€2.2bn scheme tightens manager constraints after regulatory intervention

first_imgIn addition, as a consequence of the regulator’s instruction, it had decided to restrict the asset managers’ freedom to invest. “They won’t be able to quickly and extensively reduce risk in their mandates now,” the pension fund said. The €2.2bn Pensioenfonds Atos has limited the leeway granted to third-party asset managers when implementing its investment policy, following an intervention from regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).In its annual report for 2018, the scheme said DNB had demanded insight into its investment choices, more detailed calculations for stress testing, and tighter constraints on asset managers.The watchdog also ordered Atos to consult its accountability body (VO) about the scheme’s risk attitude. The VO consists of employee and pensioner representatives and is meant to hold a scheme’s supervisory board to account.In the annual report, the board said that DNB’s additional demands had put pressure on the pension fund’s operational functioning, resulting in the board failing to consult the VO in time. De Nederlandsche Bank’s headquarters in AmsterdamAlmost 72% of its assets are managed by BlackRock. The remainder is run by GMO.At June-end, funding of Atos stood at 104.8%.The closed pension fund also said it wanted to continue independently until at least 2023, when the contract for pensions provision with Achmea Pensioenservices was due to expire.Last year, Pensioenfonds Atos made headlines when it fired two members of its VO for undisclosed reasons.last_img read more

Thurston County Traffice: Weekend Work in Lacey Rescheduled

first_imgFacebook15Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Washington State Department of TransportationThe around-the-clock closure of the Marvin Road (State Route 510) on-ramp to southbound Interstate 5 in Lacey has been rescheduled due to equipment issues.If the weather cooperates, the busy on-ramp will close to all traffic at 9 p.m. Friday, March 27. The around-the-clock closure will continue until 5 a.m. Monday, March 30.The closure will allow crews to rebuild the on-ramp in an effort to upgrade the existing overpass into a diverging diamond interchange.Advance information about this project and other roadwork on state highways is available at the Thurston County construction and travel updates web page.last_img

