Amb. Endee Donates to Mother of Triplets

first_imgA 32-year old woman who recently gave birth to triplets at the Lucanus Clinic located in the Tusafield Community in New Georgia said she’s breathing a sigh of relief after Cultural Ambassador Juli Endee yesterday made substantial contributions toward her medical bill as well as the welfare of the children and the family.Amb. Juli Endee contributed US$300 towards Hawa Passewe’s medical bills and L$10,000 as well as materials and food items valued at L$20,000 for the babies and the mother.The items donated include tubs, pampers, toiletries, baby clothes as well as a bag of rice and a container of vegetable oil.Amb. Endee is the first donor to come to the aid of Hawa Passewe since she made the passionate appeal to the public nearly a week ago after she gave birth to her two boys and a girl.Presenting the donation on behalf of Ambassador Endee, Rev. Veronica Smith said Endee will continue to be a benefactor of the less fortunate and people in desperate need. She expressed the hope that the modest contribution will help to alleviate the stress and worry that Ms. Passewe has been experiencing since she gave birth. Receiving the donations, Ms. Passewe praised Amb. Endee for the assistance provided at the critical time after her delivery. She admitted that she has been worried about her medical bills and the lack of money to purchase basic essential materials to care for the babies. The proprietor and surgical nurse, Wesseh Tumoe, who delivered the triplets last week Thursday, said he was also happy for Ambassador Endee’s assistance.Mr. Wesseh, a retired surgical nurse with 29 years of experience, said it took him and his medical staff six hours to perform the surgery and safely deliver the babies. Since he performed the caesarean to deliver the babies, he has been using his personal resources to feed the mother and care for the triplets.Madam Wesseh has three other children. The father of the children is said to be a day laborer providing for his family. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Adding Extra Disney Magic: Tinker Bell Gifts

