Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Don't Blame Conor: he's who he's supposed to be

First off, this isn't an article excusing Conor's recent behavior. It was indeed a set of criminal acts that put a bunch of innocent people in harm's way. He'll have his day in court, and at that point he'll be judged. 

Instead, this column is all about the simple facts of the entire situation: you can't blame Conor. Yes, Conor was the one throwing a hand truck through a tour bus window. Yes, it was Conor who loaded up his private jet with a bunch of his goons friends to defend his friend and training partner Artem Lobov. But it has been one man that has enabled the Conor McGregor that we see today. Dana White, come on down...the monster you've created has finally become unhinged. 

Look, I have no issues with Conor defending his friend. I think we all need friends like that. And maybe this entire ordeal was indeed staged like some people believe. But at the end of the day, Conor is only doing what he's been doing since his first day in the UFC. The man has called all of his own shots. He went into hostile territory against Jose Aldo and effectively took that man's soul in a press conference. He's defeated every man that the UFC has placed in front of him. He has his own promotional company, movies made about him, endorsement deals with fast food restaurants, and he's the UFC's first million dollar man. All under the watchful eye and guidance of Dana White. Do you honestly think all of this has happened without the approval of the UFC's head honcho? 

It was White who allowed McGregor to fight Floyd Mayweather in the biggest sports spectacle in our lifetime. That event effectively allowed The Notorious One to become bigger than his employer. The UFC needs Conor McGregor, not the other way around. Want proof? Notice how Dana White hasn't cut Conor from the roster at this point. Three fights were canceled due to Conor going The Incredible Hulk on that bus backstage. That's six fighters who lost an opportunity to showcase their talents (the fighters were paid their "show" money). If Dana White was that disgusted, then Conor would be an unemployed fighter at the moment. Instead he's a fighter who just made himself even more "notorious" than before. 

Whether intentional or not, both Dana White and Conor McGregor will become insanely rich off of this incident. There was already no doubt, from this writer, that Conor was coming back to the UFC in the fall. Even Dana effectively said so. There is only three fights that could be worth the promotion. The Conor vs Georges St Pierre option is there, but is the least likely of the three. Running Conor vs Nate Diaz III is there, but that option will be there regardless. There's no need for the UFC to have that fight quite yet. That leaves the third and most likely option. Which was/is Conor vs the holder of the lightweight title that Conor has never lost defended and was recently stripped of. The UFC wanted Conor vs Khabib and now the stage is set for the greatest grudge match in UFC history. The fight sells itself...or most accurately, Conor has already sold the fight. With the help of a hand truck that is. 

Conor is the product of the machine that he fed with his determination, will, cockiness, and his ability to back it all up inside of the octagon. That machine has been driven by Dana White, and together both men have gotten insanely rich off of it all. But even Dana knows that you have to take the good with the bad in regards to Conor. For every 13 second knockout or second round TKO of Eddie Alavarez, there will come a chaotic press conference, a bum-rush of a Bellator fight, or rifling a hand truck through a bus window. The UFC's Million Dollar Man is too valuable to contain but too volatile to trust. Dana White has chosen to ride with Conor on this roller coaster, and make no mistake about it...he's fine with the ups and downs because the pay off is worth it at the end. You can't blame Conor for operating the amusement park ride, you can only be upset that people continue to get on the ride. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

LeBron Isn't To Blame

Welcome back to the gift that is back to giving. The blog that believes men lie, women lie, numbers lie, but the facts don't. It is another edition of Tha Weatha Report. The NBA finals are in full swing, and the juggernaut known as the Golden State Monstars Warriors are up by a commanding 3-0 lead over the Cleveland Generals Cavaliers. To some, we are seeing the passing of the torch from LeBron James to Kevin Durant for the title of best player in the world. We won't get into all that, because it is way too soon to take that title away from LeBron. But we all know how it goes in situations like this. When a team is dominated in two games and then their soul snatched in Mortal Kombat style in the third game, the talk centers on who's fault is it. Most pundits are pointing the finger at King James. Which is fair. If you are granted the aforementioned mystical title, you have to take the good with the bad. After all, to the victor go the spoils. But when you lose in the fashion that Cleveland has, well...you get the blame. However, LeBron James isn't to blame in this case. Sure, he gets his fair share of the burden, but he isn't alone in this situation. So who is to blame? Mr. Tyronn Lue...come on down! You're the next contestant on that Summer Jam screen. That's right, Cleveland's struggles fall squarely on the shoulders of the man who holds the clipboard. 

