Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Roland Head has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Lloyds Banking Group. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Anyone who owns shares in Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) has had a rough year. Lloyds’ share price has fallen by more than 50% since the start of 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has triggered fears that banks could face a sharp rise in bad debt.The bank’s business is totally focused on the UK, which is now officially in recession. We’re all hoping the UK will bounce back quickly. But the reality is that we don’t know how long it will take for economy to recover.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…However, given what we do know, I think there are good reasons to believe Lloyds shares are too cheap at current levels.#1: the bad news is in the priceIt’s important to remember markets always look forward. I believe Lloyds shares are already priced for bad news. In its half-year results at the end of July, Lloyds warned investors it’s planning for bad debts of around £5bn this year. That’s nearly four times more than the £1.3bn reported for 2019.At this stage, Lloyds’ bad debt numbers are only estimates. Things may turn out better than this. Recent data from estate agents and car dealership certainly suggest consumers are starting to spend again.However, my sums suggest that if Lloyds’ central forecasts are correct, the bank’s tangible net asset value would fall from 51.6p per share to around 44.5p per share. With the stock trading at just 28p as I write, I think that still leaves a healthy margin of safety for investors.#2: Lloyds is still one of the best performersLloyds also has another attraction, in my view. It’s more profitable than UK-focused rivals such as NatWest Group (the new name for RBS). During the first half of the year, Lloyds generated a net interest margin — a measure of lending profitability — of 2.59%. The equivalent figure for NatWest Group was just 1.62%.One reason for this is that Lloyds’ costs are lower. During the first half of the year, the bank’s costs accounted for 55.2% of its income, compared to 62.8% at NatWest Group. Lloyds’ lower costs should mean that profits bounce back more quickly.Lloyds was the most profitable of the UK’s big high street banks before the coronavirus pandemic. I don’t think this will change. That should help the bank’s profits bounce back more quickly than at less profitable peers.#3: Lloyds share price suggests 5.5% dividend yieldBanks were forced to suspend dividend payments by the UK regulator earlier this year. Several made it clear they could have paid, but had no choice but to comply.The news was a bitter blow for income investors. But I’m pretty confident the dividend will return in 2021. Analysts’ forecasts suggest a payout of 1.58p per share next year, giving a forecast yield of 5.5%. That looks realistic to me. Despite this year’s disappointment, I believe Lloyds will remain a solid choice for income seekers,Ultimately, sentiment towards the UK economy is dire at the moment. The Lloyds share price reflects this. But, at some point, things will improve. In my view, now’s probably a good time to buy some shares and tuck them away for the future. I don’t think they’ll get much cheaper than this. Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. See all posts by Roland Head I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Roland Head | Sunday, 23rd August, 2020 | More on: LLOY Image source: Getty Images. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Has the Lloyds share price fallen too far? Here’s what I’d do now “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Enter Your Email Address
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Performing at venues in Colorado, Missouri, Kansas and Indiana helped members of Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir ensure their spring break didn’t fall flat.Senior Lauren Zyber said the group stayed with alumnae of the College at various stops on the tour, and seeing them in the crowd added an extra dimension of meaning to the concerts.“A lot of them were very emotional and moved by the music,” Zyber said. “Seeing them tear up in the audience … I had to force myself not to look at them because it would make me really emotional about this experience.”Several of the alumnae who housed choir members achieved professional success after graduation, Zyber said.“We stayed with a music major who is now a pulmonary specialist, a top doctor in her field,” she said. “It was really wonderful to see how successful Saint Mary’s women are.”According to Zyber, the choir bonded while traveling, as members had the opportunity to explore new cities together while making memories.“I think touring brought a lot of people together,” she said. “It just reaffirmed my love for this community and the sisterhood that extends beyond your class.”Sophomore Grace Haase said the alumnae she encountered along the way provided her with valuable advice about discerning a career path.“One of the main things I’ve learned through choir is that it’s okay if you don’t know what you want to do after graduation,” Haase said. “That’s something the alumnae drilled in my head.”According to Haase, Women’s Choir maintains such a tight-knit relationship because all members are made to feel indispensable. “One of the most interesting things about our choir is that everyone is valued equally,” Haase said. “Everyone is important. There’s no ‘this person is better than this person.’ You have to make sure that your voice doesn’t stand out.”Zyber said belonging to Women’s Choir enforces ideals of commitment and teamwork.