first_imgPicking toysToys for the gift bagsNow that we know what they are, let’s talk about putting them together. The first step in coordinating the gifts is deciding on the actual present part. My personal favorites from that recent trip were goggles, sunglasses, pool toys, glow sticks, puzzles, coloring books, stickers, and games. Most kids I know aren’t too thrilled with new clothes as a gift, but sometimes Disney themed t-shirts or pajamas work wonders for getting children excited to dress for the parks or get ready for bed. You could even make or buy mouse ears that represent their favorite character. The key is to prepare useful items that will be fun during the trip and will pack away easily. This is not the time to buy that 3,000 piece Lego set and expect your child to keep it in the box the entire trip because you don’t want to lose any pieces in the hotel.Shopping for these souvenirs in advance presents a great opportunity to save some cash. Target, Walmart, dollar stores, party stores, Etsy, and even Amazon are just a few of the places you can find inexpensive Disney inspired gifts. For official Disney Parks merchandise, the Disney Store and Shop Disney Parks app offer discounts on occasion as well, making it easy to save money on things you might buy at the parks anyway. You can also save by including some snacks or candies with the gifts. Personally I like to throw Frozen or Star Wars themed fruit snacks into the bag. The kids can munch on that in the parks rather than splurging on an overpriced bag of Goofy’s Candy Co. character gummies. Disney packaged graham crackers, cookies, and other candies also found their way into the gifts at a much lower price than buying them at Walt Disney World.WrappingOnce you finish selecting the presents, your next consideration should be gift bags. Like the gifts, the wrapping must fit easily in a suitcase. Depending on the size of the gifts, small white paper lunch bags decorated with Disney characters and the child’s name work well and are relatively inexpensive. When I did this, I drew characters and wrote each child’s name on a bag for each day. You could just as easily purchase a Disney gift bag for each kid and re-use it each day. Another option is to make your bag out of the gift itself. For example, if part of the gift is a Disney beach towel, lay that down, pile the gifts for the day on top, then pull up the ends of the towel to make a bundle and wrap a ribbon around it. A princess purse or pirate pouch could be used in a similar manner to hold any smaller treats. For one last idea, letting the kids decorate their own bags can build anticipation for the trip and give them something to do during some downtime as well. Might as well score that quiet time when you can!Place t-shirt/towel down flatSet gifts on topPull edges in and tie with ribbonPutting it all together With the presents purchased and the bags prepared, the last thing to do is decide on an order for the gifts and write out the letters. Think about your own family and vacation style and plan accordingly. If swimming is an essential part of your vacation, items like googles or water toys should come early in the trip, so they can be used all week. Games or puzzles can be gifted on resort or relaxation days. Activity books work well for the last morning, so that kids have something to do on the flight or drive home. Once the order and itinerary are finalized, the letters can be created as described above.Note from Mickey on the last day of the tripFrom my recent experience visiting Walt Disney World with children, Tinker Bell gifts were a fun way to get them out of bed each day. While they had a blast at the parks, the immediate promise of something positive and amusing to them was more effective at waking them up than the thought of being at the parks in another hour or two. They made lots of friends at the pool with their toys, so I never once heard an “I’m bored”. And while it didn’t solve all the sibling squabbles, I think it was a great way to keep that reminder to be on their best behavior in the back of their mind. Plus, because they already had snacks and toys at the ready, they didn’t even really ask for much at the parks. We had a great time, and it was a low cost way to add some extra Disney magic to the trip. As much as I’d love to have a personalized gift from Disney Floral and Gifts delivered every day, it’s just not in the budget, and this was a perfect alternative.Have you tried this with any of the kids in your traveling party? Would you? Let us know what you think in the comments below. Share This!Tinker Bell GiftsImagine with me, if you will, a parent’s paradise in Walt Disney World. No, not that one where you ditch the kids and head over to the Adventurers Club at Pleasure Island (RIP). The other one. The one where the kids wake up bright and early, brimming with excitement to start their day. No whining about getting up early for rope drop, no nagging for that $16 autograph pen from the gift shop, and absolutely no fighting between siblings. Sound too good to be true? Maybe. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to aim high! So let’s talk about how Tinker Bell gifts can not only encourage good behavior but also add an extra touch of Disney magic while simultaneously helping you save money on souvenirs.Note from Tinker BellWhat are they?For those who haven’t heard of them, Tinker Bell gifts are small presents you leave in the room for the kids in your group. They can be left overnight for discovery in the morning (like a Disney version of Santa), or if you can find a way to sneak back into the room without the kids noticing, you can leave them as a surprise for when they return from the parks. Typically, the gifts are accompanied by a note explaining the gift and who gave it.Though they are called Tinker Bell gifts by most people, if you think the child(ren) in your party would be more excited about a letter from Rey (Star Wars) thanking them for their help with the Resistance than a note from Tinker Bell, then this is the time to get creative. Personally, I like to leave a note that includes four things: a quick mention of the fun from the prior day, an itinerary for the current day, an explanation of the gift, and a reminder to be well behaved. On a recent trip with younger relatives of mine, each note was written by a different character and tied into whatever the kids would be doing at the parks that day.last_img read more

