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Saturday's Coyotes Tracks - Back to Hockey

Tonight marks the beginning of the Western and Eastern Conference Finals. We've got a ton of storylines from around the league to follow in today's edition of the Tracks.

Nate Silver (Nerd God) Explains Why Jeremy Lin Is No Fluke

I've spent the past few days wandering around in a daze. I know what I'm seeing, but part of me feels it can't be real. This is all a wonderful wonderful dream. Confirmation that this is very real and is, indeed, likely to continue from a source as smart as Nate Silver makes things seem better.

The combined probability of last night's events (re: Red Sox collapse + Rays comeback): 1 in 278 million...

Nate Silver, sabermatrician extraordinaire, breaks down some of the numbers for last night's epic night of baseball.

Berri/Hollinger/Oliver/Silver: NBA stats smackdown!

In his first few games with the New York Knicks, Carmelo Anthony has been everything everyone expected him to be. To admirers, he's putting up the numbers of a legitimate superstar: about 25 points and seven rebounds a game. Detractors see a different Melo: a ball hog who's shooting a meager 42 percent from the field. "I think what Carmelo does is, the more players you have guarding him, the more he wants to shoot. Which is the opposite of what you're supposed to do," says economist Dave Berri, author of several books on sports statistics and player evaluation. In the run-up to the NBA trading deadline, Berri told the Wall Street Journal that if the Knicks sold the farm to bring in Carmelo, they would win "roughly 29 games over a full year." After seeing which players were actually involved in the deal, he said the team might win 50.* A lot of people thought that sounded off. New York Times stats guru Nate Silver argued that, on the contrary, Melo is "the ultimate team player" because his offensive game draws defenders and allows his teammates to get more wide-open shots, boosting their field goal percentage. Carmelo's value, Silver and other analysts said, was spilling over his own stat line and into the box scores of his teammates.

Deal for Anthony May Limit Knicks’ Upside

The trade is being billed as a high-risk move. But in some ways it is just the opposite, seeming to lock the Knicks in to roughly 50 wins over the next handful of seasons — not a lot more, not a lot less — under most of the more realistic scenarios. What might the Knicks have done differently? One thing might have been to insist that the Nuggets’ center, Nene, was among the bounty of players they were receiving from Denver. A starting five of Billups, Fields, Anthony, Stoudemire and Nene could well be a 60-win team, even with almost no depth. No, the Nuggets might not have made the trade. But no one was forcing the Knicks to make their deal either. And the trade that they did make was extravagant from the perspective of opportunity cost.

Why Carmelo Anthony Is the Ultimate Team Player (and What ‘Advanced’ Stats Miss About Him)

Nate Silver, the baseball statistician turned political statistician turned NY Times statistician, argues that Carmelo Anthony is much more of a team player than he is given credit for.

Why Carmelo Anthony Is the Ultimate Team Player (and What ‘Advanced’ Stats Miss About Him)

Carmelo Anthony, whom the Knicks are considering acquiring in a trade, is sometimes thought of as a selfish player. Indeed, he is the center of the Denver Nuggets’ offense: when he is on the court for them, about 30 percent of their possessions end in Anthony shooting, going to the foul line, or committing a turnover. Nor is Anthony much of a passer: over his career, he’s accumulated 3.1 assists per 36 minutes played, considerably less than that of other high-volume scorers like Kobe Bryant (4.6 assists per 36 minutes) or LeBron James (6.2). In taking all of those shots, however, Anthony has also done something else: he’s made his teammates much more efficient offensive players. Exhibits A and B: Afflalo and Billups

Early Morning Royals Links: Roster Talk, Milton Bradley Asks For Help, The UK Elections, and Dead Indians

Royals: Q & A with KC general manager Dayton Moore The bad smell is walking for KC - KansasCity.com Alberto Callaspo Finally Becomes A Royal - Royals AuthorityDL Madness, A Free Kila and Aviles...

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