“You learn about how you can blend with people and how if one person is gone it affects the whole choir,” Zyber said. “If one person is missing, it’s automatically heard, and we sound weaker. That naturally fosters a strong community.”According to Zyber, the friendships members of Women’s Choir develop play integral roles in improving the quality of their performances.“When people care about each other, they’re just naturally going to sing better together,” she said. “It increases morale, and that connection can actually really affect your sound. When you’re singing with people that you can connect with, it becomes something really special, and I think that transfers to the music.”Haase said touring with her peers taught her the importance of caring for those she sings with.“Staying a night with a bunch of other girls and being forced to have a sleepover really enhanced the connection we have,” Haase said. “I’ve made some of my best friends through choir.”Zyber said performing with Women’s Choir enables her to learn from those around her.“One of the things that is great about choir is that you get a lot of people from different backgrounds and majors and disciplines and fields,” she said. “Choir is not talked about as a team sport, but it really is. When you sing in a choir, you learn about how you can listen to other parts.”Zyber said she was happy to see first-year students enjoying the touring experience, since she strives to welcome them into the group.“It was really great to see the freshmen blossom,” she said. “Being a senior, it’s interesting to think about how I am a leader in the choir. I think back to … how much I looked up to the upperclassmen.”Students should embrace the opportunity to listen to the choir’s music at its upcoming concert, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. on March 24 in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto, according to Zyber.“Our [music] is very lively,” she said. “There’s a lot of variety. The music also reflects the Saint Mary’s community as this religious institution but also this institution of learning and love.”According to Zyber, knowing the Saint Mary’s community supports Women’s Choir energizes the group’s performances.“Not only are we sharing our music, but we’re also sharing the gift of Saint Mary’s,” Zyber said. “That’s why we sing.”Tags: choir, saint mary’s, Singing, Women’s Choir
In support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this week’s installment of USC’s “Be Fit. Be Well.” program will feature a class on breast health.The program, run by Recreational Sports, hosts a speaker each week to discuss health and wellness issues. This Wednesday, the class will focus on breast cancer and prevention techniques.“It’s important that we all know what the newest and most current procedures are in order to stay healthy,” said Jennifer Siu, associate director of recreational sports.Wednesday’s class will be led by Amelia Warwick, the nurse health advocate for USC Career and Protective Services.Warwick has a long history of involvement with breast cancer issues. She volunteered in the education department of the American Cancer Association for six years, hosted a support group for women with breast cancer, helped provide low-cost mammograms to women and now works with employees at USC who are fighting breast cancer.Having also seen two close friends battle breast cancer, Warwick said she is dedicated to spreading awareness and prevention methods — including among college students, who often think they’re too young to deal with breast health issues.“Even though students might not be ready for some of the information for themselves yet, it is still worthwhile for them to come to [the class] because it does talk about breast health and the importance of getting exams, as well as the risk factors such as the genetics of breast cancer,” Warwick said.Siu said breast cancer was chosen as the topic for a “Be Fit. Be Well.” class because, in a survey conducted last year, many people requested a class on breast health.“When I talked to some of our health professionals, they wanted to make sure [breast cancer information] got out to students and also staff and faculty,” Siu said.Although the average age of women with breast cancer is 55, Warwick said women as young as their 20s have had breast cancer. With one out of eight women diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, it is likely these issues will be important to many students in the future.“It will all be put in a very positive light because, with early detection, the cure rates can be very high,” Warwick said. “But we still have to make sure we stay on top of this for ourselves and the women we love.”Some students, however, said a class on breast health would have little relevance to them right now.“I don’t think a lot of students think it’s an issue for us because we’re not in the age bracket,” said Julian Williamson, a junior majoring in international relations (global business).But others, like Daniella Ginsburg, a junior majoring in neuroscience, agreed it was important for college-aged women to be informed about breast health.“People don’t think that breast cancer can occur from younger ages, but it doesn’t only happen to older people,” Ginsburg said. “Even if it won’t affect them, they will still be able to educate other members of their family.”Ginsburg, like Warwick, has already encountered breast cancer among those close to her.“Because my mom had breast cancer and I saw what kind of a toll it took on her, and also how fortunate she was that she did catch it early … it made me so aware of how important it is to get tested early and examine yourself,” Ginsburg said. “If you do there is more hope for you.”
