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Sports and Fitness It's football, not soccer.

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Old March 26 2014, 08:11 PM   #91
gblews
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
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.
Exactly what I was thinking when I read the part you quoted. I was never very impressed with players who carried that "2 steals per game" title even though they're thought of by many as great defensive players.

The best steals, IMO, are the ones that come when a player is guarding his man one on one and takes the ball away. This way there is no gamble (well, maybe a possible foul) and opportunity to give up easy baskets to other players.

If you have a player who averages 2 steals a game without making those kamikaze attempts which can, if the player doesn't get the ball, result in easy baskets, you really have something.

Imagine having a rim protector type who can block and alter shots AND steal the ball from his own man. Talk about a defensive game changer.
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Old March 26 2014, 10:32 PM   #92
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

Yeah, Allen Iverson led the league in steals. It wouldn't be smart to call him a good defensive player.
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Old April 2 2014, 12:37 AM   #93
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

A followup regarding steals and their risk: Are NBA Steals Born of Bad Defense

The reason this didn’t concern me is that the part of the analysis that establishes the value of steals relative to other box score stats is completely oblivious to the costs and benefits of a particular stat; the analysis only cares about the corresponding increase or decrease in the team’s chances of winning.

Indirect “with or without you” analyses are meant to avoid the thorny and often intractable causal complexities that lie between a thing and its effect on the bottom line. Of course, this approach has its limitations. For example, we don’t know whether steals predict a player’s impact because steals are more important than other things, or because the type of player who tends to get steals just happens to be better at helping his team win games than a similarly situated player who doesn’t. But we do know that steals predict a player’s impact extremely well, so if we’re concerned with making empirical predictions, they’re something we should pay attention to.
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Old April 3 2014, 08:34 PM   #94
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
A followup regarding steals and their risk: Are NBA Steals Born of Bad Defense

The reason this didn’t concern me is that the part of the analysis that establishes the value of steals relative to other box score stats is completely oblivious to the costs and benefits of a particular stat; the analysis only cares about the corresponding increase or decrease in the team’s chances of winning.

Indirect “with or without you” analyses are meant to avoid the thorny and often intractable causal complexities that lie between a thing and its effect on the bottom line. Of course, this approach has its limitations. For example, we don’t know whether steals predict a player’s impact because steals are more important than other things, or because the type of player who tends to get steals just happens to be better at helping his team win games than a similarly situated player who doesn’t. But we do know that steals predict a player’s impact extremely well, so if we’re concerned with making empirical predictions, they’re something we should pay attention to.
I don't know why the writer is so hung up on the value of steals. Of course its great when you get one, but we all know that doesn't happen too often. And this guy places a high value not just on steals, but on "attempts".

Is he unaware that players who are known in the league as "gamblers" are game planned against? Just like the pump fake which many times negates the effectiveness of the manic shot blocker, guys who gamble on steals find themselves perpetually victims of backdoor plays. They are set up to go for the steal and as soon as their weight shifts, the gambler's man heads for the front of the rim.

Maybe there is a way to teach a player to be an effective aggressive "stealer", but if there is I sure don't know about it.

I'm thinking, maybe the writer is also a football fan and perhaps is trying to find correlations between losing a fumble and interceptions and a steal in basketball. But football is a much different game with way fewer ofensive posessions, making each one just that much more valuable. Basketball is a bit more like hockey or soccer with MANY more offensive opportunities which, it seems to me, devalues the steal.
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Old April 3 2014, 11:55 PM   #95
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

I think the point is this: He isn't telling you the value of going for a steal, he's measuring the value of a player who gets steals. Since he's not doing more than that, it's not worth reading more into it than that. A player who gets a point isn't inherently all that important because that point could be replaced by a different player. A steal is probably not going to be replaced - it's simply a steal that didn't happen.

I think a more in-depth analysis would have to actually rely on video and motion tracking of players to evaluate attempted steals, steal percentage, and the results of what happened when a steal failed. But that's a different measurement.
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Old April 10 2014, 03:43 PM   #96
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

Sorry folks, but I am going to brag on my boys the Chicago Bulls. They lost D. Rose (again) traded away Luol Deng, and looked like they were just going to tank. But THE best coach in the NBA, Tom Thibodeau rallied his team. They have won 6 in a row, will be shooting for 50 wins with roster that is basically Joakim Noah and spare parts, they are gelling at the right time, and if the playoff seeding falls right will be able to stomp their way to a matchup with the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. I have never been prouder of my boys.

Go Bulls!