According to BasketballReference.com, Cleveland averaged 96.2 possessions per game in the regular season. This placed Cleveland right in the middle of the NBA pack at 15th in the league. For reference, Golden State averaged 99.8 possessions a game which placed them at 4th in the NBA. Sure, four or so extra possessions per game may not sound like much but that's four additional sprints up and down the court. That's four more defensive possessions that taxes the mind and body. In addition, when you're a 32 year old, 6'8 260 lbs guy who's played in 7 straight NBA finals and has almost 10,000 playoff minutes and over 41,000 regular season minutes under your belt, those four possessions start to take on a different meaning. 

Here's where the blame starts to fall at Lue's feet: prior to the NBA finals, the games Cleveland was involved in averaged 90.6 possessions per game. In the NBA finals? 105 possessions per game. Obviously, Cleveland had plenty of success playing games where possessions were in the low 90s as they compiled a 12-1 playoff record prior to the finals. It stands to reason that Cleveland is a better team in games that have a slower pace than that of their finals opponents. So can someone explain why Tyronn Lue is insistent on playing at a fast pace against a team that thrives on a fast pace like a pride of lions on a zebra?!? While it is true that Cleveland's worse two games prior to the finals were games in which there was an average of 90.8 and 92.6 possessions a game. But those were against Indiana and Boston respectively, and no one would describe those two squads as having a ton of firepower.  

Prior to game two, Lue was quoted as saying "Playing faster, but taking care of the basketball. But we've got to be, we got to play with pace. They're a good half-court defensive team. We know that, so we can't get bogged down in the half-court offense." While true, it ignores the fact that fighting fire with fire is not an advisable course of action in this situation. Game one averaged a pace of 102.5. Golden State won by 22. Game two's average pace was 108.5. Golden State won by 19. Game three was played at a 103.3 pace. Golden State won by 5. At least Cleveland is getting closer. However, it would've made more sense for Lue to see the trend that developed out of the first two games and slow the game down to take away Golden State's transition game. Instead, Lue's stubbornness and refusal to take away one of the Warriors' strengths has his team facing an 0-3 hole and becoming a footnote in NBA history as Golden State attempts to become the first team to go 16-0 in the postseason. 

While the players hold 50% of the blame for the massive hole that the Cavs find themselves in, overlooking the fact that the correct coaching adjustments have not been made ignores the other 50% of the equation. Golden State has looked unstoppable all season long, so it is possible that no amount of adjustments would have changed the outcome of the series. But Lue is paid to make adjustments and outperform Mike Brown and Steve Kerr. It is clear that, just like his team, Lue has been shown up by the Warriors' coaches. At least he'll have plenty of time in the summer to figure out his shortcomings.  

Thursday, June 1, 2017

No One Is Immune

"Even if you in a Benz, you still a nigga in a coop." - Kanye West 

Never has a quote said so much in less than fifteen words. By now, maybe you are familiar with the story surrounding LeBron James' California home being vandalized with a derogatory racial slur. I know that normally Tha Weatha Report tackles sports issues that have a lighter tone. However, not only does this have an impact on the sports world due to the NBA Finals starting in just a few hours, but this also goes deeper than the two best teams in the world competing for the Larry O'Brien trophy. This incident speaks to the fact that the land of the free and the home of the brave has never been more divided in the last three decades...or possibly ever. 