The Ghana Paralympic Association has targeted two medals at this year’s Paralympic games which gets underway today in London.Ghana will be represented by 4 athletes, Charles Narh, a powerlifter, Alem Mumuni, a Para-cyclist, Raphael Nkegbe Botsyo, a wheelchair track athlete and Anita Fordjour also a wheelchair track athlete at the Games.The 4 member team after their training tour to Exeter in Wales are said to be highly prepared and motivated to redeem Ghana’s image at the just ended Olympics where team Ghana failed to win a single medal.Adjetey Sowah who is the Vice President of the Ghana Paralympic Association in interview with JOY Sports noted that, their target at this year’s Games is to bag two medals for Ghana.“We are promising two medals and I can say with authority that Anita Fordjour and Alem Mumuni will bring us some medals”.Said Sowah “The team has been in camp for the past one and half months and we have motivated well enough to deliver”.
By Bruce Fuhr,The Nelson Daily Sports EditorIf the Nelson Leafs didn’t have bad luck the team would have no luck at all.Already icing one of the youngest rosters in the entire Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, the Leafs played most of last weekend without the services of three veteran players — forwards Gavin Currie and Cody Abbey and defenceman Tyler Parfeniuk.The result had the Leafs losing two of three, including a 6-2 pasting at the hands of the lowly Grand Forks Border Bruins.On the positive side, the 2010 KIJHL finalists did manage to get its first win of the season, a 3-2 win against an ever-improving Penticton Lakers squad, to right the ship, a little.“We haven’t been healthy since the beginning of the season,” Leaf coach and GM, Chris Shaw told The Nelson Daily Tuesday.“We have such a young club that the impact of losing three veterans is huge and changes the dynamics of the team.”Currie did manage to get in a few shifts during the loss to Beaver Valley and Sunday’s win over the Lakers, but did not look at full strength fighting a nagging upper body injury.Abbey spent Sunday’s encounter sitting in the stands. The Leafs definitely missed the 6’2”, 200-pound winger huge body in front of the net.As for Parfeniuk, the rugged Kelowna defenceman has played in just one game this season thanks to a shoulder injury.Shaw expects Abbey and Currie back in the lineup in the return match Saturday against the Bruins in Grand Forks.However, Parfeniuk will remain on the disabled list. “The game last week was a weird one,” Shaw explained when asked about the loss to the Bruins. “Grand Forks scored six power play goals, which is almost unheard of in junior hockey.”“Still there are no excuses the way we played in Grand Forks,” he added.Shaw did add a fresh face to the Leaf lineup Sunday in the form of Marcus Dhal, a speedy, but small, 17-year-old forward from the Calgary Royals of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.At 5’8”, 165-pounds, Dahl adds some speed to the Leafs front line.“He’s a skilled forward who played last season for the Okanagan Hockey Association Major Midget team,” Shaw said.The road doesn’t get any easier for the Leafs. After playing Grand Forks Friday, Nelson plays host to the always-tough Fernie Ghostriders Saturday at 7 p.m. in the NDCC Arena.STAT LINE: Nelson, 1-4, is not only last in the Murdoch Division, but the Green and White hold down the bottom spot in the league in goals scored this season at 1.80 per game. Fernie Ghostriders are tops with 4.70 goals per game. Nelson has also allowed 4.40 goals per game, second worst in the KIJHL behind Princeton Posse. . . . Connor McLaughlin leads the team in scoring with four points, including three goals. In contrast, Thierry Martine of Osoyoos Coyotes and Duncan Schulz of Kamloops Storm lead the league, each with nine points. Martine has six goals in four [email protected]
Actor Christina Hendricks spent this past Sunday at The Great Race Place, People Magazine reported. The Mad Men star was spotted along with Criminal Minds Paget Brewster in the Paddock watching the horses prepare for the 5th race.Via People.