Okay shameless homerism over.....

I think that analytics can only go so far. There is a rush to quantify virtually every aspect of the game, but at some point, it is just another fact. No matter how well you game plan, the players still have to have the will and desire to win, and you cannot create a statistic to measure that will.
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Old April 10 2014, 10:21 PM   #97
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

Jedi_Master wrote: View Post
Sorry folks, but I am going to brag on my boys the Chicago Bulls. They lost D. Rose (again) traded away Luol Deng, and looked like they were just going to tank. But THE best coach in the NBA, Tom Thibodeau rallied his team. They have won 6 in a row, will be shooting for 50 wins with roster that is basically Joakim Noah and spare parts, they are gelling at the right time, and if the playoff seeding falls right will be able to stomp their way to a matchup with the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. I have never been prouder of my boys.

Go Bulls!
I think you have a legit argument for Thibs as best coach in the league -- well, were it not for Popovich. Hey uh, how's that extension going for Thibs? Not that my team needs a great coach, we're SOOOOO happy with D'Antoni.

I think that analytics can only go so far. There is a rush to quantify virtually every aspect of the game, but at some point, it is just another fact. No matter how well you game plan, the players still have to have the will and desire to win, and you cannot create a statistic to measure that will.
The Bulls may be proving this, this very season.
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Old April 11 2014, 08:29 PM   #98
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

gblews wrote: View Post
I think you have a legit argument for Thibs as best coach in the league -- well, were it not for Popovich. Hey uh, how's that extension going for Thibs? Not that my team needs a great coach, we're SOOOOO happy with D'Antoni.
Popovich is amazing, but Thibs winning with THIS bulls team is like winning the Daytona 500 with a stock Toyota Camry. Popovich has better players, and a smarter organization behind him.

As for Thibs' extension, who knows? The Bulls management is lucky to have him, but they are stingy idiots, and we just might lose him. That would make me VERY angry.
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Old April 14 2014, 09:19 PM   #99
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

Jedi_Master wrote: View Post
gblews wrote: View Post
I think you have a legit argument for Thibs as best coach in the league -- well, were it not for Popovich. Hey uh, how's that extension going for Thibs? Not that my team needs a great coach, we're SOOOOO happy with D'Antoni.
Popovich is amazing, but Thibs winning with THIS bulls team is like winning the Daytona 500 with a stock Toyota Camry. Popovich has better players, and a smarter organization behind him.
Yeah, same knock they used to use on Phil. But Pop has turned over a couple of rosters and has managed to keep his team a serious contender year in, year out -- in the west.

A lot of what the Bulls are doing this season is based on players getting that psychological boost from what I call, "missing superstar syndrome" -- well that and playing in the east. If the Bulls were in the west, they might, and I say might be an eighth seed. And even when the Bulls had Rose, they still couldn't get to the Finals.

Thibs is a really good coach but there is no way he is on Pop's level, at least not at this time. Now, if he gets this Bulls team into the Finals, we can talk.
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Old April 16 2014, 12:28 PM   #100
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

I like this one from Fivethirtyeight: An analysis of the Bad Boy Pistons based on technical fouls. If you compare technical fouls relative to other teams in the same era, their two championship teams are the most ever.

However, this was interesting at the end:
But there’s something even more fascinating going on here: Technical fouls are bizarrely predictive of success. Individually, they give the other team a free attempt at another point, which should have about the same effect on the game as a turnover; they have no business indicating strength as well as they do. But they do. Not only are better teams more likely to get technicals (and vice versa), but “bad” plays may themselves add value. In other words, the Bad Boys may have been onto something.
Part two next week.
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Old April 16 2014, 03:06 PM   #101
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

gblews wrote: View Post
Jedi_Master wrote: View Post
gblews wrote: View Post
I think you have a legit argument for Thibs as best coach in the league -- well, were it not for Popovich. Hey uh, how's that extension going for Thibs? Not that my team needs a great coach, we're SOOOOO happy with D'Antoni.
Popovich is amazing, but Thibs winning with THIS bulls team is like winning the Daytona 500 with a stock Toyota Camry. Popovich has better players, and a smarter organization behind him.
Yeah, same knock they used to use on Phil. But Pop has turned over a couple of rosters and has managed to keep his team a serious contender year in, year out -- in the west.

A lot of what the Bulls are doing this season is based on players getting that psychological boost from what I call, "missing superstar syndrome" -- well that and playing in the east. If the Bulls were in the west, they might, and I say might be an eighth seed. And even when the Bulls had Rose, they still couldn't get to the Finals.