Isuza brace sends AFC second on their birthday

first_img0Shares0000AFC Leopards fans cheering their team. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYANAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 14- Whyvonne Isuza struck twice as AFC Leopards overcame two penalty misses to beat 10-man Wazito FC 3-2 at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Wednesday to move second in the Kenyan Premier League standings, on a day they are celebrating their 54th birthday.Isuza’s second goal with seven minutes remaining came in barely five minutes after Victor Majid had missed a penalty for AFC, one that would have taken them 3-2 up. Ingwe had also missed a first half penalty with Ezekiel Odera seeing his kick saved. Pistone Mutamba scored twice for Wazito coming in between Ezekiel Odera and Isuza’s goals.Wazito were reduced to 10 men three minutes into the second half after Brian Ayacko was sent to the showers after a second yellow card.The victory took the 13-time KPL champions to 13 points, three shy of arch rivals and leaders Gor Mahia FC.It was yet another high scoring, come-from-behind defeat after they came from 3-1 down over the weekend to beat Mathare United 4-3 at the same venue.Head coach Dennis Kitambi picked up his third consecutive victory in charge since stepping into the suspended Robert Matano’s boots, and he has continually shown he can step up to the plate if called upon on a permanent basis.AFC Leopards went the break tied at 1-1, and it was probably a relieving result having lost an early penalty and Wazito going ahead courtesy of Mutamba’s goal.Ingwe had the bulk of the first few chances of the game, first Brian Marita attempting his luck with a shot from distance after a counter attack which however went wide.Two minutes later, Whyvonne Isuza should have done better with a lone header at the edge of the six yard box after being left isolated by the Wazito defense, Marita’s cross landing graciously on his path.-Odera penalty miss-On the quarter hour mark, Ingwe was presented with an opportunity to break the deadlock from the penalty spot after Emmanuel Tienan was adjudged to have brought down Odera as the two attempted to attack a cross from Simon Mburu.However, Odera could not convert after taking responsibility on himself, Wazito keeper Philip Odhiambopushing away the ball with one arm.Ten minutes later, AFC were punished for that miss when the lanky Mutamba rose in the middle of a forest of Ingwe markers to head home from a Joachim Omollo free kick.But, despite going down, AFC still dictated the tempo of the game but could not get the chances at goal with Wazito defending well and in numbers.The home side had two chances back to back in the 41st minute, but none could take them back on level terms. First, Salim Abdallah’s header from Marita’s corner went straight to the keeper.Almost immediately, Odera couldn’t get a decent header after keeper Odhiambo missed the ball going for a Mburu long through, instead brushing the ball over.However, Odera made amends four minutes later when he levelled matters with an easily taken overhead kick after Marvin Nabwire brought down into his path a cross from Yussuf Mainge.Three minutes into the second half, the stars seemed to have aligned in AFC’s favour when Ayacko was sent to the dressing room after a second yellow card for a sinister foul on Mburu who had produced some silk skill to lift the ball over him.From the resultant free-kick, AFC went ahead when Whyvonne Isuza headed the ball into an empty net when Odera beat keeper Philip Odhiambo to the ball from Mburu’s delivery.Ingwe’s joy was short lived however when Mutamba restored parity, coming to the end of a swift counter attack with Joe Waithira breaking away and cutting back the ball for Mutamba to score.Once again, Ouna’s charges coiled back to a disciplined defensive shape, frustrating AFC to the bare minimum of chances.In the 78th minute however, they were found off their feet when David Oswe brought down Nabwire inside the box after a swiftly taken throw-in, referee George Mwai pointing straight to the spot much to the disgust of Wazito players.However, keeper Odhiambo stepped up, punching away Majid’s effort from 12 yards out.But Isuza wiped away Ingwe’s blushes when he struck low inside the box after Nabwire chested down and laid up for him a cross from Ezekiel Odera.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Divorce Referendum passed with 77% majority in Donegal

first_imgIreland has voted by a large majority to liberalise divorce laws with 82.07% support. The Donegal electorate voted 77% Yes and 23% No to amend the constitution, with a 55.8% turnout.The landslide passing of the Divorce Referendum will give the Oireachtas power to legislate on how long couples must be separated to get a divorce. Divorce Referendum Count in Aura Letterkenny, 25th May 2019The government plans to bring the separation period down from four years to two years.The Yes vote will also allow for laws to be made recognising foreign divorces.Donegal Daily is bringing you LIVE updates right throughout the weekend from the local election count centres across the county.We will have reporters at all the count centres bringing our readers the very latest LIVE news, views and pictures as it happens. If you are tweeting through the weekend, don’t forget the hashtag #LE19Donegal.   Divorce Referendum passed with 77% majority in Donegal was last modified: May 26th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:divorce referendumlast_img read more

Trainer Booth discusses George Groves’ European title fight

first_imgGeorge Groves’ trainer and manager Adam Booth discusses the Hammersmith super-middleweight’s European title clash, which will take place on 16 March at Wembley Arena. (Video courtesy of iFilm London)See also:Groves to fight for title at Wembley ArenaTrio in action on Groves’ Wembley bill Groves lining up world title challengeGroves warned ahead of title showdownGroves ready to add European belt to his title collectionThe press conference to announce Groves’ Wembley 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Money Monday

first_imgBy Dr. Barbara O’NeillIs there assistance with meeting child care expenses for military families?Operation Military Child Care (OMCC) is a Department of Defense initiative to support the temporary child care needs of military parents who are activated/deployed in support of the Global War on Terrorism. This program is provided in partnership with the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies and the Child Care Resource and Referral Network (NACCRRA), which changed its name to Child Care Aware® of America in 2012 (see NACCRRA.ORG/ABOUT-US/BRAND-TRANSITION).Following are some of the support services provided by OMCC:Helps eligible military families locate affordable child care options in local communities.Reduces child care fees of eligible military families who are already using licensed community child care programs and providers.Supplements and expands the deployment child care services already provided on military installations. For more information, refer to naccrra.org/military-families.Find more military personal finance blog posts and webinars here.Follow Dr. O’Neill on Twitter!This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on February 4, 2013.last_img read more

