The possession study
- We asked the question a few weeks ago:
What will be the pace in a game between two teams, given their
average paces during the season?
I was thinking about this study and realizing that a statistical
study may not come out with a satisfying answer. There are
mechanistic effects that people are thinking about -- coaches who
want to slow the pace, coaches who want to quicken the pace. We've
wondered for instance whether the Bulls of the late '90's could slow
down the Lakers of the early '80's. The problem is the
word "could". The statistics will be unlikely to give a perfect
answer to this. They'll show an average pace between the two, but
with a standard deviation that incorporates both slow and fast
paces. How are we to interpret this? It doesn't mean that the Bulls
couldn't slow down the Lakers. It doesn't mean that the Lakers
couldn't keep the pace up.
So, even before constructing the study, I'm wondering how to
interpret results. Are there any better ways to construct this
study? One thing to do is to look at playoffs where the pace is
definitely slowed and perhaps find out how much, implying that the
increased competition there shows what competition (strategy) will
allow coaches to do.