Thibs is a really good coach but there is no way he is on Pop's level, at least not at this time. Now, if he gets this Bulls team into the Finals, we can talk.
He is not the best in the league, but he is a contender for the Coach of the Year. I personally think Steve Clifford will win, but I think Thibs definitely deserves a look. The East is terrible, but the top contenders in the West feasted on their mediocrity as well (Spurs were 24-6 v the East) so if we are going to take away the value of those wins, we need to do so equally.

He won't get the Bulls into the Finals unless there is some kind of miracle, or the Pacers and Heat don't find a way to step up their game, but he has done wonders with his bench players, and has patched a rotation of parts and pieces and kept them believing in the concept of team over star.
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Old April 16 2014, 08:16 PM   #102
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

Jedi_Master wrote: View Post
gblews wrote: View Post
Jedi_Master wrote: View Post

Popovich is amazing, but Thibs winning with THIS bulls team is like winning the Daytona 500 with a stock Toyota Camry. Popovich has better players, and a smarter organization behind him.
Yeah, same knock they used to use on Phil. But Pop has turned over a couple of rosters and has managed to keep his team a serious contender year in, year out -- in the west.

A lot of what the Bulls are doing this season is based on players getting that psychological boost from what I call, "missing superstar syndrome" -- well that and playing in the east. If the Bulls were in the west, they might, and I say might be an eighth seed. And even when the Bulls had Rose, they still couldn't get to the Finals.

Thibs is a really good coach but there is no way he is on Pop's level, at least not at this time. Now, if he gets this Bulls team into the Finals, we can talk.
The East is terrible, but the top contenders in the West feasted on their mediocrity as well (Spurs were 24-6 v the East) so if we are going to take away the value of those wins, we need to do so equally.
Not really. Because the Bulls reside in the east, they played way more of their games against eastern competition that the west teams.

And Coach of the Year has rarely been an indication of the best coach in the league.
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Old April 16 2014, 08:37 PM   #103
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
I like this one from Fivethirtyeight: An analysis of the Bad Boy Pistons based on technical fouls. If you compare technical fouls relative to other teams in the same era, their two championship teams are the most ever.
I think this may be a classic case of not being able to see the forrest for the trees.

What the Pistons brought (back) to the NBA wasn't just the willingness to get technical fouls, it was defense. In playing the stifling defense they played, the Pistons did a lot of bumping, grabbing, shoving, holding, uh...hitting, etc, which sometimes resulted in technical fouls. But their overall play helped keep the score down which allowed the light on scoring Pistons to at least be in every game they played. Their winning was due to good D, not techs.

Befoe the Pistons, no one played defense in the league. The Lakers one year in the '80's led the league in scoring averaging 113 a game. The Pistons' legacy isn't technical fouls, it was, and is, shut down D. Any team these days with aspirations of winning a chanpionship knows they have to play defense. Good D almost always generates more T's than no defense.

Is this the same guy who wrote the article on steals?
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Old April 17 2014, 02:33 PM   #104
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

Two things:
First, it is worth keeping in mind that technical fouls and flagrant fouls were the same thing back then, which is why it's more useful a measurement that one would think if we're talking about tough physical defense.

Second, I think the point more is to establish that the team was one that played fast and loose with the rules (and, hence, got a lot of technical fouls). There is a side point that technical fouls are bizarrely correlated with success, but I think the emphasis there is on the word "bizarrely." The point here is just that the reputation is well-founded. Relative to the time period, they were more "bad" than everyone else.

It is the same guy. Unless someone can show something wrong with his statistics, the math is the same either way. No one is necessarily saying there's causation, just correlation.
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Old April 17 2014, 03:10 PM   #105
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Re: NBA Season - 2013-2014

Playoffs are here! Any thoughts?

My predictions

Indiana beats Atlanta 4-1

Miami beats Charlotte 4-1

Brooklyn beats Toronto 4-3

Chicago beats Washington 4-2

West

S.A. beats Dallas 4-0

OKC beats Memphis 4-2

LAC beats Golden State 4-3 (best matchup of the opening round)

Portland beats Houston 4-2

East Conf. Semis

Chicago beats Indiana 4-3 (I know, I'm a homer but hell I think they can do it)

Miami beats Brooklyn 4-3

West Conf. Semis

S.A. beats Portland 4-1

LAC beats OKC 4-3


Eastern Finals

Miami beats Chicago 4-2

S.A. beats LAC 4-3


Finals

S.A. beats Miami 4-2
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