We won't get into why this is...that subject is better served for a different forum. Instead, let's remember the words of Kanye West. For high profile African American athletes, and LeBron is obviously just that, it is understood that while money may place them in a higher tax bracket than other African Americans, it does not negate some of the challenges that they face. Many, including Jim Brown and Isiah Thomas, have applauded James for his response to the incident and Tha Weatha Report wants to express the highest level of respect to him for his candor and how he has conducted himself in regards to this matter. What we, as a country, should NOT do though is ignore the fact that any individual, regardless of tax bracket status, has to worry about coming home to a disgusting message being sprawled on their home. What we, as a country, should NOT do is hear a lyric from Kanye West and chalk it up to a rapper speaking nonsense. What we, as a country, should NOT do is be fine with any African American feeling that they are "still a nigga in a coop". When words ring loudly, we all should answer the bell.  

Whether or not you're a LeBron James fan on the court is irrelevant when it comes to this situation. What is relevant is whether or not you're a fan of the human race. Tha Weatha Report takes the stance that we're all the same...just some of us were left in the oven longer than others. When you strip away our skin color, we all have the same amount of bones that make up our bodies. For the most part, everyone is understanding and accepting when players are on the court or field...so the question needs to be asked: When will that understanding and acceptance become commonplace outside of the sports arenas? It is often said that sports isn't life, but in this case maybe it should be. 

The story should be centered around LeBron's quest to catch the ghost with six rings vs Golden State's attempt to become the NBA's newest dynasty. Instead, the narrative has become the ghost of America's past reminding us all that years have not removed us from insensitive acts and attitudes that divide. Nobody expects all of the country's issues to be fixed overnight. But what people do expect is the ability to not have to worry about their property being defaced. Maybe one day we'll all have the ability to say that being in a Benz is the treat it was designed to be...regardless of race.  

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Mayweather vs Pacquiao: Running Blog

As most of you know, I frequently travel to big sporting events across the country. NBA playoffs/finals, MLB games, and quite a few UFC events. In May of 2014, I was blessed enough to travel to Las Vegas for the Mayweather vs Maidana event. I was able to take in all of the festivities while staying at the MGM Grand and it was a surreal experience. This year, I am lucky enough to have the ability to travel to Las Vegas once again to take in another Mayweather weekend. This time, the event is of a grandiose magnitude with it being the fight we have all been waiting for. So, to commemorate the event, for the first time ever, Tha WeathaMan will do his best to keep a running blog timeline going for all of you that may or may not be in Vegas for this historic event. So without further ado, let's get it!

4:45am - Alarm goes off. Time to get up. My Friday night ended at 2 am, and my Saturday begins 2 hours and 45 minutes later. Ironically, this is about the average amount of sleep an individual gets in Vegas. So my body is already thanking me.

6:00am - Arrived at San Antonio International Airport. Easy drive in, parking was immediate. Walk into the airport and notice a line that look formidable. Luckily, Southwest has tons of kiosks open and the wait is only 10 minutes followed by a brisk 2 minute journey through the TSA Pre-Check line.

6:20am - Sitting at Gervins inside of the airport. If you ever travel from or through San Antonio you have to stop by this establishment. Great drinks, and the staff is always friendly. Tell them that Tha WeathaMan sent you (it won't mean a thing to them, and it won't get you any discounts, but the looks on their faces may be worth the stop),

7:00am - First drink of the weekend. Due to San Antonio law, 7am is the earliest an establishment can serve alcohol and the bartender made sure to hit it right on the dot. My flight doesn't leave for another hour, give or take, but so far this trip is off to a roaring start. Yes please, may I have another!

7:50am - On the plane and about to take off shortly. I have a quick layover but I may or may not blog from the plane. I can tell you that the energy on this plane is extremely high and pulsating. It seems that everyone is looking forward to a helluva weekend.

