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1739Re: Talent

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  • Dean Oliver <deano@rawbw.com>
    Jan 31, 2003
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      --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Mike G <msg_53@h...>"
      <msg_53@h...> wrote:
      > --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Dean Oliver <deano@r...>"
      > <deano@r...> wrote:
      > >...: What is talent? Or what is a measure of talent? As I've
      > > mentioned before, we measure performance with stats, not talent.
      > > Performance is a function of talent, but also a bunch of other
      > > things, including the average talent level in the league...
      >
      > You might have to distinguish between individual talent and team
      > talent. At the most basic level, I suppose height, jumping
      ability,
      > ballhandling skills, pure shooting, etc. would be elements
      > of 'talent'.
      >
      > But in the wake of the US disaster against the world, in Indy, we
      > have to recognize Team Talent. i.e., the better Team wins.
      >

      I think I'm calling this "the system". All subjectively here, but I
      do think the talent gap was a lot smaller this past year. But "the
      system" was clearly better laid out for foreign teams who knew each
      other's roles, had consistent defenses called, etc. With more than 2
      weeks training together, our team would have been better. With the
      knowledge that they'd be together for a couple months and fighting
      hard, they would work more together. I don't think they thought
      they'd have to fight so hard.


      > So arguments about increased bulk, reduced body fat, etc. aren't
      > relevant (in my mind) to whether today's game is played at a
      greater
      > competitive level than it was played in 1975, 1965, or even 1955.
      >

      It is interesting that fitness and height are incredibly important in
      professional evaluations of players. Part of my goal has been to try
      to numerically assess whether just professional evaluations are
      correct. I think I found that a team that is an extra inch taller
      picks up about 1.3 points (offense + defense) per 100 possessions.
      Only about a third of the home court advantage, but not insignificant
      and something that is definitely not hard to overcome with additional
      skill. (Also most teams don't differ in height by a full inch.
      Tallest to shortest typically is about 1-2 inches within a year.) So
      if a scout is picking a taller player, he is generally being safer.
      Duh.

      > As one without any (professed) bias, I find it intriguing to think
      > the league may be equally competitive in 1955 and in 2003.

      Sports economists believe this in general.

      Expansion
      > bumps notwithstanding, I can't see a clear reason for the
      appearance
      > of equivalency, based on the cumulative minutes study I've
      presented.
      >

      I'm not sure what you're saying here. Just clarify.

      >
      > > Ultimately being able to say that a player would do x if it
      weren't
      > > for his coach/system/role, but does y with his coach/system/role,
      > > allows for better translation of statistics between teams and
      > between
      > > leagues, which is important for draft and trade analysis. And we
      > all
      > > know that those are important.
      >
      > Well, some of us just do this for fun.

      I did it purely for fun for many years. It's still fun. Basketball
      is perhaps the greatest science I've encountered. So many tough
      problems and so many insights upon solving them.

      DeanO
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