Modi, Mamata in furious war of words

first_imgKolkata/Dinhata: Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee Wednesday went for each other’s jugular in battleground West Bengal, with the prime minister castigating “speedbreaker Didi” for stalling the state’s development and the TMC chief hitting back warning he will face a “voter strike”.Modi, who kicked off his Lok Sabha campaign in West Bengal with back to back rallies in Siliguri and Kolkata, hit out at Banerjee over a host of issues including alleged lack of development, perpetuating family rule and for seeking proof of Indian Air Force’s retributive strike on terror camps in Pakistan to avenge Pulwama killing of 40 CRPF troopers. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsNot the one who would take things lying down, the West Bengal chief minister mounted a blistering counteroffensive, mocking Modi’s “56-inch chest” and claiming his government did nothing to save the lives of the CRPF jawans despite having “information” about the impending terror attack. “We are nationalists not fascists,” she asserted. Modi launched his campaign, all guns blazing, as he targeted Banerjee, calling her the “speedbreaker” in the path of the state’s development who wanted poverty to stay so her “politics of poverty” can flourish. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayAt both the rallies, Modi slammed opposition parties for seeking proof of the damage done by the Indian Air Force in Pakistan’s Balakot where terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s training camps were targeted. “While your chest swelled with pride and you held your head high, some people began crying and shouting here,” he told the rally at Siliguri. He accused both the Congress and the TMC of “perpetuating family rule”. Hardly had Modi concluded his speech at Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata when Banerjee took the microphone at a rally in north Bengal’s Dinhata, calling the prime minister “expiry babu” (one whose time to go had come). “I am not Modi, I don’t tell lies,” she declared, as she took on the prime minister over his “speedbreaker Didi” jibe. Claiming that 12,000 farmers had ended their lives under Modi’s prime ministership, she listed out various social welfare schemes undertaken by her government like ‘Kanyashree’ for girls, ‘Yuvashree’ for the young people. Banerjee said West Bengal has been awarded by the Government of India for being the best state in implementing the 100-day minimum work guarantee scheme, the Centre’s flagship rural employment programme. “It’s not my claim but your government has given the award for the achievement,” the feisty West Bengal leader said. Livid at Modi’s remarks on Pulwama terror attack and the Balakot air strike by the IAF, Banerjee shot back, claiming the government did nothing to thwart the bombing of the CRPF convoy despite having “information”.last_img read more