Google’s Schmidt to Congress: We’ve Learned the Microsoft Lesson

first_img“Why are you always third?” questioned Sen. Lee, evidently looking for his opportunity for an evening news sound bite. “Every. Single. Time.” Schmidt repeated his apology for Lee’s confusion, but Lee didn’t seem to hear the response. “You’re magically coming up third. Somehow you have a magnetic attraction to the number 3.”Sen. Chuck Schumer (D – N.Y.) followed by praising Google’s position as a good corporate citizen and employer of New Yorkers, citing surveys of corporate responses to Google’s corporate policies showing 80% of respondents characterizing Google as “actually very good.” In response to Sen. Schumer’s question, what could Google do to improve its fostering of competition, Schmidt responded, “I’m always interested in creating better platforms for innovation,” citing Android as an example.Sen. John Cornyn (R – Texas) asked Schmidt whether he believed Android constituted an example (again, not citing Microsoft) of “tying,” in which a monopoly or dominant position on one platform is used to gain advantage on another – in this case, making Android phone users utilize Google. Schmidt said no, explaining that the rules of open source software enable others to make adjustments to that software as necessary, so nothing is fixed in stone.Thus far, senators have only been interested in Google’s potential monopoly position with respect to search rankings, often citing situations where a constituent’s placement may have been changed from high to low. Although Schmidt did bring up the topic of Android, especially in response to Sen. Schumer’s question about improvement, during the first hour of testimony, senators did not address any issues whatsoever that may be of importance to the Justice Dept. in its investigation of Google’s proposed takeover of Motorola Mobility.Praise and scorn of Google have not fallen across party lines. While Sen. Lee, a Republican, took the opportunity to lay into Google’s ranking algorithms, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R – Iowa) warned that government should not be penalizing companies that innovate and that provide jobs.Making the most serious dent in Schmidt’s otherwise untarnished image was Sen. Al Franken (D – Minn.), who started his line of questioning by saying he’s skeptical of any company that both controls information and distribution channels, especially when it owns the companies that generate the information. Sen. Herb Kohl (D – Wisc.), chairman of the subcommittee, opened his line of questioning by asking Schmidt, “What do you say to those who say there’s a a fundamental conflict of interest” between providing answers and providing links to sites that give answers, especially when Google is purchasing more and more companies that provide answers? Schmidt’s response was that a fundamental tenet of his company is, “How do we solve the problem the consumer has?” Perhaps Google can utilize algorithms to calculate an answer that has higher value in the consumer’s mind than simple search results can give.Later, Schmidt found himself squarely in the sights of ranking member Michael Lee (R – Utah), who showed a graph depicting Google’s search results in certain product searches as always within the top three. Schmidt countered by attempting to paint Sen. Lee as confused on the matter, mixing apples and oranges by mixing the results of product searches with searches for product comparisons. Google tries to take users to the product, Schmidt explained, and will respond to searches for a product by highly ranking responses pertaining to the product as opposed to product comparison sites. The message from Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, appearing before the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, will be familiar to anyone who’s heard Schmidt speak before. But it began this time with a shot across the bow at a certain unnamed competitor, which he acknowleged pioneered technology and had been synonymous with the development process (as though that were past tense).Schmidt told senators, “That company lost sight of what mattered,” and as a result had to come under Justice Dept. oversight. Without naming Microsoft, Schmidt clearly placed Google as Microsoft’s successor, not only in terms of Americans’ collective mindset, but in terms of the government scrutiny it finds itself under today. Schmidt is evidently hoping that any comparison between Google and Microsoft will automatically render Google the superior organization. 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… scott fulton Schmidt responded, that would be a disservice to users because when they want a map, they deserve a map. Further, it might be unfair to Google since other competitors may not be held to the same restriction. In general, responding to Blumenthal’s request for steps Google may take to change its behavior, Schmidt said it’s already taken the most important step of all: “Making the Internet win guarantees very strong competition for all of us,” he said. Tags:#enterprise#news Finally during the first round of questioning, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D – Conn.) asked rather tentatively that if Google were found guilty of violations due to its conduct, what behavior changes would it make in repentance, and what changes could it make now to pre-empt such a finding? Blumenthal tossed out a bit of raw, but spoiling, meat as bait: Would Google consider taking its own maps function off the front-and-center listing? IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Sen. Franken cited an answer Schmidt gave earlier, saying that when users ask for a map, Google puts up a map and naturally puts it first, thus favoring a Google service over alternatives. Franken then cited a separate answer to the question, when Google responds to a search that does not require a map or other Google services, does Google provide an unbiased response, to which Schmidt had said, “I believe so.”“If you don’t know,” growled Franken, “who does? That’s the crux of this, isn’t it? You don’t know!” Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Related Posts last_img read more

