We appreciate that you kids need your new-fangled sabermetrics and quantitative analysis.
But with all due respect to Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey and even Miami Heat analyst Bob Chaikin, there still is something to be said for the old-school box score, with its neat columns, statistical delineations that do not require glossaries.
Arm Philadelphia 76ers statistician Harvey Pollack with a season's worth of box scores and play-by-play sheets and what you wind up with is his annual "NBA Statistical Yearbook."
And what we wind up with is a unique spin on some of the distinctive numbers during the Heat's 2011-12 championship season.
- The book breaks down the dunks of each of the Heat's Big Three. LeBron James: 38 alley-oop, 16 driving, three putback, one reverse, 13 running, 16 slam, eight fastbreak, nine plain. Chris Bosh: Two alley-oop, 12 driving, four putback, zero reverse, four running, nine slam, four fastbreak, 31 plain. Dwyane Wade: Six alley-oop, 16 driving, three putback, two reverse, six running, 12 slam, seven fastbreak, 11 plain. (No, we're not sure how any dunk could be "plain," but Pollack has been tracking these things for his 66 years in the NBA, so who are we to question?)
- James led the league last season in plus-minus, with the Heat outscoring the opposition by 474 points when the NBA Most Valuable Player was on the court. Interestingly, Heat point guard Mario Chalmers was third at 390, followed by Bosh fourth at 388. Wade was 10th at 343 due to his missed time. (With Charlotte Bobcats guard Kemba Walker last at minus-505.)
- Heat center Joel Anthony finished 25th in the league in points per shot, at 1.44. One spot behind? That would have been James.
- Anthony, no longer charged with the assignment, finished 10th in the league in most taps lost, at 25. By contrast, Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, who the Heat face Sunday, led the NBA with 50 taps won.
- Chalmers ranked 12th in league in receiving jump balls of any variety, with 15 recoveries.
- Heat forward James Jones placed second in the NBA in "trillions" with nine, meaning minutes played in the box score listed next to zeros for all of the 15 statistical categories. Dallas Mavericks forward Brian Cardinal led the NBA with 13.
- James ranked seventh in the NBA in rebounds of opponents' missed free throws, at 44. Next closest on the Heat was Udonis Haslem, who ranked ninth in the category, at 38. Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin led the NBA, with 70 such rebounds.
- Chalmers led the Heat with 19 offensive fouls, which put him 49th in the league.
- The Heat had only three delay-of-game violations all season, to rank 29th in league. Of course, the NBA added delay-of-game warnings this season for not being in place in a timely manner for the opening tip.
- Of players with at least 350 shots, the NBA's worst two-point percentages last season belonged to Charlotte Bobcats guard Kemba Walker, .393; Indiana Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough, .409; Heat guard Norris Cole, .414; and the Heat's Udonis Haslem, .423.
- James was one of 14 players called for at least 15 traveling violations, with 15. By contrast, Haslem was called for traveling once all of last season.
- James finished tied for 14th in the league with 11 finger rolls last season. Milwaukee Bucks guard Monta Ellis led the NBA with 28.
- The Heat went 24-1 when reaching 100 points first in their games last season.
- While with the Boston Celtics, Ray Allen shot 29 of 31 on free throws after technical fouls. By comparison, James was 6 of 10.
- Even amid his struggles with the Washington Wizards, current Heat forward Rashard Lewis was 5 for 5 in completing 3-point plays last season.
(Note: The book is available by mail for $20 by mailing Harvey Pollack, Philadelphia 76ers, Wells Fargo Center, 3601 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pa., 19148)
IN THE LANE
AGENT ASCENT: The man who Udonis Haslem once fired is now the leader of the team the Heat forward will be facing Sunday. When Haslem turned for guidance coming out of the University of Florida, he turned to Miami-based agent Jason Levien. Alongside Levien, Haslem went from undrafted Gator to a five-year, $33 million contract in 2005. The two split before the expiration of that deal, with Haslem moving on to Dwyane Wade's agent, Henry Thomas, but the respect never waned, even as Levien left the representation business. Sunday, when the Heat play at FedExForum, it will be with Levien as CEO of the Memphis Grizzlies, a position he assumed this past week as part of his minority ownership stake. "He's one of the brightest guys I ever met. So he definitely has the intelligence and the know-how to be able to do something like that," Haslem said. "The way he did business and some of the things he taught me about the business, there wasn't a question that I had for him that he didn't have an answer to. It was never, 'Let me get back to you,' or, 'Let me think about it.' He always pretty much knew everything." Since their parting, Haslem made a point of shaking hands when Levien worked in the Sacramento Kings' front office. Now Haslem could one day work for the man he once employed. "You never know. That's why you don't burn bridges," Haslem said. "Even though our situation didn't work out in the long run, I've never said one bad word about Jason and I've never had any ill feelings toward him."
FOR WORSE, FOR BETTER: The Michael Beasley experience can best be summed up between what he produced, or, more to the point, didn't produce, Monday at AmericanAirlines and then what he accomplished Wednesday against the Charlotte Bobcats. Monday, in his second game back to AmericanAirlines Arena since being dealt by the Heat in the 2010 offseason to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Beasley closed with seven points on 3-of-13 shooting, one assist and one rebound in 29 minutes in the Phoenix Suns' 124-99 loss. Two nights later in Charlotte, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft closed with 21 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists in a 117-110 Suns victory. As a matter of perspective, ESPN noted that over the past 25 years, the only other Suns to reach those totals in a game were Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion once apiece and Charles Barkley 12 times. It was one month short of eight seasons since a Suns player hit those thresholds, when Stoudemire did it.
DIFFERENT APPROACH: Expect a different approach when it comes to defending Chris Bosh when the Denver Nuggets host the Heat on Thursday night, in light of Chris Bosh scoring 40 against the Nuggets in last Saturday's Heat victory at AmericanAirlines Arena. In that game, Denver stayed with slow-footed center Kosta Koufos against Bosh longer than many expected. "I thought the athleticism of the game was a little too quick for him," Nuggets coach George Karl told the Denver Post. "JaVale [McGee] and Kenneth [Faried] did a great job for us and we went that way." Karl, though, said attitude has to be the biggest difference in the rematch. "My only thing to my players was . . . a little more nasty, a little more angry, a little more physical when somebody is kicking your butt, instead of slow-moving reactions and excuses."
HOLDING PATTERN: Former Heat point guard Carlos Arroyo is back in Miami, including regular workouts at Florida International University, as he awaits the impending birth of what will be his first son. While an NBA return is a longshot for the FIU product, according to Puerto Rico newspaper Primera Hora, he does have a standing offer to return to Turkey, where he thrived last season. Arroyo, 33, is the father of two daughters.
19. Former University of Kentucky players on NBA season-opening rosters, most of any school, Heat backup center Josh Harrellson among that email@example.com. Follow him at twitter.com/iraheatbeat.