In my seemingly endless desire to dive headfirst into controversy, let me return to the issue of nuclear waste storage — something I last wrote about in this column five years ago, in January, 2009. This is a relevant issue today because of the pending closure of Vermont’s only nuclear power plant.Entergy has announced that Vermont Yankee will close around the end of this year — largely a victim of low-cost natural gas. The big question now is how long it will be until the plant can be decommissioned and what to do with the large quantities of radioactive waste that are being stored onsite. Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. In 2012 he founded the Resilient Design Institute. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed. RELATED ARTICLES On the Closure of Vermont YankeeThoughts on Nuclear PowerThoughts on Nuclear Power – Part 2Fukushima and Vermont YankeeFukushima’s No-Entry ZoneNuclear Meltdown in Japan and Our Energy FutureBuilding Resilience for a ‘Close Encounter’ with Disaster A better storage optionI believe a much better solution for long-term storage of high-level radioactive waste is to bury it deep under the seabed in a region free of seismic activity where sediment is being deposited and the seafloor getting thicker. In such a site, the level of protection would increase, rather than decrease, over time.In some areas of seabed, more than a centimeter of sediment is being deposited annually. Compacted over time, such sediment deposition could be several feet in a hundred years, and in the geologic time span over which radioactive waste is hazardous, hundreds to thousands of feet of protective sedimentary rock would be formed.The oil and gas industry — for better or worse — knows a lot about drilling deep holes beneath a mile or two of ocean. I suspect that the deep-sea drilling industry would love such a growth opportunity to move into seabed waste storage, and I believe the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or other agencies could do a good job regulating such work.The waste could be placed in wells extending thousands of feet below the seabed in sedimentary rock in geologically stable regions. Let’s say a 3,000-foot well is drilled beneath the seabed two miles beneath the surface of the ocean. Waste could be inserted into that well to a depth of 1,000 feet, and the rest of the well capped with 2,000 feet of concrete or some other material. Hundreds of these deep-storage wells could be filled and capped, and such a sub-seabed storage field could be designated as forever off-limits.Industry or the Department of Energy would have to figure out how to package such waste for safe handling at sea, since the material is so dangerous, but I believe that is a surmountable challenge.For example, perhaps the radioactive waste could be vitrified (incorporated into molten glass-like material) to reduce leaching potential into seawater should an accident occur at sea, and that waste could be tagged with radio-frequency emitters so that any lost containers could be recovered with robotic submarines in the event of such accidents.While I’m not an expert in any of this, I’ve looked at how much money taxpayers and industry have already poured into Yucca Mountain — about $15 billion by the time the Obama Administration terminated federal funding for it in 2010, according to Bloomberg News — and the estimates for how much more it would take to get a working waste storage facility of that sort operational had risen to about $96 billion by 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Energy at the time. I believe that sub-seabed storage would be far less expensive. Rethinking long-term storage of high-level radioactive wasteFor more than 30 years, the nuclear industry in the U.S. and nuclear regulators have been going down the wrong path with waste storage — seeking a repository where waste could be buried deep in a mountain. Nevada’s Yucca Mountain was the place of choice until… it wasn’t.Any time we choose to put highly dangerous waste in someone’s backyard, it’s bound to cause a lot of controversy, even in a sparsely populated, pro-resource-extraction place like Nevada. NIMBY opposition can be boosted by people in powerful places, and in the case of Yucca Mountain, Nevada senator Harry Reid has played such a role. (He has been the Senate Majority Leader since 2006 and served prior to that as the Minority Leader and Democratic Whip.)Aside from NIMBYism, the problem with burying nuclear waste in a mountain (like Yucca Mountain) or salt caverns (like New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns — an earlier option that was pursued for a while in the 1970s) is that the maximum safety is provided at Day One, and the margin of safety drops continually from there. The safety of such storage sites could be compromised over time due to seismic activity (Nevada ranks fourth among the most seismically active states), volcanism (the Yucca Mountain ridge is comprised mostly of volcanic tuff, emitted from past volcanic activity), erosion, migrating aquifers, and other natural geologic actions. But it’s radioactive waste storage I’ll cover here. Should nuclear power be part of our energy future?I used to be a firm opponent to nuclear power, and I am still opposed to the form of nuclear power we have today. But my position is softening. Should nuclear power plants be developed that have failsafe, passive cooling systems that would prevent a meltdown even if sabotaged from the inside (I don’t know if that would be possible), if the economics of such plants could work, and if we can shift to safer long-term storage, I could get behind a rebirth of the nuclear power industry.Those are big “ifs,” and I have doubts that they will be satisfied, but I recognize that nuclear power is largely free of carbon emissions — unlike natural gas, oil, and, especially, coal. We need to dramatically reduce carbon emissions if we are to prevent catastrophic global warming, according to leading scientists.A starting point for the nuclear industry in building new support for nuclear power should be re-examining sub-seabed waste storage, which could be far safer and far less expensive than other approaches being focused on most actively today. Terrorism risks with nuclear powerMy concern with nuclear power has always been more about terrorism than accidents during operation or storage. I continue to worry that terrorists could gain entry to nuclear plant operations and sabotage plants from the inside — disabling cooling systems and causing a meltdown.There is also a remote risk of unanticipated natural disasters causing meltdowns or radiation release, as we saw so vividly with the Fukushima Power Plant catastrophe in Japan in March, 2011.
