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jthig32
03-10-2009, 09:08 AM
A few interesting things to link today (interesting to me anyway).

MIT hosted the NBA's statistical analysis convention this past weekend. Hollinger wrote about it here (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&page=PERDiem-090309).

An excerpt:

The event, arranged by Houston Rockets (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/clubhouse?team=hou) general manager Daryl Morey and the Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has rapidly grown in size and stature since its inception in 2007, That was made abundantly clear to me when I sat on a panel on Basketball Analytics along with the two most famous Mark(c)s in Dallas, Stein and Cuban.



As you might imagine, the Jason Kidd (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=429)-Devin Harris (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=2382) trade between Dallas and New Jersey came up (amazingly, without Simmons raising his hand from the audience and asking about it), and Cuban and I had a healthy give-and-take about the pros and cons of the deal. He was arguing pro, of course, and I was arguing con, with the argument mostly following on the lines of this blog post (http://blogmaverick.com/2009/02/08/nba-all-stars-by-the-numbers) by Cuban and this column (http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&page=PERDiemInsider-090210) by me.



Some folks already have written about this so I guess it was one of the memorable parts of the conference, but to me several other parts of our discussion were much more interesting. Cuban, for instance, matter-of-factly told us that a win is only worth about a half million dollars to a team's bottom line, so that rebuilding teams with low salary structures are often the most profitable. And there was some pretty healthy discussion between Cuban and Celtics exec Michael Zarren about what, exactly, went down in the Kevin Garnett (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=261) trade and whether the Mavs had made a better offer to Minnesota.
Check out the full article, it's interesting. (And please don't turn this into another thread arguing the merits of the trade).

Also, Bill Simmons had Daryl Morey (the Rockets GM) on his podcast this week. It's an hour long, so I expect very few people to actually check it out, but I highly recommend it. Simmons is good friends with Morey and gets some frank comments from him at times.

Simmons is starting to develop some very real connections with NBA insiders. I highly recommend all of his podcasts (except those involving Adam Corolla), but his podcasts with NBA people are especially good, imo.

Anyway, if you want to kill some time with his podcast, here it is (http://query-origin.andohs.net/8000A6/content-root3.andomedia.com/origin/mp3/espnradio/sportsguy/simmons090309.mp3).

TheMaverick
03-10-2009, 09:25 AM
Just read the entire article, what a positive spin for Mark Cuban =)

dalmations202
03-10-2009, 10:35 AM
Problem with statistics and analysis of them ----

Weight put on each stat and the variables that go unknown.

Everyone SWAG's it somewhat.

jthig32
03-13-2009, 07:01 PM
Henry Abbots notes from the conference can be found here (http://myespn.go.com/nba/truehoop).

Mav excerpts. One of these is really juicy.

11. Mark Cuban talked about a lot of the sophisticated statistics the Mavericks use. And then he was asked what kind of data they share with players. The example he gave was so basic -- they would tell someone if they were hot from a particular spot. Another team stat guy told me that he would keep his advanced insights to himself, unless it was encouragement to keep doing what they're doing, which was always welcomed by players and coaches. Mike Zarren says that on the Celtics, he shares what he believes to be important. "I've never been told: Don't tell me that," he reports. "I have," retorts the Nuggets' Dean Oliver. Oliver's case seems to be the more typical. Which makes me think that there must be a lot of insight that is not being put to use, and therefore there might be a little premium on players and coaches who are savvy in integrating this kind of input.

12. Right now, any team that wants to be very stat savvy has to hire tons of people to chart years of games. (Mark Cuban says the Maverick database, now with eight years of data, is starting to become much more interesting.) Then they can mine all that data (who was guarding whom, passing, where everybody shot from, etc.) to answer questions. But it's very expensive. So the question is: Why don't teams or the league band together to pay people to log all those plays? Then they can dig in at will. And the answer is, teams are way too protective of their processes for stuff like this, and are unwilling to share any element of it, even if it costs them extra. One day, I suspect, the data will be more of a commodity, and how to slice and dice it will be what matters.
16. Mark Cuban talked about maybe one day systematically analyzing players and coaches in how they address the media in post-game video, as insight into their character and nature.
19. Mark Cuban was clear that he thought a key factor in Kevin Garnett ending up in Boston was Danny Ainge's relationship with Minnesota's Kevin McHale. Cuban says the Mavericks were one of several teams that thought they had a deal done to acquire Garnett (he also mentioned Golden State) and had even heard from Garnett's agent who was wondering about an extension. But it didn't happen. "At the end of the day," says Cuban, with a wry smile, "relationships matter in the NBA." 20. Mark Cuban: "Hiring coaches is the hardest job that there is. Period. End of story." Part of his assessment of Rick Carlisle, he explained, involved noticing that Carlisle very often played lineups that Cuban's database deemed to be the most effective from the available roster.
23. Mark Cuban says teams and the NBA suffer from "so many self-inflicted wounds." For instance, he couldn't fathom why the NBA would have a scheme where draft prospects could not be worked out in a five-on-five setting.

chumdawg
03-13-2009, 08:00 PM
Which one do you find the juiciest, thig? Several good things to chew on there.

fluid.forty.one
03-13-2009, 08:04 PM
major rep for this stuff jthig. Thanks!

jthig32
03-13-2009, 08:56 PM
Which one do you find the juiciest, thig? Several good things to chew on there.

Well I think it's all juicy because I'm a giant dork who loves pondering what kind of info you can get from a database with 8 years of game charting.

But I figured most people would find the Garnett stuff awfully juicy. I know we always heard they were in conversations, but the thought that we were close enough to landing Garnett before last season that is agent called Cubes to discuss an extension is pretty interesting.

To take it a step further, it really piques my interest in deals that almost happened over the past few years. I think a lot of fans see non-action and assume the Mavs (or any team) just didn't try very hard to get anything done at a particular time. In reality, I imagine deals form and dissolve more than we can possibly imagine. I'd love to have drinks with Donnie in about twenty years and get the dirt on all the deals that almost happened for this team.

LonghornDub
03-13-2009, 09:32 PM
To take it a step further, it really piques my interest in deals that almost happened over the past few years. I think a lot of fans see non-action and assume the Mavs (or any team) just didn't try very hard to get anything done at a particular time. In reality, I imagine deals form and dissolve more than we can possibly imagine. I'd love to have drinks with Donnie in about twenty years and get the dirt on all the deals that almost happened for this team.

This is true, and it's a really dumb assumption on the part of those folks.

chumdawg
03-13-2009, 09:36 PM
This is true, and it's a really dumb assumption on the part of those folks.At the same time: Don't tell me about the pain; show me the baby.

As our braintrust likes to say, it's an upgrade business. Not a "try to upgrade" business.

LonghornDub
03-13-2009, 10:03 PM
At the same time: Don't tell me about the pain; show me the baby.

As our braintrust likes to say, it's an upgrade business. Not a "try to upgrade" business.

Sure, but that line of thinking is much less persuasive when you keep in mind that any upgrade requires the consent of at least one outside party with interests adverse to your own. You could do everything right that's within your power and sometimes you still won't get the result if you can't get the other party/parties to agree.

chumdawg
03-13-2009, 10:42 PM
Sure, but that line of thinking is much less persuasive when you keep in mind that any upgrade requires the consent of at least one outside party with interests adverse to your own. You could do everything right that's within your power and sometimes you still won't get the result if you can't get the other party/parties to agree.Only true if you believe it's a zero-sum game.