The Paradox for Jive Software

first_imgCognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now alex williams Related Posts Tags:#Analysis#enterprise center_img Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… I find Jive Software to be a bit of a paradox. . I like the people and the company they’ve built. They’re a local success story here in Portland. They have transformed from a client-technology, software forum provider into a collaboration leader. They seem to be moving in the right direction. The company is headed for an IPO. So, what’s the paradox?Solutions oriented companies build custom configurations. These can become costly for the vendor and the customer. They also place an emphasis on providing on-premise offerings.On the flip side, Jive is taking the first steps in building a developer community. The company has substantial financial backing and its riding strong in providing social technologies to the enterprise.Jive’s TrajectoryJive can make it running on the path they have chosen. The biggest challenge will be costs that come with building a business that has any number of custom, customer configurations and complex licensing structures. The answer to Jive’s future will come in how the company balances its developer community with the pressure to show substantial revenues that come with solutions contracts and large consulting engagements.Kleiner Perkins sees promise. The prestigious venture capital company invested $30 million in Jive last summer. Jive’s financial trajectory puts it on track to make it a company that can be publicly traded and attract investment. That will mean it has to show revenues. To really extend, the developers that the company attracts will have to be organized into an ecosystem that gives it deep reach across the enterprise and associated channels.This means that it has to have a clear path as a SharePoint alternative. To succeed, Jive has to lead the march in providing customers with modern uses of Web oriented technologies. To do that they need the help of others seeking to topple Microsoft’s dominance. And help comes in the form of other companies and the sharing of development efforts.Formidable CompetitionJive also faces formidable competition. Salesforce.com has to be considered a rival. The company fits into a dynamic that others such as Yammer are fully exploiting, too. These companies are application centric and have their own respective developer communities. For example, Salesforce.com has the Force.com platform and relationships with VMware and Google. Yammer is extending its footprint with relationships with companies such as Crocodoc, which we covered over the weekend in our post about how networks are flattening.Acquia’s Tim Bertrand wrote a post earlier this month. In it he critiques Jive for playing the same game that enterprise providers have played for the past 30 years:Everything is a “customization.”Customizations cost lots of money.Organizations need to rely on the company or its partners to perform customizations.The (already) proprietary instance of the software becomes too customized, it costs even more when it comes time to migrate to a new release.Repeat and start the vicious cycle all over again.Bertrand works for the competition and so it is understandable that we get this degree of snark. But to some extent the critique is valid.Jive is arguably a solutions provider but it does provide cloud-based services. It builds on-premise application stacks. It is hard to imagine Jive as anything else. Companies are doing massive overhauls of enterprise infrastructures. Jive’s model is to serve the needs of those big clients. That means it has to serve customers who have compliance and governance matters to abide by.In an interview last month, Chief Financial Officer Bryan LeBlanc said that last year the company did a record number of deals worth more than $1 million. In some case the entire portal is replaced for the customer. He says a major goal is to displace SharePoint and homegrown systems that companies have cobbled together through the years built on Broadvison, Interwoven and manually built HTML-based environments.These are expensive projects. But the cultural climate is important to consider. Companies want security and they want the communications to be centralized. They want guidance which they pay for handsomely.Jive has an extensive consulting practice. Its methods are to centralize customers to its platforms from various wikis, blogs and the other systems people use inside companies.Matt Tucker is Jive’s CTO and co-founder. He says it is in Jive’s best interest to do as little customization as