9:22am - Just landed in Denver where I have about a 30 min layover with no plane change. Now the excitement from the plane crew and incoming passengers is at a fever pitch. I'm about 5 or 6 vodka and cranberry drinks deep so appropriately this is the best flight of all time. The couple next to me on the flight had to be told to not judge me as I ordered my last drink. The flight attendant just told me that the last 2 days has been insane for them in regards to the amount of people going to Vegas. Makes sense considering it is expected that Vegas will have approximately 350k people coming in for this weekend. I'm one step closer, which means you are one step closer. Stay tuned!

11:51am - I've been in the hotel for about 20 minutes and the atmosphere is unlike any I've ever experienced. I've traveled to Vegas every year for the last 5 or 6 years and I've never literally felt the electricity in the air. The only way I can describe it is to take the most exciting event you've ever been to and multiply it by an exponential number. I've never seen this many people on the strip at this time of day. Literally thousands of folks just walking around. All prepared for tonight.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Fight of the Century

Almost exactly 4 years ago I took this to this space and laid into Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao for their inability to come together and make a fight that, at the time, was estimated to generate over $100 million in revenue (that outstanding write up can be read here). Fast forward 4 years and it is May 1, 2015 and it is safe to say that some things have changed.

For starters, my writing has improved. I know you are all thankful for that. Most importantly, the two biggest stars in the sport of boxing finally came together and got the deal done and will fight in a little over 24 hours in Las Vegas. Another big point that has changed is that this fight will far surpass that $100 million in revenue as Mayweather himself will bring in more than that when it is all said and done. So here we are, on the eve of the biggest sporting event in my 31 plus years of life. Quite simply put, this may be the biggest sporting event in most of our lives. However, when you take away the $4000+ tickets, the $100+ pay per view cost, the $500+ plane tickets, and the $600+ hotel prices, and you're left with the fact that one of these two fighters will cement their legacy when that final bell rings at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

In the 4 years that has passed since I wrote that first article, the fighters themselves have changed. Pacquiao suffered a knockout loss to Marquez after that article. Mayweather fought Shane Mosley and was in trouble in the first two rounds, but eventually recovered to dominate that fight. Money May has gone on to fight for Showtime and pocket millions upon millions of dollars, and Pacquiao has gone on to recover from losses to Marquez and Timothy Bradley to establish himself as the clear cut #2 pound for pound fighter in the world. So here we are. Hours away from the fight that, whether these fighters like it or not, will define their legacies. The defensive wizard against the power punching ball of energy. The only thing left to decide happens to be the biggest question: Who wins?

The first thing to do is to realize that the past performances from these two fighters mean absolutely nothing to this fight other than to establish the tendencies that they are capable of. Truthfully, it doesn't really matter that Mosley rocked Mayweather in the second round of their fight. Likewise, it doesn't really matter that Marquez caught Pacquiao coming in and knocked him out cold. What DOES matter is that Mosley showed us that Mayweather can be caught early on in a fight, but we've known that for years. What DOES matter is that Marquez proved that Pacquiao is susceptible to a counter right, but we've known that for years also.

Pacquiao has been known to throw over 100 punches in a round, and I don't expect this fight to be any different...in the early rounds. I expect a very aggressive Pacquiao to come out of the gate and to attack Mayweather, not allowing him to dictate the pace of the fight. I believe this will work for the opening 9 to 12 minutes of the fight, which breaks down to the first 3 or 4 rounds. I expect the flow of the fight to cause Pacquaio to have to decrease his output after that to closer to 60 to 70 punches a round, still a substantial amount but far lower than the amount Pacquiao theoretically wants to throw. That's the beauty of Mayweather's defensive wizardry. He always seems to force his opponent to adapt to his style versus the other way around.

If Mayweather wants to win this fight, he has to avoid falling into the trap of allowing Pacquiao to steal rounds. Meaning, that even if he manages to force Pacquiao to throw "only" 60 to 70 punches, Mayweather must also return fire at a decent rate. Throwing 40 punches a round may not get the job done for Money, so he'll have to increase his work rate. The key punch for Mayweather will be his jab, specifically the jab to the body of Pacquiao. The Filipino warrior will throw punches, and he will throw plenty of them. In order for Mayweather to drain Pacquiao of as much energy as possible, he must work the body. Also, by working the body it will open up the right hook that can be Pacquiao's kryptonite.