Sindhu in semi-final; Saina, Srikanth, Sameer ousted

first_imgSingapore: P V Sindhu survived a scare before making the semi-finals but Saina Nehwal was thoroughly outplayed in her straight-game quarter-final loss on a mixed day for India at the Singapore Open badminton tournament here on Friday. Sindhu, in fact, emerged as the lone survivor after India’s campaign in men’s singles was over following the ouster of Kidambi Srikanth and Sameer Verma, and loss of mixed doubles Indian pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy later in the day. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhRio Games silver-winner Sindhu defeated world No.18 and 2017 BWF World Junior Championship bronze-medallist Cai Yanyan of China 21-13 17-21 21-14 to set up a meeting with former world champion Nozomi Okuhara. It is Sindhu’s second semifinal of the season, following a last-four finish at the India Open last month. The second-seeded Okuhara, hailing from Japan, didn’t break much sweat on her way to a 21-8 21-13 win over sixth seed Saina, a bronze-medallist at the London Olympics. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterIn men’s singles, Srikanth’s struggle against Kento Momota continued as he suffered his ninth straight loss to the Japanese top seed, going down 18-21 21-19 9-21 in 66 minutes to end his campaign with yet another quarterfinal finish. Sameer Verma, a world No. 16, battled for an hour and nine minutes before losing 10-21 21-15 15-21 to second seeded Chinese Taipei Chou Tien Chen. In mixed doubles, Pranaav and Sikki suffered a 14-21 16-21 loss to third seed Thai pair of Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai to bow out of the World Tour Super 500 tournament. Sindhu broke off at 5-5 in the opening game to earn the bragging rights but her Chinese rival came back strongly in the second game, opening up a lead of 11-6 at the break. The Indian fought back superbly to narrow the lead to 15-16 before Cai marched ahead to take the match to the decider. In the third game, Sindhu once again found her bearings and surged to a lead of 11-5 before the interval. The Indian continued to move ahead and closed out the match comfortably in the end. In contrast, Saina, who had defeated Okuhara in their last three meetings and also enjoyed a 9-4 advantage ahead of this clash, fell apart against the Japanese in a lop-sided clash. Saina made with two unforced errors as Okuhara jumped to a 9-0 lead. The Japanese controlled the rallies to dominate the proceedings. The Indian failed to breach the gap, collecting only eight points. Okuhara eventually sealed the opening game when Saina hit the net. In the second game, Saina rose to 4-0 initially. The Indian tried to put pressure on her rival but more often she ended up missing the lines or finding the net to bled points.last_img read more

Poorly maintained lifts of residential societies pose risk to the safety of Gurugram citizens

first_imgGurugram: The peril to citizens of Gurugram due to poorly maintained lifts again came to fore after more than 20 people got trapped in a lift for more than 40 minutes in the district mini-secretariat. Some of the people who were trapped were aged in their 60’s.This is not for the first time when the lift became dysfuctional all of a sudden in the government building. It is, however, not also the first case when the residents have been compromised due to poor maintenance of the lifts. Recently a family got trapped in the lift for an hour in a residential society in Sector-107. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderMost of the cash-strapped builders have outsources their work to maintenance agencies to reduce their costs. It has, however, not improved the situation as there are complaints that the builders refused to pay the maintenance agencies which is now compromising on the quality. The tipping point has reached where a facility management company on short notice is exiting from the maintenance of the residential society in New Gururgam The problems of poor maintenance are mostly felt in the hundreds of societies that have come up in Sohna Road and New Gurugram that comprise the sectors of 81-95. There have been instances in the past where a woman had to even undergo surgery as a dysfunctional lift fell down from the eleventh floor. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsMost of the residents have addressed the concerns to the Chief Minister using various platforms. Having unable to find an effective solution, most of the resident bodies have also written to the Prime Minister Office for intervention. There are over 20 societies that have formally registered their complaints against the builder with Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP). Meanwhile, certain resident bodies have taken the task of maintenance from the builders. The resident bodies, however, claimed that there is no support from the strong builder lobby as they do not forego the heavy maintenance fee that is being obtained from the residents. “There is no denying the fact that most of the builders for granted and not used the huge amounts of money collected from them towards the welfare. There is a need for the government to intervene and top the loot. It is sad that the state government in most of the cases have been found wanting,” said Sudhir Ahuja, one of the city residents.last_img read more