possible.He sees a further emphasis on delivering SaaS solutions to customers. But there is still a need for on-premise offerings. Tucker is a technologist. You can see the influence the developer community has had upon him in the direction the company is taking. At the same time, he knows that there has to be ways to accommodate the larger clients.But there is more to this, too. You can see it in the comments from Christopher Morace, who runs Jive’s product strategy. On Quora, he responded to a thread about the competition between Jive and Yammer. Morace said he has found that when it comes to strategic business conversations most decision makers still want solutions hosted by Jive on a box they control. He said It won’t always be this way but as the market shifts from early adopters to pragmatists there is a resurgence in customers who want more control.He gives a revealing reason why Jive started offering activity stream technology:So, what is my point? Cloud delivered solutions for enterprise collaboration face an uphill climb. The reward quite frequently for successful adoption is getting on the radar of IT and ultimately getting ripped out. The entire reason we even pulled Twitter/Yammer like functionality into Jive was at the request of IT who wanted to get rid of user adopted cloud solutions where strategic conversations were now residing beyond their control. No one has meaningfully demonstrated in the enterprise (that I am aware of) a way to do a freemium solution that gets their business above $15M outside of really tactical point solutions (and I’m not even aware of any of those). The sweet spot for cloud delivered, inside the firewall solutions continues to be SMB who have no existing infrastructure, value price above almost everything else (like customization, integration, configuration, and control), and are the least regulated.Morace shows a pretty clear intention for Jive to continue offering solutions oriented offerings.You can see then why it makes sense for Jive to partner with companies such as Alfresco Software. The company must work with third parties to offer broad solutions.Enguerrand Spindler owns a consulting company called Alfstore, specializing in Alfresco Software integrations. He recently wrote about how Alfresco is integrating with Jive Software on a project for a large French, industrial company.According to Spindler, Jive is used as the front-end solution (for social collaboration around documents), and Alfresco is used as the document repository:From the Jive interface, people can upload documents into Alfresco, and then get the corresponding link to collaborate around it using the Jive features.That’s the kind of integration Jive will need to continue growing.Other partners in Jive’s developer community include Tungle.me, Box and Giffy.Am I still torn? I have no question about Jive’s success. It will most likely become a very large company.But I can’t help but see an emphasis on appealing to IT and its command and control preferences. And that to me can be a problem. Why? IT could be better connected to the front lines. They have their own ideas about collaboration that are often disconnected to the realities of the average users. Those users want to use services that make sense for them. Jive is far ahead of Yammer in the market. The company is on a $100 million run rate. That’s far bigger than Yammer and others in the market. But its approach reminds me more of large, enterprise solutions providers than nimble applications companies. That’s evident of a market dichotomy that we see unfolding in the enterprise. Solutions oriented companies work with CIOs. Those relationships help garner significant deals that are in excess of $1 million.But in the long run, users will prefer to work with loosely coupled application services that give them choice and flexibility. That’s a big reason why it is so important for Jive to build that application network. They need a loosely federated model to keep the user satisfied.Will that work? Perhaps. But I’m still torn. Solutions oriented approaches require large project teams. Those teams cost a lot to run. Applications companies seek to be more efficient on the application stack. In the long run that means engaging users as much as possible and lowering the costs to scale the company.Jive and its competitors have divergent approaches but in the end, the applications providers are creating services for an in increasingly flat world. To truly compete, Jive will need to embrace the developer community and offer a full spectrum of services through its ecosystem. IT + Project Management: A Love Affairlast_img read more

