- Taschenbuch: 376 Seiten
- Verlag: Potomoc Books Inc; Auflage: New Ed (20. Januar 2005)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1574886886
- ISBN-13: 978-1574886887
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,3 x 2,6 x 23 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 152.753 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Basketball on Paper: Rules and Tools for Performance Analysis (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 20. Januar 2005
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"A revolutionary strike for statistical analysis of the game of basketball."
Journey "inside the numbers" for an exceptional set of statistical rules and tools that help evaluate players, strategies, and teamwork. Dean Oliver investigates a number of important basketball theories and myths. He also examines the differences between team leaders and role players, studies the best and most unique players in NBA history, and offers new ways of looking at the game from a coach's or fan's point of view.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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The problem I have with much of the literature aimed at the general public though, is that is over simplifies the problems, and all to often takes away the argument by assumption. John Maynard Keynes taught us that the big problem with statistics is not the methods, it's having no way to validate the numbers we put in.
So here we have an assumed method of picking the best offensive and defensive teams in history, no discussion of why most of those teams did not win a championship, no discussion of alternative methods. We get probabilities of winning streaks, but only a couple paragraphs on problems with those stats. (player injuries as the only example.). What about the fact that NBA teams almost always lose the second game of back to back road games? What about teams tanking at the end of the season to improve draft position?
I appreciated large parts of this book, but also found myself deeply frustrated with it at points. There are better books out there for people who want to get started on modern sports statistics.
An example of an interesting idea: Comparing a team's points scored, points allowed differential with the league average for a particular year is a pretty good indicator of the teams winning percentage. Of course, if a team has played enough games to have a statistically significant point differential, the teams won/loss record is also a pretty good indicator of how the teams winning percentage will end up. An interesting correlation but not very interesting for making predictions nor for understanding the game.
The author makes a very good point that players should be evaluated not on how much they score, but their value as a scoring asset minus their liability on defense. The author considers shooting percentage, assists, free throws, etc. as contributions to scoring. He also tries to include statistics on blocks, shooting percentages of opposing players, etc. to determine a defensive value. While a step in the right direction, it is a long ways from being useful to determine a players value. A couple of examples:
1. A player is very good at 3 point shooting. The opposing teams denies him the ball and instantly double teams him every time he touches the ball. This allows the remainder of his team to play 4 on 3, get lots of open looks presumably score very efficiently. Since the player in question probably commonly passes out of double teams but not directly to the player ultimately taking a shot, he will probably get few assists. According to the author, this player has very little offensive value.
2. The highest rated defenses (based on opponents shooting percentages) involve a lot of defensive switching, rotating, double teaming, clogging passing lanes, etc. When an opposing player gets a good look, it is often after multiple switches and rotations have been forced and a very good defender gets close enough to be considered to "contest the shot". The author would consider this a minus for the defensive player if the shot went in. If the defensive player were a little slower, it would be considered a defensive failure of the team rather than the player. To maximize a defensive rating, a player should contest shots against poor shooters and not get close to good shooters. Further, teams will try to place their best defender on the best opposing scorer. If the opposing scorer has a good game, the teams best defender will have a bad defensive rating while lesser teammates defending poorer shooters may be rated much higher.
A substantial part of the book is devoted to rating great players such as Bill Russel, Wilt Chamberlin, Michael Jordon, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, etc. Guess what, they end up having great statistics. He also rates some busts and guess what ... they have crappy statistics. The only interesting aspect of the player ratings was a discussion of volume shooters such as Allen Iverson and quantifying how carrying a big percentage of a teams offense results in a lower shooting percentage.
The three biggest failings of the book:
1. A little over half way through the books, the author states that he massaged some of his numbers in ways that statisticians would scream about ... presumably to make his results better fit his prejudices. He never states how he manipulated the numbers. That by itself pretty much makes every number he assigns worthless.
2. The author briefly describes rating methods others have used. In particular, he describes a method that seems to be based in part on +/-. He goes on to give a few examples of players that rated highly under this system. When one of those highly rated players turned out to be someone not generally considered a star, the author indicated the method didn't pass the "roll your eyes test" and that the methods proponents couldn't explain why the player in question rated so highly. Of course, the author of this book offered no evidence why an average player had such a great +/- related rating. I thought this was a great opportunity for the author to have an important/interesting explanation about how an average player could have a great +/-. Instead, he just dismisses it as "obviously wrong".
3. A player cannot get a good defensive rating unless everyone else that plays with him is pretty good defensively. The better the team defense, the better rating the individual players will have. Therefore, the authors methods are useless for rating the defensive abilities of any player that is not on a good defense. It is also the case that the better a team offense is, the higher the individual players will be rated.
Best book on sports statistics that I've read.