Report: Traditional methods of personalization don’t work for millennials and Gen Z

first_img Posted on 15th August 2018Digital Marketing FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share HomeDigital MarketingReport: Traditional methods of personalization don’t work for millennials and Gen Z Report: Traditional methods of personalization don’t work for millennials and Gen ZYou are here: Related postsLytics now integrates with Google Marketing Platform to enable customer data-informed campaigns14th December 2019The California Consumer Privacy Act goes live in a few short weeks — Are you ready?14th December 2019ML 2019121313th December 2019Global email benchmark report finds email isn’t dead – it’s essential13th December 20192019 benchmark report: brand vs. non-brand traffic in Google Shopping12th December 2019Keep your LinkedIn advertising strategy focused in 202012th December 2019 Want to connect with young people? Traditional means of personalizing ads to appeal to Gen Z and millennials are stale, according to new research from video platform VidMob.VidMob surveyed 1,000 16- to 24-year-olds (Gen Z) and 1,000 25- to 34-year-olds (millennials) about a number of issues related to how they act online, including their behaviors around social media and video advertising.The survey found that ads that young adults were more likely to interact with were those that reflect similar taste or style (55 percent) than ads with a celebrity (45 percent) or people the same age (29 percent). This is opposed to more traditional methods of personalization, such as matching gender, age, ethnicity or featuring a person’s name.Variances emerged between the age groups. For example, 41 percent of Gen Z respond to ads they feel are visually beautiful versus only 32 percent of millennials.The study found that 44 percent of Gen Z get annoyed or start to dislike brands when their ads are overly repetitive, while 34 percent of millennials either tune out or start to dislike. VidMob Chief Marketing Officer Stephanie Bohn told me that this is part of a trend toward younger audiences liking brands less due to ad repetition.“Only one in four claim that seeing an ad multiple times helps them remember what is being advertised,” Bohn told me.Nearly half of millennials (48 percent) prefer shorter videos compared to 34 percent of Gen Z, who are mostly interested in better music.The report also delivered insights on how this demographic is using social media. Across both groups, 42 percent spent more time on social media this year over last year. And Stories on all platforms are getting a lot of play. A whopping 70 percent of Gen Z regularly watched Stories on Snapchat and Instagram.The differences between the groups are also evident in the platforms they use:And laughter seems to be the best medicine, with 56 percent of Gen Z females favoring humor over celebrity-focused videos (only 17 percent).Bohn told me that “brands that present ads with style that resonates have a greater chance of being liked by young consumers.”“Social users are bombarded with content, and it’s harder than ever for advertisers to capture attention, particularly the attention of GenZ,” Bohn said. “This report has implications for marketers looking to connect with younger audiences. Demographics and the celebrity factor also influence likability, but sense of style is the leading factor.”Bohn said that though younger people are less interested in celebrity tie-ins, advertisers should still include them in their media mix.“What we glean from these findings is that younger consumers respond better to ads that offer a reflection of themselves, or their aspirational selves,” Boh said. “Celebrity status seems to be less influential than personal style but certainly nothing to dismiss, especially when trying to reach GenZ.”The post Report: Traditional methods of personalization don’t work for millennials and Gen Z appeared first on Marketing Land.From our sponsors: Report: Traditional methods of personalization don’t work for millennials and Gen Zlast_img read more