Plea in NGT opposes MoEF order on clearances

first_imgPune: A Pune-based petitioner has filed an application before the principal bench of National Green Tribunal in New Delhi challenging the Environment Ministry’s recent notification easing environmental norms for realtors. The November 14 notification, issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF& CC) empowers local bodies like the municipal corporations and panchayats to sanction environmental clearances for construction projects which have a built-up area between 20,000 sq m and 50,000 sq m.The petition, filed by Shashikant Kamble, alleges that local bodies are the biggest violators of the Environmental Protection Act, 1986. It said municipalities, local authorities and panchayat bodies are major defaulters when it comes to adhering to environmental laws, adding the power of regulatory bodies like the Maharashtra State Pollution Control Board would be severely curtailed as local bodies would interfere in its functioning.“The Environment Ministry has further failed to produce any study, literature or evaluation for taking such a retrograde decision and go back to a pre-2004 situation. At the time, the failure of local bodies was considered to be the chief reason for bringing building and constructions activity within the Environmental Impact Assesment framework,” said Mr. Kamble, a city-based social worker.“With the Parliamentary election at hand, the ruling [Bharatiya Janata Party] party has deliberately eased the norms for securing an environmental clearance certificate with a clear eye to winning over the builder lobby, which constitutes the prime source of election funds,” said advocate Tosif Shaikh, counsel for the petitioner.Mr. Shaikh also said the area cleared for residential and other projects would naturally exceed the built-up area limit, which would mean clearing more ecological zones for building activity.While realtors are elated, activists said the notification, if implemented, could have disastrous results for Pune’s ecology and forest cover, already ravaged by indiscriminate construction.“The present BJP government, like the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government before it, is least interested in preserving the environment or concerned about ‘regulation’. The Fadnavis government had promised plant 10 crore trees when it came to power, but this turned out to be a hollow promise,” said Right to Information activist Vijay Kumbhar.Mr. Kumbhar said despite 154 projects put on hold by the current State government, no action had been taken against realtors for defaulting on environmental norms.“Since 2006, environmental norms have been steadily bent by governments to favour realtors. So, with elections round the corner, it is hardly surprising that the Centre has come up with this ‘instrument’ to further water down the procedure for securing environmental clearances,” Mr. Kumbhar said, observing that in mega-projects like Lavasa, environmental clearance norms had been routinely flouted.Activist Vivek Velankar of the ‘Sajag Nagrik Manch’ said the current government, for all its ‘pro-environment’ talk, acted in a contrarian manner. “The ‘disputed areas’ of ecological value will be ruthlessly taken over by builders for their grandiose projects, given that the pressure of the corporator-builder lobby is overwhelming at local levels. The notification, if implemented, would spell doom for Pune district’s fast-shrinking green cover,” Mr. Velankar said.Incidentally, the Delhi High Court earlier this week had stayed the ministry’s notification after hearing a petition filed by two environmental NGOs.This petition opposing the Centre’s notification, filed by the Society for Protection of Environment & Biodiversity and the Social Action for Forest and Environment, had contended that the move to keep builders out of the rigour of the EIA would “lead to large-scale pan-India environmental degradation”.last_img read more

TFA Director of Selectors Applications

first_imgRecently applications were opened for TFA Director Positions. Due to receipt of late expressions of interest, TFA is reopening the process and is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from suitable individuals to fill the following national level volunteers: ·          Director of Selectors EOI is due by COB Wednesday 16th June 2010 and should be forwarded to Tara Steel at tara.steel@austouch.com.auRelated Filesdirector_of_selectors_may_2010-pdflast_img

NYC Day Two – Summary

first_imgIn the 18’s Boys division, the three top seeds have carried on their impressive form and are all undefeated after two days of the tournament. In Pool A, New South Wales Combined Catholic Colleges (NSWCCC) has continued the form that saw them win the 2009 NYC title, currently sitting on top of the ladder with 66 touchdowns for and nine touchdowns against. The Sydney Scorpions sit in second place on the Pool A ladder, with four wins from their five games. Queensland Secondary Schools Touch (QSST) is sitting on top of Pool B, with five wins from its five games. The Brisbane City Cobras are also undefeated, winning three of their games and having a draw in the other.  In Pool C, New South Wales Combined High Schools (NSWCHS) are on top of the ladder, followed by the South Queensland Sharks, who have won three games and lost two. In Pool A of the 18’s Girls division, QSST has continued its impressive form, with six wins from its six games so far. Last year’s winner, who is going for its fifth consecutive title, has scored 67 touchdowns and has only conceded six touchdowns against so far this tournament. The Brisbane City Cobras sit in second place, with five wins and one loss from their six games, with local hopes, the Sunshine Coast Pineapples in third. Two of New South Wales’ schools teams, New South Wales Combined High Schools and New South Wales Combined Catholic Colleges, sit in first and second place of Pool B respectively following two days of competition. Both sides are undefeated and will meet at 9.50am on day three in what should be an exciting encounter. To view all the results from day two of the 2010 X-Blades National Youth Championships, please click on the following link:http://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?c=14-742-0-0-0&a=COMPSlast_img read more