Anybody that tells you that they know what will happen on Saturday night is a liar, and that includes Freddie Roach. I'm no different. I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen. In my opinion, a draw is just as likely as a Pacquiao victory via knockout which is just as likely as a Mayweather victory via the same method. This is a true "pick em" fight, and that's just another reason why this fight is a can't miss event. However, I know you didn't make it this far just to read that I have no official forecast. Well, Tha WeathaMan's official forecast for the Floyd "Money" Mayweather vs Manny "Pac Man" Pacquiao fight is...Mayweather by Unanimous Decision.

I will be in Las Vegas for the weekend's festivities, so stay tuned for updates to come on that. Enjoy the fight ladies and gentlemen, because we'll never see another event like this in our lifetimes.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The News About LeBron Isn't News At All

Note: This article will not detail thoughts on where LeBron James will end up signing this summer. For those thoughts, please check out the latest audio version of The Weatha Report here.

Around 8am CST on Tuesday June 24, 2014 I received an ESPN alert on my phone. I glanced down and read that LeBron James' agent had informed the Miami Heat of his client's intentions of opting out of his contract and becoming a free agent. This news set off alarms and whistles across all sorts of platforms. Channels such as ESPN and Fox Sports became all LeBron all the time. Setting up scenarios in which different "teams" were allowed to throw out their best pitch in order to get King James to sign with their teams. Social media was turned on it's head as everything from "Miami Heat" to "bandwagon Heat fans" began to trend. My reaction when I read the alert? 

:Kanye shrug and yawn: 

Not because I was tired, but instead because this wasn't news at all. This was an expected development. I fully expected to hear that LeBron James had opted out. Just like I fully expect to hear that Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have both opted out. Just like I wasn't surprised when Carmelo Anthony opted out. Its why you negotiate an opt out clause in your contract....so you can utilize it. Seems like a completely astute and shrewd move on the part of a player that is universally regarded as not just the best player on the planet, but also a smart business man.

Numerous text messages and conversations would follow throughout the day, all met with a nonchalant response. 

"What's wrong with you? Isn't this a big deal?"

Well, yes and no. Allow me to explain. 

Why LeBron opting out is not a big deal

Let's play a game. Your name for this game is Jim. And you, Jim, work at Joe's Computer Repair Shop. Your boss is the owner, appropriately named Joe. You two have a good working relationship. Over the last four years your partnership has resulted in the company being recognized as one of the top two computer repair shops in your city. Two of those years even resulted in the title of being the best repair shop in the city. The last year resulted in a devastating loss of the title to a rival repair company, but for the most part things are good. Sure, the surrounding cast of employees needs to be updated but there are two repairmen that are considered two of the best around. Hey, it could be worse right? 

When it is time for your employee evaluation you are approached by Joe, who gives you two options:

Option 1: Opt in and stay with the current contract you're working on for another year. It's guaranteed to pay throughout the 12 months. At the end of the year, you have to renegotiate for another contract either with Joe or another company. Not a bad option at all. 

Option 2: Opt out of the contract, sign a new five year contract with Joe's company with the option to opt out of that one after four years, getting a raise in salary each year, with all five years being guaranteed. 

I think the majority of us would select option 2. Lebron doesn't repair computers, that we know of, and his bosses go by the names Mickey Arison and Pat Riley. But I'm sure you get the comparison. Simply put, it is a smart business decision for LeBron or any high profile athlete to opt out of a deal and to take a new deal. Remember, basketball contracts are fully guaranteed for the most part. Once LeBron signs that deal, with whichever team he signs with, he will get all of that money whether he gets injured halfway through or plays the string out. The former MVP doesn't seem to be hurting for money, but you still take the security of a new deal with multiple years as opposed to playing on what essentially works out to be a one year deal. After all, you can't put a price tag on security. 

