This gets back to chemistry in my mind. I generally think people
use "chemistry" a lot to cover up their own misevaluations of a
team's talent level, but there are certainly cases where it applied,
and I think this one is a good example.
In fact, I think that team had trouble for the same reason Miller's
Clipper team had trouble -- everyone was trying to get to the same
spot on the floor. The Clippers had five guys on the floor who all
wanted to post up, so the offense was much less than the sum of its
parts; that's probably why Piatkowski played so much. Similarly, the
U.S. team tried posting up all game, but the opponents were so backed
in that they couldn't get many shots off for O'Neal, Brand et al. The
team couldn't spread the ball around as you suggested because it
didn't have any deep shooters, so Pierce and Miller ended up trying
to create plays at the end of the clock.
--- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com
, "Dean Oliver" <deano@r...>
> One other thing, tying this and the Olympic quals together -- in
> looking at the 2002 World's team that did so poorly, I believe that
> a team that struggled from lack of chemistry. Andre Miller and Paul
> Pierce dominated the possessions (up over 30% of team possessions in
> an all-star lineup?). Maybe it was because the low box guys weren't
> big scorers, but I do think more effort should have been spent to
> those low post guys to look to score. I haven't done the full
> calculations, but I'm guessing that that team could have been about
> 10% better offensively if they'd spread the ball around a bit more.
> Harder to determine how chemistry would have impacted the defensive
> side, but probably some because the big guys were decent defenders
> Wallace, O'Neal, and A. Davis (Brand suffers a little).
> --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Dean Oliver" <deano@r...>
> > --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, igor eduardo küpfer
> > <igorkupfer@r...> wrote:
> > >
> > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > From: "Dean Oliver" <deano@r...>
> > > To: <APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com>
> > > Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2003 12:39 PM
> > > Subject: [APBR_analysis] Olympic Quals
> > >
> > >
> > > >
> > > > Has anyone done any statistical evaluation of the Olympic
> > qualifying
> > > > games this summer? I'd be curious how the NBA guys played,
> > also
> > > > how potential prospects from other countries looked.
> > > >
> > > > usabasketball.com has all the boxes...
> > > >
> > >
> > > Is that a hint? :-) I was looking at some of that stuff, off
> > on. I'll
> > > post something this week.
> > >
> > > BTW a question came up on one of the newsgroups about team
> > chemistry, and
> > > its usefulness as a concept for analysing team play. I seem to
> > recall that
> > > you looked at the matter. Do you have any thoughts?
> > Some of my thoughts were in that Ramp Magazine article that just
> > out (though Ramp went belly up right afterward). Some quick
> > - It matters. Normally, it's only a few games a season, plus or
> > minus. In rare occasions, it matters more than that. I think
> > can engineer chemistry more than teams have -- I think it can be
> > worth more than a few games per season, but it rarely is
> > that way in the NBA (Larry Brown is very good at this).
> > - What is chemistry? It can be a few things. The Ramp article
> > talked about how well guys get along. That's one thing. I also
> > think about how well guys fit together -- do their strengths
> > compliment each other to neutralize each other's weaknesses?
> > one I like looking at. A numerical example comes from methods of
> > evaluation that show big men to be the best players. Why don't
> > just stick 5 big guys on the floor? Well, because their other
> > that aren't measured are blended together pretty well.
> > - Chemistry in most people's minds means that the whole is
> > than the sum of the parts. I've done some analysis of what this
> > could mean. There are cases where the whole appears to be less
> > the sum of the parts. Chapter 19 in the book shows one case of
> > chemistry and how you have to mix things right -- it's got a lot
> > numbers, but I don't explicitly mention "chemistry" here. I went
> > back and forth about doing so and just felt like it gets in the
> > of the message.
> > - Ramp's quote is illustrative, too. "[It's like pornography,] I
> > know it when I see it." What we should do is look at cases where
> > people have said that chemistry is important and see what is
> > among those cases.
> > Those are quick thoughts. Gotta work...
> > DeanO