10 months agoMan Utd fullback Luke Shaw: Jose won three trophies here

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd fullback Luke Shaw: Jose won three trophies hereby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United fullback Luke Shaw paid tribute to Jose Mourinho after victory at Cardiff City.Shaw, who had a turbulent time under Mourinho, also insisted the outgoing manager deserved more respect what he achieved at United.He said: “It’s not very nice when something as big as that happens at the club but we all as players and as a team need to show respect.”People might be quick to forget what Jose did for United, with the three trophies. He did a lot.“One of the trophies (Europa League) was one we hadn’t won before. He took us to three trophies in sort of one season.”So people need to respect him and remember what he did, not only for us as a team to win those trophies but for the fans as well.” last_img read more

Jim Boeheim On Post-Season Ban: “I’d Rather Take The Punishment And Let The Players Go To The Tournament”

first_imgJim Boeheim not happy with a call.DETROIT, MI – MARCH 18: Head coach Jim Boeheim of the Syracuse Orange reacts during the first half against the Michigan State Spartans in the second round of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Little Caesars Arena on March 18, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)Syracuse’s self-imposed NCAA Tournament ban has helped spark a lot of debate about the efficacy of NCAA post-season bans, which almost always wind up punishing players who are not involved in the violations at hand. Many believe the punishment should be levied against coaches and administrators, including ESPN’s Dan Dakich, who believes that Jim Boeheim, and not Rakeem Christmas, Mike Gbinije, and company, should be the one banned from the tournament. Dakich had Boeheim on his radio show, and the legendary Syracuse coach agrees with his idea.Jimmy B on @dandakich “I’d rather take the punishment and let the players go to the tournament, I’ve been to the tournament” @BrentAxeMedia— Justin Hardie (@jhardie13) February 25, 2015While it is too late for this Syracuse team, last night’s win at Notre Dame gives the program two wins over Top 12 teams in the last week, and the Orange would probably be right on the bubble if they were eligible. Punishing a coach who was present, even if he may or may not have been aware of alleged violations, makes far more sense than taking this opportunity away from the innocent players.last_img read more

Back to zero Canadas premiers gather in Saskatoon but none are women

first_imgMoe and Kenney kicked off the week together at the Calgary Stampede, where they met with their conservative counterparts from Ontario and New Brunswick, along with the premier from the consensus-based government of the Northwest Territories.They discussed hurdles in getting Canadian resources to market, as well as their opposition to federal bills overhauling resource reviews and banning oil tankers from the northern B.C. coast, and their common causing in fighting against the federal carbon tax.Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan are all challenging Ottawa’s carbon levy in court.Bashevkin said she doesn’t think an absence of women at the Saskatoon meeting will affect the content and tone of discussions.There are assumptions that women tend to be less confrontational and seek consensus more than men, she said, but it’s not necessarily true.“We could ask right now … are the relations between British Columbia and Alberta any better than they were when we had two women premiers?“The answer’s probably not,” she said, adding that pipelines were still front and centre under Notley and former B.C. premier Christy Clark.Stephanie Taylor and Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press SASKATOON — Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial leaders are in Saskatchewan this week, but for the first time in years, the annual gathering won’t have women at the table.“Symbolically, it’s very significant that there is no woman premier,” said Sylvia Bashevkin, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, who researches women in politics and recently edited a book on the effect of women in the premier’s office.She said the last time Canada was without any woman as premier was between November 2002, when Pat Duncan left her post in the Yukon, and in November 2008, when Eva Aariak was sworn in as premier of Nunavut. By early 2014, more than half of Canadians lived in a jurisdiction governed by a woman. Rachel Notley was the last one standing until her government was defeated in Alberta three months ago.Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have never had a woman as premier.The Council of the Federation conference, running Tuesday through Thursday, should serve as a reminder of the under representation of women at the premier’s table, Bashevkin said.It may also cause people to question whether gender diversity in Canada was really improving, she added.“It’s not just that things have stalled, but they’ve measurably gone backwards,” Bashevkin said.“We have to come back to the picture that’s going to come out of this premiers’ meeting and ask ourselves … what does it mean when we felt we’ve made all these breakthroughs and then we can go back to zero?”center_img The Council of the Federation conference starts at Big River First Nation, where the premiers are to meet with leaders of national Indigenous organizations, including the Assembly of First Nations.The gathering then shifts to Saskatoon, where premiers will participate in two-days of closed-door meetings at a downtown hotel.Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, who is hosting the event, said health care, reducing trade barriers and increasing economic competitiveness are all topics on his agenda.Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has said that in addition to trade and the need to further develop the energy sector, he’ll be pushing for jurisdictions to mutually recognize professional credentials so workers can more easily move between provinces for work.last_img read more