Why LeBron opting out is a big deal

Even though I was indifferent to the news, I'm not oblivious to it. I understand that there is a flip side to it all. It was thought that Wade, James, and Bosh would all get together and discuss the courses of action that they would take. On Tuesday, James acted solo with Wade saying that there was nothing to report on his end. Is LeBron doing things on his own terms? Have the Big 3 talked about this scenario and it is all apart of a calculated plan on their part? No one seems to know at this point. 

I also recognize that LeBron James is not just the biggest fish in the free agency pond, but that he is the biggest fish in the biggest lake in the world. James isn't called The Chosen One because the moniker is catchy. He's the best player in the world and the face of the NBA. When he makes a move, it creates ripples in the lake known as the NBA. Essentially by throwing his hat in the free agency ring, it prevents other high profile free agents (read: Carmelo) from making any moves at this point. Basically, everyone is frozen until LeBron decides to put pen to paper for a team. Once the biggest domino falls, the rest will follow. And, of course, the biggest reason why this could be a big deal...LeBron could shift the balance of power in the NBA. While we won't get a television special announcing his plans, it is clear that his decision will be anticipated.

The free agency period in the NBA doesn't start until July 1st, but the maneuvering has already started. It is always news when the face of the league is announcing his unemployment, and is waiting to be courted by billionaires waiting to make him even richer while showing him detailed plans on how his championship ring collection can improve under their watch. However, at the end of the day this isn't news. The news didn't start when LeBron's agent informed the Miami Heat brass that the star was opting out. On the contrary, the news starts when LeBron's agent tells a team that his client is bringing (or keeping) his considerable talents to their organization. The fun may have begun, but the news.....well, that will have to wait until after July begins.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Carmelo vs Durant: Who's The Purer Scorer

"Carmelo Anthony is the best pure scorer in the NBA and it isn't even close." 

The above statement was written by yours truly on a social media site the night that Carmelo Anthony scored 62 points against the Charlotte Bobcats, setting a New York Knicks and Madison Square Garden record. As I expected, that single statement set off a firestorm of replies. I made that statement as Kevin Durant was in the midst of a streak that hasn't been seen since Tracy McGrady's heyday. At the time Durant was on his ninth straight game of at least 30 points, a streak that would eventually extend to 12 straight games. Predictably, most of the disagreeing posters felt that Durant takes the title of the best pure scorer in the game. I was then challenged to showcase why I believe Melo is as opposed to Durant. As all of you know, The WeathaMan loves a challenge. So let's dive in and find out, at least for now, who is indeed the best pure scorer in the NBA. But first, a couple of notes:

- Let's be real, this question comes down to only these two players. There isn't anyone else that belongs in this discussion. Remember, we are talking about best pure scorer and not the best player in the game. That's a discussion for another day.

- While I believe that Anthony is indeed the best pure scorer, I do not write blogs with any bias or subjectivity. I am willing to allow the argument to be made solely off of the evidence put forth. I also am aware that my opinion may change based on the evidence that will be presented.

- All of the stats and info used in this blog was gathered from basketball-reference.com which can be assessed here. If another source of information is used it will be noted.

- When I say "best pure scorer", let's be clear that it is not based on how many points each one scores. What will be discussed is how each player accomplishes getting the points they score and where on the court these baskets come from. 

- I was prepared to compare each player from the time Durant entered the league until this season. However, I decided to just compare them for this season and last season. Comparing a rookie 19 year old Kevin Durant to a 23 year old Carmelo Anthony who had been in the league for four seasons just didn't seem conducive to the article. It is beyond clear that Durant and Anthony have both been established in the league for a few seasons, and using their last 1 1/2 seasons is not only fair but also sensible.

- Make no mistake about it, I am on trying to say that Durant does not deserve all of the coverage, hype, and praise that he is getting for this season. He has basically carried the Thunder the entire season all while showing improvements in a skill set that had already placed him as arguably the second best player in the game. I am simply of the opinion that Anthony is a purer scorer.

Now that we have all of that out of the way.....

