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2457Chemistry thoughts

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  • Dean Oliver
    Oct 8 12:12 PM
      --- 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
      > > games this summer? I'd be curious how the NBA guys played, but
      > > 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 and
      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 came
      out (though Ramp went belly up right afterward). Some quick thoughts:

      - It matters. Normally, it's only a few games a season, plus or
      minus. In rare occasions, it matters more than that. I think you
      can engineer chemistry more than teams have -- I think it can be
      worth more than a few games per season, but it rarely is implemented
      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? That's
      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 teams
      just stick 5 big guys on the floor? Well, because their other skills
      that aren't measured are blended together pretty well.

      - Chemistry in most people's minds means that the whole is greater
      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 than
      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 of
      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 way
      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 common
      among those cases.

      Those are quick thoughts. Gotta work...

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