Julian wakes up in London jail ahead of long legal fight

first_imgLondon: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange woke up in a British jail Friday at the start of a likely lengthy extradition battle after a dramatic end to his seven-year stay in Ecuador’s London embassy. Within hours of police hauling him out of the embassy, the 47-year-old Australia appeared in court for breaching his British bail conditions back in 2012 and to face a subsequent US extradition request. After Assange was arrested and dragged into a police van in the British capital, American officials unsealed an indictment against him for computer hacking as part of his WikiLeaks whistleblowing activities. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe Sun tabloid reported he was being held in Wandsworth prison in south London, where he spent nine days in 2010 following an investigation over alleged sexual assault in Sweden that has since been dropped. Deemed “the most overcrowded prison” in England at its last inspection in 2018, the 19th-century facility holds around 1,600 inmates. Inspectors found “most prisoners share a cell designed for one person” while more than a third “were receiving psychosocial help for substance misuse problems”. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsAssange was remanded into prison custody Thursday at a short hearing in front of a London judge, who pronounced him guilty of disobeying his bail terms by fleeing to the embassy in June 2012. He could receive up to a year in prison when sentenced at an as yet undetermined later date. His separate extradition case is set to be next heard by video-link at Westminster Magistrates Court on May 2. Assange’s London lawyer Jennifer Robinson confirmed he would be “contesting and fighting” his long-feared extradition to the United States.last_img read more