Currently Durant leads the league with a 31.2 ppg average while Anthony is second with a 27.2 average. Out of the last four seasons, Durant has won the league scoring title three times. The other person to win the title in those four seasons was Anthony who is the reigning NBA scoring title champion. It is clear that both players score in volumes, and can light up the stat sheet. However, as has been stated earlier, we cannot confuse quantity of points with quality of points.

Split Value FG FGA FG%


Shot Distance At Rim 246 458 .537


3 to <10 ft 49 132 .371


10 to <16 ft 148 325 .455


16 ft to <3-pt 178 413 .431


3-pt 174 471 .369


The chart above is the breakdown of Anthony's field goals from the 2012-2013 season. As can be seen, Melo did most of his damage at the rim (dunks and layups) and from beyond the arc. When it comes to post ups and mid range those shots combined are less than the 3 pointers that Anthony attempted.


Shot DistanceAt Rim259351.738


3 to <10 ft131282.465


10 to <16 ft159332.479


16 ft to <3-pt133310.429




This chart showcases the breakdown of Durant's field goals from the same season.As it shows, Durant's shot chart is more balanced than that of Carmelo Anthony. Not only that, but the "Slim Reaper's" field goal percentages from each distance is considerably better than that of Melo's with the lone exception being the long two pointers found in the 16 ft to the 3 point arc range. Admittedly this is more than enough evidence to show that as of the 2012-2013 season, Kevin Durant was not only a better shooter but also was a purer scorer. The chart shows that Durant was dangerous anywhere on the court and scored at a higher rate than that of Carmelo. On the other hand, it appears that Melo either drove to the rim or settled for shots beyond the arc. While Melo still scored at a prolific rate, it is easier for defenses to key in when they know you're either going all the way or not going at all.

Uh oh, it appears that my opinion may be a little off base. Let's see what this season has to show:

Shot DistanceAt Rim117195.600


3 to <10 ft3096.312


10 to <16 ft63160.394


16 ft to <3-pt118270.437




So far this season, as you can see, Carmelo has done a better job at being a more balanced scorer when it comes to using the entire court for his assault on the scoreboard. Granted the season is only halfway over, but the improvement is clearly evident. Anthony has improved on his percentage at the rim, and has also improved from 16ft to beyond the arc. Melo is also on pace to post up more frequently than he did last year, which has always been a strong aspect of his offensive repertoire. However, it would be nice if Anthony could improve on that 31% number that represents his post up game. Let's compare this to the chart that Kevin Durant has put together so far this season:

Split Value FG FGA FG%


Shot Distance At Rim 152 191 .796


3 to <10 ft 62 151 .411


10 to <16 ft 81 173 .468


16 ft to <3-pt 75 163 .460


3-pt 97 237 .409


At this point it does appear that Durant's case for being the best pure scorer is getting stronger. The number that immediately jumps out to me is the fact that Durant has increased the rate of shots that he is putting up from 3 to 10 ft which is the post up range. Another impressive point is that Durant has maintained a healthy shooting percentage while increasing his frequency. Durantula is once again showing the basketball world that he is an efficient scorer from all over the court. While Carmelo has the edge in shooting percentage from beyond the arc, it is a somewhat negligible advantage considering that Durant has taken considerably more shots from that range while making more of those shots than Anthony has. 

But, as is common knowledge, numbers can lie so it is important to actually take a look at the facts. Those facts tell us that Kevin Durant is on a tear that is not only taking the NBA by storm but his streak has also managed to take Durant straight to the top of just about every MVP list. While Durant may not be viewed by some as the best player on the planet, he sure is scoring like he is.

At the end of the day, Tha WeathaMan can admit when his argument is not backed up by the facts. Clearly in this situation, my original statement cannot be supported by the evidence and facts that are out there. If Melo is indeed the better purer scorer, it isn't a runaway case. At this point however, I am ready to bestow the title of best pure scorer in the NBA on one man and one man only. This is one title that Kevin Durant doesn't have to wait until June to achieve.