1994World Cup+9.5+37.8 2000Olympics+12.0+21.6 We’re on the ground in Rio covering the 2016 Summer Olympics. Check out all our coverage here.Despite trailing much of the first half, the U.S. men’s basketball team defeated Australia 98-88 on Wednesday, moving to 3-0 in Olympic pool play. Over those three games, the Americans have won by an average of 37 points, the third-best mark of any U.S. team through three games of a major international tournament1Including both the Olympics and FIBA world championships. since the Dream Team era began in 1992.The other two teams — the original ’92 wrecking squad and their ridiculously stacked 2012 heirs — dominated en route to Olympic gold. But if this year’s team ends up pulling the same trick, it might not be so much a testament to U.S. dominance as a signal that the rest of the world has gotten weaker in recent years after a long run of improvement.We can measure the progress of international competition over time using Team USA as a reference point. Since American Olympic and FIBA World Cup teams are made up entirely of NBA players (save for the U.S.’s 1998 FIBA Worlds squad, which featured zero stars due to that summer’s NBA lockout), we can estimate the total talent on those rosters using Box Plus/Minus (BPM).2Specifically, I built a multiyear projection model that estimates a player’s talent level in a given year using both the seasons leading up to and following the season in question, when available. Since these tournaments take place in the summer, I averaged a player’s talent estimate between the previous and next season; e.g., Michael Jordan’s rating for the 1992 Dream Team was an average of his 1992 and 1993 BPM talent ratings. In regular NBA competition, there’s a steady relationship between a team’s underlying talent, its per-game margin of victory and the strength of schedule it faced. Therefore, we can estimate the strength of Team USA’s opposition in international tournaments (such as the Olympics) by comparing its margin of victory to that which we’d expect based on the talent level of the U.S. roster. 2002World Cup+10.0+16.9 Team USA’s greatest basketball rosters (on paper) 1992Olympics+23.1+43.8 2010World Cup+9.4+24.6 2016Olympics+13.1— 2004Olympics+12.7+4.6 2014World Cup+11.4+33.0 1996Olympics+20.8+32.5 YEARTOURNAMENTROSTER TALENTPPG MARGIN 2008Olympics+19.0+27.9 No matter whether we look at the Olympics or the World Cup, the level of competition faced by the U.S. peaked with the surprise upsets of 2004 and 2006, and has been zooming back down ever since — even after controlling for changes in talent on America’s rosters. Yes, USA Basketball improved its team selections after its mid-2000s wake-up call, but the U.S. is also winning by wider margins than we’d expect from its talent improvements alone.And in many ways, the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will put this trend to the ultimate test. This year’s American roster is, according to BPM, the weakest U.S. Olympic squad since 2004, and the third-weakest since ’92. On the spectrum between America’s strongest Olympic teams (1992) and its weakest World Cup teams (2010), the 2016 version sits near the middle, but it also bears more resemblance to the average U.S. World Cup squad than the average Olympics entry. Without Steph Curry, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard and Chris Paul (and so forth), this is just the kind of depleted roster that could have been poised to disappoint in years past.Instead, the U.S. is 3-0 — albeit shakily so after Wednesday’s unconvincing victory over the 11th-best team in the world. If the Americans can iron out the shooting woes of the Australia game and keep winning, it might mean this roster is better than the numbers thought. But it could also be further evidence that the U.S.’s competition is less of a threat than in years past. Based on multiyear Box Plus/Minus talent ratings, weighted by each player’s minutes played in the tournament.Source: Basketball-Reference.com, RealGM.com 2012Olympics+19.8+32.1 Unsurprisingly, the 1992 Dream Team was the most talented group the U.S. ever sent to a major international tournament. Weighting by each player’s minutes played — and putting aside the complicated relationship between projection and reality for superteams — that ’92 squad had +23.1 points per 100 possessions of BPM talent on its hands. (By comparison, the most talented NBA team ever, the 1995-96 Bulls, boasted a +10.8 mark; the 2015-16 Warriors were +8.5.) Against average NBA competition, we’d have expected them to win by a margin of 25.9 points per game, so the fact that they won by 43.8 instead implies they were playing competition about 17.8 points per game worse than the NBA average. (As another point of comparison, the Denver Nuggets were the NBA’s worst team during the 1991-92 season, and they were “only” 7.6 points per game worse than average after adjusting for schedule, earning a 24-58 record.) Yes, the Dream Team was really good, but the competition was also pretty weak.That wouldn’t stay the case for long. Although the U.S. won the 1994 World Championship by an average of 38 points per game despite fielding a far weaker roster than they’d sent to Barcelona in ’92, the landslide victory margins would quickly taper off. In 1996, the second iteration of the Dream Team carried an impressive +20.8 BPM talent rating (10 points/100 possessions better than any team in NBA history), yet it won by 32.5 points per game — only 9 more than would be expected vs. average NBA competition. In just four years, America’s international competition had begun closing the gap.The U.S. advantage would be steadily chipped away every few years, in concert with USA Basketball assembling its own squads of ever-decreasing talent. The two trends came to a head at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, when America was stunned with a bronze-medal finish. Despite its disappointing performance, that team wasn’t exactly barren — it starred the already legendary Tim Duncan, plus a still-in-his-prime Allen Iverson, the perpetually underrated Shawn Marion and Lamar Odom, and even young versions of budding superstars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. On the other hand, it also prominently featured Stephon Marbury, whose reputation for killing NBA teams might be overstated, but was definitely not at his best in Athens.American fans quickly attributed the loss to toxic chemistry and poor fit — a fair criticism, if you peruse this wacky roster — but it was also apparent