Every NBA Teams Chance Of Winning A Title By 2019

Does this underrate OKC? Yeah, probably. As I’ve said, our simple method is liable to underrate teams dealing with injury problems. The Thunder have played pretty well since Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have returned to the lineup. But two points to consider.First, when a team has the talent the Thunder do, there’s no time like the present to win a title. But the Thunder are unlikely to win the championship this year. They’d be the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference if the playoffs started today, and while Hollinger’s method may underrate them, there’s a big gap between the Thunder and the top seven seeds. Even if they improve to (for instance) the No. 6 seed, they’ll probably have to win four playoff series as the road team to win the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. Not. Easy.Second, Durant is a superstar by any definition, but the degree of superstardom matters. If Durant is the star Sirius, as he was last season, shining brighter than anyone else in the NBA firmament, the Thunder will always have a leg up on the rest of the league, other things held equal. If he’s merely “in the conversation” as the league’s best player, along with Curry, James, Chris Paul, James Harden and Davis, then the Thunder will perennially compete with Curry’s Warriors, James’s Cavs, Paul’s Clippers, Harden’s Rockets and Davis’s Pelicans — but not necessarily beat them.To be even more geeky about it, championship contention in the NBA is nonlinear function. Being a 56-win team instead of a 60-win team — because, say, Durant has become a half-step slower or more injury-prone — could matter a great deal.But how overjoyed Gotham would be if blue and orange stood for the Manhattan Thunder and not the Knicks! The Knicks, obviously, will not win the championship this season. And here’s how the model pegs their chances over the next four seasons. In 2015-16, they have a 0.3 percent of winning the title. In 2016-17, their chances are 0.6 percent. And then in the two subsequent seasons, 0.9 percent and 1.0 percent. Overall, there’s about a 3 percent chance the Knicks will win the NBA title in the next five years.Three percent is not zero percent, so naturally you’ll find the exception to the rule if you dig in deep enough. The 2007-08 Miami Heat, who finished at 15-67, are the most favorable precedent. Their situation wasn’t entirely different from the Knicks’; in a down season, their roster featured one star (Dwyane Wade) and a lot of aging and overpriced “talent” around him. Three seasons later, they signed LeBron James, and in 2011-12 they won the NBA title.So, maybe the Knicks will luck into Jahlil Okafor in next year’s draft. And maybe Durant signs with them two years from now, and maybe Anthony has a gentle decline. I’m telling you there’s a chance, Knicks fans! It’s just not bloody likely.The Knicks, however, do not quite have the worst projection in the league; instead that belongs to the 76ers, whose title chances are lower still.If your eyes are on the long-term, wouldn’t you rather be in a tanking rebuilding situation like Philly than in the predicament of the Knicks or Lakers? Maybe, but the history of teams who have been as laughably bad as this year’s Sixers is not good. Since the ABA merger, 51 teams have finished with fewer than 20 wins in a 82-game season or the equivalent amount in a shortened season. How many of them won a championship in the next five years? Only one — the aforementioned 2007-08 Heat, whose situation was more analogous to that of the Lakers or Knicks than that faced by the 76ers.The thing about starting from a 15-win baseline is that you can add a 20-win megawatt superstar from the draft, and sign a 10-win free agent, and have another guy develop into a five-win talent … and still be a 50-win team, a No. 5 or 6 seed. It’s not clear there’s anyone on the Sixers’ roster who is a good bet to develop into a better-than-average NBA player. A team like the Detroit Pistons, who at least have Andre Drummond, is about twice as likely to develop into a championship contender, according to the model. The Pistons also face extremely long odds, but you’d rather have Drummond and a slightly inferior lottery position than the other way around. Tanking doesn’t pay, kids!But there are a lot of ways to be awful in the NBA, and only one team wins the title. Golden State is the best bet to be pouring the champagne soon. I can see Madison Square Garden from my Manhattan apartment. This year, the arena installed LED lights along the exterior columns of the building — blue, red and white for New York Rangers games; orange and blue for New York Knicks games. They outshine everything else along a drab stretch of Eighth Avenue. When the Knicks colors shine, I’m reminded that there’s a dreadful basketball team playing a few blocks from me.The Knicks are 5-22 on the year, on pace for their worst season in the not-exactly-glorious history of the franchise. But unlike a lot of bad teams, the Knicks are not yet in rebuilding mode. Their only players to have performed at an above-average level so far this season1According to ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus are 30-year-old Carmelo Anthony, 32-year-old Amar’e Stoudemire and 37-year-old Pablo Prigioni. They have a few (not many) good players and a few (not many) young players, but there’s almost no overlap on the Venn diagram.Just how dire is the Knicks’ situation? Are they worse off than the Los Angeles Lakers? Than the Philadelphia 76ers, who very much are in rebuilding mode and are 2-22?Let’s take a longer view. What are the chances any of these franchises will field a championship-caliber team over the next five seasons (from this year through 2018-19)? On the flip