2014 NBA Preview The Rise Of The Warriors

The Rockets’ season may come down to whether Trevor Ariza, coming off a career year in Washington and beginning his second go-around in Houston, can be a better fit than Chandler Parsons. Parsons is a versatile offensive player, but in Houston his value came largely from his ability to work around Dwight Howard-James Harden pick-and-rolls, either spacing the floor or driving to the basket with well-timed cuts. Ariza is a more limited offensive player, particularly off the dribble, but he is great in transition and can be effective providing spacing around pick-and-rolls. No player made more corner threes than Ariza last season, and he shot 45.0 percent from that location, among the best marks in the league.But Ariza’s real value is his defense. While Parsons was capable, Ariza is a near elite defender. ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus estimates the effect Ariza has on defense as +1.04 points per 100 possessions, nearly twice that of Parsons. That’s an important difference when playing alongside Harden, whose defensive inadequacies are well documented.Ariza has a specific defensive talent that makes him such a great fit for Houston. Over the last two years, he is in the 90th percentile of all NBA players in his ability to affect an opponent’s turnover percentage, according to NBA stat blog Got Buckets’ adjusted Four Factors Ratings. Parsons ranks in the 61st percentile. Forcing turnovers has an effect on both offensive and defensive performance, as steals often lead to fast breaks. The Rockets’ preference for an up-tempo, transition attack is well known and it works well for them — last season they had an effective field goal percentage of 66.0 percent after forcing a steal, compared to just 52.8 percent overall.Ariza may not bring as much offensive versatility as the man he’s replacing, but the quality of his defense may end up being much more important for a team already rich with offensive players. — Ian Levy The San Antonio Spurs’ dynasty is a blessed one. Tim Duncan’s longtime brilliance and the twin discoveries of Tony Parker and (particularly) Manu Ginobili, both draft picks that had no business turning into Hall of Famers,5Parker was taken 28th overall in 2001; Ginobili went 57th (!!!) in 1999. are the kinds of gifts that, while not guaranteeing championships, certainly set a team up for them. And perhaps the biggest blessing of all is Gregg Popovich, the greatest coach of the NBA’s modern era — Phil Jackson included.For his article about LeBron James’s potential free-agent destinations, FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver created a projection system using my Statistical Plus-Minus (SPM) metric that predicted how well each player would perform in the upcoming 2014-15 season. We can also apply the projection process to previous years, using SPM data that would have been available at the time6While still using the players’ actual minute totals from the season in question. to form “retro predictions” for historical teams dating back to the 1979-80 season.If we compare coaches’ records to the ones we would have predicted for them, Popovich’s greatness becomes clear. No coach since 1980 has exceeded preseason expectations like Popovich has.Not only has Popovich outdone the computer by 117 wins over his 18 seasons at San Antonio’s helm — 33 more than second-ranked George Karl and nearly 62 more than the oft-extolled Jackson — he’s done it in far fewer games than his coaching peers. While it took Karl and Don Nelson around 2,000 games to add 83 extra wins apiece, and Jackson more than 1,600 games to beat expectations by 55 wins, Popovich racked up his excess victories in far fewer: just a shade more than 1,400 games.7In the chart above, coach games and wins above expectation were pro-rated up to account for years where the schedule was less than 82 games per team.The 2013-14 NBA champion Spurs were a classic example of Popovich coaxing superior performances from his roster. In addition to Duncan (age 37) and Ginobili (36) cheating Father Time, Kawhi Leonard’s and Patty Mills’s respective games grew at an accelerated rate, while Marco Belinelli, Boris Diaw, Cory Joseph and Jeff Ayres all played much better than their previous track records suggested they should have. Of San Antonio’s core players, the only one who had a down year relative to expectations was Parker, whose SPM fell to +0.1 from +2.5 in 2012-13.The aforementioned SPM projections think the Spurs will suffer a decline in 2014-15. They call for Duncan and Ginobili to finally show their age, and for the supporting cast to regress to the mean. But Popovich’s bunch have also exceeded those same expectations in every single season since 1997-98. The good money’s on them bucking the odds yet again this year. — Neil Paine The Oklahoma City Thunder had one of the best draft runs of all time in recent years. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Serge Ibaka — major, franchise-defining pieces all. And yet no NBA title. Harden was (infamously, in some quarters) traded, Westbrook has been hurt for significant parts of the past two seasons, and now Kevin Durant is out indefinitely with a foot fracture.Given the outsize role Durant has filled, using more than 30 percent of the Thunder’s possessions and playing virtually every important minute over the past five seasons, analyses of how the Thunder will fare without him will be imprecise, to say the least. And while Durant’s health will be the most important factor in determining whether the Thunder can win an NBA title this season, that, too, is currently outside the realm of statistical analysis.3At least for us plebeians in the public domain.And so, in the absence of a Durant analysis, let’s talk Reggie Jackson. Jackson’s third season was his best as a pro, and his emergence in the playoffs, including a 32-point performance in a vital win over the Memphis Grizzlies, gave the Thunder some hope that he could be a major piece going forward.His most valuable asset is his ability to attack off the dribble. According to SportVU, Jackson averaged 0.22 drives per minute last season, putting him 23rd in the league. He shot 48 percent on those drives, above average for a point guard, and generated more points for his teammates on drives when he did not shoot (0.74 per drive) than Kemba Walker and Jeff Teague, two other young starting point guards. Jackson’s ability to create for his teammates is not at an elite level, but it is improving; his assist rate increased to 23 percent last season.He’s an above-average defender, ranking as the 12th-best guard by Real Plus-Minus last season. But that likely overstates his ability; his length and speed help him match up well against point guards, but he gambles too often and doesn’t defend larger shooting guards well.Jackson is clearly the second-best guard on Oklahoma City’s roster, but he is not a natural two-guard. Scott Brooks may elect to start a better shooter, like Jeremy Lamb or Anthony Morrow, as a shooting guard, using Jackson off the bench. But in crunch time without Durant, a Westbrook-Jackson backcourt likely gives the Thunder the best chance to succeed. — John Ezekowitz For the past few seasons, the Mavericks’ offense has been composed of Dirk Nowitzki and people paid to play well with Dirk Nowitzki. Making people play nice can be hit or miss. In 2011, it hit, with the Mavericks beating the Miami Heat to win the NBA Championship. Other years, the strategy has usually been enough to get the Mavs a playoff berth, but rarely out of the first round.Dallas went through significant roster changes this summer and this year’s group of supporting specialists may be the team’s best yet. Judging by the decisions they made, the Mavericks sought out supporting players who possessed a few specific skills — breaking down the defense, creating shots for others, making open 3-pointers and finishing around the basket.The table below shows the better part of the Mavericks’ roster for this season and includes statistics on those offensive specialties, several of which come from the NBA’s SportVU Player Tracking statistics. For a glossary of what each term means, check out the footnotes4Drives are defined as any touch that started at least 20 feet from the basket and was dribbled to within 10 feet. Assist opportunities include all assists, as well as passes that led to shooting fouls and passes that would have been recorded as assists if the shot had been made. Catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts are those where the player held the ball for less than 2 seconds and shot without dribbling.:For a central offensive player, Nowitzki is remarkably flexible — comfortable in the post, at the elbow or behind the 3-point line, and willing to score, pass or act as a decoy. Depending on the matchup, the Mavericks may want to surround him with shooters, drivers, creators or finishers. Looking over the roster for this season reveals a wealth of options in each case.This table shows the number of players last season who met some elevated benchmarks in these categories, against the number of players currently on the roster who met those benchmarks:It’s Nowitzki that makes the Mavericks’ offense great. Having this array of subtly interchangeable offensive parts could make them into something even more this season. Just don’t ask about the other side of the court. — Ian Levy The NBA season, like a Stockton-Malone pick-and-roll, always arrives on time. To prepare for the next 1,230 games (All-Star festivities excluded), we took each player’s projected Real Plus-Minus and wins above replacement, calculated a total for each team, and ran 10,000 simulations of the NBA schedule to divine likely records and championship odds.1The rosters we used came from ESPN.com’s depth charts, and were current as of Monday, Oct. 20. We’ve split the teams into the