Foton coach Moro Brasnilav. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMoro Branislav didn’t take long to admit that his Foton team will have a tough time defending its title in the Chooks To Go-Philippine Superliga Grand Prix, which starts Saturday at FilOil Flying V Centre.After glancing at the present crop of imports, the Serbian coach said the league has become a lot more competitive compared to the previous seasons.ADVERTISEMENT Rio Olympic head Nuzman formally charged with corruption BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Read Next Powerhouse Petron, which will pose a huge threat to Foton’s bid, will field Lindsay Stalzer—who helped the Tornadoes win their title last year. Stalzer will be supported by Hillary Hurley of the United States and Yuri Fukuda of Japan. View comments MOST READ Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LATEST STORIES “Normally I will say that my team is good for championships,” said Branislav during Wednesday’s launch. “But I have too much respect for these teams who are also building up.”“But we are prepared to win another title, that’s for sure,” said the mentor of the Tornadoes, who have won this conference the past two seasons.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutFoton will parade Serbians Sara Klisura and Katarina Vukamanovic and Montenegrin Dragana Perunicnic.Nine teams will see action in the tournament, the biggest field so far for the PSL, which will each be allowed three foreign players. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH PLAY LIST 05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:50Trending Articles01:10PNP-HPG to field 695 personnel to secure ‘Undas’01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City
Scoring in professional basketball is one of the most beautiful things in sports. With only moments to set up his shot, a player tosses a ball into a soaring arc, and it drops through a hoop only slightly larger than the ball. That or he flies to the hoop and deposits the ball directly.It’s no wonder, then, that individual players’ scoring abilities get the most attention. But basketball is a complex and dynamic sport, and this skill is only one of many that determine what kind of impact a particular player has on the bottom line.In fact, if you had to pick one statistic from the common box score to tell you as much as possible about whether a player helps or hurts his team, it isn’t how many points he scores. Nor how many rebounds he grabs. Nor how many assists he dishes out.It’s how many steals he gets.This phenomenon — that steals is one of the most informative stats in basketball — has important implications for how we think about sports data. But it can also help us investigate real-life basketball mysteries, such as “What the heck is going on in Minnesota?”Consider the curious case of Ricky Rubio. A professional basketball player since the age of 14, he won a silver medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics (leading a strong Spanish team in assists, steals and even defensive rebounds during the knockout rounds). The Minnesota Timberwolves drafted him in 2009 with the fifth overall pick (age: 18), but he initially stayed in Spain, not making his NBA debut until 2011.During the two years Rubio spent at FC Barcelona, his eventual Minnesota teammate Kevin Love ascended into the ranks of the NBA’s statistical elite. This left many to expect (or hope) that adding Rubio would finally make the Timberwolves a contender. But in his first two seasons, the Timberwolves still haven’t made the playoffs. Going into the 2013-14 season, ESPN’s TrueHoop Network ranked Rubio as the 49th best player in the league (only slightly ahead of teammate Nikola Pekovic). He has struggled with injuries and is considered a terrible, “makes Rajon Rondo look like Reggie Miller”-type shooter.1So far, Rubio has put up the worst effective field goal percentage among regular NBA starters every year of his career.Since entering the NBA, Rubio has been dominant in two major statistical categories: not scoring and steals. Of all players averaging 30-plus minutes, Rubio’s 10 points per game is the third-fewest overall, and the worst of all guards by more than a point.2The second-lowest-scoring guard is Jose Calderon with 11.2 PPG.His 2.4 steals per game, on the other hand, is the second most. It’s only .1 steals behind five-time NBA steals champion Chris Paul (and Rubio edges Paul in steals per minute and steal percentage).What do you do when you have highly divergent indicators such as these? NBA stat geeks have been trying to mash up box score stats for decades. The most famous attempt is John Hollinger’s player efficiency rating, which ostensibly includes steals in its calculation but values them about as much as two-point baskets.3In PER, steals are each worth the value of one possession. A two-point basket is (roughly) worth two points minus the value of one possession. Because a possession is worth about one point, these are both worth about +1 point in Hollinger’s equation. In