side, which NBA franchise has the most reason to be optimistic about its future? Would you rather be the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Golden State Warriors? Would you rather be the Memphis Grizzlies, with a sterling record so far this season but no superstar, or the New Orleans Pelicans, who aren’t so good yet but have a potential world-beating talent in Anthony Davis?There have been some valiant attempts to answer such questions before (see ESPN’s NBA Future Power Rankings). Our method here will be simpler and more statistically driven. The idea is to project the number of NBA championships a franchise might expect to win over the next five seasons based on three easily quantifiable factors:How good is the team now?How old the team?How good is its best player?To be clear, we are not claiming these are the only things that matter. You’d probably want to give a team some extra credit if it’s run by a genius like Gregg Popovich. You’d probably want to dock it if it has traded away some of its future draft picks (as the Knicks have) or if its salary cap situation is poor. And our approach will not be so great at handling teams with injuries to star players. But simple models like these can be a useful tool for understanding how NBA franchises evolve.Some modestly technical bits follow. You can skip ahead a few paragraphs if you’re not sweating the small stuff.As I mentioned, our goal is to estimate the likelihood of a team winning an NBA championship over the next five seasons. The method won’t give much credit to a team for being just decent. Unlike in certain other sports, an NBA team almost never backs into a championship by being slightly above average and then getting lucky in the postseason. A 52-win team in the regular season will win the NBA championship only about 2 percent of the time; a 64-win team will win it something like half the time.More specifically, the model takes the form of a logistic regression analysis where the inputs are three factors I described above — age, overall team quality and the quality of its best player — and the output is the projected number of championships won.2More specifically, the model treats championships probabilistically based on regular-season win totals. For example, a 60-win team is treated as having about a 20 percent chance of winning the title based on the process described here — whether or not it did so. I believe this to be a more robust method than treating championships as binary outcomes; it has the effect of reducing the impact of postseason luck. I’ve used data from the ABA-NBA merger season of 1976-77 onward.To measure overall team quality, I’ve used the number of games a team won.3Win totals are prorated to 82 games in the event of seasons shortened by labor disputes. But when looking toward future seasons, a team’s most recent win-loss record isn’t all that matters; so does the distribution of its talent. The presence of an actual or potential superstar significantly improves its chances of winning championships.This shouldn’t be surprising. In the NBA’s economic structure, there are two types of players who routinely produce a high return on investment: young players (who often make far less than they would as free agents under the rookie salary scale) and superstar players (who are often underpaid because of the maximum salary). Teams built around superstars face downside risk; if the superstar leaves town or gets hurt, they’re screwed. But in the NBA, you’d rather take a high-risk, high-reward approach than settle for a No. 8 seed every year.Our measure of superstar talent is how a team’s top player rated according to the statistic “wins added,” which is described at more length here. Wins added is based on a combination of Win Shares and Player Efficiency Rating (PER). Neither metric is perfect (far from it), but because each can be computed from readily available “box score” statistics, they allow us to compare players and teams on a level playing field dating back to 1976-77.Having a younger team helps, of course, but it’s better to evaluate the age of a team’s best players rather than everyone on its roster. So, our calculation of a team’s average age is weighted based on wins added.4In the calculation, negative wins added totals are treated as zeros. This is important. The average New York Knick, weighted based on the number of minutes played this season, is about 28 years old. But the team’s better players are old; its average age is closer to 30 when weighted by wins added.There are a couple of further details in the footnotes,5The model also accounts for the number of teams in the league; it’s easier to win a title in a 23-team NBA than a 30-team NBA. I also calibrate the numbers such that the cumulative odds of a title win in any given season is one exactly among all teams in the league. There’s only one trophy to go around. but let’s see how this works in practice. Here’s how the 30 NBA teams ranked in future championship potential based on their statistics at the end of last season. We’ll run the numbers based on the current season’s data in a moment.At the end of last year, the Oklahoma City Thunder had the most hopeful situation in the league, projecting to win 0.8 championships over the next five years. This total includes cases where the Thunder would win multiple championships, so this is not quite the same as saying they had an 80 percent chance of winning at least one championship. (Titles in the NBA can come in bunches.)Still, this was a reasonably impressive figure; since 1976-77, only 12 teams had a better projection. The top one belonged to the Chicago Bulls going into the 1996-97 season. They projected to win 1.2 more championships to go with the four that Michael Jordan had won already; Jordan won two more in reality.But