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Sports and Fitness It's football, not soccer.

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Old February 11 2014, 05:10 PM   #76
Alidar Jarok
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

Interesting article in new age statistics: DataBall

Tony Parker is one of the best playmakers in the world. For more than a decade now, he’s been the straw that stirs the Spurs’ stiff offensive drink. But despite winning three rings and an NBA Finals MVP, Parker has never quite been considered a true superstar. Once again this year, he’ll begin the All-Star Game on the bench, playing behind guards who have somehow turned slighter successes into superior Q scores. Maybe this is because Parker is a foreign player, or maybe it’s because he plays in a smaller market deep in the heart of Texas.

But maybe it’s also because our box scores undervalue the importance of the “little things” that players like Parker do and overvalue the most easily quantifiable events like made baskets and rebounds.

On one hand, the notion that we award Leonard three points for his buzzer-beating shot in Cleveland makes sense. After all, he was the one who made the freaking shot. On the other hand, giving Leonard credit for the basket is like awarding George Clooney the credit for Gravity.

“We practiced that play 1,000 times, so I knew we’d be able to execute it,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said after the game.

If we applied this conventional basketball accounting to the game of chess, we’d assign far too much importance to the singular checkmate move, while entirely overlooking that move’s hugely relevant tactical precedents. Chess matches are rarely won or lost in one final action, and the same goes for basketball possessions. They are rarely decided by their terminal actions, and players like Parker or Chris Paul commonly put their teams in advantageous situations one way or another.

In the era of “big data,” the current statistical system — the one that produces the box score — is a typewriter, albeit a reliable one. It was born out of pencil-and-paper convenience rather than a desire to truly measure the contributions of the 10 athletes on the floor. Still, it has worked well, and as a result it’s persisted from the time of Bill Russell, through the Michael Jordan years, and well into the LeBron James era; its derivative dogmas have morphed into things we have termed “advanced stats” and “basketball analytics.”

In the last few decades, pioneers like Ken Pomeroy, Dean Oliver, and John Hollinger effectively took advantage of spreadsheets and other newfangled accoutrements of the personal computing era to launch us headlong into basketball’s computational era. We continue to learn from their contributions, but things are still rapidly evolving.
I don't have the background knowledge to truly understand this, but it sounds promising. Its biggest flaw seems to be that it doesn't seem to evaluate players well outside the context of their teammates (players who are good at passing to great shooters will do very well, but it's the great shooter who deserves a lot of the credit). Still, if this works, it could revolutionize Basketball in the way Baseball was revolutionized (although it's probably far more difficult to pull off given the speed of the game and the number of interactions that happen at once).
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Old February 11 2014, 10:03 PM   #77
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

^^ I think advanced analytics in the NBA will be useful to some teams with certain players. Problem with the NBA is that regardless of a player's advanced stats, a Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, or LeBron James, could just mess all of it up. You could put your little team of 8-9 guys with off the charts per minute stats and scores and win a lot of regular season games but get squashed in the playoffs because the other team's stars are simply better.

Also, NBA basketball is such a game of emotion, way more so than baseball or even football, that guys get all pumped up and play way over their heads particularly in the playoffs. Hollinger has been pushing this stuff for years and on paper a lot of times it has made sense. But when you're in the heat of the playoffs and you have LeBron coming down the lane holding the ball over his head, the advanced analytics as well as the players on the opposing team, are going to step aside.
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Old March 3 2014, 12:35 AM   #78
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

I'd always thought the 3 division leaders were always the top 3 in the conference standings for the purpose of playoffs (like other sports where a wildcard team can never seed higher than any division leader).

Apparently not (?) since the Bulls were momentarily in the #3 conference spot ahead of Toronto.
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Old March 4 2014, 05:57 PM   #79
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

No matter who it's against, LeBron's 61 pts is noteworthy
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Old March 4 2014, 10:48 PM   #80
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

Neroon wrote: View Post
No matter who it's against, LeBron's 61 pts is noteworthy
True. Sixty-one is a boatload against anyone. But it does kind of put Kobe's 62 in only 3 quarters into dynamic perspective. Especially so in light of all the talk about LeBron already being among the top 5 players of all time. Many believe that Kobe's night against the Mavs was as close as anyone might have come to Wilt's 100 if he had played the 4th quarter.
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Old March 8 2014, 09:43 AM   #81
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

Key to beating the heat: Make Lebron wear a teeshirt.
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Old March 10 2014, 10:32 AM   #82
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

You just have to slow him down and outshoot him.
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Old March 12 2014, 06:54 PM   #83
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

Borgminister wrote: View Post
Key to beating the heat: Make Lebron wear a teeshirt.
Harass him, hurt him, piss him off.