other words, steals have only a small effect on a player’s PER. Despite his stealing prowess, Rubio has a career PER of 15.6, ranking 82nd in the league for the period. Meanwhile, Love has a PER of 25.7 (fourth in the league) over that same time.Hollinger weights each stat in his formula based on his informed estimation of its intrinsic value. Although this is intuitively neat, empiricists like to test these sorts of things. One way to do it is to compare how teams have performed with and without individual players, using the results to examine what kinds of player statistics most accurately predict the differences.4I used this technique quite a bit throughout my treatise on Dennis Rodman, though it is actually better suited to broader analysis such as this. For this article, I’m using team game “with and without you” (WOWY) comparisons from all player seasons from 1986 to 2011 where a player missed and played at least 20 games. In particular, we’re interested in which player stats best predict whether a team will win or lose more often without him.By this measure, PER vastly undervalues steals. Because steals and baskets seem to be similarly valuable, and there are so many more baskets than steals in a game, it’s hard to see how steals can be all that important. But those steals hold additional value when we predict the impact of the players who get them. A lot more value. So much so that a player’s steals per game is more important to evaluating his worth than his ability to score points, even though steals are so much rarer.To illustrate this, I created a regression using each player’s box score stats (points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals and turnovers) to predict how much teams would suffer when someone couldn’t play.5As measured by his difference in SRS (simple rating system, or average margin of victory/defeat adjusted for strength of schedule) with or without him. By comparing the regression coefficients for each variable, we can see the relative predictive value of each (all else being equal). Because we’re particularly interested in how each stat compares with points scored, I’ve set the predictive value of a single marginal point as our unit of measure (that is, the predictive value of one point equals one, and something five times more predictive than a point is five, etc.). The results:Yes, this pretty much means a steal is “worth” as much as nine points. To put it more precisely: A marginal steal is weighted nine times more heavily when predicting a player’s impact than a marginal point.6At least when averaged over a sufficient number of games (about 15 or 20). Note that the weighting of steals in PER was approximately equal to a made two-point basket, or roughly equivalent to two PPG (off by nearly a factor of five). Value for turnovers is negative.For example, a player who averages 16 points and two steals per game is predicted (assuming all else is equal) to have a similar impact on his team’s success as one who averages 25 points but only one steal. If these players were on different teams and were both injured at the same time, we would expect their teams to have similar decreases in performance (on average).Steals have considerable intrinsic value. Not only do they kill an opponent’s possession, but a team’s ensuing possession — the one that started with the steal — often leads to fast-break scoring opportunities. But though this explains how a steal can be more valuable than a two-point basket, it doesn’t come close to explaining how we get from that to nine points.I’ve heard a lot of different theories about how steals can be so much more predictively valuable than they seem: Steals “cost” less than other stats,7This is most relevant to comparison between steals and points: Points cost you shots, which cost you possessions, which is why a bad shooter may get a lot of points while hurting his team’s offense. Steals come at a cost as well: By gambling on defense, you sometimes give up a better shot if you fail. But, all things considered, they are probably closer to being “free” than points. or players who get more steals might also play better defense, or maybe steals are just a product of, as pundits like to call it, high basketball IQ. These are all worth considering and may be true to various degrees, but I think there’s a subtler — yet extremely important — explanation.Think about all that occurs in a basketball game — no matter who is playing, there will be plenty of points, rebounds and assists to go around. But some things only happen because somebody makes them happen. If you replaced a player with someone less skilled at that particular thing, it wouldn’t just go to somebody else. It wouldn’t occur at all. Steals are disproportionately those kinds of things.Most people vastly underestimate how much a player’s box score stats are a function of that player’s role and style of play, as opposed to his tangible contribution to his team’s performance. A player averaging one more point per game than another doesn’t actually mean his team scores