Maintaining a Software-Obsessed Tech Industry is Self-Sabotage

first_imgRelated Posts Can we see that maintaining a software-obsessed tech industry is self-sabotage? As a venture capitalist, I know there’s incredible excitement around quantum computing. Yet, as a material scientist, I also see the technology is at least five years away from commercialization. Once again, we see a bias that plagues the tech community: software overshadowing hardware. But, continuing with the software-obsessed tech industry is self-sabotage.Investors have spent much of the last decade focused exclusively on applications (and still seem to be), just as platform providers like Google and Amazon have come to dominate.With the maturation of artificial intelligence, however, the software-first focus must shift increasingly toward hardware.Even more nuanced, we should work toward hardware-software integration.The good news: It seems that shift has already begun — and with the biggest fish in the pond. Apple is already well-known for its game-changing hardware innovations. It very recently hinted toward its latest watch, touted as an impressive piece of hardware that Apple fans are already drooling over.Other industry leaders would do well to follow suit with moving the software-obsessed tech industry.In healthcare, for example, a 2019 Accenture survey shows that two-thirds of executives believe that “DARQ” — distributed ledger, AI, extended reality, and quantum computing — technologies will transform their organizations. 89% are already pursuing implementations. If their focus is solely on software, however, these initiatives will fail. Fitness trackers capture in-depth patient data, and hardware is the portal through which data flows. Without this data, AI is irrelevant.True innovation lies in the integration of hardware and software. Hardware is the data entrance and collector, while the AI software layer handles analysis and delivers insights. If data-driven technologies are going to drive the future of tech, we must adopt a hardware-software integration approach.Hardware at the ForefrontReorienting toward hardware won’t be easy for a tech ecosystem that remains so focused on software. The existing giants must adopt drastically new business models, and startups must work to master hardware. Whoever successfully integrates hardware and software will win the next era of tech.Acknowledging this reality, Google and IBM are racing to develop data capabilities.Being able to process mass amounts of data at the point of collection (the hardware), rather than sending it first to the cloud, is critical for giving “smart” technology the intelligence it needs.Therefore, experts project only 20% of all data will be stored in data centers and the cloud by 2025, down from 80% currently.As more time and money go toward hardware, our assumptions about tech will change. Consumers, for example, have grown used to a model where they exchange personal data for a “free” service. However, privacy concerns sparked by platforms like Facebook make this model less sustainable.More importantly, collecting data through hardware rather than platforms yields richer data in more significant quantities. Moving forward, consumers will likely pay for more services (and their attendant hardware) but expect more privacy in exchange.Similarly, the demand for tech talent will evolve. Tomorrow’s computer scientists must understand the engineering behind hardware just as well as they understand the software. Cybersecurity skills will also become a priority. Software is already rife with vulnerabilities, but a world filled with internet-connected hardware increases possible points of attack. Hardware will not fulfill its potential without addressing security concerns first.Adjusting Expectations Around HardwareTaking a hardware-first approach sounds like a substantial change from the current tech landscape, yet some companies have already adopted it. Apple, for instance, creates hardware and software, and it succeeds because both are integrated. Essentially, Apple owns the entire ecosystem its users occupy, which allows the company to deliver greater privacy and security while also monopolizing user engagement.It’s time for the investor community to admit that hardware matters, and though the timelines may take longer, the returns are just as rewarding.Similarly, founders must begin grappling with hardware development challenges if they’re going to remain relevant. Finally, consumers should expect more from tech and be ready to pay for it. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#hardware#Software#startup#Venture capital Lu ZhangFounder & Managing Partner at Fusion Fund AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Lu Zhang is the founder and managing partner of Fusion Fund, a company dedicated to promoting early-stage venture capital for entrepreneurs. Follow the Puck Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementlast_img read more