the NBA is a tough league. Some of the teams that projected almost as highly as Jordan’s Bulls never won a championship. The Cleveland Cavaliers projected to win about 1.2 championships over their next five seasons heading into the 2009-10 season — but LeBron James left, and they didn’t win any. (A championship in Cleveland this season now that James has returned would be one year too late to count within the five-year window.) Other teams appeared likely to follow one championship with more but failed to do so. The Philadelphia 76ers, coming off a 67-win championship season in 1982-83, projected to add another title to Julius Erving’s mantle but never did.Last season is old news, however. So, we’ve also come up with a projection that accounts for roster turnover and a team’s performance so far this year. This required a few modifications to our original model:Team win totals are projected based on John Hollinger’s playoff odds, which account for potential reversion to the mean.6For instance, the Knicks have a .185 winning percentage so far this year and are on pace to go 15-67. But they’ll probably improve on that at least a little bit, according to the Hollinger standings, which project them to finish with a 25-57 record instead.For individual players, wins added are projected based on a combination of a player’s performance so far this year and in recent past seasons.7For each player, I made a preseason projection based on his age and wins added over his past three NBA seasons, then averaged this with a projection based on his wins added per game so far this season, assuming he’ll play in 95 percent of his team’s remaining games. I did not consider players like the Indiana Pacers’ Paul George who have not played this year.Team ages are weighted based on projected wins added.To estimate a team’s chances of winning a title this year (2014-15), I used Hollinger’s playoff odds simulation. For the remaining seasons in the five-year window through 2018-19, I used the figures from our model instead.All projections are based on stats through Tuesday evening.One team is clearly ahead of the pack. It’s the Golden State Warriors.The Dubs project to win 0.95 championships between now and 2018-19. Some of that is because they’re the favorite to win the title this year, according to Hollinger’s method, with a 36 percent chance. But they also rate as the best bet to win the championship in each subsequent season through 2018-19.This isn’t rocket science: the Warriors are really good. They’re young — in fact, their average age has declined slightly from last year as older players like Andre Iguodala have come to play less important roles. And they have a superstar in Stephen Curry.Following the Warriors on the list:At No. 2, the Los Angeles Clippers. They’re not off to the start the Warriors are, and they’re a little older. But they have the talent they’ll need.At No. 3, the Cavaliers, who have a young core surrounding James, but who don’t yet look like they’ll stand head and shoulders above the pack as James’s teams did some years in Miami.At No. 4, the Toronto Raptors, another obvious choice. They’re young, Kyle Lowry is on the verge of being a superstar, and they have the benefit of playing in the Eastern Conference.8The model does not explicitly account for which conference a team plays in. It may account for it implicitly, however, because it uses W-L totals without adjusting for strength of schedule. It’s easier to win the same number of games with lesser talent in the Eastern Conference.At No. 5, the Houston Rockets, whose projection is largely unchanged from the end of last season despite a disappointing off-season.At No. 6, the Grizzlies. Note, however, that this year is probably their best hope of a championship drive. The roster is fairly old, and there’s not a true superstar to build around.At No. 7, the Pelicans. They haven’t gotten off to an especially strong start this year and have little shot of title contention this spring. But Davis has as bright a future as anyone in the league and the team’s average age (weighted by wins added) is just 23.6. They project to be the second- or third-best team in the league by the end of the five-year window, according to the model.At No. 8, the Portland Trail Blazers, whose numbers are similar to the Raptors across the board but who play in the tougher conference.At No. 9, the Chicago Bulls. Theirs is a decent projection, but the Bulls are older than you might think, and Derrick Rose hasn’t played like a superstar lately, even on the rare occasion he’s played. Instead, wins added thinks that Jimmy Butler is their best player.And at No. 10, the Thunder, whose projection has declined more than any other team since the end of last season. read more

Freshman Johnnie Dixon to have knee surgery out for season

Before ever catching a pass as a Buckeye, Ohio State freshman wide receiver Johnnie Dixon will have to wait until next season to step back on the field.OSU coach Urban Meyer said on 97.1 The Fan that Dixon is set to have knee surgery and will miss the remainder of the season. Meyer said Dixon’s healthy issues stem from tendinitis in both of his knees.Dixon was praised by the coaching staff during fall camp and expected to contribute early in his career, but didn’t play in OSU’s first two games of the season. He made his Buckeye debut against Kent State on Sept. 13 and carried the ball four times for 20 yards in the 66-0 victory.Per NCAA rules, Dixon will be eligible for a medical redshirt. In order to be eligible for a medical hardship waiver, the injury has to be season-ending and the player has to have taken part in less than 30 percent of the team’s entire season.OSU’s next game is scheduled for Saturday against Cincinnati at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. read more