lower and upper tiers in each conference; these are the eight teams that will likely make the playoffs from the West. (We previewed the West’s lower tier here.) So fill that Kevin Durant-sized hole in your heart with the stats, x-factors and regressions that could help determine the West’s pecking order. Basketball strategies come in and out of fashion, and last year the Trail Blazers might as well have been wearing dad jeans. In the post-“Moneyball” zeitgeist, long 2-point shots are verboten; it’s nearly always better to shoot a 3-pointer than a long, 2-point jump shot because the former has a higher expected number of points per attempt.But as with any fashionable tactic, there are those deploying countermoves. And the Trail Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge is that movement’s leader.Below is a plot of the top 100 players by the number of shots per game they attempted from 17 feet to 22 feet last season.2The NBA 3-point line ranges from 23 feet, 9 inches at its maximum to 22 feet at the corners. So the attempts plotted here do not include any 3-pointers. And look at Aldridge, up on a peak by himself:Aldridge took more of these types of shots than any other player in the league — 489 in 69 games, nearly two attempts per game more than the next-closest player. Carmelo Anthony and Dirk Nowitzki, two superstars also known for long 2s, attempted 4.5 and 3.6 such shots per game, respectively.And Aldridge made a lot of them. He ranked 25th in long jumpers made, at 45 percent. Anthony shot marginally better than Aldridge (at 46 percent), while Nowitzki hits at a ridiculous rate of 52 percent. But Aldridge is taking many more of these shots than either Anthony or Nowitzki.Shooting this well at distance allows for greater offensive spacing for other players. With Aldridge, Portland has an invaluable asset: a great player whose talents run counter to the prevailing trends in the league. — Andrew Flowers Last season DeAndre Jordan, the Clippers’ 26-year-old center, led the NBA in rebounding — by the conventional statistic of rebounds per game. Which is impressive! But in the advanced-stats age, few stats are as they seem. Just because Jordan pulled in a lot of rebounds doesn’t make him a good rebounder — assuming, that is, we know what a good rebounder is in the first place.A better statistic than rebounds per game is Total Rebound Percentage.8This statistic and the data plotted come from Basketball-Reference.com. This measures the percentage of all rebounds a player grabbed while on the floor, which means it adjusts for how many rebounds were available to be gathered. That can vary by the pace of play, the team’s shooting percentage and other factors. By this measure, Jordan grabbed 21.6 percent of available rebounds, making him third in the league last year, behind Andre Drummond and Omer Asik, who gobbled 22.3 percent and 21.7 percent of available rebounds, respectively.But even this “advanced” metric, while an improvement, is still flawed. A truly good rebounder should not just grab a lot of rebounds, but rebounds above and beyond what his team would get otherwise. In other words, he shouldn’t be a rebound cannibal.Luckily, we can measure this form of cannibalism. From the basketball stats blog Got Buckets, we have plus-minus statistics that tell us how much a player steals rebounds from teammates when he’s on the floor.9I ran a regression between a player’s offensive rebounding percentile (which measures how well the team rebounds when the player is on the floor, after controlling for teammates and opponents) and his offensive rebounding rate (which measures only the player’s own rebounds grabbed) to determine the relationship between the two aspects of rebounding. (I also repeated the analysis for defensive rebound percentile and defensive rebounding rate.) For the entire population of NBA players, it’s a strong relationship, so there isn’t usually much difference between a player’s actual percentile and what we would predict from his individual numbers. However, some rebounders help their teams more or less than you would think from their own rebounding stats. With this data we can test whether prolific board-grabbers actually improve their teams in that category, essentially identifying “selfish” and “unselfish” rebounders.On the offensive boards, Jordan is a slightly unselfish rebounder, with his team ranking about three percentiles higher than you’d think given the share of offensive boards he grabs. (In the charts below, the unselfish players are above the lines, and the selfish ones below.)On defense, however, Jordan is a hungry cannibal.Even though he’s one of the most prolific defensive rebounders in the league (taking nearly 30 percent of available boards), the Clippers are 24 percentile points worse in this category when he plays, relative to what you’d think given how good Jordan is.Drummond is even more of a cannibal with the Detroit Pistons, however. The real