The Cloud is the Future of Software Delivery

first_imgServerless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … On-premises software installation is taking its final breath. In just a short time, the cloud will completely dominate the software delivery market.Why are cloud computing delivery models so definitively poised for domination? They are simply more effective — for the software provider and the customer — than any other delivery method available. The benefits and applications are boundless, and more and more companies are leaning in and pushing their competitors to do the same.This represents a big shift in delivery methodology, and software suppliers will need to jump on board if they want to stay relevant in the modern age.The Future Is NowThis change is occurring as we speak. Salesforce invented the software-as-a-service model in the early 2000s, and there has been a slow rumbling of progress ever since — from Amazon to Microsoft and beyond. While we are still in the initial years of this transformation, SaaS and the cloud are now integral parts of the change.What truly signals the cloud’s approaching dominance is how it has begun to overcome its own significant roadblocks.One of those roadblocks was a matter of security. Not only have cloud providers become more robust in their security implementation, but the majority of data breaches in recent years have not targeted cloud-based systems. Nearly all data leaks have come from enterprise-managed in-house systems.Next, are concerns over cloud infrastructure and geographical coverage. Cloud providers have taken some time to offer a credible cloud prepared for real-time applications. But now, the big cloud providers such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google have solid and credible cloud offerings available everywhere in the developed world.The final hurdle is around the public’s interest. Cloud computing delivery models have not yet reached critical mass, but they’re well on their way. According to 451 Research, 90% of organizations will use cloud computing services within the next couple of years, with 60% saying that most of their IT will be off-premises.Get Ready, Get SetThe adoption of cloud computing has triggered a paradigm shift because it brings economy of scale and professional IT to every company, regardless of size. Software solutions that were once too costly will be completely achievable for small companies — no IT department necessary.Software suppliers need to prepare themselves to take advantage of this impending change. How they do that, however, depends largely on their starting point. As in all moments where the fundamental technology changes, the impact is proportional to the size of the existing software applications, and it always favors the newcomers.But the switch to cloud-based offerings is worth the effort. Here are just a few of the advantages that cloud-based software delivery can bring:1. Allows for more focus on the core business: Companies have long used third-party software to complement proprietary solutions, but doing so in an “on-premises” style requires extensive study and understanding of the third party’s modules in order to keep that software maintained.In a cloud environment, however, the supplier of the third-party module maintains its own software in the cloud. Those using that software are then relieved of the responsibility of maintaining it, freeing up their time to focus on their own offerings instead.2. Automatically updates software: Historically, software providers had no method of encouraging their users to upgrade their software to the latest version, meaning the providers would then have to continue supporting several versions in order to keep customers happy.Cloud offerings, however, allow providers the ability to send automatic updates to all users. This means cloud software users stay up to date, and cloud providers can focus on a much smaller number of software versions.3. Eliminates dependence on customers’ infrastructure sizing: In all “average complexity” software applications, the vendor will set minimum hardware requirements that the purchaser needs to respect. Minimum hardware requirements always have a security margin, allowing for peak usage without performance problems.However, it is common to find situations where purchasers ignore recommendations and incidents occur due to performance issues during peak hours. In cloud environments, the level of safety is set by the vendor, which eliminates the potential for various incidents.4. Simplifies big data optimization: In some cases, companies can make their software better by collating and utilizing the data their users generate. Company leaders can explore a large number of usage patterns and make use of machine learning algorithms to create better solutions. This big data optimization approach is much simpler to implement with cloud infrastructure in place.The future of software delivery is in the cloud. Get ready to join the movement before you are left behind. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#cloud computing#cloud computing delivery models#cloud-based software delivery AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Miguel Vital is CTO of Altitude Software, a global provider of contact center solutions. Related Posts Miguel VitalCTO of Altitude Softwarelast_img read more

TMS Tankers to Sell VLCC Oldie for USD 20 Mn

first_imgzoom Greece-based TMS Tankers, a member of the Cardiff Group of companies, has reached an agreement to sell its oldest very large crude carrier (VLCC), subject to buyers inspection.According to data provided by VesselsValue, the company’s 1997-built VLCC Universal Brave has fetched a price of USD 20 million.Built at South Korean shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries, the 19-year-old tanker, was sold to an undisclosed buyer.Featuring 299,900 dwt, Universal Brave, which has a market value of around USD 15 million, was part of the company’s fleet of 34 tankers.TMS Tankers has one more oldie in its fleet, the 1998-built LR2 tanker Oriental Green, while the rest of its fleet was built between 2004 and 2016.Additionally, the company has 13 newbuildings on order, consisting of Suezmax and Aframax tankers, all of which are scheduled to join their owner during 2017.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Lets Not Get Carried Away With the 3s

