*Watching the Laker game last night, a lot of people left the bar with 2 minutes to go and the Lakers down 6. Shaq had just fouled out and they considered it over. The Lakers obviously made a push with Kobe making those 3's but didn't win. Should they have left so early? I guess they were right about the outcome, but it would be nice to know what the odds of winning are in that situation.*

Has anyone compiled such a thing? Is there research out there in game theory journals that discuss this?

is there really something such as a "game theory journal"? i've seen journals for pretty much every branch of science, math, medicine, etc, but to see something from academia that was actually keen to professional sports would be neat...

bob chaikin

bchaikin@...

- --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, bchaikin@a... wrote:
> Has anyone compiled such a thing? Is there research out there in

game theory

> journals that discuss this?

seen journals

>

> is there really something such as a "game theory journal"? i've

> for pretty much every branch of science, math, medicine, etc, but

to see

> something from academia that was actually keen to professional

sports would

> be neat...

Game theory comes about from sports, but also from politics. It

often focuses on political decisions. I know that was how I was

introduced to "game theory" -- through Poli Sci 12 in college. Game

theory rests on the fact that competing people have to outstrategize

the opponent. Consider what they will do and try to optimally select

a strategy to counter what they will do. The movie A Beautiful Mind

was about John Nash, whose Nash Equilibrium theory is one of the

centerpieces of game theory. This concept that there is an optimal

set of strategies given the nature of the rules of a game helps

determine both how to win and how to change the game so that the game

itself arrives at better results (perhaps socioeconomically better,

for example). Or, if we wanted to change basketball to increase

scoring, we could wing it or you could do a serious analysis of what

effect the rule changes may have, assuming that winning games is

still the goal of all teams, regardless of pace.

Besides that, I think SABR has an ongoing newsletter of baseball

research. Chance magazine has statistical studies with one almost

every issue on sports -- that's what I forwarded a little while ago.

I wasn't very impressed with that article on pace management,

though. They pretty much assumed the answer that they got, something

I discussed with schtevie offline for a while.

Not sure if there are any others.

DeanO ----- Original Message -----

From: aaronkoo

To: APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com

Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 4:18 PM

Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: When to leave a game?

<snip, on game theory>

> Besides that, I think SABR has an ongoing newsletter of baseball

> research. Chance magazine has statistical studies with one almost

> every issue on sports -- that's what I forwarded a little while ago.

> I wasn't very impressed with that article on pace management,

> though. They pretty much assumed the answer that they got, something

> I discussed with schtevie offline for a while.

>

> Not sure if there are any others.

>

> DeanO

Can you post some of your comments? I tried to follow the argument on the article, but

the math was slightly beyond me.

ed- --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, <igorkupfer@r...> wrote:
>

on the article, but

>

> Can you post some of your comments? I tried to follow the argument

> the math was slightly beyond me.

Will do. Hopefully tonight, but life/work may get in the way.

Generally, they assumed that the percentage of possessions on which a

team scored was optimal at some pace and lower at either a higher or

lower pace. Then they simulated the games and, sure enough, the team

won fewer games at higher and lower paces than at their optimal

pace. My point has been that we don't know where that optimal pace

is and that the optimal pace in basketball may be actually a large

range of paces. The average time of a possession is about 15 s and I

believe that teams perform about equally well whether they use 10 s

or 20 s (beyond about 20 s, rather, with <=3s on the clock, they do

worse).

DeanO - --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, <igorkupfer@r...> wrote:
> > I wasn't very impressed with that article on pace management,

something

> > though. They pretty much assumed the answer that they got,

> > I discussed with schtevie offline for a while.

on the article, but

> >

> > Not sure if there are any others.

> >

> > DeanO

>

>

> Can you post some of your comments? I tried to follow the argument

> the math was slightly beyond me.

p. 43: "We remark that for simplicity we will think of a team's

unconstrained mode as its best scoring offensive style of play versus

the current opponent."

This is the assumption that ruins everything. They assume that there

is exactly one pace at which the teams is optimal, rather than an

array of paces or a range of paces.

p. 44: "A popular belief among sports analysts is that, when the

score is tied or a team is ahead, a lengthy possession is better than

a short possessions. Surprisingly this belief, as a general

statement is false."

This is the kind of analysis that is nice to do, but they biased

their answer by assuming that a team gets worse by holding the ball.

Now that may be true if they hold it too long -- I have seen that --

but they need more to strengthen such a statement.

Figures 1 through 3 use the notation (P, time units), where P is the

probability of scoring and time units is how many time units each

possession takes. Note that in each case, the intermediate time unit

case (=2) has the highest P. If they had left all the P the same and

just changed the pace, their arguments would have been potentially

stronger, but now their results are clouded by changing P.

Too bad.

DeanO