The problem is that Lebaby expects to ALL the calls, so he gets mad every time a foul is not called in his favor. During the regular season a team can rough him up a little and him throw off his game. (The Bulls are specialists at this strategy) However, during the playoffs, he is protected by the refs (to a criminal extent) and therefore is able to achieve "greatness".
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Old March 12 2014, 08:19 PM   #84
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

Jedi_Master wrote: View Post
Borgminister wrote: View Post
Key to beating the heat: Make Lebron wear a teeshirt.
Harass him, hurt him, piss him off.

The problem is that Lebaby expects to ALL the calls, so he gets mad every time a foul is not called in his favor. During the regular season a team can rough him up a little and him throw off his game. (The Bulls are specialists at this strategy) However, during the playoffs, he is protected by the refs (to a criminal extent) and therefore is able to achieve "greatness".
I'm certainly no LeBron jocker but I don't like the idea of physically beating up on the league's best players because that is the only way a team can defend that player. My team has had more than it's share of the greatest of the great over the decades and that has been a common strategy for some of the lesser teams in the league.

The refs are there to protect all of the players equally, but I think what happens sometimes is that players (and fans) get frustrated at not being able to stop a player legally, so they resort to violence, then get even more frustrated and angry when the refs "take away our only weapon" and call them for fouls. The cry then becomes (sometmes), the refs are being over protective of "Joe Superstar".
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Old March 12 2014, 11:31 PM   #85
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

Lebron can give as good as he takes when it comes to being physical. Quite a lot of what he does would, once upon a time (and still according to the rules) would be an offensive foul. He's such a big guy and can use that to his advantage. Given this, some handchecks or other methods to mitigate that contact are legitimate. Basketball is not a no contact sport and can quite often be quite physical.
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Old March 13 2014, 12:24 AM   #86
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

Well, I'm not talking about just being "physical". I'm referring to the plays where you see guys swinging at the head under the pretense of blocking a shot, or aggressive "bumping", pushing, delivering blows, before and after a player gets the ball.

When we had Shaq and he would make his spin move to the basket, if he made contact with a defender, that guy usually got bumped out of the lane. Now, if it is not an offensive foul and the lane is open after the bump, then so be it. If you are physically overmatched I don't think a team should be allowed to make up for that physical disadvantage by delivering more physical punishment just because "that dude is big".

LeBron's size and style of play is what it is and he should not be penalized for it as long as he is playing within the rules.
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Old March 14 2014, 01:21 AM   #87
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

I love Shaq, but he was the king of the flying elbows...

And the fewer dunks you give Mr. Rushmore, the better, long as it's physical and not flagrant play.
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Old March 20 2014, 08:10 PM   #88
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

So the NBA is concerned about a "conflict" because of the relationship between Jeannie Buss (Lakers' team President) and Phil jackson since he has become a Knicks' exec.

Gee, I wonder where all that concern about conflicts was a few years ago when the league, under pressure from other owners to protect those owners' interests, vetoed the Lakers trade for Chris Paul under the pretense of, "basketball reasons". The league, at the time, were the owners of the (then) New Orleans franchise.

Hypocrits.
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Old March 22 2014, 06:46 AM   #89
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

gblews wrote: View Post
So the NBA is concerned about a "conflict" because of the relationship between Jeannie Buss (Lakers' team President) and Phil jackson since he has become a Knicks' exec.

Gee, I wonder where all that concern about conflicts was a few years ago when the league, under pressure from other owners to protect those owners' interests, vetoed the Lakers trade for Chris Paul under the pretense of, "basketball reasons". The league, at the time, were the owners of the (then) New Orleans franchise.

Hypocrits.
Of course. The rules apply to everyone except the people who make them.
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Old March 26 2014, 01:38 AM   #90
Alidar Jarok
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

Since I'm intrigued by statistical analysis of Basketball: The underrated art of the steal. According to this analysis, a player who can get a steal is worth 9 times as much as a player who can get a point:

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.
...
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.
The only concern I have with steal statistics is they don't count the number of times a player gambled on a steal and the other team scored. A steal is not a no-risk play. Obviously, people who get more steals are better at them, but I don't think these stats should be read to mean that players should try to get steals more.

In other news, if the Sixers lose to the Rockets, they will have tied the NBA record for consecutive losses. If they lose to Pistons, they will have the new record. In honor of that, all the things that have happened since the Sixers last won a game:



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