The “short or long but never midrange” theory of NBA shooting has been popular in analytics since at least the early 2000s. Statistically, 3-point shots have long been more efficient than long 2-point shots: The reward — an extra point — has outweighed a slightly lower completion percentage. So, the theory goes, teams should eschew midrange shots as much as possible and either take the ball to the basket or shoot from beyond the arc.Whether or not NBA players and coaches have had this theory in mind, 3-point attempts have steadily risen since their introduction in the 1979-80 season. In “Daryl Morey’s D-League Plan to Do Away With Midrange Shots,” Grantland’s Kirk Goldsberry looked at the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Houston Rockets D-League team that has taken the inside/outside strategy to the extreme — a staggering 47 percent of players’ shots come from the 3-point range. (If the NBA keeps increasing its long-distance shooting at the pace it has in the past 25 years, it should match the Vipers in approximately 2054.)Although the Vipers have had good results so far, Goldsberry warned against reading too much into the experiment and assuming the same strategy would work in the NBA:One troubling issue with the Vipers’ strategy is that they are significantly reducing the size of the scoring area. Let’s go back to the 1,300-square-foot apartment metaphor — the Vipers hang out only in the kitchen and bedroom. They never use the living room. By forgoing midrange shots altogether, they are telling opponents that they don’t plan on using a giant swath of tactical space relatively close to the basket. As NBA defenses evolve, the smartest ones are already finding ways to counter the smart-guy shot-selection strategy. The Pacers, who have the league’s best defense, have a reputation for vigorously defending the restricted area and the 3-point area, while being less protective of the midrange. They are the Vipers’ antivenom. And if defenses are able to take away those “efficient” areas, you better have alternative ways to generate offense.Goldsberry was describing an important limitation in the 3s-and-layups strategy: 3-point shots will only be more efficient than midrange shots so long as defenses fail to devote enough resources to defending them. Unless the best-defended 3-point shot is more efficient than a wide-open midrange shot (it’s not), saying 3-point shots are better than midrange shots is wrong. What we really mean is 3-pointers are suboptimally defended. As unwitting game-theory expert Stan Van Gundy would say, “Sometimes you’re going to get the shots the defense allows.”But there’s an even bigger issue with the back-of-the-envelope efficiency calculation at the heart of the pro-3 argument: The fact that 3-pointers are more efficient than midrange shots overall doesn’t mean the marginal 3-pointer is necessarily more valuable than the marginal 2-pointer.If you want to replace a midrange attempt with a 3-pointer, you will normally be replacing a bad 2-pointer with a bad 3-pointer. There’s no intrinsic reason those marginal shots should have the same relative efficiency as better shots of the same type. In fact, there are plausible reasons to think they wouldn’t. Average 3-point shot efficiency may be skewed by the extremely high efficiency of wide-open looks, which players probably weren’t passing up in the first place.This doesn’t mean that NBA teams shouldn’t be taking more 3s. I’d guess we probably haven’t reached that point yet. read more

Weve Never Seen A Player Quite Like Giannis Antetokounmpo

Across the nine major component categories of advanced metrics tracked at Basketball-Reference.com,1i.e., categories that attempt to isolate skill in a particular area of the game, rather than more holistic measures such as PER or Win Shares. Antetokounmpo ranks among the top half of qualified2For the purposes of this story, I considered a player to have qualified for the league leaderboard for these nine stats if he has played at least 12.2 minutes per scheduled game (taking the average number of games across all NBA teams), which works out to about 1,000 minutes in a normal 82-game season. NBA players in eight of them — turnovers are the only area where he was worse than the average player through Wednesday’s games.But the Greek Freak is at his most transformative when he plays point guard. When 6-foot-5-inch James Harden — 6 inches shorter than Antetokounmpo — is already towering over opposing point guards after his move to the position this season, the idea of a 6-foot-11-inch terror in the open court, dunking on opponents in transition and making plays for teammates, is unprecedented. Since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976, Toni Kukoc (in 1998-99) was the only player 6-foot-10-inch or taller to have a higher assist rate than Antetokounmpo has right now — and Kukoc wasn’t also rebounding or recording steals and blocks at anywhere near the same rates as Antetokounmpo is.In fact, the mere sight of a guy his size, doing what he does, is startling. Against Cleveland, the side-by-side comparison between Antetokounmpo and LeBron James — heretofore the greatest combination of size, speed and athleticism in basketball — was eye opening:To visualize what an outlier Antetokounmpo is among guards, here’s a plot of Box Plus/Minus against height for players listed by Basketball-Reference as point guards or shooting guards this season: One of the best point guards in the NBA right now stands 6 feet 11 inches tall.Let that sit for moment.OK, so Giannis Antetokounmpo also plays positions other than the point for the Milwaukee Bucks, and Matthew Dellavedova has been eating some of Antetokounmpo’s minutes at the 1. And frankly, it doesn’t really matter where Giannis plays, given that he can rattle off stat lines like the 34 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, five steals and two blocks he produced Tuesday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The guy is good at damn near everything there is to do on a basketball court: Antetokounmpo still needs to polish some of the finer aspects of playing guard, such as running a pick-and-roll and spotting up for jumpers. But! He’s also still days shy of his 22nd birthday. If he’s this good — and this versatile — now, watching Antetokounmpo reach his potential will be one of the NBA’s most entertaining storylines over the decade to come.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

