics aside, it is worth considering just how likely James might be to match or exceed Jordan’s six titles. (From this point on, we’ll use basketball statisticians’ definition of age.)Players like Jordan and James are so rare that it can be risky to compare them with anyone. Still, one reasonably useful benchmark is to evaluate players who, like James and Jordan, had won at least one Most Valuable Player award and at least one N.B.A. title as of their age-28 season, meaning that they had achieved the pinnacle of both individual and team success.By my count, there were 13 such players before James. On average, they won about two additional championships (more precisely, an average of 1.9) after their age-28 season. So a reasonable over-under line for James might be two more N.B.A. titles, or four total.It is tough to say exactly what James’s odds of catching Jordan might be, because the average conceals a wide range of outcomes among the individual players. Four of the players on the list — Magic Johnson, Moses Malone, Bob Pettit and Dave Cowens — never won another championship after their age-28 season. But four others — Jordan, Bill Russell, Bob Cousy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — won at least four more titles.James needs four more championships to catch Jordan, so one estimate of his odds might be 4 chances out of 13, or about 30 percent. But some of the favorable precedents, like Russell, came in an era when teams had far more ability to retain their players. Among the players on the list who played their age-28 season during the salary-cap era (since 1984-85), only Jordan won four or more titles.Jeff Haynes/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images Jordan after his fifth title with the Bulls.It seems safe to say that you would not want to bet on James at even money. There are just too many things that can go wrong with a player’s career as he ages: injury or illness, early retirement, bad teammates or bad luck.Even this year’s Heat began the season with only about a 30 percent chance of winning the title, according to the Las Vegas odds. That percentage roughly matches the historical likelihood of an N.B.A. team’s repeating as champion, which is 33 percent.So James’s chances of winning a third title next season in Miami are probably about 1 in 3. After that, his chances begin to decline. For one thing, it is less certain that James will be surrounded by strong teammates. (James has the right to opt out of his contract after next season, and even if he stays in Miami, teammates like Dwyane Wade are already seeing their skills atrophy.)More important, players in team sports typically peak in skill in their mid- to late 20s, meaning that James’s game may begin to wane. The N.B.A. is a superstar’s league, and if James goes from being M.V.P.-caliber to mere All-Star within a few years, it will considerably hurt his odds of winning more titles.I have estimated a player’s chances of winning an N.B.A. title based on his win shares, a statistic calculated by Basketball-Reference.com that measures overall value to a team. Since the introduction of the salary cap in 1984-85, excluding the two regular seasons (1998-99 and 2011-12) that were shortened by labor disputes, the best player in the league in a given season has averaged about 18 win shares, which is a reasonably good match for James’s performance over the last several years. The model estimates that such a player has about a 20 percent or 25 percent chance of winning the championship in today’s N.B.A. environment.What about the fifth-best player in the league — someone equivalent to the worst player on the All-N.B.A. team? That player has averaged about 13 win shares, which translates to only about a 10 percent chance of winning the championship.The 10th-best player in the N.B.A. at a given time has only about a 7 percent chance of winning a title, according to the model. And the 25th-best player — someone who might be the last reserve added to one of the conference All-Star teams — has about a 5 percent chance.That is not much better than an N.B.A. player chosen at random, who has a 3.3 percent chance of becoming a champion by virtue of being on one of the 30 teams. A borderline All-Star in the N.B.A., in other words, is much closer to being a role player than a superstar, at least when it comes to his odds of winning a championship.James, of course, will have considerable freedom to pick his employer. If he puts winning titles above all other considerations, he could sign on for any role with the team he perceived as having the best chance to win the championship in a given season.Few players in N.B.A. history have been willing to take things to quite that extreme. Instead, superstars expect teams to build around them — even if they are past their prime, and even if it means something as inglorious as Jordan’s late years spent with the Washington Wizards.One can forgive Jordan, who did not have anything left to prove. But to match him, James will need to win two or three more titles over the next several seasons while he still plays at an M.V.P. level, which will require good health and some good luck. Then he may need to chase the last couple of titles by being willing to play the right role with the right club. read more

