Wednesday , Jan , 16 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

The Stats Do Lie

The Stats Do Lie

The stats DO lie. To all those fans who think they can what happened in a game from a box score…you’re DEAD WRONG!

I must confess. To each and every one of you. For about the past couple years, the way I used to “watch” NBA hoops – outside of my hometown Bullies – was through the numbers. Yeah, the numbers were my lovers, y’all.

I was just like you…all 73,291 of you reading this today.

After many years of commissioning a tight, 15-team, head-to-head fantasy league, I thought I could read a box score better than an Atlanta Hawks stat guy. Forget NBA League Pass (who has the money?), forget radio broadcasts.

Well, folks. Just reading the box score to an NBA game is like eating noodles without butter. And we all know what that fatal error will lead to.


To be more exact, it’s like reading a movie script to a British movie made in the 1930s. How the hell can that script tell you what the movie was?

Let’s twist it back to contemporary times. Yeah, with the saggy shorts, headbands and grills.

Let’s just pretend you’re one of 79, 230 people who might think Andre Iguodala is a good player. You may not think he’s great, but you think he’s darn good. Good enough, as a matter of fact, for the Sixers franchise to base its future around.


If you think this about Dre. You’re dumb. You’ve been watching too many highlights and box scores. Too many dunk contests and reading way too much about the correlation between muscle tone and sports performance.

Stats-wise, he’s all-around decent in most respects. He was even better last season. Heck, you went along with the billion or so people who play ESPN and Yahoo Fantasy Basketball and drafted the swingman in the second round of the draft this season.

Yeah, above Chauncey, Chris Bosh, Carmelo. You know the usuals.

The season began. The highlight reels are still cranking. His numbers are fine. Nothing great. You’re a bit disappointed, but at least his inner tight area isn’t pulling a Kevin Martin.

So you catch a rare game on television.

Last night, Rox vs. the Six.

It’s crunch time, and the team is going to Lou Williams, Willie Green and Thad Young instead of your boy?!

This somehow is like slow coking beans without the seaweed.

Now you’re watching more carefully. Iggy’s randomly pogo-sticking around the court, getting poked and bumped. He’s looking dumb out there. Heck, you start to worry more worried about him injuring himself than him getting you any more stats.

Finally, you come to realize, as they say. You’ve been watching the stats and highlights like a good little boy, but it just slipped past you.

Now you realize Iggy needs seriousness in his game. He’s a poor man’s star. A poor man’s Rudy Gay. Yeah, even the second year baller is getting more love in your mind. However, it’s too late to trade for that stud now.

You continue to watch the Rox beat up on your boy. He goes out. When he’s on the pine, the team plays better.

It’s no coincidence.

Don’t get me wrong. The Sixers are a terrible team with or without Iguodala. But, if you watch them, the Sixers suck the MOST with Andre Iguodala in the game.

Most people – you know, maybe 57,204 people – might look at his numbers and say, “What the heck are you talking about, cat? 17, 7 and 5. 10-11 from the stripe. Only one turnover. I’ll take that.”

You watched the game and knew. The Sixers won because the 19-year-old rook, Thad Young, stepped up for 24 minutes to make up for Iguodala’s major shortcomings and ineptitudes.

Andre Iguodala is the reason I’m giving up box score and number-crunching from now on. He’s also the reason I’m giving up highlights and three-play game recaps. True talent is measured by the eye, not the numbers. Players like Iguodala are just Sports Center whores.

Once again, doing it old school wins.