Pryor shines bright in Pasadena sunset

Terrelle Pryor battled through injuries to his ankle and knee this season, but it’s his arm that will likely be sore for a while after airing out a career-high 37 passes in Ohio State’s Rose Bowl victory.It was a coming out party of sorts for the sophomore quarterback, who earlier in the week broadcasted that he holds hope that every week will be his emergence onto the national scene.“I hope for that every game,” Pryor said. “But I just want to get a ‘W.’ Whatever the team needs me to do, I want to do it.”Pryor tweaked his ankle in Ohio State’s 45-0 win over New Mexico State on Oct. 31. He never used the injury as an excuse, but his production over the Bucks’ final three games diminished.He attempted just 17 passes in each of OSU’s three games during its gauntlet of a November schedule. Coach Jim Tressel’s preferred style of offense, a run-heavy, mistake-free attack, proved successful, as Pryor guided a methodical, controlled offense to three consecutive wins.Tressel altered the gameplan for Oregon, though, and Pryor was the major beneficiary.The quarterback threw for a career-best 266 yards, completing 23 passes with a pair of touchdowns.“We felt like we really needed to come in flinging it around and being as balanced as we could,” Tressel said. “We felt like as long as we were doing it well, we’d have a chance to keep doing it.”Tressel informed his sophomore quarterback prior to kickoff that the gameplan would initially focus on his passing. That sort of news is the best a quarterback can hear, Pryor said.“I was very excited when Tressel said we were coming out to wing it,” he said.A conservative offensive scheme sprung the Buckeyes through a perfect November slate and a more aggressive attack allowed OSU to leap past the Ducks. Though Pryor maintained that, as a quarterback, nothing is sweeter than passing his team to victory, he’ll do whatever is necessary for a win, he said.“As a quarterback you don’t like running the ball. It’s kind of like being selfish, but you know, that’s not what we need. This is a big-time organization, and if you have to run the ball to win the game, that’s what you do. We have great running backs and they want the ball, too. Whatever we need, I’ll take it for a ‘W.’”Buckeye Nation has waited two seasons for Pryor to bust out that one, signature game that defines a career. Pryor said that he, too, has been in search of that defining performance.“I thought I could have a game like this any time,” he said. “We have a great defense that causes turnovers and causes the points on defense, and then our offense, we end up scoring, giving the ball to [running back Brandon Saine] or running down the field and we break another touchdown run or something like that. Sometimes we don’t need to throw the ball.”Now, however, Pryor has proven to his team that he can elevate the passing game when called upon. The trust he has garnered from his coaches and teammates instilled the confidence in him to do so, he said.“I think you need to earn the head coach’s trust and even your teammates’ trust in throwing the ball. Throwing the ball is a big thing. I had 10 turnovers this year, but it was somewhat of forcing stuff. You know, you think you’re at a certain level and you can just sit in the pocket and throw the ball, but I was waiting a little bit too long, going through four or five reads, and that’s where my picks were coming from.“I had a meeting with Coach Tressel and he calmed me down, and he knew what I was going through because I was trying to force too many throws trying to prove to everybody that I’m a quarterback and I wasn’t taking off when I could run and stuff like that. I need to use what I have, my feet, and try and throw the ball, so I need to use both.”After proving to himself what he can do on one of college football’s grandest stage, Pryor now knows the limits, or lack thereof surrounding his potential.“You know, really for myself, it’s probably the sky is the limit.” read more