one more point per game as a result of his presence. He may be shooting more than he should and hurting his team’s offense. Similarly, one player getting a lot of rebounds doesn’t make his team a good rebounding team: He may be getting rebounds that his team could have gotten without him.What we are looking for is a kind of statistical “irreplaceability.” If a player produces one more X (point, rebound, steal, etc.) for his team, and is then taken from the team (by injury, suspension, trade, etc.), how much of that stat does his team really lose? How much of it can be replaced?I tested for this by running a series of regressions using each player’s box score stats (points, rebounds, assists, etc.) to predict how much teams would suffer without a player in each particular area. In other words, for a player who averages X points, Y rebounds, Z assists, etc., how much does his team’s scoring decrease when he’s out? How much does its rebounding decrease? The way I’ve set it up, a stat’s irreplaceability will roughly run from zero (completely replaceable) to one (completely irreplaceable).8I was going to call this “Beyoncé Value” in honor of the singer’s hit song “Irreplaceable,” but editors correctly pointed out that the song title was ironic, and steals actually are irreplaceable. Let’s visualize it like so:9For this case, I ran separate regressions to the WOWY differential for each of the team’s PRABS statistics from all of the corresponding player stats. In a linear regression, the “irreplaceability value” is the coefficient for each variable in its own regression (e.g. player PPG coefficient in the regression to team PPG). Note that while the value approximates a percentage, nothing precludes values below zero or above 1. So, look at the points-per-game column. Suppose a player averages one more point per game than another player. His team is likely to average only an additional .17 points with him on the floor because points are 83 percent replaceable. It would take almost six points of his scoring to add one additional point to his team’s tally.For steals, the picture is much different. If a player averages one more steal than another player (say 2.5 steals per game instead of 1.5) his team is likely to average .96 more steals than it would without him (if all else stayed equal). That’s why, as an individual player action, steals are much more irreplaceable than points.Basketball is a game of high scores and small margins. The best team ever — the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls — only won by an average of 12 points per game, and I’d be surprised if more than a handful of players have ever been worth half that on their own (maybe Michael Jordan, probably LeBron James). With steals 96 percent “irreplaceable,” and each worth a couple of points, one extra steal per game puts a good player well on his way to being an excellent one.With this in mind, it’s worth taking another look at Rubio, the quirky sidekick to MVP candidate Love. Rubio seems deficient at the game’s central skill (putting the ball in the hoop) but is gifted at the one that matters to my model (thievery).It’s our good fortune that Rubio and Love have missed a number of games at different times, so we can check whether there’s anything to be gleaned by comparing team performance with and without them. Here are his and Love’s win percentages and average team margin of victory both together and separate since 2011-12:In other words, the Timberwolves have struggled to win games when either one of its duo out, and they’ve lost quite badly with both gone. Despite being an elite scorer and rebounder who is routinely ranked as one of the league’s top players, Love’s observable impact has been only marginally better than Rubio’s.10Note also that in the three years prior to Rubio’s arrival, Love had one of the worst runs that a theoretically great player has ever had. In the 214 games he played in that period, the Timberwolves won only 24.8 percent of their games and had an average margin of victory of -6.3. In other words, the sample of games in which the Timberwolves struggled with only Love on the floor is effectively much greater than the 33 in the table. So far, both are putting up elite numbers. The Timberwolves have played nearly seven points per game worse without Rubio in their lineup. That’s absurdly high. So high that I’d be surprised if either player’s numbers bore out in the long run. But it’s worth noting that, contrary to conventional wisdom, Rubio may be exceeding expectations.Taken alone, this comparison doesn’t answer the question of Rubio’s value, and it doesn’t prove that steals are as valuable as I think they are. But it’s powerfully consistent with that claim. More important, it’s a perfect example of how, even in a storm of complex, causally dynamic, massively intertwined data and information, sometimes odd little things that are known to be reliable and predictable are the most valuable.Editor’s note: A table in this article has been updated to include additional data from the past week.