winner seems to be Asik for the Houston Rockets, who, for a player in the top three in rebounding rates, still seems rather unselfish.Jordan is a good player, and a great rebounder. But don’t take his raw rebounding stats as gospel. — Andrew Flowers Across the entire league, the percentage of shot attempts that have come on 3-pointers has been increasing by about 1.5 percentage points per season over the last three seasons. Last year, for the first time in league history, more than a quarter of the shots taken were 3-pointers.That revolution has not yet reached Memphis.Last season just 16.9 percent of the Grizzlies’ shot attempts were 3-pointers, lowest in the league for the second consecutive year. Over those two years, the Grizzlies have attempted nearly 500 fewer 3-pointers than any other team. This strange, against-the-grain trend is a mix of design and circumstance, but the circumstances might be about to change.One of the reasons 3-point attempts have been going up around the league is that more and more big men are venturing out to the perimeter. The Grizzlies don’t have the personnel for that. They play a tough, interior style built around Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, neither of whom has 3-point range. Their focus on defense also means a significant number of minutes have been given to wing-stopper Tony Allen, who doesn’t have 3-point range either.But this year, the team gets back its best 3-point shooter from 2012-13, Quincy Pondexter, who missed all but 15 games last year with a stress fracture in his foot. (Tayshaun Prince took most of Pondexter’s minutes and had a disastrous shooting season.)Going into this season, small-forward minutes should be going to a healthy Pondexter and Vince Carter, who was signed to replace the departed Mike Miller. You can see from the table below that Pondexter (whose 2012-13 numbers are shown) and Carter are both excellent 3-point shooters, and together they are much more active behind the arc than the Miller/Prince combination was.The Grizzlies likely aren’t going to be breaking any 3-point records this season. Their offense will still be run through Randolph on the low block and Gasol in the high post; defense will still be given priority in most rotation decisions. However, this season the Grizzlies should have just a little more 3-point talent than they’ve had in the past, enough to add some much-needed variety to their scoring attack and to make them that much more dangerous in the Western Conference. — Ian Levy Very few first-time NBA coaches are lucky enough to inherit a team as talented as the one Steve Kerr has in the Golden State Warriors this year. Last year, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson shared one of the most remarkable offensive seasons any starting backcourt has had in the NBA since 2000. Together, they averaged a 55 percent effective field goal percentage10Effective field goal percentage accounts for the additional value of 3-point shots. The formula is (FG Made + 0.5* 3-Pointers Made)/FG Attempted. while combining to take 38 percent of the Warriors’ shots. That is the best eFG percentage for any backcourt that took more than 35 percent of its team’s shots since 2000.Kerr also inherits a defense that finished fourth in the league in defensive efficiency last season. Golden State’s defensive prowess, built on holding opponents to 46 percent shooting from inside the arc, the third-best mark in the league, was masked by its frenetic pace. The Warriors were sixth in the league in tempo last season, which meant that they actually gave up only the 10th-fewest points per game.Much of Golden State’s defensive success can be attributed to the signing of Andre Iguodala, perennially ranked by advanced metrics and scouts alike as one of the best wing defenders in the league. But drafting Draymond Green also helped. Green was the afterthought of the Warriors’ 2012 draft; Harrison Barnes, drafted seventh overall, was supposed to be the star. But Green quietly had a breakout campaign last year. He had the best defensive rebounding percentage (19.3 percent) of any small forward who played more than 15 minutes per game, and also was in the top three in block percentage and steals percentage. Green averaged only 21 minutes per game last season. He deserves more under Kerr.For Golden State to break through to a Western Conference finals appearance (or beyond), Kerr and associate head coach Alvin Gentry will have to maintain the team’s defensive record. Neither has ever presided over a top-10 defense in the NBA. They will also need the three veterans over 30 years old — Andrew Bogut, David Lee and Iguodala — to remain healthy, something that has not happened in recent seasons. The Warriors’ core is not getting any younger, and the elite in the West are not getting worse. But that’s for Kerr to worry about next year. For now, he needs to capitalize on his roster’s head start. — John Ezekowitz read more