the world had improved greatly since the Dream Team’s debut. According to the numbers, Team USA’s competition at the 2004 Olympics played to a level about 9.8 points per game better than NBA average. Even granting that our method is only a proxy (and should have some give built in to it to allow for things like badly constructed rosters and questionable coaching), that’s still a quantum leap forward for U.S. opponents, compared with Barcelona 12 years earlier.Athens was a high point for international parity, but it may also have been a bit of a mirage. In response to the debacle of 2004, the U.S. assembled a more talented roster for the 2006 FIBA Worlds, and although America was held to the bronze again, it did post an average scoring margin 15.8 points per game greater than in Athens. Two years later, the Redeem Team won gold with a +27.9 PPG margin; then America easily won the 2010 World Championship with the least talent the U.S. had sent to a major tournament in the post-’92 era. Tack on two more golds after that (at the 2012 Olympics and 2014 FIBA Worlds) with growing victory margins, and the U.S.’s international foes are trending in the wrong direction: 2006World Cup+15.4+20.4
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday he continues to seek a comprehensive two-year budget agreement that would lift the debt limit and set fiscal 2020 federal spending before the August congressional recess to avoid a potential mid-September government default and Oct. 1 shutdown.“We’ll be trying to reach an agreement soon because the House is only in for three more weeks and time is running out,” McConnell said at a news conference.Agreement by the Democrat-led House, the GOP-led Senate and the White House on a comprehensive deal is necessary to avoid the need for a stopgap funding measure and short-term debt relief.“It’s time to get serious on a bipartisan basis,” McConnell said.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday didn’t rule out a vote on a debt limit increase before the August recess, though she stressed raising nondefense spending caps for fiscal 2020 is still essential to negotiations, according to Roll Call.“Let’s see how the conversations go,” Pelosi said. “We certainly do not want any thought of default on the part of the full faith and credit of the United States of America.”The primary sticking point remains over Democratic calls for increased nondefense spending that Republican leaders oppose, according to the report.Democratic leaders have sought $647 billion for nondefense discretionary spending in fiscal 2020 while the White House has sought to abide by a 2011 deficit-reduction law which called for $543 billion in nondefense spending.The $100 billion nondefense spending difference and disputes over Democrats’ preferred $733 billion defense spending topline and Republicans’ preferred $750 billion topline has stymied negotiations for months.Timing for an agreement is compressing rapidly as Congress is scheduled to be in recess for the month of August and the first week of September.Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tia Dufour ADC AUTHOR
.Telephone numbers of the control room of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence’s headquarters have been remaining inaccessible for hours since Friday morning.Asked about the matter, the fire service director (operation and maintenance) major Shakil Newaz told Prothom Alo that fire service officials failed to reach the T&T office after the telephone communication was snapped.Shakil also claimed that not only the fire service numbers, but also all the telephone exchange numbers of the capital have become unreachable due to the disruption.He accused T&T office of remaining silent over the matter.
New Delhi: As the national capital continued to be engulfed in toxic air for the fourth day in a row on Friday, the organisers of the Delhi Food Truck Festival (DFTF) have decided to push it to next month. The two-day food extravaganza was scheduled to be held on Saturday and Sunday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.”Delhites, wait for a while for the fun to begin at the second edition of Delhi Food Truck Festival. We care for you. We really regret the inconvenience caused,” said a statement issued on behalf of DFTF’s organising committee. The festival will be rescheduled to December, and the venue will remain the same. Singer KK, band Euphoria and DJ Anish Sood were some of the key performers at the gala, which was to offer a range of cuisines to patrons via around 40 food truck brands, over 30 food and beverage stalls and a mega bar.
Twitter reportedly plans to list itself on the New York Stock Exchange rather than the Nasdaq when it becomes a publicly traded company.The reason for avoiding Nasdaq, which lists many tech companies, is the fear of a glitch-plagued IPO like the one Facebook suffered last year, according to an exclusive report by TheStreet.com. Facebook’s first trading day was a mess of delays and technical problems that led to some trades not going through. The Securities and Exchange Commission fined Nasdaq $10 million for the botched IPO, citing Nasdaq’s “poorly designed systems and hasty decision-making.”Twitter’s IPO, which will likely take place in late 2013 or early 2014, is expected to bring in about $1.5 billion for the social network, TheStreet.com reports.Twitter did not respond to Entrepreneur.com’s request for comment.On September 12, Twitter announced via its own social network that it had confidentially filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a planned IPO. The confidential filing was made possible by a provision of the JOBS Act that went into effect last year.The stealth filing option is only available for companies with less than $1 billion in annual revenue. Twitter is expected to earn $583 million in advertising revenue this year, and come close to $1 billion in ad earnings next year.Like many companies on the verge of an IPO, Twitter is seeking a line of revolving credit. With Goldman Sachs said to be leading the IPO, that leaves rival firms JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley — who also reportedly will have roles in the IPO — to lead the credit line of $500 million to $1 billion. This stockpile of cash will keep Twitter flush in the event that its market debut has to be put on hold.Related: Wall Street to Nasdaq: What’s Your Problem? Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 2 min read September 24, 2013 Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Free