September 17, 2019

Transfer Godin set to join Inter Milan this summer

first_imgAtletico Madrid defender Diego Godin has reportedly agreed to join Inter Milan on a free transfer this summer.According to reports from Football Italia, Godin will pen down a two-year contract with Inter Milan, which includes the option of a third.Transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio adds only the ‘final details’ need to ironed out before a deal for the 32-year-old, whose Atleti deal expires in June, is finalised.Romelu Lukaku, Serie A, Inter MilanCapello calls Lukaku “a modern striker” Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 The former Italian manager believes Romelu Lukaku is perfectly suited for Antonio Conte’s Internazionale Milan in the Serie A.The Uruguayan became a member Diego Simeone’s side in the summer of 2010 and, together with Nerazzurri defender Miranda, helped them win La Liga four years later.He has also picked up 125 caps for his country, representing La Celeste at the last three World Cups.Diego Simeone has equally been linked to the Inter job where he played professionally, with the Argentine admitting it’s only a matter of time for it to become a reality.last_img read more

August 30, 2019

How to Build a Superfast Superquiet PC Part 1

first_img Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. How Success Happens 3 min read Brought to you by PCWorld When my home-built desktop unexpectedly dropped dead of what the coroner will record as a motherboard aneurism, I did what any geek would do. I freaked out for 5 minutes or so, and then I started thinking about my next build.With my key criteria of speed, quietness, and affordability firmly in mind, I pointed my browser toward my favorite online parts stores, whipped out a credit card, and set to work. What follows is the first half of the component list that ultimately became the fantastic new desktop I’m writing this column about. The prices listed below were accurate at press time.Processor: My last two PCs used AMD CPUs; but for this build, going with Intel was a no-brainer, as its chips tend to be much better performers at most price levels. Though a quad-core Intel processor sounded appealing, a well-optimized dual-core made more sense, I decided (few apps today use all four cores well, anyway). I went with the E8400, a 3-GHz CPU based on Intel’s new 45-nanometer fabrication process. The chip is fast, runs relatively cool, and is so popular with enthusiasts (and consequently so hard to find) that I spent $260 for it, despite Intel’s list price of $179.CPU cooling: Standard CPU heat sinks are for suckers (or people undisturbed by turboprop engines), so I opted instead for Sythe’s Ninja Plus Rev B SCNJ-1100P, which uses six pipes to draw processor heat up through its aluminum fins. A 120mm fan attached to the side of the sink then blows the heat away. At $39 (before a $10 rebate), it isn’t cheap, and it wasn’t particularly easy to install (you must attach it before installing the motherboard in the chassis). But the hassle was worthwhile: My CPU has yet to exceed the 32 C mark under load; and even with the case open, the fan is nearly noiseless.Motherboard: In choosing Gigabyte’s GA-P35-DS3L, I was influenced by the product’s Ultra Durable 2 moniker. (My last two PC builds succumbed to motherboard-related issues.) Also, it’s 100 percent passively cooled, supports my new CPU, and costs just $88. Based on Intel’s P35 chip set, the motherboard owes its durability to its Conductive Polymer Aluminum Solid capacitors. Gigabyte says that the technology leads to better voltage regulation, increased stability, and a longer PC life span. I can’t verify any of that yet, but my new system has been rock-solid so far.Graphics card: Though I don’t spend much time gaming at my PC, I demand a top-notch graphics card. For this build I wanted something featuring NVidia’s 8800 GT GPU, which is a few notches (in quality and price) below its top-of-the-line GTX. I was quite pleased to find ECS’s N8800GT 512MB board with an included passive cooler for silent heat dissipation. The $245 card (before a $50 rebate) includes Arctic Cooling’s fantastic Accelero S1 cooling system, which uses a series of copper heat pipes connected to 32 fins that stretch the length of the card. You need a big chassis to accommodate this long card. I left off the optional fans since I don’t plan to overclock, and the card runs fast and silent.The tally so far (before $60 in rebates): $632. Next month I’ll introduce my choices for RAM, hard drive, optical drive, chassis, sound card, speakers, and operating system.ChecklistCPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 $260CPU cooling: Sythe Ninja Plus Rev B SCNJ-1100P $39Motherboard: Gigabyte’s GA-P35-DS3L $88Graphics: ECS N8800GT $245TOTAL $632 June 2, 2008 Listen Nowlast_img read more